Amazing Spider-Man #18 (Marvel Comics)
Since Superior Spider-Man ended, we’ve all been waiting for Doctor Octopus to make is triumphant return to the world of Spider-Man. Sure, we had the brief confrontation in “Spider-Verse”, but that wasn’t the showdown were hoping for. Enter Amazing Spider-Man #18, where Dan Slott and R.B. Silva not only reveal how Doc Ock’s consciousness was transferred into the Parker Industries’ Living Brain computer, but also sets the stage for Otto to return in the upcoming Clone Conspiracy event.
The entirety of the issue is from Otto’s perspective, which brings back many memories of the some of the best parts of Superior Spider-Man. Thinking quickly during the Spider-Verse event, Otto was able to upload a copy of his consciousness into the AI program of his gauntlets, which he then in turned used to upload into the Living Brain computer. This means that the recently returned “Otto Octavius” has no recollection of the fact that he himself returned Peter Parker to his rightful body, and therefore believes that Peter Parker outsmarted him. This reveal, while requiring a pretty good knowledge of the Spider-Man stories of the past few years, is awesome, and shows just how well Dan Slott is at planting seeds for his stories.
R.B. Silva fills in for Giuseppe Camuncoli this issue, and I’ll be honest, until I double-checked, I didn’t notice. Silva’s style is very similar to Camuncoli’s, but not so much that it’s a complete copy. He’s able to handle the action scenes really well, and has some pretty interesting layouts throughout the issue. However, Silva stumbles with his depiction of Anna Maria, as some pages her scale when compared to Peter Parker varies wildly.
Amazing Spider-Man #18 is definitely setting up the hype train for Clone Conspiracy, and after reading this issue I cannot wait to see more of Otto Octavius. Slott has done amazing things with Doc Ock, and it was a real treat to get into his head again and see how he views the events that have unfolded before him. Not only is Amazing Spider-Man #18 another solid issue in the series, its also proof that Dan Slott is a master at long-term payoffs.