Alright, kids, I wrote this review at midnight.
It’s going to be magical.
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #26
“The Osborn Identity, Pt 2: Fight or Flight”
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Stuart Immonen
Inks: Wade von Grawbadger
Colors: Marte Gracia
Editors: Nick Lowe and Devin Lewis
As the people at the Uncle Ben Foundation event begin running, Norman makes his getaway on the most subtle way of escape: flying green-and-purple sky cycles. (I personally would’ve gone with the Hoverboard from BttF 2, but you do you, Ozzy.) Spider-Man, Mockingbird and Silver Sable give chase, as Harry interrogates a man who was speaking him with earlier, finding a Goblin Nation business card with a web address. (Real talk here; nobody would have their gun-running site on a normal URL like that; stuff like that is Deep Web stuff.)
Meanwhile, back in the action, Silver Sable and Spidey hijack one of the sky cycles, and Mockingbird tries to request back-up, to which Fury responds with his best Will Smith impression.
Bobbi pulls out just before Silver Sable gains control, and in the worst ripoff of the chase scene from Judge Dredd I’ve ever seen (I AM….THE GOBLIN!) the two chase Osborn back to a construction site, where Norman and Countess Katarina Karkov demonstrate their newest prop for Transformers 5, The Kingslayer. (No, seriously, go watch the Last Knight trailer. Forget your Metal Gear references, it’s either the Transformers 5 military bot or the Mantis from Halo 4.) As Norman and his entourage retreat while S&S deal with the giant robot, as Parker Industries’ top staff watches.
Defeating the robot, Sable reveals to Spidey that Osborn and Karkov have managed to usurp control of her nation, Symkaria, during her absence (First off, that sounds like a “you” problem rather than a “Spidey” problem. You weren’t dead, you could’ve just gone back whenever you wanted. Second, how the hell do an international fugitive and a Literally Who character manage to seize control of a country that had its own military with what little is left of your Goblin army?) Asking for his help apparently works as guaranteed trap card in the Life-size game of Yu-Gi-Oh, since Spidey agrees, saying that he’ll bankroll the entire operation.
As Parker Industries (and what army?) mobilize, SHIELD does some troop gathering of its own, including Mockingbird, as they prep to take out Parker Industries. (Roxxon could use a good looking at, boys.)
Oh, and SpOck makes a power play by tipping off SHIELD. (He literally has a page of screentime of him whining that Peter is ruining everything. Which, while valid, isn’t exactly productive use of your time. Go bake some cookies. Read a comic. Just do something.)
But seriously, this comic was pretty “meh”.
Let me start with what I did like, because there was a lot that I did like, and while there’s a few negatives, they’re pretty big splotches on a pretty neat canvas. Stuart Immonen continues to rock it with his art. Mark made a comment on the art being rather inconsistent, but that doesn’t really seem to apply most of the time in his other works (All-New X-Men, for example) but rather, the fault seems to lie at the feet of inker von Grawbadger, who has this annoying habit of using extremes when it comes to hatching when it comes to shadows. He has no middle ground, which is really irritating. And proof that fault goes to von Garbadger can be found in Yost’s Scarlet Spider run, which he inked as well. So, that said, Immonen and Gracia make some gorgeous looking action scenes, especially when compared to the previous outing in Clone Conspiracy Omega.
I also am loving and dreading the fall of Parker Industries. Mostly because, like most, I feel like it isn’t a right fit for Peter (I could actually see him owning some small business, but Xerox Tony Stark is not a good look for Webs) and that, while Peter needs a win every once and awhile, he’s editorially mandated to suffer. And on the mention of Parker Industries’ coffin being nailed, Slott is being as blatant as possible, having every head branch member rail on their current actions. At times it gets a little over the top, but the criticisms of each employee is eerily justifiable. I feel like people are less upset over Webwares being broken, since they’re easily replaceable (I assume) and more over the fact that Parker Industries can access them whenever they please, which is a valid complaint (The FBI got in a heap of trouble a couple years back for trying to secure something similar with Apple, and this may very well be a parallel to that situation.)
That said, there’s one complaint that really caught my eye.
This one came out of nowhere, and as our resident Avengers reviewer, I feel like I have an obligation to address it.
- Nowhere before has Peter, at least in his solo run, ever mentioned the newest incarnation of the Avengers.
- When has there been time for Peter to approach the Avengers in his solo run? Between Power Play (the last appearance of the ANAD Avengers in ASM) and the Before Dead No More issues, there couldn’t have been more than a few days of separation (And there was no indication at this point that Civil War II was in any form of swing, or any mention of Captain Marvel or Ulysses) And the gap between those issues and the Clone Conspiracy issues couldn’t have been more than a month, even if they’re planning a funeral. (How long does it even take to get a funeral planned and done?)
- And the gap between CC and “Osborn Identity” is mentioned as having been a week by Max Modell. Between the multiple flights from San Fran to Delvadia (We’re being generous and assuming they had quick connection flights) to New York and then to Hong Kong (Again, we have to assume that the flight had another connection in, at the very least, San Fran if not a bit closer), along with planning Operation: Bug Hunt and carrying out the steps leading up to it, then there’s very little time left for actual Avenging.
- If Parker Industries is going to fall this arc, then how is Parker Industries going to be sponsoring the Avengers during the Iron Doom arc?
It’s not very often that I question such an insane lapse of editorial logic, but this one stood out to me, among others, as glaring continuity problems not just within ASM, but within the Marvel Prime Universe as a whole.
There’s also the idea of Peter acting so belligerent when capturing Osborn that he is willing to sacrifice his company (as well as the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people under his payroll) just to stop Norman Osborn. I get where this is going, but it seems like Peter is acting rather out of character here. Sure, getting Osborn would be a massive win, but I can’t see Peter going to this extreme to get him. Not to mention that Harry is somehow under the impression that Norman Osborn seizing control of Symkaria therefore makes him a legitimate sovereign power. This might lead to some kind of subplot of Harry slowly slipping back under his dad’s influence, but it comes out of nowhere. Not to mention that there’s an entire subplot revolving around Normie and his half-brother that hasn’t been addressed since Amazing Spider-Man #7.
I’m sure Slott has an endgame. Given his propensity for playing the Long Game (albeit ineffectively) I’m actually looking forward to it, in a sick, twisted fashion, just to see Parker Industries fall and burn. But Slott’s tradition of starting strong fell apart a little quicker than usual, which is kind of scary. It doesn’t offend, but it doesn’t anything superficially redeemable to the table either.
Final Grade: C+