“Stop! If you don’t read this comic… the bad guys win!”

The end of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #675 hinted that the villainous group, The Sinister Six, were about to take over. What it didn’t reveal was that the group was going to take over the entire issue. Other than the cover, our favorite friendly neighborhood wall-crawler is nowhere to be seen in this issue. Instead, what we get is the story of the Sinister Six facing off against their fellow super-villains of the Intelligencia. With the battle between two groups of villains, it doesn’t matter whether you read this comic or not… the bad guys are going to win.

The issue starts with the rebirth of Doctor Octopus. The tentacled villain gets a new shocking look (that can be seen on the cover if you look close enough) that is a great evolution of the changes the character has undergone over the decades. After Doc Ock is back in full form, the Six make a holiday trip to the North Pole headquarters of M.O.D.O.K. and the Intelligencia. It appears as if M.O.D.O.K. has created a new weapon, the Zero Cannon, that the Ock wants to use for his own diabolical plans.

The rest of the issue is a brawl between the two villain groups as the brawn of the Sinister Six (Doc Ock, Sandman, Chameleon, Rhino, Electro, and Mysterio) face off against the brains of the Intelligencia (M.O.D.O.K., Red Ghost, Mad Thinker, Wizard, and Klaw). When the dust finally settles, one group is prepared to use the Zero Cannon to attempt to take over the world.

Dan Slott has delivered a fun side-story that is sure to have ramifications for Spidey (and possibly the rest of the Marvel Universe) in the near future. That said, it’s a story that readers could skip and still jump in once this setup finally comes to fruition down the road. As it is, it doesn’t look like that’s happening any time soon since the next ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ issue is the first half of a team-up with Daredevil in ‘Devil in the Details’ part 1.

Humberto Ramos is back on art duties after Giuseppe Camuncoli’s stint over the past couple of issues. Ramos’ style is always a great fit with over-the-top goofy action and with this issue’s villain showdown, I’m glad to see Ramos back in the artist’s chair.

Verdict: Borrow

Written by DAN SLOTT