REVIEW: Amazing Spider-Man #794 – “One Year Later”

Writers: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Penciller: Stuart Immonen
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 01/24/18
Rating: T

Amazing Spider-Man

Plot: Last year Spider-Man stopped Zodiac by locking it’s leader Scorpio (Vernon Jacobs) in the Zodiac Vault. Unfortunately Scorpio is free and Spidey lacks the resources he previously had. Meanwhile, an old foe starts to acquire a new form of power.

Story: When Amazing Spider-Man relaunched (post-Secret Wars), Zodiac played a big role as a recurring antagonist. This issue felt very rushed since it featured the return of Zodiac’s leader, Scorpio. However this is probably a good thing because Dan Slott’s run is ending soon. Since Slott wrote the initial Zodiac arc it would make sense that he’d take care of any plot threads before his final Spider-Man issue. Also Slott remembering this factor and wanting to take care of it himself is a great trait for a writer.

Despite the story’s weak plot, Dan Slott and Christos Gage keep the story entertaining. When Spider-Man realizes he can’t move the Zodiac Key on his own, he decides to hurl Scorpio out of Beg Ben so they key would move on it’s own. The sequence of Spidey realizing this idea is hilarious. Also later when Mockingbird asks if Spidey had back-up plan, his response is what you’d expect.

Slott uses this issue to lay the ground work for his Amazing Spider-Man finale. While Spider-Man deals with the return of Scorpio, some mercenaries break into a facility and steal the Carnage symbiote. The issue ends with the mercenaries delivering the symbiote to their client, Norman Osborn. This basically  confirms that the upcoming Red Goblin is Norman with the Carnage symbiote. This scene was a great way to hype up Slott’s final Spider-Man story. Plus adding scenes that build up the bigger stories is one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed Dan Slott’s Spider-Man run.

Art: The issue’s artwork is stunning. Stuart Immonen draws some awesome scenes. He makes Spidey look strong and dynamic in each shot. Also Marte Gracia’s color choices go well with Immonen’s drawings. They create a perfect blend that make the reader feel the action in each scene. Plus Gracia’s colors illustrate a perfect nighttime setting for London. While the entire issue has some great art, that final shot of Norman holding the Carnage symbiote is what really sold me. Spider-Man’s arch enemy holding one of the most dangerous lifeforms just makes you feel the terror and worry about how Spider-Man is going to stop Osborn next time they meet.

Verdict: While this issue does a good job setting up Slott’s finale, the current plot feels a little weak. Since it’s basically a closer for a pervious story arc, this issue is not new reader friendly. Also despite my praise for the issue’s set up for the future, its inclusion makes it a filler issue. Overall, if you’ve been keeping up with Dan Slott’s run then you’ll enjoy it, otherwise you can skip this issue.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars