Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr Dan Slott just concluded one of his strongest AMAZING SPIDER-MAN arcs to date. “Go Down Swinging” is a thrilling four-part story that brings with it tons of surprises, loads of action, and nothing but fantastic artwork and storytelling. However, with “Go Down Swinging” completed in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800, this only leaves one more issue for Dan Slott to write. It truly breaks my heart to know that in just a few weeks’ time, Dan Slott will be finished writing AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. After a record breaking 8+ years writing the character, Dan Slott will soon move on to tell new tales in the Marvel Universe. Given that most of the Spider-Man books comprising the top shelf of my bookcase are by Slott, I’m fairly torn up about this. However, this is hardly a time for melancholy. Though I will certainly grieve over the split between Slott and Spider-Man, I find it more appropriate to take this time to look back at all the amazing (no pun intended) things Dan Slott has accomplished over the years. He’s taken Peter Parker to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. He’s redefined the character of Spider-Man in ways only Dan Slott possibly could. Let’s take a look at Dan Slott’s top 10 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN moments. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800 is an Amazing Milestone! 10. “Brand New Day” AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #546. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. Dan Slott’s long history with Spider-Man all started with “Brand New Day”. This arc ran for 19 issues, following the dramatic and controversial “One More Day” arc. Slott wrote a majority of these 19 issues, including the initial three that kicked everything off. He was joined by artist Steve McNiven to bring Spider-Man into this new world without his marriage to Mary Jane Watson. I find that “Brand New Day” often gets a bad rep, as it’s the arc that immediately follows “One More Day”. If you’re any kind of Spider-Man fan, then you know just how widely despised “One More Day” is. It’s not many peoples’ favorite Spidey story, and for good reason. It retcons one of the greatest romances in all of comic book history, not to mention other small bits of Peter Parker’s life. Luckily, “Brand New Day” came along to make sure readers knew that everything was going to be okay. Seriously, “Brand New Day” is a very good 19-issue arc. Especially the bits by Slott. It’s so great that he was the one to ease us into Peter Parker’s new life. Really, it was new and old at the same time. This was a chance for the writers to take Peter Parker back to a place he hadn’t been to for a while. Dan Slott did a great job transitioning Peter’s story back to a more grounded environment. Sure, it’s the old “down-on-his-luck” Peter Parker, but Slott’s take was fresh and rejuvenating, especially after the events of “One More Day”. “Brand New Day” was a great start, but there’s so much more Dan Slott did with this character. That’s why “Brand New Day” lands the number 10 spot. 9. “Big Time” AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #648. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. Slott was one of many writers in the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN writer rotation for a while. It wasn’t until AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #648 was released in November 2010 that Slott would be made the sole AMAZING SPIDER-MAN writer. Who would’ve imagined that would only be the start of eight years of truly engrossing storytelling? “Big Time,” in its own right, is yet another stepping/starting off point for Spider-Man. It isn’t a reboot or a retcon, but rather a time for some big changes (again, no pun intended). This is the true beginning of where Dan Slott would take Peter Parker over the course of his long history with the character. Peter Parker gets to visit new places and experience new things like never before. “Big Time” is what prompts so many great changes in Peter’s life, like going to work for Horizon Labs and joining up with the Future Foundation. Exploring Peter Parker’s Responsibility in the SPIDER-MAN Films The core story of the four-issue “Big Time” arc itself is rather simple, actually. It features Spidey and Black Cat teaming up to take on the Kingpin and the new Hobgoblin (Phil Urich). It’s all very fast-paced and beautifully illustrated by the energetic Humberto Ramos. With so many new experiences happening all at once, it is almost a bit overwhelming to read. Thankfully, Dan Slott was smart enough to save some of the even better storytelling for later. “Big Time” was a great way to kick-off Slott’s personal eight years with Spidey. It’s a fun yet simple story, so it takes the number 9 spot on the list. 8. “Dying Wish” AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. Let’s jump now from the beginning to the end of Dan Slott’s time with Peter Parker. Well, at least, the first end. Let me explain. Remember that time Peter Parker “dies” and Doctor Octopus becomes Spider-Man? Well, that all starts with the “Dying Wish” arc. This is when Otto Octavius swaps minds with Peter Parker to avoid dying. Because of what he does, Peter Parker “dies” in Octavius’ body, leaving Doc Ock to continue on as the Superior Spider-Man. “Dying Wish” is one of Slott’s hardest-hitting Spidey events. It takes place over the course of only three issues (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #698-700), but those three issues are incredibly fast-paced and gripping right up to the bitter end. The story follows Peter as he tries to take back his body from Doctor Octopus. He ultimately fails, and Doc Ock lives on to become the Superior Spider-Man. “Dying Wish” is both the beginning and the ending of something great. It launches SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, but it also brings about a tragic end to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. However, it is an ending well-earned and very well-written. As Doc Ock lays Peter to rest, it’s an extremely endearing moment. It’s probably one of Slott’s greatest single scenes throughout his history of writing Spider-Man. “Dying Wish” is an emotional arc, but it’s also a very quick one. Given that, “Dying Wish” leaves a lot to be desired in some ways. It’s a hard-hitting story, yes, but Slott has told many other emotionally-driven Spidey stories that are filled with so much more. That’s why “Dying Wish” lands at number 8 on this list. 7. “Spider-Island” AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #667. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. If you’re ever looking for a fun Spider-Man comic to read, then you should look no further than “Spider-Island”. This AMAZING SPIDER-MAN event is just good old-fashioned fun. It’s insanely creative and filled with tons of crazy stuff that’ll keep your eyes consistently pinned to the pages. “Spider-Island” is Slott’s first big Spidey event that he writes on his own. The Jackal returns and infects the city with spiders that turn practically everyone in Manhattan into Spider-Man. At first, it’s all fun and games, with many of New York’s citizens just having an enjoyable time. It quickly goes south when everyone starts turning into giant spider monsters. Who better to save the day than Spider-Man himself? As mentioned, this event is a constant joyride. There isn’t a single moment of this story that doesn’t feel fun or uplifting. It flows quickly and there’s never a wasteful moment in the story. Nothing about “Spider-Island” is overly dramatic or thought-provoking, but that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be that kind of a story. That’s what many of Slott’s other Spidey events are for. Sometimes pure fun is a lot more enthralling than thematic storytelling. Because of that, “Spider-Island” nabs the number 7 slot. 6. “Go Down Swinging” AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. Dan Slott’s most recent (and final) AMAZING SPIDER-MAN event is “Go Down Swinging”. This event (for me, at least) was hyped up. A lot. At first, when it begins, it feels a bit lackluster. But, come the conclusion, I realized that it’s actually an incredibly heartfelt story. This explosive event sees the return of Green Goblin. As if that sounds bad enough, it’s not just the Goblin that Peter has to worry about this time. Osborn unites with the Carnage symbiote, creating the deadly Red Goblin. The events of this arc are about as violent as you might expect. Nothing incredibly thought-provoking happens during this event. The first three issues of “Go Down Swinging” take time to establish the villain, set all the various pieces in motion, and establish Peter’s goal come the finale. The goal is simple: beat the Red Goblin. That’s easier said than done, of course. Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley Swing Into AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 So, on the surface, this arc is very straightforward and to the point. However, come AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800 (the finale), everything starts to fold into place ever-so neatly, and this event absolutely shines and stands out from Slott’s other events. Considering how many points this arc has to touch on, and all the characters it brings into the fold, I’m surprised at just how well this story turns out. “Go Down Swinging” is a great finish for Dan Slott. The story could have been a bit more thought-provoking, but it definitely succeeds as is. It’s full of intense action and drama, and undoubtedly earns the number 6 spot on the list. 5. “The Clone Conspiracy” THE CLONE CONSPIRACY #1. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. The Spider-Event of 2016 was received with its fair share of skepticism. And how could it not? “Clones? Again?!” These were surely the questions rattling through many peoples’ minds when “The Clone Conspiracy” was announced. There was no way another clone story could work. Well, guess what? It did. “The Clone Conspiracy” is actually a surprisingly good event. The Jackal returns, and he brings with him the gift of new life for the dozens of people who have died in Spider-Man’s world. Of course it all falls apart, and it’s up to Spider-Man to stop this new clone outbreak from destroying the world. Joining Spidey are a revived Kaine and the fan-favorite Spider-Gwen. “Clone Conspiracy” is a very well-paced story (aside from the ending). Not only that, but each issue ends with a surprising reveal or secret. The dramatic return of Doc Ock and Ben Reilly are particular favorite moments of mine. The story deals with the subject matter in a very believable format. For a clone story, this is definitely one of Slott’s most grounded Spidey events. THE CLONE CONSPIRACY #1 Review: A Must-Read “Clone Conspiracy” is a perfect blend of good fun, high-stakes thrills, and heavily-thematic storytelling. It challenges a lot of things Spider-Man fights for. Plus, it features spectacular art from Jim Cheung. Unfortunately, it ends rather abruptly, and doesn’t bring with it much closure. Still, this event definitely nails the number 5 spot. 4. “Matters of Life and Death” AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #653. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. The trade paperback “Matters of Life and Death” collects the stories “Revenge of the Spider-Slayer” and “No One Dies”. But, for simplicity’s sake, I’m calling this next bit “Matters of Life and Death”. “Matters of Life and Death” is one of the most impactful arcs in Spider-Man’s recent history. It is Slott’s second arc, immediately following “Big Time,” and it shows readers the writer isn’t afraid to take risks and push Spider-Man to his absolute limits. Alistair Smythe returns to wreak havoc on J. Jonah Jameson’s life. He kills Marla Jameson, and in the process of stopping the villain, Peter lost his Spider-Sense. Following these events, Spidey faces Massacre, an emotionless killer. Without his Spider-Sense, Peter develops the new Spider-Armor to help defeat Massacre. All of these events led Peter to adopt the motto, “no one dies”. “Matters of Life and Death” brings with it a heavy toll. It’s an emotionally driven story that is equal parts exciting and devastating. Given most of the other stories Dan Slott had written for Spider-Man up to this point were more jovial, it came as a surprise to see Slott so easily turn the tables and deliver such a powerful story. The fantastic artwork from Stefano Caselli and Marcos Martin help push “Matters of Life and Death” above many of Slott’s other Spidey arcs. It’s a story packed with great art, tons of action, and a thematic presence that winded up defining Spider-Man for years to come. That’s why “Matters of Life and Death” takes slot number 4. 3. “Spider-Verse” AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9 (2014). Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. Have you ever wanted to see every spider-themed hero ever get together for a massive Spider-Man event? Yeah, me too. Thanks to Dan Slott’s “Spider-Verse” event, we got just that. Dear god, I love this event. “Spider-Verse” sees the return of not just Morlun, but his entire family. The Inheritors are hungry, and they’re hunting spiders all across the multiverse. How can Spider-Man hope to defeat a charged up enemy he was barely able to defeat the first two times? By assembling every Spider-Man and Woman, of course. Cindy Moon AKA Silk: Marvel’s Most Underrated Spider The thought of seeing so many Spider-characters all in one place may seem either daunting or cliché, but it fits neither description. “Spider-Verse” is very much like “Spider-Island” in that it’s just pure fun, start to finish. What sets the former apart from the latter, though, is both the scope and the telling of the story. Though “Spider-Verse” is incredibly fun, it brings with it a modicum of graveness. There are a handful of deaths, and Peter rarely has time to make any wisecracks. Which, given the circumstances of the story, is completely understandable. Couple this crazy story with the exceptional artwork from artists Olivier Coipel and Giuseppe Camuncoli and you’ve got yourself one of Dan Slott’s most epic Spider-Events. The dark tone fits the intense action, and it makes the story exceptionally fun. That’s why “Spider-Verse” takes the number 3 spot on the list. 2. “Ends of the Earth” AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #682. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. Though it’s always nice to sit down with a fun comic book, nothing beats gripping storytelling that never misses a beat. That’s exactly what “Ends of the Earth” is, and, as far as Slott’s events go, this is one that’s entirely worth telling. When Doc Ock threatens to cook the world, Spidey and the Avengers team up to take him on. At least, that’s the plan. For all of Spidey’s planning, Ock is even more prepared. Spider-Man, Black Widow, and Silver Sable are all who remain to save the world. The fallout is some of the worst Spider-Man has ever faced. As far as Dan Slott’s singular, 5-6 issue Spider-Man arcs go, “Ends of the Earth” is easily his best one. It gets everything right. It draws you in with a larger-than-life threat, promises an epic confrontation between the good guys and bad guys, and brings with it consequences that leave the hero completely changed. “Ends of the Earth” features Dan Slott’s most enthralling storytelling by far. At least, for a single event, it does. There’s no way you can read this story and not feel constantly involved with what’s going on. It hits all the beats a good superhero tale should hit. Were it not for the arc I’m about to introduce at the number 1 spot, “Ends of the Earth” would certainly take the crown. Nevertheless, it goes without saying that this arc is jaw-droppingly incredible. “Ends of the Earth” completely deserves its spot at number 2 on the list. 1. THE SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. I’m surely pissing off a lot of people by putting SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN in the number one spot. But it deserves to be there. It really does. Marvel NOW! initiative aimed to really shake things up at Marvel. What better way to do that than to take one of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies and make him Spider-Man? Dan Slott decided to put Otto Octavius is in the driver’s seat as the Superior Spider-Man. It might be cheating by putting the entire series in the number one spot, but I don’t care. It might as well be its own event, it’s just that epic and unique. SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN features Dan Slott’s absolute best writing in all his time writing Spider-Man. This series is both creative and intelligent, as Slott broadened the character of Otto Octavius, introduced several great new characters, and mapped out an intricate story throughout all 31 issues. A few particularly strong moments from the series include “Troubled Mind,” “No Escape,” “Superior Venom,” and “Goblin Nation”. In “Troubled Mind,” Otto deals with the lingering remnants of Peter Parker. In “No Escape,” Alistair Smythe is finally put to rest, and Otto takes a big step forward as Spider-Man. “Superior Venom” should be pretty self-explanatory. “Goblin Nation” is the culmination of the entire series and brings a dramatic conclusion to SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN. SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN isn’t good just because it’s creative and fresh: it stands out because Slott took a big risk with this series. Even conceiving the idea was a risk, but it paid off tenfold. It proved to be his greatest work with the webhead. That’s why SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN takes the crown as Dan Slott’s best Spider-Man story. Looking Back on Dan Slott’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN What Comes Next for Dan Slott? There you have it. These are Dan Slott’s top 10 Spider-Man moments. At least, they’re my top 10. I’m sure everyone will have their own list of favorites. But, I think we can all agree that these are all some of Slott’s most notable moments with Spider-Man. Each of these stories stand out in some way or another, and they’re all exceptional examples of great storytelling. Overall, Dan Slott’s time with Spider-Man actually took a very interesting arc. He started by stripping Peter Parker down and truly bringing him back to this roots. Eight years later, the character has risen to heights previously undreamed of for Spider-Man. These stories I’ve listed, plus so many more, are all thanks to Slott. But, with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 coming out in a few weeks, it’s time to look to Dan Slott’s future. Luckily, we won’t have to look far for the future antics of this incredible writer. He’ll be keeping busy taking up the writing duties for both Iron Man and the Fantastic Four (I’m quite excited for the latter series). Will Dan Slott ever make a return to Spider-Man? Your guess is as good as mine. I like to think he’ll come back and write a short story here and there. But, as far as the core story of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN goes, I’m eager to see what Nick Spencer’s got up his sleeves. A big thanks to Dan Slott for almost 10 years of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Here’s to this fantastic writer’s future, and to so many more years of everyone’s favorite webhead.