“Ha Ha! We know what’s coming! You’ll see!”
So Spider-Man is declaring war on a supposedly legitimate government? Now I know! And Knowing is Half the Battle! YO, JOE!
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #27
“The Osborn Identity, Pt. 3: A Private War”
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Stuart Immonen
Inks: Wade von Grawbadger
Colors: Marte Gracia
Editors: Nick Lowe and Devin Lewis
In Castle Karkov, Norman is getting another facial reconsrtuction. However, since this procedure took so soon after the last one, Osborn’s face is hideously deformed. However, Countess Karkov thinks that Norman is beautiful (Well, she must also be the good guy. Because as Slott once said, attraction to beautiful people is “Anti-Marvel”. This just in, Mark and I are leaving Crawlspace to review Marvel’s newest ongoing, “Kooky Karkov”. Been a good run, folks.) and they look over the oddly WWII-styled Symkaria. (Seriously, you’re telling me that the people making the EDS-209 from Robocop are living in set pieces from Hansel and Gretel? Get out, I’m laughing so hard right now.)
On the plane to Symkaria, Spidey and Silver Sable catch up. Explaining how she escaped, Sable explains that she broke free and escaped. (How did you get away? Oh, I got away. Brilliant.) As Big Brother Fury all but waterboards Harry and Aunt May, and intercepts a PI plane at the northern Symkarian border. (And you’re in a foreign nation when you’re not supposed to be too, Fury! Aren’t international borders fun to acknowledge and ignore when you feel like it? You take after your old man and Secret War!) Turns out it was a dummy, and Mockingbird intentionally misled Fury and jumped ship, joining Peter and Sable in Symkaria with the All-New, All-Different Wild Pack.
The group begins their attack, and an unsuccessful Spider-Man turns to Sable, who manages to rally her people (who think she’s been dead; why is nobody besides Sable acknowledging that she disappeared two years ago without a trace?!) and convince them to escape. Norman calls in the big guns (Those are literally the easiest tanks to take down ever. Shoot the damn leg joints!) and Goblin Gliders. Spidey manages to take down a Goblin and reveals that he’s actually… a real Goblin! (Dun-dun-dun.) Norman leaves the Countess, who menacingly calls for her people to take shelter, and prepares his endgame…. A cartoonish-looking rocket filled to the rivet with Goblin Gas.
Okay, I’m conflicted. I really want to be positive and like the parts in this comic that I really should dislike. On the other, I also want to tear the crap out of what I actually think it good.
I think I’ll settle for a mi of gloomily depressing and offensively upbeat.
Writing-wise, Slott doesn’t do… too good of a job with dialogue? I dunno, he writes everybody save Spidey and the Symkarian regime like militaristic crazies, which, while consistent with their characters (with the exception of Bobbi, but that’s debatable.) gets boring and blends about seven or eight characters into an interchangeable cluster of GI Joes. I don’t know enough about the new Wild Pack to really care what happens to them, and that will probably come back to bite when Slott injures/kills off a handful of them for shock value. His Peter is also rather inconsistent. One moment, he’s taking the situation completely seriously on the plane to Symkaria, the next he’s making jokes. While I get that joking is a major facet of Peter Parker, he knows when to take the situation seriously. Even if he isn’t taking the “No One Dies” pledge, he should understand the depth and implications of the situation, a continued theme in that he massively undervalues the stakes of both his current situation and that of using his company as the face of regime toppling.
One thing that continues to consistently impress me is Stuart Immonen. His page layouts and positioning of characters are amazing, and complimented by Marte Gracia’s colors. It almost made me like the glowing spider. I also liked how he gave each of the Spider-vehicles their own distinct color scheme, kibble design and designs in general. Another things he nails is how disturbing Norman’s face is following his surgery, and the lighting really nails down the “Oomph” on that design, as lame as it should have been. Once again, little fault lies on him. Inker Wade von Grawbadger has a sort of duty to clean up rough lines and the cross-hatching that Immonen uses to make his shadows in pencil. Rather, it feels like Grawbadger is simply tracing the cross-hatching, and looks really awkward with the colors. It’s eerily similar to his Scarlet Spider tenture, because that crippled a lot of the art that wasn’t Stegman’s. And that’s a shame, because with an inker like Victor Olazaba, who was the inker behind a lot, if not all of Humberto Ramos’ art, the synergy between Immonen and Gracia would rock big time.
Being somebody who cares about art too much in a Marvel book is suffering.
But enough about that, let’s talk about Norman’s master plan.
First off, not only do the Kingslayers and Goblin Gliders look like something out of league for what Symkaria looks like, but that rocket looks out of place for the tech he’s deploying already. Sure, it could be themed with the classic Goblin Glider, but not with those Metal Gear bots that he’s rocking. Second, his plan is to turn all of Symkaria into Goblins. Where have I heard this plan before in Spider-Man? Hmmm, the Amazing Spider-Man movie? True, but I’m thinking more Maximum Clonage. That’s right, screw “Triumph of the Green Goblin”, we’re not just getting Clone Saga III, we’re also getting a ripoff of the single biggest quality drop in the entire Clone Saga.
It’s three issues into a four issue run and we’re still in the first act of the three act structure; the build-up. I’m curious as to how Slott will do both a climax and wrap up this storyline, the Parker Industries downfall, and the lead-in to the Secret Empire tie-ins in a single issues. And by curious, I mean worried.
Final Grade: C