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'Amazing Spider-Man' #26 (LGY #920) works in a vacuum
Marvel

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‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #26 (LGY #920) works in a vacuum

‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #26 is a tough pill to swallow with lingering issues, but on its own works for the most part.

It has all come to this: the “breathtaking” and “shocking” Amazing Spider-Man #26. This is a story that was teased over a year ago with Amazing Spider-Man #1, and with it comes answers as to what Peter “did” and why Mary Jane isn’t with Peter anymore. We also find out why a hero must die, another element leaked last week! There’s so much riding on this story. Can it live up to expectations and stick the landing?

The answer will depend on how much you’ve enjoyed this story. This is a tough book to review partly because I’ve had conflicted feelings about the story up until this issue. Some things seem half-baked, and others almost seem like mandates from editorial. A lingering issue is that many elements don’t feel earned, and while a bunch gets wrapped up this week, it still feels off in many ways.

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As far as finales are concerned, I think this issue does a lot right within the confines of this single issue. I don’t necessarily agree with Mary Jane leaving Peter–and she comes off as quite cold to him, all things considered–but this issue does more to explain that. That goes for Peter violently attacking Paul, something we saw in a flashback that comes back around here. There’s some nuance in some dialogue Zeb Wells writes in that flashback that makes a lot of sense. And it’s good that Mary Jane gets to be heroic in this issue, a carryover from the last issue when she went full Rambo mode in the other dimension.

Something else I don’t necessarily agree with is the death of that significant character, who dies in a way that’s her own decision and in a heroic moment. That’s good, and she comes off as an S-tier hero. This character opens the issue, and while it still seems strange she’d die in a story arc she’s been a background character in, it’s at least a heroic death. This is a hugely complicated death, however, and I think a lot of the takes on it are valid. From a story perspective, it works well enough as it’s laid out here, but it still seems strange.

Amazing Spider-Man #26

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Credit: Marvel

This issue has a lot of action: John Romita Jr. crushes backward and forwards. If you like his style, you’ll love what he brings to this issue. Gold Goblin gets to show off his glider prowess, Ms. Marvel does a ton of heroic punching and body stretching, and The Thing does a major cannonball in a giant dragon’s face. They face a flying dragon beast conjured up last second, which is an ample enough threat to keep them busy.

There are elements that persist as problems for the story arc, though. That includes the villain, who talks like a cartoon character proclaiming things like “I will be born the god of death.” I also continue to not care about this villain, who has mostly just shown up and shouted things. We barely know him, and his motivations seem basic. There’s a reveal that changes the context of the villain due to his relationship with a key character, but it’s too late to matter much. At this point, he’s a monster that won’t shut up.

There are other things that throw off the flow or feel strange, like Mary Jane proclaiming “Die” or Ms. Marvel’s dialogue here and there. Wells tries to resolve the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man’s current beef, though it’s a bit cringy how Spider-Man is surprised by them coming to his aid. He’s surprised since he’s been attacking them constantly in a rage, but that surprise requires Peter to forget a lot of the times they came through for him or vice versa in the decades-long adventures they’ve been on. Once again for this story arc, Peter seems out of character.

Possibly one of the most divisive issues of Spider-Man in years, Amazing Spider-Man #26 isn’t a bad issue if read in a vacuum. Still, given the lingering problems in the story arc and valid reasons to be upset with a hero’s death, it’s hard to love it unconditionally. I liked parts, but others fell flat. The biggest win of Amazing Spider-Man #26 is that this year-long story arc in the making is finally over, and maybe we can move on to a brighter and hopefully more prosperous Spider-Man future.

'Amazing Spider-Man' #26 (LGY #920) works in a vacuum
‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #26 (LGY #920) works in a vacuum
Amazing Spider-Man #26
Possibly one of the most divisive issues of Spider-Man in years, Amazing Spider-Man #26 isn't a bad issue if read in a vacuum. Still, given the lingering problems in the story arc and valid reasons to be upset with a hero's death, it's hard to love it unconditionally. I liked parts, but others fell flat. The biggest win of Amazing Spider-Man #26 is that this year-long story arc in the making is finally over, and maybe we can move on to a brighter and hopefully more prosperous Spider-Man future.
Reader Rating1 Votes
5.7
In a vacuum, this finale works as it's entertaining, has surprise reveals (even with the death leaked) and epic moments visually
Seems to mend the Fantastic Four and Spidey relationship a bit
The villain continues to not work for me
It's hard to wrap your head around why the hero death in this issue had to happen here
Minor clunky things here and there
5.5
Average
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