This 80 page spectacular is the finale to the Go Down Swinging storyline. Norman Osborn has bonded with the Carnage symbiote and become the villain known as the Red Goblin. In this issue we witness his final confrontation with Spider-Man. At 80 pages it is a longer read, but the pacing is great, so you’ll barely notice that.
This book has a whole slew of variant covers. The variant gallery within the book showcases 14 of them. I chose The Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennesey and Jason Keith offering featuring Spidey battling the Red Goblin. To me it has a feel similar to some of the old Spider-Man books I used to see as a kid. The characters look cartoony, but in a good way. Spider-Man is a character that fits that style well. The primary cover features Spider-Man and his supporting cast in the foreground with the Red Goblin looming in the background. All told there is a cover for almost every style that you might favour, though some may have jumped off your local shops shelves faster than others.
There is a series of artists that put this book together. With the exception of the chapter titled ‘Goodbye’ the art is very consistent throughout the book. Spider-Man looks great, balancing between grace and power, Spidey looks the way Spider-Man should. The Red Goblin on the other hand looks terrifying. He oozes menace and insanity, and is clearly designed to instill fear. The book constantly ups the ante and the art within helps to crank the tension as the book goes on. The best scene is towards the end of the book, when Norman and Peter are facing off for the last time. It sums up all the history between the Green Goblin and Spider-Man and the animosity between the two in just two panels. The artistic team on this book should be commended. They made a beautiful book.
Dan Slott wrote this issue ending the Go Down Swinging story arc. The issue begins with Spider-Man among his team in the aftermath of their defeat at the hands of the Carnage linked Norman Osborn. Combined with the symbiote, the now Red Goblin is almost unstoppable, and has several plans in place to strike at everyone that Peter cares about. He goes after M.J., and sends his grandson, also infected with the Carnage symbiote after Aunt May.
At this point we see some of Spider-Man’s old villains step in to the fray against the Red Goblin. Venom comes to the aid of Mary Jane, and Doc Ock shows up to protect Aunt May. Watching these former arch enemies come together was a lot of fun. Then came something I wasn’t expecting: Peter dons the Venom symbiote again. This gives him a fighting chance against Osborn, who begins terrorizing Times Square. It’s here that the two have their final showdown.
The battle is great, and leads to a great ending. I won’t spoil that here because I believe this book is very much worth the read.
Check this one out!