We’ve known this moment’s been coming for a while now. For some readers, it’s a bittersweet ending to a long ten years. For others, it’s something of a blessing. No matter how you look at it, though, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 is writer Dan Slott’s final Spider-Man tale.

Personally, I’m pretty torn up about this.

Rather than regale us with another crazy Spidey story, Dan Slott winds things down following the dramatic “Go Down Swinging” event and delivers a comic that brings everything he’s done thematically with Spider-Man full circle. It’s not grandiose by any means, and it’s even somewhat underwhelming (considering it’s Slott’s final issue), but it’s a great issue with tons of heart.

Joining Slott for his final Spidey tale is artist Marcos Martin. Martin has often joined Slott for emotional tales such as this one, so it’s only fitting that he’s here for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801. His classical style has always fit Spider-Man stories, and this one is no different.

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AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801: Not Starring Spider-Man

At first glance, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 may not appear to really be about Spidey at all. Thematically, though, this story is absolutely all about Spider-Man, and Dan Slott does a great job of telling it.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 opens with a quick rehashing of Spider-Man’s origin. The story then shifts its focus to a man named Kenneth. While on his way to say goodbye to his father (who will shortly pass away), Kenneth is mugged in a grocery store (he was stopping for a pack of cigarettes). Spidey, of course, swings in to save the day. Kenneth then goes on his way to the hospital to see his father.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 page 8. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Kenneth feels guilty for almost missing his father. The issue then features a montage of Kenneth’s life. His wife, Ellie, narrates this section, telling him the most important thing is to simply be there when it matters most.

Following this montage, we jump to the present day, where we see Spider-Man taking on some of Mr. Negative’s Inner Demons. As one of them is about to get away with a dangerous weapon, Kenneth, who happens to be in the onlooking crowd, trips up the goon and stops him. He and Spidey share a few words, and the web-slinger takes off.

Kenneth then endearingly explains to his niece just how amazing Spider-Man is — how he saves the world for someone, somewhere, every day. It’s essentially a huge summary of how important Spider-Man is to people, and how he’ll always have your back, no matter what. And, believe me, it’s about as perfect a summary as a Spider-Fan could ask for.

Defining Spider-Man

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 may certainly come off as campy or overblown to some readers, but that doesn’t make its meaning any less potent or palpable. Though the primary narrative isn’t about Peter Parker, the issue, as a whole, is completely about him. It’s a unique telling of who Spider-Man is.

It’s always interesting to see a Spider-Man story told through the eyes of a random bystander or side character. Ken’s story is both simplistic and touching, and it captures the essence of Spider-Man very well. I applaud Dan Slott for taking a risk with this issue and delivering this heartfelt story, especially considering it’s his last Spider-Man issue.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 page 12. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

However, given that fact, I went into AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 expecting something wholly about Spidey. I was expecting something that dealt with the fallout of “Go Down Swinging,” or something that pointed to the future. That’s not at all what we got here. After my first reading, I was left wanting more. I felt sort of cheated. However, while it may initially be underwhelming, it didn’t take long for me to really admire what Slott has done with this story.

This kind of writing reminds me of just how much I’ll miss Slott as the writer for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

Capturing Spider-Man on the Page

As if you needed anymore reason to read this issue, the art of Marcos Martin gloriously graces the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801. The way I see it, if you ever see this guy’s name on a Spider-Man book, you should at the very least read it for the art alone. Marcos Martin’s art propels Dan Slott’s final Spidey story to tremendous heights.

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Martin brings with him his trademark style to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801. There’s never a dull or unemotional moment in this book. The story progresses perfectly. This issue shines, though, in its particular scenes, rather than the overall picture.

For example, there’s a great homage to the cover of AMAZING FANTASY #15. Watching Spidey take down the mugger is a great, energetic moment. Martin also does a fantastic job distinguishing between the original and current Spidey costumes (which are essentially the same, but at the same time, kind of different).

This issue features two awesome two-page spreads. The first is the big fight between Spidey and the Inner Demons. The second (featured below) is probably the best page of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801. The spread is tailored perfectly to Kenneth’s dialogue. This moment really helps this issue stand out as one of Slott’s better Spidey stories.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 page 17. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

A Classic Art Style

It’s hard to not enjoy Marcos Martin’s art. Because we don’t see it too often, his classical style is never unfitting; it never feels tacked on for the sake of making a Spidey book look old-fashioned. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Marcos Martin working on Spider-Man.

Of course, much of this art is due to the colors of Muntsa Vicente, whose colors make these drawings pop with classic comic book coloring. If you’re reading AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 and get a warm classic feeling when you see these colors, you should thank Vicente for that touch.

What Comes Next?

As AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 draws to a close, so too does Dan Slott’s time with Spider-Man. The final page of this issue features Spidey swinging away, his back to us, holding a briefcase. This might be me looking too much into the imagery here, but it kinda feels like that’s Dan Slott moving on to what comes next for him.

Sorry, I took a few literary analysis courses in college.

Extensive analysis aside, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 is probably the greatest way Dan Slott could have capped off his 10 years with Peter Parker. This isn’t just what Spider-Man means to the author, but what he means to everyone who reads the comics, watches the movies, and, even when things get rough, keep coming back for more.

Though it may seem a bit lacking at first, I urge you to give AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 your undivided attention. It’s a great book, one that easily deserves a great deal of recognition. It’s a very down-to-earth story that elegantly wraps up Slott’s time with the character. Not to mention, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente did the art. Couple all this together, and you get a really great Spider-Man issue.

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Starting in July, writer Nick Spencer and artist Ryan Ottley take the reins. Who knows what they’ve got in store? Hopefully it’s something amazing.

Saying Goodbye to Dan Slott

I think I’ve done these little goodbye bits for Dan Slott three times now. This is the last one, I promise. I just feel obligated to congratulate Dan Slott on 10 amazing years of Spider-Man. Seriously, it’s been one hell of a ride.

The majority of the Spider-Man content I own is written by Dan Slott. He’s responsible for basically all of my favorite Spider-Man moments. Aside from Stan Lee, he’s the biggest reason Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. Something tells me I’m not the only one who feels this way.

From all of us here at ComicsVerse, thank you, Dan Slott! You’ve gone above and beyond to make Spider-Man the hero he is today. Here’s hoping your future is just as amazing as these past ten years have been.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 by Dan Slott, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente
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Summary
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 is an amazing finale for what's been an amazing 10 years of Spider-Man. Though it may seem underwhelming at first, it's easy to tell Dan Slott put his all into his final AMAZING SPIDER-MAN issue, and it definitely shows.
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An Amazing Finale

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