Octo-Spidy and Thor battle Electro and somehow it’s not as one-sided as you’d think.

 Avenging 18 Cover (575x800)

Avenging Spider-man #18

Writer: Christopher Yost

Artist: Marco Checchetto

Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg

Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Cover Art: Marco Checchetto

 

Spoilers to follow after the break:

 

 

 

So after doing the Venom reviews the past few months I’ll be taking on this title as well, which should be fun as I always loved Marvel Team-Up. Plus I thought ASM 700 was an absolutely epic comic so I’m pretty on-board with Superior Octo-Spidey concept and watching it play out.

 

The Plot: Electro reforms himself from Thor having absorbed his lightening form and blasting him into space during “Ends of the Earth” and of course vows revenge. Octo-Spidey detects Electro’s return and attempts to warn Thor that Electro is coming for him but Thor laughs off the threat.

 Aveninging 18 Electro (640x196)

Electro goes to AIM for a power-upgrade. Octo-Spidey tracks him there but he’s too late and Electro flies off to find Thor. Following his upgrade Electro is now made of anti-matter thus making him immune to Thor’s lightening manipulation while also making him able to hurt Thor. Furthermore if Thor uses energy powers against Electro Octo-Spidey theorizes Electro will explode and destroy all of New York.

 

Octo-Spidey starts building a machine to neutralize Electro’s new power, and is impressed as Thor holds his ground despite taking a beating from Electro and being unable to fight back. Once Octo-Spidey finishes his gimmick he has Thor explode him and the machine allegedly disperses Electro’s molecules but in the postscript we see Octo-Spidey has Electro in his old underwater lab alongside Sandman.

 

Critical Thoughts: I was surprised how much I enjoyed this since on paper the premise of Electro vs. Thor is pretty ludicrous. To its credit this book tackles that head-on by having Thor just laugh off the very idea of Electro is a threat and then showing how he upgrades power levels to make the fight credible.

 Avenging 18 Thor (397x640)

I like Octo-Spidey’s perspective throughout. The voice is consistent and believable in how he interacts with characters far outside Ock’s usual circles. We see this in both his reactions to AIM and Thor. With AIM he calls “competent” scientists but not at his level at first, which as the Superior Spider-man is exactly how Ock should react to them even though as a longtime Captain America reader I’d argue AIM have the better track record as scientists building things like Cosmic Cubes and Super Adaptoids that Ock hasn’t come close to matching in the stories I’ve seen him in over the years. Yet once Ock sees what AIM has done to Electro even he has to admit it is “quite impressive.”

 

With Thor, Ock at first fumes after Thor laughs off his warning that Thor is nothing more than a brute from a backwards time period, which is kind of true. But then when Thor holds Electro off by just absorbing punishment Octo-Spidey is not just impressed but forced to ponder whether he himself would be willing to sacrifice his life to save innocents now that he is playing the hero. This is exactly the kind of character questions the Superior concept should be exploring.

 

Finally we get the tease at the end where despite playing the hero in public Ock has some back-up plan that involves collecting his Sinister Six teammates in secret, which is just another bit of intrigue to watch play out.

 

 

Avenging 18 art (617x640)

Also the art, particularly of Spidey himself looks really good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grade B This story was “shockingly” better than it looked liked it was going to be at first glance, showing that even a story idea that seems ludicrous on the surface can lead to a good story if the writer puts the effort in to make it work.

5 Responses to “Avenging Spider-man 18 review”

  1. #1 J says:

    I’m really intrigued by the subplot of Otto “collecting” his recent Sinister Six teammates. I just wonder how it’s going to work out with Mysterio. I read the solicits for the final issue of Avenging and it said that Mysterio would “kind of” return, so I wonder if it will be “kind of” like its just some avatar or robot that Quentin left behind before he was jailed in the Ultimate Universe, or if its “kind of” like it will be Daniel or Francis in the suit instead. . .

    And furthermore, somebody help me out here: I’ve had the hardest time organizing Mysterio’s chronology in my head, mainly between Ends of the Earth and Spider-Men. I know that the latter storyline follows the former, but it seems like the Mysterio we saw in Spider-Men knew that Peter was Spider-Man (at least in the Ultimate Universe), while the Mysterio in Ends of the Earth wasn’t really giving any indication that he knew (unless I missed something). And was it Bendis’ intention to reveal in Spider-Men that Ultimate Mysterio was really an avatar of Mysterio 616 the whole time? In which case, I just wonder about the relative time lapse between the two fictional universes. Did Mysterio 616 (and therefore Ultimate Mysterio) find out that Peter was Ultimate Spider-Man with the rest of the Ultimate world when Peter died, and then make an inference as to the identity of (Amazing, not Superior) Spider-Man 616? So, if that’s the case, it seems like months have passed between Ultimate Mysterio’s debut and Spider-Men, while an unspecified amount of time passed between Ends of the Earth and Spider-Men. . .

    Sorry for the convoluted questions guys, I’m just trying to make sense of all of this ambiguity (maybe Marvel is being purposefully ambiguous about Mysterio, ever since Quentin “shot himself” (or did he?), and then Daniel becomes Mysterio, and then Francis becomes Mysterio too, and then “I Hate a Mystery” leads you to believe that Quentin is really dead because of his occult knowledge of Arrow’s true identity, and then post-BND Quentin seems to be the ONLY Mysterio, alive and well, and we don’t see Peter’s reaction to the presence of a character who Peter was pretty certain was dead, (BAH!) to make him more “mysterious,” but I think that’s a cop-out because a good mystery balances the misdirection with helping you to ask certain questions along the way, but with Mysterio 616′s true identity and his discovery of Spider-Man’s identity I just don’t know what questions to ask.). . .This is why I don’t like it when big moments like villains discovering their respective hero’s secret identity occur off-panel and are unspecified on the page!! And don’t get me started on the Jackal. . .

    Oh well. . .still really enjoying Avenging and definitely trust Yost enough to see where he’s going with this subplot; he tells a good Spidey story.

  2. #2 fantasyfreak says:

    My reaction when I read about Electros upgrade: :o That is some pretty damn impressive power upgrade. I absolutely love Chechetto´s art. Can anyone give examples on other titles he has done so I can track them down?

  3. #3 Insane2201 says:

    I already know what Doc Ock is planning. He’s gonna take the sinister six and put them all in the bodies of random super heroes…oh wait…a super villian as a good guy? That just sounds dumb.

  4. #4 Sbee613 says:

    @ #3 I’m sure slott has already run that by the suits at marvel but they just wanted him to ruin one of their characters and not trample their whole brand.

  5. #5 Two-Bit Specialist says:

    @Bill – Pretty much agree with your review. Glad I’m leaving these in good hands.

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