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The Amazing Spider-Man #696 - Danger Zone Part Two: Key To the Kingdom Review

5

It's Hobgoblin vs Hobgoblin with the fate of Peter Parker's secret on the line. With his spider senses messed up, this could be the end of Spider-Man.

The Good

HOBGOBLIN is back. The real one. The best one. As this series approaches the final issue (#700), you can feel Dan Slott and Christos Gage amping things up even more than usual. Last issue we saw Phil Urich grab Peter Parker, whose spider-senses are on overload, and carry him off to the Kingpin. With Peter's senses out of control, it might be too much for him to try to figure a way out of this mess. We were also left with Julia Carpenter, the curent Madame Web, having a seizure in response to the future visions of danger she's receiving. But the big question is, what does Phil grabbing Peter mean for his secret identity?

The story has a great old school feel combined with the modern events as we see Peter bound and facing Kingpin, surrounded by his ninja army, the Hand. This is going to be about Peter trying to figure a way out of this. He can't rely on the Avengers to come to his rescue. Although he does receive some assistance and it's from an extremely unlikely source.

As we see the events unfold, we're seeing more about Peter's "Big Time" life. There's been a feeling that things in this area will be reaching a conclusion as well as we approach the 700th issue. This adds suspense as you just can't be too sure who is going to survive past the final issue. And having an issue without really featuring Spider-Man (in costume) was pretty dang cool.

And of course, did I mention how great it was to see Hobgoblin (the real one) back?

The Bad

There's the obvious concerns over what might be happening in the title. It's a sign that we're attached to the readers and the book when we really care what could go wrong.

I enjoy Giuseppe Camuncoli's art for the most part. The scenes with the Hobgoblins was great. But I'm always put off by the way Peter is drawn. There's something about the ever present scowl on his face that makes it look like he's wearing guy-liner make up.

The Verdict

There is plenty of crazy action contained in this single issue. Peter's identity is on the line, suspicion is being aroused at Horizon Labs, Kingpin is involved and we have two Hobgoblins thrown into the mix. It's a bad day to be Spider-Man but a great day for Spider-Man readers. Dan Slott and Christos Gage are making sure THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN goes out with a bang. There is even some hints about the upcoming story after this one. I never thought I could enjoy so much Spider-Man action without the Spider-Man costume even being present. I actually feel bad for readers that aren't keeping up with THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. They are indeed missing out on the fun.