The Amazing Spider-Man #800 [Part Two]

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SpiderMan800Shifting a staggering 411,480 copies in May 2018, a particularly impressive feat considering that the book’s cover price was a whopping $9.99, there can surely be little argument that Dan Slott’s narrative for Issue Eight Hundred of “The Amazing Spider-Man” helped the eighty-page periodical sell extraordinarily well. Indeed, according to “Diamond Comic Distributors”, this publication, alongside reorders of “DC Comics” very special oversized edition of “Action Comics”, represented an unbelievable “$4 million in comics at full retail shipped to the North American market” during a single month.

But despite such stunning sales figures, it is debatably difficult to agree with “Marvel Comics” claim that this final instalment to “Go Down Swinging” contains a story whose “scope [is] unmatched in comics”, especially when the over-stretched adventure’s second half seemingly just predominantly pits the titular character up against his old adversary one-on-one. Of course, Norman Osborn’s callous consciousness is admittedly merged with the super-powered Carnage symbiote, as Peter Parker’s alter ego is with Venom, and Flash Thompson momentarily appears in the guise of Agent Anti-Venom simply to heroically die in order to thwart perhaps one of the most unconvincing plot-points the Eisner Award-winner’s penned since taking over the writing reins of the New York City-based publisher’s “company mascot”. Yet when the Red Goblin, despite all his previous prevarication finally has the wall-crawler’s life in his hands, he stupidly relents so as to strip himself of Cletus Kasaday’s influence and face his nemesis as “the real me” in one final fist-fight; “It’s taken everything I’ve had to last this long. I am not blowing this chance. Here’s whatever I’ve got left…”

Just as disappointing is the American author’s bizarre decision to have John Jonah Jameson attempt to kill a clearly defeated Osborn simply because he feels guilty at previously revealing Web-head’s secret identity to the super-villain. The cigar-chomping journalist has always proved somewhat nefarious in his Spider-Man smear campaigns. However, it’s hard to ever imagine the metropolis’ former Mayor gunning down a helpless man in cold blood, even when his target has attempted to eradicate this series’ entire supporting cast. In fact, there is disputably little about this comic’s concluding chapters which are satisfactorily scripted, as Slott first depicts Parker almost re-enacting blow-by-blow the closing sequence from Joel Schumacher’s 1995 American superhero film “Batman Returns” at the Ravencroft Solitary Confinement Wing, and then has him laughing as the Bugle reporter changes into his crime-fighting costume whilst still at Thompson’s funeral..?

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