Saturday, 6 October 2018

The Amazing Spider-Man #801 - Marvel Comics

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 801, September 2018
Dripping with the sickly sweet sentimentality of Dan Slott’s “final issue of The Amazing Spider-Man” after ten years”, it’s arguably hard to credit that “There For You” was the fourth best-selling comic of June 2018 by shifting a staggering 122,256 copies. For whilst the twenty-page periodical undoubtedly depicts the titular character web-slinging his way through a young, armed store robber, as well as a posse of Inner Demons, the Berkeley-born writer’s central plot predominantly focuses upon Kenneth Kincaid, “a busy office worker”, and the “worst night a’ my life.”

Of course, presenting a narrative which actually spends almost its entirety simply following the impact a super-hero’s momentary derring-do had upon a normal average Joe’s life is reasonably innovative, and actually ensures that the Eisner Award-winner’s narrative at least partially lives up to the “Marvel Worldwide” pre-publication hype that his story contains an “emotional, heartfelt” tale. However, the rescue of Ellie’s father from a pistol-totting masked gunman and his subsequent involvement in helping Web-head retrieve “the formula for the Devil’s Tears” some significant years later by tripping the Asian immigrants’ leader up is hardly one of the most moving adventures ever penned during “Dan’s run” or “in all of Mighty Marveldom itself”.

Indeed, considering that this comic was supposedly “one Marvel fans around the world won’t want to miss” and yet largely features Kenneth either burying his father, becoming a grandfather, celebrating Thanksgiving Day, attending his niece Judy’s successful Science Fair, or commiserating his wife’s Fortieth Birthday, Peter Parker’s crime-fighting alter-ego would debatably appear to be conspicuous by his very absence; “First time I ever get to see a super hero up close… And it has to be Spider-Man. Like why couldn’t it have been Thor, Captain Marvel, or Black Panther? Those guys are cool. When they save the day, they save the whole world.” 

Disappointingly, this magazine’s artwork is also debatably rather undynamically drawn and lack-lustre despite it being pencilled by “one of the best illustrators in the biz, Marcos Martin”. The Spaniard certainly would appear to have tried to emulate Spidey co-creator Steve Ditko’s quirky, ultra-athletic style when depicting the Human Mutate, something which is especially noticeable during the wall-crawler’s aforementioned fight with the teenage gunman, yet many of the “prolific” cover artist’s other panels questionably lack detail and appear more like preliminary sketches than the final product.
The regular cover art of "THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN" No. 801 by Marcos Martin & Muntsa Vicente

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