Alford Notes: Amazing Spider-Man #25

Beware the Ides of March – The Osborn Identity begins here! Great! I was feeling like we just weren’t getting enough long event-style stories. But hey! I’m always up for a good Goblin story, so let’s have at it! Plus, the GG’s return may mean the return of OzCorn!


The Devil in the Details

Story Title: #1 Bug Hunt – #2 Police and Thieves – #3 Spider-Man Tsum-Up! – #4 Untitled – #5 Mutts Ado About Nothing – #6 The A-MAY_Zing Spider-Aunt – #7 The Superior Octopus

Writer: Dan Slott – Christos Gage – Jacob Chabot – James Asmus – Hannah Bumenreich – Cale Atkinson – Dan Slott

Penciler: Stuart Immnonen – Todd Nauck – Ray-Anthony Height – Tana Ford – Hannah Bumenreich – Cale Atkinson – Guiseppe Camuncoli

Inker: Wade von Grawbadger – Todd Nauck – Walden Wong – Tana Ford – Jordan Gibson – Cale Atkinson – Cam Smith

Colorist: Marte Gracia – Rachelle Rosenburg – Jim Cambell – Andres Mossa – Jordie Bellaire – Cale Atkinson – Jason Keith

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga – VC’s Travis Lanham – VC’s Cory Petit – VC’s Travis Lanham – VC’s Clayton Cowles – Cale Atkinson – VC’s Joe Caramanga

Published: March 15, 2017


Before I even read this comic, there are two things I am going to go over. 1. $10.00 for a comic already puts this on a negative foot. I’m hoping that I will finish this comic and be all happy DESPITE over paying (I could have bought three Flash comics, so my standard is that it must be better than three Flash comics to be worth the price). 2. Shaun Martineau posted on Facebook a video about a REAL goblin glider, so while I do not have the actual video he posted there, I do have this one about the same thing. This being a return of the Green Goblin, I feel makes this video germane to the discussion.


The Story Stories – Pay Attention, This Will Be on the Test

Story #1 – Spidey starts off by being a regular jackass to Mockingbird, Devil Spider, and Tarantula as they raid tunnels in Delvadia. When called on it by Mockingbird, Spidey politely explains that he just got out of a crappy mini-series and needs a good story now! (more or less) Devil Spider and Tarantula believe they are there to hunt down the dreaded Warthog, drug running mastermind, but Spider-Man lets them know that no such man exists – it is really Norman Osborn under a new identity. Meanwhile, some invisible woman (but not THE Invisible Woman) is setting charges to kill everyone there. Well, Spidey was wrong and the Warthog is NOT Osborn, but Fury discovers that there is another guy running about the globe also calling himself Warthog – the REAL Osborn. However, Osborn knows they are on his trail now and decides to change his face by actually swapping off faces.

We have some supporting cast moments and Harry, May, Peter, and Bobbi all go down to Hong Kong for the Uncle Ben Foundation charity event (and to track down Osborn). Peter makes a play for Bobbi and gets interrupted by Aunt May. After tracking down some gun runners, Spidey finds out that not only is Osborn in Hong Kong, but he is at the charity event where Harry and May are. Oh no!

Just before Norman can do anything to Harry or May, the invisible woman tries to take a sniper shot at what appears to be Harry, but Spidey and Mockingbird stop her just in time to save Norman Osborn and find out that she is none other than Silver Sable (cue dramatic soap opera music).

Story #2 – Clash is back and still doing his justice from the wrong side of the law thing. Spidey tries to stop him without hurting him and decides to not follow up on him after seeing that he is really doing good things like saving animals from Roxxon (with the help of an animal shelter worker who dresses as if she moonlights with the red light on) and taking care of his henchmen.

Story #3 – A Spider-Man Tsum doll helps Spider-Man take down White Rabbit.

Story #4 – Spider-Man saves a woman at the expense of a few million dollars for Parker Industries.

Story #5 – A young Peter befriends a mutt that he names Sandwich, but settles for a fish instead.

Story #6 – This is a series of funny cartoons about Aunt May. The funniest one is when Peter is about to tell May his secret, but she gets distracted by a spider on the sofa and beats the living crap out of it, so he decides against it.

Story #7 – Proto Ock is back and finds a base of his on the West Coast. Apparently it is overrun with Hydra agents. He beats them all up only to have Hydra offer him a position in their organization. Hail Hydra!

What Passed:

It was really nice to see the supporting cast again and I was intrigued by the Betty Brant/Ned Leeds problem. Did he survive? I think he did.

Osborn’s face changing is equally fascinating. Sure, I know that is not possible in science, but I’ve never needed real science in my comic books. The good doctor also let us know that the return of the real face of Norman Osborn is a possibility in the future.

Slott really built the suspense with Osborn at the charity. What did he want to say to May? What was he going to say to Harry once he saw that he was there and going by the name Lyman? I want to know!

By the way, every time I see the name Lyman, I think of that character in the early Garfield cartoons. You know, Odie’s original owner.

After Clone Conspiracy Omega’s awful Immnonen art, I was really concerned with the direction the title was taking. However, the art is good in this issue and my optimism is restored. Immnonen’s take on the suit is very Venom-esque.



O.K., guys, which one wins the issue?


On a scale of 1 (POW) to 10 (BLRKBQRKPQRBLNB), both rate an 8. There can be only one, you pick the winner.


What Failed:

The recap page. The second line has a typo (has now has??? Nice job Nick) and it tells us that people are upset because they think the WebWare is malfunctioning. Malfunctioning? How about the WebWare is violating privacy with PI being able to access it and use it whenever they want? That’s what would bring this tech down. Galaxy phone malfunction. This is so much bigger. Plus that Spider-Man pose is just… weird.

I’m mixed on this. When I see Spidey trashing the table, I remember seeing Peter David at a con for the first time and PAD talking about how he got reprimanded for not having Spidey go ballistic over DeWolff’s death. He said people just don’t react that way. However, Fury’s response was, “Just so you know, that was a spy table. They cost more,” which I found funny enough to offset it.

The Asian racist panels were just not funny. I’m not an overly sensitive guy and was not offended by it, but if you are going to make a joke that plays at all on racism, it really ought to be funny. Otherwise, it is just not worth the risk.

Not really a fail, but web cartridge six was Z-metal coils. Here they are electrified coils? I guess there is nothing that doesn’t preclude that the Z-metal coils can be electrified as well, but… Later in a back up story web cartridge six is used again, but the artist obviously doesn’t know that it is coiled z-metal.

Silver Sable has someone in her sights and she seems to be implying that she was going to shoot Norman; however, I think there is some art inconsistencies here. The guy in her sights does not have an evil looking goatee like Norman now has. It looks like she has Harry in her sights, but Harry is wearing a white suit while the guy in the sights has a black suit like Norman. It’s not a huge deal and maybe that will be a plot point later, but at the moment, it was a little confusing.

Story #4’s art – this is some of the worst art I’ve seen in a comic book ever. Camuncoli, I take back everything I’ve ever said about you. Check out those web pits.

Story #5 – How in the realm of Mephisto will Aunt May be evicted FROM HER OWN HOUSE for having a dog?


Do we have possible foreshadowing here about how things are going to reset for Peter?

Or is Aunt May just channeling the reader and giving fans false hope?

Later we get some (more) wrap up on Clone Conspiracy and a SHIELD agent tells Parker that they rounded up the “missing people” and that they are “safely back. ‘Underground.’ And no one will be any the wiser.” What does that mean? My first thought was ‘underground’ meant that they found and eliminated the escaped clones, but I think that it means they captured the clones and are storing them in a Haven-like underground facility.

Bobbi love interest – this is going to rub some people the wrong way for many reasons including backstory on Bobbi Morse that most Spider-Man readers are unaware of, but mostly it will be because she is not MJ. I am a huge fan of the marriage and I want MJ back in the books even if it is just as Peter’s friend. However, I am not holding my breath on that and while he is not with her, it makes sense that he would have another love interest. They are not going to get Peter married to another character, so any love interest he has while we wait for MJ to come back will ultimately be doomed to failure, so I don’t mind exploring other options. I believe that to be true of the book’s history. Peter was on and off with MJ throughout most of their relationship and while he was off, he dated other people. Now, make your case for against Bobbi as a love interest all you want, but it seems like they are due for a try at this. To Slott’s credit, this relation is moving very slowly so no argument that it is being forced out of the blue seems appropriate here. My guess is that they will eventually go on a date, fell nothing for each other, and go back to a work relationship.

Story #2 – I like Christos Gage’s writing and he makes me care about Clash. The Civil War issues that explored Clash’s background and developed the character were well done, if not a bit too many issues for the story. This is a nice length for this type of story. Clash presents an interesting twist for the web head – he’s my friend and he is, while technically breaking the law, doing good things. I have a feeling that somewhere down the road, Clash will cross a line and make Spidey regret this hesitation. We sure could have used Clash in the last story arc. All the clones healed or destroyed via sonics? He could have wrapped that whole story line up in three issues. Nauck’s art is clean and well done. I like that he continues the use of people’s words in Clash’s sound waves.

Story #3 – Why did Spidey web up the Tsum doll at the end? He seemed so annoyed, yet I didn’t see anything to be annoyed with.

Story #4 – Just some more foreshadowing that Parker Industries is going to fail.

Story #5 – Nothing major in the life of Spider-Man, but not a bad representation of Peter and May’s relationship.

Story #6 – These were funny and much needed after #4.

Story #7 – We do get good information on what happened to Doctor Octopus after Clone Conspiracy. I love this new look for Ock and finally we get to see the proto clone – which is a combination of Ock’s genes and Peter’s. The only thing that brought this story blurb down was that it was only a teaser for yet another Marvel event.


Extra Credit:

There for Harry? Since when? It seems to me that whenever Harry needed Peter, Peter was always out playing Spider-Man. I’m sure there are plenty of examples of Peter and May being there for Harry, but it is late and I am old, so extra credit to anyone who can refresh my memory on them.


Final Grade:

Story #1 – This story is the type of story that Slott does so well – the build up to an event story. As always, I remain optimistic that it will continue to be that way and get better from here out.


The other stories are graded for their value as back up stories and are not held to the same standard as the main story of a comic book

Story #2B+

Story #3C

Story #4D-

Story #5C

Story #6 A-

Story #7A-

Overall – was it worth $10? No. No. No. Was it a good comic? Yes. I resent having to pay $6 for back up stories. The Superior Ock story should have been in the Clone Conspiracy Omega issue and #4 was just awful. I don’t want the price to affect my grade, but when a $10 price tag is put on a comic, it should mean that I am getting that value. I cannot say that I did.



Your Turn:

What grade do YOU give it?


What’s Next?


  • Silver Sable comes back into Spider-Man’s life — but isn’t she DEAD?!
  • Norman Osborn has worked his way into a position of power in Symkaria, and any incursion by Spider-Man will be seen as an act of war.
  • Will Spider-Man risk international infamy to take down his most dangerous foe?


I’m excited for that $3.99 cover price!


‘Nuff Said!


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