Review: The AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #796 (Threat Level: Red Part 3)


In this 3rd part of the 8-part series, the unholy alliance of Norman Osborn and Carnage takes fruition, while Spider-Man goes on another adventure with another Spider…..and a reunion with and old partner.


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The Amazing Spider-Man #796 (Threat Level Red: Part 3)

Writers: Dan Slott, Christos Gage
Pencils: Mike Hawthorne
Ink: Terry Pallot & Cam Smith
Colors: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

What You Need to Know:
Previously in The Amazing Spider-Man – Peter breaks up with Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird and is later summoned by Loki, the new Sorcerer Supreme, who wants to use to his powers to grant Peter anything he wishes. Peter’s hostility towards the God of Mischief leads to an accident that terrorizes New York City and the two must work together to fix it. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn has taken the Carnage symbiote as part of his plan to destroy Spider-Man. But the symbiote wants nothing more than to paint the world red…..

What You’ll Find Out:
Flash Thompson, the new Anti-Venom, has been clearing up the streets of New York City as of late, further raising his profile and popularity, whereas Spider-Man heads in the opposite direction – a point J. Jonah Jameson makes to Peter in their phone conversation. Flash later meets Liz Allan, the CEO of Alchemax, who is aware of the events that turned Flash into Anti-Venom, and asks for his help in providing security for her upcoming public presentation of harnessing energy from Tritium, a rare and dangerous isotope, as a way to power a city for years.

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Peter is also invited to Liz’s presentation and attends the event, where he briefly reunites with Mary Jane Watson. The event is halted by the arrival of the Goblin King and his gang, who plan to steal the Tritium for themselves. Spider-Man and Anti-Venom engage, but ultimately the Goblin King escapes with some of the Tritium. Later after the incident, Peter visits MJ’s apartment to pick up his belongings and MJ invites him in.

Meanwhile, after the killing two of Norman Osborn’s agents, he and the Carnage symbiote have finally come to an agreement with Norman taking full control in exchange for more death and destruction for the symbiote. The symbiote then removes the nanites that prevent Norman from becoming the Green Goblin, thus allowing his madness to return. Norman then starts the next phase of his plan by pulling out the goblin serum from his suit.

What Just Happened?
For the third issue in a row, the build up to the Red Goblin remains painstakingly slow (though there is progress), while Spider-Man goes off in yet another adventure. This time, however, Peter’s latest venture would last an issue or so more, as the Goblin King is teased to return next issue. As we are currently in Marvel’s Legacy run, which attempts to bring back to old guard, we see the reunion of Peter and Mary Jane. Whether this leads to the two being back together again is uncertain. Personally, I’ve moved on from the PeterxMJ shipping and would rather see the two go to greener pastures. It also reminds us again of how much of a pimp Peter is when his Daily Bugle colleague Rublyn Bato starts asking Peter about his relationship with Bobbi, then Liz and MJ.

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In addition to the brief PeterxMJ reunion, we get another glimpse into the powers of the new Anti-Venom, Flash Thompson. Which apparently comes in handy as this issue also has a little bit of gore thrown in (though the depiction is presented in such a manner as to maintain the comic’s target demographic). I’m actually starting to like Flash as Anti-Venom and I can see how useful he is in a lot of situations. I’m hoping that whoever writes him if he gets his own solo series (which he will) uses Flash’s new powers to good use.

Rating: 7/10

Final Thoughts:
This issue is pretty much the same as the first two, but at least it’s slightly better, with the inclusion of Anti-Venom, and a possible longer mini-arc with the Goblin King. The reunion of Peter and MJ may bring its fans excitement, especially those who enjoyed Slott’s other series ‘Renew Your Vows’. Crossing fingers that by next issue, we get to see the Red Goblin for the first time.


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