Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Ryan Ottley
Colors: Nathan Fairbarn
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release date March 25 2020
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
A quick issue deserves a quick review, and this will definitely be my one of my shorter reviews. Here, we are presented with a flashback issue that explains the origin and history of the creature known as Gog. This Spidey fan has to admit that Gog is a rather obscure character, even for me. I’ve very little history with this character.
Be warned that this entire issue is a Gog story. Spider-Man and Boomerang’s appearance are limited to that of being briefly showed at the beginning and ends of the story. We see the entire life of the creature known as Gog , where there is a planet that Gog’s kind are raised as pets. War on the planet instigates the accidental arrival of Gog to Earth’s Savage Lands, where Spider-Man would first encounter this creature. Through a series of later events, Gog would be shrunk down and transported back to his original owner, a little alien boy who has been forced into fighting the continuing war, and their reunion is cut down as swiftly as it started.
In the pages that follow, we find out how current Gog and the Lifeline Tablet fit into the on-going plot, where Spider-Man and Boomerang encounter the giant on Earth while searching for the tablet’s pieces. He’s ultimately used to tie into the Lifeline Tablet, the McGuffin behind this arc. Maybe I missed something, or maybe it’ll be explained in a later issue, but I never recalled how these alien people even got a hold of the Lifeline Tablet.
It’s a super-fast read, as there isn’t much written narration. The art tells all the story that there is, and its very easy to follow. In fact, I really could have seen this being a perfect back-up story instead of being a full issue. Recent issues of ASM have featured a brief, second side story at the end of the comic, and its interesting that we get an issue here that omits having a bonus story at the end to instead tell what really felt like one as the main story. If it sounds like a pet-peeve, its only because we’ve just got this story off-the-ground, and only one chapter completed and we’ve stalled for a flashback/origin intermission. Lets not forget this is one of the stories that;s been dangling unresolved for a while now, and we’re finally getting back to it. I could have seen this issue being the one where Spidey and Boomer have to overcome Gog for the piece of the tablet they seek, while the Gog origin was the bonus vignette at the end of the comic.
But for what it is, its a fine issue. It’s similar to Nick Spencer’s ASM issue featuring D-list villain Gibbon, another “villain” where we get to explore his tragic, sad history in the middle of an on-going arc. If you read this issue and develop “the feels”, I really recommend you go back and find “The Hunted” issue from about a year ago featuring the Gibbon.
Spider-Man takes a serious step away from the focus here to explore the obscure canon and untold history of one of the most underused faces in the Marvel Universe. Nick Spencer is no stranger to not only playing around with some fantastically under-utilized characters, but he’s showing a knack for bringing them into stories that may pull at your emotions.