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The Amazing Spider-Man #684 - Ends of the Earth, Part Three: Sand Trap

4

Doc Ock and the rest of the Sinister Six have managed to defeat Spider-Man and the Avengers. Does this mean it's all over? Obviously not since Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos are on hand to continue the story.

'Ends of the Earth' continues and it's not looking good for the heroes. Unless maybe Doc Ock really is trying to save the world. Yeah, right. We'll see.

The Good

How many times has Spider-Man fought the members of the Sinister Six together and separately? It's happened so many times that while I was excited when the teasers for this arc started popping up, part of me figured Spider-Man would easily defeat them. Dan Slott has amped up the stakes. Doc Ock is finally using his brain and managed to defeat Spider-Man AND the Avengers. Thankfully, they have an ally nearby that they were unaware of.

The action continues to build and we get to see Sandman take over some of the spotlight. Spider-Man is forced to try a different approach to this battle. He thought he had it all figured out. He thought he was more than prepared to take on all the members of the Sinister Six and even had the Avengers at his side. Slott keeps showing us that Spider-Man is more than just his spider-powers. He has a brain and it's proving to be an even bigger asset than his powers.

This is a different kind of fight. That's what will make this arc memorable. It's not the same old action scenes we've seen. You can feel that Spider-Man is being elevated to a new level. I wonder what Slott or any future writers will do next time Spidey has to fact the Sinister Six to keep this going.

The Bad

It's still feeling weird seeing the Avengers get beat by Doc Ock. It's like there's something wrong in the universe. As great as it is seeing Spider-Man fight in a different manner, I do miss the traditional slugfests. Spider-Man is no longer fighting alone. While he is using his intelligence, the fact that he needed the Avengers and brains at Horizon almost feels like it's lessening his ability to save the day. Because it's his book, we have to assume he will come out on top.

I mentioned the focus was on Sandman as the foe here. He does have his motivations for taking part in Ock's plan but it still feels a little wrong. And if this is supposed to be a Sinister Six story, let's see them all in action.

There was also a couple times the art didn't fully work for me. I do enjoy Ramos' art but we had Stefano Caselli on the last couple issues and the change in art styles caused a slight distraction.

The Verdict

Things aren't looking good for Spider-Man. He's forced to continue fighting in a different manner. No longer can he just rely on his spider-powers, now we're seeing him use his brains more and more. It's great to see a change in the overall battle against the Sinister Six but feels a little odd that Spider-Man needs the Avengers and scientists at Horizon Lab to help him out. Doc Ock (and Dan Slott) have raised the stakes in this confrontation and it's not over yet. Humberto Ramos' art is always fun to see but with his style differing from Caselli's in the past two issues, it creates a distraction. Slott is doing big things in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and I don't know how he's going to top this story.