Thursday, 15 February 2018

The Amazing Spider-Man [2015] #28 - Marvel Comics

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 28, August 2017
Boldly advertised as a climatic confrontation between Peter Parker’s alter-ego and his arch-nemesis Norman Osborn in a “No gadgets. No powers. No holds barred!” fist-fight, Issue Twenty Eight of “Amazing Spider-Man” must have proved something of a bitter disappointment to the majority of its 50,925 readers in June 2017. For starters, at the comic’s conclusion the former “amoral industrialist Head of Oscorp” is physically far from defeated by “the crime-fighting super hero” and simply runs off into the Symkarian snow upon seeing that S.H.I.E.L.D. has arrived to thwart his warmongering, and secondly, despite being outclassed by a woman who has “been trained to be the best swordsman in Europe”, a bloodied Silver Sable supposedly defeats the Countess Karkov by simply causing a slight cut to her face, and subsequently breaking her will to fight..? 

Such major ‘let-downs’ to the culmination of “The Osborn Identity” really ‘smack’ of Dan Slott running out of ideas as to how to satisfactorily conclude his four-parter, and arguably suggest that the Berkeley-born writer disconcertingly tired of “chronicling Spidey’s globe-trotting battle against the former Green Goblin…” Indeed, rather than provide an “epic showdown between the two” as the American author promised fans in a pre-publication interview with “Comic Book Resources”, this twenty-page periodical instead just lazily strips Web-head of his powers through a combination of toxic gases, and then depicts him getting battered by his facially-disfigured foe across numerous panels before Harry’s father (once again) escapes. 

Admittedly, the limits to which Norman has gone to in order to “inhibit” all of the wall-crawler’s different powers is rather impressive, as is his trap to rid Spider-man of “that pathetic spider-armour of yours” using an electro-magnetic pulse. But as Parker himself later states, all Osborn had to do when his spider-senses were down was poison him with another gas and kill him. It makes little sense that one of the cleverest men in the world went to so much trouble simply to “put us on equal footing” and start rolling around with their deadliest enemy in the snow..?

Fortunately, “One-On-One” is undoubtedly saved by the superb fast-paced story-boarding of Stuart Immonen, whose dynamic sketching of both the main event, as well as Sable’s fencing lesson with “the Symkarian Monarch”, is an absolute delight to behold. There’s a real arrogance to the posture and duelling stance of Countess Karkov which speaks a thousand words, and clearly reinforces editor Nick Lowe’s belief that the Canadian artist’s characters “feel real and they feel like there's a life behind those eyes that he draws, and that's so cool to see.”
Writer: Dan Slott, Penciler: Stuart Immnonen, and Inker: Wade von Grawbadger

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