I Am Peter Parker, Hear Me Roar
This issue got ranted and raved about like crazy, and I left this until lower in my pull list because all that buzz got me excited. But when I started reading the issue, I kept waiting for that moment, that big twist that had everyone up in arms or in awe.
Don't get me wrong, the rest of the issue is perfectly fine. It's actually really well executed jumping on point, summarizing every recent major plot point and piece of the current status quo as we go through a current day in Spider-Man's life. There's a few moments where he seems a little off, but overall it's a nice issue. A good set up for the big finale, but nothing really insane.
And then Spider-Man gets called to The Raft. Doc Ock is asking to see Peter Parker. He said the name within the first few pages, and he's saying it on the cover. The issue is quickly running out of pages and I'm thinking to myself that if the big twist is Doc Ock knowing Spider-Man's secret identity.... that was made pretty obvious long before that point in the issue.
And then, 3 pages from the end, Dan Slott nails it. He hits you with the mother of all bombshells. It's not the most original twist ever, but it was so brilliantly executed with surgical precision, I didn't see it coming and my mouth dropped when it hit. I was waiting for a twist, and finally reached the point where I no longer expected one right when it hit; and it explains every little nitpick, inconsistency, and expositional nature of this issue.
What really makes this so extra effective beyond the brilliant in-issue setup, is the knowledge that Amazing Spider-Man is ending in two issues, and Superior Spider-Man won't star Peter Parker. With that knowledge when the twist hits makes the impact increase severalfold in magnitude. I don't even need to talk about the art, it's neither of the regular artists Slott's been using, but it's perfectly fine, and it doesn't need to be anything more. The twist in this issue knocked me over and I sat there, stunned, as I read back over the dialogue to make sure I had read it right.
In Conclusion: 5/5
This. Is. Epic. A very nice casual 'day in the life' serving as a jumping on point smashes into a massive twist that's really as big as Marvel would like you to believe. It's going to be a MADDENING wait for the next two issues.