When we last left our heroes in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #683, the Sinister Six had taken out the Avengers thanks to Doctor Octopus’ planning.

As this issue opens, a mysterious stranger appears and saves Black Widow from the crashed Quinjet with the plan to give Spider-Man a “much needed distraction”. Meanwhile, the Sinister Six, sans Electro who was eliminated last issue, are rounding up the unconscious Avengers team (Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Woman, Red Hulk) rather than killing them because Doc Ock has “plans” for them.

After providing the distraction and freeing Spider-Man, Black Widow and Silver Sable (yeah… she was the “mysterious stranger” but that’s no spoiler. She’s on the cover, people!) begin plotting a way to stop Doc Ock’s plan. To that end, Spidey gets in touch with his pals at Horizon Labs to see if their genius think tank can come up with some ideas.

Meanwhile, the world’s leaders are deciding whether to accept Doc Ock’s terms for his stopping global warming. Of course, if they don’t accept, Doc is probably going to go the other route and cook the entire Earth… so it’s not much of a choice.

After tracking down the factory that makes Doc Ock’s satellites, Spidey and the ladies head to the Sahara Desert to shut it down… only to run into the Sandman! Here in the desert, the Sandman is a virtually unstoppable force and now it’s up to the heroes to take him down before the world falls to the Sinister… Five?

Dan Slott is really celebrating Spider-Man’s 50th anniversary in style with this arc. It’s very cool to see the Avengers struggling against the Six (but what does that mean for AvX where the Avengers are going up against a much stronger team in the X-Men?). We all know that Spidey will come out on top in this one but it’s still a wonderful journey to see how it gets there… and if everyone makes it through this ordeal safely.

Humberto Ramos (‘Spider-Island’) is back on art duties and I couldn’t be happier. His manga-influenced cartoony style is perfect for Spider-Man’s more over-the-top action moments.

Be back next issue when Spider-Man must face off against… the entire world?

Verdict: Buy

Written by DAN SLOTT