It was a short week and for first reviews of 2013 and we look at who the Superior Spider-Man is and the return of Marvel’s Illuminati.
Amazing Spider-Man #700 ($7.99, Marvel Comics)
- Writer: Dan Slott
- Penciler: Humberto Ramos
- Inker: Victor Olazaba
- Colorist: Edgar Delgado
- Letterer: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
- Assistant Editor: Ellie Pyle
- Editor: Stephen Wacker
So by now we all know what happens in #700 right? Have you been living under a rock? I’m reviewing this a week after it came out, so the spoiler warning doesn’t need to happen.
When we last left poor Peter, his mind was in Doc Ock’s dying body and he was using villains to rescue him so he could try to put his mind back where it belongs. This entire issue is basically Peter attempting to do just that, and failing miserably. Doc Ock, in Peter’s body, beats him at every turn. But Peter doesn’t give up. He’s Peter Parker, he’s Spider-Man, with great power comes great responsibility.
Slott does a great job of showing on Ock’s thoughts/memories in his body subtly nudge Peter well at the same time, Peter’s thoughts/memories in his body are what ultimately saves the day and turns Ock into a good guy. Wait… back up…
I liked these last three issues. The premise is pure comic book goodness, it can only happen in a comic book, and Slott does a great job with it. The script was strong, the story was strong and it made sense (in a comic-booky way). But the last pages of this issue don’t work. Or do they?
Ock has had Peter’s memories for a bit now but still was Ock underneath. He was enjoying using Peter’s memories against him, manipulating all Pete’s friends into one place, putting the moves on MJ, tricking the Avengers, etc.. His ego was getting off on it. But all it took was seeing Pete’s life flash before his eyes to turn him good?
When I first read it, I didn’t like it. I thought it happened too fast and wasn’t enough to convince me that Otto was having a change of heart. But now as I write this, I’m rethinking. Prior to that last fight, Otto only had Peter’s memories. He knew the facts, not the emotions. But that last fight? Seeing Pete’s life flash before his eyes? Otto now had the emotional connection to those memories. He felt all that Peter felt. Would that be enough?
The seeds are laid for Peter’s eventual return. He (in Otto’s body) mentioned to Carlie Cooper that Otto was in his body, so once she notices Spider-Man/Peter acting differently, she’ll start to suspect and with Peter’s memories/thoughts roaming around in the back of Otto’s mind, it wouldn’t take much for a telepath or Hank Pym to bring Peter back. So yes, this won’t last forever, but it should be interesting.
4 out of 5
New Avengers #1 ($3.99, Marvel Comics)
- Writer: Jonathan Hickman
- Penciler: Steve Epting
- Inker: Rick Magyar w/ Steve Epting
- Colorist: Frank D’Armata
- Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
- Assistant Editor: Jake Thomas
- Editor: Tom Brevoort & Lauren Sankovitch
Brian Michael Bendis wrote both Avengers titles for a long time and now Jonathan Hickman is stepping in, taking over both titles as well. Bendis kept both titles somewhat seperate from eachother but that revolved around the team members. Avengers was the cosmic team and New Avengers was the street-level (and magic) team. It looks like Hickman is going slightly different.
One of the things Bendis set up was the idea of the Illuminati in the Marvel Universe. This was a group of the high level super heroes that tried to run things in the background. The group consisted of Namor, Blackbolt, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Reed Richards and Professor Xavier. Aside from holding onto the Infinity Gems (and doing a poor job of it if they let the Hood get them), the Illuminati amounted to pretty much nothing.
Bendis is reforming the group in New Avengers, and here’s hoping that the group has more impact this time around. For a group that is supposed to take care of things behind the scenes, Bendis’ version did no such thing.
The opening makes it look like this will be a more pro-active group, and with Captain America along for the ride.
The issue is vintage Hickman. There’s alot going on here, even the Wakandan stuff he basically invents, and there are some big ideas being laid out. If Marvel tries to do another Black Panther series, it better have Hickman writing because so far he’s been the best writer at capturing the high-technological but still highly tribal Wakandans.
Steve Epting is one of my top five favorite artists. I love his work. So I’m glad to see him back with Hickman. Their Fantastic Four/FF stuff was great and I’m expecting no less from this book.
5 out of 5