Amazing Spider-Man #548: Spider-Mugger . . . DEAD?

Amazing Spider-Man #548 concludes Dan Slott's first arc on Brand New Day. Working with McNiven et al., he cushioned us into Spidey's New Status Quo and introduced the crime boss Mr. Negative. Peter Parker appeared in the first issue but became an afterthought later, although you definitely can't say that the issues are thin on web-slinging action.

Lots of stuff happens here, and I have to say, Slott is very good at pacing his stories. You get a sense that each issue is meaningful, and in an age of decompression (COUGHBendisCOUGH), that's at least one good result of Peter's deal with the Devil.

Last we left our dear Spidey, he was in a room packed with maggia and gassed. The gas was specific to the maggia, so only he and another person survived. The gas, from Mr. Negative, is going to reach the children and wives of the mob bosses, though, so Spidey webslings away.

Also, Carlie's hair is, again, red, after being blonde. Is it too much to ask for consistency in hair color? Is her hair color officially red or what? Are you trying to toy with me, Marvel? What's going on?

Then I thought that it might be a hint that she's Jackpot! Jackpot! It might make sense, but I really don't wanna believe that, 'cause that's a spot reserved for MJ. However, Carlie's hair color here loosely matches Jackpot's (Carlie's is just more orange).

Sorry about the tangent.

Thereafter, we cut to the Spider-Mugger. . . being murdered! He had one of Spidey's webshooters. . . and now he's getting killed! That's really too bad, Spider-Mugger had a lot of story potential, and I've a hunch that Slott killed him off so that Guggenheim wouldn't have to care about him next month. The thing is, I care about him. =(.

We go back to Spidey, and THE MOST AWESOME SCENE EVER:
I remember the first time I saw Spidey hitching a cab ride. It was Joe Straczynski (Yes, the "J. Michael" always stood for "Joe Michael," as in Joe's Comics.) with John Romita Jr., during the Shade arc, I believe. Or was it the Shathra arc?


Anyways, Spidey gets to the circus to save the maggia's wives and children. Mr. Negative is there to unleash the poison gas on them, and sics his henchmen, the Inner Demons, on Spidey, to distract him. Spidey beats henchmen, quips slightly obnoxiously. Saves day.

Pretty standard stuff, but check out this panel:

Spider-sense panels are back guys! With all the glory of the squiggly-lines-over-the-head! I love Spidey's head anatomy here!


In all the chaos, however, Mr. Negative kidnaps a kid. Spider-Man confronts Mr. Negative. Mr. Negative agrees to let kid go. . .


Spidey agrees:
So wait. . . this means Mr. Negative can figure out Spider-Man's identity. Blood does contain your DNA, right? But what possible relevance can this have, after Peter just made a deal with the devil to erase it? Any threat to Spider-Man's identity will be useless, because we all know that his identity won't be spoiled, not after Marvel took such. . . devilish methods of protecting it!
I hope you have a good way of explaining this, Slott, as I don't expect you to tuck this under the rug and hope everyone forgets about it.

Anyways, Spidey takes phone, calls May, at which point. . .
Holy potstickers! Mr. Negative is Mr. Li, Aunt May's boss at the FEAST soup kitchen!

Maybe my paragraph about the DNA and Spider-Man's identity makes sense, because then Mr. Negative can use the blood to figure out it's Peter, then covertly attack May. That definitely works as a story.

After that reveal, we go back to Spidey, sensing his Spider-Tracer. It's the Spider-Mugger. . .

. . .who's dead. . .

. . .which makes me sad =(.

Two police officers catch Spidey with Spider-Mugger's corpse (RIP), and one of them, Vin Gonzalez, is about to apprehend Spidey. His partner, however, Alan O'Neil, is more apprehensive, allowing Spidey to get away.

I think these two guys are going to recur in the upcoming stories, so don't forget those names. We end with:
Sigh. This has been done before. Authorities hate Spidey, Villain of the Month tries to kill Spidey. Next month has All New Villain. The Runaways had a nice little quote, and I think this is as relevant as ever:
Please. New York, New Wave, New Avengers. . . 'new' is just another way of saying 'old.'
Right on, Nico Minoru.

But hey, there's some interesting story potential with Spidey being on good terms with the, uh, mob.

The arc could've used more Peter Parker in my opinion. We know where he's at in life right now, but what I really want to know is where he wants to be and what he'll do to get there. Peter really doesn't seem to have a sense of purpose or direction in his civilian life. Which is bad. I really hope that the writers give him something interesting to do. Last time, he was a teacher, and we got some fantastic stories out of that, and I'd like to see what's next.

There seems to be too much focus on "what's next." and not "what's now." What the writers need to do is ground Peter Parker. Just because you've given him a status quo doesn't mean he has a reason to wake up every morning. He can't possibly be web-swinging as Spider-Man all the time, unless you really want to capitalize on the "Hey kids! This is Spider-Man! Buy him because you saw him on TV!" profits. I want to see Peter Parker do something with his life! It should have meaning beyond being Spider-Man!

I await patiently.

Overall, this is a story that feels done. Nothing seems too new about it. Nothing groundbreaking, nothing innovative. It sure as hell doesn't pay respect to Spidey's continuity. A standard Spidey story, which isn't anything bad, but I sure wish something better came from the man who gave us the MODOK-defeating Squirrel Girl and 4th-wall-breaking She-Hulk. He'll be back on May, and I sure look forward to that.

If you're gonna get this, I suggest waiting for the trade. The stories aren't that bad, but they haven't been WOW material. I suspect Brand New Day will be collected in a 12-issue Hardcover, or, to capitalize on profits, two 6-issue Premiere Hardcovers. Both, probably!

Next month: Guggenheim and Larroca on Jackpot!

Also, some goblin-looking guy called Menace.

But hopefully lots of Jackpot!

komics blog: a tutorial

Whoa! Looong can only describe the past posts, so, to maximize your reading leisure pleasure enjoyment, I thought I'd balance it out with a short post, to be followed by. . .

. . . the reviews for last week! I have half of the comics for that week, so I'll be putting them through the scanner, uh, sometime.

I know, I know, Rayne, they'll come in their due time, alright? I promise you. I don't wanna give you any subpar reviews after all!


You might notice that I've been remodeling the blog. Recently the background has turned from a dark green to the dark blue that you see. It seemed like the yellow text stood out the best this way. Does anyone disagree? I don't want you straining your eyes at the blog, so feel free to bring it up.

Also notice that I've added a picture on the top left column, detailing Ben Grimm's reaction to the atrocity of One More Day. If you scroll down further, you'll see a picture for Free Comic Book Day, which will be May 3rd this year! Save the date!

Oh, um, you wanted something more, Rayne? Er, how 'bout you put down those cleavers attached to your arms, and uh, hear about. . .

. . . the new tagging system for the blog! All comics publishers are tagged with a period in front of them, so they appear at the top of the tag list. For example, the list goes ".DC" to ".Indies" to ".Marvel" (Thanks goes to the Spoilt! blog for this clever idea).

Similarly, I attempt to group all review-oriented posts by putting a slash in front of them. For example, a tag would go like: "/panel by panel." If you're new here, I (try to) have two weekly features: there's the "panel by panel," in which I select one issue of the week and tear it apart. Raaarrrgh. The comic featured in this is usually one that stood out to me, for better or worse. The other feature is the "cover to cover," in which I look at the rest of the comics, but give them what I think is a fair verdict.

To elaborate further on tags, I wanna mention that the tag "spidey" is no longer in the umbrella tag of ".Marvel" That just took up too much space, to be honest! So, tags like ".Marvel" will have Marvel characters beside Spidey, who will have his own tag!

-"blog blog blog" relates to where I talk about the blog itself: its format, its appearance, new polls, new headings, stuff like that.
-"inaugural post" is exactly what it says. It gets its own tag 'cause it's speeeecial.
-"meta: breaking the 4th wall" is where I try to have fun with comics panels. Having a chat with Sue Storm and all that.
-The rest lies to your common sense! Discover! Learn!

No, thank you Rayne. Thank you for helping me make the blog as accessible as possible!

Brand Loyalty can't beat an empty wallet =(

Nebulae unfolding! I find myself. . . on Earth again - but not alone! What could be the rhyme, what could be the reason -AH!

Greetings to you all, earthlings! Much to my dismay, I fear that I am the herald. The herald of - bad news! 'tis a mischance not even the likes of Galactus could dare! 'tis the news that. . .that. . .

. . . a blogger was without the money to buy comics this week? This news is that that put a chill in my skin of silver? Horribly unmoved does this ma-

Hark! My master beckons! And where Galactus calls - the Surfer must answer!


He-hey guys. It's tony *hic* tony *hic* ton- Iron Man here guyz. Iron Man. That's me. I don't know who this guy here is te-telling me to read this right note, but c'mon in, guys. C'mon in, an grab a drink, it's all *hic* on me.

Oh right the note. This note. This note right here. In my hand. Let's see *hic* Let's *hic* let's *hic* lesse what it says:

"Kevin, unfrotu- unfrotuna- ufnortu- unfortu-, uhhh, unfrotunetly didna-didn't have the *hic* cash for yester- no toda- no this week's comics.

"He-he missed out on Wonder *hic* Wonder Woman nummer sisteen, and Amazi- *hic* -ng Spider-Man nummer fivefordyeight. Stoopid Spider-Man. Those-*hic* are the comics he miss-missed out on, so, so, but, but as soon as he *hic* gets his hands on them, he'll, he'll review them for you.

"He regre-*hic*-ts having no money, but that-that's a problem, that I, Ton-*hic*-Ton-*hic*-Ton-*hic*-Iron Man will work on. That's me. Iron Man. I'm gunna, I'm gunna work on this."

[falls onto table]


Thanks Tony, thanks Norrin, for making an appearance on the blog. Don't be strangers now, you hear?

Unfortunately, I couldn't get Wondy or Spidey this week, but as soon as I get them in my hands, they'll be on the blog, alright? I apologize, and hope this is some form of consolation:
It's a page from Wizard, on the brand new villains in brand new day. Honestly, I'm looking forward to Screwball.

Without any comics to review thus far though, I didn't want there to be no material this week, so I'm gonna go ahead and review a certain animated movie about a certain superteam where people do some certain assembling.

Yep, that's the one.

friendly neighborhood housekeeping

Black Canary - now in Technicolor!
If you're reading this blog, there's no doubt that you're familiar with the show Smallville, on the CW (what does that stand for?). If you're not, though, it's basically about young(ish) Clark Kent and his adventures at home, Smallville, and Metropolis. They've already formed a "league of justice," with appearances by Green Arrow and Cyborg, but some fans may be dismayed that Batman has yet to appear.

Looks like it's Black Canary's turn, as she's getting the spotlight on the episode aptly titled "Siren." Dinah Lance here has short hair, as in the Dixon era of Birds, and she doesn't have a wig bothering her. She looks like a raccoon. I'm not trying to insult her or anything, just making an observation. Besides those, there's. . .

. . . fishnets!Click the link to comicscontinuum for more info. Mark your calendars for February 7th on the CW!

Poll poll poll

I finally got the nerve to remove my first poll, in which we helped Sue decide what to do with Mr. Editor-in-Chief.

All two of you guys voted to A) lock him up! What an upset! I'm blown outta my mind!

But seriously, thanks for voting, guys. It's nice to see some support. . .

. . . so I wanna introduce a "fill-in" poll, about the Birds of Prey. Basically, who's your favorite? I list Oracle, Black Canary, Huntress, Zinda, Misfit and Big Barda, but feel free to put "Other" and comment on this post.

I called it a "fill-in" poll, because I'm planning a bigger poll when February starts. This means the time is ticking for you to vote! Do it! Do it now!

Why does everyone like Bachalo?

In this Newsarama article, Tom Brevoort AKA one of the editors on Amazing Spider-Man, talks about the art of Brand New Day.

Brevoort touched on all four of the BND artists, who are Salvador Larroca, Phil Jimenez, Steve McNiven, and Chris Bachalo. I'm especially looking forward to Larroca's work, who was exceptional in expressions in the Ultimate Daredevil and Elektra mini and the Sensational Spider-Man Annual . His pencils are very realistic and expressive, although it doesn't need such saturated colors and such thick inking, and I'm kinda apprehensive about the obvious movie inspiration.

Regardless, fans seem skewed on Chris Bachalo's artwork. They called him "one of their all-time favs" or "Get this guy on New Avengers! STAT!" He's pretty famous for his work on all kinds of x-books, like Uncanny X-Men or Ultimate X-Men, but there's one thing I don't get. . .

. . . What's so great about him? I really don't understand why he's getting praised. He draws people with the same overexaggerated chin and underexaggerated figure. They'd look like children if he didn't make them grimace all the time! I'm a big fan of what he did in Death: the High Cost of Living, but his style's become heavily exaggerated, and I really think he belongs on kids' titles like Marvel Adventures.

Could someone please enlighten me?

Panel by Panel: Where's the bourbon?

Birds of Prey #114
by Sean McKeever and Nicola Scott

Last issue, I was kind of afraid for the birds. Misfit messed up, and Superman really gave them a telling. In this issue, Oracle takes it
really harshly and takes it out on Misfit. A lot of people are angry over how Oracle could be acting out of character, but I'm willing to believe it (superman is still a prick though), and I'm willing to keep reading.

Now is a good a time as any to talk about the covers. I don't know when Stephane Roux started doing them (#101?), but they certainly work well. I love his expressions.

In this one, you really get a retro feel. All the colors are muted and warm. The banner is a pretty easy throwback. Also, the two characters were WWII-era heroes!

Unfortunately, the cover isn't too representative of the pages inside, but at least it's better than Marvel's (in my opinion) because they actually tell stories. Am I right? Am I right? Tell me I'm. . . never mind.

Anyhow, S.R. = awesome.

In this issue, Oracle sends out a crapload of secondary birds to see if they can find anything out about the energy blast in last issue. Obviously, they find nothing, and Oracle is SUPER-SUPER-BROODY.

SO broody that she makes Misfit clean all the dishes, even though Barbara's been eating takeout for the past week. But hey, at least it put a squiggly line on top of Misfit's head. Those are so cute! The world would be a better place with more squiggly lines.

The characters have changed since the writing shuffle, but I think it's believable. It makes sense that Barbara would behave this way. Unfortunately, it also makes sense that Misfit (I'm calling her by her name - Charlie - from now on.) wouldn't be as perky. Which kinda sucks. I hope her spirits return to her.

With all this characterization, you really get a feel of what McKeever is doing. He really has a sense of direction for these characters. If Gail Simone's Birds was about the rise of Dinah (Black Canary), maybe McKeever's Birds will be about the rise of Charlie?

There's a great subplot with Helena (Huntress) and Zinda (Lady Blackhawk). They go to a bar, and Helena, being a teacher and all, gets really drunk really fast.
From there, they start talking about Zinda's time displacement (she's from WWII remember?). See, here's the difference between Marvel and DC. Marvel will make time displacement tragic and painful (Captain America), while DC makes it fun. I may be a Marvel fan first, but this scene is great:
When they leave the bar, Helena takes a cab, and then Zinda feels like she's being watched. . .

. . . by KILLER SHARK! They have a tussle; Shark makes some cryptic foreshadowing, and. . .
I don't exactly know who this guy is, but anyone who has a glowing fish for an airplane is ok in my book.

Yadayadayadayada. . . Oracle "trains" Misfit, although it's more like torture, and then they get interrupted by. . . Black Alice!

Again, I don't know who she is, but if the solicit is any clue, I'm definitely going to enjoy next issue.

Awwww, what a cute blurb.

I love that cover, love the blurb, and really enjoyed this issue. Looks like I'll be waiting on hands and toes for number 115.

McKeever's gonna take us for a ride, and it definitely looks fun: five out of five bottles of bourbon.

Cover to Cover: *bloody* edition with extra *blood*

Another week, another cover to cover. . .

Amazing Spider-Man #547 was pretty good, but pretty forgettable too. The plot was interesting enough, with spider-mugger finding that he can unveil Spider-Man's identity, but here's the sad part: we know he's not. The stories are becoming depressingly predictable.

Also, now that old flattop (JJJameson) is in the hospital, the Bugle has apparently gone over to Dexter Bennett.

Check out the cover though. I really like Spidey's head anatomy, particularly the eyes. It looks like a cross between Romita Jr. and Romita Sr.

(stands on soapbox)

But really, the art was painfully inconsistent. On one page, his eyes shift from those designed by Erik Larsen, and two panels later, it's the movie eyes. Then, on the next page, you get Todd McFarlane eyes, until you get Romita Sr. eyes later!

Also, Carlie's hair is red after being blonde. What is going on? Does she continually dye her hair?I'm sorry about complaining. It's just, if you're gonna do what you did in OMD, I expect nothing but the best to make up for it.

Aside from the art, I should mention again that the story was nice, but not that memorable. 3 thousand color-changing hair strands out of 5 thousand.
Bloodrayne: Automatonby Kevin Melrose (w) and Andre Coelho (a)

Bloodrayne was a game about a dhampir (=vampire +human) who beats up nazis. It had a sequel.

You can understand why I like this title, which is basically a series of mineries and one-shots. On the cover, if you look under the "DEC" you see a "BR. 13," which makes this issue the thirteenth in the "series" even though it's a one-shot.

Well, in this one-shot, Rayne (the redhead on the cover) has to retrieve the Book of the Fifth Sun in order to capture the malevolent Gods that were released in the last miniseries.

And then chaos ensues! Golems! Wyrms! Really huge castles! Also, you must see this page. It is awesome:Bloodrayne: supplying your daily dose of the occult. Another thing about the title is that Rayne has a sense of humor about her adventures. It's not blatant, but it's there, and it helps the reader relate a lot.

The art is pretty cool too. It reminds me of Terry/Rachel Dodson work. four hundred milligrams of O-positive donor's blood out of five hundred.

Well, that does it for this week's edition of cover to cover. You might be wondering why it's called *bloody edition* when only *one* character had blood in his/her name. That's because in Amazing, Mr. Negative was about to pump out this guy's *blood* and leave him for Spidey to save a la Adam West Batman villains.

For good measure: *blood*.

Cover to Cover: Autobots, transform and mourn your heart out


Green Arrow/Black Canary #4:
by Judd Winick with Cliff Chiang

In this issue, Ollie hates himself over how he was such a crappy father to Connor.

I'm not exactly sure how to feel about this issue. The previous three had been pretty light, and then WHAM a cloud shoots Connor, which forces Ollie to reflect on his past fathering. And that's not to mention the contrived plot device of Connor in a brain coma. I don't even. . . I don't know how to react to that.

The only feeling this comic gives me is ambivalence. Is that bad? That's bad, isn't it? I'm still kinda new to the DCU; the marriage between Dinah and Ollie was what got me into it, so more pedigreed readers probably have better opinions.

I know that some people enjoyed seeing Ollie as a human guy with human tragedies or something, so there. . .

3 amnesiacs out of 5, because I'm a little lost (I didn't deduct any further, because there are some nice family moments, and of course. . .Cliff Chiang).

Transformers Beast Wars: The Ascending #4
by Simon Furman and some guy who's not Don Figueroa

The normal penciller, Don Figueroa wasn't on the final issue of this miniseries. That kinda pissed me off.

Well, I don't have much to say except THAT IT WAS PRETTY COOL. The Maximals (good guys) lure Shokaract (bad guy) into a trap and snare him into the space between time and space. From there, he finds Magmatron, the antagonist of Beast Wars: the Gathering, who drives him insane!

And guess what: Transmetal II Megatron appears in the end!

It's an okay story, if you want me to be objective. It's awesome because I'm a fan.

4 out of 5 Allspark cubes.

Panel by Panel: Macking on Brand New Day? the back-ups

Hey guys if you missed my last post about the main feature of Amazing #546, feel free to look it over. I take a less biased approach there.

Hey, taking about biases, let's get to - the back-ups! There were five features. Three of them were short stories, one of them was a spread outlining Spidey's current life, and the last was a note from the editor.

This was the first back-up. Marvel originally released this prior to the comic's release (for damage control over OMD, obviously). When it first hit me, I got incredibly hurt. It felt like this page was rubbing in my face that Peter isn't the same person I knew anymore. =(.

But you gotta admit, John Romita Jr. (the penciller) is nice. When I first read Spider-Man, this guy's art was what I saw =). . . although Spidey's eyes could stand some sharpening. I'm anal about the mask's eyes like that.

But Osborn? Harry Osborn? That just gives Peter another reason to party all day =(.

Where is Scott Hanna (the usual colorist for John Romita Jr.)? Where is he? Why couldn't he do this? Him, Johnny and Janson make a great team.

But yeah, this back-up was depressing.

Then you get a taste of the next three writers. Marc Guggenheim and Greg Land team up on a Jackpot story, where she basically saves a speeding truck from the menace of, uh. . . Menace. It's some pretty nice narration.
Guggenheim's arc (which will be next month!) will focus on Jackpot, I've heard. Good. I want to hear about that. I also like Salvador Larroca's art. With a good colorist, that guy can rock the pages.
People complain about Greg Land. He used to just photo-reference but now, he's doing full-blown tracing. And what's the guy tracing? PORN. Yikes.
Generally, I'm against that, but you couldn't really glean that from the back-up, so I'm cool with it.

The next back-up featured Aunt May. Aunt May! I can't believe I'm getting excited about Aunt May! A guy called "Freak" hides out at May's soup kitchen (called FEAST). One of his eyes is hazel; the other is blue. He's a shady guy.
You rock Aunt May! I'm glad that she's being portrayed as competent and not just a worrying mother figure.

Well, she nudges the man that with all his jewelry, he's bound to make a donation to the FEAST. With all the people staring at him, the man has no choice to. Thereafter, he grumpily leaves.
Aunt May!

The writer for this was Bob Gale. You might recognize him as the writer of Back to the Future? I don't know much about him, but I certainly enjoyed this short story.

The penciller was Phil Winslade. He pencilled the 2002 Howard the Duck miniseries! Cool.

The last back-up featured Osborn. Harry Osborn.
Ugh. Harry represents a part of Peter's life that I think Peter is past. Apparently, Marvel begs to differ =(.

Mr. Hollister begrudgingly accepts Harry's help in running for Mayor, which is pretty cool. Harry admits his dad's past, and shows that it's all water under the bridge. Then Lily comes by, and harry spookily says, "Harry Osborn doesn't ask for anything." Spooky.

In the other two back-ups, we saw cameos of the creators' villains. Gugenheim and Menace, and Gale and Freak, but Wells and. . . who?

Panel by Panel: Macking on Brand New Day?

All right! I did some work, reread the issue, slacked off, did some more work, procrastinated, and here we are. Let's talk about the biggest comic of this week, let's spend some time with:

Amazing Spider-Man #546 is a good jumping-on point for people into comics already, but haven't kept up with Spidey in the last 2-3 years. It leaves a bad taste for people who've been reading for the past six years (ie: me). This is because Peter isn't the same. He feels more like a college student and not as mature.

But at least the writing was smart. It's Dan Slott after all, and what do I have to say to him? I'll let the Brood talk for me:

Dan Slott! How can the writing NOT be smart? In the first two pages, we're set up to believe that Peter is a horrifically immoral person: Making out with a stranger, and then taking a gun to someone for money. The reader does a spit-take on his saltines and goes HOLY CRAP who is this guy posing as Peter Parker?

They are misconceptions, though, or at least not as blunt as they seem. For instance, the girl Peter was "macking on" actually pounced on him, Peter being unwilling. Her M.O. is to get into Harry's "entourage," to get into the best clubs and etc. . .
It's a shallow reasoning, but it's a shallow reasoning that keeps Peter from waning into what I see as the "out of character" zone, so I approve of it.

The second misconception is that Peter is a burglar. All I have to say about that is this------------------>

So Slott wanted to push all our buttons, especially since those two pages were released before the comic itself. Fortunately, those two pages aren't representative of Peter at all. What a relief!

Well, there's a lot of movement in the issue, and it was paced very well. The plot doesn't slow down at all. No signs of decompression over here. I approve of that part.

Steve McNiven is amazing as always. Check out all the Conway noses:


A last note about the art: we shouldn't ignore the inker, Dexter Vines and the colorist, Morry Hollowell. Vines does a sharp, precise inking which really gives everything a realistic tone, while Hollowell's coloring just plain makes everything look nice.

In one instance, when Carlie is in the nightclub, her hair is colored red, when it's been colored blonde everywhere else! I call shenanigans!

Hair color aside, art = pretty.

Let's see, flippin' thru the issue. . . oh, oh, the villain. The Spidey Braintrust (Gale, Guggenheim, Slott, Wells) decided that Spidey's classic villains were showing up too often (the Venom-Every-Week Initiative: Have YOU signed up?), so it was time to come up with some new villains.

Enter: Mr. Negative! He's a crimelord rising in New York's ranks. Mr. Negative comes out photo-negative if you see him. Mr. Negative likes using katana. Mr. Negative will f*** you up. Slott wants this guy to be a real baddie, and we see it when one of his cronies fails to uphold a crooked deal with a crooked police officer (above):

Hmmm. . . I wonder. . . could that tablet be a nod to Amazing 74, where that aging crimelord has a tablet translated to discover - the secret of immortality!

Every writer wants to make their mark on the Spider-mythos. JMS did that in his very first arc, which introduced the idea of the Spider totem and Morlun. I sure hope this doesn't hold true for Mr. Negative, because that means Spider--> grim/gritty --> me = sad=(.

Just some wild, hopefully (and probably) WRONG, speculation.

I have to say, I really like that Aunt May for once has something to do besides care for Peter. In the new status quo, she works at a soup kitchen called FEAST, aconymized from Food, Emergency Aid, Shelter and Training.

I also like that Carlie Cooper is a police officer. It means we won't be seeing her as a damsel in distress.

Jackpot (who must be MJ. She must.) appears for one panel, which makes me sad =(.

I approve of the use of thought balloons. Unlike in Mighty Avengers, they didn't get tiresome, and they sounded very natural.

All in all, we get a good sense of where Peter is in life right now, and after OMD, that's what the readers really needed.

There's a cliffhanger, and the proper set-up for it is the fact that the Bugle has been plummeting, possibly due to no Spider-appearances in NY for a month or two. Peter goes to the Bugle to collect some paychecks that Jonah owes him, until Jonah blows him off.

And then Peter blows his lid, and yells at Jonah for being ungrateful for all his Spidey pics, at which point Jonah blows his lid, and yells:
(clutches chest in heart attack)
(falls on floor).

Will Jonah die? How can Peter deal with this knowing that he caused it? Will he go to old-time friend Mephisto?
WILL HE????? Tune in next time for One More Bugle: a Spider-tragedy in twelve parts expanding to the entire Marvel Universe.

Even the Wolverine books? 

Especially the Wolverine books.

Note: I really love that question mark with the Spidermask as the dot. It's so cute.

This issue was well-paced, had a good amount of jokes, accomplished what it was supposed to do, was attentive to Peter's past (as attentive as you can be after OMD, at least), had excellent art, and was a nice set-up to next ish.

This is a good issue if you can deal with the significant changes in Peter's character. I'm still trying to do that. He's not as mature as he used to be, and it's kinda painful to see him say things like, "No, seriously, this is so not fair!" Obviously, newer readers don't have to care about this, so this is indeed a brand new day (for them). =(.

Oh crap, the back-ups. I have a lots more blogging to do.

But I'm tired right now. Back-ups later, in the next post! So far, my verdict is:

for people who want Peter to not have regressed but to have stayed more mature and settled: two webheads out of five. (the stench of OMD lingers if you think this way)
for people who can deal with a less mature Peter, and are willing to overlook One More Day: five thwips out of five. (the stench of OMD? What stench?)

breaking news: I suck at blogging.

As of late, I've been inundated with stuff. Semester is about to endyadayadaIhateyouJoeyQyadayda. . . .

When comes the chance, I'll catch up with reviews (esp. Amazing 546, which is pretty big).

Here's something to quench your friendly neighborhood komics fix:From Cable and Deadpool #49.


Serials for 1-04-08: Waugh!

Light-speed reviews today, 'cause I have school hanging over me. . .

Silver Surfer: In Thy Name #3by Simon Spurrier (w) and Tan Eng Huat (art)
Well, after two issues, I can finally say that I'm used to Tan Eng Huat's art, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Blech, not fitting for the Surfer at all.

The plot gets deeper, as the Surfer realizes that no one is innocent in the world. Some very fitting exposition for him ensues plus - a cameo by Shalla Bal!

I give this issue 3 out of 5 Powers Cosmic. One deducted because oy, this has been done before (Silver Surfer: Requiem #3, anyone?)

Hack/Slash #7
by Tim Seeley and Rebekah Isaacs

If you haven't read an issue before, Hack/Slash is about Cassie Hack and her pal Vlad's never-ending quest to prevent slashers (ie: Freddie Krueger) from menacing the world. It has a delightful tongue-in-cheek tone about it, poking fun at B-movies and the eighties.

The three-parter Tub Club kicks off, with a) gratuitous lesbionic magic rituals, b) sub-plot with Cassie becoming more social, and c) Vlad feeling isolated.

In other words, a nice beginning. I can't really say much (this being a first part-er), so I'll stop there. I miss Emily Stone's art, though. It doesn't look like she'll be in the rest of the arc =(.

No gratuitous shower scenes out of none, because this is just the first part.

Howard the Duck #4by Ty Templeton and Juan Bobillo

WaAaugh! After a lackluster third issue, it all comes together in the finale for the miniseries!

The premise is great in itself: you take a talking duck, put him on an internet video, and you watch the nation set aflame over the media rage. Howard and his satiric tone are taken to the modern age.

In this issue, Howard is freed from the zoo when an ex-theatre director (Howard's viral video on MeTube erased all other forms of entertainment!) poses as the Glory Hound to try to become the new media sensation. He attracts the crowd by dispersing anthrax (which is really talcum power!) and Howard is freed!

Chaos ensues: Shark Week on National Geographic! Proton Anti-Proton Blasting madness! Duck-MODOT showdown! Howard gets crucified on a TV screen!

This issue is why I read Howard. Four waaughs out of five. (I deduct one, because you still can't overlook the fact that in Civil War: Choosing Sides, the government decided that Howard didn't exist! You'd need a hefty suspension of disbelief in order to see the viral video of a duck that doesn't exist.)A new status quo for Howard, as well! The government makes Howard an American citizen with American rights! I wonder how that'll play out next time Marvel decides to write Howard. . .

And while I have you. . . check out the first eight pages of BND

The first two pages confirm it for me: The Peter I grew up with, the Peter who was my role model is not here. It disturbs me that Peter is narrating like a teenager. It disturbs me that Peter is making out in a nightclub. It disturbs me that Peter is robbing people (and if you're saying that it's okay, because it's to pay the bills, I can't agree with you. Peter -or at least the Peter I know- respects the law. Small-time jobs are not hard to find.)

I thought the splash page (with Spidey robbing the guy) was just a joke - I thought it was Steve Wacker poking fun at the money-grabbing aspect of BND.

There is hope though. Peter's being assertive in trying to find a job and move away from May. . . Maybe MJ/Jackpot helps Peter to rediscover his *actual* self? Maybe Peter redeems himself somehow?

Regardless of how OMD stank, Dan Slott definitely deserves some praise. There are some great easter eggs in the newspaper clippings on p7. There's a lot to notice. In the telecast, McNiven's Spidey isn't featured, but Jimenez's. Nifty.

I want MJ to save Spider-Man. I may be just a fan, but I believe in the two of them. I don't believe in supporting Quesada, but I believe in the two of them.
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