Part 5 of the Spider-Man & Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure series. Last issue ended with a cliffhanger, Spidey down, Doc Ock fighting policemen and Jeff Haight waiting for both of them. Now, the finale to this so far excellent mini series.
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Jeff is waiting for Doc Ock. A little while later, he arrives, ready for his close-up. Jeff asks what took him so long. There was a fight, Jeff gets upset, nobody was to get hurt. This remark annoys Ock and he grabs Jeff. At that moment, Spidey arrives. Doc Ock tosses Jeff away and starts to fight Spider-Man.
It looks like Doctor Octopus finally manages to defeat Spider-Man when Spidey begs him to stop, he'll give anything. But what could he possibly give, wonders Ock. Spider-Man hands over a webshooter. Doc finds this pathetic and crushes the device thus making it explode. The result, Doc Ock is covered in webbing. Spider-Man then cuts off one of the mechanical arms.
As he does this, Doc reaches out for Jeff and starts to strangle him. Spidey calls, wait, I surrender. Ock grabs him as well and the arm with Jeff moves a bit closer to Ock's body. Jeff can reach Ock's sunglasses and hits them. While blinded by the light, Jeff makes things worse by making a flash photo right in his face. The arms let go, Spidey and Jeff are free. Spider-man immediate hits Ock, who goes down for the count. Jeff takes pictures.
After asking whether Jeff is hurt, he webs him up. Why? asks Jeff. But he understands. He does ask Spider-Man of one favor. To bring the roll of film to Peter Parker, to get it published.
Later, in jail. Anna is visiting Jeff. When she finds out Jeff had something to do with the escape of Doctor Octopus, it's over between them. She leaves the Bugle in front of his cell. Jeff looks at the front page. It's his picture. Of all the pictures he took, they used the one he made when he flashed Ock's eyes. He landed Page One because of an accident, not because of his skill.
In his cell, Doc Ock also sees the newspaper. Looking at page one, his final words, "Heh. Lovely.".
What can I say? An action packed issue. No more intrigues, only solutions. Spider-Man is making jokes, like in the old days. Which is good, for this story takes place in the old days.
Jeff finally gets his Page One. But not on purpose, which makes it rather painful. Not only is he in jail (a thing he thought he could avoid) but his skills had nothing to do with him getting a photo on the front page. Oh well, it's better than the picture I had in mind when reviewing issue 3 of this series. I then wrote "Will Jeff end up on that page being a dead man himself?". Lucky for him, that's not the case. And since Jeff's still alive, perhaps when he gets out of jail, he can become a nice replacement for Lance Bannon. And if you don't know who that is, look it up in the Spider-Man Encyclopedia (page 34).
Only 4 webs. Why? After 4 issues of well balanced storytelling and action, I find this issue to have a little too less storytelling. I would have wanted to give this book 4.5 webs, because of the ending, but decided to dedunct that half webs because of the overload of action. And were I to summarize this series in just one word, I'd like to go along with Doc Ock himself on this one, "Lovely.".