“Ooh, what have we here?”
Slott managed to impress me last issue. Won’t happen again, I swear, and- Wait, what’s that Mark? It was good? Aw, come on! I had my eye out for ribbing Slott!
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #18 Review
“Dead No More, Pt 3: Full Otto”
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: RB Silva
Inks: Adriano Di Benedetto
Colors: Marte Garcia
Editors: Nick Lowe and Devin Lewis
Our story begins in a flashback of ASM (2014) #15, where Otto begins the 100-day countdown with his Anna Maria AI. Turns out that the clock ticked all the way to when Parker Industries got blown to hell by Ghost, and the gauntlets are their own little Octo-bots. (I’ll admit, that’s actually pretty clever.) Rather than just go and take over Peter again because he’s worried about his Spider-Sense warning him, he instead decides to plug himself into the Living Brain (Because I’m sure Peter’s Spider-Sense won’t notice you in there either.) Months go by, and we see Living Ock subtly manipulate events behind the scenes, getting Sajani fired (something Slott and readers agreed on for once) and getting jealous of Anna Maria’s new relationship with Aidan Blaine. He tries to swap minds with him, but fails because it was specifically calibrated to only work with his mind and Peter’s. (Okay, so… just recalibrate to work with him. Problem solved.) Rather, he gets rid of Aidan by sending him off to Australia for job offers (Is nobody questioning Aidan’s good fortune? Because I would.) and Anna Maria gets depressed and unintentionally friend-zones Living Ock.
Ock gets salty because Anna Maria doesn’t like Peter or Otto (There’s a thing called moving on, man! As much as I hate to say it, Peter did too!) and he intentionally screws around with the system to get a transfer back into Peter. He deliberately fakes a message from Peter sending Anna to New York, and Peter decides to crack him open and take a look, with Ock beginning to have an existential crisis over how he’s just easily shut off against his will. (Which I’m not sure Slott intended for, but it could have been a nice little subplot. Oh well, wasted opportunity is Slott’s greatest strength.) While being repaired, Living Ock questions how Peter got back in his body, and Peter recaps it to him to make it easier for the audience to understand. (Wait, why didn’t he just turn Living Ock off to make these repairs?) As Ock questions Peter, he slowly realizes that he has missed out on a lot, including Goblin Nation and the mess that was Spider-Verse. When Ock realizes that the real Otto sacrificed himself, he loses it and goes on a ballistic rampage. (He’s in a Slott book. Perfectly normal reaction to the situation.) Peter and Anna Maria manage to input his shutdown code, but he changed it to self-destruct. As the two lament the loss of Living Ock (I’d be paying more attention that Peter has giant shards of metal in his back, but screw the main protagonist!), the Gauntlet-Bot (how are you still in one piece?!) escapes, stating it needs to get a new body. (15 minutes later, it dies on the side of the street from lack of charging.)
I’ll admit, Slott has managed to get two-for-two, or at least hit all the checkboxes that qualify for a good comic book in my perspective.
Yeah, I kind of choked on my coffee when I wrote that.
Well, once again, the art team nailed it once again. Silva and his team will be sorely missed by Team Bogenrieder, because he has managed to bring a great artistic style that should have been here since day one. There’s a few panels worth of blunders here and there, but Silva’s crew did not disappoint in the slightest. It’ll be very sad to see him go, because A) I really like his art and want more of it, and B) we could use a rotating art team to give Camuncoli the breathing that, for no explainable reason, he desperately needs if Power Play is a sign.
Also, Silva draws a really adorable Silk. But that’s just me, and it’s probably perspective of the scene.
Writing wise, Slott doesn’t seem to disappoint either, which is odd, given his streak of major blunders over the past year. (Maybe Slott is trying to make Peter his avatar into the 616 universe?…) Many of us have admitted he can write a good story, and this is recent proof of that fact. The problem is, this is a gem in a coal mine for Slott; he has struck gold, but will likely never do so in the next year or so. I think it has more to do with the fact that Slott writes a good Doc Ock, which is probably the only reason this issue is really as good as I think it is.
I would like to remind everybody that Slott thinks that the man who tried to kill billions of people without remorse deserves or has even earned redemption or even applause, but he does write a very compelling Otto Octavius… at least when he tries. Here, he does seem to be putting in the effort neccessary, and he
does at least bring up that this is a completely different Doc
Ock from the one that was destroyed in Superior Spider-Man #30; which, unfortunately is never really explored. He portrays Otto as somewhat menacing, which I did appreciate, but then when you see him getting friend-zoned by Anna Maria, the tone admittedly veers off in a different direction completely.
Slott also seems to have a grip on writing action, especially in very short bursts. The timing on the fight scene between Spidey and Living Ock is well-paced and intense, and though it may have more to do with Silva’s panel placement, the two do seem to work very well together, which is another reason why Silva has adequate reason to remain on the title. But the synergy between the art and writing has captured my attention, and I have to give Slott credit for being able to pace this scene accordingly.
By the time I was finished reading this comic, I was actually rather impressed by Slott’s work this time around, and it was a fun little narrative that does slightly add on to the big picture. Silva’s art was fantastic, Slott was able to write convincing and dimensional characters. For once, I don’t feel uncomfortable going into yet another event, unlike Spider-Verse or Spider-Island. I can say for now that I have some level of comfort and confidence that Slott will put his best foot forward. That said, this is the last time I will give Slott this much trust on an event if he screws up this time. You put your best foot forward, Dan. Best jump over the ravine instead of falling into it.
Final Grade: A- (wow, I haven’t given one of these before. That felt really good.)