Dan Slott's decade-long run on Amazing Spider-Man has finally come to an end, and in honor of the occasion Marvel has released a video celebrating his greatest issues. Slott's joined a rotating crew of writers in 2007, but took over sole writing duties three years later. The video runs through the covers of some of his most iconic issues, charting the many ways Spider-Man has changed and grown throughout Slott's run.
Marvel's "Fresh Start" relaunch is seeing Slott finally step away from his Spider-Man duties, instead taking over the new series of Invincible Iron Man. Slott decided to bow out in style, and this week Amazing Spider-Man #800 is the climatic end of his final Spider-Man epic, "Go Down Swinging." The arc has seen Norman Osborn bond with the Carnage symbiote, becoming the monstrous Red Goblin. Learning the truth of Spider-Man's secret identity, Osborn has launched a terrifying attack on the wall-crawler's nearest and dearest. The landmark 800th issue sees one of Spider-Man's oldest friends die a hero's death in order to stop the Red Goblin's rampage. The next issue will serve as an epilogue of sorts, tying Slott's remaining plot threads into a neat little bow.
In honor of Slott's decade-long stint,Marvel has released a video showing some classic covers from the Slott run. They give a sense of just how much the Spider-Man world has changed over the last 10 years, and showcase major arcs and events such as "Big Time," "Spider-Island," "To The Ends of the Earth," and "Spider-Verse." They also include one of the most controversial Spider-Man arcs of all time, Slott's "Superior Spider-Man," in which Doctor Octopus took control of Peter Parker's body. He brought Mary Jane Watson back after the events of One More Day, gave her a brief but thrilling taste of spider-powers, and ultimately launched her into the life of Tony Stark as Stark's deputy!
It's fascinating to look back at the many changes Slott has made to the wall-crawler's world over the course of the last decade. Comic books typically indulge in what Stan Lee called "the illusion of change." As legendary comic book writer Peter David explained it with reference to Lee's Spider-Man run:
"Over the years, Stan and Steve (and later John) put him through changes. But when you get down to it, they satisfied the concept of illusionary change. Peter went from high school to college… but he was still a student. Betty Brant and Liz Allen gave way to Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson, and nemesis Flash Thompson stepped aside for nemesis Harry Osborn. Otherwise, though, he was pretty much the same guy. Sure, he got a motorcycle, which was the ultimate in cool… but he wound up having to sell it, thereby bringing the money problems back to the forefront. It was evolution, but 360 degrees’ worth. Same old Spider-Man, same old Peter Parker, same old problems at the core."
Slott, however, dared to change the game. His vision of Spider-Man was of a man who dared to take brave and courageous steps, even becoming CEO of a successful multinational organisation, Parker Industries. Slott's adventures took Spider-Man to other worlds and other dimensions, and saw him battling Doctor Octopus with the fate of the world on the line. In the end, of course, the Parker Luck struck again, and Parker Industries came crashing down; Slott has gradually restored Peter to a semblance of the old status quo, ready to hand over the baton to the next writer.
But Slott's legacy will endure. Under Dan Slott, the Spider-Man comic book brand has become stronger than ever before. Even in the '90s, when every week saw the release of a new Spider-Man book, every one of them starred Peter Parker. But Slott has launched countless creative new ideas, from side-characters like Anti-Venom to alternate-reality takes on the wall-crawler such as Renew Your Vows and Spider-Gwen. The Spider-Man franchise has been utterly transformed.
The Amazing Spider-Man #800 is available now from Marvel Comics.