Written by Dan Slott and Chris Yost
Illustrated by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inked by Klaus Janson
Colored by Frank D’amata
Lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna
THE PLOT: Whilst on a mission in outer space headed by Horizon Labs, Col. John Jameson loses connection and is seemingly attacked. Spidey rushes over to the Baxter Building where Johnny Storm, recently resurrected member of the Fantastic Four is the only person in the building available to help. The two rush off in one of Reed Richards’ jets to save the Colonel.
LONG STORY SHORT: Turns out that, shock and horror, Doctor Octopus has infiltrated the Apogee space station with his Octobots, taking over the crew and tuning them into zombies…somehow. To Be Continued.
MY THOUGHTS: This was another Dan Slott outing that didn’t leave much an impression on me, but wasn’t the worst thing ever either. It’s a space adventure for Spidey. Why not? It’s nice that we have another Spidey/Torch team-up, and Slott clearly adores the two characters in the same story, but part of that works against the story in my opinion.
There are two main story elements on Slott’s run that I find have snuck their way in ASM: Sarcasm and angst. It’s not wholly his fault, as Spider-Man has perpetually been an angsty, sarcastic character. I am finding though that Spidey comics now read to me like checklists. Dramatic villians? Check. Smart-talking Spidey? Check. Pensive, moody Spidey? Check. Blustering Jonah? Check. Serious Jonah? Check. It comes off less of a story and more story beats that require an adequate Spider-Man issue. Again, this is not me damning to comic. It just goes to show however that there are ways in which the Spider-Man formula becomes a bit tired and played out. It all revolves around the run-of-the-mill plot. Spidey and Torch go into space to save John Jameson, the world’s most cursed yet lucky-as-hell astronaut. Jonah mopes, then clinches his teeth and swears vengeance on someone because everything is everybody’s fault.
I’m coming off a lot harsher than I’m meaning to on this issue, but I’m not sure what else there is to say about it. By and large, it’s fine. Spider-Man’s fun in it, the situation is a genuine emergency, and the way he tries to solve it makes sense. If anything, the worst part about this issue was the guest start who I’m only now getting to.
Johnny Storm was unbearably annoying in this issue. I’m more than aware of his and Peter’s brother-like, squabbly friendship. However in this issue, it reminded me a lot of the Mark Waid Daredevil crossover which is an automatic negative. Johnny spent half of the time bragging about himself, which is par for the course. The other half was him trying to get Spider-Man’s goat, and that was really irritating. I’m not sensitive to Spider-Man getting crapped on by characters, but it has to be for an understandable reason. The reason here was for Johnny to just do it, and he came off like that annoying kid you knew as a child who thought he/she was better than everyone and tried proving it by tearing down others. It was seriously grating.
“Don’t you ever get tired of sucking?”
“Your villans suck, and that’s a direct reflection on you!”
Stuff like that got old really quickly, and it made the character come off as incredibly annoying.
As for the ending…ehhh. Can we please be done with the whole Zombie craze? Why does robotic technology turn people into zombies anyway? What exactly are they going to do to Spidey, the Torch and John Jameson, eat their computers? It could’ve gone down a lot smoother if the octobots has programmed the space crew to kill the heroes, but to specifically make them zombies ended the issue on an imbecilic “thud”. I know Walking Dead is the new Pagan God of geek worship these days, but this ending was still lame.
So how’re the heroes going to get out of this one? Will the Torch remain as insufferable as he was here? Can Spidey save the crew before Doc Ock finds out he’s on the space station? Tune into the next review to find out!