Spider-man 699 raised the stakes for our costumed hero. On his deathbed a great scientist has to figure out a solution to the unsolvable problem that is of course death. Peter Parker’s mind is in none other than Doctor Octopus’s body The reverse proves true for Otto himself who is now in Peter’s mind. Peter is desperate throughout the issue for a way out. Peter then starts worrying about all the horrible things the Doctor could be doing in his body. A fun shout out to the silver age happens when Peter looks into the memories of Doctor Octopus and finds the memory of aunt May marrying Otto which he has no doubt tried to suppress. Seeing exactly where why and how Otto had seeded this transformation into a new body was also interesting and was scripted a few arcs before this arc.
The issue has the stakes raised very high and great old fashioned comic book premise so where does it fall short? The answer lies in a consistent problem with Dan Slott’s run in general his artists. Humberto Ramos has never had the proper flair as a Spidey artist. When compared to the classic greats like Romita Sr. or Ditko he falls flat on his face. However considering current talent he is just average and boring. The issue lies in the fact that he obviously has some energy and love for Spider-man. His style does not fit Spider-Man in general and the tension is sucked out of most of the well scripted scenes by Dan Slott. This is a shame and unavoidable with Humberto in general. The on again off again artist Stefano Caselli would have turned in some Spider-Man work with expression flare.
One of the more somber scenes of the book was seeing the Lizard. While he claimed to be healed Connors decided to stay in prison to protect the people he loves. Another incredible tense scene was waiting for the villains to break Spidey out of prison. Slott has some great moments in this issue and the wait for Spider-Man 700 is almost unbearable. It is only a few weeks till The Amazing Spider-Man 700 and The Superior Spider-Man. Spidey fans need not wait much longer.