Writer: Cody Ziglar
Artist: Paco Medina
Color Artist: Espen Grundetjern
Cover Artists: Arthur Adams & Alejandro Sanchez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
While Peter Parker is out of the picture, Ben Reilly steps in to protect New York as the new Amazing Spider-Man. Backed by the shady Beyond Corporation, Ben does his best to be a hero while Peter’s down. But during that time, an old acquaintance of Peter’s discovers some dark secrets about Beyond – Doctor Octopus! Now Ben Reilly faces off against Doctor Octopus in Amazing Spider-Man #84, but what could they be fighting over?!
So, last issue was more of a heartwarming story exploring Peter’s recovery and showing the enduring Spidey spirit he has that won’t let him give up. Meanwhile, we got Cody Ziglar and Paco Medina back at the helm as they worked on Ben’s fight against Kraven The Hunter. Now they’re picking up where Amazing Spider-Man #80.BEY left off, with an angered Doctor Octopus ready to ruin Beyond’s day.
The comic starts amicable enough as the story starts with Doug – the Beyond worker from the previous Kraven story – and it quickly shifts to what people came here for: Doc Ock tearing up Beyond to get his work at Parker Industries back, and then some. The comic also shifts to giving us Ben Reilly’s perspective before their inevitable clash; showing more of his home life at Beyond and developing his social life with Janine.
When action calls, Ben answers and the comic wastes no time getting Ben and Ock to fight. The writing, pacing, and dialogue by Cody Ziglar continues to shine here as he nails the characters’ distinct personalities, especially for Ben Reilly and Doctor Octopus. He doesn’t undermine one for the other, portraying Ben’s smart-aleck Spider-Man and the grandiose genius of Doctor Octopus, making him a hammy and capable supervillain not to underestimate. The art from Paco Medina with Espen Grundertjern’s colors make the comic book a real treat as everyone looks good and the action looks and feels dynamic.
The comic’s conclusion doesn’t give too much away about what Doc Ock was taking, and it’s no spoiler that Ben doesn’t stop him thanks to Otto’s involvement front and center in the Devil’s Reign event. Despite that, the comic continues to build momentum for itself and actually advances the overall Beyond storyline forward. So readers will actually have something to look forward to next issue.
Quick spoilers, but after Ben fails to stop Doctor Octopus, he gets another verbal berating from Maxine Danger again. But this time it seems the stakes are higher for Beyond as Otto shows up at Beyond’s HQ to see her. Hopefully we’ll actually see what all the hubub is about that drive he took.
Amazing Spider-Man #84 delivers a solid comic book as Ben Reilly comes face-to-face with Doctor Octopus. The writer nails down the pacing, dialogue, and characterization of both main characters, while the art team make the comic book look good and dynamic from start to finish. On top of that, this comic actually moves the Beyond storyline forward a bit, and hopefully we get more in the next issue.