I went to the comic shop for Hip Flask: Ouroborous but I have to admit that I also got caught up in all the Spidey talk and decided to give Amazing Spider-Man #700 and Avenging Spider-Man #15.1. And here are my thoughts.
Hip Flask #4: Ouroborous -- This one was a long time coming, re-reading the first 3 issues probably wouldn't have been a bad idea especially given that this issue explains a lot of what happened/what's going on. It has a lot of story crammed into it and sometimes it's a little difficult to keep things straight. Even the characters themselves have a bit of a hard time with it, but you'd have to read it for yourself to see what I'm talking about. In the end, it's a finely written story with some great art and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it all comes to an end in the last issue. I just hope the last issue doesn't take quite as long as this one.
Amazing Spider-Man #700 -- I'm going to try to concentrate on reviewing this comic as objectively as I can. Most people know what happens in this issue (the news spread rather quickly yesterday) and I don't really want to get bogged down in the usual fanboy love/hate thing. So putting aside my feelings about the outcome I think the story was well executed. It was written well for the most part and the art was nice. It was frustrating how obvious the whole "Otto in Spidey's body" thing seemed, especially in his dialogue. You wanted to shout "Come on people, he doesn't even sound like Spidey!" But I think that's part of the experience for the reader. We know what's happening and maybe we even hear Peter's dialogue in Otto's voice (given his word choice) but would any of the characters really think much of it? Probably not. So, I felt it was a solid issue. Was it worthy of Peter Parker's final hurrah? In that way I'd say no. But then again, people are already taking bets as to how long this status quo will last.
Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 -- This epilogue to Amazing Spider-Man felt just like that, a short epilogue that really didn't feel like a full issue on its own. I'd say it was "okay" but seemed so long and drawn out while not really giving us much story. We only caught snippets of why he's building goggles into his mask but I saw nothing about the claws in his toes. But those things seemed random and thrown in just because. I almost wish they had included some flashbacks, having Otto seeing previous Spider-Man battles in his new memories and explaining his reasoning behind the "upgrades". Even the battle with his old battle bots could have included something, but at least that part did focus on Otto's changing attitude/view towards Parker.
So, having read these two Spidey issues where does that leave things for me? One thing I can say is that having seen just a bit of the new Otto/Spider-Man it's not a character I want to read about. Right now, he's not a hero. He "killed" Peter Parker to take his place and is lying to everyone (which results in a kiss with Mary Jane that many people are focusing on). Watching him try to grow to become a hero is of no interest to me because I don't want to see him become a hero. I just want him to go away. Him being there is just a reminder of what he did to get that position and what he's continuing to do. But then again, I wasn't reading Spider-Man to begin with so no big loss there.