Written by: Dan Slott
Art by: Giuseppe Camuncoli and Oliver Coipel
So by this point we already know I’ve been loving this event right? That’s cool, I just wanted to make sure before I launched into my usual spiel about how this event has been consistently epic, funny and action packed. Just to save us all some time, this issue is equally as good as the others, so instead of repeating myself I wanted to instead look at how this functions as a conclusion compared to other events and also provide a bit more criticism than usual (as other staff members have suggested I might be *gasp* bias!).
I was very surprised by the pace of this issue, especially given how much tension and suspense is built up, particularly in the opening pages. Seeing Morlun finally execute his plan to kill the totems certainly had me glued to the page, with the arrival of the Spiders providing lots of fist pumping moments. I’m so used to these things rushing to get to the six spin-off books they’ll be releasing after the event that I was surprised to see Slott orchestrate a fittingly epic conclusion and allowing the story sufficient breathing room to have a satisfying conclusion while not making it feel padded. It’s a perfectly paced conclusion which is a sad rarity these days. While not every loose thread it wrapped up, with an epilogue issue still on the way, the majority of the action gets a satisfying pay-off and I feel it’s perhaps better that we leave saying out goodbyes and tying up the loose ends to an issue of its own (especially given the large cast of characters).
What did frustrate me about the conclusion though, and I’ll try not to spoil anything, is the oft-used Slott trope of Peter not wanting to kill and making a big moral point of how heroes never kill. I have no objections towards this philosophy myself and agree with Slott, it just feels a bit repetitive to see this scenario played out yet again and feels like we’re being hit over the head with it a bit. It’s more of a personal frustration with me I guess, but it’s just frustrating to see Slott continue return to this time and time again.
Equally disappointing this issue was, surprisingly, the art. Again, Coipel and Camuncoli share art duties, but the results are nowhere near as successful as last time. The change in art feels a lot more drastic this time round, with Giuseppe looking quite rough, especially towards the end of the book. I don’t know what happened between issues as I’ve enjoyed these guys work so far, but this issue just doesn’t seem on the same level quality wise. The cinematic art towards the beginning that this issue might have benefitted from a little bit of a delay to get it in tip-top shape, as it’s a shame to end on a sour note for a series that has had such consistently great art work.
Those criticisms aside (and my reputation as a fair reviewer now reinstated) this is still a pretty great end to what has been one of the best Marvel events in recent memory. Slott and his team have put together what will probably be remembered as THE story of his Spider-Man run. It has managed to top Spider-Island as his best Spider-Man event due to its consistent high quality jam packed with action, fun and heart. It’s the perfect celebration of all things Spider-Man and has been an absolute blast to read.