The Red Goblin has taken down his allies. He has targeted Spider-Man’s family and friends. Now, the Web-Head has to face two of his most terrible foes at the same time… and not everyone will survive. Your Major Spoilers review of Amazing Spider-Man #800 awaits!
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Nick Bradshaw/Humberto Ramos/Giuseppe Camuncoli/Stuart Immonen/Marcos Martin
Inker: Victor Olazaba/Cam Smith/Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Edgar Delgado/Java Tartaglia/Marte Gracia/Muntsa Vicente
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Nick Lowe with Devin Lewis
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $9.99
Release Date: May 30, 2018
Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: After bonding with the Carnage symbiote, Norman Osborn has gone undercover in the lives of his son and former daughter-in-law. Thanks to a lengthy torture session with J. Jonah Jameson, he even knows Spider-Man’s secret identity, and has targeted Peter Parker as well. Infecting his grandson with the symbiote as well, the newly-minted Red Goblin nearly killed Spider-Man, the ran roughshod through Silk, Clash, Miles Morales and the Human Torch, with his only weakness seeming to the be Anti-Venom symbiote worn by Flash Thompson. Now, his friends are on the verge of death, his options are exhausted and his family is in the Red Goblin’s crosshairs.
IT’S DO-OR-DIE TIME
In the wake of the Goblin’s attack, Flash Thompson heals the fallen heroes enough that none of their wounds are immediately fatal, leaving Spidey to soldier on alone. Realizing that Flash’s Anti-Venom symbiote is the only thing that seems to harm Red Goblin (I totally hate that name, you guys), Spider-Man sets off to find some to infuse into his webbing. At the same time, J. Jonah Jameson makes the same leap of logic, but instead calls in help from an unlikely source: Eddie Brock! Venom sets off to find Mary Jane Watson, only to run afoul of Goblin, while little Normie Osborn attacks Aunt May, only to end up facing down… Doctor Octopus? Things pick up speed from there, as Spider-Man has to defend himself and his family on multiple fronts, forgiving a couple of his oldest foes along the way and eventually realizing that he can’t out-power Osborn, he has to out-smart him. Their battle nearly wrecks Times Square, but just when it seems that Peter Parker might be able to pull out a win, Jonah Jameson arrives.
With a gun.
THE MULTIPLE ART TEAMS WORK AGAINST THEM
This issue actually feels like multiple issues stuffed into one (which, given it’s quadruple-sized number of pages, is probably literally true), which gives us a story that crests and recedes like a trade paperback, rather than one individual story. That’s not a bad thing, actually, as it gives us a couple of points where it seems like all is lost, only for the reader to realize there’s more comic coming. Even the big shocking moments (and there are several, from a Very Important Costume Change for Spidey to the loss of a supporting cast-member of decades standing to a sudden gunshot) work in themselves. The problem comes in the shifting art styles, which at one point makes it difficult to tell who is speaking when Flash Thompson appears again. We also run into some strange off-model Spider-Man masks and at least one big splash page of Spidey’s “new costume” that looks really ridiculous and amateurish. That said, ending Amazing Spider-Man #800 with the exquisite art of Stuart Immonen on the big climactic blowout was a fine choice, and the “after-credits sequence” is both surprising and excellent, making me want to read the potential comic book that it seems to be teasing.
BOTTOM LINE: A DECENT CAPSTONE FOR SLOTT’S SPIDEY
I have to mention one important thing about this comic book: I’m always loath to pay 10 bucks for a single issue. That said, on a per-page basis, this book is actually cheaper than a regular Spidey issue, and the story here is pretty satisfying, in that big-screen season finale way, featuring some lovely use of a lot of Spider-Man history. Best of all is the fact that, of all people, Flash Thompson puts the final nail in Osborn’s plan and making it possible for Peter to come out on top. Amazing Spider-Man #800 features a number of truly impressive plot moments, explosions worthy of the MCU and even the wild fluctuations in the art team and the truly stupid concept of an “after-credits” scene in comics can’t take it entirely off the rails, earning a very impressive 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. There’s smart use made of May Parker, Ben’s mantra about responsibility, Spider-Slayers and continuity dating back to Stan and Steve in these pages, and that makes for a nice anniversary read.