REVIEW: ‘Amazing Spider-Man,’ Issue #88

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Amazing Spider-Man #88

Amazing Spider-Man #88 is written by Zeb Wells, illustrated by Michael Dowling, colored by Bryan Valenza, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Ben Reilly has been through hell and back after learning Beyond’s true nature and had his mind wiped as a result. Now Beyond is ready to send him back into the field against his greatest enemy yet: the Queen Goblin! The battle also draws Janine Godbe and Mary Jane Watson into its crosshairs, as both women attempt to reveal Beyond’s secrets to the media.

Each and every Spider-Man (or Woman) has battled their own Goblin. Peter Parker and Norman Osborn have a rivalry that’s spanned years. The Hobgoblin mantle’s been worn by multiple individuals. Now, the Queen Goblin joins their ranks and she may be one of the most terrifying Goblins yet. Not only does Dowling draw her to resemble an actual goblin with scaly skin and jet black armor—with Valenza coloring her costume a darker shade to stand out in the lighter environment—but her weapons are deadlier than any Goblin who Spidey has ever fought. Her Goblin Glider can separate into two rocket-powered projectiles, and she wields a double-handled mace with flaming pumpkin heads. And her secret identity is someone who has a deep connection to Spider-Man, as well as the knowledge to strike him where it hurts the most.

But it turns out that Queen Goblin isn’t the true villain-Beyond, or more specifically its CEO Maxine Danger, has been orchestrating most of the story’s events. While previous issues have hinted that Beyond isn’t totally on the up and up, their true goals are finally revealed. As is the case with most mega-corporations, they engage in unethical practices solely to jack up their profits. Wells chooses to position most of the issue from Maxine’s POV, and the results are chilling; she’s able to handwave violating people’s rights, as well as the Queen Goblin’s rampage because it looks good on a balance sheet. Caramagna even designs her narrative captions to be cold and clinical, offset by Valenza’s bright pink coloring. Spider-Man fans will draw more than a few lines between Danger and Norman Osborn.

And it turns out that Beyond’s attempts to control Ben may have led to the destruction of who he is as a person. Ben’s had a history of people trying to control his mind, and it’s never ended well; this time, it looks like the damage is permanent. And while Beyond tries to cover up that damage with a new costume-again, impeccably designed by Dowling, who gives the new suit a sleeker and more futuristic design, the consequences of their meddling are on full display in the final pages. There are some elements intrinsic to every Spider-Person; take those elements away, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Amazing Spider-Man #88 introduces a terrifying new foe in the form of the Queen Goblin, as the Beyond Saga enters its final phase. As always, it looks like it’ll fall to Peter Parker to save the day-especially when his loved ones are in the Queen Goblin’s crosshairs.

Amazing Spider-Man #88 is available wherever comics are sold.


Amazing Spider-Man #88
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TL;DR

Amazing Spider-Man #88 introduces a terrifying new foe in the form of the Queen Goblin, as the Beyond Saga enters its final phase. As always, it looks like it’ll fall to Peter Parker to save the day-especially when his loved ones are in the Queen Goblin’s crosshairs.