Review: Ben Reilly Crumbles To Doc Ock In ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #85

by Tony Thornley

Otto Octavius’s revenge continues in Amazing Spider-Man #85. That may be enough for most readers. But it goes even further than that, as Otto’s actions reveal dark secrets both about the Beyond Corporation and about Ben Reilly himself.

This conclusion of Doc Ock’s arc was a return to form that the character has needed for some time. It puts him back where he needs to be, at the forefront of the Marvel Universe. This issue comes from Cody Ziglar, Paco Medina, Walden Wong, Wayne Faucher, Andrew Hennessey, Victor Olazaba, Roberto Poggi, Joe Caramagna, and Espen Grundetjern.

Otto storms the Beyond Corporation headquarters, and Ben is the only one who can stop him. That doesn’t mean that Doc Ock doesn’t have time to cause chaos within the mad science wonderland. And when Ben does arrive, will he even want to help Beyond?

Ziglar does a great job balancing the shades of grey woven into this story. While Otto is the antagonist, Ziglar’s narration from his point of view definitely makes the case that Beyond is more evil than him. He also fleshes out Ben’s boss Maxine way more than she has been to date, adding more dimensions to the evil capitalist. Really the only place the story falls short is in giving Ben the emotional weight that the resolution of the arc hinted at. A little more narration from his POV and I think this would have nailed it.

Caramagna still is doing great work in the lettering. He has a lot of fun with the sound effects, and the fonts and bubbles he uses for emphasis really pop off the page. His captions for Otto could do a bit more to stand out as Otto Octavius, but otherwise, he does a great job.

As for the art, surprisingly having six inkers doesn’t throw the art off. Medina’s lines are strong, and his layouts continue to be very appealing as they drive the story forward. His take on Otto is an ideal version of the character, and his Ben is an improvement over last issue. There are a few spots where the lines are a little loose, but overall, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an issue with this many inkers look this good.

A big contributor to that is definitely Grundetjern’s colors. His colors keep a visual consistency throughout the issue. He also resists the temptation to go weird when things around Otto start getting very mad science, which actually gives the weirdness a much greater impact.

Otto Octavius is back and after a story like this, that’s great for the Marvel Universe.

Amazing Spider-Man #85 is available now from Marvel Comics.


Though not quite as strong as last issue, this is still great Spider-Man storytelling. There’s a few bumps (some loose linework, some needed character development), but overall this is a great story.

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