Symbiote Spider Man Review

It’s time to look at a Spider Man trade. This one has him in the symbiote suit even though he denies it the whole time and claims that it’s just a robotic replacement. I think it’s fair to say that it’s the real deal based on everything it does in this volume, but I suppose I can’t say that with 100% confidence. It’s a fun adventure that should feel nostalgic to long time fans of this neighborhood hero.

Mysterio is sick and tired of being treated like a D rank villain. He’s B rank at the absolute worst. Unfortunately even his friends make fun of him so he decides that he’ll have to stop Spider-Man if he really wants to be taken seriously again. He has a friend who works for Kingpin and together they decide that taking Spidey’s new suit away is the first step. To do that Mysterio blackmails Black Cat into helping out. Will she really help him claim part of Spidey’s suit or will she realize that betrayal is never the right option and make the heroic choice?

This isn’t Peter’s best appearance, but before I lay into him I should give you guys some context. It’s been a really rough time period for him in general. Aunt May is no longer on speaking terms with Peter due to a lot of events that have happened recently which has taken a toll on him. He’s currently together with Black Cat but she only liked him when he’s wearing the costume which isn’t all that helpful. Right now the only thing that is really going well is his life as Spider-Man. Even so he does let his guard down quite a bit and doesn’t trust his Spider Sense the way he should.

There are two big times it would have helped him here. One of those times is with Mysterio. The guy wasn’t actually there at one point so the spider sense didn’t act up, but Peter ignored it anyway and jumped in which ultimately just led to a losing battle. The other instance which was a bigger issue is when Black Cat decides to trick him. This time his spider sense does flare up, but Peter doesn’t question it as he just wants to have a good time. Naturally this leads to Cat getting the last laugh. Peter may just think it was worth it, but without the suit looking after him things could have gone pretty badly. Peter does have an idea of what happened afterwards, but it was a little late for that. If Black Cat actually meant to hurt him that would have been it for the hero.

So he doesn’t look great when he’s around Black Cat. That’s really the bottom line here. Even after she talks to Aunt May she appears to be more reasonable than Peter in that discussion. He doesn’t even want to stay back to talk with her and just dashes off instead. While these scenes do hurt him, at least it is nice to see Peter as more of an adult. It’s an era of him you don’t see all that often anymore as in the Dan Slott comics he always acts like a teen anyway. At least in this trade this is peak Peter who’s got a lot of experience and knows how to fight with any of his enemies. It’s always good to see him getting that level of respect.

Meanwhile Mysterio looks good. He actually has some good plans and did know enough to blackmail Black Cat. The comic takes him seriously and the guy does a good job of getting some clout back. It’s not like he’s going to immediately rocket up the ranks as one of Spider-Man’s deadliest enemies but it’s still a nice appearance. I liked him in the recent film too so maybe things are looking up for the villain. His suit does allow for a lot of fun fights with all the holograms running around. Then we have Black Cat who doesn’t look quite as good. I think she did allow herself to get manipulated a little too easily. Honestly I think if she got to Spider-Man right away and explained her origins he would take it well. If he didn’t then she would be better off without him anyway.

Bad luck is a terrible power as it is so she doesn’t need to worry about someone else not liking it. Plus Peter already knows about the ability, he just doesn’t know the origins. It’s not as if the whole thing would be great news, but most of it wasn’t her fault. The parts that were aren’t downright terrible. By allowing herself to be blackmailed Black Cat just put herself in a tougher spot with Peter and also opened the door to letting others use the same intel on her. Until she confesses to someone it’ll always be live ammo and that’s really dangerous for anyone who’s not a total villain.

The art is definitely really good here. Spider-Man’s symbiote suit is really sharp and all of the colors are on point. This comic can hold its own with any of the others and this also makes for a lot of great fight scenes. You’ll be blasting right through the volume. Then you’ve got the solid writing backing it up as well. It seamlessly works in with the era where these stories take place.

Overall, Symbiote Spider Man is definitely a really solid trade. I always like seeing the symbiote suit in action and the fact that it can fight on its own is also really good. Even when Peter is knocked out it can think and fight which happens once here. The only odd scene was when one part of the suit didn’t want to join with the rest. It just struck me as odd that it wouldn’t readily join with the collective especially since Peter is usually its favorite host. I feel like it only left to force a big fight for the climax which was fun, but they could have written around that. Nonetheless, this suit is an improvement over the classic one, especially since it can turn into any other costume it wants to be. If you haven’t checked this comic out yet then you should change that. It’s not every day that you get to see Mysterio get a super form right?

Overall 7/10

The Black Cat (1934) Review

It’s time for a big team up between the big horror actors of the old days, Karloff and Lugosi. Although in the actual movie they are going up against each other with two travelers being caught in the crossfire. Suffice it to say, we’re in for another old school horror film where the main characters are terrible and the villains spend more time bantering than actually doing anything. We’re definitely at the right film.

So the film starts off with Peter and Joan taking a train for their honeymoon. It’s all going well until a mysterious man shows up and asks if he can share the room. Peter already gives off some red flags since he isn’t intelligent enough to refuse. Once the couple appears to be asleep this man, Vitus, attempts to get a little too comfortable with Joan. Peter wakes up and glares at Vitus but doesn’t do anything reasonable like kicking this guy out of the car or even becoming big time enemies. Instead he decides to forgive and forget. One thing leads to another and the couple follows Vitus to the mansion of Hjalmar. The old man is a big time enemy of Vitus since he stole the guy’s daughter and murdered his wife. Vitus has come here to get revenge while Hjalmar wants to take Joan since she is the reincarnation of the late wife and he aims to use her vessel as a way to bring her back. It’s all pretty twisted and clearly we are watching two villains go at it. It’s hard to pick any one of them to root for.

This film is fairly dark and not in a natural atmospheric way, but in an artificial gritty sense. Characters are tortured both on screen and off screen. Vitus’ family certainly gets the short end of the stick since they are all murdered by Hjalmar. The ending is even someone getting skinned alive. You can tell that while this is an older film, it’s not one of the classier ones. It’s going for the shock value scenes and it takes away from everything else.

Alas, it wouldn’t be a terrible horror film without an animal showing up in some capacity right? Well, Vitus is afraid of cats so the other villain always uses this against him. Vitus will destroy the cat but it just comes back for more since it has 9 lives. As a result, not only is the scene terrible but it’s pointless. The cat phobia never actually does much and at the end of the day it’s just a random excuse for the film to bump off a cat. Pretty disgraceful if you ask me.

I suppose the writing is decent although you will have to stretch your disbelief to its absolute limit. The whole point of Vitus coming over is to murder Hjalmar and he has dozens of opportunities to do so. In fact, his subordinate is an inside agent working for Hjalmar. He is Hjalmar’s only minion so the two of them can beat the old guy easily. Instead Vitus is constantly content to simply watch things play out and just go with the flow. There’s no narrative reason for Vitus to totally disregard his actual mission for 90% of the film.

As for Hjalmar, he is just as bad. He already murdered the first two people he was with so now he wants Joan even though it’ll probably just be to murder her at some point. Considering that he never poisoned them or anything the same question about waiting rears its head. Why not just destroy them right away or in the dead of night? It’s his house and the main characters are gullible enough to actually go to sleep at night. They’d be easy pickings.

We also can’t forget to talk about Paul and how terrible he is. He gets knocked out several times and never puts much of an effort. The only time he is finally able to air up the nerve to do something he manages to shoot the guy who was trying to help Joan. Clearly he isn’t good at reading body language but I can’t honestly say that I was too broken up about the whole thing since Vitus is basically still a villain in my book. Paul just comes off as really incompetent. Even after seeing how shady everyone is he decides to leave Joan by herself while he sleeps in a room way down the hall. He was just accepting this until Vitus came over to switch rooms. What this means is Vitus would have been in the room next to Joan and since the connector isn’t locked he could have gone to her room whenever he liked. Did I mention that Paul was terrible yet? You get the idea of why this guy was so bad. He doesn’t even understand a threat when it’s being blatantly said right in front of him.

Unfortunately Joan is no better. Not only is she fainting too much, but she gets possessed rather easily. I can’t blame her for falling off the rails after this since Paul lets the villains inject her with something while she asleep. Joan just never seems like a real character during this adventure. She ends up being in a state of shock throughout the movie instead and lets everyone else make decisions for her.

While the premise of someone going to get revenge may sound good on paper it’s clear that the execution is just off from start to finish. Subtle banter between the villains is a decent concept even if they are really trying to destroy each other. At the same time, it just gets unrealistic if it goes on for too long. We could have also been given a motivation for why these two are to be locked in combat without going full tragedy. Considering that Vitus basically knows for a fact that the other guy is guilty you’d think he would make a move of some sort before he is put in a bad position. You just end up questioning the characters quite a bit here. The highlight would be the Chess game. I definitely wasn’t expecting such high stakes for a mere board game, but if that had to be the case then Chess is naturally the perfect pick.

Overall, This definitely isn’t a good film and the other Black Cat films I’ve seen seem to have had more quality. The actual Black Cat in this film certainly doesn’t get the respect he deserves. What really buries this film in the long run is the fact that it is too dark at times and there is nobody to root for. The main characters certainly aren’t very smart and make all of the wrong choices while even the villains don’t seem to think things through. The polite banter that I like from these films only hurts it in this case since these characters should be doing something as opposed to doing nothing.

Overall 1/10

The Shadow of the Cat Review

It’s time for another old film, but one that certainly ended up being quite a lot better. It’s a solid film with an engaging plot and it never drags on since the film is barely over an hour. There aren’t really any good characters for the most part, but that’s fine since they will go down one by one anyway.

One day, Ella is murdered by her butler Andrew. He was in cahoots with her husband Walter and the maid Clara. The three of them took her out so they could grab her riches. Conveniently for them, they even have a Will signed by her that gives everything to Walter. The problem is that her real will is somewhere in the house and they can’t find it. Well, no matter. They invite Beth over because the real will gave everything to her. They just need to take her out of the picture so they can be really safe. The problem is that Ella’s cat saw the whole thing and now she is out for revenge. Can the adults handle one cat or are they doomed!?

The Cat is definitely the MVP here. It’s hard to deny it since the Cat is by far the most efficient member of the cast. One by one she bumps the villains off and does so theatrically. She lets the others know that they will be next and even gives the main villain a heart attack. Walter and the others begin to fear the Cat quite a lot while also disliking it more and more. The ball is still in the Cat’s corner though and she knows the place like the back of her hand. She knows that she can pick off the others whenever she wants so she bides her time…and pounces when the time is right!

Naturally, there’s no way you will feel bad for any of the villains. Andrew murdered a defenseless old woman so he was doomed from the start. Even when he managed to capture the Cat for an instant, he underestimated how long it would take to get to the river and was quickly drowned by the Cat. It was all over for that guy. Walter’s death was only a matter of time as well as he started to have strokes and heart attacks whenever the cat was near. He played the part of the nice guy when everyone else was around, but he couldn’t trick the Cat. Finally, Clara may not have been as directly involved, but she was in on it so that made her guilty as well. Her end was just as intense as the cat slammed her to the ground…from a few stories up! She never stood a chance against the cat’s technique and skill.

Seeing as how the villains were getting tossed and turned the whole time, Walter called for some backup. He invited his corrupt family members over and they all wanted to end his life as well. Clearly, this may not have been his best move and it turns out to be his final one. It’s not like they have any more luck against the cat though. They talk a good game, but simply don’t stand a chance. Not even the ex-con is clever enough to stop the cat.

As for the heroes of the story, I might as well start off with Inspector Rowles. He doesn’t believe this “rubbish” about a cat murdering people and is content to just walk around and look important. He’s easily the most likable protagonist as you have to admit..would you believe that a little cat was destroying everyone? It is a little hard to swallow so I can accept his response. At least he wasn’t too unreasonable and still suspected the villains by the end. Michael’s a reporter who is very eager to believe what is happening and gets to the bottom of the puzzle right away. He’s certainly skilled as he found out everything. His romance with Beth was handled poorly though as it just happens out of the blue. Even then Beth doesn’t believe him about how Walter is evil and she is slow on the uptake the whole time. Beth was pretty annoying. Her worst moment was when a butcher knife was thrown at her and Beth didn’t really care. She just shrugged and kept on going instead of stopping to think that maybe these people are dangerous. She accepts that they are bad people when they keep talking about murdering the cat, but she never does anything about it. She’s also a little too accepting of the fact that she wasn’t in the will. Beth should have suspected foul play there.

This film could have easily taken a wrong turn if the cat had actually been captured and destroyed. The film would have went the ghost route as it avenged itself, but it still would have been too dark. Given how desperate all of the villains were to murder it, I wouldn’t have wanted to give them the satisfaction. How the film went about the plot was just about perfect if you ask me. I mean, it would have been hype to have seen the cat pick up the gun and shoot everyone, but the slow and steady approach worked as well. It’s definitely not too often that you see a cat destroy everyone. The film isn’t too violent either. The most violent scene is probably when Ella got murdered and luckily we get that over with right away. The Cat should have helped there and I was a little surprised that it did not, but at least the Cat helped to avenge Ella later on. Better late than never I suppose.

What also makes this film a little different is the fact that the Cat is avenging Ella as opposed to just being an evil cat who murders everyone. None of the heroes are bumped off since they weren’t responsible for destroying Ella and the new family who moves in should also be safe in theory. I’m sure that the cat would have made for a good villain as well, but it was a nice change of pace to see the Cat as a vigilante hero.

Overall, This is a pretty fun film. It’s not a comedy I believe, but plays out like a good natured slasher film. I know that the term slasher may not be the most appropriate here, but how else do you describe a film where a mysterious, super powerful villain begins to bump off all of the humans one by one? Regardless, the film kept it classy throughout and while the villains were all evil and unlikable, the film never went too far to show us just how gritty and dark they were. Moderation is always key and this film did a good job of that. I definitely recommend checking it out and I’d say that this one beats the Black Cat. We’ll see if the Black Cat sequel can match up to this one though.

Overall 7/10

The Amazing Spider Man Volume 5 Spiral Review

It’s back to The Amazing Spider Man! Once Dan Slott brought Peter Parker back, he seemed determined to make the main character as unlikable as possible. The comics went through some dark times, but these issues aren’t related to Slott. I believe it’s because they are .1 issues, but at the same times, the plot feels relevant enough where these issues could be main ones. Regardless of where this takes place, Spider Man is back to being a good character with an engaging plot like the good ole days. It’s a pretty good Spider Man story. While I won’t let me enthusiasm get the better of me and say that this is worthy of a 9 or that it’s one of the best Spider Man comics ever, it’s a good improvement and hopefully this sets the bar for future Spider Man stories.

There is a gang war going on with the various villains trying to grab some power. Wilson Fisk, Tombstone, and a gallery of other big gang members want to seize control and that’s being really bad for Yuriko. She is a cop who is in charge of the district where all of the action is and while she may be good, she’s not ready to tackle supervillains. She decides that it’s time for Wraith to take command again (Her alter ego) and she slowly starts to cross the line between being a hero and a villain. Spider Man tries to warn her many times, but then he must make a choice. Does he continue to try and persuade her to join the light again or should he take her down before innocents are hurt? These questions are pondered as all of the villains make their move.

As mentioned earlier, this comic was fun to read the writing was actually well done this time around. Spider Man felt like the experienced veteran that he should be portrayed as. He was able to easily dispatch foes like Bullseye and Hobgoblin with no real effort. Spider Man is powerful despite only having the “proportionate strength of a spider” and his spider sense is an invaluable ability that can get him out of just about any jam. Spider Man also has to make a hard choice with Wraith and I’d say that he made the right one. He gave her a chance, but at the end of the day, Spider Man can’t let the fight against crime get personal. If she’s crossing the line, then it’s time to go and take the win.

It was interesting to see some of the gang members also show some loyalty for once. When Black Cat tried to move into the territory, the minions were not buying it. They still work for Tombstone even if he’s in jail. It’s commendable for what it’s worth. I can’t say that Tombstone and Hobgoblin should really invite that much respect considering that they’re always getting busted, but they can fight, which is always a game changer. In fact, Tombstone gets his his own fight in this comic, which is actually pretty impressive. It’s not very surprising to longtime comic readers who remember the days when he would actually fight, but still good to see. Some villains stop fighting and get rusty like Green Goblin.

Black Cat’s sideplot seems like it’s going nowhere fast as she still blames Peter for what Ock was doing for so long. I suppose that it can be tough to accept that someone else was controlling Spider Man’s body for so long, but in a world where aliens visit every other Tuesday, that should not be a huge issue. These things happen and not being friends anymore is one thing, but she turned back into a complete villain. I do like the new costume though and the ASM series has been pretty good with giving old characters new designs that are an improvement over the originals, but I hope that Black Cat makes a move and soon to avoid the usual formula.

Mr. Negative gets a fairly large role in this comic collection as he helps to steer Wraith down the wrong path. He presents Wraith with the alluring offer of some evidence to take down other villains so that he can gain some territory. It’s an intriguing proposition since Wraith can take down some villains, but then he can make a move. Personally, it sounds like a good bet, provided that Wraith keeps some perspective on this. If you got some evidence that could take down a few big mobsters, wouldn’t you accept it even if it was from someone who was not exactly a law abiding citizen? I personally don’t have a problem with this.

Naturally, the issue isn’t black and white. The evidence helped Wraith put a corrupt judge behind bars, but the judge’s family was also in a bind, which is why he made the move. The evidence was also only partially accurate. So, Wraith can take the judge down, but some innocents will be lost or she can let him go free and then more innocents may be convicted or the flip side of villains getting away scott free with more blackmail. These are some pretty heavy choices and Wraith has made this very personal because one of her comrades was destroyed in the line of fire during one of the earlier gunfights.

Of course, Wraith goes too far when she takes a life and acts like a vigilante through and through, but up until that point, she hadn’t really crossed the line. A little breaking and entering, intimidation, deceit, but these are things that you could picture Batman or even Captain America doing when necessary. I think Spider Man may have blown some of these acts out of proportion, but a small spark can lead to a fire and in the end we see that Spider Man was right to be worried.

Of course, you can sympathize with why Wraith is frustrated with the system. Villains break out of jail constantly and consistently get around to hurting more people. Batman is used to his villains getting out of jail within a day and the same could be said for Marvel’s prisons. The system is very corrupt in the comics with a lot of cops being on the villain’s payroll. Lawyers are so good that felons get to leave jail on technicalities a lot and justice is rarely served as more and more people are added to the body count. Still, Spider Man is right when he says that this essentially doesn’t matter.

Saying it like that looks bad so I’ll clarify here. Of course it matters and that’s why you have the people without powers trying to fix the system or at least improve it. At the same time, the heroes can’t take justice into their own hands or they will become villains and be a problem for the others. They can just keep on taking out the villains as quickly and efficiently as possible to save as many people as possible. They can help the cops, but they can’t actually become the executioners. Spider Man’s certainly been tempted to go too far, but he keeps himself in check and that’s where his famous responsibility comes from. That’s why being a superhero isn’t for everyone. Some just can’t handle it and turn into the next Punisher.

One area where The Amazing Spider Man is typically not lacking is in the art. It’s nice and streamlined for the duration of the issues and the fight scenes are pretty good. Good art makes a good comic even better so I was able to blast through this collection while standing in line for the new Star Wars film. It’s a good way to get yourself hyped for the feature film. With the writing also being solid, this made the comic a complete experience.

Overall, This is probably the best Amazing Spider Man volume that I’ve read in the modern era. If we’re counting special events like Ends of the Earth, then that changes, but this was definitely a good comic. Wraith also makes for a compelling vigilante/villain who tries to do the right thing, but is a little too extreme about it. I’m almost positive that her character will return at some point, but it’s definitely hard to say when this could be. If you’re looking for an emotional collection that discusses morality and letting the system do its job, this is the comic for you. You can finally see Spider Man as he was meant to be portrayed. Eventually I’ll probably check out another volume in this series with the main issues so hopefully it can be this solid.

Overall 8/10

The Amazing Spider Man The Complete Alien Costume Saga Book 1 Review

It’s time to look at another volume which shows Spider Man how he was in the classic days of Spiderman. The Alien Costume Saga is certainly long as it spans two rather large collections. This volume was about 500 pages so it was like reading an essential collection. This is mainly due to the fact that Spider Man was regularly appearing in Marvel Team Up as well as the Peter Parker series so his costume got to appear quite a lot back in those days. He handles himself pretty well for the most part, but the comic is slightly hurt by his relationship with Black Cat in this collection.

The series constantly intermingle so the plot is all over the place. Let’s start with one series at a time as that will make things easier. Marvel Team Up tends to be fairly stand aloneish so let’s lead off with those issues. The first Team Up issue dealt with a case that Daredevil and Spiderman had worked on a while back before Spiderman vanished. Spiderman came back and decided to help, but found out that Daredevil struck a deal with the Kingpin. It’s an intriguing one and it allows the villains to escape so Spiderman questions Daredevil’s heroics. The hero will likely have to deal with that in his own comics. There wasn’t a lot of action in this story, but the guest stars were fun and Black Widow even had a minor role.

Spider Man then met up with Captain Marvel for a two part adventure as he got to go to another world to fight for her freedom along with Star Fox. I definitely still don’t care for that guy, but the space adventure was fun. Spider Man also got to team up with Moon Knight and Iron Man in other issues. Each comic was interesting and I’ve always liked the Marvel Team Up comics. It was a good way for heroes to meet up back in the day before there were guest stars in just about every issue.

The issues in The Spectacular Spider Man mainly dealt with the Black Cat plot. She made a deal with the Kingpin that she doesn’t think Spiderman would approve of so she has kept her new powers a secret from everyone. She can manipulate luck so that’s a very easy power to keep hidden as no one can simply find it out without some kind of complex plan. The drama continues as the heroes fight opponents like the Blob. (The Blob’s ending is actually quite tragic and even Spider Man couldn’t save his friend this time) Black Cat’s power saves Spider Man more than once so the abilities have come in handy.

That being said, Kingpin certainly has an angle here. He sends The Answer to test the heroes and the guy actually manages to get the upper hand on Spiderman and Black Cat. Granted, Spiderman was exhausted and Black Cat hadn’t mastered her abilities yet. Still, I’m really liking The Answer at the moment and he’s definitely an underrated Spiderman villain. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in volume 2. They just don’t make villains like this one very often. He always talks tough and fights strategically since he’s basically just an average joe. There’s also a two part issue where Spiderman helps Cloak and Dagger out, but that wasn’t the most thrilling adventure.

Finally, we have the stories in the main series. Spider Man fought a whole lot of villains in these stories. The Puma was sent by the Rose to take down Spider Man and it made for a pretty even fight. That guy is definitely no pushover and that’s why they say that he’s never failed a mission yet. Luckily, the guy is honorable so he decides not to finish the Wall Crawler off yet since Spider Man was so weakened. He seems like a good villain and definitely a likable opponent for Spiderman. (I keep alternating between Spider Man and Spiderman, but that’s because both spellings work for me and it’s also tough to just choose one at times)

Due to how Spiderman is constantly fighting, he’s almost always tired, which is too bad. Not to mention that the symbiote also likes to take him for a spin every night so Peter Parker can’t enjoy his sleep. The Rose plots in the background, but he hasn’t really done anything yet. Jack O Lantern and the Red Ghost also make appearances, but they are seriously outmatched against Spiderman in his new attire.

In the final comic, Spiderman finally realizes how deadly the Venom costume is and the Fantastic Four help him get rid of it. Spiderman had to use the old Paper Bag costume to leave, but at least he could be himself again. After all, while the Spiderman part of the plot may have sounded simple, the Parker Luck ensured that there was still a lot of human drama to deal with. For the most part, it’s always handled well in these issues and is typically why Spiderman’s comics were always so interesting. There were always so many plots present and things were always happening.

Peter finally found out that Mary Jane already knew that he was Spiderman. This definitely came as a shock to him since he thought that he had done such a great job of keeping that under wraps. I’m sure that this is a plot which will be more prevalent in future issues. Aunt May is also very upset with Peter at the moment since our daring hero decided to drop out of college. It was definitely a dicey move, but it makes sense since Peter would be late to every class anyway. Of course, explaining that without revealing his identity proved to be very difficult and Aunt May isn’t even on speaking terms with him anymore. In that plot, things continue to go from bad to worse. Robbie is also letting his new position as Editor get to him. Power corrupts after all and he’s slowly drifting away from Peter. Of course, you can’t blame him completely since Peter apparently doesn’t know how to shoot pictures very well. With no formal training, Black Cat is already better than him in that area.

The only plot that I wasn’t a big fan of was the Black Cat one. It’s good that she is actually trying to turn over a new leaf and you will feel bad for her since she went to all the trouble of getting some powers to help Spiderman out, but they also got her into a sticky situation with the Kingpin. I wouldn’t mind this plot at all if it wasn’t for the whole romance between the characters. Black Cat still won’t acknowledge Peter as Spiderman’s alter ego and Peter can’t really take a hint as he keeps on bringing up his human life to her. Naturally, this means that the two of them are constantly disagreeing about this and it gets old fast. Also, Spiderman’s not quite as reserved as you would expect as he and Black Cat are constantly acting like a couple on various rooftops instead of trying to get past the other issues. If this were a modern comic, I’m sure that it would be 100x worse. On the bright side, Peter isn’t cheating on anyone since he’s not together with Mary Jane at the moment, but I still don’t approve of this relationship at the moment since it really doesn’t seem to be working. There’s also a subplot where Spiderman keeps brushing off Harry, but that’s basically the norm between them and I’m sure that this will make Harry turn into the Green Goblin pretty soon!

As you would expect, the art is quite good. It’s very consistent and The Amazing Spider Man has had good art from day one. The art style has naturally switched a little since then and likewise with the other series like Marvel Team Up, but all of the issues look good. This helps for the action scenes as well as the regular dialogue ones. Coupled with the consistently good writing that the series has at its disposal, this is a very solid Spiderman comic. There really aren’t any unlikable characters because they are all written well. Even Black Cat who I am typically not a fan of to say the least isn’t bad here. She feels more like a real character who isn’t one dimensional and can actually be sympathetic as she is trying to solve her problems on her own. She does nearly give away Spiderman’s secret identity on more than one occasion, but she was in danger from The Answer so you can’t blame her for panicking a little. It certainly captures your attention from start to finish and I still miss this series. I think it could be a very long time before I read Book 2, but it’ll be fun to see this saga continued.

I take a lot of shots at Dan Slott’s writing, but reading a comic like this one just helps to fuel that. The Amazing Spider Man was a legendary series that did well for decades and decades. It’s the main reason as to why I like Spider Man so much and it was consistently one of the best comics on the shelf despite not having as many big names or guest stars as other series. That’s because the world around Peter Parker is always interesting and he has such a good supporting group. I’m not sure when the comics started to go downhill, but they were evidently still really good here. It’s too bad that Spiderman isn’t always portrayed like the seasoned veteran that he is in these issues. If he was, I think more people would take him seriously. After all, he traded blows with guys like Thor, Hulk, Juggernaut, and Thanos back in the day. I don’t really see that happening quite as much nowadays although he did really well in Ends of The Earth. I’m hoping that Spiderman will return to his former glory someday, but we may just have to wait a while.

Overall, The Alien Book Saga is a fun restart to the Spiderman series as it takes place immediately after Secret Wars. We even see him leave the portal and save someone right after the cosmic adventure. (Twice thanks to the spinoff series) There are dozens of plots going on for both Peter Parker and Spiderman so the writer really knew what he was going. Some plots can go on for dozens of issues, which definitely makes the readers have to be patient to see where they go. I’m most interested in what The Answer will do from here as he has really been an awesome villain. Spiderman is portrayed well for the most part and the supporting characters are good. With good writing and nice looking art throughout the volume, it’s definitely hard to get much better than this. I definitely recommend the volume to all Spider Man fans and while the main plot of the symbiote suit hasn’t actually gone anywhere yet, there are a lot of other plots going on so it’s fun to see them all converge eventually. The series is never done and I shall be reviewing another Spiderman comic very soon!

Overall 8/10

Black Cat vs Morbius

Black Cat and Morbius have both possessed a degree of super strength in the past. Morbius may have the slight edge in strength, but Black Cat counters with her speed advantage. In Spiderman Edge of Time, she got upgraded so that her speed was even better and her strength was enhanced as well. Given all of that, it’s hard to really see Morbius taking the win here. He’ll continue to weaken as he is deprived of his plasma. Black Cat wins.

Black Cat vs Catwoman

Catwoman has agility and speed, but Black Cat is stronger. With her skills Catwoman doesn’t stand a chance. Catwoman never really got any big power ups that could have helped her in this match. Black Cat has matched her skills with Spiderman. Black Cat gets a win and rises for this match. Maybe Catwoman can do the same in the future. Black Cat wins.

Black Cat vs Spiderman

Black Cat is back, but this time she’s fighting someone who’s out of her league. Spiderman may not look so tough at first, but when you think about it, he’s a dangerous foe. Spiderman has access to the power cosmic and the phoenix force. If this wasn’t enough he also has the Symbiote. With all of this at his disposal there’s no way he can lose. Black Cat takes a loss in this match, but one day she’ll be back. Spiderman wins.

Spiderman 2099 vs Black Cat

Black Cat is a strong fighter, but she lacks the skills of Spiderman 2099. Spiderman 2099 is a Spidey with a mission. He has the skills to take down anyone in his way. He’s a better fighter than Black Cat. Black Cat takes a loss in this match and falls down the blog rankings. Spiderman 2099 takes a win and rises even higher into the blog. Black Cat will be back. Spiderman 2099 wins.