Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spider-Man: Big Time

Hey everybody. I was going to take this time to write a review of the rest of the Origin of the Species storyline that was driving me crazy a while ago, because it made no sense. But, really, you saw all you needed to see from the first two issues. It's Spider-Man, carrying around a baby, he thinks it died so he goes all broody and beats people up, then we get some Doctor Octopus and Lizard action, and in a move I still don't understand, Spider-Man finds out that the baby is actually Harry's. So that's two illegitimate children under his belt. Man, he's good at that.

Point is, that's over now, and I am so glad for it. Remember the post from San Diego Comic Con, about Spider-Man: Big Time? I was a bit wary then, mostly because I had no reason to trust the people in charge of Spider-Man. Especially after American Son. But, ladies and gentlemen, I no longer have any reason to fear.

Comic Review: Amazing Spider-Man #648

Our comic begins with a full page shot of Spider-Man with the Avengers, while he shouts their catchphrase, "Avengers Assemble!" Doc Ock, apparently deciding stealing babies was beneath him, has sent out giant Octobots to rampage through NYC. Being that Octopus is Spidey's main villain, the Avengers defer to him on the battleplan.

As he takes down an Octobot with the ol' AT-AT strategy, he comes upon a familiar character, someone I like to refer to as, "Can't Move Out of the Way Guy."

Speaking of the mayor, we cut to Jameson, surprizingly not looking like Hitler, being evacuated for his safety. He's watched by a mysterious armored guy.

In the limo, his wife, Marla, mentions she has a list of things to do for couples' therapy, considering the troubles they've been having. With giant octopuses attacking the city, she's decided to go through all of them now. We then cut to John Jameson, JJ's son, at an Air Force base, about to go to NYC to fight some giant robots. Captain America shows up, with something suspicious about him.

Back with Spidey, he takes down an Octobot, and stops by the Fantastic 4, who seem to be doing well on their own. After dodging what seems like a self-destructing Octobot, Spider-Man runs into another of his old friends.

Fleeing for his monogamous life, Spider-Man desperately tries to think of his girlfriend, Carlie Cooper, as he runs into a broadcast by Doc Ock on the screen of an Octobot. And he gives the usual "Now You Will Pay For What You've Done" speech. At that Air Force base, we then see Electro, actually looking pretty cool again, come in through a light bulb.

He then meets up with Captain America, who was actually Chameleon. Big suprise. They're working together, along with Sandman, Rhino and Mysterio, because they got the ol' gang back together, and made a new Sinister Six! Yes! I love the Sinister Six! They let out some mini-octobots, and report back to base. Doc Ock orders the giant-Octobots to be put on standby, because they were really just a diversion. Then he presses a button to initiate the self destruct sequence.

Wait, Doc Ock actually thinks Spider-Man is intelligent? Was he even paying attention when Spider-Man was webslinging around with a newborn last week? Back with the Avengers, Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man try to defuse the Octo-bombs, finding out that they're all connected to a network, so if one can be disarmed, they'll all deactivate. Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, asks if Spider-Man could help, since Spider-Man's smart too. Spider-Man attests that he's not "In their league." After looking over to a clock though, he gets inspiration. He begins syncing the timer to the internal clock of the Octobot. Why you ask? Well, it's the first Sunday in November.

Actually quite clever. Anyway, after the Octobots explode safely offshore, Peter has to tackle the most dangerous task of all... WORKING.

We see our good friend Norah Winters, who before used her seducing skills to get the dirt on Norman Osborn in the American Son five-parter. She's been continuing this line of investigation, and found Green Goblin tattoos on convicts and other ruffians. Suddenly, Jameson comes in, with the deed to the Daily Bugle. Apparently Marla told him to buy it back from Dexter Bennet's shareholders, so he could give it to Robbie Robertson.

Peter escapes from work, back to his apartment, to tell Michele that he'll soon have last month's rent. Unfortunately, he finds all of his stuff outside of the apartment. With her brother finally out of jail, she doesn't need to be in New York anymore, and is moving back to Chicago. I'm a little sad to see her go, because she was an interesting character, and he doesn't really have that kind of antagonistic-yet-they-banged relationship with anyone else. So with this, Peter has to find a new apartment. He first goes to Randy Robertson, who immediately refuses. Next he tries asking Carlie, who also refuses, because you don't move in with your boyfriend that early.

We then join Aunt May and her husband Jay Jameson, with their visitors, Marla and John Jameson. As John and Jay catch up on old times, May and Marla talk about Peter's current state of unemployment, with Marla wishing to help.

We cut back to Peter, as he continues to have bad luck. But mostly cock-blocking Flash Thompson.

He shows up at Mary Jane's door, and they both burst out into laughter at the very suggestion of moving back in together. It makes sense, but it’s a bit sad, since it really squelches any real chance that they’ll get back together. One Moment In Time really confirmed that, but I’m still a staunch Mary Jane supporter. As a last resort, Peter finds himself at Aunt May's door, with a very, well, depressing monologue. But a really well written one.

Luckily, he doesn't have to knock on that door, because Marla Jameson opens it up before he can. She's got someplace to take him, to Horizon Labs, workplace of apparently famous scientist Max Modell. Outside, Marla reveals that she knows Modell because she's a scientist, and used to built Spider-Slayers. Which, uh, makes her a good match for Jameson then. Peter's Spider-sense tingles, but doesn't see the creepy armored guy from before.

He decides he needs some help to get Jameson, because security is too tight. He then remembers Mac Gargan, the current Venom. So we cut to Venom, getting the symbiote removed from him.

Well, I mean, they didn't remove the Symbiote before because it was supposed to be bonded to his DNA, as much as that doesn't make sense. If it were truly removed, it was supposed to kill him, But I guess they thought more interesting storylines would come from it being separate, so they quietly reconned that aspect.

Back at the lab Peter geeks out about everything. As part of the tour, they bring him up to a machine that will test an artificial version of Vibranium, an alien metal usually used as a technobabble solution, called Reverbium. Just as she's about to throw the switch and test the Reverbium, Peter's Spider-sense tingles, but it's too late. The experiment goes horribly wrong.

Rather than be the origin story for a new superhero, which, honestly, I thought happened every time anyone ran any kind of experiment, Peter does some science-math and fixes it. I was really happy to see this, because people tend to forget that along with the superpowers, Peter's really really smart. I mean, he invented the webshooters in high school! But then he goes around webslinging with a baby, so, I guess I can understand that. Peter gets his first paycheck along with a shitload of scientific journals to read over the next week. Peter, satisfied with his life, but without an apartment, opts for the cheap web-hammock.

Everything seems so nice. What could possibly go wro--

Uh oh.

That's Big Time. And I have to say, it was awesome. The writing's finally good again, and they brought back the artist that used to draw Spectacular Spider-Man before One More Day went down. Of course, I get the feeling that I only love this so much because I'm directly comparing it to the baby-stealing comics directly preceeding it. It may have been their plan, now that I think about it. How do you make your new thing seem really good? Put something terrible right before it! By comparison, it will seem like the Second Coming! Disregarding the fact that I may be biased in that way, I still really liked the issue. I hope the next issue's just as good, and Marvel learns this time not to mess with success. I'm glad Hobgoblin's back in the picture, he's a good villain we haven't seen in a while. We'll see how the next issue turns out, and if it deserves a review. See you next time on the W Defender!

PS: Oh, when buying this comic, as with others, I got the variant cover, because those are fancy. Unfortunately for me and this review, that cover looks like this:

So I then bought a second copy, with the normal cover. That's right, I bought two copies of the same comic just for this review! You should all feel so proud.

1 comment:

  1. I want to see a cover where it's just a Rorschach blot. That'll drive people crazy.