The penultimate issue in Dan Slott’s final story arc is here and the Red Goblin’s terror continues. Can Spider-Man and his allies stop him?
The Amazing Spider-Man #799 (Go Down Swinging Part 3)
Writers: Dan Slott
Pencils: Stuart Immomen
Ink: Wade von Grawbadger
Colors: Marte Garcia
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What You Need to Know:
Previously in “Go Down Swinging”, the Red Goblin, the fusion of Norman Osborn and the Carnage Symbiote, has learned the identity of Spider-Man being Peter Parker and made his assault against the web-slinger. As an extremely powerful foe, Spider-Man is forced to flee the battle with the Red Goblin and ends up badly injured. The Red Goblin gives an ultimatum for Peter to give up being Spider-Man or else lose his friends and family before leaving. Peter quietly swore he will bring the Red Goblin down….
What You’ll Find Out:
Badly injured, Peter requests the help of Silk, Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles Morales), The Human Torch, Clash, and Anti-Venom to keep tabs on Mary Jane, Aunt May, J. Jonah Jameson, the Osborns, and the staff of the Daily Bugle from being potential targets by the Red Goblin. After being rescued by Anti-Venom, Jonah leaves him and returns to his home, where he confesses to Peter it was he who told Norman that Peter is Spider-Man. Peter hangs up his conversation with Jonah, upset by this revelation.
Back at the Osborns, Liz revealed she put a tracker on Normie Osborn, allowing them to catch up to Emma. Emma explains that taking the children was an attempt to keep them away from Norman and that their gathering will attract his attention. She is correct as the Red Goblin appears and reveals to everyone that Emma is, in reality, Emily Lyman-Osborn – Norman’s wife who was thought to have died years ago.
Clash and the Human Torch arrive and engage the Red Goblin, using their knowledge that the symbiote is weak against fire and sonic blasts, but turned out ineffective. Norman explains that by combining the Carnage Symbiote with the Goblin Serum, virtually all of the symbiote’s weaknesses are removed, retaining only their strengths. The Red Goblin easily disposes Torch and Clash, and later Miles and Silk, forcing Peter to get to the scene despite his injuries. Flash arrives and although his Anti-Venom power does harm the Red Goblin, Norman tricks Flash to tending to the fallen heroes, leaving Anti-Venom open to being struck down.
When Peter finally arrives, his allies are down and Norman has left to go after the rest of his family. Before Peter begins his pursuit, Flash not only heals Peter’s injured leg but also gave him his Anti-Venom powers. Meanwhile, the Red Goblin has caught with the Osborns and captures Normie. Harry begs for his father to take him instead, but Norman refuses, revealing that Normie was his true target and infuses the boy with the symbiote, turning him into the 2nd Red Goblin.
What Just Happened:
This is the only issue in this story arc where Peter calls for his friends to help him take the Red Goblin down. This also meant those said friends will act mainly as fodder for the Red Goblin to look powerful before the final issue. So my concerns for this arc overall has been realized in that, despite the enormous power of the Red Goblin, his threat level is far lower than it would back in Maximum Carnage when Cletus Kasady had the symbiote. This has me very disappointed with this issue, and by extension the overall arc because it doesn’t live up to the hype that Norman Osborn with the Carnage symbiote is far more dangerous than with Cletus Kasady. This issue also kills off the vibe of the previous one where Peter plots to bring Norman down. I thought he had a something against the Goblin/Symbiote fusion, but turns out it’s just his version of the Neighborhood Watch.
I understand that the Avengers can’t get involved in this because of the Infinity War movie, and the last thing the House of Mouse wants is for them to look bad when faced with someone like Red Goblin. Politics behind the scenes may have also prevented members of the X-Men to join in. We at least get Johnny Storm involved, but that’s about it. It would be much better if the arc is extended by several more issues, allowing time for everyone involved to develop their character as they deal with the Red Goblin. But because ASM #800 is a historical key issue, it has to wrap up by that point. And when #799 ends with the introduction of the 2nd Red Goblin, unless #800 is around 50 pages or so, there’s a high chance everything happens there is gonna be rushed. The only thing that makes me look forward to #800 other than an end to this arc is the notion that Peter will be donning a Spider-Man suit we haven’t seen him wore in a very long time, and the hints of that are given in this issue.
Reading ASM #799 is like watching a WWE House Show where the star wrestler beats a jobber to make him look good before a Pay-Per-View event. This is 2018 and such a dynamic just isn’t good anymore. My confidence of #800 has reached a new low and Dan Slott and his team would have to pull a successful Hail Mary to make the end of this arc worth that historical number.
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