Dan Slott’s Worldwide run is epic and it’s now on its eighth volume. This collection wraps up a few loose ends as it closes in on the historic 800th issue. Collection Amazing Spider-Man #794 through #796, this collection has Spidey come up against some classic villains like the Enforcers and begins Geen Goblin’s development as the Red Goblin. There’s a lot here.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
NEARLY ONE YEAR AGO Spider-Man hurled the dangerous madman called Zodiac a full year into the future. Spidey manages to catch up to him, and Zodiac’s had a whole year to prepare for their rematch!
Why does this matter?
Volume 7 was a solid adventure, so why not jump in on volume 8? It’s also all building towards something quite grand (issue #800 was huge in scope) and it closes out Slott’s longstanding run. It should be said the excellent Christos Gage assists on a few of these issues with Slott.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
If there’s a recurring thread in this collection it’s that Spider-Man’s life has very much changed. Parker Industries is over and now Peter can’t even pay for the subway. It brings Peter back to a grounded place that’s traditional to the hero. He also faces off against some interesting classic villains like Loki, the Goblin King, and Zodiac. It’s clear Slott is attempting to reset Peter in a variety of ways as well as finish off any lingering plot threads. That includes Zodiac, who gets a full ending here, and his relationship with Mockingbird. Even Horizon Labs gets an ending of sorts in this collection.
The annual collected in this trade tackles a mysterious secret of New York while using the Enforcers (cloned of course) to make Spidey’s day a whole lot harder. Slott does a good job adding a bit of humor to this annual and Cory Smith draws a heck of an issue. It’s fun to see this classic villainous team again and it’s modernized enough to work.
The art in this collection is split between Todd Nauck, Marcus To, Stuart Immonen and Mike Hathorne. It’s all generally good with highlights including Immonen’s stuff (so sad he’s retiring!) and Nauck’s story focused on Clash. Mike Hawthorne draws the Loki issue and his lines remind me of an older time for Spider-Man in a good way. Spider-Man has a thin and long look to him that is more realistic due to muscles that are more natural and at the very least smaller than some other artists draw him. A highlight of the issue has Spider-Man thinking about big life events in the past and Hawthorne does a good job reflecting them in wispy, flashback-like memories.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This collection is a bit all over the place since it’s finishing stories, establishing a new status quo for Spider-Man, as well as building towards the Red Goblin story. The narrative doesn’t have a coherent art style because of this. The Annual issue doesn’t help since it always served as its own stand alone story too.
Is it good?
A good collection that’s doing a bit more housekeeping than some might hope. Still, it has to be read to enjoy the 800th issue as well as appreciate all that Slott has done before it.