REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man #794 (Threat Level: Red Part 1)

Dan Slott’s run as head writer for The Amazing Spider-Man comes to an end in this 8-part series that features the return of an iconic villain, now more menacing than ever. Part of Marvel’s Legacy Series.


The AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #794 (Threat Level: Red Part 1) 

Writers: Dan Slott, Christos Gage
Pencils: Stuart Immonen
Ink: Wade von Grawbadger
Colors: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

What You Need To Know: 
Nearly a year ago, Spider-Man battled the Zodiac Organization led by Scorpio. Using the Zodiac Key, Scorpio unlocks the Zodiac Dimension that will give him knowledge of future events within the next year. Spider-Man sealed Scorpio inside the Zodiac Dimension, which would not re-open until a year later…which is now.

What You’ll Find Out: (SPOILERS)
Coleman and Krane, agents sent by Norman Osborn, infiltrated The Lock Box, a private facility that stores some of the most dangerous items in the world. Among those is the Zodiac Key, which Coleman and Krane released from its containment using the Green Goblin’s grenades. Coleman and Krane continue their infiltration, gunning down anyone that stands in their way.


Elsewhere, Spider-Man and his company prepare for Scorpio’s eventual return from the Zodiac Dimension, with knowledge of everything that happened within the past year. Attempts to contain Scorpio failed as the Zodiac Key makes his way to him. Spider-Man pursues Scorpio inside London’s Big Ben, where Scorpio reveals that his repaired the iconic structure’s chimes as a front to store the Zodiac Key, with the plan to use it to send a master code across every satellite system to unlock the world’s deepest secrets. Spider-Man prevents the upload and Scorpio is knocked out by Mockingbird before being handed to the authorities. Nevertheless, Scorpio warns Spider-Man that he knows everything that has happened in the past year and that a threat is about to arrive the web-slinger’s doorstep.

Later, Coleman and Krane arrived at Norman’s office, where they present him the item he requested for from The Lock Box – the Carnage symbiote. In the post-end comic panel, James ‘Logan’ Howlett, the original Wolverine, passes by Big Ben as it’s under repair from the fight between Spider-Man and Scorpio.


What Just Happened:
I honestly couldn’t help but chuckle at Scorpio, as his portrayal in this issue makes him look and sound like he was one of those one-time villains from the animated series “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” complete with all the 80’s banter. Of course, the whole thing with Scorpio is just an appetizer towards the main course, Norman Osborn with the Carnage symbiote in his hands, thus explains the Red Goblin visuals we see in the promotions. This has got my attention given the psychotic personalities the two characters have and what would happen if the two came together, as well as the number of powers and abilities the Red Goblin have.

Carnage is one of the most vicious villains Spider-Man has faced, and he was unable to bring down Carnage alone. It required the assistance of Venom and other Marvel heroes to do him in. Osborn with the Carnage symbiote does make a much more dangerous individual than it was with Cletus Cassidy. So here is my hope that other Marvel characters and not just within the Spider-Man family will get involved. There is that possibility with Wolverine given that he was seen in the post-end of the comic.


If there is one thing that is a bit of twitch in the nerve, it’s the fact that this issue is set one year after ASM Vol 3. #11, which came out 4 years ago. It does make the timeline of these events somewhat confusing. Then again, Marvel doesn’t take it seriously for obvious reasons to keep the characters a bit ‘ageless’, so to speak. I like Immonen’s artwork except when he did Anna Marie in that she looked a whole lot taller than she’s supposed to be thanks to her facial design.

Rating: 6/10

Final Thoughts:
This short starter to Threat Level Red gives us a brief, sidesplitting story between Spider-Man and Zodiac, before introducing us to the real plot. The coming of Red Goblin is something to wait for the next issue over. As this is Dan Slott’s final run on Spider-Man before leaving the character for good, here is hoping he brings in the spark that makes his other famous works like the Superior Spider-Man into Threat Level Red and makes it one of the most memorable Spider-Man stories of all time.

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