Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #9

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Another great issue, this one. Unfortunately it looks like this is already the end of the MJ/Venom stuff. Too bad, I was really digging that.

But there’s a bunch of build-up here to whatever’s going to happen next with Osbourne. So I guess this was mostly meant as a brief transition. But damn, MJ/Venom was cool.

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Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #8

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Yes! I mean, I love this series so no surprise – but I loved this issue. What’s great about Renew Your Vows is that it balances the action of a superhero comic with the drama of, well, a drama comic (?) totally perfectly. So in this issue we’ve got Spidey and MJ fighting Mysterio; MJ worrying about her relationship with Peter; and THEN we get MJ wearing the symbiote suit known as Venom. Oh, and she’s keeping this a secret from Peter because she feels bad that she drains his power to be a superhero and she wants to pull her own weight… for the better of their marriage. This is such great writing. It’s like the superhero stuff is awesome, but it’s also there as sort of this analogy on the stress and anxiety of marriage and family life. Brilliant stuff. Love it.

#1 · Spider-Man

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1

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I’ll be the first to admit that we don’t need ANOTHER Spider-Man series. Right? I mean The Amazing Spider-Man has been running strong for almost thirty issues now. And then there’s Renew Your Vows, which is fantastic. And Spidey has a book with Deadpool that’s been going strong for a while. Not to mention all the spin-off Spiderverse stuff out there. So yeah, we don’t need this series.

But this first issue is definitely promising. I’ve gotta say that it is a lot of fun.

I’m kind of on the fence about its reason for existing. Even the editor himself mentions that it’s kind of meant as a jumping on point for prospective new fans that’ll be looking for something to read after Homecoming hits the theaters next month. So is that kind of crass? I don’t know. Maybe.

But again. It’s a fun new series. It opens with Johnny f’ing Storm telling Peter that he doesn’t need to tell (us) his original story again. Now that’s a good introduction!  And it’s got some other nice cameos already like Ant-Man and Falcon. And the writing is brisk and fun and full of little throwbacks and inside jokes for Spider-fans. The art carries its weight as well. And I’m pretty sure anything with Jordie Bellaire’s name on it is going to be easy on the eyes.

So y’know what? I’m gonna give it a fair chance. Because really I was having trouble getting into the main book anyway. So why not?

Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #7

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So this concluded the story that started in #6 where Annie is touring the ol’ X-School. Although that made it feel a lot more like an X-Men issue than the street-level Spidey that the series has been known for, it’s all good as it wraps up neatly in this issue and doesn’t drag out.

There’s some nice appearances here – Wolverine, Jean Grey, Jubilee, Emma Frost… even Magneto. And the always wonderful Spinneret gets some pretty great action scenes, so that’s cool.

That said, I’m looking much more forward to the next issue given the wink-wink inclusion of Venom coming up.

Spider-Man · TPB

Spider-Man: The Return Of The Sinister Six

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Continuing on with my 90’s reading list, this was a breath of fresh air after the last 90’s Spider-Man book I read, Todd McFarlane’s Torment. Indeed all my issues with Torment – the lack of interesting dialogue; the threadbare story; the over-reliance on narration – are all absent here. Instead we’ve got a totally engrossing story about Doctor Octopus assembling a new Sinister Six with a plot to (you’ll never guess) take over the world.

But what’s great is that The Sinister Six and ultimate showdown are not the total focus. Instead we’ve got interesting side stories. Aunt May must deal with grieving a fiance; Mary Jane is the victim of stalking; Peter and MJ are trying to balance having a romantic relationship with Peter’s day-job AND being Spider-Man; Sandman is struggling with not wanting to be villain anymore. There’s really a lot going on here to make the story feel fleshed out and real. Even some of the twists that come later in the book involving drug addiction seem heavier than expected. Or at least as if the writer (David Micheline) didn’t want to stick with trite plot devices.

The dialogue is solid. There’s plenty of inner monologue stuff, so depending how you feel about that it’s a good or bad thing. It was maybe a bit more than I’d like. But the dialogue was all snappy and felt natural. The artwork was great and really reminds me why I fell in love with Marvel as a kid in the 90’s Hobgoblin for instance looks absolutely awesome here.  It’s clear that the artist Erik Larson had a strong love for the source material and that shows in his detail to the villains, the massive single-page spreads of Spidey’s webs and Doc Ock’s arms. He must have also had an affinity for Peter’s “oh so woah wife” Mary Jane.

All in all, I thought this was a great book. I’m really glad I finally got around to reading it.

Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #6

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This series CONTINUES to be one of the absolute best that Marvel is putting out right now. Maybe that’s a big statement to make. But y’know, just an opinion. At least that’s how I feel after finishing an issue like this one, though.

Issue #6 starts a new story arc. And it’s a doozy. So Professor X invites the Parker-Watsons to come visit the school… because he thinks that Annie should attend. Maybe you don’t immediately get the implication here: this Spider-Man book is officially crossing over into the X-Men.

Even more awesome: It’s an alternate timeline X-Men. One where the Civil War never even happened. Indeed things are totally different here… as such, appearances from Wolverine, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Magneto and so on will feel like a great surprise.

I love where this is going, and hope the story sticks around for a while. It’s like, just when you thought you knew what to expect from an already original book; the writers throw this surprise turn of events at you. It’s totally different from issues 1-5 and yet feels totally genuine to the tone of the series.

Deadpool · Spider-Man

Spider-Man/Deadpool #16

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Now this is more like it!

I didn’t love the last part of “Til Dead Do Us…” that appeared in Mercs For Money #9, but this one gets things back on track. I really like the team-up of Spidey, Wade and Cami Van Helsing. And guess where they go? To Latveria! And guess what they do? They confront Dracula! And guess how? …by playing video games with him.

Oh man, this story is just really funny and a total blast. With only two issues left, I’ll be bummed to see this mini-series come to an end. It’s been a lot of fun.

Deadpool · Spider-Man

Spider-Man/Deadpool #15

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Okay, so Part 2 of “Til Death Do Us…” is pretty great. I’m really enjoying this mini-series, and I like how it’s spread out over multiple Deadpool series. First of all, it’s so fun to see Deadpool, Spider-Man and Blade all working together. Plus we’ve been introduced to Cami, a decedent of Van Helsing. So guess what that means? Next issue we’ll be getting Dracula involved in this story. Honestly, this little mini-series has actually been much cooler than all the main Monsters Unleashed stuff going on. It has a decidedly 90’s feel to me.

This issue was also very funny. I loved when Deadpool tells Blade he should have been nominated for an Oscar for New Jack City. But there’s also some really sweet moments, like when Deadpool walks away from a battle with Shiklah and tells her he loves her and she just replies “I know.” Deadpool has always been a complicated character, and Joshua Corin – the writer here – seems to get that. This is a blast!

Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #5

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Whelp, I hate to sound like a broken record but this series just continues to be top notch. And what’s better is that now it feels like the who intro is out of the way and that this is comfortably an ongoing series.

This issue finds our family figuring out how to spend Family Fun Night (Tuesday) even though the parents are exhausted. Oh, and that somehow turns into a battle with Sandman. We also get some more insight into a young Harry Osborn. This is continually excellent stuff. Great writing, great family dynamic, and great stories that mix the mundane with superhero-isms.

Also, I’m very excited that it looks like next issue will be an X-Men crossover!

Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #4

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This issue finally delivers what we’ve been leading up to: the family fighting together. It’s a cool issue with a battle against the Mole Man. I liked that he even made a nod to the Fantastic Four. The series continues with solid heartfelt writing. Like how Peter and MJ argue about parenting in the middle of this battle, and how Annie feels ignored. The artwork is also wonderful. I continue to enjoy this series very much. Oh, and I’m curious about this ten year old version of Norman Osborn?