Graphic Novel Review: Amazing Spider-Man Worldwide: Go Down Swinging

PUBLISHED: 14:16 04 October 2018

Amazing Spider-Man: Go Down Swinging

Amazing Spider-Man: Go Down Swinging

Archant

(Panini Books)

Long-term Spidey writer Dan Slott bows out with a narrative that draws on his entire 10-year tenure penning Peter Parker’s perils, but does he go out with a bang or a whimper?

Having been denied access to the powers of the Green Goblin, crazed former businessman Norman Osborn spent months trawling the globe in search of a cure, only to find a solution when he bonds with the homicidal symbiote known as Carnage.

After kidnapping and interrogating J Jonah Jameson and killing his rival in madness the Goblin King (aka Phil Urich), Osborn then uncovers the final piece of the puzzle surrounding his nemesis Spider-Man, namely his secret identity.

Targeting Peter Parker’s loved ones in a bid to draw out the web-slinger, the new and improved Goblin wastes no time in unleashing chaos, culminating in the destruction of the Daily Bugle building itself…

Warned that an appearance in costume will cost him the lives of his nearest and dearest, Spidey is forced to recruit allies Silk, Miles Morales, the Human Torch, Clash and Anti-Venom (Flash Thompson) to protect the city, only for them to fall beneath the Goblin’s onslaught.

Naturally this prompts Parker to don the red and blues for the inevitable final showdown with Norman Osborn, but at the end of the day, will he be the one to go down swinging?

Although it feels like it should have been a classic in every way that counts, with references to various elements of Slott’s run, surprise moments of redemption by supporting characters, and the inevitable final sacrifice at the story’s end, this isn’t the perfect 10 that one might have hoped.

It certainly doesn’t compare to the magnificent end to the Superior Spider-Man epic a few years back, which was remarkable in every way. There is certainly plenty of action, drama and characterisation, but one cannot help feeling the writer has lost control of the plot by the book’s conclusion, with so much going on that it loses the soul which should be at the heart of this story.

Despite its extended length, the concluding segment (originally published in Amazing Spider-Man #800 fact fans) is actually so packed with “moments” that it never really delivers 100 per cent, whereas Slott’s epilogue story in the following issue (also collected here) proves to be a much more emotional and insightful finale than its predecessor.

That said, one certainly shouldn’t knock the achievements of Dan Slott over the past decade, having added contributions like the Clone Conspiracy, Ends of the Earth, Superior Spidey, Worldwide and Spider-Island to the wallcrawler’s legend, and also succeeded in telling Spider-Man stories which never failed to hit a high standard of storytelling. Farewell Dan, you will certainly be missed.

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