Cody Ziglar recently wrapped up a two-part story in Amazing Spider-Man, which actually teased the new BEY one-shot out today. Focusing on Doc Ock and Aunt May, Ziglar and artists Ivan Fiorelli, Carlos Gomez, and Paco Medina deliver what may be the greatest one-shot caper led by these characters. If it’s anything like the first BEY issue, we’re in for a fun side adventure that fleshes things out for the main Spider-Man book in interesting ways.
This is an unexpected story, to say the least. Running 33 pages, it’s also a slower story that focuses mostly on Doc Ock and Aunt May conversing as they complete a caper that could save Peter Parker’s life. If you don’t know, these two once got married and have a complicated past. Aunt May isn’t interested in Doc Ock anymore, but Ock sure is interested in Aunt May, with highbrow flirting sprinkled throughout the issue. If one or both of these characters aren’t of much interest to you, you probably won’t find much to love here.
But, if you’re a fan of Spider-Man how could you not love Aunt May and Doc Ock? Ziglar does an exceptional job keeping the conversation between these two going, and while there’s a lot of dialogue (I’d love to know how many words total this issue has), they’re basically sparring with one another with their words. There are subtle things in play, like how May is good at complimenting Doc Ock, yet still pushes away his advances as a respectable lady. You get the sense that their relationship works because they have mutual respect.
Speaking of Aunt May, Ziglar does a good job showing how Aunt May’s good manners and charm works to advance their mission. Typically Aunt May isn’t much use at all, especially in the early days, but she’s resourceful and well aware of how to charm a person into doing what she wants. Meanwhile, Doc Ock is brutish and willing to break a wall down if it means advancing their progress a smidge. There’s a balance here that’s fun to keep track of as their mission progresses.
The mission does progress rather slowly, causing a lot of their talk go on a bit too long. There is action eventually in the third act of the story, but the stakes aren’t ever high enough to worry so much about them. The issue ends with an incredibly important reveal, though, making their one-night mission important and needed. The book has a second ending of sorts as well that teases Doc Ock’s future altercation with Ben Reilly Spider-Man.
The art in general works well, though it can feel a bit stuffy and could use a bit more splashiness. With much for the issue devoted to two characters talking outside buildings, deciding to go in, talking some more, finding a clue, talking some more, and moving on from there (you get the picture), it can feel extra slow thanks to some of the blocking.
The Amazing Spider-Man #80.BEY works well as possibly the best Doc Ock and Aunt May adventure ever. Certainly, these two haven’t had a lot of opportunities to affect Spider-Man’s story, but Ziglar and the art team do well to capture the unique personalities of these two characters and how they jive with each other.
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