Cover to Cover: Hiter-staches and two kinds of cliffhangers

Here's what Spidey thought of the latest chronicle of his life:

Spidey: NOoOO!

Haha, okay, but seriously guys. This week's issue was pretty mediocre. I wanna preface today's post by saying that yes, I will mercilessly scrutinize this issue, but that's not because I've given up on Spidey. It's because I still believe in this title.

Do you see that? Of course you do, you keen-eyed reader you.

I am taking off my Whining Hat and putting on my official Reading Hat. Are ya ready?

The Amazing Spider-Man #584 (or: that one issue that comes after the Obama issue)
by Marc Guggenheim and John Romita Jr.

This is the first issue of the 4-part "Character Assassination," and also the first Spidey comic I've read since the 35th Annual (October of last year). It's supposed to answer the questions we've had since the changes brought by One More Day, so how does the first issue stand in this?

Pretty slowly, in all honesty. Spidey gets gunned down, recuperates; Harry Osborn proposes to Lily Hollister, and Carlie discovers a cliffhanger. That's pretty much it.

It's written adequately enough, but I can't really praise it at all. You know how TV shows have two different kinds of cliffhangers? Like, the first kind is a so-so cliffhanger, that's supposed to keep you busy until the upcoming commercial is over. Then, there's the end-of-show cliffhanger, that has you wide-eyed and anticipating the next episode. That's the kind of cliffhanger I expect at the end of comic books.

This ended on a cliffhanger that was enough to last for a commercial, but not enough for the next episode. So far, this issue is all set-up and very little substance; we've received no kind of revelations, but since I am still an idiot fan, I will cross my fingers for next issue.

It's not that this issue was bad. It's just that it wasn't that good.

FUN FACT: Spidey's web formula can go through doorknobs!
John Romita Jr. drew it, so it must be true!

Uncanny X-Men Annual #2

by Matt Fraction, Mitch Breitweiser and Daniel Acuna

This was a great rendition of all kinds of things. It's a great way of zooming in on one "dark member" of the "Dark Reign." It's a great character piece on Namor and Sebastian Shaw. It's a great way of connecting the X-men to Marvel's most recent event. It's a great opportunity to showcase Emma Frost cheesecake (I mean, look at the cover!).

But most importantly, it fleshes out who Emma Frost is, what she wants for herself and the X-Men, and how she handles it (cleverly and treacherously!) around the heavy-handed, overly masculine tyrants Sebastian Shaw and Prince Namor.

Basically, Matt Fraction succeeded in every way possible! Well done, Mr. Fraction. The only complaint I have is, though Daniel Acuna and Mitch Breitweiser are great artists in their own right, Acuna makes Tony Stark look like Hitler.

Check out the hair!
Stark as Hitler? (hair)

Tony even has a Hitler-stache in one panel!
Stark as Hitler? (mustache)

I'm sure people have talked about the analogue between Tony Stark (Fascist) and Adolf Hitler (Fascist), but I think this is pushing it.

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