Plot Summary: Peter in Doctor Octopus’ dying body tries desperately to regain his body while Ock in Pete’s body plays defense. They battle and ultimately Peter’s time runs out but not before Peter provides a relapse of his entire life through Ock’s mind.
Influenced by Peter’s heroic past which has now become his own, Ock finally understands the responsibility mantra, and swears to become a superior Spider-Man.
Opinion: For a final to one of the most popular and celebrated comics of all time, this issue had a lot to live up to. All the hype and speculation that preceded it, lead to a level of expectation that must have been hard if not impossible to reach. Having said that, I believe the boys at Marvel did a pretty great job. For what its worth, the main story alone definitely validates the cover price, and then some. The change drastic change in status quo is a big bold move and I'm actually proud that Marvel was inclined to go through with it. I applaud the giant risk and leap forward that they decided to take.
This story is somewhat unprecedented in that for once the villain has his day, and the bad guy takes the cake. It just adds another layer of reality by showing that in the Marvel Universe; the good guys don’t always win. Slott has truly defied the conventions of story telling and risen above them, and by doing so he not only raises the bar, but expands the boundaries of superhero fiction. I applaud his bravery, yet his execution seems questionable.
Before I delve into Slott’s pitfalls and hang-ups, I want to accentuate his strong points.
In writing the iconic character of Doctor Otto Octavius, I believe Slott has found his niche. Through Dan’s writing in this, Doc. is at his finest, most menacing, diabolical and more determined than ever thought possible. In this grand epic a devastating battle is fought between two worthy adversaries and life long rivals. This is really a tremendous showdown between master and apprentice. Ock and Pete face off and match each other step for step, blow by blow not just physically but every bit mentally as well. What’s really interesting to me is that Ock is able to predict Peter’s every move and come up with a counter.
On the flip side, there were times it seemed like Slott was trying too hard to parallel the characters. It was confusing to read and believe Peter saying things out of character. It felt at time like Pete was actually becoming Ock and forgetting that he’s not really the super villain. Peter tossing insults and using words outside his normal vocabulary was odd and unbelievable. I didn’t like the fact that Peter is calling Ock “Spidey” even as a tease during their back and forth exchange. I just cannot buy into the idea of Pete ever accepting any1 else as Spider-Man, especially Doc. Ock. Same goes for Ock accusing Peter of threatening his own loved ones; it just seems silly that they are going so far with this role play and role reversal. The whole idea of, you’re me now and I’m you, seems out of place due to Ock having his own massive ego, and Peter being a highly stubborn ethical man. Slott seems to be just toying with this idea for non plot related entertainment, but I can’t help but feel annoyed by it.
I expected and would have liked to see more thought bubbles from Pete, expressing his mental process, his nervousness, and he trying to stay in character to keep the other villains convinced. There should have been some “What would Ock say?” moments.
Peter’s plan was tremendous even though his fate was seemingly unavoidable.
I like how Slott gathered the supporting cast together for them to bare witness to this event even though they were ignorant to the role reversal.
As for the love proclamation from MJ, I smiled reading her feelings towards Pete it was beautifully sincere and everything I would hope from her.
A surprising moment for me came when Ock as Spidey, instinctively lunged out to save Aunt May. To me that says a part of Peter is rubbing off on Ock. The memories are having some profound effect on his psyche and this is a good sign.
The ending although very tragic and beyond heartbreaking I felt was a worthy ending to the series. It did have some what of an uplift knowing that Ock is a changed person and swore to carry on the legacy. However, this is definitely not a fitting end for our beloved Peter Parker. He deserves a much kinder, softer send off. A hero’s farewell as he rides off into the sunset to live happily ever after might be a big cliché’ but it’s one of my very favorites, and I believe I can say the same for many others. Peter Parker, you deserved so much better. I If you had closed your eyes and pictured the ending to Peter Parker’s story, I bet it would have been nothing like this, and it seems that’s part of the appeal.
It feels so surreal, even now it’s hard to believe that Peter is really gone and Ock in his place. Something inside your gut wrenches and says this isn’t right; it must be all a hoax. Oh but I’m afraid it’s not. However there remains hope, as Ock relived the entire experience of Peter’s life first hand, every tragedy and every sacrifice to finally understand what makes being Spider-Man so amazing and despite his best effort, he was not able to resist the overwhelming emotional influence it had on him. That’s it, that’s the bottom line and the single greatest message of this story! Peter’s legacy was so great that it alone was enough to overcome death and travel from 1 person to the next. The hero may die but the legacy transcends all.
This is without doubt the single most shocking, and controversial story in the history of Spider-Man, but whether you enjoyed the developments and all the drama or were too appalled by the outcome, you have to admit this was very impactful and emotional story telling, and for that I tilt my hat.
So long Spidey, It’s been an AMAZING ride!