I’m a goblin, he’s a goblin, she’s a goblin, we’re a goblin, wouldn’t you like to be a goblin too?* There’s more goblins in this book than an Ozcorn festival. For good measure there is some romantic tension too – Mockingbird must choose her career or the man she loves. Which will it be? (Plus – more hero toys than a 1960s Batman show!)
The Fine Print
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Marte Garcia
Letter: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Alex Ross
Editor: Nick Lowe
Published: May 10, 2017
The Story: Pay Attention, This Will Be on the Test
Well, the teams are set and each one of them consists of the male, the female counterpart, and the group. Team One is Spider-Man, Silver Sable, and the Wildpack. Team Two is Norman, Countess Karkov, and the Goblin Army. Finally, Team Three is Nick Fury, Mockingbird, and S.H.I.E.L.D. Norman, after being called out by Spider-Man for being a coward for not showing his face, undergoes another face transformation against the good doctor’s advice. It goes horribly wrong. Fury grills Harry
Osborn Lyman and Aunt May trying to figure out Parker Industries’s involvement and then threatens that he is always watching them like a one eyed Big Brother**.
Spider-Man and Silver Sable evade S.H.I.E.L.D. by using a decoy, but Mockingbird has ditched S.H.I.E.L.D. because she trusts Spidey. Spidey, Sable, Mockingbird, and the Wild Pack attack Symkaria and Osborn strikes back. For some reason Spider-Man is all surprised when he learns that the Goblin Army are actual Goblins and Osborn’s big plan is to turn all of Symkaria into Goblins to be a part of his army of super soldiers.
I was going to go with PAKKAKKOOM!, but then I saw the walking tanks.
On a scale of 1 (POW) to 10 (BLRKBQRKPQRBLNB), this rates a 8. Why? I’m just imagining these tanks in the same panel with Calypso and the Lizard. Boy! We’d really have something then!
Quite a lot, actually. I know a lot of people have compared to the changing of the face as being too Chameleon-esque, but I liked this the first time we saw him with the Warthog face. These are not masks, but rather actual new faces. The poor doctor here is the true victim. Imagine how much money he could make legitimately in the medical business if he could actually transplant a face. And Norman gets fair warning, but since he acts just like Marty McFly, he goes and gets his original face back just because Spidey called him a chicken. Despite the fact that the panels read like an adaptation of the Jack Nicholson Joker origin, I really enjoyed the scene of the transplant gone wrong. Needless to say, Normie won’t be appearing on the cover of Gentlemen’s Quarterly anytime soon.
The return of the editor caption box was nice. It is always nice to see evidence that Lowe is doing something. These caption boxes are great for avoiding wasting a page or two on recap. Of course, it is then followed by a page or two of recap…. Oh well.
I love to research (bet you didn’t know that about me), so I really like when I see a reference to places like Delvadia and Nadua (two places that people from the Wild Pack originate from). We’ve seen Delvadia before – that’s where Osborn was when he was masquerading as Warthog. Nadua is a place in Marvel Africa where Tony Stark built a dam once and the New Warriors tore it down.
Immonen continues to wow me with his art. I thought Karkov looked better in the last issue, but his layouts are fantastic! Check out how he placed his panels on this two page spread:
The jokes were well done. I liked it when the crowd didn’t know if they could trust Spider-Man or not and he says, “Since when do they get the Daily Bugle in Symkaria?” There was another clever joke too when he says, “Say hello to Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends!” only to have Mockingbird say, “We’re not called that. No one is ever going to be called that.” The joke was ruined when Spidey had to point out that it was also an Al Pacino allusion, but still it was good despite that.
Oh and you didn’t think I was going to forget the Shakespeare allusion, did you?
The ending. Norman says he’s going to break out the secret weapon. The goblin army guys get all excited about the secret weapon. What could it possibly be? A walking tank with four legs? A moon sized base that destroys planets? A goblin glider the size of a helicarrier? No. He’s going to make everyone goblins. I love Mystery Men, but even then, I felt that Casanova Frankenstein’s plan was rather stupid (and not in the good stupid that makes the movie so funny). And while we are on this, why did Spider-Man act so surprised when he found out that the goblin army men where actually goblins? Didn’t Norman already turn a lot of people into Goblins in Goblin Nation? This takes me out of the comic three ways – 1. I don’t like the concept, 2. we just saw this in the last Goblin arc, and 3. I find it difficult to believe that Norman would be willing to share his formula with anyone. He always seemed a bit more egocentric to me. But hey, maybe he saw how diluted Spider-Man was getting lately and wanted some of that action.
Norman losing his face leads me to believe that once this arc is over, he’ll be in the wind again. I assume that Doc Goblin can still use his face transplant technique, but who knows. Whatever the case, he’ll escape and we’ll not know what look he’ll have the next time.
The Spider Toys going to Symkaria hints at a return to the natural order of things. Parker Industries is going to fail, all of his gadgets are going to get destroyed, and then maybe we’ll go back to a status quo Parker with no one willing to hire him except the Daily Bugle.
Fury better watch himself treating Aunt May poorly. She’ll bake him some of those cookies she baked the Chameleon or she might even go all Golden Oldie on him. I do think that Norman pushing Harry in one direction and Fury in another added to the fall of PI may push Harry over the edge. We’ll keep a watch for that.
I have enjoyed the move toward Mockingbird and Spider-Man even though it is not a relationship I would like to see. I feel it is a doomed relationship and watching Mockingbird make this move further escalates the tragedy. By the end of this story arc, I think we’ll see Spidey do something that Mockingbird will interpret as a betrayal and now she is left alone and without S.H.I.E.L.D. Maybe she will join the Wild Pack, but probably some obscure Avengers team.
All in all, I really liked this comic. To me, this is what Spidey would do if he had a corporation. He would blow the whole thing doing what he thought was right. Sure, I would rather have Spider-Man in New York, working alone, taking out street level criminals, but I felt that this comic felt like the character I loved if he were not in the usual settings. Again, my enjoyment of a Slott Spider-Man story tends to go up when Peter Parker is not a character in the story. There is something wrong with that.
What is 2+2? Careful, Fury is watching, you know. Put your answer in the comments section.
I really enjoyed this comic and was all prepared to give it an A or at least an A- until I read the last page. The whole make the world Goblin really blew it for me. However, the rest of the issue is still top notch, I think.
What grade would you give it?
OSBORN VS. SPIDER-MAN! NO HOLDS BARRED!
• The outcome of this battle will change both of these men.
• And that’s nothing to say of Osborn’s master plan that Spider-Man is powerless to save! ONLY SILVER SABLE AND MOCKINGBIRD STAND A CHANCE!
Oh hey, would you look at that! Nothing will ever be the same again and Spider-Man is going to need help. Well, at least I enjoyed this issue.
* For you young whippersnappers out there, check out this video.
** I love Big Brother!