The build up to “Go Down Swinging” is nearly over, and what will purportedly be Spidey’s most harrowing adventure will soon begin. All the pieces are seemingly in place, and Peter Parker’s world is set for a seismic change.
In Amazing Spider-Man #796 (written by Dan Slott, illustrated by Mike Hawthorne and others) Norman Osborn managed to tame the Carnage symbiote, which removed the nanites preventing him from Goblin-ing up. We know that Slott is writing the Red Goblin to be one of Spidey’s greatest foes, which is why “Go Down Swinging” is being sold as the biggest Peter Parker/Norman Osborn story ever told, in more ways than one evidently. Amazing Spider-Man #800 will be a whopping 80 pages in length.
While the details are unclear, it’s safe to assume Slott will be ending his 10 year run on Amazing Spider-Man with a bang, which is fitting, given all the controversial twists and turns he has unapologetically thrown at us, as any great storyteller would. Just look at Superior Spider-Man, for which he virtually killed off Peter Parker and replaced him with Otto Octavius. Fans were outraged, but that didn’t stop Slott from exploring the new dynamic in full, offering a different take on characters people had been reading about for nearly 50 years. More importantly, it worked, and eventually won over the majority of those who were originally naysayers
Nor was Slott afraid to explore the areas of Spidey’s world that fans have long been sensitive about. “Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy,” for example, saw the resurrection of a large number of deceased characters such as Gwen and George Stacy, Jean DeWolff and, of course, Ben Reilly. Despite generally dim views of the word “clone” in any proximity to “Spider-Man,” fans once again enjoyed the ride Slott was piloting.
What this means is that there’s really no telling what we’ll see by the end of Amazing Spider-Man #800. If this really is meant to change Spidey’s world, there’s a very good chance one of the dozens of characters we’ve come to know over the years will not make it out alive. Death has consistently proven to be Spider-Man’s greatest and cruelest teacher because oftentimes it allows the writers to highlight one integral theme: responsibility.
Spidey doesn’t take his responsibility lightly, which means he’s constantly putting others ahead of himself because he believes it’s his duty to protect those around him. That’s not to say that he doesn’t turn to them when he needs to. In fact, one of Spider-Man’s greatest attributes is his reliance on the good people around him. He has friends and family that love and support him in everything he does.
It makes him that much more accessible to readers everywhere, which has undoubtedly been one of the major reasons behind Spider-Man’s popularity as a superhero. Killing off a supporting character comes with a responsibility no writer should take lightly. It is however, necessary at times for a story to be as impactful as possible, something we’re likely to see in the 80-page behemoth that is Amazing Spider-Man #800. The only question is, who could Dan Slott possible kill off?
Remember, in Slott’s run, anything is possible. We know which characters are likeliest to survive thanks the announcement of Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley taking over the title after Slott’s run ends. Spencer named several characters that will continue to make an appearance: Mary Jane, Aunt May, J. Jonah Jameson and Black Cat. Fans of those characters can stop fretting.
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