Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colourist: Frank Martin Jr.
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy’s Joe Caramagna
Previously, in Amazing Spider-Man: Doctor Octopus’s final gambit is reaching its fruition. With only hours left to live, he has launched a ring of satellites around the planet and now sits poised to burn the world if his demands are not met. Spider-Man, Silver Sable, and Black Widow have been working together to stop his plans, and have managed to subdue most of the Sinister Six.
With the three of them mere inches from his secret hideout, Ock reveals his last defence against the heroes – the Avengers, brainwashed into serving him using octobots. Now Spidey really must go to the ends of the earth to save his friends, and the planet!
As I mentioned in my previous review, this final part of Ends of the Earth had a lot of ground to cover. Not only was there the threat of the mind-controlled Avengers to deal with, but also Doctor Octopus and the Rhino, and the Octavian Lens itself to stop. Luckily, Dan Slott manages to squeeze in a huge amount of story into these pages as usual, even including some unexpected surprises along the way.
Most of the plot progresses as you would expect for the first half of the issue as Spidey, Black Widow and Silver Sable deal with the Avengers and storm Doctor Octopus’ base. The shining star here is Mysterio, who had switched sides last issue in order to stop Doc Ock from destroying the planet, reasoning that if there’s nothing left, what’s the point in being paid? Mysterio holds his own against some of the Avengers you wouldn’t expect, like Red Hulk, and provides some nice comic relief in an otherwise grim issue. Whilst he does act in his own interests in the end, it’s nice to see a villain realising that sometimes, destroying the world really isn’t that great an aim.
Once the action shifts away from the Avengers and into Doc Ock’s base, the story takes some twists and turns that will give this storyline lasting impact, as well as revealing the Rhino’s motivation, which fits perfectly in with his character and the developments he has gone through over the past few years. This section of the issue sets up next week’s Avenging Spider-Man epilogue issue, as well as adding a more personal emotional stake to the proceedings that the whole “destroying the world” side of things may have lost along the way.
The final confrontation between Spidey and Doc Ock plays out in a perfect way, both as a physical fight and a mental confrontation between the pair. Spidey and Ock have always been at their best when battling with their wits as well as metal arms and webshooters, so this is an apt conclusion to the Ends of the Earth saga. The ultimate question over whether Doc Ock actually bites the bullet (again) is answered, and given how the rest of the story has played out, it feels like the correct way for it all to end.
Stefano Caselli continues to turn out some of the best work in comics at the moment. From Rhino’s evil grin to the determination on Spider-Man’s face as he heads in to deal with Octavius, everything is pitch perfect. Martin’s colour choices work wonderfully well, and the shadows that Caselli utilises, especially inside Ock’s base, are chosen with great care. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s a shame that Caselli’s art requires a lot of lead time, since it really is gorgeous.
Ends of the Earth comes to its end with a bang and a whimper; the bang from the comic, and the whimper from me as I realise that the story has come to a close. This concluding issue wraps everything up neatly, giving closure on pretty much every story point from the last five issues, as well as setting the stage for the epilogue issue. Whilst it doesn’t reach the same level as Spider-Island due to the global scale of the storyline lacking the personal touch that Spidey works best with, this is a superb storyline, with this issue continuing that trend through to the end.
GO Rating: 4/5