Monday, August 14, 2017

Amazing Spider-Man #31 Review - Marvel Monday

Amazing Spider-Man #31

Writer: Dan Slott
Art Team: Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, Marte Gracia
Marvel Comics
Release Date: August 9, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

With Great Power Comes a Great Loss of Income

The Amazing Spider-Man wraps up his little dip into the ponds of Secret Empire this issue by concluding his fight with the Superior Octopus, sponsored by Hydra. So does Spidey have what it takes to save his company, fend of this new and improved Doc Ock, all while avoiding any further Secret Empire messiness? Well you’re going to have to read on to find that out plus my thoughts about what’s going down here, or you know go buy the issue yourself … well what are you waiting for?!

The events start here in issue #31 where they ended last month; Spider-Man is at the mercy of Doc Ock with the Spider Mobiles, that Peter sent after Octavius, having turned against him. Even the creator of these vehicles, Lian, is finding no way to override Ock’s commands … so yeah things look bad for anyone associated with our red and blue hero in Shanghai.

Eventually Spider-Man uses his classic go to sarcastic charm on the ol’ Doctor erking him enough to momentarily leave Spider-Man to perish without supervision. Doc heads through the building on a quest for the server room looking to complete his plans for domination.  As chaos continues to rain down around anyone associated with Parker Industries, a glimmer of hope is finally found, as Lian, is able to hotwire her Spider Mobile. She gives chase to Doc Ock against Spider-Man’s orders, and takes him out in the ‘nick of time’, all before he’s able to secure any of the important sensitive information he needs. 

Spider-Man, now free himself, transforms back into Peter, giving the orders via company comm's to destroy all information and projects in their possession including all information on the databases, to prevent it from falling in the wrong hands (Doc Ock’s and Hydra’s specifically in this case).  All company information is now lost, we basically watched Parker Industries get deleted from existence at the order of C.E.O. Peter Parker, to the celebration of some and dismay of others (including Aunt May & Doctor Octavius).

Peter’s gives a semi cliché speech about ‘Power & Responsibility’ reinforcing the mantra he’s long stood for, which gets Aunt May to come back around by the conclusion of the story, but he’s still left with Doc Ock to deal with, who he has to battle it out with one final time. However Peter has one ace in the hole left, despite being seemingly left with nothing, his old suit, all he’s ever needed to beat Doc Ock.   

The issue concludes when the two long time enemies confront each other for the final time trading blows that knock their ‘weapons & equipment’ offline. Spider-Man gets the better of this exchange, discovering prior in the issue Doc keeps using the same electronic signal, forcing the villain to retreat and regroup without his goods, but still accomplishing the task Hydra set forth for him ... the dismantling of Parker Industries.  This pleases Hydra, but not Doc Ock, who wanted Parker Industries back for his own personal gain.

Overall this was a nice little reprieve and tie-in to the Secret Empire event allowing the Spider-Man book to play a nice middle ground, progressing its overall narrative, while still addressing the Marvel Universe’s problems at large.  Parker Industries is no more, which makes me personally a little sad because I liked this direction for Peter as a character, and although the cheese factor for his reasons behind destroying it himself were a little much, the character going back to familiar grounds again is still intriguing to me going forward.

The art by Immonen, von Grawbadger, and Gracia continues to be excellent and a pleasure to look at each month. The first three quarters splash page is my favorite I’ve seen in a Spider book in a long time and fighting in the night skies of China is sure fun to take in.

Bits and Pieces

Spider-Man/Peter Parker goes back to basics by the conclusion of this issue, which is a little sad to me in the long run of this story as a whole. However Slott did a good job with this action oriented tie-in story while also moved the Spider-Man narrative at large forward in a big way for the Legacy initiative.


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