Having written Spider-Man for over 10 years, Dan Slott has changed the character in a variety of ways (he even killed him) and delivered on the serial storytelling we’ve come to expect with new ideas as he’s taken many risks. His run ended this past June and with some time to ruminate on how he left off, here are three big takeaways.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The epic conclusion to Dan Slott’s amazing, record-breaking run! Norman Osborn has been scouring the globe for a cure to the genetic tampering that prevents him from becoming the Green Goblin — and at long last, he’s about to find it! His new weapon? The Carnage symbiote! And Green Goblin plus Carnage equals…the Red Goblin! When Osborn strikes, who lives? Who dies? And what scars will Spider-Man bear from here on out? Experience one of the most exciting stories in Spidey lore, culminating in a cataclysmic finale that sees the wall-crawler and some of his staunchest — and most surprising — allies in a no-holds-barred face-off with his most terrifying foe…ever! Plus, Dan Slott signs off with an emotional, heartfelt final Spidey tale that no fan will want to miss!
Why does this matter?
Slott ends his tenure on Spider-Man by working with some of the best artists in the business from Stuart Immonen, to Marcos Martin, Humberto Ramos, Nick Bradshaw, and Giuseppe Camuncoli. Marvel did not skimp in the art department. This final volume also wraps things up as it prepares for Nick Spencer to take over while also delivering on lingering plot threads.
We get the Green Goblin, but he’s amped up and raising the stakes
If you ever wondered if the Green Goblin was a crazy old man who has been overdone you might want to give this trade paperback a spin. It might seem too easy to slap a Symbiote on the craziest villain Spider-Man has, but it actually makes some sense given his chaotic nature. Slott integrates some new abilities too, like how he can simply give his grandson a Symbiote of his own, or how his goblin Symbiote bombs can talk. We do get to see Norman in his usual Green Goblin costume, which is a fitting final showdown at the end of the volume, but for the most part, he’s all hardcore metal throughout this collection. Who knows if we’ll see the Red Goblin ever again, but he sure had an insane ride.
New costume, new relationships
This volume opens with Peter and MJ potentially getting back together. It’s the beginning of a new direction for the two which Nick Spencer has beautifully rendered in the latest Amazing Spider-Man series. There is also J.J. Jameson who befriended Spider-Man recently. Slott uses him beautifully in the final confrontation.
Costume-wise Spidey-heads are privy to a rather cool looking Symbiote suit. Spider-Man sports the Symbiote once again and it has some interesting eyes and some cool spider-leg details. Humberto Ramos does a good job giving the suit some texture as if it were real cloth even though we know it’s an alien. The suit is so good in fact that Hasbro is making a Marvel Legends figure out of it next year.
Not one, but two major characters who were written under Slott’s tenure bite the big one in this volume. The fact that they’re still dead a half a year later tells me they’ll probably stay dead for a little while. These characters are Flash Thompson and Goblin King, who also happens to be superstar reporter Ben Urich’s nephew. Both deaths come at the hands of the Red Goblin and make the eventual Times Square battle all the more meaningful.
Is it good?
Dan Slott goes out on a heavy and climactic story arc followed up with a touching, sentimental one-shot. Spider-Man faces insurmountable odds and Slott delivers on big action and even bigger twists and turns. The art team is stellar and does a fantastic job landing all the heavy dramatic beats. And throughout it all, there are new costumes, real deaths, and a new spin on a villain that is unforgettable.