Spider-Man


It’s time for the latest Spiderman adventure. Ultimate still feels pretty fresh but I’m glad that they churned out another show so soon. I never want the gap between titles to be too long. It’s off to a good start and should make for a solid Superhero show. The animation may not be that good, but considering how animation has been dropping off in American television for years now, it could have been a lot worse. I’ll definitely be sticking with it and will have a review up when the series is over.

Overall 7/10

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The Amazing Spider Man Spider Hunt Review

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Time for another classic Spider Man volume! You can never tire of these adventures and this was during the height of quality for the famous hero. As much as I liked Next Chapter, Mary Jane was pretty out of character and stopped being a likable character. That was reversed here although I believe this may have taken place before the earlier collection. Either way, it deals with the origin of Spider Man’s alternate costumes, which is always neat.

Things aren’t going well for Peter Parker because Norman Osborn has taken over the Daily Bugle. This spells trouble with a capital T. Norman has spread the Anti-Spider Man regime even more intently than J Jonah Jameson to the point where the hardened reporter does not get along with him. Norman has also threatened Jameson so this comes as no surprise. Spider-Man will have to be sure not to go outside all that much, but that’ll be difficult to pull off. When someone’s in danger, you can bet that Spider-Man will be on the case no matter what.

The art is big and bold in the classic style that it always fun to see during these Spider-Man issues. As with the Cosmic Spider-Man trade or the other recent ones that I’ve been reviewing, the art just works really well. It is also a clear signal that this is from the Prime Spider-Man comics where he was depicted just right. It’s hard to ever call something a perfect adaption, but this Peter Parker is about as close as we’ll get. Spider-Man’s not treated as a joke, but is seen as a capable hero just like any other. His sense of justice isn’t skewed or in doubt. Spider-Man just takes on the villains and never crosses any kinds of lines.

One of the main sagas involves the Punisher comic from the cover. Punisher has lost his memories yet again so he’s not sure what he is even doing at this point. He wants answers though and Spider-Man isn’t about to let anyone die from this quest. One thing leads to another and Punisher decides to help Spider-Man out, but it is really a one way road. Whenever Punisher shows up, Spider-Man just ends up tying him up or pushing him to the side. Spider-Man’s not really sure what is happening here, but he certainly doesn’t want to team up with anyone who uses guns so freely. He’s not really given a choice though as bounty hunters start showing up from the woodwork to take Spider-Man down.

Spider-Man can take these guys down no problem if it were all one on one fights, but they start wear him down as the collection continues. Bullseye comes into play and Norman’s son also goes missing. Of course, it could all just be a ruse, that’s not a risk that Peter Parker can take. This collection eventually sees the start of his costumed personas since going outside in his full gear starts to get a little dangerous. It’s a nice compromise since he is still out there saving lives instead of simply putting the costume on the shelf for a little while.

One problem with not reviewing this comic for so long (It’s probably been on the back burner for almost half a year at this point) is that it’s easy to start mixing up the plots a little. The Spider-Man comics have always been iconic for having numerous subplots scattered throughout the issues. When one plot ends, another 3 or more will pop up in its place and then those will interconnect to others along the way. As a result, I can’t say with full confidence whether or not these plots have started or even begun to wrap up in this one. Some that I recall (Probably) involve the Venom calls to Mary Jane, the Kingpin is starting to get back to power as well. I think Black Cat and her luck powers may be around, but that plot may have actually ended already. Well, you get the jist of it. There are dozens of players running around at this point so it’s tough for Spider-Man to even know which villain to focus on. Every time he turns around it seems like someone else is in danger.

One odd issue involved a crazy scientist kidnapping Spider-Man and forcing him into a fake virtual reality world until Spider-Man finally broke free and snapped the machine. For a while there you didn’t know if the whole thing was fake or not so it was a little intriguing although probably one of my least favorite issues. I don’t think we ever even find out how Spider-Man was kidnapped and that’s likely because it is all a little sketchy and hard to believe. One fun issue was seeing Spider-Man don the now famous paper bag over his head to fight a few comic relief villains. It just goes to show that even without a good costume Spider-Man can take down some villains.

Another stand alone story away from the main plot of being framed by Osborn has Spider-Man take on the combined forces of Sand Man and Hydro Man. Both of these villains can be very dangerous on their own so combined they make for a very good opponent. Their team work isn’t the best though so Spider-Man can exploit that. Another random issue has Spider-Man go up against the cosmic villain Blastaar. Spider-Man goes to town on him although it’s a fairly good fight. It’s another match up that I can’t picture going quite as smoothly in the newer comics. Even if it did, the art wouldn’t be quite as full and dynamic as it is here.

Two more stories involve fights against Mr. Hyde and Black Tarantula. Black Tarantula is a surprisingly powerful villain who actually gives Spider-Man a really good fight. I also like the design here and feel like it is much better than any other incarnation that I’ve seen of him. Mr. Hyde’s not quite as interesting and I don’t care for him as a villain. Still a decently fun issue, but I would prefer a different villain. I do hope to see more of the Black Tarantula in future Spider-Man collections though. That guy has a lot of potential.

Overall, This was a fun collection. I always enjoy seeing a comic have many plots at the forefront so you never know which plot the next issue will follow. The framing of Spider-Man was a complete success by Osborn here so Spider-Man is once again being driven into a corner. I suppose it wouldn’t be one of his series without that as it is practically a requirement of a Spidey title by now. I definitely recommend this to all Spider-Man fans out there. This era certainly has a lot of stories to pull from and hopefully they all get adapted into collections like this one someday. I feel like a lot of them are probably lost in the shuffle between collections. We need a “Marvel Masterworks” sort of series for these issues. A series for the titles that aren’t super new, but aren’t extremely old either. The 90’s and early 2000’s lose out a little in that respect. That’s why I’m glad that everything goes into trade so quickly nowadays. 50 years down the road, those will be extremely helpful for new comic readers. This review’s a bit short for a comic of this size, but hopefully I’ve still illustrated why this is a must read. It has good writing, solid art, and likable main characters. All of the issues are interesting as well with even the filler ones still making for good stand alone adventures.

Overall 8/10

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

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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

Spider Men Review

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Yes, technically you would usually use a hyphen here, but I actually prefer not to use hyphens. It’s a bit of a personal preference. I saw this comic at the library a long time ago, but I didn’t have time to flip through it. I finally read it now and Spider Men is a fun crossover. There may not be a lot of action, but it’s always fun to see the 616 universe meet up with the Ultimate one. It’s safe to say that 616 proves its superiority in this volume.

Spiderman was beating up on Mysterio like usual when he got sucked into a portal which took him to the Ultimate universe. He was quickly subdued by that version of Spiderman and reluctantly decides to work with the Ultimates to get back to his universe. Is there a way back or is he stuck in this universe for the rest of eternity? It’s hard to say, but at least Spiderman can meet some of his old friends who are still alive in this universe.

As I already mentioned, there isn’t a lot of action here. It’s actually surprising that this was a whole 5 issues as it felt more like 2-3 by the end. It’s a fun way for Peter Parker to have a final meet up with Gwen and to also talk with Aunt May a little. It reminds you that the Ultimate universe definitely switched things up a lot when you consider Spiderman’s history. Gwen isn’t coming back in 616…ever, but we do have the Spider-Gwen series so she’ll still be around. That will also be a fun meet up…as long as Slott isn’t writing the comic.

I was a little disappointed with the fact that Miles defeated Spiderman. I mean..are you kidding me? I have nothing against Miles….well, I don’t really care for the guy all that much. His personality irks me a little, but beyond that, I don’t see how he could take down Spiderman. Miles has his own spider sense and venom blasts going, but Spiderman is physically stronger, I’d say that he’s faster, and it goes without saying that he has more experience. In the fight between the two Spidermen, they made Peter Parker look like a rookie. He got careless and it cost him big time when it came down to the fisticuffs. Even without prep time, I’m confident that the original Spiderman would win this round.

The art looks fairly good. Peter Parker looks a little off model, but the artist was likely just trying to point out just how much older Peter is when compared to the ultimate version of himself. It certainly is a contrast to see Peter next to the other characters. The art’s not great, but it’s fairly good. The action scenes are just a little stilted and everyone looks stiff. Marvel can learn a thing or two from looking at DC’s more streamlined art. Now, that’s how you suck the readers into the fight scenes!

Spiderman is still a likable lead even if he’s portrayed as being inexperienced and a little weak. He heads over to Aunt May’s house and then panics a lot as everyone beats him up. He keeps telling himself that he shouldn’t have come…but he is already there. It was a little late for the second guessing and Spiderman definitely overdid it. Still, as Spiderman, Peter Parker was a good character. He has the quips ready and he certainly did his best to make Mysterio look bad.

Miles is still a little annoying for me. Maybe it’s because he’s so young, but he constantly acts like he’s a big shot while pretending to be modest. Kind of hard to wrap you head around that right? It’s hard to explain, but that’s just the way it goes. Give him a few years of experience under his belt and I’m sure that Miles will grow up to be a likable character. He’ll certainly be better than good ole Mysterio.

Mysterio looked pretty weak and helpless, which is what I would expect from the guy. He’s not quite in the same league as the average Spiderman villain. I did like the twist that there never was an Ultimate Mysterio and the real one just used a robot to troll the characters in the other universe. Now, that’s the kind of plot twist that I like to see although I need to check out his older appearances to see if this twist really lines up or if it was just made up for the lolz.

I do think that there were some missed opportunities here though. Think about it, there’s so much potential about having the original Spiderman in the ultimate universe. Extending this arc to around 20 issues would have been great. Spiderman could have fought some of the villains and interacted with the supporting cast members a little more. We could have really seen the contrast between this world and 616. The fact that everyone considers Peter to be a hero in Ultimate is a plot line that could easily hold 5-6 issues by itself. It’s awesome to see since Peter will never have such a rep in 616.

There was one moment where I felt like there was a lot of plot hax. Mysterio was in a room with the Ultimates and the two Spidermen. The heroes just watch as he gets up and whacks Spiderman over the head. Talk about slow reaction times right? Luckily, Miles was ready to challenge Mysterio and take him down for the count. Also, the comic tries really hard to show us that the Tony Stark in this universe is not even close to as smart as the main one. He can barely even comprehend the universe travelling tech and we know how much the heroes like to universe hop in 616. He also seems a little more sinister, which would fit when you consider how Ultimate Reed Richards acts. The Ultimates definitely aren’t earning their keep so maybe they should have tried harder to recruit Spiderman into the fold. Also, does this mean that the Mysterio will never appear again? That would be awesome, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much with the big Secret Wars arc that’s currently happening in the comics.

Overall, Spider Men was a fun little crossover. The hype was deserved since this was really the first time that the two universes had a proper meeting. From here on out, the meetings would certainly get larger in scope. The comic could have used a better villain as Mysterio is super overused, but I was pleased with the fact that the heroes could effortlessly beat him. If they needed to actually try to beat someone like this, they would have been better off giving up right away! If you’re a big Spiderman fan, then you should check this comic out. If you don’t care about Spiderman, then that’ll certainly hurt your chances of really enjoying the collection and then you should just take a pass on it. Either way, it’s an enjoyable/quick experience and you won’t be losing much time if you decide to give it a whirl. With this, you will be ready for the Secret Wars and the battle between Ultimate and 616 that nearly happened, but mostly finished off screen. It was still a moment of incredible hype and you’ll need to track down the Free Comic Book Day issue to find it.

Overall 7/10

Superior Spider Man Volume 4 Necessary Evil Review

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Looks like it is time to check out a volume in the Superior Spider Man run! That series definitely made a lot of waves back in the day and there was virtually no way that you wouldn’t have heard of it if you were following comics. After all, it was a big move to get rid of Peter Parker and have someone else put on the suit. Considering that Slott tried to make Peter as unlikable as possible before finally getting rid of him, Ock certainly did look good for a while. Of course, you do have to consider the fact that he’s not quite as heroic.

Things are going well for Ock. Life at Horizon Labs seems to be easy enough and he’s able to balance his civilian life with his hero one. That changes though when a time disturbance starts to shake up his life. Spider Man 2099 has arrived from the future and he needs to protect the man who is trying to ruin Ock’s reputation and the company that he’s in. Ock has vowed to end this threat once and for all, but now he’s going to have to go through another Spider Man to do this! Moreover, he’s still wrecking Peter’s relationship with Mary Jane while taking his life in a new direction. When and if (Heh heh) Parker returns, he’ll certainly be coming back to a rather chaotic life. Hey…at least he’ll have more money now!

Doc Ock is actually doing a reasonable job of keeping Peter’s life alive. Perhaps not socially, but definitely economically. Once Peter Industries manages to hit it off, Peter will be in the clear for quite a while. The stakes are high though as his Aunt’s friend has put a large investment into this and Ock has thrown in all of the money that he currently possesses. For a man of his brilliance though, this should not be a problem. (Of course, we know that Peter starts to mess this up in the ASM issues that are soon to come) Ock is also developing a strong bond with one of his friends and the romance is surprisingly gradual so far. It’s certainly much better than the romance that you will have come to expect from this title. It’s going to put Peter in a really bad spot soon, but Ock’s doing well with this.

On the iffy side, Ock is still not the law abiding citizen that Spider Man was. He doesn’t mind threatening people in public and doing whatever’s necessary to keep himself safe. Things get dangerous for him a few times, but he typically manages to solve everything in the end. He did die at one point though, but comic heroes can never die for long so he’s still in the clear. It is fun to see a bold Spider Man though so Ock’s change of pace is a good breath of fresh air. He’s completely confident in his abilities and he has certainly made many upgrades. Nobody will ever pass Peter as the definitive Spider Man, but Ock is certainly giving this his all. Even if nobody trusts him anymore.

Carly has a subplot as she finally realizes that Ock is posing as Peter. That’s impressive since she figured it out before all of the telepaths and metahumans on the blog. Unfortunately for her, she wrote it all down in a journal and didn’t make any copies of the pages. Now, the Goblin Gang has the info and you can be sure that they will be putting it to good use. I believe that their plot really starts to heat up in the next volume so they are mostly planning in this volume. Green Goblin is really kicking Hobgoblin around so you can tell who’s in charge. This makes sense though as Green Goblin has always been the bigger threat in the past.

One subplot that is also starting to form is the one that just ended with the Spider Wars. Morlun wants to destroy them all and a telepath/precog is trying to warn the humans, but nobody will listen. That’s some early setup though because the arc didn’t happen until quite a while from this arc. Slott certainly likes to plan ahead, which is good. It’s one of the few areas where I can safely say that the series succeeds. That Spider arc did get a lot of hype and supposedly it was actually a lot of fun. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be reading the actual event anytime soon, but something leading up to that isn’t out of the question.

Spider Man 2099 gets a big role during the first few comics of course and it’s always nice to see a familiar face. He doesn’t understand why Ock doesn’t recognize him thanks to the fact that Ock’s done a great job of taking over Peter’s body so we get the hero fight that we’ve been waiting for! 2099 actually does manage to put up some resistance, but it’s hard to gauge who had the upper hand since the fight is interrupted very quickly. Suffice to say, I’m confident that Ock would have ultimately win. Peter Parker’s body is simply a huge advantage and it’s not something that 2099 can overcome. 2099 did seem like a reasonably good character though and it is cool to see him stick around. That’s likely a bad thing for the future, but the Age of Heroes can always use another good fighter.

I feel like I should at least mention the fact that nobody knows that Ock has taken over Peter’s body to be a little iffy. I don’t care how complete the body switch is, there are tons of meta humans who should have noticed this by now. I feel bad for Peter since his friends didn’t do a great job of being observant. Imagine being stuck in limbo because nobody could tell that you weren’t in control of your body anymore. Spider Man’s personality is totally different, but almost no one even suspects that a change has occurred.

The art style is certainly still a mixed bag. The way that the faces are drawn is a little odd. It just feels sloppier than some of the other comics. On the bright side, the fight scenes still look really good. The art’s just a little slippery as the characters will get stretched out, but that doesn’t necessarily hurt the fight scenes. It’s certainly no Avengers or Justice League, but I suppose that the art will still get it done for you. It’s actually fairly unique at this point as one glance is enough to tell you that this is Slott’s work. (Slott isn’t the actual artist as far as I know, but this art style seems to always be with Slott in the Spider Man series)

Overall, Ock keeps squeaking by danger, but sooner or later it is going to catch up to him. When Peter comes back, he is definitely going to be in for some surprises. This comic may have been written by Slott, but it was actually good. It’s certainly much better than the Amazing Spider Man trade that I read a while back. The Superior Spider Man run was definitely an interesting one and Ock certainly isn’t like your average lead. He’s like the Punisher as it is hard to call him a hero, but he’ll still deal with the villains in his own way. It may not be heroic, but at least the city can rest easy for now. This is a quick collection to get through and aside from the 2099 arc, there’s a quick comic at the end where another villain shows up. We get to see some of the upgrades that Ock’s made to the suit. I recommend checking this out and Spider Man fans will be intrigued at the thought of Spider Man’s old enemy being behind the mask.

Overall 7/10

The Amazing Spider Man Identity Crisis Review

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I’ve been reading quite a few Spider Man collections so it’ll be nice to check out one from the classic 90’s era of Spider Man. This came during a time where Osborn had set the Wall Crawler up and a huge bounty was placed on his head. This was a pretty fun way to change the status quo and some of the authors had a lot of fun with it. That resulted in a pretty fun batch of comics for this collection!

The stories are taken from The Amazing Spider Man as well as the Sensational Spider Man series so the collection does a lot of jumping around. One issue may end with a cliffhanger, but then it it paused so that we can take a look at the other series. It’s an interesting dynamic and one that is used quite frequently nowadays, but it probably would have worked better if timed a different way. One comic ends with Spider Man fighting two villains and the next one has him in a completely different situation. That was the one time where I found it to be way too obvious a switch. Nevertheless, this exposure to other series was good for the plot since it gave the writers more time to show off Spider Man’s 4 new costumes. Until he could clear Spider Man’s name, Peter Parker would have to assume new titles. Not all of his new forms played the role of the hero so this allowed Spider Man to get intel from various sources. It all ends up paying off although some of the plots are fairly interesting and you’ll be looking forward to seeing the costumes and choosing your favorite.

One of the plots involves a team up with Paste Pot Pete while Spiderman is acting as “Dusk.” The team up goes pretty well and there is even a chance to ice Osborn once and for all, but Spiderman naturally makes the hero call here. His gimmick as Dusk involves Spiderman always sticking to the shadows as he fights. It is pretty fun and this was an entertaining plot. I’m not sure how practical this would be for daytime missions, but I guess Spidey would find a way to make it work. I would rank Dusk as the second best alias.

The Superman guise was certainly my favorite costume of the bunch. In this guise, Spiderman was known as Prodigy. He had to act super naive to make it work and it was fun to watch. He used a suit that could simulate flying and with Spidey’s natural strength, it made for a convincing demonstration. His adventures were more straightforward as Spidey went around beating up on the villains. I think he probably shattered his cover when he decided to prove Spidey innocent, but it is worth it to get the main suit back. The plot was easily the most entertaining as well as the most action packed so it was a win-win situation. Too bad it didn’t get more screen time.

Ricochet was probably Spiderman’s most basic costume. He could throw things, but he mainly relied on his agility and acrobatics to win him the day. In this guise, Spiderman got to join up with some villains to take on some others. His teammates thought that they were simply using Ricochet when it was actually the other way around. Spidey’s partner seemed decently tough, but the matchup was against her as she fought someone who could KO you with a touch. This one comes in 3rd for me. It is interesting to see Spidey with more of a punk personality.

Finally, we have my least favorite guise….The Hornet. As this Vigilante, Spidey wasn’t totally on the law’s side or with the villains. He just did his own thing and tried to dig up some intel. I feel like the writers had started to run out of ideas by this point as there really isn’t a whole lot to say about this plot. It was more episodic and while the costume looked cool, he really had no personality. Luckily, it didn’t seem to eat up a whole lot of screen time, which is always a good thing. It wasn’t a bad guise, it just wasn’t very good.

As for Peter Parker, he was a pretty good character here. Once in a while, he would randomly make a choice that would make you scratch your head like when he decided to talk to the cops while in his Spiderman get up. It was unnecessarily risky when he could have done something a little safer. Still, by and large, Peter acts like the seasoned veteran that he should be. He’s been at this game for quite a while so he should know how it works. He has a lot of fun messing with Osborn while in his various get ups and it’s pretty fun to watch. He’s not perfect though and a big part of this is when he tries to hang out with a friend. I have no idea who this guy is and I’m guessing that he was phased out of the comics pretty quickly, but Peter doesn’t do a good job of handling this situation.

Peter is constantly blowing him off so the guy decides that they shouldn’t be friends. I really can’t blame him since Peter apparently left him hanging about 4-5 times in a row. You have to know when something’s not going to work and Peter should be careful about making a commitment considering his position. That was really the only point where we got to see this side of Peter and that’s certainly a good thing. (Unless you count certain college scenes, but that’s almost a running gag at this point and a little more understandable. There’s no way you can pass if you never actually study)

Norman Osborn probably looks better than I’ve ever seen him in this collection. He’s out to get Peter Parker so he constantly rants about destroying Spiderman while endorsing every other hero in the country. He is mostly using mind games instead of brute force and Spiderman counters each move. It’s a really good dynamic and Osborn acts a lot like Luthor here. He’s a compelling villain and the writer did a good job with that. Poor Norman is getting crushed in this battle of wills so far, but he’s certainly not down for the count yet.

It’s also cool to see the reactions of other heroes to Spiderman’s new alter egos. The Fantastic Four are pretty confident that they could take them out if necessary so they aren’t worried. At one point, Spiderman makes the mistake of hinting that he offed Spiderman while he was in his Hornet costume, which almost led to a fight with the Human Torch. It’s good to see that the Torch still fights for his friends and the direct threats were a nice change of pace. In a fight, the Human Torch can definitely hold his own so that would have been fun to see.

Mary Jane is also pretty reasonable here. Towards the end, it started to get a little dicey as she explained that she couldn’t put up with the situation anymore, but luckily it was not in a very serious way. She calmed down by the next day and she did support Peter through this situation. After all, she created the four costumes for Peter to wear and making realistic ones would have been very difficult for Peter otherwise. Having someone who knows his secret is certainly helpful.

There’s not much to say about the other vilains, besides Osborn. Jack O Lantern makes a quick appearance along with one of his associates, but they’re hardly a threat. They’re like Mysterio in that they use illusion abilities and those get old really fast. We have Paste Pot Pete of course and the guy doesn’t seem bad. To an extent, he seems to wish that he had not turned over to the dark side and he gets a lot of character development. There’s still hope for him. Meanwhile, a gang war is going on in the background and I’m sure that it will play more of a role in the future.

So, this collection was mostly just about fun and adventures as different heroes than about plot. The actual plot is that Spiderman needs to prove his innocence of course and he does that in the process, but seeing how Spiderman interacts with the world as a different persona in each issue is where the fun is really at. Adding this one to the collection of 80’s and 90’s Spiderman comics that I’ve read, it continues to make me believe that these were his golden years. They are simply packed with a lot of excitement and fun along with good writing. It’s very hard to top such a potent combo.

The art screams 90’s look as you read through this adventure. It is a distinct look that I am definitely a fan of. Everyone is bigger and bolder. It is hard to describe the effect in a more specific way. The panels are larger than usual and the characters look very imposing. This is definitely good for the fight scenes as you really feel the power behind the hits. This was also a pretty good era for power levels, even if the energy attacks of the era were hard to gauge.

Overall, This is a really fun adventure and it certainly reminds you of Spiderman when he was in his prime. Peter definitely isn’t perfect, but he is not going to hit on everyone that he meets. Spiderman is also taken seriously, something that simply isn’t done very often in the current comics. This was a very good comic so choosing between a 7 and an 8 was difficult. That being said, it is larger than the average collection so the fact that it could keep the quality up through all of the issues ended up earning it the extra star. I definitely recommend this title and if you find Spiderman to be an unlikable character, check this title out and see if you still feel that way.

Overall 8/10

The Amazing Spider Man The Parker Luck Review

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Well, it was finally time to take a look at what has been done to the Spider Man comics as of late and what better place to start than with the first volume right? Well, there has definitely been no exaggerations when I’ve heard about how awful Peter has become over the years because he is definitely a terrible main character. The comic would be decent without all of the constant love at first sight moments, but they are here so the comic takes a shot. Let’s see why it couldn’t become the definitive Spider Man series.

Well, the plot is that Peter Parker is back! Doctor Octopus wrecked most of his social life during the time that he had taken control of Peter’s body so now Parker finds himself in an estranged world. Unfortunately, he doesn’t actually remember what happened over those last few weeks/months so he is completely out of the loop. He owns a company so hopefully he knows what to do with it. Black Cat was defeated by Doc Ock so now she wants to destroy Spider Man. She teams up with Electro and they get ready to attack the Wallcrawler. Meanwhile, Spider Man learns of another kid who was bitten by the radioactive spider of his origin and frees her from her cell. Her name is Silk and now they will be teaming up while trying not to constantly fall for each other due to their spider instincts.

So, the main reason why this comic is pretty unenjoyable are the constant, unnecessary scenes that bring it down. We get a pointless scene where a new character appears and makes out with Electro only to be destroyed. The passionate embraces between Spider Man and Silk are also pretty bad and they really hurt the story. Spider Man doesn’t look like the seasoned veteran that he is and he looked a lot more professional back in the 60’s. Likewise, you can’t really become a fan of Silk when she’s also giving in to the instincts so easily. It’s just terrible writing and the series seems to be doing all that it can to quickly rack up some sales by having controversial moments like that one without actually worrying about the plot.

The actual writing is hilariously bad in the comic, but it could actually work if not for scenes like the ones that I just mentioned. One person actually says the word “hashtag” out loud as they upload pics to twitter and there really are jokes in almost every page. The writer definitely wants you to know that this series is supposed to be really funny. Again, it’s pretty bad, but in a funny way so I can deal with that. It could have still gotten a 7 if not for the fake romance. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

It should also be noted that the art is pretty bad here. The facial expressions will crack you up many times over. Captain America’s face is drawn like that of a child’s and J Jonah Jameson’s are even more exaggerated than usual. His big 180 change over the TV industry is one of the best parts because of how he’s drawn. I definitely would prefer some better drawings for this series, but at least it keeps up the humorous tone here. If only the characters were more likable.

Okay, let’s actually talk about the heroes. Spider Man was not officially retconned so we’re still supposed to believe that this is the same Spider Man from back in the 60’s. At least he did age about 20 years over the last 50 so his character progression is much better than the average hero’s. That being said, his experience and personality have certainly taken a big dip. Spider Man is only good at cracking jokes now and he’s simply not a good crimefighter anymore. He’s treated as a joke and this is justified because he keeps messing up. He really doesn’t look good against Black Cat and it makes you wonder how he has survived for so long. He may have his spider sense, but you can only dodge for so long before the enemy eventually gets a lucky hit. This portrayal of him is quite possibly the worst that I have ever seen and Parker has become the kind of hero that you will actively root against. He goes after so many women nowadays that he may as well be James Bond and that’s why I don’t see him becoming a very likable character in his series for a very long time. The ship has sailed and it did so without Parker.

Silk debuted in this volume, but she’s not a good character either. As much blame as I give Peter for their situations, she definitely deserves half of the blame. Nothing can happen without two people right so Silk should have also kept Peter in the legendary friend zone. She’s pretty tough and the comics are definitely trying to make her seem like the better crimefighter than Parker. I don’t know how long that will last, but just having cool super powers is not enough to instantly make you a likable character. Silk’s going to need a personality change and her overconfidence can be a bit much considering she only has the proportionate strength of a spider. At least her good luck counters Black Cat’s bad luck…but those powers were always a stretch anyway.

Electro doesn’t look great here. He was messed around with by Doc Ock and now he basically has to work for Black Cat. Things just don’t go his way, but at least the ending leaves some hope for him to hopefully become a better person. He seems tired of the whole villain gig so maybe he’ll just stay in jail peacefully until the next writer decides to grab him and make an arc around the thunder villain. Black Cat is now a total villain so gone are the days where she would ambiguously tread the line of what side she wanted to help. Either way, she was caught trying to steal something so she has nobody to blame but herself for being thrown into prison. Her reaction of wanting to destroy Spider Man is definitely a little exaggerated, but I guess Slott just wants her to become a villain once again. She’s still not very threatening though because Spider Man is physically more impressive than her and luck powers can only help for so long. I definitely don’t see her coming out on top for very long, but it seems like she may stick around for quite a while.

Jameson is still a pretty likable guy though and it’ll be fun to see how he tries to wreck Spider Man’s life from the TV station. The Spider Man universe is still pretty large and there are many plots that will likely be around for quite a while. That’s why it’s regrettable that the series has been handled so poorly as of late. Then again, you can argue that Peter Parker hasn’t looked good in his own series for years at this point. I miss the 80’s-90’s where he was arguably at his peak and things just went down for him at that point. I can’t say that volume 1 will leave you hyped for what’s to come next, but the bright side is that most of the other characters besides Peter actually look decent. If the series was to let go of the flirting with everyone scenes, it could actually go places.

Overall, This is one of those graphic novels that will definitely make you accept the possible upcoming Marvel reboot with open arms. I only say possible because depending how merged the universes get, there may not be a huge amount of differences to the Spider Man realm. It’s not the universe that has gone wrong either, it’s simply Peter’s character. Parker is the guy who needs a reboot and hopefully his personality will get a complete rewrite. It’s entirely possible that this is also the writer’s influence so he needs to go as well or this will not change. I definitely don’t recommend this volume. It may be pretty fun on the whole, but the romance scenes are simply too much and they make Peter look terrible. If you want a good Spider Man adventure, check out the Cosmic Spider Man arc!

Overall 4/10

The Amazing Spider Man The Movie Prelude Review

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The Amazing Spiderman films never really smashed Hollywood with positive reviews. While I thought that the second one was great, I can definitely see why people would not care for the first. (Peter’s portrayal….) Naturally, a comic in that continuity would definitely be intriguing to read. It’s decent, but the backup stories are what really keeps the collection alive and kicking.

The story takes place at sometime during the first film. I forgot exactly where it takes place since it’s been a while since I saw the film, but it ends with Spider Man about to team up with the police to stop a serious threat. Spider Man is basically just chilling out until he is attacked by a group of guys with masks. Can he defeat them? Meanwhile, Gwen is trying to make Flash Thompson a better person by tutoring him.

Well, it’s a decent story, but there is nothing that happens here. Seeing Spider Man take on random humans is not going to sell very well. The author tries to make it dramatic by having Spider Man be on the losing side of the fight, but it’s pretty hard to swallow. Can Spider Man really lose to random humans? Let’s not forget that he has his Spider Sense and he’s probably an A rank fighter with it. There’s just too much of a suspense for disbelief here and it doesn’t work.

The artwork is pretty good for the two issues though. It’s not great of course and Spider Man’s design could use a little work, but I would still give it a passing grade overall. It’s good enough to let you enjoy the story in peace..of only we had more of a story. The subplot involves the fact that Flash is bullying another kid and Peter Parker doesn’t want to get involved. So, he dumps the responsibility on Gwen who quickly cleans up his act by agreeing to tutor him. If she can’t help him pass the test, then nobody can! Hopefully Flash gets with the program and soon if he wants to learn everything in time.

So, it’s not a bad story, but it doesn’t have the firepower that you would expect from a Spider Man comic. The backup changes that as we get a 3-4 part story about the Lizard. He has transformed once again so Spider Man decides to stop him without hurting the poor villain. He takes this a little too literally though as he barely fights back. Luckily the Human Torch arrives to take the Lizard down, but now Spider Man has to stop him from seriously hurting the Lizard. This could get dangerous for both of them!

I definitely have to give the backup stories some props since they were great. This the Spider Man universe that I remember. Spider Man doesn’t actually look as good as usual since he doesn’t want to hurt the Lizard, but at least his power level is pretty solid. He can really take a hit and the Lizard just can’t take him down for the count. His Spider Sense actually worked back in these days so it’s good to see.

The Lizard looks decently good as well since he finally overpowered his human persona. He’s a good villain even if I think that he is no match for Spider Man. There’s just nothing to dislike about his portrayal here. Of course, the Human Torch is the guy who steals the spotlight here. He just looks great! You can tell that he is a true superhero right from his opening scene and his confidence never wavers. He knows that the Lizard is no match for him and he doesn’t hesitate to fight even when the villain is under water. He wasn’t afraid of the water back then! He knows that it’s his weakness, but he has ways to get around that. The comics don’t portray him to be as resourceful nowadays, which is just too bad.

The art is also great for these issues since I loved the retro style of this era. The characters are all pretty vibrant and colorful while the battles are still pretty intense. The writing is also good and Peter Parker is concerned about the right things like stopping the Lizard instead of just thinking about Gwen the whole time. There’s a time and a place for romance and it isn’t when you’re in the middle of a battle.

This collection is worth it even if it was only the back up issues. It would be a very quick read, but the comics are too good to pass up. As it stands, the movie issues aren’t bad either. The portrayals for the characters aren’t quite as good as in the comics, but they aren’t bad either. There is no real action to be found so it’s more of a thought provoking issue with a lot of plot. It’s filler, but it’s still pretty entertaining so you’ll be cruising through the issues before you know it. That is the hidden power of a good Spider Man comic.

Overall, This is a pretty fun collection. There isn’t a lot of action in the main story, but the backup makes up for this. The old stories are as great as you may remember from the old days. This is probably the Human Torch’s best portrayal that I have seen in a long time. It definitely isn’t the greatest Spider Man collection, but it will definitely beat the average comic that you see in the stands nowadays. It’s good for a quick read and I definitely recommend it to my fellow comic readers. Of course, if you want to read the ultimate Spider Man saga, just go to your library and check out the Cosmic Spider Man arc. That collection is officially my favorite as far as Spider Man is concerned and I don’t see anything being able to pass it…it was just about perfect. Maybe I’ll find a Spider Man tie in for the second film soon…

Overall 7/10

Spiderman Edge of Time Review

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Edge of Time is another video game that I’ve had my eye on for a very long time. I greatly enjoyed Shattered Dimensions and while I’ve heard that this one is not even comparable..I knew that it would still be good. I’m pleased to say that the game is definitely a lot of fun and it’s worth buying.

The plot is pretty sad for Peter Parker since he is destined to die. Spiderman 2099 is going to need to alter the timeline to save him, but will there be consequences to his actions? Someone is messing up the time stream and both of the Spidermen need to find out who the culprit is. The answer may shock long time fans and amuse people who’ve never heard of Marvel before. Either way, the plot is solid and you’ll definitely enjoy it!

I definitely prefer this story to the one that was in Shattered Dimensions. For one thing, this game has more actual cutscenes as opposed to moving stills. You really feel the danger when Anti Venom gets involved and the beginning of the game is very epic. Seeing Spiderman 2099 take on Anti Venom was also pretty awesome. The start of the game is easily the best part and the rest is still good…just not as epic. There are three acts in the game, which results in around 15 levels. Acts 1 and 3 are great, but Act 2 isn’t quite as exciting. Less stakes and less danger, but that makes sense since the middle is usually the low moment for just about any game.

One factor that may hurt your experience is the portrayal of the two Spidermen. They’re constantly arguing and both of them come across as being unnecessarily mean to each other. Spiderman 2099 yells out pretty much all of his lines and he likes to insult Peter. Peter is quick to take some shots at Spiderman 2099 as well and while he doesn’t yell as much, he’s always very snippy. They just did not seem to be in character and I can’t imagine Spiderman acting like that. He even gives up at one point and resigns himself to oblivion. Finally, Peter was pretty overconfident during his fight with Anti Venom, which was okay….but letting down his guard is not cool.

Gameplay wise, this game tries to be the same as Shattered Dimensions. We still have the free fall levels and Spiderman’s gameplay is what you would expect. That being said, it’s not quite as smooth as Shattered Dimensions. I had to get used to this during the first few levels, but it’s great by the end of the game. I’m inclined to prefer Shattered Dimension’s fighting style, but this game is still solid in that aspect. The Spider Sense can’t stay on like in the last game so you can only use it as a short burst. Meanwhile, you can automatically dodge all attacks as long as you hold L2 while in Spiderman mode. It’s cool to watch, but it makes his fights extremely easy. The enemies cannot hurt you at all in that form, no matter what attacks they may try. Yes…that includes bosses! Spiderman 2099 doesn’t have that ability, but he can fire clones made out of energy which help you fight and it’s just as useful. All of the enemies will immediately go after the clone so you can get some free hits off of them.

Web slinging is the biggest negative compared to other Spiderman games. It’s hard to gain altitude and you constantly have to let go and just do a classic third jump. Unlike Shattered Dimensions, you can’t infinitely jump so you have to pause and swing around for a sec before continuing. It’s not a terribly long process, but it really wasn’t needed. They shouldn’t have altered the web slinging process! Defeating enemies can be a little tedious during the beginning of the game because the health bars on these minions are pretty large. It takes a lot of hits to finally bring them down, so I recommend upgrading your attack power right away. While the gameplay may not be as good as Shattered Dimensions, it’s still in 3D and we still get a lot of action. I would give the combat an 8/10, which is great!

One slight negative for the game is the lack of bosses. We get to fight Black Cat, Anti Venom and the final pair of bosses. That’s not as many bosses as I would like in a game. Throwing in some more would have definitely helped the game and it would have also lengthened the story. The game may be under 10 hours in length, but we have the Web Challenges to keep you busy. There are over 60 of them (Significantly less than Shattered Dimensions) and they are simple enough. The Free falling challenges can give you some mild trouble.

My biggest negative with the game is the level designs. Yes, even more so than the fact that you can’t skip many cutscenes. You never get to set foot outside, which is very sad. What happened to swinging across buildings? That’s typically one of my favorite parts about playing a Spider Man game and I was sad to see it go. There may be around 15 levels, but some of the designs actually appeared to be copied from each other. After a while, you’ll feel like you keep going to the same rooms and labyrinths. The bland level designs can take away from the fun and the scenery just isn’t fun to look at. It’s basically always night time. I really hope that they never cut out NYC from another big Spiderman game because that definitely hurts the experience.

The Graphics aren’t terribly impressive. It’s definitely using a different style than Shattered Dimensions, but the graphics during gameplay are pretty good. The ones that I was not impressed with were the scenes that took place in the cutscenes. At one point, Peter has his big scene and he takes off the mask…only to look nothing like Peter Parker. I had to wince at the design and the graphics did not really look like a PS3 game. It felt like I was looking at Madden character models. Either way, the game doesn’t have a whole lot of cutscenes and the gameplay graphics definitely suffice.

The trophies in this game are considerably easier than Shattered Dimension’s. You have fewer things to do and long challenges like getting all of the Golden Spiders have become pretty simple. Your Spider Sense will tingle if you’re near a spider and the game did a very good job with it. You can obtain just about every Gold Spider through a normal play through. I don’t have the Platinum yet, but I just have three trophies left so I should be getting it pretty soon. You don’t need to worry about any “unfair” trophies so that could help you decide to pick up this game.

I can’t say much for the soundtrack. It defeats Shattered Dimensions in this aspect, but it’s pretty close. I really like the main menu theme for Edge of Time and the epic music that occurred during the Anti Venom moments were also pretty intense. Beyond that, the rest of the music was pretty forgettable and we didn’t have much in the way of boss themes.

Overall, this was a very good Spider Man game. It may have lacked Shattered Dimension’s combat mastery, but the epic story line made up for it. The gameplay is solid and the graphics are good enough. The game isn’t terribly long and you can complete it in under 10 hours. That being said, the replay value will help you out and it’s definitely worth the current price. (Around 15-20) I guess this means that I need to go and pick up the Amazing Spider Man game for PS3 at some point, but I doubt that it will be able to beat this one. Still….we shall see! I recommend this game to all action fans and to anyone who is a fan of Spiderman.

Overall 8/10