Dan Slott has been building up to this moment for months. Finally, “Go Down Swinging” has begun. Slott begins his final AMAZING SPIDER-MAN event in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797, and it’s already shaping up to be one hell of a ride.

Recently, we’ve watched Norman Osborn work tirelessly to gain the upper hand against his wall-crawling adversary. He found his answer in the Carnage symbiote. By some stroke of luck, Osborn and Carnage came to an understanding, allowing Osborn to gain control of the symbiote. This seemingly allowed him to, once again, become the Green Goblin.

Now, Osborn has begun to enact his plan to take down Spider-Man once and for all. He’s mapped out a web (no pun intended) of every conceivable connection he can find to Spider-Man. It’s every bit as scary as it sounds. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 is all about Osborn.

“Go Down Swinging” is building up to be some of Slott’s best work on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Joining Slott for this harrowing tale is artist Stuart Immonen, who delivers nothing but beautiful pages throughout AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797.

There’s Evil Afoot in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #796

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 Turns the Tables

The past three issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN have kept Peter Parker in the spotlight, with Osborn and Carnage in the background. In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797, this formula gets a mix-up. Osborn lives in the spotlight for this issue. It’s all about him piecing together the things he needs to take down Spider-Man. Osborn shows us a new, obsessive side of himself, no doubt brought out by Carnage.

Osborn is more psychotic and cynical than we’ve ever seen. It’s like watching a whole new character being brought to life on the pages. It should come as no surprise that the unity of Osborn and Carnage would yield these kinds of results, yet they’re still pretty frightening. And they haven’t even gotten to fighting Spidey yet.

Slott nails the maniacal nature of Osborn, who’s continually taunting a captive throughout AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797. By the end, we know who this captive is, but I won’t spoil that for you. During this interrogation/conversation, Osborn goes out of his way to do some pretty gruesome stuff.

See for yourself…

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 page 9. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Osborn’s psychology has been taken to new heights, thanks to Carnage, and it’s so much fun to watch. If you’re not worried about what’s to come because of this union, then you better check yourself. All hell is about to break loose in Spider-Man’s world, and I’m both excited and terrified to see it happen.

What’s Peter Parker Up To?

Of course, Peter Parker is still very much a part of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797. In fact, his opening moments should immediately grab your attention. I’ve been saying it for months: Peter and Mary Jane are gonna get back together. I was so ready to be right, but sadly, it’s over just as quickly as it begins. Though we do see Peter and MJ being intimate, MJ quickly cuts it off.

It’s easy to see where she’s coming from, in terms of not wanting to go back to that kind of relationship with Peter. Ultimately, the two depart on what is undoubtedly an awkward note. This also acts as another link for Osborn, as he watches Spider-Man depart from MJ’s apartment.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 page 7. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Otherwise, Peter’s story for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 is fairly tame. He stops a purse snatcher, shows up late to work (as usual), and deals once again with the cacophony of J. Jonah Jameson.

We also catch small glimpses into the goings-on of Flash Thompson and Harry Osborn. Liz Allen seems to be abusing her knowledge of Flash’s secret identity, while Harry is trying to be a good father. Frankly, something needs to change with Liz. I want to see Alchemax crumble already. It has to happen. And whoever this Emma woman is that’s helping Harry with the kids is obviously with Osborn. That will most definitely lead to some big surprise later on; Norman even makes a note about that.

For the most part, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 is more build up, but it’s far more interesting than what we’ve been seeing recently. At the same time, it sets in motion what else is to come in “Go Down Swinging.” Overall, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 is a great, plot-driven issue.

Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley Swing Into AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1

Stuart Immonen Shines in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797

I’m almost glad Immonen took a break for two issues because it makes seeing his artwork again a hundred times more satisfying. It feels like he’ll be pulling out all the stops for “Go Down Swinging.” AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 features some of Immonen’s best pages since he started working with Slott.

There’s a great dichotomy between the pages featuring Osborn and the pages featuring everyone else. Osborn’s scenes portray mangled decor and a messy layout, while other scenes are a bit more uniform. The contrast is striking, and it helps set AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 apart from previous issues.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 page 11. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Marte Gracia’s colors help flesh these varying scenes out. Osborn’s scenes are dark and grim; the brightest colors come from the single jack-o-lantern in the room. Conversely, the other pages are much brighter and more energetic. The scene between Peter and MJ is particularly well-drawn and colored. The characters are dour for the most part, and the coloring suggests a romantic, yet defeated tone. It’s very well-structured.

Like Slott, it feels like Immonen is saving his best work for last. There isn’t a single, unpleasant page in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797. None of the page spaces are wasted on filler images. Every panel drives the story forward. The pages are also great on their own, and this is without even looking too deeply into what they represent.

Looking Back on Dan Slott’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

What Comes Next?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 ends on the mother of all cliffhangers. A monumental revelation is made, and it’ll change everything for Spider-Man moving forward. Hell, it’ll change everything for everyone moving forward.

The cogs of this story are shifting in some very interesting ways. When everything finally falls into place, and the pumpkin bombs and webs start flying, there’ll be enough action to keep your eyes glued to the page for weeks.

It seems like Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen won’t be holding anything back with “Go Down Swinging.”. It’s shaping up to be the most groundbreaking Spider-Man event to date. There’s just something different about this arc. The stakes feel higher than they’ve ever been, and the threat feels more menacing. For once, there’s really no telling how the story will end. And that’s an incredible feeling.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 by Dan Slott, Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, and Marte Gracia
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 finally gets the ball rolling for "Go Down Swinging," and it's in the best ways possible. Norman Osborn has never been more terrifying.
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An Ominous Beginning

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