AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #31
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciller: Stuart Immonen
Colorist: Marte Garcia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 08/09/17
Plot: The showdown between Spider-Man and Doc Ock reaches its conclusion. With all other Parker Industries branches destroyed, Peter activates a final fail safe which could mean the end of his company. However, the end of Parker Industries does not mean the end of Spider-Man.
Story: This Amazing Spider-Man issue contains the moment fans have been waiting for, the end of Parker Industries. During his fight, Peter realizes even if he wins this battle, Hydra or someone else will keep coming for his company’s content. In order to keep his employees safe, Peter does the responsible thing and dismantles the company himself. This move was unexpected. Most fans (including myself) probably expected P.I. to fail because of financial reasons. However making this decision himself shows that Dan Slott understands the character of Peter Parker. Peter’s motivation comes from his classic sense of responsibility. As a CEO Peter made decisions that would help people instead of making a profit. Ultimately, Peter’s decision shows he still remembers with great power comes great responsibility.
Also I’m glad the end of Parker Industries came from Peter himself. In the past, most of Peter’s major life changes were the result of “the Parker Luck”. Basically when things go well for Peter Parker, something will come along and wreck everything. Peter ending his own company is a nice change of pace from this trope.
This issue also starts setting up a fresh start for Spider-Man during Marvel Legacy. A perfect example is how Peter’s Spider-Armor gets destroyed so he goes back to using his original costume. This implies that Peter will go back to being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man instead of the recent globe-trotting CEO. The only flaw with this idea is it doesn’t indicate what Peter will do for a day job or what his financial status will be after his company’s disbandment.
Another positive thing about this issue is Dan Slott’s treatment of Doc Ock. If I had to describe Otto Octavius’s character in one world it would be egotistical. Slott gives Otto a certain arrogance whenever he speaks. During their fight, Otto mocks and accuses Peter of using his tactics from Otto’s time as Spider-Man (see Superior Spider-Man). Plus in the end, after Otto reports to Hydra and Armin Zola congratulates Otto on being a loyal Hydra soldier. Otto then expresses disdain over being another Hydra soldier instead of ruling his own empire.
Art: This issue’s artwork is pretty good. The colors are bright and vibrant especially with scenes involving bright lights for an EMP. Also when Spidey switches costumes, Stuart Immonen keeps the differences to a minimum. The only differences Immonen shows are the lenses on the mask (the Spider-Armor lenses light up) and the spider-emblem on the chest. Also these minimal differences do not distract the reader from the story.
The final panel was a perfect illustration of Doc Ock’s status. I loved how he’s just a silhouette among other Hydra soldiers. It’s the best way to show how the once mighty Doctor Octopus is just another guy working for Hydra. Plus it really helps the reader feel the anger and disdain during Otto’s inner monologue.
Verdict: This was another great issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Dan Slott wrote great characterizations for Spider-Man and Doc Oct. Stuart Immonen did an excellent job on the art. Also Marte Garcia nailed it with the colors. Plus this issue laid some groundwork for Marvel Legacy. However this issue is not new for people only reading Secret Empire.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5