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  1. #1
    Y'know. Pav's Avatar
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    Default ASM 85 Review and Spoilers!!!

    ARE YOU NOT BEN-TERTAINED?!

    THIS is the issue we've been waiting for, folks! Best issue since the initial two, in my estimation! Let's walk through it together!

    1) Cool cover.

    2) While reading the synopsis of the previous issues, I chuckled upon seeing that they could cover the whole storyline thus far in such a quick paragraph: proof that little of importance has happened; it's unfortunate that the issues that should've felt like build-up (to this issue!) felt so repetitive and lackluster.

    3) But this issue is a different story! I was interested from the start, due to Otto getting to narrate for a bit.

    4) So, Beyond has a "spider-program" at all because it utilized what Otto did as the Superior Spider-Man? I like that connection a lot, and it makes Otto's role incredibly believable and fun. But then, I really like "Shades of Gray" Otto.

    5) I'm not even sure what to say about the fish and the sandwiches. Beyond is weird.

    6) Another chuckle at Otto mentioning the hangover pills. Ziglar is good at callbacks.

    7) I enjoyed seeing Otto take down Misty and Colleen -- not because I dislike the characters, but because they've shown themselves to be so competent throughout Beyond; it's nice to see them participating in a fight against someone of equal standing (or more), and I also like how they can't believe they lost: they SHOULD underestimate someone like Ock, I think. It makes sense to me that two hot action babes might forget that the shlubby octopus-man can actually do some real damage.

    8) I've decided I don't like Spider-man flying. It's my new pet-peeve. Give me web-swings or give me death! (I still enjoy the web-pits though.)

    9) I feel like the artist forgot how to draw Ben's suit.

    10) I wonder who or what Maxine Danger really is, considering she can brazenly stand there, arms crossed, stone-faced, while listening to a super-powered megalomaniac killing his way to her, armed guard by armed guard.

    11) Liked Otto's "Shining" moment.

    12) Maxine felt (to me) like an actual character for the first time with her joke about not breaking any more walls. I wonder how much the writers will try to make her a three-dimensional villain; my hope is that she isn't two-dimensional purposefully, as it might show a general disinterest by the writers in building from this story in the future.

    13) Kafka appearance! I CANNOT WAIT for JMD's first issue!

    14) Magnet Gun = dumb. Seeing the Spinnerets again = appreciated.

    15) "Something about you has changed."

    16) Ben jumping out of the building with an armless Otto was brilliant. Loved that move from our Benjy Boy.

    17) AH! And here it is: Otto delivering the devastating news to Ben about Beyond.

    18) Ben's comments while beating down Otto are so telling, and while it perhaps proves that what Beyond really thinks of Ben might be true, it also demonstrates clearly what his psychological hang-ups are due to being a clone, and I'm of the mind that, even with all the growth Ben has had and will (hopefully) have, he'll always be plagued with doubts about his self-worth and purpose. How could he not? We all have our good days and bad, y'know?

    19) Wait. Do the Morbius and Kraven issues exist simply to demonstrate Ben being "an easily controlled lapdog prone to emotional outbursts and distractions?!" Gonna hafta go back and reread.

    20) When Otto monologues about the data drive, I couldn't help but think back to when Lil Jack the Clone offered to give Ben the "proof" he needed to prove that he was "the real Peter Parker." I wonder if the symmetry is purposeful.

    21) Ben reads his psych profile. Too bad we've barely had interaction between him and Kafka in earlier issues. If only we had been given proper build-up to this point.

    22) Do we think Maxine knows what really happened?

    23) YES! NOW WE"RE TALKING! Ben makes his first move against Beyond. Nice job with the mask there, Benjy -- and HOPEFULLY this puts Janine in a place of power later in the story rather than simply in distress.

    24) OOF! The mirror scene! What an ending!

    ----------------

    I can't wait to see what others think of the issue! Did you enjoy it as much as I did?

    -Pav, who IS a real boy...
    Last edited by Pav; 01-12-2022 at 05:26 PM.
    You were Spider-Man then. You and Peter had agreed on it. But he came back right when you started feeling comfortable.

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    "You're not the better one, Peter. You're just older."

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  2. #2
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    Great review and insights.
    A tangent and maybe an unpopular opinion...but I'd really like to see more of Maxine after Beyond. She could be a great corporate style villain.

  3. #3
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    Also, I predict next issue will be very Kafka-heavy

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sr. Bungle View Post
    Great review and insights.
    A tangent and maybe an unpopular opinion...but I'd really like to see more of Maxine after Beyond. She could be a great corporate style villain.
    Give her a Theranos Elizabeth Holmes vibe. Could work.

    Yes, as I already mentioned in the preview thread, I enjoyed the issue as well. Ziglar is the best Beyond writer after Zeb Wells imo. Thought the beatdown on Otto was a bit too excessive though and still not a fan of the slapstick background Beyond gags like the sandwich room. Doesn’t tonally fit. Besides that, cool issue with Ben asserting himself and finally making use of Beyond gadgets again.

  5. #5
    Spectacular Member Obsidian Spider's Avatar
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    I agree that the artist didn’t seem to care too much about being accurate with Ben’s suit. Strange.

    Also, these cover previews we’ve been getting have been wildly misleading. We all thought there was going to be a big loss or tragedy with Ben vs Otto but now it would appear the covers are more metaphorical.

    Why does he ask Janine to clean his mask? Did he read something on the drive that makes him suspicious of her?

    Does Ock know it’s Ben?

    What did Beyond steal from Ock? What work of his are they using?

    Why does no one web Otto’s eyes anymore? Bring back a classic!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obsidian Spider View Post
    Why does he ask Janine to clean his mask? Did he read something on the drive that makes him suspicious of her?
    He gives Janine the Beyond drive, hidden inside the mask. The best development in Beyond.

  7. #7
    Spectacular Member Reilly's Avatar
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    Finally a book when Ben is not acting incompetent. And let's hope it's the beginning of the Beyond Corporation's end. I'm disappointed with Beyond era so far but I'm still hoping for the best, satisfying possible ending. It was nice to see Otto in this Beyond era, but I'm still sad he's been retconned to be a thug again after such a wonderful character development.
    Anyway, nice chapter. I'm hoping the rest of the run is going to be better than it was before.

  8. #8
    Incredible Member Webhead's Avatar
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    It's a bit damning that the very book one's reading says we're halfway through the arc and it doesn't feel like much has happened, but anyway. On its own merits, this was a nice issue, with some solid character moments.
    Minor observation, Ock constantly calling Ben "boy" seemed a bit lazy. Where are all those Ock-esque adjectives?

  9. #9
    Take Me Higher The Negative Zone's Avatar
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    This issue felt kind of tonally inconsistent, like the beginning seems fun of Ben using all of Beyond's funny or ridiculous science hijinks to beat Ock but then turns into a more serious plot turnaround thing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Negative Zone View Post
    This issue felt kind of tonally inconsistent, like the beginning seems fun of Ben using all of Beyond's funny or ridiculous science hijinks to beat Ock but then turns into a more serious plot turnaround thing.
    Pretty sure that was intentional

  11. #11
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    This is the big thing... Ben is broken and in pain because he's considered weak willed by his employers.BRUH

    Gotta be the most anti-climatic "reveal" I've read in a long time.And I don't think New York will be reeling from this attack considering nothing happened

    Pages wasted on Beyond's weird science stuff, we don't see Maxine's secret weapon and Ock's fight was boring af

    Ben bested him w/ all of Beyond's tech :- The Magnetic gun and the spinnerets were what took him down.Not Ben in his rage just powering through the arms

    Man I want to like this, and I do like Ben realizing this as a standalone but as an arc it's underwhelming.

  12. #12
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    OK, somebody is really surprised with what we saw here? Because I'm not.

    It was obvious, from the beginning, that Beyond was only using and manipulating Ben; and now the truth has been revealed to him. It's obvious that Peter would have never cooperated with Beyond because he knows that "when something is too good to be true, it's because it isn't".

  13. #13
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Would generally cosign just about everyone here. Glad things are finally moving and simultaneously loving and saddened that Ben finally knows (some of) the truth about Beyond and what they really want with him. If his psych eval is what Beyond really thinks of him . . . what are his therapy sessions with Dr. Ashley Kafka (technically also a clone) actually doing? That ending --- damn. I am a sucker for a good "rage against the reflection" moment. Of course, it can always get worse --- and given the solicits, it most likely will get worse.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ursalink View Post
    OK, somebody is really surprised with what we saw here? Because I'm not.

    It was obvious, from the beginning, that Beyond was only using and manipulating Ben; and now the truth has been revealed to him. It's obvious that Peter would have never cooperated with Beyond because he knows that "when something is too good to be true, it's because it isn't".
    Me neither, lowkey was still rooting for Ben being undercover and the break could have been Beyond knew that he was undercover and using him or the Janine thing.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    Would generally cosign just about everyone here. Glad things are finally moving and simultaneously loving and saddened that Ben finally knows (some of) the truth about Beyond and what they really want with him. If his psych eval is what Beyond really thinks of him . . . what are his therapy sessions with Dr. Ashley Kafka (technically also a clone) actually doing? That ending --- damn. I am a sucker for a good "rage against the reflection" moment. Of course, it can always get worse --- and given the solicits, it most likely will get worse.
    The mirror thing also reflects on the empty faces motifs of the arc

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