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What I Liked This Week

Posted by bnwadmin On February - 12 - 2011

Amazing Spider-Man #654

Dan Slott (w) Stegan Caselli (a)

Big Time is exactly what this title is these days. Taking a cue from its new arc, Dan Slott has been doing some “amazing” work now that he is the title’s lone scribe. Before I jump into just why 654 is my overwhelming (and Lane’s as well) pick of the week, I want to stand on my soapbox just a little bit longer and beat the drum that is the Amazing Spider-Man.

I am always talking about comics being fun. That’s not to say that there is not a place for some of our more brooding heroes, and titles. But in general, a lot of these characters give us an escape and Spider-Man at his best was that. For whatever reason during Brand New Day (maybe it was the multiple writers or the preceding arc) there was some really heavy stuff in those stories, and I am not talking Doc Brown’s definition of heavy (although a Delorean is probably very heavy, although maybe not as much today).

That’s a lot of words to just say that Slott has brought the fun back (Timberlake can bring sexy, Peter Parker is bringing the fun back) to the title. But he has. But there is more to it just being fun as readers discovered this week at the conclusion of issue #654. The second story of the arc features the Spider Slayer, J. Jonah Jameson, Mac Gargon (the former Venom) as the new Scorpion and the New Avengers. So, there is a lot going on. Of course Peter must make a sacrifice to save the lives of JJJ and everyone with a Jameson in their name (including Aunt May – ‘natch).

Problem is, he does not save the entire day, and he has to face other consequences that his sacrifice brought to his life and abilities. Oh damn, one thing is for sure, with the new Venom slowly coming back into the picture, Pete is going to need to be at full strength and at his best – a position he is no longer in at the conclusion of 654.

New Avengers #9

Brian Michael Bendis (w), Mike Deodato, Howard Chaykin (a)

Two stories for the price of one. In the immortal words of Hannibal Smith, leader of the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together.” Understanding there is always a method to the madness that is Bendis’ writing, I can not wait to see how these two separate story arc’s tie together. Thing is, they are both occurring in two different time periods – fun!

That’s right, Bendis takes us back to Nick Fury’s Nazi-hunting days. And it appears that he and his buddy Happy Hogan are actually pretty good at it. This is the days leading up to the formation of S.H.I.E.L.D. and what appears to be the Avengers. This could be just a shameless movie tie-in, but I like to believe its much more.

Meanwhile our gang in the modern time is having its own issues with preventive super-heroing. Trying to guarantee the world’s safety in this new age is not always easy, especially with those tricky laws and such. Good thing Ben Grimm, The Thing, is on the squad to find a loophole, or create a really big crater.

Honorable Mention The Death of Ultimate Spider-Man begins this week (long live Spider-Man) as his super-hero training begins in earnest with one Tony Stark. It is definitely a different relationship than the two shared during the early days of the Civil War. Anyway, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #153 (another Bendis title) starts to lay the building blocks. This book is a must if for no other reason than the panels and pages with Mysterio and Black Cat. Turns out the Kingpin used to have something of great power, and there is a lively discussion as to who’s possession it should come into. Guess what happens next? Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Speaking of the Death of Ultimate Spider-Man, more blocks to the story are coming together in the other tie-in, Ultimate Comics Avengers vs New Ultimates #1 by Mark Millar. Millar knows how to spin an ultimate tale or two, so this crossover event should be top notch, especially in the new ultimate world order.

Also notable this week was the next Fables Cinderella mini-series – Cinderella Fables are Forever #1 by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus. If you want to try Fables, but are overwhelmed by the 13 volumes, give Cinderella a shot for a terrific, albeit different, snapshot as to what is in store for you.

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