Coming out of Secret Empire one of the characters most impacted by Marvel’s big event was Spider-Man. In being forced to push the red button on Parker Industries, Peter Parker completely reset his life, just this time with the entire world hating him rather than just J. Jonah Jameson. This new status quo for Peter Parker has put a lot of questions into what is next for him in and out of his Spider-Man life into the forefront. The path Dan Slott and Marvel are looking to take both sides of Peter’s life does create some intrigue in what is going to happen with Amazing Spider-Man. Let’s see if we get any clues with Amazing Spider-Man #790.
Plot Writer: Dan Slott
Script Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inkers: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Peter Parker, with Harry by his side, goes on an apology tour with all his former investors as explains how while he regrets how things turned out he is proud at all the good Parker Industries did.
After all the meetings Peter and Harry walk outside to a bunch of people protesting Peter’s failure with Parker Industries. While Harry tries to cheer him up Peter ends up disappearing when Harry goes to answer a text.
Swinging across the city as Spider-Man Peter thinks about how the city actually hates the person behind the mask and not his superhero persona now.
Elsewhere Clash has gathered a couple people up and shows them his plan to reclaim all the tech he created for Parker Industries that Peter has to sell.
Later that day Johnny tries to talk Harry out of selling the Parker Industries headquarters, which was formerly the Fantastic Four’s home, to another company. Harry says they can’t do anything as the building is already on the market for a hefty price.
Throughout the city Spider-Man goes about helping out various people in the community, which in turns helps turn his spirits around. Harry ends up calling Peter and tells him about Johnny and Peter swings over.
Spider-Man finds Johnny and Harry arguing and he tries to break things up. Instead Johnny decides to turn his anger on Spider-Man and goes transforms into the Human Torch.
Human Torch puts Spider-Man on the defensive and forces the two to fight inside the building. There one of Human Torch’s attack destroys the Fantastic Four statue as he yells at Spider-Man for failing to keep his promise.
As that is going on Clash uses the distraction to enter Parker Industries and steal all the tech he created for the company.
Harry gets Spider-Man and Human Torch’s attention to what Clash is doing and the pair go to try to stop Clash and his gang.
Clash uses his sonic powers to push Spider-Man and Human Torch back.
As they fight some of Clash’s gang end up causing one of his inventions to activate and reach the point of exploding. Spider-Man convinces Clash to help him out and with Human Torch’s help the three stop the device from exploding.
While Spider-Man ties Clash’s gang up Clash quietly makes his escape with the use of his suit’s silence mode.
Harry shows up at the scene and is stunned at all the destruction. Harry then tells Spider-Man to tell Peter that he is done putting up with everything and walks out.
As the sun sets Spider-Man admits to Human Torch that he really messed up this time as everything he has worked his entire life for is destroyed. Human Torch reminds Spider-Man that his biggest mistake was taking on all the responsibilities of Parker Industries on his shoulders rather than reaching out to others to help him out. He goes on to say that Spider-Man can learn from this.
Suddenly Spider-Man gets a call. The caller turns out to be Joe Robertson, who has an offer for Peter to use his scientific knowledge as part of a new job at the Daily Bugle. End of issue.
The Good: Amazing Spider-Man #790 is the step forward that the series, and especially Peter Parker, needed. While solid, Amazing Spider-Man #789 did have a feeling of standing still as Peter and his supporting cast dealt with the fallout from Secret Empire. Now it seems that Amazing Spider-Man is going to look to move forward and use the destruction of Parker Industries to push towards the series’ new direction.
In many ways Amazing Spider-Man #790 is the new starting point for the series’ cast and readers. There is not much need to read Amazing Spider-Man #789 as that issue almost feels inconsequential to the series. A large reason for that is because rather than sitting at home or being Spider-Man we got to see Peter have to confront the consequences of shutting down Parker Industries. The opening scene with Peter apologizing to all his investors while Harry sat next to him was a strong character moment. It forced Peter to admit what he did and made seeing him as Spider-Man more as an escape that he needs after such a tough day.
Speaking of Harry, Dan Slott and Christos Gage did a particular good job using him as a vehicle for all the frustration Peter’s supporting cast has right now. As Peter’s best friend Harry has been shown that he was willing to stand by Peter’s side if he needed it. The problem there is that with Peter not admitting what he really did wrong until after it was too late. And that problem is something that made the scene where Harry told Peter he was done trying to help an even more powerful moment for this issue.
All of this is made even more interesting by Human Torch’s involvement in the issue. As Peter’s other best friend it was fun to see how Johnny reacted to Parker Industries failure. Having Johnny not hold back in attacking Spider-Man was a way for the character to release all his anger on this situation and the current status quo of the Fantastic Four. Turning that around to end things with Johnny talking things out with Peter and addressing their mistakes was a good way to show that Peter will at least have one friend still having his back.
That may be an important person to have his back as we see with Clash that both Peter Parker and Spider-Man will have plenty of enemies to deal with. Having Clash as the first one to actually attack Peter and Spider-Man as the example as to how much both sides of the character’s life will be affected by Parker Industries shutting down. Though Clash had a heroic moment it was for the best that the character was kept to be more of a villain as his current position is now elevated by that personal history with Peter.
With all that said, it was important that this wasn’t all such a downer issue for Peter Parker. The ending of Amazing Spider-Man #790 provides an intriguing second chance opportunity for Peter to rebuild his life. If Slott and Gage really are going with Peter becoming a science and technology reporter they may be giving the character the perfect job. Not only will Peter be able to use his science and technology knowledge but also his background in working at the Daily Bugle for most of his teenage and early twenties. That could be an important asset for Peter and could bring the character back into a more classic setting just with a twist that is a step back.
Stuart Immonen had more of a chance to showcase his art style with Amazing Spider-Man #790 and he took full advantage of it. With the opening scene Immonen showed how tough things are right now for Peter and Harry to try to rebuild from nothing. The character reactions were strong throughout. This was nicely balanced out by how Immonen nailed the choreography of the fight between Spider-Man and Human Torch and then later the two against Clash.
The Bad: The one thing that is missing from Amazing Spider-Man #790 was showing us what the rest of Peter’s supporting cast is up to now. The previous issue didn’t really make the series’ supporting cast look great. For the betterment of the long-term future of this series it will need all of the supporting cast to show what their status quo is in this new landscape for them. That includes Aunt May, MJ, Randy, Liz and others, even if it does not directly involve Peter.
Overall: There are still a lot of questions as to what is next for Peter Parker but Amazing Spider-Man #790 is the start of clearing a few things up. After how Peter was still dealing with the shock of his decision to shut down Parker Industries the ending of this issue was a good step forward for him. At the same time, Dan Slott and Christos Gage were able to elevate a low-level villain, Clash, in the process.