Amazing Spider-Man #700
Writers: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli [Pencils], Dan Green [Inks], Antonio Fabela [Colors]
After spending the better part of nearly two years believing Dan Slott had killed him off, fans can rest assured knowing that the original Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley, is back in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man.
And he ain’t happy about the guy who took up his mantle.
The issue starts with Spider-Man interrupting a briefcase heist being committed by current Hobgoblin and Kingpin muscle Phil Urich. Philgoblin, as we’ll call him from here on out, has a trick up his sleeve, though. Shady Horizon Labs scientist Tiberius Stone is on an adjacent rooftop ready to activate a spider sense jammer, but the plan backfires and enhances Spider-Man’s senses. Narrowly escaping, Hobgoblin flies off with Stone in tow, but not before Spidey spots them.
Looking for answers, Spider-Man heads to Horizon as Peter Parker to ask his boss, Max Modell, if he knows where Stone is. It turns out, however, that Daily Bugle reporter Sally Floyd is at Horizon writing a profile on the tech company, and someone let it slip that Pete “provides technology” to Spider-Man. Naturally, Pete is instantly concerned that the story might allow people once again being able to put two-and-two together about him being Spider-Man (Dr. Strange–or Mephisto, if you’re still inexplicably angry about “One More Day”–fixed that for him after Civil War by implementing a psychic blind spot).
Heading to the Daily Bugle to try and convince Editor-in-Chief Robbie Robertson to cut that part of the story, he runs into Norah Winters and Phil Urich in the office right as Stone switches on amped-up spider-jammers citywide. Elsewhere, Madame Web’s psychic powers go into a frenzy and she projects her consciousness out into the city to deliver a message to Pete, right as the jammers are sending his spider sense into a frenzy and distracting him long enough for… Well, you’ll find out if you read the issue.
Dan Slott and Christos Gage craft a perfect beginning to the “Danger Zone” arc, raising questions about Madame Web’s fate and teasing us with a brief page of Roderick Kingsley. It’s already obvious that there’s an impending Goblin throwdown being set up, but if this is going the direction of once again revealing Pete’s identity to the world at large, one has to wonder what the point of the retcon a few years ago was. Regardless, this issue’s tone is perfect and, having read The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus Vol. 2, in the last several months, I frequently found myself comparing it to the Lee/Romita Sr. run–definitely a good thing. Even Giuseppe Camuncoli, Dan Green, and Antonio Fabela felt more “classic” than what I’m used to seeing.
It’s gonna be a long two weeks waiting for the next issue…