Ultimate Comics All-New Spider-Man #01
by Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor
Me: Why is this comic in a bag?
Joe the cashier: Because, Marvel thinks their fans are suckers - and they're right! People bought two or more copies of it the day it came out.
So on my walk back to campus, I was wondering if this was a gimmick, or was it a commemorative event? I can tell you right now that this book marks an important event. Marvel wouldn't ever be able to kill off their biggest character in their regular universe, but the ultimate universe is a different place. They're allowed to change things, and they're allowed to kill Peter Parker and make Spider-Man Miles Morales, a half-hispanic, half-black from Brooklyn who feels guilty about winning a lottery for a charter school. In that sense, this is an issue you want polybagged, because it pushes the industry forward. It makes comics feel fresh and modern.
However, it's just nuts to get two copies of a 3.99, twenty-two page comic that only tells a kernel of a story. Bendis' decompressed style of storytelling is rampant in this funny book. Does he really need three pages to show, "This dude breaks into Oscorp Industries, stealing a bunch of stuff. A spider enters his bag unnoticed."?? Do you really need five panels to say, "The spider crawls on Miles' hand and bites him"? It's straight-up ridiculous, but, if you consider his track record with Ultimate Peter Parker (6 issues to see him in costume -- but they were amazing comics), I think it's worth the wait.
Blackhawks #1 (Sep. 2011)
by Mike Costa, Graham Nolan and Ken Lashley
The preview for this comic has the unfortunate circumstance of being way better than the rest of it. There are about two great moments in the preview, and precisely none in the rest of it. I purchased it on the strength of those two moments and Lady Blackhawk AKA Zinda Blake. Her name appears in a dossier, and I think she fires a rocket thing on page 3, but that's as much screentime as she gets. That's it.
The hook of the story is that the Blackhawks are a U.N.-sanctioned black ops team formed to combat global evil and whatnot. Sure. The problem's in the execution, as you're introduced to all these unfamiliar people by the end of the book. That's right: unfamiliar. Not "mysterious" or "interesting." I don't know this person and I don't really care to read more. Consider this #1 a failure. Maybe I'll flip through the #2 preview to see if they feature Lady Blackhawk, but we know where that lead me!