Goblins run amuck in this scary new story arc.

Time to get this Red Goblin show on the road! Well, so I thought, but Dan Slott has been very slowly revealing Norman Osborn’s obsession with a certain red symbiote. This issue starts the “Go Down Swinging” storyling, bringing the focus to Norman but knowing Parker’s luck something else will break before Norman can even get his hands around his neck.

So what’s it about?

Read our preview.

Why does this matter?

This is all leading towards Dan Slott’s exit from Spider-Man. A sad day if you ask me (Superior Spider-Man was some of the most fun I’ve had with comics in ages) and what better way to go out than with the Green Goblin! Plus, if you read this you’ll get new tidbits on Mary Jane and Anti-Venom!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?


I’d be scared.

Stuart Immonen draws a mean empty room. No, seriously stay with me here on this one. The book opens from the point of view of a kidnapped person within Norman’s grasp. We don’t find out who he is, but it doesn’t matter. From his perspective, the dusty old hideout of Norman’s is a frightening sight. The subtle lighting (colors by Marte Gracia) create a haunted house feel. The perfect atmosphere for a madman like Norman Osborn. As the issue progresses–cutting to Peter and Flash Thompson for short bits–we cut back to the maniacal Norman. The art is striking when it needs to be, like the dagger sound in a horror flick, and all of this ramps up the danger old Pete is running into shortly.

The story ever so slightly progresses some dangling subplots preparing Flash for some more hero work and putting a period (or is it a comma) on the Mary Jane relationship alluded to in the last issue. Slott has always been good at pushing the needle forward on supporting characters and story threads as he does here.

In a surprising two page aside of sorts Slott and Immonen explore what happens when Spidey webs up a purse snatcher more than once. It’s a clever story within the story since it brings up the very real possibility of criminals getting caught by Spider-Man and having it not be such a big deal. It’s elements like this that remind us Spider-Man lives a strange life.


Check out those sick city lights!

It can’t be perfect can it?

The build-up of Norman’s madness is all well and good (and entertaining) but it does leave less of Spider-Man in this story. Norman takes up 12 or so pages with supporting characters taking a page or two here and there. I like the approach, but I wonder if they could have cut a bit back on Norman’s story doing a bit less of the slow reveal approach.

Is It Good?

This comic will make you very afraid of Norman Osborn. The man is a nutter, we know that, but this issue reveals the Symbiote might be making him even more homicidal.

Amazing Spider-Man #797
Is it good?
Slott is at the top of his game and Immonen draws you in so good!
The art and color draws you in and will make you very afraid
Balances the subplots well
A great unrelated side adventure for Spidey that plays to his being around for so long
Dare I say there's too much Norman Osborn? Spidey isn't in the issue all that much
9.5
Great
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