Amazing Spider-Man #800
Writer: Dan Slott
Artists: Nick Bradshaw, Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, Giusppe Camuncoli, Stuart Immonen, Marcos Martin, Cam Smith, Wade von Grawbadger
Colorists: Edgar Delgado, Java Tartaglia, Marte Gracia, Munsta Vicente
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
Finally, after 10 years, we have reached the end of Dan Slott’s run on Amazing Spider-Man. Actually, I take that back Spider-Man #800 is the end of Dan Slott’s story arcs on Spider-Man. Issue #801 will be the final issue that he writes, but it seems as if that might be treated more as an epilogue for Slott’s run overall.
As I said, Spider-Man #800 wraps up the Go Down Swinging arc with a super-giant size 80-page anniversary issue. I am going to do my best to avoid most spoilers, but some might slip through so be warned. As the issue picks up Spider-Man is making sure that his friends are all okay from the fight with the Red Goblin in the last issue. Once it is confirmed that the situation is under control Spider-Man takes off to find the Red Goblin and put a stop to him once and for all. While Spidey is racing against time, J.J. Jameson, who is feeling guilty for giving in and telling the Goblin Spider-Man’s secret identity, is trying to find people who can help defeat the Red Goblin. That is about all I can say without giving away some spoilers.
From the very first panel of the first page, Amazing Spider-Man #800 hits the gas, and it feels as if the action does not stop until we get to the final page. With a lesser writer, it may have been too much. But Slott has been writing these characters for the last ten years. At this point he might know them better than he knows some of his friends. Because of that Slott is able to mix in dialogue that keeps the story grounded. While Slott includes the usual quips that can be expected from Peter Parker, the highlight is some of the one liners that the Red Goblin makes.
Amazing Spider-Man #800 has a lot going on in it and has some very big moments that should have some repercussions moving forward. The death of one particular hero feels as if it is something that will stick with Spider-Man based on his and other’s reactions. But it is the moments with Mary Jane and Aunt May that seem as if they will have the biggest effect on Peter. It feels as if Aunt May finally looks at Peter as an adult, while the back and forth between Mary Jane and Peter gives hope that they may end up back together.
Whether it was Slott himself or an editor, the decision to break the story up in chapters helps make the book digestable. Again, it is 80 pages, so it is not going to be easy to get through in one reading. Having the chapters allows for the reader to break down the book into parts and have natural break points. It also allows for an easy transition from one part of the story to another.
Anytime you have so many artists on a book you run the risk of the art clashing. Thankfully, for the most part, the art works well together even with the distinctive styles. Ramos does most of the heavy lifting here, which is a positive as in recent history he draws one of the better Spider-mans. His style makes it obvious that Peter is an adult and not stuck permanently as a small gangly high-school student. Consistently the art has sharp and defined lines and the contrast between figures and the backgrounds allows them to stand out within the panels. There are a couple of panels later in the main story where the figures and faces feel a little off, but those are few and not enough to take away from the story over all. The colorists all use just the right amount of shading and balance so at no point do the details of the art get lost.
Verdict: Buy it.
If you have been a fan of Slott’s run on Spider-Man, then Amazing Spider-Man #800 is a must buy! Slott is able to take bits and pieces of his overall run and weave them beautifully into story. It is the goodbye that will make fans happy. The art, while visually appealing, does not feel as if it outshines the story. Moments of action and reflection all come together to leave you feeling like you have just watched a high-action thriller where the results matter. While some may balk at the ten-dollar price tag, at 80 pages, and a story with a lasting impact, it feels like money well spent.