Say what you like about Dan Slott’s run on Spider-Man, but you have to admire the sheer insanity of his long tenure behind the friendly neighbourhood wallcrawler. Controversial or crazy, Slott’s run has never ever been boring. He introduced the world to the Superior Spider-Man, ran wild in Spider-Island and set the stage for Peter Parker to rise to the top of the technological elite with a company that saw the webhead go global in his fight against crime.
Times changed, Spider-Man lost everything and the world around him slowly evolved as his supporting cast grew and flourished. New heroes would rise, villains would return and more than one death would shake the Peter’s world to its very foundations. Beneath a decade’s worth of story, Slott has had one key focus: To prove that Spider-Man is one of the greatest heroes of our time.
Power, responsibility and a personal mission to always do the right thing, no matter the cost. Spoilers below for Amazing Spider-Man #800 by Dan Slott, Nick Bradshaw, Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stuart Immonen, Marcos Martin, Victor Olazaba, Cam Smith, Wade von Grawbadger, Edgar Delgado, Java Tartaglia, Marte Gracia and Muntsa Vicente.
If you haven’t been keeping up, then here’s the gist of Go Down Swinging. In the penultimate issue of Dan Slott’s run on Amazing Spider-Man, the webhead may have just encountered his deadliest foe yet: A reborn Norman Osborne, who has managed to merge with the Carnage symbiote. Rechristened as the Red Goblin, Osborne has a plan to make Spider-Man suffer like never before as he starts eliminating his support base. Everyone from Flash “Agent Anti-Venom” Thompson to Miles Morales, Clash, the Human Torch and Silk fall beneath the might of the Red Goblin.
Even worse? Osborne knows who Spider-Man really is. It’s a battle that gets decidedly personal as everyone in Spider-Man’s life is affected: The Spider-squad find themselves implanted with Red Goblin shards that can kill them with the snap of a finger, Anut May fends off a Carnage-infected Normie Osborne while his father Harry tries to fight back and J Jonah Jameson attempts to make amends for his accidental betrayal by leaping into the fray.
Clearly, someone wasn’t going to walk away once the dust had settled. That someone, was Flash Thompson. Flash has evolved tremendously in the last decade, as his role of school bully to Parker and number one fanboy to Spider-Man saw him enlist in the army, lose both his legs and bond with the Venom symbiote for a lengthy tour of duty.
Thompson’s final sacrifice saw a Venom symbiote-powered Spider-Man fight one last battle in Times Square against the Red Goblin, finally beating his most personal foe and still refusing to kill him when given a chance. Maybe it’s a foolish decision and maybe it’ll come back to bite Spider-Man in the ass, but it’s a climatic moment that ends with Spidey’s mantra resonating more clearly than ever before: With great power, there must come great responsibility.
With 800 issues in the bag, Spider-Man’s greatest strength isn’t his relevance: It’s his ability to relate to us and push people to be the heroes that we’re all capable of being. Amazing Spider-Man #800 is a celebration of the blue-collar web-spinner, an anniversary issue that is equal parts sensational and spectacular in its blockbuster approach to Spidey’s greatest battle yet.
Or to sum it up in one single word, it’s an issue that is simply…amazing.
Last Updated: May 31, 2018