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Amazing Spider-Man #797 Review

4 min read

Norman Osborn is ready to strike again, and he’s seeing red!

Creative Staff:
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger
Color: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

What They Say:
The Green Goblin is back — and scarier than ever! Dan Slott has saved his most harrowing Spider-Man story for last as he and Stuart Immonen kick off the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN story ten years in the making. Osborn got his crazy back and has a plan that’ll make all his past plans look like child’s play. Peter Parker and the people he loves (ALL of them) are in deep trouble. And who or what is the RED GOBLIN?! The only way Spider-Man survives is to GO DOWN SWINGING!

Content: (Warning, may contain spoilers)
This book may be called The Amazing Spider-Man, but Spidey isn’t our voice OR focus for this issue!  Instead, that honor is given to Norman Osborn, who has bonded with the Carnage symbiote.  Much of this issue is Norman attempting to speak with someone he’s kidnapped for information on his greatest foe, though Spider-Man does make his presence felt this issue.  After reconnecting with Mary Jane Watson, Peter is chasing down leads for J. Jonah Jameson on the Goblin King for J.J.’s blog.  He’s also got his hands busy at the Daily Bugle, but has been unsuccessful in locating the elusive Goblin King after their last encounter.  Norman wants his mystery guest to tell him what they know about Spider-Man, but his guest is reluctant to tell.  When the Goblin King invades Norman’s stock area (full of old Green Goblin tech), Norman shows off his symbiote power and makes sure Spidey won’t be having an audience with the King.  When he returns to his guest, he mentions he’ll “take care” of Spider-Man soon, and his guest is incredulous. 

They say that the Goblin lost to Spider-Man every time, despite all the pain he inflicted on the hero, but the outburst finally lets Norman in on the one thing that was holding him back from starting his plans-Spider-Man’s true identity!  Norman is the voice of this issue, with his monologue and show of power being what we’re really focusing on.  The book succeeds in making Norman seem like a credible threat even though he had been de-powered earlier.  The symbiote will make things even more interesting, and Norman is also just as crazy as ever.  Interesting is the way the issue makes us guess at the identity of the person Norman kidnapped,  At first, it could be anyone Spider-Man is close with, the prime Candidates having been Mary Jane or J.Jonah Jameson.  Having it be J.J. makes the most sense in the story we get here, and Osborn is ready to enact his plans now.

In Summary:
As the start of a storyline, this isn’t too bad.  We’ve set up the villain and his powers, and we’ve set up where Spider-Man is now.  The best parts of the issue hands down are Norman’s dialogue and the mystery of just who it is Norman kidnapped until the end of the issue.  They really make you wonder which of Peter’s friends or family got kidnapped until the very end, and Norman’s calm but very much carrying an undertone of crazy dialogue shows that The Goblin is still as dangerous as he ever was.  The art is done fairly well, with most of the issue taking place in the dark, and the writing done well enough to at least elicit an interest.  Spider-Man really takes somewhat of a backseat to Osborn in this issue, while we also get small glimpses of the Bugle and where Norman’s son Harry is now.  In honesty, the biggest drawback here is that not much really happens.  It’s all a set up for the general story and next issue, meaning that character interaction is all we really have to look at here.  This, being Dan Slott’s last story on the title, will really have to knock it out of the park if he wants to leave the book with any real good memories of his time on Spider-Man.  Next issue potentially sees the Goblin go head to head with his web-slinging nemesis again, so we’ll see if Slott can keep the story and interest going!

Grade: B-

Age Rating: T
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 7, 2018
MSRP: $3.99

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