The Amazing Spider-Man #798

7

Good

Spidey798In many ways it’s arguably hard to credit this particular twenty-page periodical either being the second best-selling comic of April 2018 or shifting a staggering 233,235 copies during a single month. True, this continuation of “Dan Slott’s final Spider-Man story” features the first appearance of Norman Osborn as the Red Goblin, a highly-anticipated debut which had made previous editions of the title theatrically fly off the spinner racks in unprecedented numbers. But until this book’s conclusion, when Peter Parker’s defeated alter-ego disconcertingly ‘waves the white flag’ so as to save his mangled hide, there isn’t really anything within the Eisner Award-winner’s script which hasn’t been seen numerous times before.

Indeed, for many of this ongoing series’ long-term fans “The Rope-A-Dope” must have struck them as a seriously straightforward ‘pen-by-numbers’ Spidey storyline, which initially depicts the Green Goblin unsurprisingly smashing into the offices of the Daily Bugle demanding that Web-head reveal himself, then threatening the staff with one of his gimmicky explosive devices when the wall-crawler doesn’t appear as quickly as he’d like, before finally engaging his hated nemesis in a bout of over-glorified fisticuffs as the clock ticks down. Incredibly, the Berkeley-born writer even manages to somehow squeeze in a another reference to Gwen Stacy’s dramatic death by having the crazily costumed super-villain threaten to ‘sell’ Betty Brant “a bridge in Brooklyn” and enthusiastically enquire whether she’d like to see it in person.

Such pulse-pounding proceedings do admittedly conjure up plenty of tension and sensationalism, especially when they are so very well illustrated by the likes of penciller Stuart Immonen and inker Wade von Grawbadger, yet debatably still disappoint with the contrived circumstances apparently employed in order to populate this twenty-page periodical. In fact, with the exception of hired help Emma, shockingly gunning down Harry and the rest of the Allen family with tranquilizer darts so as to take charge of Lyman’s young children, there’s debatably no surprises to be had at all within the American author’s script until Norman makes a spine-chilling recovery from his seemingly fatal wounds; “What the hell’s going on? All of his blood, it’s — The Carnage Symbiote!”

Disappointingly however, even this long-awaited altercation is frustratingly a far cry from the “no quarter” fright-fest “Marvel Worldwide” promised in their pre-publication publicity. Advertised as containing Osborn’s “ultimate revenge” upon Spider-Man, the pair’s fleeting fight following the arms dealer fully donning his new persona, quickly resolves itself into an all-too brief game of ‘hide and seek’ which unbelievably sees the truly-lethal, blood-thirsty symbiote offer his deadliest opponent his life if Peter will simply “give it up” and “stop being Spider-Man”..!?!

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This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.
7

Good

Reviewed by
For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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