Dock Ock Lives!
Story: Stan Lee
Pencilling: Gil Kane
Inking: John Romita
Lettering: Sam Rosen
Originally published: October 1970
Pencils by Gil Kane: cool. I didn’t know he worked on Spider-Man. The art in this is actually really cool. It’s so interesting to see how the style changes from one artist to the next, especially when I’ve been given time to get used to something. There some really neat composition here that I haven’t seen with Romita, Mooney, Buscema, etc.
So the title of this story pretty much clears up the cliffhanger from ASM 88 – Doc Ock is not dead, though Spider-Man does not yet know this. After picking up a copy of the Bugle, though, he quickly learns that no trace of Dr. Octopus was found in the plane wreckage – surely not a good sign.
As Pete is walking down the street he runs into Randy Robertson, who asks him to come to an air pollution protest that night – with Ralph Nader! Haha sweet. The pollution thing comes back later, as a total non-sequitur in a conversation between Robbie and JJJ. I guess pollution was really on Stan’s mind this issue.
Anyway it turns out Doc Ock is about 3 feet from Peter, in an alley. Why Pete’s spider sense doesn’t kick in is a mystery, but one that will have to remain unsolved. Ock spouts off to himself about how important it is for people to think he’s dead – all the while basically standing out in the open, shouting. He then begins walking around very conspicuously on his metal arms, high above the city. Not a good plan, but fortunately for him nobody seems to catch on.
Eventually Spider-Man finds Ock – who seems to have changed his mind and wants Spidey to find him – destroying a power plant. They fight…and then fight some more…and then keep fighting. Seriously, this issue is pretty much all fighting. It’s a cool looking battle, but it does get a wee bit boring. The issue ends with Ock throwing Spider-Man off the side of a building, leaving him falling to his apparent death. In the teaser for the next issue we’re told that “death does come” – though cleverly it does not specify to whom.
After the really cool previous issue I was expecting more from this. I wanted followups on General Su and John Jameson, I wanted a better scheme from Ock than just trashing a building to attract Spidey’s attention. It’s kinda too bad, but I feel like they let the ball drop on this one a bit. And the pollution stuff was just kind of weird and out of place.
Hopefully the next issue, with it’s major happenings, will be an improvement.