Dan Slott has decided it’s time to floor the car and run right at the wall. After a few (very well done) transitional issues in a post Spider Island world, Slott has introduced the return of the Sinister Six in Amazing Spider-Man #676. As always, Slott knocks the issue out of the park and drops us into an old school feel in a modern adventure. The arc of the Sinister Six will most assuredly have the same heart and emotional impact of Spider Island, but Slott’s introducing it with a touch of the old comic flair.
First we start in a secret underwater location. I don’t mean that as a description, I mean it as fact. Slott’s first words are “A Secret Underwater Location”. In this deep-sea lair the Sinister Six start hatching their secret plot to take over the world. Doc Ock has seen better days. Strapped to a super suit that is ticking away his time on planet earth, the good doctor has decided to steal a super weapon and slay a certain wall crawler all in one fell swoop. To do that Ock and his Sinister Six crew need to rip off M.O.D.O.K. and The Intelligentsia. It’s not a subtle attack either; it’s a full-fledged assault featuring giant octopus robots.
What works with this kind of high-octane introduction is how good Slott is at setting up characters. The relationship between Sandman and the Rhino is a great example. They’re buddies, friends. Sure they’re psychopathic and part of a criminal consortium but that doesn’t mean they can’t be buds. Electro’s wiseass makes a nice compliment to Mysterio’s weird wild card and Chameleon rounds it out with his sneaky spy ways. Once Slott has set the team, the rest is academic. The attack, the super powered weapon, it’s all easy to digest because you’re rooting for the Sinister Six. It’s a stroke of genius for Slott to make the group evil but really likeable.
It’s not all exposition and character development, there’s some kick ass action. As with Spider Island, Slott is trying to make the story arc fun to read. Giant robots attacking M.O.D.O.K.’S secret ice lair is amazing but when something called Awesome Android gets into it with Rhino, things go up a level. Finally, Slott breaks new ground in the world of awesome by having Doc Ock engage in a game of chess with M.O.D.O.K. using their own muscle as pieces. Amazing Spider-Man #676 never lets up; each page is a step above the one before. By the end of the issue, the excitement for what comes next is palpable. Once again Slott unleashes his talents and the result is glorious comic reading.
Want to know the best part? HUMBERTO RAMOS IS BACK!!! I love me some Humberto and he rocks this issue to the core. His bizarre over-the-top style works perfectly with Slott’s story. I love how he pencils Doc Ock and M.O.D.O.K. plus nobody can ramp up an action scene like Ramos. The Sinister Six is a bigger than life team and Ramos’ drawing style is exactly the same way. With Ramos back and Slott at the helm, 2012 could be another year of the spider!
CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 9/10