I am reviewing both of these together because they are basically the same storyline. These have been out for some time now and I am sure most comic fans have already read both of them and the follow up Superior Spiderman series. Dying Wish includes Spiderman 700 which has a very cool comic cover and is one of my favorites.
Worlds End starts out with Doc Ock, once again up to no good. What is it with super villains, can’t everyone just get a long? Anyways, Doc Ock has a terminal illness and has a few weeks left to live. Before he signs off he has hatched a brilliant plan to accomplish his final mission, and leave his final legacy.
His plan is to launch robots into space that will create a sort of shield around the planet to deflect some sunlight. The reason for doing this is to help cool down the planet from global warming. The bad thing is that the technology can be used for the reverse as well, to magnify the sun’s rays and accelerate global warming to the extreme. Doc Ock releases a statement that he is a good guy and has turned over a new leaf and is trying to do something good for mankind. This will be his final achievement and he will be able to die a hero instead of the villain that was a thorn in the side of so many heroes.
Spiderman is not falling for this and thinks it is all a rouse, even when Doc is pleading with government officials that he is genuine. SM stands firm and does not budge. SM and a hand full of Avengers set out across the planet to find Doc’s base of operations which is hidden and cannot be found. They think they find his base but in the words of Admiral Akbar, It’s a trap! Doc Ock knows they are coming and is ready, the Avengers are quickly defeated. From there SM and the remaining Avengers have to regroup and come up with an alternate plan to defeat Doc before he accomplishes his mission whatever it may be.
I do not want to tell you how it ends but I am sure you can figure it out as the story rolls right into Dying Wish. After all the happenings in Worlds End Doc Ock is even closer to death as in now he has days if not hours to live. He is currently imprisoned in Rikers Island, but does manage to escape thanks to a few of his old cronies. There is a major twist in this one and if you have read anything about the event you already know, but I will not spoil it here.
The only thing I really did not like was that they did not do that good of a job, in my opinion, of showing how IT all happened, the twist that is. They go over it, but there are a few pages when I was like wait…what? Then it when back and tried to explain. I felt the story would have been better if the writers had IT, and by IT I mean that SM was zapped by one of Doc Ock’s little robots, this turns out to be quite a big deal as you will find out, happen in the current story line of Ends of the Earth. Instead this happened a few issues ago very quietly. I did not read that issue so I was kind of lost, but at the same time they rewarded the real fans who read every issue. In the current issue they go back and explain that that was the moment but I felt that it should have just happened in the current issue, I think it would have made more sense that way.
Overall I liked both storylines. They flowed well and it was interesting as throughout most of it the reader is not fully sure of Doc’s intentions. The only other complaint is that I felt there was too much talking, or too many words on every page. I felt like it took me a while to get through Ends of the Earth, for some reason it seemed to go very slow. I read slow so that could be it, but still felt like there was a lot being said on every page. I know SM is known for always having a lot to say but even with all that being taken into consideration, it still felt like a lot.
The artwork was very well done, lots of detail and very traditional. I think the coloring technique really made the artwork in Ends of the Earth. It is something similar to what is in Kingdom Come, and when I say similar I mean along the same lines, but not even close to that brilliance. I have seen the technique in a few other books but I do not know what it is called or if it even has a name. Whatever it is I like it and wish there was more of it in comics. The page layouts are really nicely done, almost every page is set up without using the traditional block scenes. There are tons of full page splashes, scenes that use both pages, and everything in between. For a superhero comic these two stories have some of the coolest page layouts I have seen. Honestly it is not that overtly special, it is the fact that every page they do something different. Turning the page you never know how it will be set up, always keeps you on your toes. In Dying Wish the artwork is a little more cartoony, but still has a lot of detail. It is boarderline on what I like but that is just me.
One last thing I did not talk about is that SM issue 700 is inclueded in the Dying Wish trade and is really cool. I remember when it came out so I have the issue as well as it in the trade paper back. The end of it is loaded with extras from two additional short story lines and a gallery of ever Spiderman cover. Its pretty cool just to see how much the art changes over the years. Not to mention that issue 700 has one of the coolest covers I have seen in a while. Some cool extras that are worth checking out.
As a Spiderman fan I liked this story line, but I honestly think there are some big moments that the story line kind of skipped over. I felt in the end the story was missing something, albeit small. It was not bad by any means but the execution was a little off in my opinion. I felt the ending was a little strange, as I knew how it was going t to end I just wanted to see how it was going to play out. It made sense just felt that there needed to be something else. To me the way it worked out was not convincing enough to get the conclusion they were after. I felt there needed to be something more to make Doc Ock turn out the way he did. In the end this is still a great read and the story does have a lot of twists and turns, and will keep you guessing. If you are a Spidey fan you need to check this out pronto.