Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Avenging Spider-Man #16

I am enjoying this Doc Ock as Spidey thing a whole lot more than I thought I would. I appreciate that Chris Yost tackles one of the main questions I had about this whole mistaken identity thing, and he deals with it right off the bat. Sure, Ock is controlling Peter’s body, so super-senses guys like Wolverine and Beast wouldn’t necessarily pick up that anything is wrong. But what about the many telepaths out there in the Marvel U? Wouldn’t they pick up that a villain was behind the wheel?

Yost explains away at least the good telepaths with Rachel Grey/Marvel Girl’s response. She won’t read Spidey’s mind because it is a violation of privacy. She doesn’t know who he is, and it would be wrong to find out by snooping around in his mind. Sure, Wolverine suspects something is off, but Ock has it right too, “Who hasn’t thought about beating up Wolverine?”

That particular beat down is the strongest part of the issue. The main plot sets up a recurring (I hope) villain for Octo-man (does that work?), but that plot doesn’t have a whole lot to it. Where this book makes its bread is in the team-up, and Yost delivers in that respect. Octo-Man realizes how hard Wolverine has ridden Peter Parker all these years, and Parker took it. Doc Ock won’t. So he uses his spider-abilities and puts an absolute whupping on Wolverine. I loved seeing how tough Spidey could be if he had no conscience, and I also appreciated how quickly Wolvie recovered and got right back into it with Octo-Man. Yost accomplished the difficult goal of elevating both his characters without weakening anyone.

The X-Men are an interesting group these days. Shadowcat, Beast, Wolverine, Iceman, Storm, and Rachel Grey make up the team here, and I suppose that is most of the faculty from Jason Aaron’s Wolverine & the X-Men. Paco Medina does a nice job with the art, especially considering I’m not his biggest fan. Wolverine is the coolest-looking of the X-Men, but that is often the case. He really makes that giant spider look spooky too, sporting the human eyes.

I had planned on getting one Spider-title, but both books being so strong is making that a tough choice.


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