by Spencer Irwin
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
The current arc of Amazing Spider-Man is a direct tie-in to Secret Empire, with its opening scene even taking place during the Free Comic Book Day issue and with Otto’s newfound might largely coming from Hydra resources. This story is ultimately more concerned with Peter and Otto’s battle for Parker Industries, but even there Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen are able to create spiritual and thematic connections to Secret Empire.
HydraCap’s goal in Empire was to take over America, something he thinks he’s owed and that was stripped from him by forces beyond his control (the Cosmic Cube/The Great Lie). Likewise, Otto’s eyes are on Parker Industries, an industrial empire in its own right which Otto also feels like he’s owed (since he did technically found the company, even if he did so via identity theft) but that was stripped from him by forces beyond his control (the return of Peter Parker).
Steve took over America by using its own laws and its own trust in Captain America against it. Otto is likewise able to turn Parker Industries’ own intellectual property — the very things they think will protect them, which, in the case of Amazing Spider-Man 30, consists of their fleet of Spider-Vehicles — against it. Parker and his employees certainly don’t trust Otto, but like Steve Rogers, he’s been hiding in plain sight amongst their ranks since the company’s founding (first as Peter Parker and later as the Living Brain), subtly pushing events in his favor. Hell, nothing says “hiding in plain sight” better than Otto hiding his true name within the Parker Industries logo!
All these parallels make Peter and Otto’s fight for Parker Industries feel relevant to the current Marvel Universe and consistent with the tone of Secret Empire, even while Slott brings to a head ideas and plot points he’s been seeding for up to four years now. Slott certainly knows how to use an event tie-in to his advantage.
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