Due to a shipping snafu, I ended up with someone else’s order and he or she with mine. Fortunately we’re both huge addicts, so I was able to read most of my regular books anyway (and filled in one with Comixology, which really wasn’t bad on the iPad, just a little smaller.) I hope my accidental swapper reads a few of mine and subscribes, but when I talk about sharing my love of comics, I’m not really meaning it so literally.
Superior Spider-Man #14
Well, we’re certainly past the teases about returning back to the status quo, and are charging forward into completely uncharted territory. I’ve never seen any of the big franchise titles do anything like this – Superman, Batman, Wolverine, what-have-you. This is new, and I’m nowhere close to being tired of it.
It’s essentially, at this point, what would it be like if a superhero used the tactics that villains in the same comics typically use? The one title it reminds me a little of is the original Thunderbolts, where a group of villains masquerades as heroes in order to gain the public’s trust and (as originally planned) ultimately betray them. But this is different. It’s not a team, it’s not a trap, and Spider-Man genuinely has the public trust. And he’s genuinely doing what he thinks will do the most good, just without as many ethical concerns as most people have.
What he’s doing this issue is showing how he’s managed to acquire a veritable Spider-Army. Because villains like minions! And for a while the Kingpin has been operating out of a public place, so Spider-Man and his minions wage a sudden full frontal assault. And it pretty much works.
And despite going the extreme violence without pity route, we see the locals who have been terrified of the Kingpin’s activities are grateful for being freed from their living nightmare. Once again, the reader is presented with a morally ambiguous situation. Was this a good idea? Will there be consequences for this?
Speaking of consequences, meanwhile Spider-Man is arrogant, and has no idea that the Goblin has hacked into his spiderbots, and is blatantly doing whatever he wants right under Spider-Man’s all-seeing eye. So, we’ll see how that goes. I expect it will not go as I expect. See, I’m learning, Mr. Slott!
Hawkeye Annual #1
Let me pause a second for my readers who are newer to the world of comics and answer, what is an annual, anyway? Well, it used to be, once a year Marvel (and to a lesser extent DC) would release a double-sized issue, for a price that’s less than double. Once a year, so annual. Why are they out of the normal numbering? I don’t know, but they are. Are they still once a year? No. Now they’re whenever they feel like it. Anyway, here’s an extra large issue of Hawkeye, so yay!
This issue focuses on the other Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, who is the best Hawkeye anyway. She gets fed up with watching Clint screw up his life in predictable ways that he seems to make no attempt to avoid, because who wouldn’t, and so takes the dog and heads off to Los Angeles, where things go badly.
See, a little while back, Kate made a fool of a villain, Madam Masque. Madam Masque has been monitoring her, and manages to intercept her in LA and lure her into a trap. But Kate is nobody’s fool, and knows fully well she’s in a trap, but wants to see how it plays out. And she’s a Hawkeye, so it plays out messily but entertainingly.
Plus we get more of Kate’s backstory and messed up rich girl life. As much as she’s a competent character with a good head on her shoulders, it’s nice to see her youth and uncertainty on display.
And she has the best purple wardrobe ever. All the purple.
Young Avengers #8
Most of this issue is Gillen and McKelvie having fun. The kids are on a cross-Universe adventure, or nightmare, where things keep going from bad to differently bad. It’s not the most plot advancey issue, but when these creators decide to have fun, I’m not complaining.
Ultimately, things tie back into our original plot, with the cross-dimensional alien parasite mom-thing showing up. And then more incredible panel layout happens. Reallly, the things they do with page layout in this book is a master class all in itself.
And we end on a pair of surprises, as a major character from Loki’s past, seen in Journey Into Mystery, shows up, and a couple of characters share a kiss in a circumstance where they really ought to be concerned with other things. Hey, they’re young, it says so right in the title!
This is an energetic and creative title, with fantastic art and real innovation in the art of the comic in every issue. Fall in love with it already, will you?