Three issues ago, Doctor Octopus kidnapped Hayyan Zarour, the Palestinian Foreign Minister. Two issues ago, Doc Ock publicly demanded that, in exchange for Zarour's safe return, Spider-Man must walk into Times Square and publicly unmask himself. Last issue, time ran out, and Spidey met Doc Ock in front of thousands of spectators and television cameras and millions watching around the world. But when Spidey removed his mask, something happened that shocked Doc Ock. For underneath Spidey's mask was...
|Editor:||John Miesegaes, Tom Brevoort|
|Cover Art:||Humberto Ramos|
|Reprinted In:||Spectacular Spider-Man (Reprint TPB) #2|
...Another Spider-Man mask. But when Doctor Octopus proclaims that Zarour is as good as dead thanks to Spidey's stunt, the wall-crawler reveals that he's had the mad doctor outflanked for some time. Spidey directs the crowd's attention to the giant video screen above Times Square where we're greeted by Big John Anderson, in his guise as the Kiwi Kid, who is filming live footage of Foreign Minister Zarour being escorted safely from Doc Ock's hideout by Detective Neil Garrett. Unseen on the video screen were a number of Israeli Secret Service agents, lurking in the shadows, who were also instrumental in the safe recovery of Zarour.
Back at Times Square, now that they know that Zarour is safe, the police attempt to capture Doctor Octopus. But Doc Ock freaks out and starts throwing cars around, and before the cops or Spidey can really do anything about it, Octavius has fled into the sewers. Spidey pursues him underground, as does a lone NYPD officer. Just when it looks like Spidey's about to get the upper hand, Doc Ock grabs hold of the cop. Spidey tries to persuade Doctor Octopus to let the cop go, but Octavius instead breaks the cop's neck right in front of Spidey. With that, Doc Ock attacks the shocked wall-crawler, and before long, Spidey is wrapped in one of Octavius' tentacles and completely at his mercy.
But Spider-Man refuses to give up and head-butts Doctor Octopus, and then breaks a couple of his arms off. Spidey then proceeds to pummel Octavius until Doc Ock begs Spidey not to kill him, and Spidey then proceeds to web his foe up and leave him for the cops. Back at Peter's apartment that night, Mary Jane is applying some TLC to her battered husband. MJ confesses that, although she's impressed that Peter basically just saved the world, her favourite part of the whole adventure was the Kiwi Kid. And with that, Peter realizes that he forgot Big John in Brooklyn.
Paul Jenkins has crafted yet another good conclusion to yet another good story. Although I thought the whole "mask under a mask" thing was kind of a cheap way to weasel Spidey out of that situation, but the rest of issue was very good, particularly the knock-down, drag-out fight at the end. And the art by Humberto Ramos and Wayne Faucher was as terrific as ever.
A solid conclusion to "Countdown". Four webs.