So we should probably talk about Amazing Spider-Man #700.
Except it’s a waste of time, because this cash grab won’t stick. There will be spoilers past this point.
For those wondering, or those following the book but not able to get issue #700 due to the holiday, or just the fact that Marvel wants eight freaking bucks for the thing, Doc Ock’s brain in Peter’s body is now the permanent state of affairs. Really, the experience of reading this issue can be summed up in approximately eighteen seconds:
We could talk about how ending a seven-hundred issue run with a cheesy brain-switching plotline that just kind of peters out instead of ending in a satisfying way is a bit insulting to fans and previous creative teams. Or we could talk about a finale where Doc Ock decides to become a good guy because he sees Peter Parker’s life flash before his eyes is contrived and silly. Because it is contrived and silly. It’s essentially fanfic with gorgeous art. Thank you, Humberto Ramos, for taking this book seriously and putting in some of your best work.
But why bother?
This isn’t a permanent state of affairs. It will last approximately twelve issues, if that, because there’s no narrative gas here. Doc Ock in his most hated foe’s body with a gun to his head forcing him to be a good guy would be compelling. Doc Ock swinging around because somebody else feels guilty is not. And that’ll likely be reflected in the success, or lack thereof, of the Spidey books.
Peter’s personality is inevitably going to assert itself, once the sales numbers for the Superior Spider-Man aren’t exactly up to snuff. There will be a big fight in the center of Spidey’s mind, Ock will lose, and Peter will be free again.
Because this is what Marvel does with Spider-Man. They make an editorial decision to “shake things up”, and then a year or so later, they put everything relatively back to rights, and then somebody up top has a great idea that will change how we view Spider-Man… FOREVER. It really started with the black costume redesign from Secret Wars being incredibly unpopular, and has continued ever since.
So if Amazing Spider-Man #700 bothers you, just wait a year. Amazing Spider-Man #701 should be hitting the stands around then.