Warning: Spoilers ahead for Amazing Spider-Man #698.
With Marvel NOW! shuffling the deck in the Marvel Universe, one hast to wonder: who's left for Peter Parker to turn to following the shocking and life-threatening revelation of this week's issue of Amazing Spider-Man? When facing off against Doctor Octopus, there are a handful of scientists better than he is on the planet and usually your point man would be Reed Richards. But Reed, along with the rest of the Fantastic Four, will be taking some time off-planet and is unlikely to be making guest appearances in other books right this moment. Peter himself is arguably as or more brilliant than Ock, but with the villain having got the jump on him it's hard to say, "Oh, no, he can do the math himself." There are an awful lot of variables, and Ock hasn't given him much to work with in terms of methodology, making it harder for Peter to reverse-engineer a fix. All of that assumes, of course, that it's even a scientific thing. While it may seem like magic is a cheat when you're coming down to a battle between two scientists, Doctor Doom has gone that way in the past (during the fan-favorite Mark Waid/Mike Wieringo run), and in a desperate situation, Octavius may have decided that an unfair advantage was his best weapon against someone who's bested him over and over again. So that brings me to Dr. Strange--he's a character who hasn't got a lot of love yet in the Marvel NOW! relaunch, but who's got a movie coming up (according to Stan Lee, anyway) and who's had a Chapter One graphic novel recently, so you know Marvel is interested in keeping him on the radar. Bringing him in to assist Peter Parker in the biggest Spider-Man story in years would certainly accomplish that...and we've all heard rumblings that he'll be involved. There's nothing quite as nice as when logic lines up with the rumor.