Monday, April 17, 2017

The Amazing Spider-Man #26 Review - Marvel Monday

The Amazing Spider-Man #26

Writer: Dan Slott
Art Team: Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, & Marte Gracia
Marvel Comics
Release Date: April 12, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

Entering Goblin Country 

Well hopefully your wallet has recovered from the thrashing it took at the hands of the Amazing Spider-Man a few weeks ago.  Basically that $10 whopper set the tone going forward, while also including a lot of garbage, I’m looking directly at you Marvel Tsum-Tsum’s story, for what we will see in the pages of this book leading up into it’s inevitable Secret Empire tie-in issues (yuck, I know).  However you’re not here to worry about being dragged back into tie-in status right now you’re here to find out if issue #26 captures a little of that classic Goblin vs Spider-Man action we all crave. So, well, does it? Let’s swing in and find out …
 Things begin right where we ended last issue, as we witness the aftermath that’s resulted from the shots fired by Silver Sable, that Spider-Man and Mockingbird were able to misdirect at the last second to conclude issue #25.  Through all the rooftop chaos Harry recognizes his father Norman, in his new disguised face, but not so disguised voice. With his cover blown again ol’ Normy springs act two of his plan into action early as manned ‘Goblin Gliders’ come racing onto the scene which is no good for anybody still around.

Across the street on the opposite rooftop Spidey looks for answers from Silver Sable, primarily how she’s alive, but the lady in Silver has little time for Spidey and quickly gives chase to her target Norman.  Spider-Man and Mockingbird follow as well, with the later of the two heroes calling for S.H.I.E.L.D. backup, before being outright refused, then reprimanded due to jurisdictional issues since this whole scene is occurring on Chinese soil.  With Mockingbird called off the case, Spider-Man and Silver Sable continue on chasing Norman to a secret location he’s  established, as the villain almost unintentionally ‘Admiral Ackbarr’s’ our heroes turning the tables to his advantage quickly.

It appears the real reason for Osborne’s presence in China is to conduct a demonstration centered around some of his latest technology for some very special clients. This demonstration, which includes new Goblin Gliders, forces Spidey and Silver Sable into action as the two are able to handle wave one easily enough.  However the duo quickly learns the real reason for Norman’s demonstration which is to show off his new giant Kingslayer Walking Tank, which comes in both piloted and robotic models. 

The two heroes battle to take down the giant robot, as we the reader, get filled in on some of the inner workings of Parker Industries, and story subplots, including how some stakeholders aren’t too happy with the direction the company has been headed lately.  These scenes are also intercut with a few brief highlights involving Doc Ock in his new body, with obviously nefarious intentions for our hero down the line. 

The issue begins its conclusion as the Sable and Spidey take down the giant robot and Spider-Man quickly moves the conversation into territory we’re all interested in, exactly how Silver Sable is alive right now. Despite our beloved Web Head’s questions having all sorts of validity Silver Sable has no time for answers and instead chooses to fill everyone in on exactly why she’s out for blood, and specifically Norman Osborn’s.  It appears Norman taken her country of Symkaria hostage and enslaved its people, all to his benefit, which is all Spidey needs to hear before offering to help bankroll an operation to take Osborn down and out of any leadership position within Symkaria’s borders.  This all feels very similar to the JLoA storyline occuring written by Steve Orlando, that just concluded, and was far from good, so my hope is things play out better in these pages than its DC counterpart.   

Our cliffhanger kicker here in this issue reveals that S.H.I.E.L.D. feels this move by Spider-Man, funded by Parker Industries, to attack Symkaria, after the China incident, has made the company too rouge for their liking. It looks like there’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. team is assembling, led by Mockingbird, moving to prevent this possible international incident and put a stop to Parker Industries plan.  So whose side are you really on is the question asked here, as our issue comes to a conclusion?! Big Corporation vs Big Government Agency, you decide, and yes I’m aware this sounds like a no win situation in ‘real-life speak’.

Overall I enjoyed the action present throughout the issue but something about this as a ‘Goblin story’ feels a little weird and just isn’t peeking my interest right now.  It could very well be the lack of a true Goblin presence, at this point, and the fact Norman has changed appearances twice already, may be making me feel that way, like it’s not even him at all,  despite the fact it is. Another strange story point are characters around Sable who keep bringing up the fact she was ‘dead. However the character of Sable herself finds its almost perplexing she’s being asked. If it’s not such a big story beat address it and move on, but I’m tired of this clone stuff just hanging out there which is still fresh in my mind, and continually dangling over our heads, based on the ending provided in Clone Conspiracy, wrap it up Slott.  

The art team of Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, and Marte Gracia do a very solid job of depicting the action throughout the book. However, for the last several months, starting with the beginning of the Clone Conspiracy, the colors of this book have become entirely too dark for my liking. Almost like a Spider-Man book is being colored in like he’s a Batman type character. He’s just always in the shadows lately,  or fighting at night, or just in dark locations. We need to bring the light back into Spider-Man a little bit; make him jump off the page again at me and bring the jokes back please this book has gotten to dark for a Spider-Man title.   

Bits and Pieces:

My interest has been luke-warm so far with at the start of this latest Goblin arc, in the pages of the Amazing Spider-Man by Dan Slott, mostly because its been heavy on action, fuzzy on character motivations for its stars, and very light on providing important information needed. Although the art is the highlight of the issue, I’m finding the pages colored way too dark lately for my liking, since Clone Conspiracy, and hope the second half of this story returns this book to a lighter color palate and tone overall.


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