Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

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

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Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

The Amazing Spider Man Volume 5 Spiral Review

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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

Game Records

The Amazing Spider Man Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 6h
31/47 Trophies
Level 18
400 Tech Parts
Game Completion 44%
Level Completion 100%
Bosses Defeated 100%
Character Figurines Unlocked 41%
Concept Art Unlocked 9%
Antenna Frequencies Traced 100%
Petty Crimes Fought 50%
Oscorp Conspiracy Evidence Gathered 27%
Whitney Photo Articles Completed 10%
Enemy Types Photographed 0%
Sniper Teams Neutralized 0%
Car Chases Completed 0%
XTreme Video Challenges Completed 20%
XTreme Race Challenges Completed 10%
Oscorp Secret Labs Completed 100%
Hunters Destroyed 100%
Seekers Destroyed 70%
Signal Jams Completed 100%
Police Deadlocks Completed 0%
Infected Civilians Rescued 100%
Medical Patients Returned 100%
Upgrades 39/41
Indoor Pick Ups Collected 76/166
Comics Collected 203/600
Flying Comics Collected 8/100
Enemies Defeated 571
Combo Record 247
Signature Moves 247
Stealth Takedowns 70
Webshots Fired 6979
Damage Received 9851
Deaths 13
Web Rush Chains 7
Distance Traveled in Angel Drop 9km
Distance Traveled on Foot 34km
Distance Traveled with Reb Rush 31km
Distance Traveled Wall Running 1km
Distance Traveled Wall Crawling 2km
Distance Traveled Web Swinging 82km
XP Earned 73670
Tech Collected 3925

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

The Amazing Spider Man Review

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After looking at the cover in Gamestop for a very long time, I finally took the plunge and bought this title. There was no chance that the game would be under a 7 due to the style of gameplay and how fun the Spider Man games are so it was a safe investment. While the graphics and plot may not have been the greatest, the solid gameplay ensured that Spiderman has hit it out of the park once again. Spiderman may not be the best in all forms of entertainment, but when it comes to video games, no superhero consistently dishes out such great titles!

The plot of the game takes place after the first Amazing Spider Man movie. Smythe has taken over Oscorp and is developing a lot of robots to protect the city. Unfortunately, a virus gets out from one of the old human/animal hybrid experiments that had been going on. The city quickly becomes infected and Smythe orders the robots to destroy everyone. The only way to protect the human race is to eradicate it of course! Spiderman breaks The Lizard out of jail so that a cure can be developed. Will Connors be able to make one in time or is the city doomed!?

So, the plot is rather standard and I wouldn’t call it that engaging. It does try to play out a little like a movie, which is commendable, but probably utilizes the first person camera angle too much. We rarely get to see Spiderman on camera except for when you’re doing the Xtreme challenges later on. It’s also interesting to note that most of the bosses have nothing to do with the plot either. Spiderman just randomly runs across them while going from place to place. Just about every boss is a hybrid in this version so they are basically immune to the virus. The other bosses are typically robots.

The cutscenes do provide some unintentionally funny scenes though like when Peter and Connors are yelling at each other after the first cure doesn’t work. They keep spinning each other around trying to be menacing, but failing epicly and then Peter just faints. That was certainly not his best moment although I’m sure that he gave it his all. I felt bad for Stan Lee’s apartment though as Peter allows Connor’s to trash the place and also use up a lot of Stan’s money. The poor guy can’t catch a break right?

As for the graphics, I can safely say that they haven’t aged too well. It’s mostly that I don’t really like the style/colors that were used. Everything looks detailed, but in more of an unattractive/ugly way than the polished Spiderman 1/2/3 games for the Gamecube/PS3. Those games as well as the original PS1 titles just look better than The Amazing Spider Man. That’s just how it goes sometimes I suppose, but I expect better from a PS3 title. The soundtrack is really good though and the fast paced themes will really make web slinging around the city a lot of fun. The bosses and minions are also more engaging as a result. It may have the best themes in a Spiderman game as most of the other games were not that memorable in that respect.

All right, time to talk about the gameplay! That’s the aspect where the game really hit it out of the park. The hand to hand clashes have never been better as you are really in full control of when you want to dodge, web out of the fight, web the opponent, or throw some punches. The way that the controls are set up makes it so easy and so enjoyable. You could really just have fun beating up the opponents for quite a while, but if you are in a hurry then you can just throw something to stun them. Of course, the point is that you will rarely want the fights to end! Naturally, the boss battles are an extension of this and you will have fun laying into them. If you want to crush them all with ease, my favorite strategy is to punch, punch, punch, web away when the spider sense flashes, then immediately web back to them and punch some more. It works quite well for most of the bosses.

The web swinging part got a lot of mixed to negative reception back in the day and it is quite different. I’ll certainly admit that it’s weaker than it was in the older games. Webbing higher and lower is more difficult than it should be here and you also feel like molasses at times. Luckily, that’s what we have Web Zipping for. Also, it’s still not bad though and just doesn’t live up to the older games. I also like the free fall aspect as I have fun free falling for the lolz. It’s a nice effect.

Everything’s just so smooth and that’s a good thing because the game has a very nice amount of replay value. Naturally, collecting all of the trophies ensures that and I am actually aiming for the Platinum in this title at some point. For starters, there are 700 comic book pages to collect. No matter how fast you are at completing the levels, this is bound to take you some time. Playing the game in the night setting is the best way to go about this. There are also 20 Xtreme challenges to complete although those are rather short. There are a lot of people to rescue on the streets, Getaway Cars to snag, Police Copters to Assist, and many other missions throughout the city. We can’t forget the classic “Stop the muggers” missions that are a staple in the Spider Man series. The missions aren’t excessive, but they will definitely bump up the play time. You’ll also need to beat the game on hard mode to get some of the final trophies while also taking a lot of photos. The post game content is long without feeling over the top in terms of how much grinding you will have to do.

While it’s essentially been mentioned, I can’t stress enough how great it is for the city to be back here. Just web slinging across the city for no real reason can be a lot of fun and I missed that feature when they took it out for Edge of Time and Shattered Dimensions. Seeing it back in its full glory was great and the game did a tremendous job of recreating the place. You may even recognize some areas as you explore the place. I also liked the twitter feed that the game added during the loading screen. It’s cool to see what everyone’s saying as the disease spreads. I think it was a bit of a missed opportunity as there were no guest stars there are hidden references, but it was still a blast.

Overall, The Amazing Spider Man is a really good game for the PS3. It really keeps in all of the core Spider Man features that you have come to expect over the years. The plot isn’t as engaging as any of the older games (Friend or Foe not counting) and especially pales when compared to Edge of Time. Still, the gameplay will always be the most important factor for a game and it’s so much fun that the game will really pass by before you know it. The replay value just adds to the excitement! I would have liked some bonus costumes to wear though as those were fun in older games. Maybe I just haven’t found them yet. I highly recommend buying this game and you can experience the city like you used too!

Overall 8/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

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

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

The Amazing Spider Man Ends of The Earth Review

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All right, it’s time to check out a relatively modern Spider Man comic once again. Things didn’t go too well last time, but this is a big event so I’m sure that they would be more careful here. It’s pretty fun and while there are many weak aspects to be found, this volume succeeds in being fun. I can’t ask for much more than that and it was actually good. Not bad, not decent, but an actually good Spider Man comic. I count that as a success in my book.

Well, Doctor Octopus is finally making his big move on the world. He claims that he is actually doing it for the good of society though as he constructs a bit array around the planet. Essentially, it will protect us from global warming. Everyone on Earth has to give it some consideration and even the Avengers start to think that he could be on the up and up. Spider Man won’t have this and he bursts into the Avengers mansion declaring “Avengers Assemble!” Doc Ock wants millions of dollars for each of his men and to have their criminal records wiped out. He also decides to put a large bounty on Spider Man and makes him a legal criminal as well. The Avengers are on his side, but the rest of the world wants to take him out so Peter Parker is in for the fight of his life!

Spiderman fans should be pleased since he gets a lot of hype here. Not only is he more resourceful than the Avengers, but he is portrayed to be much smarter as well. You might let a small chuckle out as he walks into the Avengers planning room and basically chews them all out. He even tells them to “deal with it” at one point and the Avengers just take it. Trust me…it’s all pretty surreal. Avenger fans probably won’t be pleased to say the very least, but Spiderman fans should love every moment of this. He makes them all look like B level heroes when he’s in the room. I liked him here and this was back when he was more no nonsense. He’s not constantly flirting or making jokes when things are serious. He makes a controversial decision, but I’ll get into that later on.

The main thing that can be dicey is how bad the Avengers look. Keep in mind that this is a Spider Man comic of course. Still, the event begins with Spider Man and the Avengers attacking the Sinister 6…and getting crushed. Thor loses in one hit to the Rhino and likewise, Doc Ock beats Iron Man in the same fashion. Red Hulk is taken out by a random robot and the others are felled rather quickly. I suppose that it’s just how it goes, but watching the Sinister 6 actually win will likely make fans wince. The heroes don’t even really look out of character. They are perhaps a little gullible when they consider Doc Ock’s offer, but that’s about it. That being said, I still don’t buy that Thor can be mind controlled. That’s not how things went back in the day and it’s a change that I don’t agree with. It’s pretty sad to see them all become pawns in this grand scheme. They’re basically unified in their decision to attack the villains without a real plan. They shouldn’t need one in theory, but we still need to consider the fact that Electro and Sandman are legitimate threats even if the other villains are too weak to be worried about.

Naturally, this wouldn’t be a big event without some kind of controversial decision by the hero right? At one point, Rhino pins Silver Sable to the ground and declares that he shall not move an inch. The room is beginning to flood so Silver Sable definitely won’t survive this without Spiderman’s help. Spiderman will have to choose between stopping and saving her or continuing to where Doctor Octopus is. Time is ticking so he decides to go stop Ock since he needs to save the world. I believe that this was the wrong call. It should be noted that Silver Sable seems to have lived through this. It is a comic after all. I am going to assume that she used some kind of gadget or the Rhino was bluffing about staying there. There is also the decent chance that Silver Sable can hold her breath significantly longer than the Rhino and escaped after he fainted.

Nonetheless, Spiderman should not have deserted her during such an experience. Drowning is one of the more unpleasant ways to die and at least Ock’s strategy would destroy a lot of people in an instant. Also, Spiderman would have been able to get Rhino to move pretty quickly so he still could have stopped Ock in time. That’s why the Avengers were in space buying time right? Spiderman should have just trusted them to handle the situation for a few more minutes. The writer tried to show that the Rhino was simply too strong, but Spiderman definitely could have found a way to knock him over and free Silver Sable. Calling one of the Avengers would have also been good if he was able too. Just leaving Silver Sable to die made the victory hollow.

Since all of the big heroes are away or mind controlled, Spiderman has to seek help from others. Big Hero 6 and a UK hero arrive to help along with a Kangeroo guy. Big Hero 6 has the most enjoyable side plot and especially since I recently saw the film. All of the characters seem more likable than their movie counterparts and certainly more skilled. I don’t see them beating any big threats, but they can certainly help out a lot against the minions. It was fun to have these guest stars arrive.

Now, this is the part where I would typically mention how good the art is. Unfortunately, it was not very good despite the cover being incredible. The art style looks good sometimes, particularly in scenes without any movement. After that, things go downhill. The character models are really the biggest problem as the artist seems unclear on how to draw a body in motion without it becoming disproportionate in various areas. A big example is the face where the artist has the most trouble. The faces will stretch at times as if the characters are trying to be Mr Fantastic. The action scenes still look very flashy, but the quality certainly isn’t as high as you would hope. This is no Superman Unchained!

The writing is at a good level here so I don’t need to bash it. The “Deal with it” line is something I probably won’t forget, but in a way, it is cool to see Spiderman exercise his authority. If the heroes won’t give him his respect, then he shall take it. Not that respect is a problem here though. Seriously, the heroes are basically praising him from start to finish. Silver Sable is apparently a fan now as she realizes his true power and wit.

Speaking of which, there is a bonus story at the end where we see a time where Spiderman and Silver Sable teamed up with Doctor Strange to defeat Dr Doom. The actual plot is pretty lackluster as Dr Doom wants to marry someone for her magical powers, but at least this gives us an opportunity for some fights. You can argue that Dr Strange looks a little too under powered, but you can’t win every battle right? Spiderman gets his props though and he holds his own. The action kept the issue afloat, but the actual plot was bad enough to make it very sub par. We didn’t need romance here!

As for the Sinister Six, most of the members were decent or unlikable. I liked the Electro and this was a good interpretation of his character. Now that he is in control of his abilities, he’s certainly more than a match for just about any fighter. I’m glad that he didn’t back down from the Avengers. I still don’t like Doctor Octopus and shall never be able to take him seriously at this point. The Rhino looks very petty and the writers over hyped him. Spiderman certainly should have defeated him. The Sandman looks good and I do think that he would have done the right thing if he had been asked to help. Mysterio also helped when the going got tough and he’s not bad for an illusionist. I typically don’t care for those characters, but he seems pretty witty and he actually was pretty helpful. That wraps up most of the members. We also had some guest villains who helped out in the abroad battles and I would have certainly liked some spinoff issues to go more in depth over there. Some of the matchups looked like a lot of fun.

Overall, Ends of The Earth was actually a good Spiderman comic. Spiderman’s portrayal was solid as he stayed loyal to Mary Jane and he made for a good leader. His decision to leave Sable certainly wasn’t a good one as well as his decision to let Sable go through with her acid attack for as long as he did. At least Sandman can’t really feel pain when in his sand state, but it was still a bit much. The Avengers don’t look as professional as usual and they are very under powered, but you have to remember that this is a Spiderman comic. The art is pretty lack luster though and the backup comic isn’t very good. I recommend checking this out for a quick read, but keep in mind that it’s not going to be winning any awards for you. On the bright side, you can compare the Big Hero 6 team from the comics to the movie counterparts. Also, this leads up to Superior Spider Man so now you can see why that event even happened in the first place.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

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

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

The Amazing Spider Man Learning To Crawl Review

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It’s time to look at another Spiderman comic by Slott. No worries, it’s much better than the last volume that I read by him. It’s a tale of Spiderman’s early days as a hero and we learn some new things about his situation. It’s a pretty decent comic and while I had some complaints with Peter and Aunt May’s portrayal, they still looked good on the whole.

All right, the story takes place a little after Spider Man got bit by the spider..or I guess I should say, Parker. Peter Parker still has the adventures that he was in from the old days, but now we have some new ones that happened alongside them. A kid looked up to Parker, but after he was humiliated in a sparring match with Spider Man, he turned to the dark side and became a villain known as Clash. He uses sound to fight, which is a pretty interesting gimmick. Can Spider Man balance his school troubles while holding steady as Spiderman? Only time will tell!

The comic is really a slice of life about Peter during his school days. The writing is pretty good considering that Slott is here and it’s actually pretty enjoyable to see Parker’s adventures. There isn’t a lot of action to be found here, but that’s all right because the comics are still pretty fun to read. As far as early day stories go, it’s constructed pretty well. I dare say that it’s more enjoyable than Batman’s many early stories although it’s still not as good as All Star Superman.

Clash also makes for a pretty decent villain. His sonic powers may not be completely original, but they actually aren’t used all that much so it’s fun to see. It’s also pretty realistic since the kid is just a guy who’s very smart. Giving him real super powers would have been odd and the sonic ones that he creates are technically possible. He has a pretty good life and it can be sad to see him go down into the dark side. He was a genius and he was bound to be rich and famous at that rate. His parents helped him be successful, but they weren’t overbearing about it and actually seemed to be good people. It just goes to show why people think Spiderman is a bad influence on people. Of course, it wasn’t actually his fault as Clash was already getting full of himself, but the kid did want to be like his hero.

Peter Parker’s portrayal is a mixed bag as I hinted earlier. He just seems to be a bit mean at some points like when he humiliated Clash on the roof. He is pretty bitter at how his neighbors kept accepting handouts without giving anything in return, but given the situation it can be a little hard to blame him. He doesn’t actually tell the neighbors about this so he does a good job of holding it in. His school troubles are pretty intense as you may expect, but most of it isn’t his fault. Stealing from the lab was the only point where he really crossed the line. He is a fairly likable character here and you do have to factor in the fact that this takes place during his early days so a few slip ups are to be expected.

Aunt May’s portrayal also gets dicey at one point. She is still very nice to Peter and a good supporting character to have around. However, she looks really bad in any scene that involves Spiderman. The reason why she dislikes the hero is poorly executed and you will just think that she is an unreasonable character. It is hard to believe that she didn’t notice Spideman saving her during the sound attack. Blaming both fighters is never the right call. I still dislike it when the main character gets called out in a film for sticking up to the bully. That’s just not cool.

As for the artwork, it is average level. I wouldn’t say that it is very good, but it certainly isn’t bad. You can say that it is just good enough that you can follow what is happening and enjoy it, but not good enough to make you praise it. The artist appeared to be trying to emulate the style of the 60’s to an extent and that was pretty neat. The visuals look pretty good when Clash is activating his abilities. Sound covers a large area and the art does make sure to depict this. It does make you wonder how Spiderman dodged the blast at times, but I guess that you just have to dodge the center of the blast.

The cast was pretty small, but that left more time for character development. The story was interesting and that gave this volume the edge that it needed to be a good adventure. If the Spiderman comics could always be this good, that would be great. Maybe there is hope for The Amazing Spiderman (Specials and Point 1) comics after all….maybe. Again, it is rather ambitious to keep on adding to Spiderman’s origins and I doubt that it is easy on the continuity, but it can be pretty hilarious to look at the new twists. Remember Silk or Iron Man’s alien twist? Hopefully not…

The twist about there being other “nerds” (Don’t care for the term, but all of the characters use it so it may as well be their title) was intriguing since Parker apparently never noticed them during his school days. The poor hero had to just eat by himself for a long time. He falls out with those guys pretty quickly so they’re still a nonfactor, but at least he got to make some friends for a brief period of time. I didn’t care for any of those characters, but they tried their best to be likable. If Parker hadn’t stole that lab equipment…things could have been different. I think Spidey could have come out on top without stealing the tech, but I suppose that it is merely a hypothetical case.

Overall, This volume of Spider Man really wasn’t bad. This volume is pretty short (Yes, most trades for ongoing series are short, but this one really feels shorter than usual.) so you’ll be done with it very quickly. The pacing helps the story to move quickly and the short size is likely a good thing, but it’s worth noting if you’re planning on buying this one. Parker and Aunt May may have been a little off, but I wasn’t expecting their portrayals to be perfect anyway. It’s a pretty fun adventure through and through so it definitely deserves a positive rating this time. I recommend checking this out if you want to relive the original Spiderman days. Before the world of guest stars and whatnot so it’s a pure Spiderman story. It’s certainly not the most action packed comic out there, but it’s entertaining and that’s what counts. This could end up being one of the best superhero origin day volumes in quite a while so that’s pretty cool for our Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman! (We finally learn how he got that title as well)

Overall 6/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

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

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

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