The Amazing Spider-Man #567 (***1/2)
I’m probably giving this book a higher rating than it deserves, since it did something I liked, but I’m pretty sure it was unintentional. You see, in order to explain away why it was that Peter’s friend Vin was mistaken for Spider-Man by the new Kraven, Peter (as Spidey) tells him, “To protect my identity, I’ve pegged some people as, well, decoys. Y’know, in case anybody gets too close to figuring out who I really am, I put them on the trail of, well… somebody else.” Now, this is a lie. Obviously, Peter Parker would never do something this foul or selfish. I mean, hell, this is the type of thing to get innocent people hurt or worse, horribly tortured and murdered by some super villain. I assume most fans hated this and called shenanigans. I would too, if I didn’t like how douchey it makes Peter. I like a little dark side with my web-slinging. Ah, but, this was probably one of those ill-conceived ideas… so, I guess maybe this really is just bad writing? Regardless, the rest of the issue was fun and resolved satisfactorily, and the art continues to impress.
Cable #6 (****)
This was definitely the best issue of Cable yet, and Cable was barely in the damn thing. Swierczynski tackles a bunch of continuity issues and manages to make it less of the mess that it is. For instance: do the X-Men kill now? Does Emma know about X-Force? If not, how can she not, she reads minds, y/y? Is Forge still pissed about what happened to his lab? Is sex the only true remedy to insomnia? And, my favorite, just how shark jumpingly smart is Beast? We spend the entire issue in Cyclops’ head, one of the most boring X-heads of all-time, and yet… by the end I was sad to get kicked out. If only Swierczynski could bring this type of depth to the titular character.
Halo: Uprising #3 (***1/2)
OMG, there’s an actual story here? Thought that needed to be pointed out. I like it. I don’t like Halo, but I like this. I like the Bendis/Maleev team. Anyone else reading this? Is the brother of the main character civilian dude, is he Master Chief?
King-Size Spider-Man #1 (*****)
What a surprisingly fun book! Unlike Spider-Man Family (SEE below), every story in this collection was neat and entertaining. I especially liked the very first page, the one with the warning—that I would show you but, SCANNER NO WORK!!! All the stories were exactly what out-of-continuity stories should be. Namely, fun. OH! And then there’s a preview of the new Mini Marvels Digest in the back and I liked it so much I pre-ordered it on Amazon. YAY!
Punisher: War Journal #22 (**)
More action packed—well, cooler action at least—than last ish, but it’s still shit. Like, it’s just bullshit. The content is crap. Reading this, after reading Ennis’ final issue (or any Ennis Punisher comic) where you see that the writer has a grasp on the character and his motivations, and a delicate handling that no other writer will ever match, and then you read the Fraction/Remender penned GW Bridge speech and it makes you want to vomit. Amazing Spider-Man Family style vomit. I’m losing words. Words are fail work describing hate this the Punisher. UGH.
• The Amazing Spider-Man Family #1 (**): Vomit. Which, of the many forgettable stories did I like… oh, the reprint of issue 300 was awesome!
• Astonishing X-Men #26 (**1/2): Still bad, but not terrible. In terms of quality, this is the exact opposite of his run on Thunderbolts.
• Avengers/Invaders #4 (****): This issue was tons of good with limited engagements of suck, the suckiest being the panel where Cap winks at Bucky. That was just creepy. Like child molester creepy. CHILLS! Down my spine!
• The Last Defenders #6 (***1/2): I don’t think this book ever reached its full potential, and I’m confident it is a story that could have been told in three less issues. Will I pick up a monthly Defenders book by Joe Casey based on the strength of this mini? Probably not.
• Fantastic Four #559 (***1/2): More of the same, but it definitely feels like a midpoint. So, that’s cool. Like everyone else, I found the two-page splash exciting… and that was about it.
• The Invincible Iron Man #4 (****): Tony Stark does not beat Mr. Fantastic at chess. No. Wrong. Fail. Other than that, another solid read. I especially love Fraction’s take on Pepper Potts. She’s becoming a very strong female lead under his guidance, but Mr. Fraction, please, please, PLEASE do NOT make her a superhero. Please?
• The Punisher #60 (*****): The perfect end to a perfect run. Gosh, I hope Marvel puts out that last Punisher MAX hardcover (volume 5). I don’t want to start all over again with the stupid omnibuses. Don’t screw me, Marvel!
• Ultimate Origins #3 (**1/2): Know what? Whatever. I don’t even care anymore. This is a story that needed to be told three years ago. Whatever. Like, is Ultimatum just some Celestial story? Maybe that would be cool, if we didn’t already have an Eternals ongoing over in the 616. Whatever!