Ultimate Spider-Man #57

Background

Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus fought on the set of the Spider-Man movie. Things turn against the Wall-Crawler when the fight spills into the Lincoln Tunnel, where Ock knocks Spidey unconscious.

Peter Parker, the Spectacularly kidnapped Spider-Man, wakes up to find himself duct-taped to a chair aboard a private jet in mid-flight.

Story Details

As soon as Spider-Man wakes up, Doc Ock unmasks Peter. To let our hero know he's in contol, Ock forcefully yanks one of Peter's teeth out with his mechanical arms. Ock webs Peter's mouth shut to stifle his screams. The mad doctor informs our hero that he's just "insurance", something to use in case things don't go his way.

And then, the real torture begins. Ock conjectures that Peter's superhero career is just a cry to the city for attention that Peter's late father couldn't provide. It seems Doctor Octavius sees Peter as someone standing between him and a decent life. Ock fully intends to kill Peter tonight, but first tells him how they escaped the movie set.

It seems that Doctor Octopus attached his arms to an innocent bystander and sent them outside the tunnel. S.H.I.E.L.D. pumped the poor Arab man full of bullets, assuming it was Ock. The arms then escape to car in an alley where Doc Ock is waiting, with an unconscious Spider-Man in the passenger seat. Ock drives to a private air field where he hijacks a plane.

By the time Octavius finishes relating this story, Peter seems to have passed out. The co-erced pilot tells Octavius that he had to lie and make up a flight log number to land. The plane suddenly de-pressurizes, and Ock finds that Spider-Man has jumped out of the plane and escaped!

Meanwhile, back in the Parker home in Queens, Gwen goes into Peter's basement and breaks into a chest. She finds a spare Spider-Man suit. She now believes that Peter, as Spidey, is the one that killed her father.

General Comments

We get a good deal of insight into Doctor Octopus here, although this comes at the cost of the plot slowing down a bit. His physical and psychological torture of Peter reminds us that Ultimate Ock is right at the top of Spider-Man's rogues' gallery. Still, the plot doesn't move forward all that much. Even Gwen's official discovery that Peter is Spider-Man seems like a tease when we don't know what she'll do with the knowledge.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't like that this book sells 18 issues a year if it means the stories are stretched out.

As for the art, pencils are their usual greatness, but the coloring seems off. I assume that those are supposed to be shadows on the faces of Gwen, Ock, and Peter, but they come off as bad tans.

Overall Rating

Not bad, but not great. The story advances, though I can't help but wonder what Gwen will do with her new knowledge.

Doc Ock's Quote of the Issue: "You're awake. Good for you."