Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! HARBINGER! SWORD OF SORCERY! TYRANNY OF THE MUSE! & MORE!

Published at: Dec. 27, 2012, 9:08 a.m. CST

The Pull List
(Click title to go directly to the review)

Advance Review: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700
HARBINGER #7
AVENGERS #2
SWORD OF SORCERY #3
CAPTAIN AMERICA #2
Indie Jones presents TYRANNY OF THE MUSE #1
WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #22


Advance Review: In stores this week!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700

Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Humberto Ramos
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy


Goodbye...

This review will be spoiler free, which means it’s going to be very very very very vague. Slott has made it almost impossible to write a review for this issue without spoiling any of the actual events of the comic, which may be a little difficult. But let’s do this.

As the “final” issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (ha ha ha), Slott has a lot to do and not much time to do it in. He has to conclude what, to be honest, has been an interesting if maddening story line. He has to ensure that dedicated Spider-Man readers aren’t going to flock away from the title akin to what happened after “One More Day”, with what could be an even more extreme change in the status quo. He has to slip in just enough references and cameos that I believe every landmark issue in super hero comics is contractually forced to have, and he has to do all this in a succinct, readable manner. In some of those regards, Slott manages it with real skill and finesse, reinforcing my idea that Slott will be remembered as one of the best Spider-Man writers of all time. At others, he falters slightly. This is not a perfect comic, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is both creative and interesting enough to warrant a read through.

So, the basic pitch for this story line (if you haven’t been following it at all) is that Dr. Octopus’s final gambit to escape death is to switch bodies with Peter Parker, and it worked. No one knows that Peter is trapped within the dying body of Otto Octavius, and he has successfully taken control of Peter’s life. So, trapped in the decaying villain, Peter is forced to cross certain boundaries in a last desperate attempt to take his life back. The comic never really loses its frantic pace, as both Peter and Otto become more and more desperate with each page. The alternating perspectives are well done, showing both characters slowly becoming more and more like the other, while still remaining distinctly themselves; Otto is forced to play the superhero, but his cynicism and pragmatism come out during a short confrontation with The Scorpion. It’s a brutal scene that shocks and appalls the supporting cast (save Jonah, who, in maybe my personal favourite small moment in the issue, finally outwardly approves and supports Spider-Man just in time for it to not actually be Spider-Man. PARKER LUCK, EVERYBODY!), and further signifies just how fundamentally different the two men are.

Herein lies Slott’s greatest strength writing Spider-Man: he has a firm grasp on what makes the character tick, and what separates him from the other heroes of the Marvel universe, while also having a deft handle on the supporting cast. Well, except MJ. Slott, who has in the past proven to write a good MJ, doesn’t do much with her here. She’s the fawning love interest who accounts all struggles and unwarranted aggression on Peter’s part to “stress”. This isn’t the MJ Peter (or I) fell in love with. Here’s hoping she comes back strong in SUPERIOR.

The various cameos and references are well warranted and executed with class, never overdoing it. There’s a certain montage at the end that may be among the best work in Ramos’s career (which make up for some lackluster pages throughout this issue) that is beautiful to witness. The pair handle the transition to the new status quo well, if not with the same amount of craft as the more character-driven moments. There’s no real indicator about SUPERIOR, or how it will really work.

The two short stories that follow the main plot are brief and enjoyable, showcasing two enjoyable shorts into the past and possible future of Spider-Man. They’re brief and really fun, but they’re not really what this review is focused on.

Do I expect this direction to last? No. Do I think anyone expects this to last? No. This is super hero comics, and this is Spider-Man. I spotted three escape hatches in this issue alone, all ways for Peter to come crawling back from the edge and take back the title just in time for the next big anniversary issue. But it does present numerous new directions for the title to go, and, despite how unhappy I am with the current state of affairs for Peter, it could ultimately lead to Slott’s masterpiece on the title--an examination on why the spider is important, but it’s the man underneath who makes him a hero.

“Anyone can be Batman. That’s the point.” Not completely. That can inspire and drive people to do something more than themselves. But in the end, it doesn’t matter what mask someone hides behind or what name they call themselves. It’s the actions and choices of the person who define us, and Spider-Man is defined by the unlikely hero that is Peter Parker. So, I’m game. Let’s see what else you got.


HARBINGER #7

Writer: Joshua Dysart
Artist: Barry Kitson
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


I know there will eventually come a time when I no longer harken back to the Ghost of Valiant Past in my reviews. With the quality they keep churning out, they join the cast of indies who are anything but. Eventually Valiant will soar past its ancestral roots into new numbers, new stories, and a new mythology that will make the 1.0 world from so many years ago forgotten history.

For now, though, in these beginning stages, they are playing the game right – keep what was wonderful from the old universe while extracting the dated elements to reflect modern mores and sensibilities.
,br>Issue 7 follows its predecessors in not only darkening the HARBINGER mythos, but each mother-lovin’ character as well. I haven’t given this much adoration to a single series since ALL STAR SUPERMAN. Please don’t think they are the same book; they’re not. This is a series going for the long haul; epic is not the name of the game. However, it entertains me in the same sense it sits at the top of my read pile each week it comes out, I can always find words about it, and damn if it doesn’t surprise me. It is one of the most stark, dark and honest portrayals of the mutant comic mythos. It’s Valiant Now in the truest sense of the word Now; I will also give it Valiant Here, because it truly feels like I’m watching our world evolve. Now, after reviewing about three issues of this book I do have one gripe that I’ll get to in a minute.

This issue shows the true forming of a team for Pete Stancheck--his non-powered yet clearly the strongest of fortitude…let’s call her God Keeper…Kris, and the fat and floaty yet also endearingly innocent Zephyr. Now that they have completely uncovered the eeeevil plans of Toyo Harada and his fuel to rule the world by activating and employing every mutie on the planet, the true game of a powers land grab can begin--kind of like FAR AND AWAY minus the bad acting and Enya.

This week we meet Flamingo. In Valiant 1.0 this small town cutie tweaked young Optimous’ nether regions with her skyscraper bangs, Daisy Duke cut offs and small town slut ways. Valiant portrays the same naughty, but like every girl of promiscuity story these days we now learn the why, and for anyone who is not a sociopath it induces instant boner deflation. Dysart does a great job making the back-story of this stripper soon-to-be turned flamethrower natural and perfectly flowing with the story today. Everything shitty in her life, from her job to her current abusive beau, all stems from negligent and abusive daddy issues. And before some blowhard cries cliché from the parliament party of pain in the ass, go to a strip club sometime and actually talk to these girls. If your average isn’t 7 out of 10, then you probably also found the one where the same number have degrees instead of “currently looking into Sociology.”

Real, timely and full of great yuck nuggets, from Zephyr’s first experience in a house of dollar stuffing ill repute to Kris truly realizing her place as leader of this group since she controls the heart and thus the will of living God Peter – HARBINGER #7 basically just makes me excited for HARBINGER #8.

Oh, wait--I did say I have one gripe (and no, not the art--Kitson is grand and really kept this issue sexy, yet clean, and also impactful when sexy time for Flamingo was over). My gripe is with Harada. And again, I say this gripe because I come from the context of just rereading Jim Shooter’s SOLAR from Dark Horse a few years ago. Here’s the thing. I think Harada needs to be a little more sadistic, like Shooter’s portrayal. Taiwanese hooker punching bags is all I’m going to say. After sixty plus years of being a living God, you go where you can for your kumbayayas. Show us the human and thus inhuman side of Harada in an issue. Right, we’ve only seen the business half of the character mullet – bring forth the oh so wrong party in the back, please.

Optimous has successfully blackmailed fellow @$$Hole BottleImp into being his artist on Average Joe. Look for Imp's forced labor on Optimous brain child in mid-2012 from COM.X. Friend Optimous on FaceBook to get Average Joe updates and because ceiling cat says it's the right thing to do.


AVENGERS #2

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Jerome Opena
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Mighty Mouth


And there came a day when the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were not enough…and on that day, a new line up of Avengers was assembled to rescue Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

I know, you’ve heard this all before, right? Wrong. If you have read AVENGERS #1 (and if you didn’t, you should) then you are already aware that The Avengers took a jaunt to Mars to face a threat unlike any other. This resulted in the team having their collective asses handed to them. Captain America was set free by these strange beings and returned to Earth to serve as a sort of warning. Cap, being Cap, sends out the call and a new team of Avengers is assembled. But what hopes do these new recruits stand against a trio that was capable of trashing the likes of Iron Man, Hulk and Thor?

Issue #2 offers more elucidation than conflict, and that’s a good thing because I have no freaking idea who these new god-like beings that trashed The Avengers are, so a little annotation is a welcome thing at this point. One of the things I am enjoying about this storyline so far is that it offers a new threat unlike anything The Avengers have faced before. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some classic villains--but it’s nice to see The Avengers deal with something a little diverse now and again.

Issue #2 offers the origin of the bizarre beings known as Ex Nihilo, Abyss and Aleph. For now, let’s just say that these incredible individuals are born from the stuff of creation itself, and they have decided that the Earth is worthy of a second chance. The problem is in order to kick-start this brand new world, you guessed it, the old one must go bye-bye. The issue also has some flashback sequences of Steve Rogers and Tony Starks’ plan to increase the scope of The Avengers for situations just like this.

Generally, I really like the direction Hickman is taking with this book. It feels fresh and original without tearing down anything readers have come to know and love about The Avengers. Even though this issue lacks conflict in the corporeal sense, the storytelling and build up is structured with scrupulous care. In short, Hickman has no difficulty structuring a transfixing story without relying on cheap parlor tricks or lots of ka-pow & wham moments. The buildup is well-crafted, and I can’t wait to see where he takes us next.

Opena’s work on this title is equally extraordinary. His style carries a sort of sketch-like quality that truly emphasizes all the detail he places in his panels. I even enjoyed his choices with how he renders the characters’ appearances. Opena accomplishes the task of updating these characters’ clothing and hairstyles in a way that feels renewed, yet appropriate; some artists still draw characters’ hair and fashions as if the 70s are still in full swing. The team of White, Ponsor & Hollowell are credited with the colors on this book. Sometimes multiple artists can have the same effect multiple chefs can spoil a soup; thankfully, this is not the case. The colors in this book are energetic and eye-catchy, which only serves to enhance the overall reading experience.

So far, I’d say AVENGERS is making good on the ideas that the Marvel Now re-launch was conceptualized for: providing new readers with a jumping on point that updates the characters for a new generation, without pissing all over the previous one.

Good stuff indeed!


SWORD OF SORCERY #3

Writer: Christy Marx
Artist: Aaron Lopresti
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Masked Man


Overall I think it’s really great that DC is bringing back their fantasy characters. I’ve purchased back issues of BEOWULF, HERCULES UNBOUND, STARFIRE and others from time to time, and while I haven’t read the original mini (maxi)-series of AMETHYST, I was a fan of the regular series. Christy Marx is a writer I have respect for as well, though not so much for JEM (I was a boy, I wasn’t going to watch that!),but for her work on REBOOT. I’d still argue that the third season of REBOOT is one of the best TV runs ever, so Marx will always be respected in my eyes!

Now, for better or worse AMETHYST is being written in what is being coined as the GAME OF THRONES style--it probably goes further back to Shakespeare, but that’s another article. But like GAME OF THRONES, AMETHYST is all about family entwined kingdoms with all the alliances and backstabbing involved. Marx does a great job recreating Gemworld (is it still called Gemworld?) here. I’m not sure why, but I always liked the original concept of the birthstone kingdoms, so this is my favorite part of the story: learning who all the players are and getting to understand the vastness of the Nu-Gemworld. As for the actual plot and characters, unfortunately they are still coming off as clichéd cardboard.

So this issue doesn’t have much to offer, aside from the basic fantasy story outline. Amaya gets some combat training; she’s green but shows promise (big surprise, huh?). Sisters Graciel and Mordiel have a big pow-wow to discuss how to rule the House of Amethyst; Mordiel would rather die than give up power (another big surprise, huh?). These are plot points that, to a certain degree, need to be covered, but their outcome is completely obvious, so the best one can hope for in a situation like this is to have the cliché plot points be told to us in an entertaining fashion or with interesting characters; unfortunately, this story has neither.

Aaron Lopresti’s artwork is still fairly impressive here, though. I’m glad that he has changed the hair style of Graciel, Amaya’s mom, since I was always having trouble telling the two of them part. He’s not hitting the highs of an Ivan Reis or George Perez, but all his characters look good and his storytelling is nice. It’s too bad he couldn’t finish the issue. Fill-in artist Claud St. Aubin does good job aping Lopresti’s style in the last few pages, but it clear they are not as strong as Lopresti’s pages.

As for BEOWULF, even with the constraints of a back-up story and almost abbreviated storytelling, Tony Bedard (the writer) has managed to improve the story with each issue. So while it’s not quite top notch stuff yet, I’m a little disappointed that this was the final chapter. Likewise, Jesus Saiz’s art has gotten better with each issue. To pull a bizarre parallel, I’ve always thought Saiz’s work was green, but showed promise. Here I feel his work is really starting to mature.

In both stories you can really see how DC is working hard at intertwining them with the greater DCU, which I assume is one of the goals of the New 52. For me, I could care less. I’m quite happy to have Beowulf as a standalone tale without ties to the New Sexy Amanda Waller, or for Amethyst to have nothing to do with Eclipso. I feel it adds nothing to the stories, aside from weighing them down with unnecessary details. I thought the original AMETHYST comic book started to go downhill when they tied it to Dr. Fate and the Lords of Order and Chaos. IMHO, not everything has to be related, but I suppose this helps sell more comic books, so there ya go.

Four issues in (counting #0) and despite all there good points, AMETHYST and company have yet to really get out of neutral; it scores a 2 out of 4. Moving ahead, it will be interesting to see how Steve Ditko’s STALKER will be re-imagined next month.


CAPTAIN AMERICA #2

Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: John Romita Jr
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: The Dean


For me, and probably any regular visitor of this site, Steve Rogers has always been a man out of time, preserving an ideal that may seem antiquated or impossible now, but still represents us at our best. How far that ideal can be stretched is what makes Rogers, or similarly flawless characters like Superman, endlessly fascinating to me. These characters lead by example, in a way, showing us that the good we believe in can stand up to anyone or anything we could possibly face in this world or any other – honesty and perseverance will get you through the regular trials of life the same way they’ll topple threats like Galactus or Baron Zemo! It’s these simple, core principles that the kid in me lights up at seeing bring down threats off all kinds, and the more bizarre the better, which is why I couldn’t be more thrilled with what Rick Remender’s been bringing to CAPTAIN AMERICA thus far.

Remender’s first issue revealed minor additions to Rogers’ backstory that brought a bit more heartbreak into the early life of the character through various flashback sequences. CAPTAIN AMERICA #2 continues to show us more of the origin elements that Remender will be focusing on in the start of his run, with a sequence that focuses on the significance of hope that was instilled in Rogers at a very young age after the passing of his dad. Hope plays an integral part in the present day story as well, as Captain America and the child from the first issue (who have now been trapped in Dimension Z for one year) fight simply for survival against the very deadly elements and inhabitants of this wasteland. The majority of this issue is like reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road with Captain America in the lead, which, as you might imagine, is completely awesome.

Through a good deal of very effective inner monologue we’re reminded of those heroic attributes that make Steve Rogers the super soldier and man that he is, but I found it all much more inspiring, rather than redundant, given the grim, unusual backdrop that is Dimension Z. All this monologue also inspires confidence that Remender already has a very solid grasp on his Captain America early on, as a lot of this reads like the Cap we know, but facing a very real fear that all the hope in the world might not save him this time, and by the issue’s end, it seems as though no matter what the outcome for him, he may have already lost.

It’s also great to see John Romita Jr. doing some really great work on this so far, since I haven’t been overly thrilled with some of his other recent work, but the pairing seems to be bringing the best out of both him and Remender at this point. This has the makings of a very deep, potentially tragic story for Captain America, but the four or five big panels a page have kept it a very casual and pleasant reading experience that captures and showcases the bizarre environments well while still telling a very character-driven story with a lot of heart. I don’t think I noticed how much I was loving the work until the flashback sequence here with Steve getting bullied on Essex Street in Manhattan shortly after the death of his father – one of those sequences where the words become ancillary as the emotion and narrative needed of the scene are perfectly captured by the nine panels of art from Romita Jr. on their own.

So far my fears for the Marvel NOW! era have been pretty much squashed thanks to efforts like these in CAPTAIN AMERICA. A lot of great work that ended in order to usher in this new age has been followed up with new a greatness that shows some really exciting promise. If it’s been a while since you’ve read a CAPTAIN AMERICA comic, this is a perfect place to come aboard: it’s the Captain you know and love starting off on a brand new adventure that requires little to no knowledge of the character’s rich comic history. He’s an old man, that Cap, but the new team of Remender and Romita have me thinking that even though he’s been around for over 70 years, Steve Rogers’ best years may still be ahead of him. Or, at least, maybe his weirdest years.


TYRANNY OF THE MUSE #1

Writer: Eddie Wright (based on BROKEN BULBS by Eddie Wright)
Art: Jesse Balmer
Publisher: Self published (find more info here)
Reviewer: Ambush Bug


Trippy, existential, other-worldly. TYRANNY OF THE MUSE is not your typical comic book, but Indie Jones is not the place for your typical comic books. If you’re the kind of reader who, after experiencing one of Grant Morrison’s more “out there” writings, say “You know, I need something even more weird” try TYRANNY OF THE MUSE.

This isn’t a knock. I love experimental and creative storytelling. Some of my favorite comics, Johnny Ryan’s PRISON PIT, for example, toss logic and reason out the window. TYRANNY OF THE MUSE does so as well, but never forgets to anchor us down with an emotional core that is very, very real.

Eddie Wright offers up a tale of a very sad man named Frank Fisher who spends too much time longing and too little time living. This melancholy gent is plagued by migraines and the ever-present pressure of creating something without the presence of inspiration. That’s where a woman named Bonnie comes in, who supplies Frank inspiration like a crackhead needs a hit. Frank is very much in love with this mysterious woman as she literally represents his muse, supplying that creative pang that all writers long for in those wee hours of the night cracking their knuckles and wanting to smash their computers when the words just don’t come to mind.

What Wright is doing here is telling us a tale of that ever elusive rush of inspiration. It’s somber and emotionally nerve shredding, but damn well done, too.

Drawn very loosely, with a fluid style rarely seen in mainstream comics, Jesse Balmer is able to capture the abstract feelings emoted by the characters of this story. Through waves of energy, melting faces, and all sorts of bizarre shapes and creatures, Balmer fleshes out this mind-warp of a story with surreal beauty. You can download a digital copy of the book right here!

If you’re looking for something outside of the norm, TYRANNY OF THE MUSE is surely something you don’t see every day. Not for the literal minded, this tale of the woeful search for wisdom is one that is hard to forget.

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of AICN COMICS for over eleven years & AICN HORROR for two. He has written comics such as VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS THE TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, & NANNY & HANK (soon to be available on iTunes and soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He has co-written FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND’s first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in 2013 as a 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark wrote the critically acclaimed GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK last year from Zenescope Entertainment & look for his exciting arc on GRIMM FAIRY TALES #76-81 released August-December 2012. Mark will be writing GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK: LAST OF THE SPECIES to be released in February-June 2013. Follow Ambush Bug on the Twitter @Mark_L_Miller.


WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #22

Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Nick Bradshaw
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy


Clown Wolverine Is The Best...

Seriously. He still stabs people with his claws, but while hitting them in the face with banana cream pies. At the same time. That’s the sort of sentence you don’t get to write often, but when you do, you do it with relish. That actually sums up most of Jason Aaron’s run on WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN: it’s a very good mix of creativity, humour, and sheer superheroic insanity, all wrapped together with bright and lively art.

Aaron just…good lord, Jason Aaron is a weird guy. Reminiscent of an early Claremont story, the X-Men have been captured and brainwashed (this time by a witch working for Frankenstein’s monster--it’s that kind of comic) to work for the circus. The current institute students come across them and do their very best to save them. It does not go swimmingly. Aaron is able to balance the mind-controlled parlour versions of the heroes with their inbred characteristics, making them still clearly the X-Men they are underneath the brainwashing, bt this doesn’t stop them from being the best kind of wacky evil. Wolverine has a giant mallet that he beats Quire around with, Iceman chases people with fire-breathing skills, the like. It’s an enormously entertaining comic, ultimately focusing on Idie and Maximilion as they transverse the terrible circus in search of the witch controlling all of this. It’s madcap and quick-witted, getting laughs while still pushing forward the ongoing evolutions of the main cast; Genesis only gets a few pages of attention in the book, but his scene in the hall of mirrors pretty much sums up the character in a neat nutshell.

Bradshaw’s art has been consistently good on this title. The cartoony qualities of his art style (complimented well by the bright and distinct colours of Laura Martin) help sell the circus immensely. Each character has very expressive faces and reactions, never really needing dialogue to push the story forward. As the book jumps around from setting to setting, Martin kicks into a more controlling stance, easily displaying new locales with a slight change in colour pallette or backlight. It’s a wonderfully constructed comic all around, full of great little gags (seriously, Wolverine as a clown is better than it sounds) between the exciting (but brief) action and the engaging (but likewise brief) character development. It’s an interesting comic from an already great series.


Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G

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Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 27, 2012, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Bye Spidey!

    by Zardoz

    See you again on the flip-side!

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 9:16 a.m. CST

    I've been first for about a month now.

    by drompter

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Avenging Spider Man 15.1

    by Bob

    That "new" costume is so FUCKING STOOOOOOPID looking. Claw fingers and toes? I could not stop laughing. It looks like Spider-Man redesigned by Jim Valentino, while drunk. Plus, making the spider emblem on his back with even stubbier legs makes it look like a tick, and there's only one of those! But at this point, The Tick could guest star, and it probably wouldn't feel out of place. This Superior Spider Man seems to have fallen into self-parody already. Nice work Slott. Bravo.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Won't be reading Superior Spider-Man

    by Wcwlkr

    Like the clone saga before it. Call me when the real Spidey shows up. I'm tired of the ridiculous gimmicks instead of something truly groundbreaking. That's exactly what this is pure gimmick. It's Death of Superman & Knightfall. But done with even less skill. I was really feeling Slott's run up until this point. Like JMS before him his big even story sucked ass and took a lot of wind out of his sails.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 11:03 a.m. CST

    That whole Spider-Man thing?

    by Mikey Wood

    I give it six months. Eight, TOPS.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Does everyone with creative control hate Spider-Man?

    by INWOsuxRED

    I finally watched the horrible re-boot last night, and then stumbled across the Amazing 700 stories. Is Spider-Man really that hard to get right?

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 11:28 a.m. CST

    So whats the b ig change in Spiderman?

    by Paul

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Slott DOES NOT write a great Peter Parker

    by The Krypton Kid

    I quit reading Amazing again (first time being after One More Day) because Slott writes Peter as nothing more than gags and one-liners. I know the quips are essential to Spidey, but Slott's portrayal of Spidey has no depth at all. Also, through Slott's writing, Pete often comes off like a smug douche. You want to talk GREAT Spidey writers, then you better talk the likes of DeMatteis, Busick, and JMS.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 11:46 a.m. CST

    *Further

    by Frat Boy

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST

    I think so, mariusxe

    by TheDean

    I've really loved X-O MANOWAR thus far, and it's been one of my top 3 reads practically every week it comes out, and totally agree with Optimous up top with HARBINGER as well. SHADOWMAN has been pretty decent so far, and others seems to really love ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG, but I haven't been reading it. Their trades are incredibly reasonable though, so for like $10 it's worth giving something a shot

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 12:20 p.m. CST

    So now Doc Ock is the new Spider-Man?

    by frank

    i bursted into tears while laughing, the first time i learned the news. glad i stopped reading those mainstream comic trash a few years ago. Thank god , alternatives to the DC/M industry do exist and they are way superior.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Thanks thedean!

    by MariusXe

    Kinda funny not to be cursed at on the talkback. I am pretty interested in the Harbinger and Bloodshot trades. Any thoughts on Bloodshot? The X-O manowar costume looks sooooooo stupid, I can't bring myself to look at it... But I think I'll give it a shot. Thanks again, man!

  • The three-issue arc,especially issue 700,sold like hot cakes. Marvel's marketing was a complete success which turned a huge profit. Will they lose their devoted fans because of the character's replacement? i doubt it. they didn't lose them during the Clone Saga outcry, they didn't lose them when Spidy changed his costume and revealed his secret identity to the world. The fans will groan and curse and cry but they will keep buying this garbage even for curiosity or collection reasons. And in a few months, in all the fanfare and the hype, you will get the big return of the good old webcrawler. And the comeback arc issues will again sell like hot cakes. Thank god for Marvel's marketing department and the stupidity of the american fanboys.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Dan Slott, the Lindeloff of comics.

    by Volllllume3

    What a fucking hack.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 1 p.m. CST

    Ugh...

    by jdsnotnice

    Amazing Spider-Man 700 was the worst comic book I've ever read. It was incredibly forced and the storyline reeks of the Clone Saga.

  • With Fully Resurrected Peter back in the suit, of course.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    cavejohnson

    by INWOsuxRED

    Can you point us to numbers that back this up? Is Spider-Man selling better than it was before some of the big terrible comics? Anywhere we could see a sales graph? I have no doubt that stunts spike sales, but I also think they result in long term slumps. As someone who used to love comics and hasn't bought one in many years, I know I am not the only one who just stopped buying. Doesn't mean I wasn't replaced with a younger reader, but everything I hear about the business of comics suggests it isn't doing well outside of the movies. In a decade I figure they will have turned off those fans too.

  • I watched the first two or three episodes when they were brand new, back when I still had roommates with cable. Midway through the second, third, maybe fourth episode - whenever the smoke monster appeared - I stood up from my chair and said "this is obviously never going to make sense, I'm going to play some PC games" and never watched another minute of that nonsense.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 1:57 p.m. CST

    I just dropped all of Spider-Mans books

    by hopeless

    And pretty much most of Marvels books. They have the worst writing I have ever read in a long time! I miss the fun old Marvel days when heroes were heroes and villains were villains! Slotts a lazy hack writer that needs to get fired for raping Marvel!

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST

    true balls wouldve been to really kill parker

    by walt

    but the mainstream doesnt work that way love it that the current incarnation of valiant is better than anything shooter ever imagined that guy is a true hack and karma is a bitch he fucked with kirby and now has nothing

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST

    cavejohnson comic book sales

    by HoraceSkinner

    Lmao ! The Clone saga was a precursor to marvel going bank rupt. Nice call. one more day saga is responsible for more subscription cancellations than any single event. Comic sales are awful or amazing sm would be on the stans. At marvel comics are a after thought. The $ is in the movies and merchandise. Wait ... Ultimate Spiderman and regular world Spiderman are both new.people? Peter Parker dead in both universes ? Doc o,k is sleeping w mj in Peters body? Who is buying these comics?

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Has anyone asked Stan how he feels?

    by Prooth

    They killed Spider-man around my birthday in the ultimate continuity and now Peter Parker is dead for Christmas in the actual continuity, and not in some Alan Moore stark sad ending or heroic finale. Actually, part of what pisses me off is that Doc Ock is supposed to be some serious bad guy - on the level of Lex Luthor in terms of deviousness. But he is not. If Spider-Man can kill a Mayan god, he can just continue to do headshots like they talked about in #600 that knock Doc Ock (such a shock!) unconscious. Joe Kelly's two parter with Hammerhead from about four years ago was the best spider-man I've ever read. While it was dark, it was really in tune with the adrenaline-filled humor of Spider-Man's personality, and an awareness of how showing up blindly to things can go very very wrong. Superior Spider-Man sounds like you had rock and roll singer who died and his body is going on tour. If he's dead let him be dead for a very long time. Don't bring back Peter Parker cheaply. (Which they will). God, has anyone asked Stan about this? I'd be so frigging mad if I were Stan!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Marvel's Evil Plan - Kill the Licensed Movies

    by jgsugden

    I'd put good money on Marvel's current storylines being aimed at undercutting the movie rights it wants back. The movies are where the money is. If you change the Spiderman titles drastically, it undercuts the audience for the movies based on the traditional character and makes the rights less valuable. By merging the Avengers with the X-men they increase the number of X-characters in books to which they retain rights. They're muddying the water while setting themselves up to get back all of the rights. They did the same thing to the Fantastic Four to kill off that movie franchise... I believe they're looking to have everything in the House of M(ouse) by the time Avengers 3 hits theaters.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 4:04 p.m. CST

    ASM has sucked since Brand New Day...

    by DuncanDisorderly

    Mostly due to Slott, so Marvel then made him head Spidey writer. His ego then took over and ASM #700 is the end result. Slott has admitted that he did the bodyswap because he could relate to Otto Octavius more than he could to Peter Parker. He also prefers writing Otto more than he does Peter. Ladies and gentlemen, if you keep buying this crap then you're getting exactly what you deserve!

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 4:07 p.m. CST

    @jgsugden...

    by DuncanDisorderly

    Yeah, I've been thinking along the same lines. Marvel wants all of their characters back and they're going to make sure that they poison the well so that it comes about. In fairness, I would rather see a Marvel take on a Spider-Man movie than have to see a sequel to Amazing Spider-Man.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 4:18 p.m. CST

    The 'Superior' Spider-Man?

    by buggerbugger

    Get fucked, Marvel. Let me know when you de-kill Spidey and then **finally** have the balls to let Aunt May finally die, retconning that risible One More Last More Suck More Day shit. Doc Ock is Spidey? That is pure **GENIUS** at work! Yeah, man, he's, like, totally evil inside, so he has this constant inner struggle with the remains of Peter's "empathy" (for fuck's sake!) in order to remain a hero! How totally edgy, if you're two or three decades behind the curve. The new costume sounds hilarious. Doc Octospidey? I guess they're trying to outdo the sheer fucking stupidity of the Iron Spider suit (or whatever it was called) from the Civil War period. The one with all the fucking stupid spider legs sticking out the back like the spokes of a broken umbrella.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Spidey, to me, is like Superman...

    by Mikey Wood

    ...I love the characters, but there have been very few genuinely good stories involving them that aren't one-shots, mini's, or OGNs. In fact, the monthly comics are generally kind of awful. I'm enjoying Grant Morrisson's run on ACTION right now, but it's ending soon.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Valiant Ain't Hype

    by optimous_douche

    Want characters that stay true, with no parlor tricks. Then yes, read Valiant. I know only two people give a fuck this week, but they are great stories across the board.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 4:43 p.m. CST

    I Can Safely Speak For Stan Lee When I Say...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...Stan doesn't give a shit. Those old guys weren't geeks. Stan also says send Buzz Maverik all your money.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Cheers To Henry Higgins For Dropping His Format!

    by Buzz Maverik

    Henry, I seriously hated your format. You may have dropped it before this but I usually don't look at the reviews much, I just like the talkbacks, which is sort of like Waitin' For The Trades. People used to write the @SSholes and say, "Could you have a format? A rating system? Four stars?" And I'd want to write back, "This isn't a fucking report card, we're not here to tell you what to think and who the fuck wants comics reduced to that?" and Bug or Cormorant would roll in another keg and I'd say, "Fuck it."

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Or Was Henry The One With The Format?

    by Buzz Maverik

    It's sort of like one of those bad '70s rock bands touring with a new lead singer. You can't really tell for sure.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Who Are These Guys Anyway?

    by Buzz Maverik

    It's like Quiet Riot. Randy Rhodes left to work with Ozzy and then he died and there's 57 varieties of Quiet Riot playing at state fairs all around the country.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 4:53 p.m. CST

    BRAND NEW PETER

    by MCVamp

    Coming to Marvel NOW! July, 2013.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Now more than ever, AICN Comics needs Buzz Maverick

    by rev_skarekroe

    Dynamically greeting the shocking new developments in super hero funnybooks with the disinterested shrug they so richly deserve!

  • Fucking brilliant move Marvel. So what happens with Peter's deal with Mephisto, does One More Day/Brand New Day get wiped away. What happens when a psychic reads Spider-Man's mind and realizes that Doctor Octopus thoughts and memories are in the along with Peter Parker's memories. And when Marvel changes it back, which you know will happen, they better not pull some bullshit where Peter Parker's personality overpower Otto Octavius' personality and forces him out. That would still mean the real Peter Parker died a painful, degrading death and his passing will never be acknowledged by the ones he loved or the people he protected at the cost of his own life. Such a nice way to shit on your longest running character Marvel. Bunch of fucktards.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST

    @ozy...

    by DuncanDisorderly

    You've obviously put more thought into it than Marvel have. The current Marvel approach is to shock readers and not give a flying fuck as to how much the character is damaged in the long run. It's all about sales spikes and ticking over for three months before the next event begins. "The Marvel Universe Will Never Be The Same Again!" is the standard tagline. How fucking ironic.

  • Stan was not pleased, I guess? http://furiousfanboys.com/2012/12/stan-lee-pwns-spider-man-writer-dan-slott/

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Man...

    by Joenathan

    I love days like this... Also, Avengers #2 was awesome

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    so wait- peter parker is in ocks body and he has sex with aunt may?????

    by undead_uncle_ben

    please kill me now.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Kudos to zardosz and duncandisorderly

    by Prooth

    Thanks for the Stan Lee link zardosz. That really helped! Also, duncandisorderly, you used the actual definition of irony masterfully. That only made your incisive comment sweeter. Thank you!

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 11:16 p.m. CST

    As Many of You Know, I Visit The Marvel Offices So Frequently...

    by Buzz Maverik

    We have to do something new with Spidey. Something that has never been done with a headlining superhero in a comic.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST

    That Was Weird

    by Buzz Maverik

    My incoherent rant almost completely disappeared. As delusional, drugged out ramblings go, it was way up there, too.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 11:22 p.m. CST

    Who Taught Stan How To Use Twitter?

    by Buzz Maverik

    The guy was close to 40 when he created all this shit back when JFK was president. Next, you're going to tell me Steve Ditko texted something about this.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 4:17 a.m. CST

    Having just seen photos of Dan Slott for the first time...

    by buggerbugger

    ...I now understand why he turned that lifelong tubby, Doctor Octopus, into the much younger and fitter Spider-Man. Seriously, the guy's a dead ringer for Ock. Couldn't believe it when I saw him. He's remade Spider-Man in his own image. (Or is it the other way around?) Dan Slott is... the Superior Spider-Man! I wonder how long the new Spidey will go before he starts snacking and gaining a lot of weight like Ock?

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 5:24 a.m. CST

    @prooth...

    by DuncanDisorderly

    Compliment accepted, thanks!

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 5:36 a.m. CST

    @scratchmonkey...

    by DuncanDisorderly

    Thank God that Slott doesn't write Batman; he'd end up bodyswapping him with The Penguin.

  • You simply get Clone Saga 2.0. Look they're are compelling & powerful ways of writing Spider-Man in a really cool way. Other than let me kill this character off and replace him with one of his greatest arch-enemies. I mean I think I hate this shit almost more than JMS having Norman Osborn inpregnate Gwen Stacy. That shit was foul but this is equally reprehensible. It's the way he had Spidey go out that pisses me off so bad. This character has always fought against the odds, and made the tough choices to do what is right. I just don't see how in his mind he'd say what was right is for this fucking murdering psychopath gets to get my body and fuck up my life. Oh that's right because he promised to do good??? What I mean it wasn't that long ago that this asshole was holding the world for RANSOM. Or did he forget Ends of The Earth?

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 6:57 a.m. CST

    @optimus_douche and valiant hype

    by MariusXe

    thanks for the info. will check them out in trade. looking forward to it.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST

    optimous_douche

    by Icarus2004

    Wasn't Jim Shooter involved with the Valiant comic line at some point, like he started it or something? Whatever happened to that... And, btw, you're right. I am mainly a DC/Marvel guy (mostly DC), but Valiant does have some interesting things to say, and I have been checking them out more and more lately, specially Harbinger. May have to go check the old issues if they continue this way...

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Stan Lee's response to Dan Slott's Birthday wishes was...

    by Icarus2004

    stan lee✔ @TheRealStanLee @DanSlott what a gift, some guys give a nice cigar, a watch, but no not you, I get a dead #PeterParker Thanks for the bday wishes my friend!

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Valiant

    by optimous_douche

    Yes, Jim Shooter was the original EIC of Valiant. Hence how he was ale to keep Turok, Solar and Magnus going with Dark Horse.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Everyone has seen this right?

    by billandted

    http://garys-movie-thoughts.blogspot.com/2012/12/everything-wrong-with-dark-knight-rises.html

  • The current DC approach is to shock readers and not give a flying fuck as to how much the character is damaged in the long run. It's all about sales spikes and ticking over for three months before the next event begins. "The DC Universe Will Never Be The Same Again!" is the standard tagline. How fucking ironic. Yep, it works perfectly for DC too. That's exactly the way I've felt about DC for the best part of the past 10 years.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 1:27 p.m. CST

    I have a huge issue with Spidoc

    by ScudPuppy

    Years and years of evil doing and being implanted with Pete's memories all the sudden makes him want to be a better man? WTH? I really want to like it because it's something different and it opens the door for some unique storytelling, but I would've preferred SpiDoc growing into a hero gradually instead of being so easily swayed by Pete's sob story.

  • ...which is why I don't read it anymore, and haven't for a long, long time. Everyone wants everyone to be the anti-hero. From things like this stuff back to Venom and Carnage, it's some one-size-fits-all, video-game fantasy where the good guy gets to be bad. I think we've lost the ability to show some restraint, and work within the limitations of the character. Peter Parker, Spider-Man, is not an antihero. He's occasionally an unwilling hero, a misunderstood hero, a resentful hero. But not an antihero. It does sound valuable to reflect on what makes Spidey Spidey - it's Peter Parker, and only Peter Parker - but somehow killing off the character (however temporarily) seems like an admission that you're not sophisticated enough to do that. From the clone disaster to Ultimates to this, it seems like almost all creators these days just want to run away from the essential aspects of these characters, and twist them into what they'd rather be doing instead, with a pile of needless shock value along the way. Well, guys, invent a character as iconic as Spidey, then go do that.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST

    @hank henshaw...

    by DuncanDisorderly

    I have no issue with you adapting my original post. It most certainly can be applied to DC, too.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST

    @Kevred WELL SAID

    by Wcwlkr

    I'm not saying you can't do bold or different things. But damn be a good writer and do something in context of what makes the character who he is. Don't take this bullshit approach to using a shinier version of a really shitty storyline like the Clone Saga.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Killing off spiderman again... is fucking lame.

    by Norman Colson

    Why build the hero's story so much but kill hik off anyways so doc ock is spiderman now? WTF what happens when he's on the avenger missions and he acts like an asshole. you think doctor strange wont figure it out that doc ock is in spidey's body? Someone will notice. Killing off a longstay main character is boring. there was no need for this. the correct way for them to go about it, was that doc ock was transfered back in his own body and learned humility and made peace with his death! and was forgiven fo all the past sins. much like magneto was...

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    hank henshaw, at least give DC this much...

    by MCVamp

    When DC says an event will change the DC Universe forever, more often than not they do indeed change THE ENTIRE FUCKING UNIVERSE right down to Superman with no red chonies. Marvel still likes to imply that 50 years of adventures have happened to the same set of 20-to-30 year old superheroes.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 8:33 p.m. CST

    doc ock in Peters body

    by HoraceSkinner

    This is the worse piece of fan fiction I've ever heard of, from the one douche who loves doc ock. How the heck did this guy get to write asm? Gutless. You want to tell different stories? There's tons of characters to tell stories with. Add some damn depth to a few friends and villians. Kill off Spiderman. Do a.xena.and have someone chop off his fucking head. This body switch.fred savage movie shit is awful. Awful. Awful. Having peter dead in both universes speaks volumes about those making decisions at marvel have no idea why we read.them. Ock almost married may once. Is going to date may as peter? Or date mj? Black cat? Or another young nubile beauty that doesn't know his a horny old man psycho path trapped in spidermans body?

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 8:34 p.m. CST

    just kill off Spiderman

    by HoraceSkinner

    Replace him.with a kid. Or a robot. Or a black icon made of steel. Or a dude in sunglasses.

  • Fuck Iron Man. Spider-Man is supposed to be Marvel's top dog.

  • Dec. 29, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST

    ill be honest with you

    by HoraceSkinner

    This news tramatized me. Still is. For a brief shinning moment comics were our.fables. Our mythology. We could relate to a superman standing for truth and justice and everything. We could really relate to peter. He was a normal kid dealing with powers and dangers that were over his head. He never gave up. No matter what the odds. Having writer shit on that sucks. This is worse than tobey being cast as peter. worse than the clone saga. Worse than one more day. Ok maybe not that bad. I feel sick over this , same.as i did when i found out highlanders were aliens. Or when newt and Hicks were dead. I haven't collected asm since the clone saga. But im.putting my collection up for sale.

  • Dec. 29, 2012, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Jeez, horaceskinner

    by rev_skarekroe

    This shit "traumatizes" you? Man up and grow a sack.

  • Dec. 29, 2012, 6:26 p.m. CST

    rev

    by HoraceSkinner

    Lmao Sry. My post are tounge in cheek but i failed to make that one come across less than serious. Should have mentioned as a.did before a spider steel, soperdot, and spider boy replacing him. Reign of the spidermen. Who do i care is screwing mj. That's for calling me out

  • Dec. 30, 2012, 2:10 a.m. CST

    Fanboys ruined mainstream comics

    by v1cious

    People constantly complain about the lack of originality in the big two; yet whenever someone tries something new, the unwashed masses whine and complain about it. No wonder nothing ever moves forward. When they finally decide to kill off MJ or aunt May, people will bitch about that, too. It's really a no-win situation.

  • Dec. 30, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    death threats against slott

    by foree forehead

    the nerdverse becomes more unhinged by the day http://tinyurl.com/b8445pa

  • Dec. 30, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Death threats are over the line though. FFS.

    by bat725