Amazing Spider-Man #800
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Stuart Immonen, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Nick Bradshaw, Marcos Martin, Humberto Ramos, Mike Hawthorne, Wade Von Grawbadger, Victor Olazaba, J.P Mayer, Cam Smith, Edgar Delgado, Muntsa Vicente, Jordie Bellaire, Javier Tartaglia, Marte Gracia
Cover: Alex Ross
Publisher: Marvel Comics $9.99
This month has been a time of change for Marvel comics. Last week, Brian Michael Bendis leaves with his final issue of Invincible Iron Man after nearly two decades at Marvel. Dan Slott has been at Marvel for far longer, after ten years it’s doubtful anyone will disassociate him from his time on the Amazing Spider-Man. In those ten years he’s introduced a veritable smorgasbord of characters and revamps: from Mr. Negative, to Flash as Venom, to Doc Ock as the Superior Spider-Man. His penultimate issue is a build-up coming over ten years and over 100 issues, as a celebration of all things Spider-Man it is packed.
The last issue of Amazing Spider-Man left Peter’s allies beaten to a pulp by the newly minted Red Goblin, Norman Osborn infecting his grandson with the Carnage symbiote, and Peter Parker newly refreshed to go up against a vengeful Red Goblin. To say it gets worse is something of an understatement. Slott as always knows how to ratchet up the stakes, Norman is more dangerous than ever, and he absolutely warrants the threat. However, Slott also gives us a great look at just why Peter is a hero. The issue celebrates his best qualities: his willingness to sacrifice for just about anyone, his refusal to give up, and the people who he inspires to come to help him when the chips are down. His best self as a hero, a friend, and a son are on full display here for anyone who just wants to see what it is that makes Spidey who he is. As far as stories go, Slott goes the extra mile to celebrate Spider-Man’s world at the finish line.
The artists involved are quite a selection to ranging from Stuart Immonen, to Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Marcos Martin, and Nick Bradshaw. All of whom bring their A-game to this issue. It was also a wise choice to split each artist up according to chapter, giving each their own section and lending more of an anthology feel. While it’s understandable to gripe about the price of this comic, you ARE getting a greatest hits of artists who’ve contributed to this run. Given the recent announcement of Stuart Immonen’s (hopefully temporary) retirement, this issue takes on a different significance and he does some of his best work to boot here at the climax of the issue. He’s been a great boon to this run and watching him go from Nextwave, to Ultimate Spider-Man and here has been fascinating as a reader.
On an overall note though, Amazing Spider-Man is a fantastic celebration of 800 issues of this comic, as well as a penultimate issue to close out a ten year run by Dan Slott. You’re getting a memorable story here.
4 Red Goblins out of 5