Ultimate Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man Annuals #3 and #35

Sorry about putting up so many videos last post, guys. I really felt like I hadn't done one in a while, and it's always so fun for me to use videos on the blog.

Back on topic: Marvel put out so many annuals this week, and I was a big sucker for the Spider-Man related ones. . .

Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3
by Brian Bendis and David LaFuente

You know, this issue wasn't that bad. I just wish it were, well, better. It begins with Mary Jane thinking of going "all the way" with Peter, who says he wants to wait. Cue awkwardness.
Eh, after the main plot, they figure it out, kiss and make up. It's kind of ambiguous at the end what "make up" really means, but. . .

There wasn't much meat in this annual, but an interesting part here is that Mary Jane gets embarrassed after Peter says "Let's wait." She worries that she just repelled Peter away with the notion, but later on Peter says he loves her, and would be willing to wait the world for her. This is why I picked up the comic. This is what I wanted to see.

I can totally compare this to a different scene from J. Michael Straczynski's Amazing Spider-Man, but I'm gonna restrain myself, because I love you guys so much, and these review posts can just get so long-winded sometimes, where I talk my mouth off without really considering the meaning of the words I vomit onto the screen.

Ahem.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #35
by Marc Guggenheim and Mike McKone

The official numbering for this annual is "#1," but we all know that's a lie, so I'm putting up the alternate numbering from the cover: #35.

Deep breath. Okay. This is gonna be tough. We were all led to believe that, after One More Day, the emerging heroine Jackpot sounded an awful lot like Mary Jane Watson. How could we not, after all; MJ's very first words to Peter were--

face it tiger!

But then, reading this comic, that's all misdirection and bunk. The TRUE origin and identity of Jackpot is pretty convoluted and quite distasteful. If I were more cynical, I'd say it's Marvel's attempt to get us to just forget about this whole Jackpot deal, but, well, screw 'em, here it is: it all begins with a little lady called
  • Sarah Ehret. She went through all the training, she took part in the Initiative, and she was officially registered to become a full-fledged superhero.
  • Except she changed her mind last minute, so she "gave" her position to one Alana Jobson. This meant Alana had the right to wear Sarah's costume, and while in costume, Alana's "secret identity" would be Sarah Ehret.
  • Still with me? As it turned out, Alana didn't have any training, and she didn't take part in the Initiative, so she -sigh- shoots herself up with steroids and growth hormones for superpowers.
  • This gets into some bad trouble, when the new super-villain, Blindside comes in. He temporarily blinds people by injecting a neurotoxin in them, and when he gets Jackpot -- her heart goes into myocardial infarction: a heart attack.
  • Spidey pins the blame of Alana's death on Sarah, since Sarah unrightfully gave her the license to be a superhero. We get a cliffhanger with Sarah clutching Jackpot's costume.
This was better than Ultimate Annual in that it actually went through some real plot progression: someone dies, and we get the hint of someone else taking the mantle. This is worse in that, Mary Jane doesn't appear at all! Apparently, Marvel's gonna just keep yanking my chain about Peter and MJ, and I'm gonna keep paying 'em like a sucker.

But was it told well? It was told fine, but not well enough for me to recommend it.

Stats a-go-go