REVIEW: Amazing Spider-Man #800 – “Mr. Slott’s Opus”

Amazing Spider-Man #800
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencillers: Nick Bradshaw, Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stuart Immonen, and Marcos Martin
Coloritsts: Edgar Delgado, Java Tartaglia, Marte Gracia, and Muntsa Vicente
Letter: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Price: $9.99
Release Date: 05/30/18
Rating: T

Amazing Spider-Man

Plot: With his allies incapacitated, Spider-Man faces the Red Goblin (Norman Osborn) alone. To make things worse, Norman infected his grandson with the Carnage symbiote which means double trouble for Spidey. Thankfully all is not lost, as one person is still helping the wall crawler. That man is J. Jonah Jameson (wait, really?).

Story: Even though the story is about Spider-Man, this issue had two other stars: J. Jonah Jameson and Flash Thompson. Peter Parker’s old high school chum proved his worth in this issue. With the Anti-Venom symbiote Flash Thompson became a hero again. However Flash ends up using most of the suit to heal Spider-Man as well as his loved ones. Unfortunately, Flash pays the ultimate price to help Spider-Man save the day. However Flash’s final moments are some of the best scenes in this issue.

Before getting attacked by Osborn, Flash reveals that he figured out Spider-Man is Peter Parker. Ever since Flash became Venom, I’ve always said Peter should tell him he’s Spider-Man. This was an even better reveal because it shows how Flash has grown as a character beyond the dumb jock when readers first saw him. Plus there’s a sweet moment where Flash asks for forgiveness but Peter says he forgave him a long time ago. While it’s sad Flash died, it’s nice that he and Peter got some closure in the final moments of their friendship.

The other ally in this issue was J. Jonah Jameson. After Jonah accidentally reveal Peter’s secret to Norman, Peter pretty much blacklisted him. However this issue gave Jonah an excellent redemption arc. Using his outside of the box thinking, Jonah’s able to give Spider-Man some advantages in his fight with the Red Goblin. Also the death of Flash is what motivates Peter to finally forgiving Jonah. This also lead to one of my favorite scenes in this issue. After hearing a siren, Jonah yells at Peter to go investigate then picks up Peter’s clothes after he leaves. Seeing Jonah not only help but encourage Spider-Man offers great satisfaction to longtime readers. Plus this story was one of the many new possibilities that are available now that Jonah knows Peter Parker is Spider-Man.

Dan Slott always understands the core values of the characters he’s writing and this issue is no exception. Norman Osborn’s weakness has always been his ego so Slott is able to use that as his final downfall. During the story, Spider-Man reminds Norman that people will think Carnage killed him unless Osborn abandons his symbiote. This gives Spider-Man an advantage to take out his arch foe. This is followed by another great scene where Peter takes a bullet for Norman when Jonah tries to kill a defeated Norman. Also Peter’s defense of his actions is another example of Slott’s skill with dialogue. Plus it gives a new layer to “with great power comes great responsibility”.

Overall this issue felt very conclusive. When one gets to the final page, the reader is left with a feeling of satisfaction. Dan Slott brought big changes to Spider-Man’s life and this issue felt like there was no where left to go. Even though there’s one issue left, this felt like the real ending to Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man run.

Art: This issue’s art team really knocked it out of the park. The book’s main story has multiple chapters because of the issue’s length. Each chapter features a different artist that worked with Dan Slott during his time on Amazing Spider-Man. Usually having multiple artists for one story can be a problem, but it wasn’t for this issue. While each artist is unique, the differences were negligible and they did not interrupt the flow of the main story. However, there was big change in artwork when the issue cuts to Flash Thompson’s funeral. Fortunately this works as well because it transitions the reader from a heavy action scene to a somber funeral setting.

There were a few scenes that stood out for me art wise. I really enjoyed Humberto Ramos’s redesign of Spider-Man’s black (symbiote) costume. While the changes are small (redesigned logo and underarm webbing), it helps make Spider-Man look less like a skinny version of Venom. Also Stuart Immonen drew the best action scenes for this issue. The best example of his work is when Peter and Norman discard their symbioses to face each other as Spider-Man and the Green Goblin respectively.

Verdict: Amazing Spider-Man #800 is how you end a long comic book run. Dan Slott delivers a story filled with action that still reminds readers why Spider-Man is a great character. Plus the artwork team delivered some visually stunning scenes that brought the story to life. Overall this issue reminds readers how Dan Slott always delivered on his bigger Spider-Man stories.

Rating: 5 out of 5