Comic Review: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ #797

Dan Slott brings back the Green Goblin, will Peter Parker go down fighting?

ASM #797

Another striking cover from Alex Ross for Marvel’s ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ #797 (image belongs: Marvel Comics, used for illustrative purposes only).

Written by:  Dan Slott / pencils by:  Stuart Immonen / inks by:  Wade von Grawbadger / colours by:  Marte Garcia

What’s it about?

“Go Down Swinging” Part One : an increasingly unhinged Norman Osborn is ready to return as the Green Goblin and make Peter Parker’s life a living hell…

In review

Sounding almost like a mission statement, the latest issue of The Amazing Spider-Man sees long-serving writer Dan Slott kick off his final storyline with the opening chapter of “Go Down Swinging” and it’s a delightfully dark and ominous beginning that holds promise for what will surely be a grand finale.

Picking up on the events of the previous “Threat Level: Red” arc (and the recent, disappointing Venom Inc crossover which saw Flash Thompson return as the Anti-Venom), Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen present us with a deranged, psychotic and down-right scary Norman Orsbon, now bonded with the Carnage symbiote, as he prepares to make a return as the Green Goblin and eliminate Spidey once and for all.  This is perhaps the most chilling interpretation of the iconic villain that’s ever graced the pages of a Spider-Man book and it makes The Amazing Spider-Man #797 all the more an unnerving read – there are some pretty shocking moments within.

Slott makes this issue of The Amazing Spider-Man even more of a page-turner with a continuous tease as Osborn unloads his madness and obsession with taking down the Webbed Wonder on an unknown victim, bound, gagged and shrouded in the shadows of a dilapidated, cobweb littered apartment.  Whilst much of the issue’s page count is devoted to Osborn’s mania, there’s still some space reserved for Peter Parker as Slott takes time to weave key elements of Spider-Man history into the narrative, the highlight of which is the romantic interlude between Peter and Mary Jane whose union was controversially erased by J. Michael Straczynski’s “One More Day” storyline back in 2007 (which also restored Peter’s secret identity).  It’s a wonderfully heartfelt moment that’s bittersweet and a touch nostalgic for older Spider-Man fans, rendered beautifully by Stuart Immonen.

Speaking of Stuart Immonen his return this issue is a welcome one, producing layouts that are stronger and more detailed than ever, the definition of the moody and exciting visuals enhanced by the skilled embellishments of inker Wade von Grawbadger and colourist Marte Garcia.  Immonen’s departure from the title to make way for Marvel’s latest impending relaunch is going to be a significant loss for the title.

Gently cranking the tension up throughout, Dan Slott closes out The Amazing Spider-Man #797 with some tantalising final revelations, setting up rather high stakes as Spider-Man’s most formidable foe is ready to strike.

The bottom line:  Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen deliver a tense and shocking opening for their latest Spider-Man arc as “Go Down Swinging” gets underway.

The Amazing Spider-Man #797 is published by Marvel Comics and is available in print and digital formats now.

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7 thoughts on “Comic Review: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ #797

  1. Really enjoyed this issue of Amazing Spider-Man! It was such a creepy, unsettling story. Norman Osborn is a chilling villain and even more so in this issue. Looks like Slott has indeed saved one of his best stories till last.

  2. Amazing review! (Pun intended) it is hard to believe Slott is actually leaving the title. He has had a solid run, some stories were great, others not so much. But it looks like he intends on going out on top and his last story seems like a winning arc for the title as it approaches issue 800.

  3. This sounds dark and awesome. Nowadays I always see spidy titles that had a bubbly, colourful and happy-ish artwork to it that hearing about issues like this one just makes me happy to even know they exist. And that cover art is amazing. Glad to hear this was a great one, Chris.

    P.S. Have you heard Tony S. Daniel was teaming up with Tom King for the coming story arc??? It sounds real good!

    • Yeah it was a pretty good ish of ASM Lashaan! I always like the classic happy-go-lucky Spidey but in all honesty some of his very best stories have been the darker ones (“Kraven’s Last Hunt” being a shining example). Very happy that they’re really making Norman Osborn a formidable threat.

      Oh, and yes, I’ve heard about Tony S. Daniel teaming up with Tom King for the next Batman arc – very exciting, Daniel’s art is always great!

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