Dan Slott and the Amazing Spider-Man train keeps on rolling towards #800 with tons of momentum. This issue delivers a classic Green Goblin scenario before finally unveiling the Red Goblin.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Green Goblin bursting through a Daily Bugle wall – in his classic costume no less – triggers all sorts of nostalgia for Spidey fans without being cheap. It feels good to have Norman Osborn completely consumed by madness again. The difference this time is that the general public knows it’s him under that gorgeous green mask.
It’s actually really funny when you realize that Norman knows Peter Parker is Spider-Man and still waits for Pete to go summon his alter-ego. Osborn loves to put on a show and respects secrets.
It’s great to have Flash Thompson back in the symbiote again as Agent Anti-Venom. We’ve yet to see him utilize being Anti-Venom in the way that Eddie Brock was years ago. So far, it’s just a great re-design of a great character that will make a great toy.
One of the best elements of this new era for Spider-Man comics we’re entering is the status of J. Jonah Jameson. Between Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man and Chip Zdarsky’s Spectacular Spider-Man, JJJ has been getting a heroic treatment that is so satisfying and longer overdue.
It’s interesting to see Dan Slott’s approach to ending his long-term tenure with Spidey. We’ve seen Bendis do his goodbye tour the last month or so, bringing back all his characters for one last ride. Slott is going another route, pushing everybody to their limit for one last over-the-top finale.
He’s focusing on going out with a bang, rather than tooting his own horn to remind everyone what he’s contributed in his run. Bendis did a little horn tooting, but it wasn’t obnoxious and the guy has earned the right to do so. Good on Slott for digging in and focusing on a new story.
Stuart Immonen is also bringing his A-game. He makes every panel with Green Goblin a stunner. Giving his eyes a bigger, more bug-like alteration was a nice touch. The texture of his fish-scale armor is definitive, he makes it easy to imagine what it feels like just by looking at it.
When we finally get to see the Red Goblin in action, it doesn’t disappoint. We were already sold on the story uniting Norman with the Carnage symbiote, but Immonen needed to seal the deal. There are way too many Venom offspring running around the 616, a lot of them are forgettable as well. That’s not the case with Red Goblin and his awesome Carnage-Bombs.
This was another fantastic issue from begging to end. That final page with Red Goblin looking onto Spidey’s burning “white flag” is a powerful image we won’t soon forget. The next issue should be more red than your Maximum Carnage SNES cartridge.