This issue marks the first time that Venom has shown up since this series was canceled a little bit ago, so I’m really excited about. Let’s hop straight into the thick of things.
The story starts with Flash returning to New York after his run in the Venom comics had him in New Jersey and to the side of Betty Brant. For those who don’t know Flash Thompson is Agent Venom, a secret avenger wearing a Symbiote that allows him the use of his legs since they were amputated because he was a badass at war and saved an ally. The Symbiote is supposed to be docile through the use of drugs, but that was a lie considering that when he was marked as a possible Demon Lord it passed the mark onto his new side-kick, Mania. He’s a Spider-Man fanboy, pre-body-jacking, but had the misfortune of running across Spider-Man after an insane clown tried to kill his girlfriend and a fight ensued since the Symbiote treats seeing Spider-Man (when not doped up) like a jilted lover.
Now, Betty Brant was his girlfriend until her brother, Crime Master, had targeted her and Flash (who she broke up with because he was Venom and kept it a secret) and was killed for it by her. So, naturally, she isn’t pleased to see him but called him up first when someone with the name of her dead brother shows up . Thus, ass-kicking ensues.
On the other side of town, Otto is getting his company off the ground. It’s a busy day, what with his girlfriend, a vigilante he’s tangled with, and former employee of Horizon working for him as well as his biggest investors, Aunt May and her beau, visiting. He reveals he finally got those artificial limbs working so Aunt May could walk without a cane. At least the douche managed to keep his word on that, so it somewhat touches my heart.
Meanwhile, the police chief is investigating Carlie’s kidnapping last issue. She thinks Spider-Man is responsible for this since her place has been ransacked and he’s got those spider-bots everywhere. She’s wrong, but only because she has no reason to suspect that its due to the Goblin King, simply because no one good knows he’s around.
Back with Otto, after Aunt May leaves, he finds his girlfriend working with glowing marine-life and asks her to meet Peter’s parents. She thinks he’s moving too fast, but she likes that about him and, yes dammit, its sweet as hell. But since they have a free moment they decide to get busy before he’s called away for Spider-Man business…Naturally his luck, much like Peter’s, ends when his men spot Venom fighting and has him come along with bots in tow.
He gives the police there a call telling them to hold off so he can handle this. Mayor JJ agrees to it, but only because Otto has him by the balls. But he thinks of a way out of it involving his robots and thus we have more fodder for a future plot.
Meanwhile, Venom is cleaning up the trash, learning that the original Hobgoblin, Kingsley, has been selling super-villain identities. For the record he’s sold Mysterio and his own Hobgoblin identity as franchises. Flash gets pissed when he learns he’s fighting a wannabe and then Spider-Man shows up.
Now, as far as Otto knows, Venom is a villain, so he naturally unleashes hell using the Symbiote’s weakness: Fire and Sonics. He goes down quick, banking on the fact that Spider-Man knows him as Flash. He’s been out of town, so he doesn’t know that Spider-Man isn’t who he used to be and is about to be fried.
Okay, so great introduction issue for the arc, but for those who haven’t been following Venom since Spider-Island it will leave them confused as to what he’s doing or what he’s been up to. Nice to see some progress and there was a short, but explosive fight. The artwork was impressive as well, so my complaints are minimal in that some facts will only make sense as long as you have read the Venom comics.
Issue gets a 4 out of 5.
Cyclops’ revolutionary team has an assortment of powers among their new recruits, but out of all of them the one who lacks any development to them or his power is Benjamin Deeds. He’s been wallpaper up to this point, useless in general. It’s time to change that and who better to do it than the only member of the team with a teaching degree, Emma Frost.
Issue #14 begins with a training session taking place after Battle of the Atom, but before the O5 X-Men and Kitty get there. It’s basically a requirement of the X-Men to be able to fight and endure, so having them climb a rocky mountain or hill or whatever in the rain is no surprise. Along the way they discuss how things are going to go down when the O5 get here, with Emma taking shots at Scott throughout the training session, when Benjamin is the last to reach the top and complains about it.
Cyclops, in a rather dickish but accurate move, points out he needs training more than the rest as his powers have no known combat usage. He then hits him and tells him to hit back, which he fails to do so and gets flipped and chewed out with the whole ‘You are not ready’ point. After a shower and an attempt at a pep talk by Triage, he returns to his room to find Emma there and dressed in something that I’d expect Magik to be wearing.
Emma doesn’t need telepathy to read his mind: His powers aren’t as openly awesome as the others, he doesn’t feel like he belongs, he doesn’t know what to push for because he doesn’t know what he can offer. So she pressures him and notices that Benjamin’s powers are more than transformation, but has an effect that makes you feel good about everything as long as he’s around. Thus she decides to take him out for a night.
Magik joins the pair and takes them to Atlantic City, where she tells him to chat up a random girl. He says he’s gay, but I’m not sure he’s serious given that he seems to constantly stare at Magik’s ass. Either way, the attempt goes poorly and he’s forced to flee while Magik notes Emma is being more patient and she claims its Character Development.
In order to elude capture Benjamin tries again and this time he’s more successful, chatting up a girl and shifting his hair to match her own. Emma has him do it more while sending word to Cyclops and we get a montage of him bonding with a variety of people before she has Magik drag him to the Financial District to deliver a letter. He gets it done, but it nearly gets him arrested since she sent him into a SHIELD compound and had him deliver Cyclops’ declaration of war.
Note this type of place has very high security and he just walked up to the big brass. Assassination potential very high. Magik saves him and he gets a pat on the back from the big man himself, stating its time he got himself a Mutant Name.
Now, this issue was filler to me, but character development is always welcomed. At first I thought the guy was going to be another Mystique, which isn’t a bad thing, but he can be more. His ability screws over recording devices and charms people, in addition to a level of transformation. He’s an infiltration expert, a spy in the making, and thus useful.
Despite lacking the violence I love, it gets a 4 out of 5.
Fanfics I have wrote that have been updated:
Summary: Harry Potter may be the brother of the Boy-Who-Lived and his parents may still be alive, but that doesn’t mean everything is perfect. While he may not want anything to do with the upcoming war between Light and Dark, he’ll end up walking between them. An AU fanfic involving Harry Potter as a Ravenclaw and based off Neither Light nor Dark: Steelclaws & Gray Coats.
Summary: Being Spider-Man cost him his uncle, mother, and crippled his father, leaving Miles a broken young man still putting together the pieces. But the city needs him, so he reluctantly dons the mask for a second time, and join hands with a few others to become what the city needed, but not without a price as they would learn in their journey to be heroes.
Fanfics that I have found interesting and have recently been updated:
A Fate Stay Night Fanfic
Summary: Emiya Kiritsugu was happy living the rest of his short days. He had put his past behind him… until he began to dream of futures that had yet to be. Let it be known that the Magus Killer was not dangerous simply because he was dying and had no plans to fight.
A Harry Potter/FSN Fanfic
Summary: The series is a retelling of Harry Potter books with the titular character, alongside two other ones readers didn’t really care about, being replaced by three characters (Emiya Shirou, now known as Shirou von Einzbern; Aozaki Takara, with her name unchanged; Jester, with his name becoming Galen Salvatore) from one of his earlier works. With Neville Longbottom being the one of whom the prophecy speaks after Harry Potter’s death at the hands of Lord Voldemort, they are trying to fix what is left of the world they knew from books and movies, to have a place to live.
A Fate Stay Night/Sword Art Online Fanfic
Summary: Before the start of fifth year, Dumbledore changes the plans. Unfortunately he didn’t bother to inform Harry. At his trial, Harry realises that it is down to him to save his own skin. To do so, his Slytherin side must come out to play, and once it’s out, it sticks around. Now Dumbledore and the Ministry alike must watch their backs…
A To Aru Majutsu Fanfic
Summary:AU/Rewrite. In a city where science has made the impossible mundane, a young man meets a very strange girl, who speaks to him of things yet stranger. Meanwhile, four friends stumble into a conspiracy that threatens to overturn everything they thought they knew about their home.
A Naruto Fanfic
Summary: What do you get when you cross several interdimensional god like beings, raw boredom, a world of Naruto that went wrong, several years worth of off screen training, common sense, insanity, humor, sarcasm, the Log, explosions, plot, and overall chaos? Apparently a lot of headache medicine for Tsunade. May the Games Begin. Sequel to Yet Again With A Little Extra Help.
A Naruto Fanfic
Summary: Being ignored and gazed at with hatred can lead someone to become a boisterous and loud orange-wearing shinobi, but it can also drive him to become a silent and invisible introvert. Of the two, Naruto takes the logical choice for a future in the Ninja World. Team Sai-Naruto-Sakura. No pairings. Future of bloodshed and grittiness assured.
A Sword Art Online Fanfic
Summary: What if Akihiko Kayaba had created the Death Game of Alfheim Online rather than the floating castle of Aincrad—a world in which the nine player races are in competition to escape the game, and player killing was not a crime but rather a predictable product of human nature and tribalism in the face of mutually exclusive goals? AU reboot of the SAO universe. **SPOILERS IN REVIEWS**
A Fate Stay Night Fanfic
Summary: “With swords that aren’t yours, with skills that aren’t yours, for dreams that aren’t yours. Your entire existence is a lie!” – “Then I’ll show you that even fake dreams can become reality.” A different choice, a different path, a different FATE. Shirou/Multi
A Naruto Fanfic
Summary: Kakashi made a mistake. Shikamaru is smart. Shino is skilled. Naruto is strong. Maybe something amazing could happen, with the right …motivation.
Yeah, this issue has a string of coincidences that saves Otto and hands the bad guys even more ammunition, but I liked it.
The story starts Stunner attacking the Daily Bugle for information on how to find Spider-Man so she can break his face in for killing Otto, who she loved. Yes, the irony is delicious given Otto is Spider-Man. Once it is pointed out that the spider-bots are worse than N.S.A and lets him track crimes-in-progress, she gets the idea to commit a crime in progress with the one currently staring her in the face.
Back with Otto, he’s trying to save his skin from the claims of plagiarizing the works of Otto Octavius since he’s wearing Peter’s body as a meat suit. He suits up when he receives word on Stunner and goes to handle this personally since she’s kinda of his problem at the moment. She states she regained her consciousness the moment Spider-Man killed Otto, and attacks. Again, irony.
We then skip to Carlie at the grave of Otto Octavius, where Peter was buried in his body. She mourns for him, thinking that she should have listened to him after everything they went through when they broke up and vowed to rat Otto out. Unfortunately for her the powers that be decided against this since the grave was booby-trapped and Otto’s body exhumed by someone, leaving her captured.
Back to Stunner vs Otto, she explained that after he was killed by Kaine once she gave up her life to bring him back in a ritual, which put her in the coma, only to wake once he died and have nothing left but her pain and hologram. Otto quickly traps her in new webbing since he’s pressed for time, while having something akin to pity and respect for the woman who he does owe a lot to, sending his bots to remotely shut down her VR program while he pays a little visit to Lamaze for screwing him over back at the campus.
He finds Anna Marie defending him, once again showing that she’s too good for Otto. Stunner decides to interrupt that by tossing a bus at him filled with innocent people that heads straight for her once it misses him. It’s not intentional, but she was this close to offing her main competitor for Love Interest until Otto saves them. Unfortunately it leaves his hands filled as Stunner beats him over the head, demanding the last words he utter be Otto’s name.
He can’t fight since Lamaze pushes Anna down under the bus to get away, douche-bag, and Otto was begging Stunner to stop so she didn’t get hurt. He was this close to confessing his identity to save Anna when those spider-bots shut her down. The day is saved and so are the girls, but to ensure that Stunner’s not a problem Otto steals her VR equipment and meets her in an avatar of his old body before it broke down.
He breaks her heart, surprisingly gently, before paying Lamaze a little visit. While we get an outline of what was said, we do know he withdrew his complaint about Peter the next day. In other words, Otto gets away with everything he’s done. But what should have been a happy ending (for him) is spoiled when we learn that Carlie was kidnapped by a goblin that claims to be her sister and they have her evidence she was going to present to the Avengers, meaning things have gotten worse in the long run.
Okay, issue looked good and the story progressed. We have Otto acting as somewhat less of a douche, always a bonus, but the show stealer was Anna Marie and her influence on him. She’s one of the best characters in Superior Spider-Man and makes him want to be a better person. I’m actually afraid for her once the Goblin Nation arc kicks off.But first Venom and Mania are coming next issue, sweet! Issue gets a 4 out of 5.
Well, the end is nigh in the Ultimate Universe. At least that’s what some people think anyway and I can’t blame them. As Galactus from the 616 Universe runs rampant on the extremely under-prepared world, I’ll be covering what’s happening in Miles’ corner of the event rather than the Ultimates’ Last Stand or the X-Men. With that said, let’s get into Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1, shall we?
It starts out with Jessica Drew asking if she was fired for the raid on Roxxon with the Ultimates, who just now learns she’s a clone of Peter Parker since it was apparently classified. Whoops. Captain America thinks she just did her job bringing in bad people doing bad things, while the director states that they had defense contracts with them and says this wasn’t her doing, but Nick Fury’s since she inherited it from him. The discussion comes full circle with Jessica wanting to lead an investigation into Roxxon.
We then skip to Miles sleeping in class, angering the teacher who asks him the usual question that he should only know the answer to if he wasn’t sleeping or she would call his father. He actually gets it right and saves himself. We then skip to Lana, who broke parole by using her powers before she turned eighteen. She states she didn’t want to follow her mother’s footsteps but being a hero felt good, before she runs away from the parole office.
Back to Miles in costume, he ends up breaking up a fight when he gets hit by a beer bottle. Apparently people doubted it was him, claiming the costume was still in bad taste until he webs up the entrance. Webs are the ultimate proof. The police show up and actually hugs him, claiming it was good to have him back. Miles is as confused as we are since the last time he saw them they were shooting at him, but I guess a year off the clock made them fond of the costume.
Tandy and Tyrone are alone in the meantime, with him telling her that their parents gave up on them. She insists he takes her home, where they discover that it was abandoned. Heartbroken, and with no where else to go, we have another case of them discovering that heroics feels good and wondering how they go full time. It’s then that Galactus shows up and the issue ends.
Okay, so great art as usual. That goes without saying, and the plot is moving along nicely.
We’ve learned a bit more about Lana since her absence from the series, namely that she was on a super-power parole and she wasn’t raised to know that being good feels good. Given her mother’s lengthy jail sentence prior to her birth and after it should come as no surprise. And she’s cleaned up her language a lot.
Tandy and Tyrone have come to terms with the fact that their parents abandoned them, at least at the moment, and have decided to make the hero thing a part of their life. Great timing, since the end of the world is upon them. Here’s hoping for the best.
Issue gets a 4 out of 5.
Another deliciously long episode and an excellent way to cap off the end of the first season. Let’s get into the review, shall we?
The episode begins with Sun, the monkey-dude from before excited to finally get her talking, although he ends up putting his foot into his mouth after bashing White Fang. Turns out not only was Blake a member, but she was practically born into it.
Originally White Fang was meant to be a symbol of unity between the two races, but discrimination by humans led to them becoming the voice of the people with protests and boycotts until five years ago, when a new leader took over and started the violence. The sad thing is it worked. Not out of respect, but fear, and she decided that she was going to leave.
After Sun asks if her friends know, we then skip to them looking for her. Weiss suggests getting the police involved, for her being a supposed terrorist, but Yang insists on getting her side of the story. Penny then arrives and points out she knew she was a Faunes at a glance, something they didn’t, and then vows help them find her as they split up.
Blake states to Sun that White Fang never needed that much Dust before so she doesn’t think it’s them, so Sun suggests they find out by staking out a huge shipment of Dust. It seems she was wrong, as people in White Fang armor are stealing it, until Roman Torchwick starts mouthing off and she figures they would never work with a human like him and holds him a swordpoint. He claims they have a business agreement and then fires at her, causing a big enough scene for Ruby and Penny to see in the distance.
She’s forced to take cover as Sun applies the Boot-to-the-Head on Roman and then gets surrounded. He promptly busts out the Monkey Staff and beats down on them until Blake takes a shot for him and goes after Roman. It turns out the dude actually knows a thing or two about fighting and manages to keep them at bay long enough to drop a crate on them and hold Sun at gunpoint, until Ruby show up with Penny.
Penny, unfortunately, distracts Ruby and Roman proves to be savvy by shooting at her that moment, knocking her down and angering the tag-along. Penny then lays on copious amounts of ass-kicking with swords that float behind her like wings and can even fire a laser beam that takes out gun ships. It reminds me of Namine on Dead Fantasy. Roman quickly leaves like a good villain to save his ass.
When Weiss and Yang approaches them, Weiss has apparently had a lot of time to think and decides she doesn’t care about who she was, only that she’ll come to them the next time something this big comes up. The episode ends with Penny being taken away and Ozpin receiving a message from Qrow about Ruby. Credits roll and season one ends with a stinger involving Roman and three others.
Okay, the episode was perfect and gets a full score, but let’s talk about the entire series. This entire damn thing has been awesome, the fluid animation during battle and the story itself being interesting as several people from different walks of life come together to be monster-killing badasses. Not just that, but it has character development at its finest.
I can honestly say, for something of this nature to be developed by such a small team is nothing short of amazing and they impressed me for it. True, I was annoyed with how short the episodes were occasionally, but they all came together wonderfully and I only regret the next season isn’t out.
Buy the Blue-Ray or DVD when it comes out on the 12th.
When we left off, our two heroes (the ones in the title of the article) faced down each other’s supervillain. Green Arrow gets to break a bow over Red Hood while Batman deals with the rocky, toasty Brick.
I admire Red Hood, because fighting in a leather jacket really lessens maneuverability. Though despite it looking super cool, he’s also about to brawl with a man who doesn’t wear sleeves, so the fashion victory lays at his feet from the start. I’m not going to show you the entire fight, but enough so you get an idea. Batman and Green Arrow are Justice League members after all.
Danny Brickwell, currently known as the Star City kingpin Brick, has metahuman superpowers that give him some level of invulnerability and super strength. While not trained by Batman/League of Assassins like the verbose Red Hood, Brick still enters the battlefield as a formidabble opponent…
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And by pal around I mean grimace and yell at each other. Green Arrow has a reputation for being snarky and difficult to work with, and Batman puts his desire for politeness right next to his desire to make out with Commissioner Gordon. We can agree that they’re probably friends, and their lack of superpowers certainly bonds them in some way. But I have a feeling that Batman would just prefer if everyone around him shuts up, making noise only to quietly golf clap every time a batarang pierces a henchman’s head.
Today, our adventure in Green Arrow’s hometown Star City takes place in Green Arrow #69-72, written by Judd Winick and drawn by Scott McDaniel. One of Batman’s baddies touched down in the area, and our Dark Knight arrives to collect the missing piece of his rogues gallery. That and to give away crazy amounts of money.
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This delightfully long episode begins with team RWBY venturing to the docks undergoing preparations for a festival when they come across the crime scene of a Dust shop. The criminals took all the Dust but left the money in the register, which Ruby seems to recall being the same thing that happen when she met Roman Torchwick.
We then learn that White Fang is a collection of Faunes who, apparently, want to wipe humanity from the face of the earth. Given that this is Weiss talking I take it with a grain of salt as she promptly says something that seems offensive to all Faunes. As Yang tries to counter her point, its then that a Faunes stowaway on one of the boats makes a break for it.
They chase him until Weiss crashes into a girl named Penny, who’s weird even by their standards, and Weiss keeps insults Faunes, which aggravates Blake and starts an argument between them that lasts until they get back home. Weiss then mentions that the White Fang keeps targeting her family, including that train robbery in Blake’s trailer, and it made her childhood rather unpleasant. Her rebuttal eventually causes Blake to say something that gives away she was a member of White Fang.
She then runs out into the night, stopping long enough to remove her ribbon and reveal she has Cat Ears and is a Faunes herself, when the one from before calls out to her. Come morning the others go looking for her, while she sits with the guy from before and enjoys tea before the episode ends on a cliffhanger.
I hate when they end it on a cliffhanger at the good point, but this episode delves into the issues of the world that the girls live in, showing that beneath Blake’s cool exterior there exists a troubled young woman. While I normally like my episodes with a good helping of action, this one gets a perfect score as well since the only fault with it was that it cuts off on a cliffhanger that will hopefully be resolved next week.