The penultimate Red Goblin vs. Spider-Man issue is out today and the creative team is not holding back when it comes to action. Writer Dan Slott and artist Stuart Immonen are building up quite a story that puts Spidey’s back to the wall and it’s looking like good old fashioned hard work is the only way to beat this bad guy. Especially by the end of this issue with what appears to be new powers.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview to find out more.
Why does this matter?
This is Dan Slott’s last arc on Spider-Man. Before you shed a tear, know that he’s creating quite an entertaining story mixing Green Goblin with the Carnage Symbiote and it’s all being rendered by the excellent Stuart Immonen.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
That is one dynamic panel.
Immonen dazzles once again with eye-popping colors by Marte Gracia and inks by Wade Von Grawbadger. The opening double page layout is proof enough this team is delivering some of their best work ever with a fantastic side panel of Peter talking to heroes over the phone. Cast in blue from his computer we can see pipes and gizmos in silhouette behind him and there’s a splash of purple with the Oscorp lettering too. It’s a great image and a good example of how dynamic even a static image can be in this book. There’s plenty of fighting with cameos that look great too. The Red Goblin design is interesting as well due to its unique lizard-like look. The flames coming out of the mouth is a nice touch, as it gives him a supernatural feel all his own.
As the story goes, the opening focuses on Spider-Man calling the shots from afar due to an injury and how his super friends have got his back. There’s a camaraderie that Slott is exploring that helps remind the reader of some supporting characters that have come in and out of Spidey’s life more recently. The second half is heavier on the Osborn family and it’s deliciously melodramatic. We not only get a big reveal as to who a certain woman is but get to see how Norman once again screws everything up for these people. It’s no wonder his kids run off to become supervillains and the family is so messed up in general.
As far as plot developments that could linger or change things there’s only one. It’s minor, but it could potentially reset Jameson and Peter’s new friendship. That’d be a big disappointment given Zdarsky’s wonderful development of this dynamic, but it’s nice to see something of merit is changed.
Get ready for some Osborn melodrama.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a slight bit of deus ex machina in this issue that sets up Spidey for the next issue, but also makes you wonder why he didn’t think of asking for the assist in the first place. It’s convenient to the plot rather than being an organic development. This is a comic about a villain who wears a living liquid alien costume though, so you gotta just roll with the punches.
Aside from that one Jameson note, I mentioned above this issue is all about raising the stakes and establishing how high they can go. That leaves you wanting a bit, which is not helped with Spider-Man being out of the fight for most of the issue. It’s a minor quibble, but it made the overall experience slightly lessened.
Is It Good?
This is a good penultimate issue raising the stakes to new heights. This series isn’t going to go out with a whimper, I can tell you that. It’s also exciting to see a new villain with a power set we’re still attempting to understand.