Whilst Dan Slott’s script for “End Of An Empire” must have undoubtedly pleased the vast majority of its 54,102 strong audience with its comic book long confrontation between Spider-Man and the Superior Octopus, this twenty-page periodical’s narrative must also disconcertingly have felt like some sort of callous rebooting of everything the Berkeley-born writer has ever penned for the titular character. Indeed, with the notable exception of depicting Otto Octavius as “a mere lackey” to Steven Rogers’ glorious Hydra, this third instalment to the series’ “Secret Empire” tie-in story-arc does arguably little else but eradicate any and all traces of the international company Parker Industries; a ‘golden thread’ which has arguably been both weaved and developed throughout Peter Parker’s life since “The Superior Spider-Man” was first published in January 2013.
Foremost of these purges has to be the Chief Executive Officer’s decision to destroy “all the great work we’ve done here” and literally tear down everything to do with his global business, including the Uncle Ben Foundation. This momentous edict debatably comes completely out of the blue, simply as a result of “Doc Ock” infiltrating the corporation’s computer systems, and shockingly results in the firm’s staff literally smashing away at their desks with fire-axes, hammers and fire extinguishers. In fact, the American author would even have his audience believe that Phillip Chang would willingly destroy “all my research… [when] I was so close… [to] a perfect green energy source” just because it had the “potential [to be a] weapon in the wrong hands.”
Just as remarkable is Peter’s decision to return to his original cloth-based costume, rather than continue to use his miraculous technologically-advanced web-slinging suit. Admittedly, his most recent spider-armour is shredded to pieces by Otto using an improved version of Harry Osborn’s electro-magnetic pulse, yet surely the supposed “proficient scientist and inventor” would have accounted for this inherent weakness in his apparel with a subsequent significant upgrade or even an alternative version utilising a different unsusceptible technology?
Regardless of these perceived plot-holes however, Issue Thirty-One of “Amazing Spider-Man” is undoubtedly a joy to behold due to Stuart Immonen’s sense-shattering illustrations. The Canadian penciller must have had a blast sketching all the spider-riders scuttling across the glass-windowed side of Parker Industries’ Shanghai headquarters, whilst this comic book’s readers surely felt every single one of the blows Octavius receives during his fisticuffs with Spider-man; “You spiteful man! You won’t let me have anything!”