Posted November 20, 2012 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Comics

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Amazing Spider-Man #698

Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Richard Elson

Hoo boy. Where do I begin?

Let me start off with this: I’m proud to say that I actually guessed what would happen in this issue, many months ago… However, I certainly wasn’t able to guess how it would happen, and how it would be presented. Dancing around spoilers in this review is going to be pretty fun. I’m consciously avoiding giving away any details that haven’t been personally given away by Dan Slott yet in interviews.

Yes, this comic is THAT good.

This issue is the first part of Dying Wish, the final story arc of the long-running Amazing Spider-Man comic book series. Doc Ock is on his deathbed, with perhaps only hours to live,  practically nothing to lose, and one vital piece of information – the secret identity of Spider-Man.

Dan Slott wasn’t lying; the pieces of this puzzle have been sprinkled all over the ASM issues since issue #600. It’s not hard to believe that this, indeed, has been planned for quite some time, and fortunately it works with the timing of Marvel’s NOW! publishing initiative. Amazing Spider-Man #698 gives us a taste of the new “dark and weird” direction of Superior Spider-Man. Let me confirm this, though: the identity of the Superior Spider-Man is NOT directly stated in this issue, as Slott has already affirmed in interviews.

I praised Slott’s writing team-up with Christos Gage during the Danger Zone story arc, mainly because it was better than most of the recent stories in ASM. Here in Dying Wish, however, Slott seems to have pulled out all the stops – this issue is brilliant, shocking and downright bone-chilling. His 100+-issue run on Amazing has certainly taught him well. Slott has mastered Peter Parker and his world so much that you just KNOW something is amiss when people seem to start sounding out of character, or when things start sounding boring and repetitive, or when you start thinking, “Why the hell am I seeing all of these things, yawn.” Believe me, everything here was written on purpose. There are hardly any mistakes here – everything is deliberate and intentional, and as a result, we’re treated to one of the shortest yet strongest issues of Amazing in years.

Way back when it was first announced that Amazing Spider-Man was going to end with issue #700, I was praying that Marvel wouldn’t use Humberto Ramos for this story. No offense to the guy, but he wouldn’t really be my first (or second or third or fourth or fifth) choice for a story of this magnitude. My prayers were answered in the form of Richard Elson, an artist who has worked primarily on Thor and Sonic the Comic.  His art conveys a sort of quiet, subdued energy that lulls the reader into a false sense of security. The panels are full of emotion, making the journey to the end of this comic book all the more powerful and scary.

Amazing Spider-Man #698 is brilliant and terrifying. I sincerely hope Slott does not drop the ball on this one, because if the first part alone is any indication, this is definitely going to be on my “greatest Spider-Man stories ever” list.

Looks like I’m going to be re-writing that 50 Amazing Moments list pretty soon…


I’ve never been this excited for a comic book since, well, since Amazing Spider-Man #600. I never thought I’d actually say this about the supposed end of the career of my favorite hero, but… I’m looking forward to issues 699, 700, and Avenging Spider-Man #15.1, and I’ll definitely be there to see Peter Parker fight until the end.

Dan Slott, you magnificent bastard.





From Comicx Hub.

Do it.

Mikael Angelo Francisco