Alford Notes: Amazing Spider-Man #27

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!

What Passed

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?


What Failed

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.

Extra Credit

What is 2+2?  Careful, Fury is watching, you know.  Put your answer in the comments section.

Final Grade 

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.  


Your Turn

What grade would you give it?

What’s Next?


• 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! 

Liked it? Take a second to support the Crawlspace on Patreon!

(9) Comments

  1. Mark Alford

    @ DeMent - Holy cow! That is just like what they drew! I figured it was just a take on AT-STs from Star Wars. Your joke didn't fall flat, I just missed the reference. Thanks for supplying that link! @ Steve - Based on a Word Balloon interview I just heard, plan on Slott staying for a while.

  2. Steve

    GET RID OF SLOTT!!!! Uggggggg How much longer will this blight continue writing Amazing Spider-Man?

  3. Danny DeMent

    @Mark They're a line of tanks that walk on two legs from the Metal Gear/Metal Gear Solid line of games. For reference: My apologies for the attempted joke falling flat.

  4. Mark Alford

    @ Evan - I made that cover and the whole time in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "You shouldn't be eating your time on this. You should be heading research papers." However, I ignored​ the better part of my judgement. I was about to do the title when BD asked me to review it. I realized then that I could suck to my strong feelings of what Spidey should be and be miserable each month, or I could try and enjoy the ride as best I can. I know there will be plenty of people who say shouldn't have to work at enjoying the character we love, and they would be right, but at some point I have to if I'm going to do this every month. It is not all bad and when I seize upon the good things, I have more fun reading it and writing reviews. I'll read Renew and Spec for Peter and ASM for my What If fix. Nice Shakespeare allusion, but we all know there never was a story of more woe than that of Juliet and her Romeo. @ DeMent - I'm not familiar enough with Metal Gears to get the allusion, unfortunately. @ Chase the Blues Away - You are 100% right. I enjoyed the story despite that. I think it helps that I don't know a lot about Bobbi. I've picked up a few Mockingbirds on Marvel Unlimited to try and see how the relationship worked on that end, but as you've said, they seem like different characters. I will say that the invasion of another country is not so much a problem for me since he is doing it with the rightful heir's permission. So it is not so much an invasion as a liberation. I need to ask - am I missing another allusion - where is the panda turd reference coming from?

  5. Chase The Blues Away

    I love the review! Well stated. But not unexpectedly, I disagree with it. This was a smelly trash panda turd of Por characterization, overused cliches and beyond tired pop culture references. So if Peter had toys, he would flout international law and invade a sovereign country just for the lulz? Rlly? There's a reason why SHIELD should absolutely be upset - SHIELD actually has legal standing when it comes to the international community. SHIELD isn't the heavy handed, out of hand heavy in this situation at all. Peter is. Peter is an outright criminal flouting institutions and government laws, and I don't find it charming or cute, especially considering the real world we are currently living in. Rule of law matters. It's what keeps societies relatively peaceful and safe. This should end not only with Peter losing his company, but losing his freedom and quite possibly his life for treasonous activity. This is a crappy theme for any superhero comic to take, but hey, Heil Hydra, right Marvel? I can't wait for this to eventually be revealed by a better writer as Skrull Bobbi, because the real Bobbi, as recently depicted in Chelsea Cain's Eisner-nominated series, is still dealing with her complicated, deep-seated feelings for Clint and Lance. Oh, and she needs her government job because Bobbi was injected with the super soldier serum/mutating virus and needs check ups on her SHIELD insurance, and Bobbi is imminently practical, so....(I know Cain's series rubbed a lot of people the wrong way with what was felt to be an overly feminist message, but it's actually very clever and witty and doesn't take itself or comics too seriously. Including the so-called feminist agenda). Slott's Bobbi makes no sense but then, she's just a rubber action figure, not a real character. I laughed out loud at Silver Sable's explanation for her death. "I faked my death so I could take sneak revenge on my enemies but oopsies! My self-enforced absence allowed bad guys to take over my country, gosh darn it." There is no world, fictional or not, in which this resembles any known form of rational logic. It makes Sable into a moron of the highest order. And if Sable is so concerned - why go to a private individual like Parker in the first place? P! This is a matter of grave international concern - at least show us Sable going to the UN or SHIELD or some nod to rule of law first. And I'm sorry, ripping off iconic film villain intros isn't cutesy either, Slott. Slott is right, his Peter does have the mentality of a fifteen year old - the utterly self-centered, immature kind who think everything he does is justified and right simply because he's the one who does it, who sees the world only through his own immediate wants and desires. Well, that mentality might have worked for Slott when he was a kid stuffing suggestion boxes so his school would invite famous authors under false pretenses to speak only for Slott to get a private audience and waste the author's time - and for Slott to think that was wholly justified because he got his (see: - but it's not at all sympathetic or entertaining to read. And it destroys the ethos of Peter's character - well, what little was left of it. F. With apologies to trash panda turds everywhere.

  6. Evan

    @Mark -- When Sting, err Big Brother Nick Fury, finds out that Norman was called a chicken: "I was monitoring that scan you just interfaced! You are terminated!" Of course, in the Norman context, I guess "interface" can be taken literally. One thing I was thinking about when reading this review -- I wonder if it's a coincidence that, just as in the upcoming Spider-man movie, where it appears Peter will learn to be his own man and get out from under Tony's shadow ("I'm nothing without the suit!" *facepalm*), here Peter learns something about not needing all of his high-tech gadgets and whatnot to be a hero. Granted, this shouldn't happen in either the movies or in the books, but the thought crossed my mind. Maybe I'm thinking too much or seeing depth or commercial tie-in opportunities where there are none, especially given the speed at which PI is declining relative to the July release date of the movie. I loved your GQ -- Goblin Quarterly -- cover! At this point, if I let go of any standard I have of what I know Spider-man writing can be, I can enjoy this for what it is, only because it's ridiculous and lends one to at least pretend, as you said, that it's an alternate universe. ("There art thou happy!") However, my favorite thing about Spider-man is Peter Parker, and also like you've said and we've all known for years, this is not Peter Parker. And to me that is a bigger tragedy than Romeo and Juliet.

  7. Danny DeMent

    I, for one, applaud the gutsy call of ripping off Metal Gears. That said, most everything else was painfully dull, predictable, or nonsensical imo. Which is kinda par for the course for Mr. Slott. If it's not bad it's mostly this.

  8. Mark Alford - Post author

    Pretty much, but it was fun read, nonetheless. Especially since I'm getting a dose of the Spidey I love most in Renew Your Vows and (hopefully) in Spec Spidey. It frees me up to enjoy this version, which has always felt more like the alternate universe version than the real deal. I do not hold high hopes for the next issue, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.