Alford Notes: Amazing Spider-Man #26

When we last saw our hero, he was defending Aunt May and Harry from an attack while attending a charity gala.  Will he be able to save them?  Will Harry reunite with his estranged father?  Will Mockingbird and Spider-Man ever have a minute alone to work out their feelings?  Will Silver Sable explain how she came back from the dead?  Will Norman make a reference to his kids with Gwen Stacy?  All these questions will be answered!  Get ready for some Mighty Marvel Mayhem brought to you in the Merry Marvel Manner!


The Devil in the Details

Story Title: “The Osborn Identity part two: Fight of Flight”*

Writer: Dan Slott

Penciler: Stuart Immonen

Inker: Wade von Grawbadger

Colorist: Marte Gracia

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga

Cover Artist: Alex Ross

Editor: Nick Lowe

Published: April 12, 2017


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

This issue picks up immediately where the last issue left off (well, where the last issue left off of the main story and then fed up several other back up stories that they charged us $6 for, but I digress) – with goblins coming from the sky and shooting up the Uncle Ben charity gala in Hong Kong.  Harry recognizes his dad by the voice at which point Norman reveals himself so that he can berate Harry and remind him that he is an Osborn, not a Lyman.  Spidey, Mockingbird, and Silver Sable quickly go after Osborn and his goblins, but before long, Nick Fury tells Mockingbird that S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t sanction this and she has to pull out.  Meanwhile Parker Industries big wigs are so thankful that United Airlines is pulling some of the heat off of their PR nightmare.  Osborn reveals that the new gliders (which look a lot like the cycles the Public Eye uses in 2099 – coincidence or planned?) are not what is for sell; it is a huge walking tank and the tank is going to prove itself by killing Spider-Man and Silver Sable.  Luckily, Osborn and his weapons supplier (Countess Katarina Karkov of Symakaria), in a classic Bond villain style, leave the tank to take care of business while they leave.  Later, after they defeat the tank, Sable agrees to work with Spider-Man and S.H.I.E.L.D., tipped off by Ock, goes off to stop them.




What did the Green Goblin get around on before the goblin glider?

a. The Goblin Mobile (with his face on the front, no less)

b. A broomstick (but he never made the Quidditch team)

c. He didn’t, he just appeared wherever Stan Lee wanted him to be

d. The Goblin Pogo Platform (shaped like a toad)

Click on the image above to reveal the answer.



What Passed:

Norman’s new look is nice.  It almost looks like an evil version of the older Peter Parker in the old Spider-Girl series.   It will be interesting to see if Harry goes back to using the Osborn name, now.  I think that he can’t resist the need for his father’s approval – especially if Peter is using Parker Industries to try and take him down.

For whatever reason, I really like the fact that the Green Goblin has his own business card.  I just wish that the addressed worked.  Marvel could have easily set it up so that if you type that address in you get a little preview art or even just have it send you to the Marvel page on Norman Osborn or make it an ad for Marvel Unlimited.  Something.  But I still like it.  In my mind I think of the Green Goblin about to rob this company blind, but because he is in a rush, he hands them his card so that they can be robbed later.

The art is great!  Immonen changes the camera angle constantly and really pulls out the action of the characters.  I was worried about his run on the title after that Kingpin introduction we had, but this is fun to look at.

The colorist really went out of his way to bring some color into all these night scenes.  The art would have suffered greatly if all the colors were dark, but these two artists really complimented each other.

Mockingbird – while the love interest between them will probably never blossom, they have develop a close bond from being partners.  This bond is being pushed to its limits with Mockingbird since she now has to decide which side she it on – Peter’s or S.H.I.E.L.D.’s.  I’m putting this into the passing category for now. It’s intriguing and they didn’t spend too much time on it.  It could go either way in the future.

Spider-Man using his head to defeat the tank was nice to see again.  Too much we see him rely on his tech or having his butt saved by someone else.  He uses the resources available to him and works with Sable to defeat it.  Let’s see more of this.


We have two OOTIs that could be chosen, but as a great movie once said, “There can be only one.”  So, I’ll let you decide.

On a scale of 1 (POW) to 10 (BLRKBQRKPQRBLNB), both rate an 8. We have the unpronounceable beauty of the one and the sheer dominance of the other. 

What Failed:

The art is inconsistent.  I know I praised it earlier, but some pages are out of this world and others are not so much.  Just look at the difference in these two panels which are only one page away from each other.

I am not sure who is at fault for this, since I am not an artist at all.  Maybe the inker just couldn’t hold with Immonen’s pencils the whole issue or maybe it’s the inker who is good and he was only able to do so much with Immonen’s pencils.  Maybe it was colorist that screwed up some panels.  Neil can probably tell us more on that.  Either way, it was not bad enough for me to be too distracted and I would still take this art over much of what we have been getting so far.

I love Star Wars.  I remember one Christmas where I got nothing but Empire Strikes Back toys.  It was one of the greatest Christmases of my life (at least tied with the Atari 2600 year).  But please, let’s stop with the Akbar trap jokes.  If we must keep making them, let’s stop explaining them.

I’m getting tired of Spider-Man being so whiny.

I get not setting out to kill others, but constantly crying about this especially when these guys were shooting at innocents at his charity gala is beyond annoying.  He’s acting like he’s never worked with assassins before.

While we are on annoying, Silver Sable is a one note character here.  Every time she gets to speak it is a variation of, “Well, if you hadn’t interfered, this would all be over.”  I like Silver Sable just fine, but her inclusion in this story does nothing for me.  Maybe Sable fans out there feel differently.

Oh yeah, Norman refers to Harry as his first born.  So unless there are other Osborns that we don’t know about, he must be referring to the Stacy kids.  Thanks for bringing that up.  However, at least he didn’t say something like, you know, I sometimes forget about my other children like Harry did that one time about Normie.


We are really laying down heavy groundwork for the fall of Parker Industries here.  They even changed the title page to reflect that people are NOT concerned that their tech goodies will not work, but ARE concerned about how Peter Parker can access their Web Ware without permission, even if it is for a good cause.  Plus the whole nanites thing in London and the fact that apparently the public frowns upon their favorite tech company financing the Avengers.  My guess is that the general public in 616 is as fed up with Civil War as we are.  Add to that Superior Ock, or Hockdra (there’s got to be a better name than that) seems to want to bring the company down around Peter – either that, or to take the company back somehow (which I feel would be an interesting twist).  Mix in the fact that S.H.I.E.L.D. is not going to be PI’s lap dog just because he’s footing the bill for everything, and you ‘ve got a scenario ripe for the fall of Peter and quite possibly, the way to reset the character to default.  Sure I know people will say that you can put the toothpaste back into the tube, but 1. you can (just heat the toothpaste until it liquefies, use a thin screwdriver to force the tube open, then pour the liquid back in through a makeshift funnel) and 2. this is comics.  ANYTHING can happen.  Everyone died in the whole multiverse and Dr. Doom just put it back together then another guy undid it all because Miles Morales gave him a very old hamburger.  Spider-Man could once talk to spiders and now no one cares.  We can go back with the barest of story lines and people will gripe and complain, but they’ll be happy to have the Daily Bugle back, so most will accept it and move on.

What makes this move toward disaster intriguing is that Peter is blissfully unaware of it – and it’s not because he’s an ignoramus!  Peter believes that as long as he is doing what is right, it will work out in the end, but we see this unraveling in ways he is unable to, or unwilling to. Maybe Ock is right and his is a self-righteous twit, but I feel that this fits in with what Peter would do if he had a company and its resources at his disposal.  Plus, the English teacher in me enjoys the irony that Ock is accessing Peter’s Web Ware without his permission to bring about his fall.

I guess I am supposed to be dreading this eventual fall, but I’m cheering it on, much like I cheer on those two stupid teenagers in Romeo and Juliet when I have to teach it.  This has all the trappings of a great story, and since I know that when Slott is on the money, he is fantastic, I’m enjoying the ride.  Let’s just hope this ride turns out to be a Space Mountain equivalent rather than an Astro Orbiter.

We also see demonstrated here an evolution that has taken place in the Spider-Man character.  This isn’t something that Slott did himself – it’s been around for quite a while.  It’s the jokes.

We all know Spider-Man jokes. When he first started, it was to mask his fear.  Later, as he grew more confident, it was to annoy his enemies and goad them into making mistakes.  Now, it seems to be so much just a part of what he does, that he can’t seem to help himself.  Whatever reason he jokes, it is scenes like this that show a true Spider-Man.  Spider-Man makes the joke – HE is NOT the joke.  Sure, crazy things may happen to him (just check out Peter David’s “When Commeth the Commuter!” or watch it on Thwip Studios), but he shouldn’t be the MU idiot, which seems to be the way this character has been going (and not just in Amazing, but in other guest appearances too).

We have two new characters that may play larger roles in this arc.  Countess Katarina Karkov and the all important Will McMann of the New York Parker Industries branch.  To my knowledge, neither one has been mentioned in the Marvel universe prior to this issue.  We’ll keep and eye on these guys.

Extra Credit:

Anyone remember this Spidey/Sable connection?


Final Grade:

There are moments of greatness and there are missteps along the way.  All in all, I am once again optimistic for the future of this arc.  I love me some Slott arc beginnings (it’s the endings that tend to make me unsettled).



Your Turn:

What grade do YOU give it?  Explain if you want to or just leave a letter grade.

What’s Next?

The Osborn Identity Part 3!

  • Norman Osborn has slowly worked his way to a position of power in the Eastern European nation of Symkaria, and now has a goblin-ized army behind him.
  • With Symkarian hero Silver Sable at his side, Spider-Man has all the forces and weaponry that Parker Industries can gather to take the battle to Norman.
  • Spider-Army vs. Goblin Army!


Please tell me that Slott is going to parallel this with the original #27 and title it “Bring Back My Goblin to Me!”  We’ll have to wait until May 10th to find out, folks.



* Marvel insists on putting their titles in quotation marks, but you do NOT punctuate a title when it appears on its own work.  Sorry.  This just annoys me.

‘Nuff Said!

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(13) Comments

  1. Evan

    There was one other name that came to mind for Dr. Octopus, given that he's now a genetic mixture of himself and Peter (eww): Petrock.

  2. Evan

    @RDMAcQ HydrOck! I knew there was something I meant to add to my earlier post. That's the name I thought would work the best, too. It does conjure images in my mind of Hordak! And the knock-off Oreos, Hydrox.

  3. RDMacQ

    How about Hydrock for Doctor Octopus' name? Bonus points for it sounding like a Masters of the Universe villain.

  4. Mark Alford

    "You probably said 'Spiderman' instead of 'Spider-Man' once." NEVER

  5. Mark Alford

    @ Hornacek - Hey, so Silver Sable's a cougar. You are correct in your extra credit answer! So if we are to assume that everything in the What If? universe is the same as the 616 universe, with the exception of the major difference, then we can assume that there is some romantic possibility between Silver Sable and Spider-Man. In that case, we can attribute Silver Sable's constant harsh words to Spidey as hurt feelings that he is hanging out with Mockingbird (who must also be a cougar as I believe she is much older than Peter as well). Maybe a little romantic tension, a little love triangle. Hey, it beats the love triangle of Willie Lumpkin, Doc Ock, and Aunt May!

  6. hornacek

    @Mark "I think I had ticked him off and that was the punishment." You probably said "Spiderman" instead of "Spider-Man" once.

  7. Mark Alford

    @ Evan - Fantastic analysis on the OOTI. I must concur with your well thought-out conclusion. When you said you thought you had seen it before, I bet you are thinking of the Ghost Rider review feature image that popped up on the Crawlspace a few days ago. I thought they were the same until I went back and checked. You are hereby awarded the title of the official Crawlspace Onomatopoer and are hereby given all the rights and privileges due you. Please don't wish those Amazing Grace issues back on me! Those were horrible! BD had just asked me to begin reviewing ASM. I had no plans of picking up Amazing Grace until he said that they were part of ASM. I think I had ticked him off and that was the punishment.

  8. hornacek

    I think that panel with Spidey bringing flowers to Silver Sable is from a 2-part What If where they get together romantically at the end. I think in that story Peter goes from MJ to the Black Cat to SS. That final connection just comes out of nowhere and happens at the end of the story and we're never told how it came about - we're led to believe that just because SS is an attractive woman and Peter is suddenly single and hurt by Felicia that of course they would get together (I always got the impression from her original appearances that SS was older than Peter, like mid-30s or early-40s).

  9. Evan

    Given the choice between KRSHHKZZ and BWA-KA-KOOM, I would give the OOTI to the first. Not only is it less pronounceable, as you pointed out, but I believe that the last time there was a tie, one of the candidates was FWA-KOOM, or some such similar word. While BWA-KA-KOOM is outright dominant, there is something subtle and understated about KRSHHKZZ that I find appealing. To me this means that KRSHHKZZ wins just for its originality (though I bet we've also seen something similar before, I just don't remember it). Clearly this is an important decision and requires careful thought and analysis. Great review, Mark! As much as I love when the comics are poorly-written only insofar as they make for entertaining reviews (Amazing Grace forever! Not really), it's always nice to see when you enjoy one as well.

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