Alford Notes: Amazing Spider-Man 28

OK folks!  This one has everything you want in an issue (assuming that you want Silver Sable, Countess Karkov, Osborn, the Wildpack, S.H.I.E.L.D., Mockingbird, and… oh yeah, Spider-Man – if not, then you’re out of luck).  Will Spider-Man beat Osborn?  Will all of Symkaria become goblins?  Will Osborn get amnesia again?  No powers or gadgets?  How? Read on, true believers and find out!


The Devil in the Details

Story Title: The Osborn Identity Part Four: One-on-One

Writer: Dan Slott

Penciler: Stuart Immonen

Inker: Wade von Grawbadger

Colorist: Marte Gracia and Andres Mossa

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga

Cover Artist: Alex Ross

Editor: Nick Lowe

Published: June 7, 2017


Remedial ASM 101

Just to catch you up, here is what has happened:

Osborn’s back and has been using different faces (yes, faces – not masks) to keep out of sight until ready to reveal himself.  However, after being goaded by Spidey, he changes to his real face too soon and ends up horribly disfigured.  His plan?  Turn Symkaria into his own personal weapons manufacturing nation.  His method?  Teaming up with the current Symkarian leader, Countess Karkov, so he can do it legally.  Spider-Man could care less about legalities because he a. wants to help his friend Silver Sable and b. he really cannot stand Osborn.  S.H.I.E.L.D. has decided Parker Industries and Spider-Man have no business going into Symkaria and have vowed to stop them.  Mockingbird quits S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to be with her hopeful honey, Spidey.  Spidey, meanwhile, is completely dumbfounded by the fact that Osborn’s goons really are goblins and are not just wearing masks.

By the way, when reading through the recap page, I ran across the words “Spider-Man’s archnemesis” and couldn’t help but picture this:


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

Osborn is going to gas all the Symkarians to turn them into his goblin army.  The group splits up  – the Wildpack to help with civilians, Mockingbird to disarm the gas missile (which seems to be taking the long way around to the city), and Spider-Man and Silver Sable to the local castle.  Silver Sable gets side tracked by a duel with the Countess for the fate of Symkaria.  Spider-Man leaves them to find Norman.  When he does, he gets gassed with a power dampening gas and then hit with an EMP to disable the spider-armor just before he can use web cartridge #7!


What is the type of webbing in web cartridge #7

a. quick drying cement
b. acid webbing
c. micro-coiled z-metal
d. expanding web foam
e. hasn’t been revealed yet

Click image to reveal the answer.


The suit is now powerless (even the eye lens are messed up).  Norman delivers some thoughts on the suit.

Osborn then proceeds to beat the living snot out of the web head.

Wait – wrong image – 

But the day is saved by our title character Spider-Man a few Wildpack members.  Sable wins by scratching the Countess (a bit anti-climatic).  Spider-Man wins … with a rock.

Which is also our Onomatopoeia of the issue.  I give it a 4.  It’s no BLRKBQRKPQRBLNB to be sure.

All’s well that ends well, only this doesn’t end well for Spidey.  While Symkaria is all grateful to Spidey, Osborn got away and S.H.I.E.L.D. severs all ties with Parker Industries.  Osborn ends our issue with a  vow to get his “real” face back – that would be the green one, folks.

What Passed:

This line:

And the line where Osborn says to Spider-Man, “What have I ever done to you?”

Immonen’s art continues to be well done.

What Failed:

Spider-Man pointing out the recurring storylines his arcs have taken.  It’s just me, but I hate lines that try to point out the obvious complaint in effort to show that since the author is aware, it is not really a detriment (So it’s the Death Star?  No – it’s BIGGER).

Sable’s victory.  I get that Countess Karkov was willing to let her own people suffer, but not herself.  But I don’t see how the scratch makes a difference.  Karkov tells Sable that they are well shielded in the castle.  Then Sable scratches her and she folds?  I think something must have been edited down to meet page requirements.  Don’t get me wrong, I was not interested in the Sable Karkov fight, so for them to leave it out to make more room for Spider-Man and Osborn is fine with me. 



The gas that takes away Spider-Man’s powers was first (and only?) used in Amazing Spider-Man #98.

I thought of that as soon as I saw the cover that proclaimed “NO POWERS!”  In that issue (one of the famous “drug” issues that didn’t have the CCA seal), it soaks through his costume and, assumedly, through his skin.  I guess that this means none of his breathing filters would work, so I’m good with that.  I like that Slott is going back to this weapon, which I never understood why it wasn’t used again.  I hate that Spider-Man’s response to getting caught by it is that the Goblin wouldn’t want to use the same weapons twice because it would be boring.  Sure the Goblin has created everything from sonic toads to little floaty ghost bombs, but he also uses the same attack whenever it pleases him (pumpkin bombs anyone?). 

I found myself rooting for Osborn.  Why?  Volume 4 Spider-Man has been quite the punk.  I’m all for Spidey designing new stuff here and there, but he’s been overly reliant on his tech.  Osborn was spouting all the things that many of us have been thinking with this new spider-gadgets.  To drive the point home, I think Slott did a good job showing that Spider-Man has fallen from his core character by the way that Osborn laid into him.  Even without his powers, he has fighting skills he learned from both Captain America and Shang Chi that should have been more than enough to take down Osborn.  There is no way he should have had to get the webbing knocked out of him like that unless he was just so arrogant that he lost who he really is. At least, that is my reading into it.  If that is the case, I can buy into the premise that maybe this is what volume 4 was all about – Peter Parker believing his own hype and drifting away from who he is.  This encounter may be just the thing to knock some sense back into him.  Or maybe it is just the beginning, as I feel that Slott wants to take Parker down a few more notches before he hits rock bottom and has his come to Jesus meeting (and he needs one after Amazing Grace).  I assume that there are multiple suits to replace the one that Osborn ruined, but I’m hoping that there is not.  Or to be cynical, editorial is pushing Slott to become more like the movie.  I don’t think so, but it is a possibility.  Whatever the case, it was a good run to see a different Peter Parker, but I’d like to see the old one again.  Maybe in the next issue we’ll see him back to his old duds again.  One can hope.

I’m also happy to see that Harry didn’t join with his dad or was tempted to in any way.  I figured he was going to get hit with a bit of that goblin serum gas and become then new Green Goblin since his dad can’t seem to anymore. 

Final Grade:

I liked the fight scene between Osborn and Spidey.  The rest of the issue was neither here nor there for me.


Your Turn:

What grade do YOU give it?


What’s Next?


  • As revealed in ASM #25, Otto Octavius is back as THE SUPERIOR OCTOPUS!!!
  • And Ock has a mission to take down the company that he helped create: PARKER INDUSTRIES!!!
  • Does Spider-Man stand a chance?


This will be coming our way June 28th.  See you then!


‘Nuff Said!


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(3) Comments

  1. Jack

    Sure was a lucky thing that Osborn was able to get Spidey to occupy *exactly* the right geographical place in order to zap him, eh? A specific rigged room in a small Eastern European country. And sure was lucky for Osborn that Spidey built himself a suit filled with Iron-Man-like electronic devices but no fail-safe systems. Since, you know, scientists never imagine that a device or system can fail. Why, I bet Peter didn't even do beta testing! Because he's one of those, you know, stupid-type scientists.

  2. Neil Bogenrieder

    "But the day is saved by our title character Spider-Man a few Wildpack members. Sable wins by scratching the Countess (a bit anti-climatic). Spider-Man wins … with a rock." But it was a big rock...

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