Sunday, July 8, 2018

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #800 Was Totally Worth The Wait

I put off reading Amazing Spider-Man #800 for a almost a month and a half (it was released on May 30th). There are so many emotions tied to it for me that I was just not ready to read it. Even though it's not the last issue of AMS that Dan Slott wrote (his run ends with #801), it is the conclusion of Dan Slott's last major story arc, and that is a really big deal to me for multiple reasons.

First off, Peter Parker/Spider-Man is my favorite comic character of all time.  Which leads me to my next reason.

Dan Slott is my favorite Spider-Man writer of all time, bar none. I have pretty much loved his entire historic run on my favorite character. For me, he has not only done justice to both Peter and Spidey, but he has redefined some supporting cast members in a way I never thought possible. The work he did with Otto Octavius alone would have made his run legendary in my eyes. But he did so much more than that.

The last reason the end of Slott's run is such a big deal to me is that it comes not long after the end of Secret Identity, a comics and pop culture podcast I co-hosted and produced for 12 years. Matt and I ended Secret Identity at episode #800 (though we produced well over 900 episodes overall, including specials and odd-numbered shows). Secret Identity began almost two years before Dan started his run on Amazing-Spider Man, and it ended in November of 2017, shortly after issue #791 of Amazing Spider-Man came out.

For me, Secret Identity and Slott's run on Amazing Spider-Man will forever be connected. Our show ran through almost all of Dan's run on AMS. We discussed dozens AMS issues on the show, and I interviewed Dan on four separate occasions. The first time I sat down with Dan was in early 2008 when he had just become part of the "Spidey Braintrust" that was tasked with picking up the pieces of the "One More Day" event. The last time I interviewed Dan was in August of 2016, during the lead-up to "Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy," which featured the return of Ben Reilly.   

So with all the history I have with Slott's run, how did issue #800 stack up for me?

It was damn near perfect.

In the 80-page conclusion to the "Go Down Swinging" storyline, there are so many moments that serve to acknowledge all of the characters that Slott has told stories with during his run. And in those moments, we see how much all of these people matter to Peter Parker, and to Slott himself.

Perhaps my favorite thing about this issue is that it honors Norman Osborn as the longtime nemesis of Spider-Man, while giving Otto Octavius his moment to shine as well.

I'm not going to spoil the story here, because any Spidey fan should read it for themselves. But for me, it was extremely satisfying, and very emotional.

I still haven't brought myself to read Slott's final issue of Spidey (#801), because I'm not ready to completely say goodbye yet. But issue #800 made me want to go back to the very beginning of Dan's run and start reading all over again. His will forever be my favorite run on the book. And for that, I cannot thank him enough.

But I'll try, after I read issue #801.

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