Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Amazing Spider-Man: The Gauntlet

Hello again, blog readers. Remember when Spider-Man used to be good? No? Oh. Well. Remember when it was mediocre? Okay, good, we're on the same track then. You see, I can take a mediocre Spider-Man comic. That's pretty much why I haven't been reviewing them lately. If it's unusually good or bad, it's worth a review, but a mediocre comic just leads to a mediocre post. Today, we go past good, past mediocre, past bad, and into the horrible depths of what I like to call comic hell. Yes, today, we get:

Comic Review: Amazing Spider-Man 612

Now, I've read bad comics before, reviewed them. Unfortunately, Spider-Man comics have been some of them. Somehow I always get my hopes back up whenever I hear about a new "revolutionary" storyline in ASM. So when I heard about a new story called "The Gauntlet" I figured it might not be so bad. I was wrong. So, so so wrong. Anyway, let's just jump in.

The story begins with some guy with electricity powers (I wonder who?!) sitting in a bar, while he monologues on the situation.

He ends up electrocuting the girl sitting across from him, so he jams a fork into an outlet to create a blackout so he can escape. As he runs away, we see some lightning bolt shaped scars on old Electro's head. Which got there for no reason.

We then cut to Spider-Man, who complains about a recent heatwave hitting New York and wonders about the currect blackout. He performs his quota of superheroics for the issue by... saving a dog from falling out a window. Yeah, pretty much, the only heroic thing he does in this issue is save a dog. Not a person. A dog. This is going to get painful.

He heads to his old workplace, the former Daily Bugle, now called the DB, to see if Betty knows why there's a blackout.

While there, he also finds out Dexter Bennet, the new owner of the DB, has applied for a bailout from the government, and got it. Oh god. No. No no no. Whenever they bring politics bullshit into this, the whole thing goes to hell. Please, just be a passing mention, don't let it affect the story...

Anyway, we cut back to Electro, in a lab of some sort, powering The Thinker's machines with his electricity, and asks when he can get cured. Thinker informs him the procedure he would need would cost upwards of a million, and that he probably doesn't have that much.

Oh man, they really are going through with this, aren't they? This won't be good. Okay, so. We follow Electro as he leaves the lab, as he complains more about the government's bailouts and how he isn't getting any money. After picking up a copy of the times announcing DB's bailout, he explodes a newspaper stand. We shortly cut to Mayor Jameson, lauding how people hate Bennett and his bailout. He suddenly notices Electro on the TV, who decided he needed to look like an idiot.


...Okay, so, apparently, Electro's angry rant inspired people or something, so they protest the DB.

We then cut to Peter, in his apartment. Okay! Good! Back to Peter, no politics. I don't see any way this could go wrong! He mentions how he's been out of town for three days with the Avengers, which I actually liked, because usually they don't address how a character can be in more than one series at a time, as Spider-Man is with his solo series and New Avengers. So he and Michele are talking, mostly her being a bitch and trying to charge five bucks to sit in front of a fan. Then she brings up how he can't hold his liquor. (A reference to #601, wherein he got super smashed at his Aunt's reception and ended up sleeping with Michele.)

Wait. Wait wait. So Peter never got drunk in the first place? You're trying to tell me he had a placebo effect hangover and memory loss? I can believe he has spider-sense, but somehow I don't see this making sense. Any sense at all. Augh. Anyway, he sees Electro on the computer, so he decides to go to city hall to check out Electro's latest rally. Even though he hasn't done anything illegal quite yet, Spider-Man decides to beat him up now, just to be safe. As Spider-Man fights Electro, mostly unsuccessfully because of Electro's now poorly defined powers, the crowd quickly turns against Spider-Man.

As Electro makes another hit, Spider-Man falls into the angry mob, giving us the last page (Thankfully) of this comic.

Okay. So. What's to say? This comic was the definition of terrible. I didn't like the art style, Spider-Man does zero heroic things, there's a retcon of an event only 11 issues ago. And that issue WAS BY THE SAME WRITER. AAAHHH. Rather than being creative and making a good story, they decided to take an actual issue, but add idiocy and superheroes. I, personally, don't like the bailouts, but the fact that they're addressing this in a COMIC is infuriating! I haven't hated a comic this much since Venom: The Madness. But even then, that comic almost seemed like the more harmless kind of stupid that doesn't worry me. With this, however, it's only the first part of a big storyline. I severely doubt I'm going to pick up the rest of this storyline when it comes out, because, frankly, it's a mess. I hold Spider-Man up to a bit of a higher standard than other comics, because I really like Spider-Man, but then Marvel goes and makes the worst comics out of its flagship series.

P.S. As I'm reading the letter's section, I see one really long letter of someone complaining about how he doesn't like Spider-Man nowadays. Hey! Me too! 'Specially with-- What? You didn't like that he got drunk? You didn't like it that he had sex? What? You seriously want him to be a perfect saint all the time? I mean, what he did made perfect sense for his character and the situation he was in at the time. I'm willing to bet this one complaining letter is what prompted them to retcon his drunken-ness, for fear they may alienate his more straight-edge fans. But apparently nobody seems to care about the downhill spiral the writing has taken, or the general decline of story.

Anyway, that's enough angry ranting for me today, so I'll leave you with that. This is the W Defender, and that was a terrible comic.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dr. Horrible One-Shot

Hello blog-readers! Today is a joyous day! A Dr. Horrible comic has come out! And, if you couldn't tell, I am a very big Dr. Horrible fan. I got hooked when it was just three acts on a website. Before all this DVD and spin off business! I liked it before it was coo-- Uh, anyway. Comic, yeah.

Comic Review: Dr. Horrible

Now then, for those unfamiliar with Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, I would suggest watching it on Hulu, here. Being that it's only 45 minutes, I don't think I need to reiterate the plot. This comic serves as a prequel, much as Dark Horse's Myspace Comics are. This one, however, focuses entirely upon Dr. Horrible, rather than one of the side characters.

It begins in 1986, and we see young Billy, 8 years old yet in 6th grade, playing with Justice Joe and Mister Maniacal action figures. He's accosted by a bully, who also wants his lunch money.

Rather than give in to the bully's demands, he explains who Einstein was, earning a punch in the face. After school, Billy, now with a black eye, hears about a fight about to occur between the real Justice Joe and Mister Maniacal. Billy roots for Joe, until:

At which point his allegiance seems to change. Maniacal zaps Joe with a ray gun, while laughing maniacally, as we fast forward 20 years later. (Making the date of the Sing-Along Blog about 2006, and making Dr. Horrible 28.)

Billy, now Dr. Horrible, has formed a brilliant plan to put tiny explosives, disguised as quarters, into the cities' parking meters. Truely diabolical. A police officer points out his remote no longer seems to be glowing, so he runs into an alley, right into:

After the evil Doctor introduces himself and makes it known he's a villain, Hammer punts him across the alley. As he's about to deliver another blow to Horrible's face, we hear a sort of whinny.

Hammer runs off, and Dr. Horrible marvels at Bad Horse. Back at the laundromat, Billy tries to think of a way to defeat Captain Hammer, until he sees the Cute Laundromat Girl. (Penny.)

He hears a news report commemorating the 20th anniversary of the death of Justice Joe, wherein Mister Maniacal shot him with a ray gun and proceeded to beat him to death with a pipe. Given that inspiration, Dr. Horrible comes up with a plan. He decides to go to the park where Captain Hammer is signing autographs, to get a DNA sample. After being punched the length of a football field:

Six weeks later, he explains the plan to Moist. Moist, however, doesn't really get it, since after Mister Maniacal killed Justice Joe, he was set on fire by an angry mob. Horrible explains that Maniacal weakened Joe, while Horrible is going to strengthen himself using Hammer's DNA to defeat him. After finishing the formula, Horrible and Moist set off to find Captain Hammer.

After some arguably "witty" banter, (consisting partly of Horrible's line: "Well this won't go over your head. It'll go into your head. It's my fist! I'm going to punch you!") Horrible gets in a good shot on Captain Hammer with his new-found superstrength, but is distracted when Captain Hammer tells him to look behind him at an "interesting bird." At this point, Moist figures out the problem.

He quickly gives Dr. Horrible the antidote to his serum, along with a bag filled with Dr. Horrible's at various rays. He manages to pull out his Transmatter ray just in time to transport a girder that Hammer had thrown at him into his lab. After searching frantically through his Bag o' Rays, he finds a little remote.

The story ends in Dr. Horrible's lab as he hangs up a newspaper detailing his first real fight with Captain Hammer.

I really enjoyed this comic. It was well written, well drawn, the story was entertaining and gave us a little insight into Billy's past. It's interwoven with the three online comics I mentioned (and linked to) above, which gives it an extra little something. Also it seems a big longer than a usual comic, so you get a little more bang for your buck. Now, this might not be the most impartial of opinions, seeing as how I'm a Dr. Horrible fanboy, but if you enjoyed the Sing-Along Blog, I can recommend all of these comics. Well, except for the Moist one. That was weird.

While writing this review, I got distracted, and this is one of the things I found on Youtube:

So uh, yeah. I think that said all that needs to be said. For next time: it's Amazing Spider-Man 612: THE GAUNTLET. And remember, dude, you're not my nemesis.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dark Avengers 9

Okay, although it's incredibly late, I finally got off my lazy ass (Or on, I don't stand up to do this stuff.) and wrote a review. This time:

Comic Review: Dark Avengers 9

Now then, recapping, the last thing that happened with the Dark Avengers is the whole mutant thing, which led directly into this List nonsense, so there we are with that. Another thing is what Nick Fury, former head of SHIELD has been doing. He's been setting up a team of Secret Warriors to counter HAMMER and Osborn, because that's what he does. In the process, he recruited Phobos, God of Fear, otherwise known as Alex, who is Ares' son. This has happened without Ares' knowledge, especially since Ares has been working for Osborn this whole time.

So we start with Victora Hand, Norman Osborn's assistant, on the phone with some White House secretary, who wants to talk to Osborn. She goes to his door, but when she tries to get in, he replies, "Not now." So she tells the person on the phone he's on a mission and walks away.

We then cut to the Bronx, in what is presumably Ares' home, where he wakes up Alex for school. While Alex eats cereal, he asks Ares about the mutant thing, and whether it was a good thing to do. Ares, in his ever so subtle way, tells him why it was good.

After Ares leaves, Alex goes with Daisy, second in command of Fury's team, to bring him to their new hideout. Unfortunately, Ares hadn't left entirely, and was waiting for them.

Daisy somehow doesn't notice a behemoth of a man on a giant motorcycle wielding a battleaxe following closly behind her. Anyway, once they arrive at the base, Fury's job for his crew is to read. Presumably about HYDRA and whatnot. Before that gripping portion of training can begin, Ares smashes his way in.

He proceeds to promptly take down Hellfire, and then moves on to Nick Fury. Fury orders the rest of the team away, so it's just Fury and Ares. Oh yeah, Ares vs. Fury. This is gonna rock. This is gonna--

Ooookay. I guess Fury is just Dr. Phil now. Either way, Ares agrees to let him keep training and whatnot, so everything works out without an epic battle. Yay.

Back at Avengers Tower, the rest of the Avengers have small talk about superheroes who think they're hilarious, when Sentry shows up. Sentry goes to his room, to look for his wife, Lindy.

Turns out she has a gun from Captain Marvel, because Bob is crazy and unstoppable. After reducing his head to a smoldering skull shaped piece of dead. The last panel is of Norman Osborn's door opening. Ooo, spooky.

This was pretty good, despite the unfulfilled promise of action. I really expected Ares to kick some major ass, being the God of War and all, but instead he decided to get all "I'm a terrible father!" I'm willing to bet Sentry's just going to heal and be all "Oh Lindy, what silly games you play!" I'm also guessing Norman might be all Goblin'd up again or something. It's hard to tell sometimes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The List: Avengers

Okay, it's been a while, since I had to adjust to college life and whatnot, but now I'm finally ready for another of my classic (not really) comic reviews! This time we have:

Comic Review: The List: Avengers

This is the first of an 8 part series likely signaling the end of the big Dark Reign crossover stuff, because no doubt Quesada already has another pointless crossover in the works.

The comic begins at Avengers Tower, with Norman Osborn talking to Ares about how there must be a to-do list, so he can make the world all better. He makes note of what was wrong with the old way, saying things such as, the superhero civil war (Civil War), the skrull invasion (Secret Invasion), Hulk attacking New York City (Planet Hulk), and Scarlet Witch wiping out a species (House of M, where she got rid of a lot of mutants afterwards.). So, basically, everything that Joe Quesada was a part of is what's wrong with the Marvel Universe. Maybe Brian Michael Bendis is trying to say something?

We then cut to a newscast about X-Island. Oh yeah, about that. See, there was that big Utopia fiasco, where there was a big mutant riot in San Francisco, Osborn came in, created his own team of X-Men, set martial law, and hired Dark Beast to find a way to drain mutant powers. He set up a giant mutant prison thing on an island out at see, so the actual X-Men went there to fight him. There was another big battle, the X-Men won, kinda, and took the island as a kind of sanctuary from anti-mutant people. Yeah, they have a mutant Israel now. Osborn's fine with that, and just calls it an inescapable prison for mutant terrorists. I think somebody didn't think that through too much.

So, anyway, the newscast talks about the last part, the mutant prison, and we then see Clive Barton, the Ronin formerly known as Hawkeye, declare his brilliant plan.

Everyone disagrees with this, especially since they had gone over this before, after Barton had gone on TV saying Osborn was a crazy loon. Everyone tells him this was a bad idea, and he agrees, saying a better idea would have been to assassinate Osborn. Spider-Man, of course, says this is not the heroic thing to do, but everyone else seems a bit more hesitant. Anyway, they find some action before they can really sort it out, so Ronin is still on about it.

Spider-Man holds that killing Osborn would simply be a bad thing to do, while everyone else isn't as steadfast. Ronin makes an analogy, positing that any of them would kill Hitler given the chance.

Aaanyway, he goes to each of the other Avengers, who say it's probably more important that they help their X-friends first. He gets angry and storms off, so his girlfriend/former wife/I don't know Mockingbird goes to talk to him. She agrees to help him on his murderous rampage, because that's what a good spouse does. That night, after "snuggle time," Barton leaves without her, but bring along enough weapons and ammo to bring down a small country.

He breaks into the building, taking out Venom first. This causes a distraction, as everybody thinks Venom tried to escape.

Wait, shouldn't only the higher ups know that Venom isn't actually Spider-Man? I thought the whole "secretly supervillains" thing was on a need-to-know basis. Anyway, Hawkeye comes out with a bow and arrow, which Ronin counters with a machine gun. Daken, also known as Dark Wolverine comes into the fray, who Ronin dispatches by an arrow through his head. He sees Moonstone, and asks if she wants to help him kill her boss, She declines, because there are cameras on her. She blasts Barton, but a security lockdown causes force fields which save him just in time.

Barton finally gets into Osborn's room, and shoots him.

Unfortunately, Osborn has a whole lotta Stark tech, like a personal shield, which can deflect bullets. Ares then arrives to beat the living shit out of Barton, and Norman delcares him under arrest.

This was a pretty good issue. I can expect that because Brian Michael Bendis was writing it. Funny how probably the only person not writing for Amazing Spider-Man is the best writer for him. I was wondering when Osborn would finally get down to business and take care of some shit. I'm interested in seeing where this is going, but disappointed because Bendis isn't writing the other 7 issues, so they could go either way. I'll still buy the next one, and that will determine if the rest are worth buying. Hopefully I'll be able to get more reviews in as more review-worthy comics are released. Until next time, this is The W Defender, signing off.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Amazing Spider-Man 601

Okay, it's been a while, mostly because my scanner broke, but now we're back in business, this time with:
Comic Review: Amazing Spider-Man 601

The issue starts with Mayor Jameson doing what he does best, blaming Spider-Man for what some supervillain did. Which, in this case, is Doc Ock. The reports defend him, saying they're pretty sure he saved the city. Jameson responds with "NUH UH!"

Next we come to Peter, waking up to what he identifies as a hangover. He struggles to remember the events of the night before, with only little tidbits, like how he talked to Mary Jane at one point.

He finally looks to his left, and notices he's not alone. At first he thinks it's Mary Jane, but it turns out it's his roommate's sister, who had been living in the apartment for a while, Michele Gonzales. She gets angry and gets in the shower, warning Peter that he had better be gone before she gets out.

Peter goes webslinging about, trying to find a solution, and remembers that he and MJ agreed to meet someplace at some point. He finds a welcome distraction in a mugger, but dispatching the criminal leads to complaints from all involved. Especially the cops. Looks like he just can't catch a break.

In his search for lodging, he remembers Aunt May is away on honeymoon, so her house should be vacant. Going up to the door, his spider-sense slightly tingles, which makes him think it's like the last time he went into Aunt May's house unannounced. (Read: When he discovered Jameson Sr. and Aunt May were together.) He goes inside, bewildered, to find Aunt May's relatives, the Reilly's taking up residence.

Apparently they want to stay because Massachusetts has higher taxes than New York. Whoever wrote that obviously doesn't live in New York, because although the state sales tax is 4.0% and Massachusetts' is 6.25%, in New York each county also adds its own sales tax, making the total sales tax at least 8.0% in New York. If they were trying to get away from Massachusetts taxes, New York would be the last place they would go.

Sorry, I just like to expose it when writers don't do the research.

Anyway. After that plan fails, he tries to find Harry in the hopes he can crash in his Penthouse, and that he'll have MJ's number.

With that plan quickly dismissed, Peter is forced into desperation. He visits his old friend Betty Brant over at the DB, (The Daily Bugle which had been bought out.) but, once again, finds failure because she already has a roommate. Peter leaves quickly when he hears about a fire in the Empire State Building. Spider-Man tries to calm people down in the raging inferno, and finds salvation in the form of the water pipes from the bathroom. After the bedlam is over, he talks to a fireman, and in the conversation, he mentions Grand Central Station, which jogs Spider-Man's memory about his prior conversation with Mary Jane. He shows up, and thinks of possible things to say to her, until it's obvious she's not showing up.

Cut to Mary Jane, just waking up. After having slept for fifteen hours, she remembers her date with Peter almost immediately, but figures he'd made something out of his night after watching a news report on the fire Spider-Man saved people from. I guess the secret identity erasing of One More Day didn't work on her?

So, this comic. I liked it quite a bit. The writer could actually write Spider-Man well, not as well as Bendis, but better than whoever wrote American Son. The art is nice, better than the 600th issue in my opinion. So yeah, it surprized my by being an issue of Amazing Spider-Man I genuinely enjoyed. Problem is, I can't guarantee the next issue will be this good. Because of the rotation of writers and artists on Amazing Spider-Man, each issue is a gamble. Hell, next issue could be the best Spider-Man I've ever read, or could simply be mediocre. This is why I preferred the old ways, where there were a few different Spider-Man titles, so you could choose which one you liked based on its merits, and just buy that one once a month. Now there's just Amazing, so I gotta keep paying three times a month for an unreliable amount of quality.

Okay then, it's my first review in a while, so tell me what you think! Next time I'll either do the new Ultimate Spider-Man #1, or New Avengers #55, because Bendis wrote it. So until I get enough ambition, the W Defender is signing off.

Friday, August 21, 2009

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Hey everybody! I know I haven't updated in a while, despite a healthy flow of comics and material of which to write. This is because I am lazy. Aaanyway, something that came out today piqued my interest, so today I'm going to write about the preview of the new WoW expansion: Cataclysm.

I used to play WoW quite a bit, but a combination of screwing the lore of the game with random retcons, an inability to get anything good from the game without hours and hours of play (which I just don't have), their pandering to the goddamn casual gamers, and the fact that it just became boring, led me to quit that crippling addiction.

I still keep up on what's going on, should I ever desire to come back, just in case. Recently, I noticed something on Ctrl-Alt-Del talking about the next WoW expansion, called Cataclysm. (The link with the details is here if you want the preliminary details.) I didn't think much of it, and a lot of it, didn't seem to make sense, like the new race/class combinations and the fact that goblins would be a playable race.

Well my friends, it has come true. Yeah, it was announced at Blizzcon, and soon we'll start getting the details and such. But I mean, look at this trailer. Okay, the fact that everything's getting its ass kicked is awesome, but honestly, the trailer doesn't make it seem all that exciting. The one introducing a land caked in ice and introducing dead people as a class was more exciting than the trailer showing the world blowing up and going to shit. Then there's the Worgen, wolf-people whose backstory was introduced in World of Warcraft as evil things from another dimension, only it seems to be quickly retconned as some sort of werewolf curse.

Blizzard has a history of changing the lore, as with Draenei, who at first looked like this:

In order to make them a playable race, altered their backstory to make them the same as a type of demons, the Eredar, and subsequently changed them to look like this:

But at least that was changed between Warcraft III and World of Warcraft.

Next is the fact that certain races will get new classes. One of the most ridiculous is that of a Tauren Paladin. Tauren are shamanistic cow people, all at one with nature and shit. Paladins are holy warriors. Think an indian becoming a priest. Add this to the fact that they'll be almost unstoppable, it's going to suck. Another inexplicable class is the Night Elf Mage. Night Elves, as part of their history, became addicted to magic for a short while, and as such, swore off it, and anyone who used it was considered a criminal, like Illidan, who was imprisoned for 10,000 years. But no, now Mages are A-Okay.

I'm not playing WoW right now, and I doubt I will any time soon, and there are parts of this new expansion that definitely make me more reluctant. On the other hand, a lot of it, like the entire old world of Azeroth being revamped in a Cataclysmic disaster the likes of which never seen before. I'll keep checking up on development, and we'll just see how things turn out.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Comcs Bought on 6/5

Today was a pretty good day for comics, along with something I don't usually buy.

Amazing Spider-Man #601: Also not bad. Not any supervilliany, a slice of life kind of comic. A big review is likely.

Secret Warriors #6: Really just a continuation of the last issue, pretty good.

Captain America Reborn #2: Continuing with his Vonnegut inspired "unstuck in time" plot, now Osborn is involved. I don't really know.

Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash #2: An unusual choice for me, but how could I resist a combination of two of the best horror movie monsters of all time with Ash from Evil Dead? Either way, it's gory and kickass.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Okay, now recently, the 600th issue of Amazing Spider-Man came out, and I bought it. This isn't a review, but a post in tribute of that.

Many of you may be wondering why I bothered to buy the 600th issue, if recent issues were any indication of its quality. This is because, no matter what, I will continue to like Spider-Man. See, Spider-Man, at his core, is something that can't be tarnished. It's the story of a boy, who fell headfirst into some powers, made a mistake, paid for it, and now he just tries to do good whenever he can. With the loss of his uncle, the closest thing to a father he's ever had, he learned an important rule: With great power, there must also come great responsibility. By now it's been drilled into my head so many times by all the adaptations, but it's what first motivated him to fight for good. He may not always know exactly what's going on, or make the smartest decisions, but he never gives up, can never be taken down for long. If he's outsmarted, he just derives a new way to win. If he's beaten down, he just uses his head.

I've been watching and reading Spider-Man since I was little. The first thing about him is his super powers. The thing that makes him special. But along with that is something different, his intelligence. Even though most problems could be solved, in a way, with brute force, he was smart enough to find other ways. I always noticed he got bullied by people like Flash Thompson, but he never really fought back, never used what he had to get his ultimate revenge. Sometimes, to conceal his identity, he would take a hit or two, and just keep going about his business.

The most important thing is that no matter what, Spider-Man didn't give in. He never became darker and edgier, never started killing his villains, just kept cracking jokes. This is exemplified in this Marvel/DC webisode, when the Joker tries to do just that.

"Maybe I don't know when I've been beaten. But maybe that's why you can't beat me. You tried to make me think all my loved ones were killed in order to make me some darker version of myself. Well guess what, my mother is dead, my father is dead, my uncle was shot, even my girlfriend was murdered! [...] The point is, I have lost everything I ever cared about and I'm still here with all the morals I started with. Now you're looking for some magic button to push to change me. Well you give it all you got, because I'm either just too strong or too stupid to lose hope! "

Spider-Man frequently sacrifices his normal life to save people, and he doesn't care if the paper hates him, if he has an impostor, or if it seems like the odds are completely against him. He is an archetypal hero. He's more than just a comic book character, he's an ideal. He has the same problems as the rest of us, but does all he can to do what's right, no matter what's taken away from him. Batman wears a costume to scare criminals. Spider-Man does it to protect his family, of which he's already lost so much. Captain America fights for his country. Spider-Man fights for good, and for the memory of Uncle Ben.

So there, that's why I will continue to read Spider-Man, because at his core, he's incorruptible. Anyway, that's my fanboy ramblings for today. If you got through it, that is. Anyway, Place Vendome review is up next, when I get up ambition to write it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Comics Bought on 7/29

Here's what was on the shopping list today, for your comic-loving blog-man.

Deadpool: Suicide Kings #4: Good issue, took a while to come out, but was worth the 4 bucks. Deadpool + Spider-Man = Instant Comedy.

Ultimatum #5: Eeeh. The ending to the big Ultimate Marvel crossover. Basically, every character you liked is dead. I don't really like it, personally. Kinda steers me away from Ultimate Marvel.

Ultimate Spider-Man: Requiem #2: Pretty good, has a new story drawn by Mark Bagley, gives me a little hope for the future of Ultimate Spider-Man.

Amazing Spider-Man #600: One gigantic issue, and thing is, I kinda liked it. I had a few gripes, but overall, a good comic. Also: Mary Jane is back! Woo!

I probably won't make any large reviews, but there is an upcoming Spider-Man post I plan to write at some point, and the Place Vendome review when I get around to it. That's all for now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

American Son Parts 4 and 5

Okay then, I finally got the last part of the American Son saga, so now for the review you've all been waiting for.

Comic Review: Amazing Spider-Man 598 + 599

Now then, last time, we were left with the tantalizing notion that Spider-Man may have gotten shot and killed in response to his extremely stupid behavior.

This issue starts with Harry and Norman having a heart-to-heart, Norman telling his son that he's proud of him, while he's covered in blood. Norman reveals to Harry his plans for the American Son project, and when Harry asks if Spider-Man is going to live, Norman gives a negatory.

We next cut to Spider-Man, strapped to a wall, blood on his face, and a laser shooting his head. See, the Venom mask he had was created by Reed Richards, who took precautions in case Spider-Man's completely idiotic plan somehow found its way toward trouble. Osborn, content to keep his hands from getting dirty, promises a bonus to Hawkeye if he can get Spider-Man to reveal his identity, or get his mask off.

We then cut to a pretty useless interlude where we follow Norah as she flirts her way to restricted security levels.

Anyway, then we go back to Spider-Man, as Hawkeye shows how he'd rather be known as Bullseye for no understandable reason.

I mean, in the Dark Hawkeye limited series, people dressed as Bullseye are currently trying to drive him insane. So, you know, by all means he shouldn't have the inclination to dress in his former persona. Just another example of an author not bothering to care what else is going on in the universe, or about any changes to character.

After that pointless costume change, Norman shows Harry the armor and explains to him the treatment he will be receiving won't be drugs, per se, but more of a compound, like the super soldier serum. I mean, it's not like every attempt to replicate that has ended in failure or anything.

Anyway, while Spider-Man is still in incredible pain, Norman reveals he can break down the compound in his mask, and while he does so, he proceeds to tell Spider-Man that Harry sold him out for a woman. Obviously he's never heard of "bros before hos." Harry, in the meantime, gets to Lily, and tries to give her the cure to the Goblin serum. She freaks out, and knocks Harry down. Osborn, in turn, drops some significant foreshadowing in two words.

It then shows Lily, turned into a new and improved Menace, who for some reason doesn't look pregnant at all anymore. Apparently the baby changes or something so she can have a flat stomach again. I don't know. Anyway, the foreshadowing Osborn dropped before is quickly uncovered before anyone can speculate on it.

Spider-Man finally breaks free from his little prison, and proceeds to beat the shit out of Norman and Bullseye. Harry runs away from the new Menace, who laments her old boyfriends ball-growing.

Norman gets the upper hand on Spidey again, and is about to rip off his almost entirely destroyed mask when Harry bursts in, with the American son suit assembling itself on him.

When the next issue begins, the bleeding near unconscious Spider-Man has a flashback amid Harry and Norman having a supersuit fight. I actually like this flashback, because it, at least, is well written, and it's from the time when Norman liked Peter more than Harry, so Harry got in a fight at a frat party to take out the anger. It's sentimental, but I liked it. Anyway, they fight, and there's a nice splash page.

So they fight, and the dialogue pretty much amounts to "Daddy! You used me!" "You know what? GO TO YOUR ROOM." Until Harry decides to bring it all out in the open.

After smashing Norman through the wall of the skyscraper, Harry goes to a shadowed, unmasked Spider-Man, and Harry tells him that he hasn't seen his identity, and to stay out of the fight. As the fight is taken outside, Norman tells Harry he couldn't make Harry into the son he wanted, so another opportunity presented itself.

Norman then gains the upper hand, and looks like he's about to win, so guess who comes to save the day!

There's a battle royale between Norman, Menace, Harry, and Spider-Man, until Harry stands triumphant. Harry is about to kill him, until Spider-Man gives him the old "If you kill him you will become him" speech, so Harry backs down, takes off the suit, and walks away.

Next Peter is in the hospital, with the explanation that he was hit by a car, and that's why he has a black eye and random other injuries a car could not possibly inflict. Harry, who tells a doctor about the goblin serum, gets an offer for a prescription of Oxycontin, which could foreshadow more drug addiction for him, right after he got sober again. Norah, Peter's whore friend, talks to the editor at the paper while she reviews the footage she got from the Avengers building. Instead of what she wanted, she gets a recording of the friend she stole the keycard from being tortured, then footage of her using it, with a voiceover saying "I never forget the people who meddle in my affairs. NEVER." So she gets too scared to continue her story. The last part of the story has Norman talking to his yet-to-be-born son about how he's going to kick everyone's ass. Then the issue ends.

Okay. Now. These issues. First of all, the "Norman Osborn boned your girlfriend and now she's having a kid" was done before, with Gwen Stacy of all people. I mean, I get the feeling these comics are just a retreading of old stuff, only in a worse way. Of course, saying Norman Osborn knocked up Gwen Stacy wasn't the best thing ever written in the first place. I mean, man, he implied he was impotent before, but he's the opposite! Who hasn't he banged yet? I heard he winked at a girl once, and the next day she was in her third trimester.

Anyway, these two could have been better, Osborn still talked like Frank Miller Batman, but the last issue had some redeeming factors, and it finally ended. I'm probably going to get Amazing Spider-Man 600 since I heard Mary Jane was going to be in it. I bought a new Place Vendome CD, so I'll probably write a review of that in time, for those sick of these reviews. Anyway, until next time, this is the W Defender, signing off!