Amazing Spider-Man #800 is out today, wrapping up the Red Goblin story and celebrating all things wall-crawler.
As Norman Osborn enacts the final stages of his plan, Spider-Man follows him throughout the city to stop him and protect his own loved ones in the process.
This comic is 80 pages of full throttle action. It’s one big, bombastic fight scene after another, and everyone’s along for the ride, from Spidey’s friends and family to his greatest foes. Writer Dan Slott weaves in plenty of little character moments among the chaos to show how important these people are to Peter Parker, and how big an impact he’s been on their lives (and they on his).
Truthfully, some of these moments feel a little clunky and forced, including one decision concerning the Venom symbiote that doesn’t make much sense outside of “oh this would be a cool thing to happen in an anniversary issue.” But overall, ASM #800 is a fun ride for webheads new and old. An 80-page juggernaut like this runs the risk of dragging, but the pacing stays strong and it actually flies by.
And this is a pure Spider-Man story too. He’s not sporting a ton of tech gizmos or special toys. He’s just your friendly neighborhood hero. We get plenty of inspirational, heart warming moments that remind us why this character has remained Marvel’s #1 guy for so long. It’s nice to see that Slott hasn’t lost sight of that throughout all of the changes he’s seen Peter Parker through.
The story is broken up into chapters, with different artists handling each one. In the end, it depends on what you look for in your Spider-Man art, but the standout chapters are those by Humberto Ramos, Stuart Immonen, and Marcos Martín. The first two are packed with explosive, dynamic action, and Ramos and Immonen draw two of the best takes on Spidey in the modern era. Ramos in particular brings such feeling to the mask. Martín, meanwhile, draws a much quieter, more emotional epilogue. His work has a classic feel to it, harkening back to the character’s beginning and generating a very simple kind of joy.
If you’ve been reading Amazing Spider-Man, you’ve already picked up this issue. If you haven’t, this probably isn’t the place to start – even for seasoned fans – since it’s the conclusion to a story. So either pick up the whole “Go Down Swinging” story, or wait until next month. ASM #801, Slott’s final issue, is sure to be a standalone story continuing to celebrate our favorite menace.