Saturday, 29 September 2018

The Amazing Spider-Man #800 [Part One] - Marvel Comics

Whereas this eighty-page periodical was almost certainly one of the longest single publications to depict Spider-Man battling the Green Goblin’s alter-ego, it is highly debatable that Dan Slott’s penmanship for “Go Down Singing” will ever be regarded as “the biggest Peter Parker/Norman Osborn story of all time”. For although the “no holds barred” narrative admittedly delivers more than its fair share of plot-twists, shocks and bloody bare-knuckle fisticuffs, it also arguably depicts the former Oscorp owner at his most incompetent, as the human mutate paired with the Carnage Symbiote repeatedly fails to kill the likes of Aunt May and Mary Jane Watson, despite supposedly being both super-humanly strong and skilled in martial arts…

Indeed, if anything, the opening half of Issue Eight Hundred of “The Amazing Spider-Man” appears to demonstrate just how utterly inept the former billionaire industrialist is at realising his revenge, with the Red Goblin somehow managing to be thwarted at each and every turn. Admittedly, the Berkeley-born writer does somewhat contrivingly conjure up all manner of anti-heroic cameos, such as Eddie Brock’s Venom and Otto Octavius, with which to stop the murderous villain’s machinations. But it’s hard to imagine that someone as supposedly determined as Harry’s father wouldn’t have lingered just a few more seconds longer to permanently dispatch Web-head’s one-time fiery-headed wife, or his elderly white-haired doting relation, especially when the likes of Doctor Octopus and “one of Marla’s old spider-slayers” have been neutralised.

Of course, all this lazily manufactured bungling does admittedly result in some seriously dynamic smack downs which clearly helped carry this comic’s 411,480 readers ever onwards through the Eisner-Award winner’s drawn-out, treacle-like plot. In fact, Venom’s return and subsequent battle against an increasingly enraged Osborn is probably one this book’s highlights as the symbiote-powered pair tear ragged chunks out of one another, and in many ways it’s a shame that the titular character arrives at Stark Tower as early as he does; “Y’know, Eddie, you are starting to get on my last nerve! I’m on a freakin’ schedule! You’re killing me here!”

Sadly, far less successful however has to be this celebratory edition’s decision to persistently shift artists with each chapter. Despite the clarity of his colourful breakdowns, Nick Bradshaw’s pedestrian pencilling for “Crawling Through The Wreckage” rather pales in comparison to that of Humbertos Ramos, whose dynamically-packed panels for “Too Many Targets” follow straight on from those of the “Atlantic Canadian” illustrator. Whilst for all his clean-lined competency, Giuseppe Camuncoli’s portrayal of the Red Goblin almost dispatching his entire immediate family within the Alchemax Head Office disappointingly seems to lack the energy needed to show little Normie’s emotional change of heart at the thought that his grandfather has cold-bloodedly just murdered his mother.
Writer: Dan Slott, and Artists: Nick Bradshaw, Humbertos Ramos and Giuseppe Camuncoli

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