We supposedly have five more issues left in Amazing Spider-Man before this book is ended again. (Remember back in the 1990s when they renumbered ASM only to go back to the original numbering?) I say supposedly because if you read the letters page in this issue you see that there’s an issue 699.1 coming up. In fact, since Spider-Man is shipped 2-3 times a month and issue #700 is coming at the end of December, there might be a few point one issues coming up. At any rate we have somewhere between five and seven issues left and Dan Slott appears determined to throw everything possible at Spider-Man.
Ever since Dan Slott took over as the head writer/plotter at Amazing Spider-Man he’s written for the long story. I’ve mentioned this before in my reviews here and on other sites - he tends to plant the seeds for future issues anywhere from six months to two years in advance. In this case he’s going back to last year’s big Spidey event - Spider-Island. Horizon Labs working in conjunction with Reed Richards developed Spider-Sense Dampeners. At the end of that series it was revealed that Kingpin was acquiring one. Ever since then we were wondering when it was going to come into the picture.
This issue has Kingpin finally using the device. Only, through a mixup, we end up with the hilarious results of Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense being amped up. This leads to some pretty hilarious panels. If there’s one place Slott has excelled it’s in bringing the right mix of drama and humor to Amazing Spider-Man.
We also know that the original Hobgoblin is back to reclaim his mantle from the (unless I’m mistaken) third Hobgoblin. So Slott might also be putting the end to his newer Hobgoblin. So as we enter the last phase of ASM we have all the great elements of a Spider-Man story:Kingpin, a goblin, and Spider-power malfunction. Oh yeah, and the solicits for future issues mention the return of Doc Ock.
It’s a really good issue, but Dan Slott is doing a lot of setting up for this arc so it’s not a great issue. No surprise there, it’s pretty rare for the first issue of an arc to be great. We’re left wondering just where this is all leading to that forces Slott into hiding. All I have to say is that if it involves Mephisto and erasing of more continuity or if we end up back at the beginning of Parker’s life or something like that I will straight up stop reading this book. I know fans always threaten to stop reading, but I truly mean it. I don’t have that much money for comics so if Dan Slott gives me an excuse to stop reading Spider-Man I will take it. And since there’s the possibility once again of the world knowing his identity (which was also part of the non-marriage deal), I am a little wary.