Magneto #1 Review
Something violent to wash down the aftertaste of this week’s Uncanny X-Men
The Master of Magnetism has struck out on his own and I’ll be following along in the path of destruction he has laid out as we review the first issue of the Magneto solo series.
The story starts in Cape Girardean, Missouri, where some unfortunate barista is having the pleasure of being questioned about the murder that transpired moments ago. And when I say murder, I mean the victim got skewered by sign posts through his mouth until he was pinned to the ground. The barista states that the assassin knew his routine and had a brief discussion before he ripped the fillings out of the victim’s mouth, threw him into the street, and then replaced them with said sign posts, and that for this guy killing was like autopilot.
We then go to Kansas, where Magneto contemplates his circumstances in the motel. He knows he’s got a one-way trip to hell, but right now what he’s doing is for the greater good of mutants and so his actions are all that matters. This is shown in a minor flashback to when he met the victim of the murder, who contributed to many of the Anti-Mutant organizations even if he never once pulled the trigger himself. Magneto made him pay for what he did in the past by taking away his future and he would do the same for others.
It’s then a maid arrives and gives him some newspapers that he asked for. He can tell she knows the name he’s given her is an alias and that he’s dangerous, but very few people know what Magneto looks like without the helmet. Still, he makes sure to tip her very well. Never let it be said he was mean to the help.
He then goes to his poster board map, which outlines where he’s tracking down the enemies of mutants. He’s lower on resources than before, going from some of the most sophisticated tech to old laptops and newspaper clippings, but he’s still managed to stay out of the hands of SHIELD and those who would be interested in him. SHIELD’s gone as far as to place fake reports of attacks on mutants to draw him out, but he can tell real from fake and figures they won’t take him seriously until he hits a target too big to ignore.
Until then he focuses on his next target, in Mountain Air, California. It took him awhile to get there since he was flying under the radar, and while tracking the killer of three mutants was easy enough he didn’t expect him to turn himself in. Magneto acknowledges that he’s jailed, but thinks that’s too little of a punishment and not nearly severe enough for the grimness of his crime.
So he strolls into a police station and calmly calls forth all the metal he can to clear out the cops while reforming a helmet to match the rocking black motif he’s got going on. I doubt it’ll offer him psychic protection like the normal one does, but it’s the image that counts. After taking care of the police in the way, he confronts the killer who seems frightful and wants him to leave, even shocked that he murdered someone. Then the freaky stuff happens.
His chest tears open, his arms twist into weaponry, and he opens fire upon Magneto. He’s a poor-man’s version of the Omega Sentinel, a human turned into a death machine. Magneto puts him out of his misery by ripping the machinery away, leaving him dying and in pain.
In the man’s final moments Magneto asks who turned him into that monster, realizing he was as much of a victim as those he killed. He gets a location and relates to his pain of being unable to stop himself like he was on autopilot. And then he swears to find the ones responsible for this and make them pay as well as the first issue ends.
Okay, review time.
Now, this was a good start overall. The plot picks up some time after Magneto dropped a building on Mystique and flew off, so we’re catching up on what he’s like after doing this for some time. There’s no time wasted in-between and we get straight to the grittiness that’s evident in the artwork.
Character-wise, I felt Magneto was spot on. He’s always had mutants’ best interest at heart and punishes those who deserved it for endangering the species. While he’s had moments where he was a flat-out villain, the current version of him tries not to overdo the killing of innocents or straight-up human bashing. You could see it on his face in the final page that he felt bad about it, but there was really little choice in the matter…that being said, if you try to lynch him after he saves your ass from a train wreck, he will drop all the wreckage on you.
I can’t really think of any faults to the story for the opening of the series and it was a decent read, so I’m giving Magneto #1 (2014) a perfect 5 out of 5.
Uncanny X-Men #18 Review
Fair Warning: This Review Contains Heavy Swearing
…Yeah, I can’t say I’m enthusiastic about this art or issue but I’ve been reviewing the series for a minute and that means I write about the good and the bad. And boy was there a lot of bad in Issue #18 of Uncanny X-Men. So I going to do this, but it’s going to be short and I will be using many, many swear words.
The story begins with the NXS kids and staff returning from somewhere in what appears to be the Blackbird, sometime after the botched Tabula Rasa training mission judging from how they say Tempus has been nagging on Cyclops to take Hijack back into their group for some time. You wouldn’t know time had passed given that her hair is short again while Phoebe’s is missing a distinctive shade of red. Yeah, if I didn’t have enough issues with the art before, I’m going to bitch about that later on. Anyway, it’s the aftermath of the beginning of the Trial of Jean Grey event and as such they find the All New X-Men group gone and the flashbacks begin.
The first one starts with two weeks ago, where Cyclops is training with his broken powers when Magik decides to bring Kitty to meet with him and then goes to hold the rest of the NXS back so they don’t interfere while the two come to terms with themselves. Kitty pretty much puts her fingers inside his head and threatens to kill him by un-phasing just enough for it to damage his brain. Arguments that have already been fucking discussed get brought up again, which understandable given it is a flashback to before BotA, and they whine about it for a minute until he asks her what she needs, which we already knew was a place to stay with the Teenage Original 5 X-Men.
Then, a week later, they pick up with the O5 arriving and some of the worst scenes in the series with Emma Frost bitching about bringing teenage Jean Grey to stay with them. And then the scene between Cyclops and Teen Jean and Teen Cyclops was…lackluster. It was not only short, but what should have been an emotional session that tugged at my heartstrings was a waste of three pages.
Back in the present they wonder what steps they should take next. These range from securing a space-craft and going after them, trusting them to make it on their own and so on. It then ends with Cyclops firing into the sky.
Okay, review time…
What. The. Hell?
Leaving aside the fact that this art is not my cup of tea—I mean come on, the continuity errors with Eva and Phoebes’ appearances, the lack of eyes some times, the horrendous expressions, and the sheer amount of wasted space was something that spits in the face of those who bought the comic—what is wrong with the writer?
Having Eva whining about Hijack twelve times like a little girl? Come on now, you can do better when you come from the future. Given some legitimate reasons like if he goes rogue or something, and then take Cyclops, Emma, Magik, and the Stepford sisters, into a private room and do that psychic projection thing that they did in Battle of the Atom so they have a leg up on what’s going down.
And then Emma? What was this? She was practically cordial to her teenage-rival in Battle of the Atom and to this damn point in this series. Granted the moment she saw an adult Jean Grey she tried to gouge out her eyes, but we all knew that was coming. Being so childish and saying she would bring a baby Colossus to their time and see how they liked it…that doesn’t make any sense coming from the former White Queen and Headmistress of the X-Men.
And then the reunion between Cyclops, Jeen, and Tyke? Short, inconclusive, and a waste of three pages like I said prior. This could have gone a lot better, and I mean that in every sense of the word.
And then the plot? Wasted. We just got one team member kicked off, one sent to the future or past and back, and a looming confrontation with SHIELD…and you give me this piece of garbage, Marvel? The majority of the issue covered the prelude and aftermath of the ANXM kids coming to the school. They turned what should have been inserted directly after that waste of time and money that was the most useless crossover of the year, Battle of the Atom, into a goddamn filler piece that does little to nothing and keeps away from the meat of the good stuff. And there was no damn closure at the end at that.
This issue…words do not begin to describe how disappointed I am. People were already whining Cyclops’ revolution was taking too long, and you put useless filler that would have been better several issues ago in with bad art? Fuck you, Marvel, for adding to the problem when I legitimately like the series.
This Issue is getting a 1 out of 5.
Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #3 Review
Okay, the winter break is over and comics have returned to being their usual selves, so I’m back with my review of the end of the current Ultimate Universe. That’s right, they’re relaunching it in the spring. But more on that after the review of Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #3.
So it starts with two pilots attempting to land a plane, ignoring when the military tells them that they need to break off since there isn’t a New Jersey anymore. It goes poorly and they pass by Galactus. This goes about as well as you expect.
It then skips back to Miles being a dunderhead and revealing himself to his father. Jefferson take it poorly, although it is somewhat understandable since he believes Miles killed his Uncle and led to the death of his Mother. Now, Miles could make several arguments in his case, like his Uncle being the reason he gained his powers and used him before trying to kill him, but there isn’t enough time.
You see, that plane got swatted out of the sky and came down right in their neighborhood so Miles had to go be a hero, leaving his father behind to cry over everything. At the scene of the wreck Jessica tells him to put his mask back on and they get to rescuing the survivors. Guess who’s inside that plane?
None other than John J. Jameson, who Miles manages to get him to safety just as the thing goes up in a fireball. They need to evacuate everyone as soon as possible before the whole place goes up, when Cloak and Dagger pop in to help with his teleporting thing. After the first wave of people are gone, the plane blows up a little more and the tail wing comes crashing down to crush hem, but Bombshell swoops in and blows it to ashes.
The team is all together and JJJ tells them all that when this is over, he’s going to change their lives. Hopefully in a good way, considering they’re saving him like he saw Peter doing during Ultimatum. With that taken care of, Miles goes home to find his dad missing and looks upset about it for a second before Captain America tells him they’re coming to get him, ending the Cataclysm version of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.
So now it ends where Ultimate’s Last Stand #2 did, with Miles heading off to the 616 Universe in hopes of finding the Reed Richards of that universe and getting him to stop Galactus. Now, I want to say Jefferson is a douchebag for spurring his son away, but it’s mostly the circumstances. Miles springs this on him during the end of the world, so you could understand he’s a little stressed.
Therefore, I’m waiting until things pick up after the relaunch to see what’s going on. If they sit down and talk about it, without him kicking the boy out of the house, then I’ll keep my opinion of him high. Otherwise, another shitty parent.
Issue gets a #5 out 5 for heroes being heroes.
Now, on the subject of the relaunch. They’re ending Ultimate Comics Spider-Man this year and no other Ultimate series has a solicitation in March except one called ‘Survive’, which is the aftermath of Cataclysm. However, it became made clear that they are relaunching in April, as they did after Ultimatum, according Comic Book Cast 2.
Better than nothing I suppose, but since I only review the Spider-Man right now it remains to be seen if I’ll cover it. Chances are good if its a team book with the kids and Jessica, but if its the Ultimates then screw that. They’re dysfunctional as hell.
Edit: Apparently they are releasing the new team book under All-New Ultimates…way to be original, Marvel. Oh well, at least Kitty might be in it.
Superior Spider-Man #24 Review
A face not even Aunt May could love…
Otto has officially gone off the deep-end in Superior Spider-Man #24. Just how far you ask? Read on and find out.
The story picks up with Venom merging with Otto to become the Superior Venom. However, the symbiote immediately regrets it when it notes its old host tastes bad and tries to go back to Flash. Must be the octopus taste. Otto, however, refuses to let it go and puts a smackdown on both Flash and Cardiac when they try to stop him, stating with its power and his mind there was no limit to what they could do. He then busts out of his own lab and decides to prove that he’s in control by going to fight crime as the Superior Venom. I feel for the poor bastards he finds today.
Meanwhile, some chumps are robbing an armored truck, having had their super suits rented to them by the original Hobgoblin, Kingsley. He’s franchising super-villain identities…genius and stupid at the same time for a multitude of reasons. When said goblin show up on the scene, they give him his cut of the money and split. However, it turns out that that wasn’t the Hobgoblin, but the Green Goblin and he’s making a point by doing this to send a message, going so far as to toss the cash later on.
Back at Parker Labs, Flash learns that all those drug he used to control the symbiote and the exposure has changed his physiology. He needs the symbiote to live now and he’s got only hours before his body starts failing and he dies. Cardiac states they need to go get it now, but Flash states the symbiote is perfect for stealth and Otto won’t be seen unless he wants to be.
Turns out he does want to be seen, because he’s enacting a brutal set of beatdowns for the simplest of crimes. He even pulled a guy out of his car for texting-while-driving. Okay, given all those commercials on TV he probably should shake him down a bit, but not that much. He only stops his war on petty crime when Anna Maria calls and he sets out to see her.
At the same time as he arrives at Anna’s place, who is feeling guilty about his falling out with Aunt May, Kingsley is chewing out the idiots who gave his cut of the cash to the Green Goblin and tells them to get their payment in or he’ll shut them down. The Green Goblin arrives back to see that Carlie, still in the Goblin Underground, hasn’t spilled the beans yet so he just decides to hit her with the Goblin Formula. Considering what that stuff does to everyone whose been near it, you can tell she’s not going to get out of this okay.
MJ soon arrives to Aunt May place, where Otto learns that Aunt May sees Spider-Man as a monster because she saw him torture this vampire-thing guy who kidnapped her in the Annual. Now, normally I would agree with her, but this dude had it coming and I supported Otto on it since it sent a message. Either way, MJ sees he’s out of control and takes him to the balcony to figure out what’s wrong when Otto gets a call and goes Superior Venom, threatening her to not cross him and make up an excuse for why he was about to vanish.
When Captain Watanabe hears the scream she goes up to see and MJ says Spider-Man took Peter. Now she knows that MJ is holding onto more knowledge than she’s telling, and with Carlie missing she wants some answers. So she tells her she’s coming down to the station to talk and won’t take ‘No’ for an answer.
The issue ends with Superior Venom about to maim those imbeciles who owe Kingsley, the original Hobgoblin, and MJ straight up calling the Avengers and siccing them on him. Now, I’m not a fan of the Avengers, especially not after AvX, but I can’t wait for the next issue.
This one gets a 4 out of 5.
Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #2 Review
Well, continuing on as the Devourer of Worlds ravages the Ultimate Universe, we’re picking up right where we left off from Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1.
We begin with a flashback to two years ago, when Ultimatum killed off the majority of characters who should by all means have survived. It was not well received to say the least. Turns out Tandy was at ground zero with her bigoted mother and wanted to help as she watched Spider-Man doing something since he actually had the power to, but her mother stated they had to help themselves first.
Now, she had a point. They couldn’t do anything because they were powerless. Now Tandy feels different since she has the power to make a difference, and she wants to use it by punching Galactus out. Ty thinks she out of it, but he takes her there and she tries to hit him in the eyes. It did nothing but annoy him.
With Miles with the Ultimates saving people, he comes across some kids abandoned by a teacher and one of them calls for their father, reminding him of what he was doing two years ago. He and his father and mother were trying to escape and the man made a comment that clearly showed he wouldn’t have liked it if Miles was born a mutant. This right here is the reason he hasn’t told his dad about his powers and why his mother told him to never let him find out.
With Lana, she runs into her boyfriend that she broke up a few issues ago. He dies, crushed in front of her, just for the shock value. Now, that’s just senseless death right there, but it motivates her to move and join with the Ultimates in doing something.
Said something comes from some dumbasses robbing people as the fucking world is ending. Really, what the hell are they going to do with it if Galactus eats them? Bombshell puts an end to that and Jessica compliments her on it as Miles helps the kid finds his dad, who tells him nothing is more important than family, and Ty and Tandy, who just barely avoid getting an eyebeam to the face, take a moment to help out some injured people, but realize there isn’t much they can do to get more out in time.
At the end we have Miles seeing his father looking for him and drops down in front of him to take him to safety. Naturally, he doesn’t take the costume well because of his bias and the fact that Spider-Man is technically part of the reason his wife bit the bullet. Spurred on by the moment, Miles takes his masks off and tells his father to come with him to safety.
And the bastards end it on a cliffhanger.
I originally thought the issue would end where Ultimate’s Last Stand #2 did, with Miles heading off to the 616 Universe in hopes of finding the Reed Richards of that universe and getting him to stop Galactus, but I suppose that’s the next chapter. Instead, with the world ending, Miles decides to drop the bombshell on his father. If there was ever a damn death flag that was it.
Normally I would give this issue a full perfect score since this issue was heroes being heroes and actually helping out. They’re outmatched by Galactus and the Ultimate Universe is severely ill-prepared so that’s all they can do, but how often do you see good guys like this instead of them punching out some other superpowered thug? But, Sid’s sudden death was just poorly done and there was no build up, which takes marks off.
So the issue gets a 4.5 out of 5.
Superior Spider-Man #23 Review
Okay, before I take a long nap to deal with the flu, let’s get through this review of Superior Spider-Man #23, a.k.a “The Net Closes In.”
The story picks up where it left off, with the fake Crime Master running away like a little girl and Otto about deep fry Flash. But Flash surrenders and Otto can’t just execute prisoners, not after that whole fiasco in issue #5. So while the man has surrendered and is arguing that, Otto tells him to show a sign he’s in control of the symbiote, planning on executing him as soon as he did. Honestly, Otto is freaking murder-happy in this issue.
But Flash refuses to go out like that and manages to rouse the symbiote into action to save themselves, leaving Otto to interrogate the police until Anna Maria calls. Turns out that because of his men calling him about Venom, he left in the middle of some private time with her. In that case, the murder-happiness can be explained for once and you can’t blame him.*Wink**Wink*
Back with Carlie in the Goblin Underground, the Goblin Kingpin has finished the journal and noted that, while it is Otto inside Spider-Man’s head, he doesn’t know who it is behind the mask. It troubles him since he feels like he should know this, which he should if he was the original Green Goblin. Carlie’s sister tells him that she’ll get the answer from her while he goes to run errands in town.
Otto takes Anna to his place the next day to prepare for their brunch with her parents while Flash, in the meantime, is having a better relationship with the symbiote than he did in his own series and leaves his disguise behind so that they can lay low. Right until he hears abut MJ’s place and figures out that he can see Peter Parker for help. Yeah, that can’t end well.
MJ is at her club, the Grand Opening after the fire, and Chief Watanabe shows up to inform her that Carlie went missing. The last message Carlie left to her was to stay away from Peter Parker, which gives Chief Watanabe a subject of interest, even though MJ didn’t tell her that he’s Spider-Man. So, unaware he has a bull’s-eye on his back as both identities, Otto’s luck once again takes an interesting turn when Flash turns up for brunch just as Aunt May’s surgery has finished and she’s pain-free again.
With Mayor JJ, he’s reached his breaking point when it comes to Spider-Man and goes to Alchemax to have them develop new Spider-Slayer suits for the city. No guesses who he’s going to have them turned on, but you can tell he’s desperate since the original Spider-Slayer murdered his wife and was put down a little while ago and now he has to turn to his research for help. They put Tiberus Stone on it, along with his assistant, Miguel O’Hara, a.k.a Spider-Man 2099.
At the brunch, things take a surprisingly dark turn as Aunt May is somewhat upset that Peter didn’t mention that Anna Maria was a “Little Person”, and she let’s it be known that she’s concerned that any children they had would share this trait. Flash thinks it’s time for him to leave, which I can’t blame him for, but Otto manages to coax him into agreeing to have full artificial limbs implanted since, as a veteran, it could be revolutionary for those who have lost so much in war.
One hour later he’s set up and Peter goes to have a consultant brought in, namely the Superior Spider-Man. He outfitted the machine with sonic device that separated the symbiote from Flash. I know you’re thinking that’s a good thing, not being attached to an alien that occasionally drives you into a murderous rampage. Now, here’s the reason why that’s a bad thing.
While the symbiote has a decent working relationship with Flash now, it acts like a jilted lover in the face of Brock and Spider-Man. So separating the pair of them and leaving it isolated and alone will cause it to react…poorly. Thus it tears down the container and latches onto Otto, forming the Superior Venom.
Now, I hadn’t expected Aunt May to react like she did but given her age it seems plausible that she would be concerned. This issue is mostly a tie-in to the last portion of the Darkest Hour arc, which is living up to its name as we see all the many ways things are closing in on Otto. It was relevant, had decent characterization, and I can’t wait for the next issue.
Superior Spider-Man #23 gets a 4 out of 5.
Superior Spider-Man #22 Review
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.
Superior Spider-Man #21 Review
This issue basically shows Otto got lucky that the universe seems to love him at the moment…
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.
Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 Review
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.
Superior Spider-Man 20 Review
Also known as the issue where Otto fucked up several more times than the last time!
Yeah, this issue is more of Otto screwing himself over and Peter as well once he gets his body back.
The story starts with a flashback to the moment where Peter and Otto had swapped bodies and Peter died. His death woke up a few coma patients, one of whom I believe was Madam Web and predicted the death of all Spiders and the other being a woman who seems to like Otto. It then skips to Otto making his way to dinner with Anna Marie, which his relationship with her so far has been his only redeeming quality lately and makes me fear her impending death all the more because when Spider-Man is happy bad things happen, regardless of who is wearing the suit.
He runs across Black Cat and makes short work of her, earning her ire, before getting back to his dinner date and explaining his plans for the future in his own company. We then go to the next day where Aunt May is putting up a ton of collateral for this, Carlie plans to take her paper trail to the Avengers, and MJ is making plans to see the firefighter who saved her. Then we come up to the meeting where one of them recognizes the work he’s proposing as Otto Octavius’ and plans to ruin him and have him seen as the laughingstock of the scientific community.
Note that this is the same man Otto has been antagonizing all this time in the college. Naturally Otto plans to have him murdered for it. At the same time the woman who loved Otto has decided to avenge his death by killing the Superior Spider-Man. Irony, thy name is Otto.
The issue gets a 2 out of 5 (filler to me more than anything) and this series isn’t going to make it past 30-35 issues after everything that’s happened. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Otto going in as before, but I just don’t see it happening unless the Avengers have been hit with the stupid stick once Carlie presents evidence. What I’m more concerned about is the fallout from it is going to leave broken hearts, broken wallets, and leave Peter Parker a broken man when he returns.
Battle of the Atom Part 10 Review
Well, this has been a waste of two months.
Yeah, I can honestly say I’m glad this is over and I will sum it up in a single review, so keep reading for my review of Battle of the Atom Part 10 and closing thoughts.
It starts with a shower of missiles from above as Xorna and Xavier have somehow telekinetically overridden SHIELD’s safeguards to get them to unleash their payloads upon the gathering. This is the first problem. Telekinesis does not work that way. I could understand them mind-controlling some chumps into firing everything or if one of them had Technopathy, but this was just stupid.
While the X-Men try to stop the rain and Present Beast makes the vow never to Time Travel again, which will be broken in a year or two tops, they also seemed to have forgotten that Magik’s mutant ability is Teleportation and just because she passed on her Soulsword doesn’t mean Colossus can do it too. Either way the missiles don’t explode, leaving Maria Hill to wonder just what the hell they shot and discovering that its…
Now, this comes as no surprise as SHIELD has been dicey in general. But for the Commander to not know that every Helicarrier has these damn things on it or know they were producing it in this number is fucking ridiculous and screams corruption and incompetents. On top of that, these Sentinels have had magic applied to them so that the future Sorcerer Supreme couldn’t strip away or something. Since when does SHIELD even have a sorcerer department?
The only good thing about it is they killed Future Beast, after which the fighting just adds in a third party. Not only do Cyclops’ and Wolverine’s teams squabble like children, but Future Jubilee bites despite being an immortal regenerating vampire and Future Colossus gets his brain mind-crushed by Xavier. This pisses off Magik into her evil-alter ego, who now has a legitimate reason to kill the psychic douche and everyone is bitching and whining about it rather than letting her finish him off before he causes more trouble.
Xorna Jean blames Wolverine and Cyclops for this entire fiasco because of the event that led to their Schism. Wolverine continues to annoy me throughout the entire fight that has her kicking their asses with psychic fire that I’m assuming she has spontaneous developed, until the O5 X-Men show up and get their asses kicked too. It only ends when she can’t control her powers and explodes, giving everyone enough time to flee as SHIELD finally gets their shit together.
Then comes the Epilogues where Present Iceman has made himself a douche before Wolverine takes over for him. While both sides agree that SHIELD can’t be trusted, which is a damn given at any point and time, Wolverine tries to take the high-ground again in a speech that, by all means, establishes that he’s a douche every day he wakes up. At this point, when they should be mending bridges, his ass has just bombed them all over again and none of the sensible X-Men on his side countered this.
Then we skip to Kymera mentioning she was tasked with tracking the Brotherhood, Adult Shogo and Present Jubilee having a moment, and Magik bidding her dead brother, Future Colossus, a final good-bye. That night Kitty decides to jump ship to Cyclops’ school and takes the O5 with her.
Now, while I expected and am pleased by this, her reasons are fairly shallow and not expressed deeply beyond a sense of betrayal. Her breakup with Bobby, which last I checked shouldn’t have even been a relationship after that date night, came off as vague in that you get the feeling a writer just wanted it to stop and made her look better by derailing Iceman for a few pages. She had plenty of ammo for quitting, I might add, but she chooses the weakest of reasons and, for some reason, Rachel didn’t join her despite all their moments this event.
I’m going to sum up both this issue and event in two words: EPIC FAIL.
The event dragged on for twice as long as it should have. Most issues repeated things that have been said and established that the feud between schools refuses to die, with Wolverine acting like he’s in the damn right and Cyclops is a murdering psychopath. What happened to the Wolverine in AvsX Consequences who understood him at the end, even if he hated him? And don’t get me started on the shit with Storm and Iceman, its like the story writers want Wolverine and his X-Men to seem like the bad guys.
And what the hell happened to Molly?
The only good thing is that Kitty has joined Cyclops’ team with the O5 and we have some actual antagonists in the form of the evil Xavier outside X-Men Legacy. Whoever penned this ought to be a damn shame for wasting the X-Men anniversary and two months of every poor soul who read it’s time.
This issue and event get 2 out of 5.
Ultimate Comics All-New Spiderman #28 Review
Roxxon, creating superheroes since Ozcorp went belly under…
It’s been a long time coming, but the 28th issue of Miles’ story is out for us to enjoy.
It begins with Mr. Roxxon being alerted by his security team that they’re about to have a little problem. Said little problem is about five superpowered individuals who have a bone to pick up with him. Just as well, he tells them to get his Brain Trust and asks them on whose authority they are arresting them under, revealing he knows all of their identities and insults Miles by bringing up his mother and the boy has to be restrained by Jessica.
This douche is so damn confident that they can’t touch him he goes onto to say that they should be thanking him for their gifts, cue pissing off Dagger who takes out his guards. Jessica then tells him to cool it before she sics the kids on him, but the asshole goes around claiming she’s fake and he created her in a petri-dish. At this point Miles decides to do a Batman Interrogation and tosses his ass out of the the window and webs him up by his feet.
Roxxon goes on a rant revealing that he was the one who hired Prowler to break into Ozcorp and ended up creating the next Spider-Man. He also reveals that he discovered his identity in three days and knows about Miles’ father’s past. He talks so much shit that when the police get there he thinks he untouchable, but Jessica has her contacts with SHIELD make the NYPD leave. Bombshell is impressed and they’re about to leave with the douche when the Brain Trust shows up.
Doctor Miller has some device that cripples the rest, but Miles webs the device out of her grasp and kicks her in the face. Dagger approves. Then the goblin wannabe hulks out, but Cloak takes care of him. Then they beat on the rest and SHIELD shows up, which is when they split after talking about doing this more. Miles then goes back to Vision Academy and makes up with Ganke and then goes to see his father.
The issue then ends with Jessica having a talk with Monica Chang about the kids. What can I say, I like how this ended and the arc itself ends on a decent note. Once again, perfect score all around!
Edit: Also, I updated my Fanfic for the series here.
Battle of the Atom Part 9 (Woverine and the X-Men #37) Review
The chapter where everyone fights.
Okay, so issue #9 of Battle of the Atom is out and here’s the subsequent review.
It begins after Cyclops popped into the room with X-Men aplenty in tow, only to end up in a white room in his mind and face-to-face with Xorna Jean. Being Cyclops and her being a telepath and Jean, what happens next is expected. She kisses him and he notes she’s not his Jean because she’s a better kisser. Oh Cyclops, really…
Snapping back to reality we learn Xorna Jean and her Brotherhood left during that time frame. Emma calls Cyclops out on Jean being in his head, but she no longer has an all-access pass so I can add that up to jealousy, while Future Phoenix warns him not to let her get in his head again since he has no idea what she’s capable of. Cyclops tries to order them to start tracking the Brotherhood down when not-dead Wolverine shows up because Wiccan saved his ass.
He also swears off sex since he got gutted by his son with Mystique (which is going to be hell to explain when Kurt comes back) but considering Storm is his current partner I doubt that’s happening.
After the usual meet and greet and blame-game, with tantalizing hints that something won’t let the O5 go back and yet no answer because Kymera reports Deadpool is dead, we skip to the Brotherhood. They can’t do what they set out to do, and Future Xavier ends up paralyzed like his grandfather, so Future Beast has decided to skip to Plan B. Teen Jean once again remains vague on what she saw, because the writers keep dragging the mystery out, and they land at Cape Citadel and start raising hell.
This naturally gets the attention of SHIELD and Maria Hill, who really should have taken that vacation Cyclops had Magik send her on. Back at the school Future Phoenix is trolling his younger counterpart and Wolverine is being a hypocrite when they get the message too. Thus begins a battle royale where we have everyone throwing down.
It is revealed that Ice Hulk is basically an Ice Clone that gained a little sentience and serves Xorna Jean that they can’t reabsorb, Kymera is Storm’s daughter, and Magik finds her badass future brother awesome. Eventually the fighting stops when SHIELD arrives and Dazzler (Mystique) is antagonizing Maria into launching the tear gas while she borders on another breakdown. Xorna Jean then has all the Helicarriers fire missiles on the gathering of mutants and then snaps a witty line as the issue ends.Now, unless those missiles reveal that they’ve been building Sentinels somewhere on that base, I can’t find any logic in what they were planning on doing here. More than anything I’m tired of the damn subterfuge. Can we get some straight answers for once, it’s not like the future is going to remain the same once they go back.
It gets a 3 out of 5.
Superior Spider-Man 19 Review
Also known as the issue where Otto fucked up one too many times!
After reviewing the last chapter of Battle of the Atom today, I was in a bad mood. But this, Superior Spider-Man #19, pulled me right up out of it. Read on and find out how.
The story begins with Carlie and Wraith harassing a money guy who caters to villains to get a paper trail on unveiling Otto as Spider-Man. Before he snuffed it Peter managed to tell her they swapped bodies while in Otto’s and she’s one of the few people competent enough to follow up on a lead like that apparently. The Avengers have no excuse.
Meanwhile, at Alchemax, Superior Spider-Man decked Spider-Man 2099 right when they needed him the most. Ty Stone has sabotaged the time door and is going to blow the place in a literal time bomb. Otto thinks he can fix it but there’s one thing missing, an equation from Peter Parker that he did on his first day at the job. He spends eight minutes trying to find it, but it is gone and he has no way of retrieving it.
Eventually the smarter people retreat while Miguel tries to do the noble thing and sacrifice himself and Stone so that Alchemax doesn’t come to fruition. Even though it would mean that the future would be completely rewritten. But, Ty manages to coax him into escaping by wagering that his friends and family wouldn’t be safe in the new timeline, and it ultimately ends with him saving them both.
So, with his time stabilized, the boss of Alchemax in the future destroys the machine and strands him in the past. This is stupid because he’s right next to his ancestor and can sterilize him or something, but Miguel has more of a heart than Otto and they know it. Ty Stone is untouchable unless he’s willing to erase his friends and family from the future. The bad guys wins, all according to the history books.
Nine hours later the little douche bag is celebrating when we learn that Miguel O’Hara is his new personal assistant to keep tabs on him and Jameson is willing to keep the feds off of the former owner of Horizon’s back as long as he doesn’t do anything. The moment he’s gone though, he and a few others bring Otto back into the timeline and says they’re even for all the good Peter has done and they never want to see him again.
Otto goes over the missing calls and shows he has wrecked Peter’s life further after costing him his job. He abandoned Aunt May for a dinner and missed Anna Marie, although he has the excuse of being dead for those, but MJ calls it quits completely on dealing with him. Meanwhile the former owner of Horizon heads for greener pastures overseas and leaves behind the other two staff members, one who opted out while the other betrayed his trust to an extent and he was short on it after the betrayal of Ty and Otto. Otto, however, was never one to waste a resource at hand (except deleting Peter’s memories without a damn back up) and offers her a job.
As the issue ends, Carlie and Wraith have found their paper trail on Otto. His actions and changes have drawn attention and have put a bull’s eye on his back now. This is one of the many breaking points Otto has had coming and the Goblin Nation arc bring more after the next filler.
It is important to note this is a sobering experience for him as it cost him his life once again. Instead of retreating because he deleted Parker’s memories like the rest, he tried to prove himself better and paid the price for it, only to be brought back at the mercy of his former boss. Who he thought he was better than. His ego will never let him live that down, that he was inferior to Peter Parker and only brought back by mercy earned by him.
I loved Otto going in, but his ego is too much to stand for so long and needs some sobering and this goes a long way in doing so. On top of that we got Spider-Man 2099 in the present. Perfect issue: 5 out of 5.
Edit: It also seemed like I missed the bottom panels on the double spread, which seems to be a foreshadowing of Ghost Peter returning. It’s an asspull, but whatever.
Battle of the Atom Part 8 (Uncanny X-Men #13) Review
I prefer Jimmy Hudson to Raze already.
Okay, so issue #8 of Battle of the Atom is out now and so is my review. I’m not going to lie, this issue could have been better, but you’re going to have to read to find out.
It begins with Cyclops’ team getting ready to march, only to realize that Young Bobby and Hank are gone with Psylocke. They didn’t even waste panels showing that they already lost the two they were supposed to protect, which probably would have made it better to keep them at the base with the other students they left behind. After that they get a tower dropped on them, so bad opening move for our heroes.
Raze, the abomination of Wolverine and Mystique, was imitating Psylocke and captured the two. With their prizes in hand, they leave Ice Hulk to hold off Cyclops’ team, who were saved by Wiccan. Cyclops has Magik and her future-brother teleport inside, while Phoenix Quentin melts the ice giant, only for the Russian siblings to find Molly and Deadpool waiting inside. There’s some bad blood between the pairs, with Molly disillusioned and vengeful towards the X-Men and Deadpool referencing that Magik unleashes something bad onto the world.
Ultimately it ends when Magik teleports Deadpool outside about a hundred feet up and lets him fall while she stabs Molly in the back with her Soulsword. That’s how quickly a fight with a teleporter is supposed to end. We then go back to Cyclops’ team, who have encountered Teen Xavier. Wiccan offers them some magical protection while Magneto claims his helmet can protect him (which it didn’t on Utopia from Jean), but Xavier just has Krakoa eat them all, which is the third time on Cyclops’ end.
Xavier (and somehow the unmelted Ice Hulk) reports in as Deadpool hits the ground and apparently dies and they decide to flip the switch to send the O5 back. Magik arrives to stop them, only to be telekinetically restrained by Xorna Jean while the other team tries to escape Krakoa and are hurting it from the inside. Yeah, apparently whatever Magik does makes everyone hate her because they all try to kill her, between Raze offering to gut her and Xorna Jean trying to make her kill herself like she did in their timeline. Eventually she teleports herself out while Future Colossus shanks Xavier with his Soulsword.
Here’s the stupid part though, they try to send the O5 X-Men back but they won’t go. Testing the machine with Raze indicates that it won’t work for just them, with old Hank stating that in theory they caused so much mayhem with the time stream they can’t go back through the time cube as Cyclops’ team arrived.
This issue just single-handedly rendered the entire event, issues that could have been spent on progressing the individual series’ stories, meaningless. Bad enough they have Molly playing for the bad guys, they wasted my time if there was no real threat of them going back. The 616 universe can’t be sustained if you take important characters from the past like that, look at what happened when Wolverine killed Hank Pym in Age of Ultron!
I could handle the plot holes when it came to things like psychic protection and the stupidity of certain characters, but this was too damn much. The heroes didn’t even win or make it in time, it’s a fucking cop-out that the O5 remain! They have made it that, short of sending clones of the O5 into the past or Magik teleporting them back to that time period or Eva Bell when she learns what she’s doing, the O5 are freaking immortal because if one snuffs it the timeline will snap.
They’re going to have to retcon or asspull an excuse to explain away this. The one who pinned this story was an idiot and so were the dunderheads that wasted the X-Men’s fifth year publication like this. Smooth move Marvel.
This gets a 2 out of 5, don’t waste your money on it.
Battle of the Atom Part 7 (X-Men #6) Review
Under different circumstances I would feel elated at this sight…I’m not a Wolverine Fan.
Okay, so issue #7 of Battle of the Atom Review Time. Let’s get to it.
To begin with Jubilee wakes from her nap to her adoptive baby Shogo’s crying. You see, Young Iceman left him with Broo the Brood. Now, while Broo is one of the softest characters I have seen in an X-Men comic pre-bullet to the head, he’s going to terrify an infant. There’s no helping that.
Jubilee then receives a little present from Bling! and Armor for him, which will protect him from harm, since it is pointed out the X-Men don’t exactly inspire safety given they are attacked weekly by something. It’s keyed into Jubilee’s biometrics already and, when it is suggested someone else adds in, she offers Bling! the second spot since she came up with the idea. Bling! is flattered, but she’d rather have someone to talk to over Mercury. Teen romances aside, they then hear the alarm telling them that the others have returned.
Wolverine tells Rachel with telepathy to keep an eye on the future X-Men they’re with mentally. He claims something feels off. Good guess…only about six issues too late to matter. Eventually these X-Men drop the charade when they find out that Magik took Young Beast and Young Iceman to the future, causing Xavier to start acting like a douche bag attack Bling!, which gives Rachel an opening to look into his mind and declare Logan was Right.
Bullshit. Everyone with a brain cell knew better than to trust them. It shouldn’t have taken that damn long.
Xavier tells Future Kitty to ‘Do it’ and she shapeshifts into a male Mystique with Wolverine claws and shanks him, calling him Dad in the process. Given that Wolverine has a shitty track record with his own kids, this doesn’t surprise me. I’m still wondering how the child was conceived when Logan and Mystique have tried (and succeeded occasionally) to kill one another and she’s currently with Sabertooth. Xavier then has Xorn Jean take out the X-Men in Hank’s Lab, where she blasts Old Hank by accident and he decides to lock down the school while she goes to help the others up top.
Apparently Blue Wolverine didn’t kill his father since he’s still there, but Wolverine lost his healing factor recently and can barely breath. Jubilee decides to tear out Xavier’s throat with her claws (vampire, remember?) but inches from it Ice Hulk tosses her out of the way and through a solid steel wall. Rogue tries to take his power and mind, but there’s no mind in there so she gets knocked out when he backhands her. Good showing from the Avenger Unity squad member there.
Psylocke decides enough is enough and simply knocks the thing out with a ninety-pound psychic flail, one-handed while holding Shogo, and crack jokes about how being a mom was easy. While I don’t recommend the baby having seen such violence, the thing just knocked out his vampire mommy so I get the sense he felt it was justified. Xavier talks trash to Rachel and makes demands when she puts his ass in his place like the little bitch he is before getting knocked out from behind by Molly.
This is what pisses me off the most. Seriously, why the hell is Molly playing for their team instead of the other future team? Did X-23 gank Chase and Nico or something in Avengers Arena and she blames the others?
Anyway, Deadpool declares his love for Psylocke and wants to express it in battle, but seeing as she’s with child at the moment and Shogo does have a nifty little gift for moments like this, Jubilee tells him to ‘Push the Beep-Beep’. He does and Armor’s power forms around him in the shape of a hamster ball. The kid loves it, but is taken by Jubilee while Psylocke stays to take on Blue Wolverine and Deadpool…I’d give her 50/50 odds.
Old Hank and Xorn Jean in the meantime have locked down the school and taken control of the defenses to attack the other X-Men they know are coming, while Xavier has subdued Krakoa. Xorn Jean tries to play it up like this wasn’t their fault and they didn’t want it to come to this, but it rings hollow considering Wolverine’s about to kick it.
On the outskirts Cyclops’ team has arrived and Sentinel-X goes to assess the situation, where he runs into Jubilee, Bling!, and Shogo. Given that they’ve just had a bad few minutes, you can imagine they are on edge and a guy dressed like Iron Man with a sentinel paint job is asking for trouble. So he removes his helmet and shows he’s Adult Shogo.
This makes a lot of sense seeing as he’s a normal human (maybe) hanging around with the X-Men. He needs some damn protection and Iron Man is just a genius who hangs around with gods, so the suit is a good thing. Jubilee is happy since that meant they never took him away from her as a baby. You know, for being a vampire who hangs around mutants often labeled as terrorists or under attack by purifiers or nimrods. Psylocke then shows up and says that things have gone pear shape, ending the issue.
Now this issue drops the exposition and gets to the damn revelations and action, finally ending the drag fest. And Wolverine got stabbed. These are only good things in my eyes. Finally some damn progression that makes this issue worth picking up, but I can’t say I’m happy with the lead up.
Still it gets a 4 out of 5 and the next issue will hopefully have Cyclops’ saving Wolverine’s ass and making him swallow some humble pie.
Battle of the Atom Part 6 (All New X-Men #17) Review
Bobby Drake (Ice-Man), Quentin Quire (Phoenix), Kymera, Colossus (Piotr), Wolverine (Jubilee) and whoever else the other two are did not save this issue I’m afraid.
It is with some hesitation that I post this review of Battle of the Atom #6, because it does very little and I can safely say that the shortness of this issue could have covered the information in two or three pages and brought more of the story along.
It starts with a flashback of Dazzler becoming the first mutant president, for about thirty seconds. Then she promptly gets killed by, not sentinels, but what looks to be some of those dragon-like creatures from the first issue made by that mutant gone wild. I find it hard to believe that their security sucked so badly she managed to get close enough to cause that much destruction and they were relying on one guy who could duplicate himself. After all the shit they’ve gone through they should know better than that.
What, were they going soft?
Then, in the current future we see the Magik’s team meeting with the future X-Men, who do the whole ‘you need to leave routine’, but Colossus is happy to see his sister and has her sword (which is basically her soul). Meaning some real bad stuff went down. Given that present Colossus told her he would kill her the last time they met for manipulating him into becoming the Juggernaut, I would have rather the issue focused on that.
But, after the first round of the usual spiel, we flashback again with Beast stating that for every two steps forward they take seven back as he hangs over Dazzler’s corpse. At this point the future X-Men reveal they know about the team who went back to the past, but rather than stopping them from screwing up the time stream by dragging them back, they just tell the others to go to stop making it worse. Freaking Young Iceman points this out by the way.
So, after Quentin threatens to throw Young Beast into the sun in the same manner that Logan tried to kill young Cyclops, a few of them want to vote to help since they hold some blame. Kymera and Piotr are for, Wolverine against, In the end, Older Cyclops team makes it back to their school when Magik pops up with the real future X-Men.
This issue was really short and, again, most of the details were a rehashing of the last few issues with a backstory that could have been solved in 2-4 pages. I can’t give this more than a 2 out of 5 as it is in no way worth the cost of the comic and the event is dragging along. They should have just made a villain from the future come back to the past or something.
Hell, they could have brought the girl from the first issue as the main future villain.
Ultimate Comics All-New Spiderman #27 Review
It’ll be funny if the glass is reinforced…
It’s that time again folks, where I review a comic in depth so you don’t have to, so let’s jump right into it shall we?
Issue #27 opens with Cloak and Dagger realizing they are way over their heads and are still coming to terms with what they’ve become. Being a teenager is hard enough, but being one who gained superpowers without consent is another story entirely. See the Chronicle Movie for just how bad that can go. Then explosions happen in the distance and they leave to check it out.
About eight minutes prior we go back to Taskmaster manhandling the group using some illegal Hydra technology to paralyze them. When he tries to remove Miles’ mask like any decent villain should, despite the fact that he’s never met the guy and probably won’t be able to pick a single African-American teenage boy in New York out of the thousands there. However, Miles takes the Batman approach and, like a mook touching the cowl, the man gets tasered.
But it isn’t enough to take him out and he tosses Miles off the side of the bridge. This fortunately puts Miles outside the range of the device paralyzing him, so he can save himself and web-swings around to save Jessica before she gets a bullet to the head. She gets rid of the device and reads him his rights, telling him that he’s just tried to kill the equivalent of a super-cop (she’s an agent of SHIELD) while Bombshell runs away. She hammers him hard, but the Taskmaster no-sells the hits and gets ready to slit her throat.
Bombshell watches in the distance as Miles jumps on the man and Venom Blasts him, only for him to no-sell that too and reveal he’s a power-absorber of some kind. He then fries Jessica with Miles’ attack and throws her off the roof for him to catch while he preps a rocket launcher. Bombshell then decides to blast him, causing the explosion that we saw at the beginning, meaning this guy has been wailing on the good guys for like eight minutes.
Unfortunately for her, he absorbs her power and gets ready to nail her with it. Fortunately for her, that when the Spider-Pair webs his hands and makes him blow himself up. He comes out okay, but Cloak and Dagger show up and Cloak settles it by swallowing the man into his body, which tends to have the adverse effect of draining life-force if Dagger isn’t there with whoever else is, and then spits him out.
Jessica then finds his phone that conveniently has the fact that Roxxon took out a killing contract on them. Then she says screw it and decides to take him down vigilante style, rather than an agent of SHIELD or the Ultimates, and asks who’s in as the Police arrive. They all decide to join her.
The new team has been assembled and they had their first super-powered fight, which I enjoyed. The art is amazing as always too, and we are reaching the end of the Spider-Man No More Arc. Perfect score all around!
The Runaways Series Review
I admit I was not into the English Comic Book scene until earlier this year. Because of that, I am now ashamed that I have missed such great stories. This is now one of them.
I didn’t know what the Runaways was until the X-Men Crossover: Event Battle of the Atom took place and unveiled a character from the future called Molly Hayes. Being the curious person that I was, I googled her and found the series. When I do research into a character and their series, I like to be somewhat through and, as a result, found myself interested in the plot and marathon-ed the main series in about three days with distractions.
The Runaways (at least at first) is the story about six kids who find out their parents are a group of super-villains called the Pride, who own a great part of the West Coast which has little to no costumed heroes since most of the super-villains flock to the East Coast. Except for Wonder Man, but he doesn’t count as a hero according to them. The kids decide to run away and have their parents reported to the police, which are owned by the Pride, and end up being blamed for the murder they witnessed their parents comment earlier and kidnapping Molly Hayes.
With no choice they arm themselves and decide to bring down their parents themselves to save the world. Alex Wilder leads the group with his intellect despite possessing no powers, Nico Minoru discovers her powers as a witch, Karolina Dean learns that she’s an alien that derives her abilities from solar energy, Chase Stein steals his parents’ flame-making gauntlets and x-ray goggles, Gertrude Yorkes becomes telepathically bonded to a dinosaur from the 87th century she calls Old Lace, and Molly Haynes discovers she’s a mutant with super strength and invulnerability.
The plot reveals that the Pride were working for six-toed giants who wanted to cleanse the earth of humanity and needed 25 sacrifices to do so over 25 years, with this year being the final one. The kids eventually confront their parents and stop the giants’ plans, but it cost the lives of all their parents and Alex. They were separated by Captain America and sent to foster homes, but they all escaped and stole back Old Lace from Stark’s storage facility deciding to remain Runaways.
In the aftermath of the first volume it is revealed that the Pride prevented most villains from moving onto their turf by eliminating the competition, so with their deaths there was a power vacuum. Now, under the leadership of Nico, the group works to take out all of those looking to fill in the gap when they receive a visit from a future Gertrude Yorkes who warns them about a teenager who becomes a villain before she dies in Chase’s arms.
They confront the teenager, Victor Mancha, which awakens his powers. While Chase was hostile to him, due to the fact that Gert was his girlfriend and he witnessed a future version of her die in his arms, they assist him in retrieving his mother, who is taken hostage. It was revealed he is a child of Ultron, a cyborg who will eventually be able to pass as human in due time. After his mother was killed and Ultron was destroyed, the team takes him into their ranks.
Later on Karolina was chased by a Super Skull named Xavin. It was revealed that her parents arranged a marriage between them as well as sold out their home world to prevent an invasion of earth (which was pointless given the events of Secret Invasion and every other time). Xavin hoped their marriage would cease the hostilities between the Skrull Outpost and her home world. Karolina was originally adverse to the marriage since she’s a lesbian (whose first crush was on Nico), but Xavin shapes shifts to a female form and Karolina left the group to assist in the marriage.
As the series continued the pair returned after hostilities were resparked during the marriage and both the outpost and her home world were destroyed when the Skrulls launched an anti-matter weapon and made a star go supernova. During this time they traveled to New York to assist Cloak and Dagger, who they met in the first series, and dealt with a time-displaced Geoffry Wilder, who sought to sacrifice them in order to resurrect his son and wife. The conflict ended with Gertrude dying in Chase’s arms, giving him her telepathic link to Old Lace.
Chase went mad with grief and consulted with the giants who killed their parents, now stuck in Limbo, who offer to resurrect her for a single soul sacrificed to them. He eventually offered up his own, but since he was willingly giving up his own soul it would not count. In the end the Runaways manage to banish the giants to a realm beyond death, where Alex was assisting the Runaways in atonement to save Chase and fix Victor. Unfortunately they drew the attention of the Avengers and were forced to go to the Kingpin for help.
The Kingpin wanted them to steal an item that was made by the Yorkes, but it was a plot to send them all to 1907, where they met with Lillie, a wonder (meta-human) who could fly, Klara (who could manipulate plants), and the Yorkes. During this trip Victor fell in love with Lillie and she with him, but a war between superpowers broke out after Nico was kidnapped by her ancestor and tortured.
In the end they offered to take Lillie into the future but she was too afraid, instead bringing Klara with them. It was revealed that an aged Lillie was the one who orchestrated the events of the time travel so that she could convince herself to join the man she love rather than live a life of regret, but nothing changed as her past self was too afraid.
In the last volume during the series, the group returns to the West Coast to continue their work but survivors of Karolina’s race came to take her into custody and be held responsible for the destruction of their world since it was her parents that sold them out in the first place. Xavin knocked her out and took her place in the end. The series abruptly ended on hiatus with the Homecoming Arc, where their home was destroyed, Old Lace was seemingly killed, Klara’s powers ran out of control, they were attacked by US Agents, and Chase was hospitalized chasing after a girl who looked like Gert.
Since the series has been on Hiatus since 2009 it is safe to say it won’t start up again, and the movie deal they had seemed to have fallen through. I remain hopeful that one day we’ll see it though. However, the Runaways have not been forgotten. Besides their crossovers with the Young Avengers during the Civil War and Secret Invasion, they’ve appeared in several series since the hiatus.
The first was Daken: Dark Wolverine Issue #19. That issue takes place after the events of the Homecoming Arc that the third volume ended on with Chase having gotten better somehow but no resolution on that Gert doppelganger. Then they appeared in Avengers Academy #27-#28 trying to retrieve Old Lace.
Hank Pym and Tigra are more than willing to help, but since they’ve got a thing about children being runaways, especially Molly and Klara, it leads to the usual hero brawl. This ends quick enough when they decide to talk it out for once and Nico uses a spell to share their experiences with everyone. Hank and Tigra let them go on the condition that the children are brought in once a month for check-ups and Karolina ends up dating Julie Powers after Xavin’s been gone for so long without any contact (which I assume means he’s dead since his people were the ones who blew up their world and they needed a target to hate-on).
After that Victor was recruited into joining Avengers A.I. by his brother, Vision. His characterization seems off, but he hasn’t seen the other Runaways in some time from the sound of it. A future Molly Hayes joined the X-Men in the Battle of the Atom and her present self has been seen in Avenger’s Arena #13, looking for Chase and Nico who she can tell have been missing despite the precautions that Arcade took and Old Lace’s connection to Chase.
Chase and Nico were kidnapped by Arcade in Avengers Arena to participate in Murderworld. There are some continuity issues in Avengers Arena, which is a blatant rip off of Battle Royale (which they even reference in-story as a source of inspiration and I personally recommend the first movie for viewing), such as the issues that Chase and Nico had and the Staff of One being downgraded. It seems like the writers are ignoring Volume 3, which I have admitted to not being a fan of, and some parts at the end of Volume 2.
Anyway, in the story two major things happen so far at the time of the writing between the members of the Runaways:
The first is that Chase becomes the new Darkhawk, courtesy of finding the pendant after the previous wielder went missing from his power turning on itself. Unfortunately the armor is technological and the main villain for the first arc is a technopath. So he’s forced against his will to attack Nico while under Apex’s control and she dies bleeding out in the snow after managing a final spell.
The spell takes effect some time after she’s died, resurrecting her by the Staff of One (which should not be able to bring back the dead but since the spell was cast before she died maybe that was a loophole) using her blood and half-an-arm as a sacrifice. As a result she received the gauntlet that serves as a replacement staff allowing her to cast spells in place of her missing arm and the staff became more of a wand.
As a group they have a generally neutral stand when it comes to heroics. While on good terms with Cloak and Dagger, they dislike the Avengers since they constantly tried to split them up and send them to foster homes. If it benefits them they will work with someone like the Kingpin, although that ended poorly. They don’t particularly trust when it comes to adults but they occasionally connect with other teen heroes.
Born to Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder, Alex is the first character to be introduced to the series. He is a prodigy in Logistics and Strategy and the one to initially suggest spying on their parents’ supposed charity organization. After witnessing their parents’ (who were revealed to be a secret crime ring called “the Pride”) murder of an innocent teenage girl, Alex organizes the mass escape from their parents. He is later revealed to have known about the Pride for a year and served as a Mole, working to ensure that the six spots for paradise would go to his parents, himself, Nico, and Nico’s parents.
For this reason he distanced himself from the other kids, as he felt that they were going to die anyway. Because of Molly’s interference in the ritual and freeing one of the souls, the giants became aggravated and, when he took responsibility for her, they killed him. In the second volume it is shown that he has regretted the actions that he has taken to earn his parent’s approval and assisted the team from a realm beyond death, intent on earning his way out. He showed no hostility to the giants when they join him and even admits that they were probably trying to do the same thing in earning their parent’s approval.
His relationship with Nico was one of the things that hardened her to be the next leader of the Runaways and, despite the fact that he did betray them, she loved him and attempted to resurrect him shortly after his death. His online gamer friends also tried to do the same, although both efforts failed ultimately. The betrayal struck all of the others hard as well, making them more reluctant to forgive treachery and many still hate him to this day.
Nico Minoru (Sister Grimm)
Born to the Evil Magicians Robert and Tina Minoru, Nico herself is a witch whose power comes from the Staff of One, which bonded to her body when her mother attempted to use it against her and only comes out when she bleeds (cutting herself was the most common way, although she disliked it since she wasn’t into that). With it she casts spells using phrases and commands, however the staff itself will only cast the same spell once without failing and she has to summon up painful memories to fuel it in order to get the most out of it.
Later on in the series she gains more power during a trip to the past by being tortured by the her ancestor, as the more pain she can take the greater power she can wield, to the extent she doesn’t need the staff for some minor spells and the staff will eat anyone who tries to use it. After the hiatus and the continuity issues in the Avengers Arena seemed to eliminate those particular power-ups she gained a new one upon her death and resurrection.
Nico becomes the leader in the second volume, where she and the others work to stop the flux of thugs and villains trying to fill in the power vacuum left by their parents’ death. While she considers herself a den mother to them, sewing their clothing and caring for them, she serves as the lynchpin of the group after all they’ve gone through and can be ruthless in dealing with threats to her group.
Nico has been romantically involved with several members of the group due to a psychological need to be close to someone after traumatic experiences or close encounters, which resulted in her romances with Alex (First Kiss) and Victor (Deflowering), as well as her kissing Chase in Volume two.
Her relationship with Alex, who was her first kiss, left her with little tolerance for traitors and she has threatened to deal with those who betray them harshly. Yet she still loves him and attempted to resurrect him without success. Of all of the group she misses him the most at this point.
When Victor came into the picture she opted to give him a chance after losing his mother as long as he did not betray them. Gert’s death motivated her to have sex with him for solace, which they both regretted, but they attempted to start a romance. When Lillie came into the picture she stepped aside, ending their relationship.
With Chase she acts as the motherly figure to his stern approach most of the time. After the incident where she kisses him and Gert’s death, to whom she was an old friend, they’ve had trust issues and clashed several times as she has a case of Survivor’s Guilt since Gert’s death was supposed to be hers. She sees Molly and Klara as little sisters and looks over them. Karolina has a crush on her and, while she doesn’t love her in that way, she sees her as a friend who she cannot bear losing after all of the losses they’ve endured.
Chase Stein (Talkback):
Born to a pair of Mad Scientists, Victor and Janet Stein, Chase Stein was the complete opposite of his parents hopes as he was an athlete rather than an intellectual like they were. Because of this his father often beat him.
Chase uses his parents inventions in combat including Fistigons, the world’s most powerful gauntlets that can create and shape flames, and X-Ray goggles, both of which are destroyed in the first volume. In the second volume he serves as the group’s driver using the Leapfrog and slowly becomes more competent in technology, culminating with a new pair of Fistigons and Footigons in Volume three. He uses a switch blade any other time and, after Gert’s death, he inherits her connection with Old Lace. He has also used the Staff of One, discovered three logic questions that can shut down Victor, and recently gained the Darkhawk amulet.
He is the oldest of the group at eighteen and considered a Wild Card. When Gert died he became darker and out of all of the group he is the most likely to resort to lethal force. Out of all the original Runaways he has the most troublesome past due to his abusive father and neglectful mother, once stating that his power was a “poor upbringing” and has the most street-smarts, but he is fiercely loyal to the group barring the single incident he sought to resurrect Gert with his own death.
Chase’s relationship with the group varies depending on the circumstances, but in general he acts as an surrogate big brother to Klara and Molly, an equal to Nico, and a loyal friend to the others including Victor Mancha later on. With Victor, before their roles switched, he disliked him as his future counterpart killed Gert’s and he has implied that he sees Victor as the son his father, who bore the same name, always wanted. He and Gert were in a relationship, with implied sexual relations, until Nico kissed him and it strained the relationship with her dying in his arms shortly after while saying she loved him and giving him ownership of Old Lace.
Gertrude Yorkes (Arsenic):
Born to the criminal time travelers Stacey and Dale Yorkes, Gertrude was ignorant of their activities until the party but always suspected they were evil. She has a cynical view of the world and boasted the second highest intelligence of the original group. Gert did not think highly of her future self and even though her relationship with Chase softened her, she remained cynical.
Her sole power is her telepathic and empathic link to Old Lace, a genetically engineered dinosaur from the 87th century. They can feel one another and share their pain and experience, meaning that if she dies Old Lace dies unless she transferred the link.
Her relationship with the team consisted of interactions with Nico, Victor, and Chase primarily before her death. Nico was her oldest friend and, as such, she was hit the hardest when she kissed Chase, although they made up before she did with Chase. While Victor’s future self killed hers, she bears little hostility against him and ended up defending him against Chase. It was implied her future self and his were in a closer relationship of sorts.
Her relationship with Chase began near the end of the first volume after she gave him CPR once his heart stopped. Since then they bickered but were in love, with the implication that they slept together. However she was had doubts about her appearance and her relationship (he was a jock and she was a nerd, in her words) so the kiss between Chase and Nico ended things. That being said, she did confront the time-displaced Geoffry Wilder to save Chase at the cost of her own life, telling him she loved him as she died.
While she watched Molly and kept an eye on Karolina, their relationships were distant to an extent. Yet her death impacted them all greatly. Had she lived she would have potentially become the leader of the Avengers under the name Heroine.
Molly Hayes (Bruiser, Princess Powerful):
Born to telepathic mutants Gene and Alice Hayes, Molly is the sole mutant of the group and physically the strongest. She is the youngest until Klara joined the team and the most innocent in terms of her perspective, refusing to believe her parents were evil since she did not witness them sacrificing an innocent girl.
Her parents tested her when she was born for the mutant gene but there were no signs of it until her mutation kicked in when the group formed. Her abilities are opposite of her parents in that she has super strength and invulnerability with the only weakness being that she needed rest after each use until later in the series. She is also one of the most insightful characters and intelligent, although she acts younger than she is to hide it, and was the most keen on being a superhero until later on.
Molly is proud of her heritage as a mutant and once had a crush on Wolverine. Even in the Marvel extended universe she is considered one of the strongest despite her young age and when the Decimation of the Mutant Race happened she remained one of the 198 mutants with their abilities.
Molly’s relationships are based on who she spends time with and she had arguably the best relationship with her parents being the youngest. She often misses them and one of the easiest ways to anger or sadden her is to point out how cruel they were to their enemies. Most of the others treat her as a surrogate sibling and she does the same.
In Battle of the Atom she has resurfaced from an alternate future as one of the X-Men, who as a child she admired but did not join because she saw the other Runaways as family and doesn’t like to be separated from them.
Karolina Dean (Lucy In The Sky):
Born to exiled Majesdanian aliens Frank and Leslie Dean, Karolina is a vegan and protestor. Early in the series her heritage as an alien and circumstances left her suicidal, but she overcame it later in the series and regained her free-spirited nature. At times, however, she feels as an outcast being the group’s only alien and lesbian.
As a Majesdanian she absorbs solar energy and radiates it as a rainbow colors, with her main weakness being a special metal that inhibits her abilities and that when night falls she has a limited amount of energy stored to use. After visiting her home world before its destruction she became adept at using her abilities, allowing her to fly, use lasers, force-fields, and concussive blasts. Her blood is toxic to vampires as well.
Karolina has generally good relationships with all of the Runaways and is an open lesbian with a crush on Nico that has persisted even upon her marriage with Xavin, although she loves her just the same. There have been moments of where their relationships have been strained, such as Xavin’s identity.
When the Majesdanian survivors came looking for her, she was willing to go in order to appease them and prevent a fight between her friends and her people, but Xavin took her place and left her grieving. Later on she has begun dating bi-sexual Julie Powers.
The child of famed Skrull Prince De’zean, Xavier is a Super Skrull who hoped to end the war between his outpost and the Majesdanians by claiming Karolina’s hand in marriage. It was clear that Karolina’s parents intended for him to die in the war before this could come to pass but she survived. Xavier at first defaulted to a male form however switched to a female form in order to please Karolina, but in general he/she has a bit of a gender identity crisis.
He has the powers of the Fantastic Four but his limited training with them has at times left him unable to use them to their full potential. He can use more than one at a time, but it rarely occurs due to his lack of training once more.
His attitude is somewhat warlike but he detests the notion of war, having lived his entire life in one. He clashes often with the others due to his different upbringing, questioning Nico’s authority and demeaning Victor as his race sees robots as less than equals, but later on it improves as he /she works to understand what it means to be human.
Xavin has left the Earth in Karolina’s place and hasn’t been seen since, potentially being killed as it has been made apparent that Majesdanians have a hatred of Skrulls.
Victor Manchas (Victorious):
A Cyborg created by Ultron using the genetic material of Marianella Mancha, who could not have children due to being used as a Drug Mule. Like the original Runaways his father is a villain, but he had a decent relationship with his mother, who Ultron killed in front of him. He is the brother of Vision and Hank Pym is his grandfather.
Victor’s body is filled with nanites that will eventually convert his body into that of a human’s, rendering him undetectable by metal detectors while retaining his abilities. He primarily uses electromagnetism in combat but also possesses some level of superhuman strength, incredible speed, a powerful jumping ability, and an automated self-repair function. He is also the only one outside of Chase who can pilot the Leapfrog. Because his future counterpart was designed to infiltrate the Avengers in adulthood and kill every hero, he is knowledgeable about heroes in general and has a fanboyish attitude towards them.
While he was originally under watch by the others he proved himself a loyal member of the team and begun a relationship with Nico after Gert’s death. Once the team was sent to 1907 during the last arc of the second volume he then fell in love with Lillie and she with him. However, she refused to join them in the future, leaving them both heartbroken and with regrets.
Klara Prast (Red Rose):
Klara Prast is a time-displaced mutant from 1907 the team encounters during their stay in that time period. She was sold off to be married to a traveler heading to America after her mother discovered her ability and called her unholy. He often abused her, which Karolina witnessed and later confronted her on her being the one who helped them with some trouble earlier in the arc.
When she witnessed Karolina and Xavin in female form kissing she left feeling it was something she couldn’t tolerate due to her Christian upbringing. This led Molly chastising her and leaving her behind. As the group was preparing to leave the past she appeared before them, beaten even worse, and was taken with them into the future.
Klara can manipulate plants in general by simply asking them to do what she wants but likes roses as she can hear them speak. Her powers are somewhat uncontrollable when she is distressed or panicked, such as when she saw Old Lace killed and entombed the team in their house within out of control vines and nearly killing Nico.
Klara is closest to Molly, as they are around the same age and she helps her adapt to the time period. However, because of the time period she comes from and her religion, she sees Karolina and Xavin’s relationship as something abominable due to race and gender. She has tried to get better about it and the change in the time period has made her much happier than living in her own time period.
What I like about this series:
Cover Art: Let’s be clear, in the first and second volumes especially, the covers are goddamn beautiful.
Plot: The plot goes from clearing their names and turning over their parents for murder to saving the world and then keeping their city safe, all while remaining on the run from the authorities and most other heroes.
Character Development: The characters grow as the story continues, maturing slowly as they struggle to not be like their parents. Even though there are moments when they seem just like them.
Relationships: The relationships are flawed, much like real life relationships, but they struggle and love. These relationships evolve over time and are realistic.
Concept: The idea of villains’ children becoming heroes (sort of) is one that isn’t commonly explored, but while they admit their parents were bad people they still hold some affection to them and their memories. Most of them anyway. The kids distrust authority like most teens but take things into their own hands and have slowly come into positions they are comfortable with.
What I dislike about this series:
Volume Three: In general Volume three has been my least favorite due to the weak plot with the exception of the Xavin/Karolina story and the fluctuating artwork. The Rock Zombie arc was just ridiculous and the Homecoming arc was flat out confusing and ended at the worst point, only to be skipped over as the characters were transferred to guest roles in other series.
Ultimate Comics All-New Spider-man #25 Review
This issue is mostly Identity Crisises in a Nutshell
Now, I’ve only recently gotten into American Comics this year due to…well, I don’t remember. I think it was learning that Doc Ock stole Peter’s body in Superior Spider-man. But the important thing is I decided to give this reviewing thing a shot and I’ll start with the one from the series I’ve fallen in love with in the Ultimate Marvel Universe and based this fanfic off of.
In this quick review of Ultimate Comics All-New Spider-Man, which will simply be Ultimate Spider-Man from here on to save time, we cover Issue #25.
In this issue we have the aftermath of Cloak, Dagger, and Bombshell’s little tussle that ended up wrecking Gwen Stacy’s workplace. Now, this is New York post-ultimatum so that sort of thing is nothing new, but the issue that presents itself here is that there are conflicting opinions amongst the majority.
Gwen Stacy feels that Miles needs to take on the mantle of Spider-Man once more. She feels betrayed since she and May Parker opened their hearts to him and passed the mantle of Spider-Man to Miles personally. She knows a bit of what he’s going through since her father, and her technically, both died because of Spider-Man’s enemies.
May feels differently in the fact that he should decide for himself the path he takes. In addition, she has always been vocal about not letting little children (which Miles counts as in her eyes) fight against the types of enemies heroes do. She witnessed her nephew die in front of her eyes facing off against six superpowered enemies with a bullet in his gut. It’s natural that she wouldn’t want the cycle to repeat.
Katie Bishop, Mile’s girlfriend, knows something is off since he’s broody. There’s a bit of humor in the issue in that she thinks Miles and Ganke had a fight about Ganke having a crush on him. The fact that this is the second time it has been brought up and by his girlfriend this tiime only serves to amuse me as so far Ganke has only showed extreme interest in Legos and getting Miles in the black and red spandex…okay, that’s too easy. I’m not going to crack a joke about that.
Ganke points out that he’s saved so many people because he acted, but Miles doesn’t want to be pushed by everyone to get into the role of the webslinger again. The issue Miles has is that he’s lost his mother. It’s understandable as his greatest fear was that being Spider-Man would endanger his loved ones.
He was completely right.
His father was crippled when Venom came to his door based on a lousy reporter making a guess that labeled his father as Spider-Man. His doting uncle became an abusive asshole who tried to push him into crime and threatened to out him to his parents. His mother was shot because Venom went after his father again (and she plugged the symbiote with several rounds to save her son), and the police have a hard-on for trying to shoot at anyone in a costume or with powers post-ultimatum, despite he was a 13-year old runt at the time.
He feels the weight of a mantle that wasn’t originally his and the deaths of his loved ones on his shoulders.
We then skip back to Dagger and Cloak’s transformation and how they escaped. Naturally, they don’t exactly feel comfortable about what they’ve become, the literal physical manifestations of light and darkness. Given that in the earlier volumes Tandy had issues with mutants, its rather karmic but they still didn’t deserve to be turned into human guinea pigs and had their deaths faked.
Eventually the one who drives Miles to act is Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman, and clone of Peter Parker.
She admits she’s got some identity issues that come from cloning, but she’s doing what she can to be her own woman. She and Miles are the result of people fucking with the natural order in an attempt to recreate Captain America and got it right to an extent. She points out that SHIELD won’t do a damn thing since they’re in deep and it’s for reasons like that Spider-Man is needed, so that what happens to them doesn’t happen to others.
So that innocent people don’t suffer at the hands of Roxxon’s tampering.
Jessica doesn’t force him to do anything, not after she brought up his mother the first time they met after the time skip. She doesn’t try to force him into the mask like the others do, not by slapping him like Gwen or calling him a coward like Ganke. Out of everyone else, she comes off as the most sincere.
Overall this issue was…drama-heavy. I’m an action junkie, I need action, but this tugged at my heartstrings and the angst was understandable. The art was lovely and without a doubt that last page is beautiful.
My Rating is a 4/5.