Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Comics Review: Amazing Spider-Man #296

Written by: David Michelinie
Art by: Alex Saviuk

Coming with a blast from the past! We here at The Verbal Mosh have decided to take a trip to ye olden days of comics and bring to you some of the best stories of yesteryear. Here's my first contribution with the first issue from The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus by Dave Michelinie and Todd McFarlane, well he gets involved later, but for now let's open up this behemoth of a book and get started! 

This ish opens up with Spider-Man walking through the streets as something he's never been before. A pedestrian!!! But why?! Why is Spider-Man walking around the streets of Manhattan and not swinging high above the buildings? Well, that's a simple answer, he's web shooters are out...oh. Almost forgot that kind of stuff happens. On his lonely wet walk home in the rain, Peter decides its time to make some changes to his shooters. Once finally home, he brainstorms some ideas, one being a warning device that'll tell him when the fluid is low. Another is making them out of plastic so they wouldn't trip the metal detectors at airports when he goes on jobs for the Bugle. Then he drifts off into a much earned and needed sleep.

And right across town at a research facility, someone else is getting some sleep. One of Spideys greatest foes, Doctor Otto Octavius, Doc Ock! But what's this, he doesn't have his robotic arms, and the doctor overseeing him says Ock wants to change. Well would you look at that. Otto's falling into sleep and even dreaming. He's dreaming of his very first encounter with Spider-Man so many years ago. Smacking him around, throwing him out the window. Alls good in Ock's world until he gets a tap on his shoulder. It's a giant Spider-Man!!! And he got revenge by flicking Ock through a wall! The vitals on In Ock's body are spiking, but the real strange part is, even his mechanical arms are reacting, and they're stored somewhere away from Otto! He wakes up screaming from his nightmare and falls into Dr. Jeffersons arms crying...aaaaaaand it just got weird.

The next morning back at Peter's house, he's made some of the adjustments he needed on his web shooters. Or at least mapped them out they'd cost WAY too much money. Can't make money if you're not working, might as well call the Bugle and see what's up. The receptionist says they're up to their necks in Spidey pics, unless Pete's got one that has the Wall Crawler in a heated fight, they don't want it. Lucky for Peter, he IS the Web Head, unfortunately for Peter, he IS the Web Head. Time to head outside and look for trouble, but this one damn night, New York has NOTHING going on. Back at the facility holding Doc Ock, they're trying again with curing Otto and making him good. More drugs, more dreams. This time, Otto sees himself on the streets if New York except everyone but him is a spider person! Web Heads and Wall Crawlers EVERYWHERE. Ock gets so scared he runs away, and straight into a giant web! That can only mean one thing, a giant spider has just caught her prey!!! This nightmare is so extreme, and Otto's arms reacted so much to it, they actually broke themselves free!

They're out in the streets tearing it up and of course this catches the attention of Spider-Man. He tries to throw a Spider Tracer on them but misses, no worry, he's got a good idea where they're off to. Back at the facility, Ock is weeping over his dream again when suddenly the arms break through the wall. Scared, Otto sends them away. He doesn't want to be a criminal anymore. He doesn't want the arms. Then the cops show up and shoot at the arms, but Otto thinks they're shooting at him. He realized that truly no one wanted to help him. That everyone still thinks he's bad, well then, might as well be bad! Doc Ock is back, he exclaims! Well...shit.

Spidey shows up just in time to realize he's late, and couldn't even catch a pic for the Bugle. Meanwhile, a group of thugs rejoice over a successful robbery. Those thugs just happen to be ex-minions of Doc Ock. And their hideout just happens to be one of Ock's lairs. And speaking of the good doctor, he shows up and strikes fear back into the hearts of his ex-cronies, and they welcome him back with shaken voices. All this and even a day later, Spider-Man can't seem to find the good doctor. The only thing left to do now is to lure in the octopus. He swings over to the Bugle and convinces the editor Katheryn Cushing to have the Bugle help in Spidey's hunt for Otto. Pete's not done building his team though, he acquires the help of Otto's doctor at the Psych Ward, Dr. Jefferson. Although he's against tricking Otto, he agrees.

The trap was simple, print a story in the Bugle saying Dr. Jefferson is writing a book to tell all about Otto's sickness and dreams and such. In a rage, Otto races to the psych hospital to capture Jefferson, only to be cornered by special forces officers. They are nothing to him, they can't stop him. But, the Amazing Spider-Man can! Stopping Otto dead in his tracks, frozen like ice! But don't celebrate too early, although Ock's frozen scared like a little girl, his arms are programmed for this exact situation. To protect Ock in case he's bitchly frozen by Spider-Man. So his arms are going all crazy and Peter tells everyone to get out, it's a lot safer if those arms only had one target. He runs into the basement and the arms follow, carrying a frozen Otto Octavius. Sidey realizes that if he hurts Ock, the arms will do anything to get away, so he breaks a pipe and the gas starts covering Otto, the arms then bust a hole in the ceiling and escape before anyone could catch him.

The issue ends with Pete selling his fight pictures to the Bugle, that'll finally finance his new web shooters, and he won't have to deal with Doc Ock for a while, yayayay! Yeah, ok. When does that ever happen? Ock has already devised a plan. Since he can't confront Spider-Man without freezing up, and Spider-Man's base of operations is Manhattan, Otto will just have to destroy New York!!! 

It feels good reading these old issues and seeing what it was like back then. The lack of technology, and how still a book can come together beautifully. I love it, and can wait to bring you guys more from this massive collection. Till next week!

-Matt Milanes

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