By Dan Slott, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Marte Gracia
It’s hard to say if there has been an arc from Amazing Spider-Man that has been as in demand or as anticipated as “Go Down Swinging.” The introduction of the Red Goblin has certainly caused a stir and interest in the comics world for this series. Some issues are past 4th printings and can possibly have a couple more put back to press. In any case, this series has picked up immensely and Amazing Spider-Man #799 just adds to the terror and fun of the villain’s legacy.
Dan Slott is always a controversial name when it comes to Spider-Man comics. Some fans love him, while others simply despise him. Whichever way you feel shouldn’t matter, because “Go Down Swinging” has actually been very good. Slott shows us Peter using his head to make sure that his loved ones are taken care of, as he dispatches all of his friends to keep tabs on them, since he made a deal never to don the suit again. As these things usually go, the friends all eventually get into a tussle with the Red Goblin. What works in this issue for Slott is the amount of love we feel as these characters fight to protect Peter’s friends and family. It’s nice to see superheroes working together and not fighting each other. Slott does his part to make the Goblin menacing. As we see him take down hero after hero with ease, it seems like nothing and no one can take him down. As the issue closes out, Slott possibly shows us one of the worst possible things a villain has done in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. Where things go from here will be answered in Amazing Spider-Man #800, but things do not look good for the wall-crawler.
The pencils this issue are handled by Stuart Immonen with inks by Wade Von Grawbadger and colors by Marte Gracia. There usually is never much to complain about while Stuart Immonen is on pencils, and that trend continues with this issue. Immonen, helped by the inks of Wade Von Grawbadger, does a fine job of making the Red Goblin look disturbing. A panel where Norman is changing over to the Red Goblin as he grabs a random pedestrian is actually very creepy. The action scenes are great, as Silk and Miles swing in to take on the Red Goblin. Immonen adds great depth to his already amazing panels. The colors by Marte Gracia are a huge boost to Immonen’s pencils. Silk’s costume, with its red web on the front, really shines as she swings in to fight. Panels where Clash and the Human Torch attack the Goblin rock, as the flames and vibrations illuminate the page. The art complements the story greatly here and adds to an already classic Spider-Man tale.
It seems Dan Slott saved the best for last, because this is a really entertaining story. Clever writing and vicious art highlight an already strong arc. If you’re not on board with the Red Goblin, you’re not a Spider-Man fan.