Monday, 16 November 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #115. Dr Octopus and Hammerhead

Amazing Spider-Man #115, Dr Octopus. Aunt May threatens to shoot Spider-Man
(Cover from December 1972.)

"The Last Battle!"

Words by Gerry Conway.
Art by John Romita/Tony Mortellaro.
Lettering by Artie Simek.

Two facts emerge from this tale.

One. Aunt May has the intelligence of a cabbage. Even after all these encounters with Doc Ock, she still hasn't figured out he's a bad guy.

Two. Her heart's clearly coming on in leaps and bounds. A woman who traditionally collapses at the sight of a kitten, somehow manages to get through an armed siege on a house and two encounters with Spider-Man - during one of which she tries to shoot him - and her heart seems fine. You start to wonder if she's been putting it on all these years, just to get sympathy.

May Parker aside, you can't get away from it, this is one of the most action-packed issues of recent years - and all the better for it. After a couple of not very memorable months, the tale suddenly bursts into life, with out-and-out war between its two villains, and also starts to set things up for the future. At the very end of the story, Hammerhead even briefly manages to become an interesting character; and that takes some doing.

Highlight of the month has to be the "gentleman" act Dr Octopus puts on for Aunt May during his confrontation with Spidey. You get the feeling Conway was having fun with it.

On other fronts, Gwen's still calling Aunt May, "Mrs Parker." Sigh.

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