Alford Notes: Amazing Spider-Man #29 – Hail Hydra!

Superior Doctor Hydra Clone Octopus is back!  Yea!  It’s another Marvel event tie-in! Boo! Does this turn out great, meh, or awful?  Keep reading true believer and find out!

Hail Hydra!  I for one welcome our new benevolent Hydra overlords and I encourage all Crawlspacers to do the same!


The Devil in the Details

Story Title: Secret Empire Part 1: Rightful Ruler

Writer: Dan Slott and Christos Gage

Penciler: Stuart Immonen

Inker: Wade von Grawbadger

Colorist: Marte Gracia

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga

Cover Artist: Alex Ross

Editor: Nick Lowe

Published: June 28, 2017

Remedial ASM 101

Peter Parker, the one and only Spider-Man,   the best Spider-Man,   Spider-Man, now owns a multi-national corporation which is on shaky ground because 1. Peter is a poor business man, 2. Peter accessed the Web Ware tech that people owned without their permission, and 3. Parker Industries just invaded Symkaria in a good will effort to liberate its people and send humanitarian aid.  Now Doctor Octopus wants to stop this decline of the company he created back when he was Peter Parker (if you’ve been away for a few years, just roll with this) so he has teamed up with Hydra (Hail Hydra) in order to accomplish his goals.  Oh and he is also in a cloned body that is a mixture of Peter Parker and his own DNA (I think).

The Story – Pay Attention, This Will Be on the Test

Peter is being interviewed on the current woes of Parker Industries and Anna Marconi is doing her best to keep Peter’s feet grounded on what is at stake.  Attacks start happening all over the world and in space due (I’m assuming) from Hydra Cap’s Secret Empire.  Peter goes off to his London office to go help the Avengers when he is attacked by office equipment wielding Hydra Agents.  The Superior Hydra Ock reveals himself to Spider-Man and makes him an offer: No fight as long as Peter hands over Parker Industries peacefully.  When Peter refuses, he reveals that the Manhattan is covered in a bubble of Ebon energy which will kill them all(?) if Peter doesn’t relent.  Peter and Superior Hydra Ock start to fight when an urgent call from Iron Man to all Avengers pulls Peter away.  Ock then destroys the London building while dreaming of making up with Anna Marconi.


What Passed:

Practically everything.

I liked the exchange between Anna Marconi and Peter at the beginning of the book.  I know she is just filling in part of the role of MJ here, but she does a good job at it and since MJ isn’t going to be coming back into the book anytime soon, someone needs to do it.  Anna fits that role perfectly, at least as far as Parker Industries is concerned.  There is real chemistry between these characters (not in a romance way) that just flows.

The joke about New York and the world being attacked after Marconi said that he doesn’t need to go off and rescue people all the time also was good.  I know some people will nitpick and say that he is a character that is about responsibility so it is out of character for him to ignore these events and to that I would say, “Bah!”  All through the character’s history he’s had to put off pursuing the bad guy because of one thing or another.  Plus, it’s not like he was leaving people in a lurch.  There were heroes already on scene, so I’m OK with it.  At some point the line needs to be drawn and we have to have Peter Parker live his life.  Even for only twenty minutes.  Besides, I imagine Anna Marconi’s stink eye is a lot more frightening than a Chitauri invasion!

Ock using Aiden Blain to draw out Marconi was a nice touch.  It shows that he still cares for her and is trying to keep her safe on one hand, while on the other he is showing that he just does not understand that toying with her emotions like that is just wrong.

Spider-Man trying to figure out if he is just a horrible boss or not when he doesn’t recognize the employees was funny too.  However, it paled in comparison to the fact that all these Hydra goons are attacking him with office equipment!

In fact the guy who yells out “Hail Hydra!” is using a stapler to attack Spider-Man.  A STAPLER!  I’m trying to imagine the hydra quartermaster handing out equipment as they took their places and someone pointing out the absurdity of this.

“Here, use this to take out that super powered hero.”

Immonen’s art is top notch as ever.  Maybe the first page looked off to me, by the rest of the issue was great.  I love Hydra Ock’s costume.

The Ock/Spidey fight scene was great!

Ock finally figuring a way around the old web-in-the-eye trick (although I think I remember he also coated them one time in some non-stick stuff).  Which brings us to our Onomatopoeia of the Issue!


On a scale of 1 (POW) to 10 (BLRKBQRKPQRBLNB), this rates a 8.  It is subtle, yet effective…


What Failed:

Pretty much nothing.  O.K., I don’t care for the Spider-Man image on the recap page.  It looks like he’s trying to cast a hocus pocus spell or something.

I guess I could throw in the “How did Iron Man do it?” comment in there, but it fits the story, so I’m not so sure it was exactly a fail.

The ending is a bit vague.  Spider-Man has the option of fighting Otto to save his friends, giving Otto the company to save his friends, or going off to help the Avengers.  The next panel we see him running off to his Spider-Jet (think Spider-Mobile with more mobility).  I doubt Slott is trying to say that Spidey abandoned his supporting cast to die, so either he is trusting Ock not to harm them (but the word balloon seems to contradict that) or he somehow postponed the company transfer deal (although Otto seemed like he wanted an answer right away).  It is highly doubtful he transferred his company between panels.  Or maybe I just misread the scene and missed the obvious.  For that matter, I’m really uncertain what ebon energy is supposed to do.  I know it has something to do with Morpheus, but as my eyes tend to glaze over when Morpheus appears in a comic, I’m a bit in the dark.  (Ha! In the dark – get it?)


Ock’s association with Hydra promises to be interesting.  We know he doesn’t drink the Hydra Kool Aid, so there will be a time when they expect something from him that does NOT align with his current plans.  At that point he will take on all of Hydra.  Maybe Anna’s fate will be part of that equation.

Does this issue make me want to go out and buy Secret Empire?  No.  But I don’t think that is the primary goal of this story.  Events are transpiring in the Marvel universe and this story only sets out to show how those events affect Spidey.  That’s how tie-ins and shared universes should work, in my opinion.

Extra Credit:

I’ll throw extra credit points to anyone who can tell me if the protoclone is supposed to have spider-powers or not.  I’m sure that detail was already addressed, but for the life of me, I can’t remember it.


Final Grade:

I might find myself getting comments similar to my like of the satellite jump issue, but I REALLY enjoyed reading this issue.  It felt like Peter Parker.  It felt like Spider-Man.  The jokes worked.  I’m giving this one a solid


I’m not going A+ because of the fact that it is a tie-in and the ending was a bit vague to me.

Your Turn:

What grade do YOU give it?  Just give your grade or take some time to explain how incredibly wrong I am or how insightful you find me.


What’s Next?


  • Otto Octavius is back, but he’s not returning to his old ways…
  • No, this time, he’s THE SUPERIOR OCTOPUS! And he’s allied himself with Steve Rogers and Hydra!
  • What does Ock have planned for Peter and Parker Industries? Nothing good for Spider-Man, that’s for sure!

Coming July 12

Mixed feelings here.  It’s not the Secret Empire tie-in that made me like this issue.  Typically, I dread tie ins.  However, I did enjoy this one tremendously, so there is hope that it will continue.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!




Hail Hydra!


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