REVIEW: ‘Amazing Spider-Man,’ Issue #850

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Amazing Spider-Man #850 is written by Nick Spencer, penciled by Ryan Ottley with Humberto Ramos and Mark Bagley, inked by Cliff Rathburn with Victor Olazaba and John Dell, colored by Nathan Fairburn with Edgar Delgado and David Curiel, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramaga. It is published by Marvel Comics. The conclusion to the “Sins Rising” storyline finds Spider-Man forced to team up with his deadliest arch-enemy, Norman Osborn. Meanwhile, the Order of the Web, which consists of Spidey’s fellow arachnid-themed heroes, debate whether they should stop Spidey from making a world-shaking choice.

Spencer has been building to this confrontation for a while, and it’s every bit as emotional and action-packed as you’d expect. He gives you a glance into both Peter and Osborn’s minds and in doing so provides a new look at their longlasting rivalry. Readers will learn why Osborn hates Peter, and be reminded that even though they’re working together Osborn is only after his own best interests. Peter, on the other hand, is striving to do the right thing in protecting Osborn from the super-powered Sin-Eater. It’s hard, especially considering everything Osborn’s taken from him and the Sin-Eater has a veritable arsenal of powers, but as always his quick thinking and his indomitable will win the day.

The best example of this is when Peter faces the Sin-Eater. He’s up against an enemy who is literally unstoppable. But he continues to hold his ground, even as his bones begin to break. The reason I love Spider-Man is that he never gives up, even in the face of impossible odds. And Spencer understands that.

The “Return of the Green Goblin” is split into three different chapters with Ottley, Ramos, and Bagley each handling a different one. Ottley is well known for his hyperkinetic fight scenes on Image Comics’ Invincible; the issue literally opens with Spidey punching his way through a mob of Sin-Eater’s followers. In fact, there are a lot of splash pages throughout Ottley’s chapter.

Ramos’s chapter is more introspective, splitting between Peter and Norman nearly being buried alive and the Order of the Web discussing if they should help Peter or not. This issue features slightly darker colors thanks to Delgado, helping set a somber mood. Ramos also draws Osborn in and out of his Goblin mask; the former is immensely disturbing, with bulging yellow eyes and an evil smirk.

Finally, Bagley draws the concluding chapter. Bagley is considered one of the best Spider-Man artists in the business and he proves it here. Under his pencils, Spidey moves with the grace and speed you’d expect. Bagley also gets to draw several tension-filled scenes, especially when Norman comes face to face with Spider-Gwen.

In addition to the main story, there is a trio of back-up stories. “All You Need Is…” by Kurt Busiek, Chris Bachalo, and Tim Townsend features Spidey battling a malevolent spirit that’s possessed J. Jonah Jameson. He utilizes the power of the Beatles to save the day (you read that right). “Four Shoes” by Tradd Moore (Silver Surfer: Black) and Tamra Bonvillain (Once and Future) send the webhead spiraling into another dimension where he meets a canine wizard. And finally, Saladin Ahmed and Aaron Kuder bring us “A Family Affair” which sees Spidey interact with the Vulture’s granddaughter Starling from Miles Morales: Spider-Man. All three of these stories are short and sweet, but I enjoyed “Four Shoes” the most due to its outlandish premise and Moore’s psychedelic art.

Amazing Spider-Man #850 is a perfect example of how to write an anniversary issue, celebrating the web-slinger’s history and reigniting his deadliest rivalry. The upcoming “Last Remains” story arc promises to continue this trend, with Spidey and the malevolent Kindred finally coming face to face.

Amazing Spider-Man #850 is available wherever comics are sold.

Amazing Spider-Man #850
4.5

TL;DR

Amazing Spider-Man #850 is a perfect example of how to write an anniversary issue, celebrating the web-slinger’s history and reigniting his deadliest rivalry. The upcoming “Last Remains” story arc promises to continue this trend, with Spidey and the malevolent Kindred finally coming face to face.