Hey all, here comes yet another installment of Quick Hits. We have an all Marvel post here with three comics to get through, including the usually strong Amazing Spider-Man. Vamos!
Onslaught Unleashed #1(of 4):
Summary: This mini-series gets underway with Nomad having a dream concerning the Roxxon company, something called Project: Power, a dragon man and her standing over the bodies of all her friends while a mysterious voice taunts her. Naturally she heads to Steve Rogers to tell him what she saw, and Steve investigates, learning there was a Project: Power based out of Columbia that Roxxon was working on. Nomad's friend Toro is kidnapped by a dragon-like man, leading her to believe her dream was coming true. Steve tells Nomad that if somebody was manipulating her through her dreams she shouldn't play into their game, and as such should stay out of it. Steve and his Secret Avengers head to Columbia to investigate, while Nomad disobeys Steve and gathers her Young Allies who also head to Columbia. The Secret Avengers discover an abandoned Roxxon facility in Columbia, lined with corpses. The Secret Avengers split up to investigate and Beast discovers a small portal from the Negative Zone that Roxxon was trying to siphon power from. The rest of the Secret Avengers are attacked by the dragon-like man and his army of gun-totting children. By this point the Young Allies arrive and lend an assist, with Nomad stumbling across the room Beast had been working in. A large hand reaches out of the portal and winds up knocking Beast out. When Beast comes to he finds that Onslaught had escaped from the Negative Zone and possessed Nomad.
Thoughts: You know, this comic wasn't THAT BAD. I mean it wasn't spectacular, and when most people think of Onslaught they cringe(and rightfully so!), but the beginning of this mini was readable, which is more than I could ever say about the last Onslaught mini. I actually would have scored this particular comic a bit higher if the art had been better. This is one of those rare comics where the artwork actually hurt my enjoyment of the story. I mean it wasn't Howard Chaykin bad, but it was quite a mess at times. So this was definitely a mixed bag. The story was interesting, although the inclusion of Onslaught himself is bound to scare off a few fans, while the art was sub-par.
Score: 6 out of 10.Sure, possess the girl with no powers... That makes sense...
Summary: We kick off in the wilds of Canada, with Wolverine trying to find a trucker who had been kidnapped off the road. We learn that the trucker was kidnapped by two cannibalistic brothers, and Wolvie winds up allowing himself to get captured in order to get into their hideout. While all of this is going on, Wolvie's girlfriend, Melita, has thrown a surprise birthday party for the ol' Canucklehead. Unfortunately for Melita, many of the super-hero guests have other places to be and slowly begin leaving as Wolvie continues to not show up. Wolvie ends up lopping off the hand of one of the idiot cannibals, and contemplates killing them, but decides against it, instead rescuing the trucker and sending the cannibals to the police(where they are ultimately freed by the Hand). Wolvie and the trucker head to Melita, where Wolvie learns that Melita had thrown him a surprise party, and that she was the only one left. Wolvie also learns that the day he had always thought was his birthday wasn't, and this issue ends with a kiss between Wolvie and Melita.
Thoughts: Okay, my first thought here was this: why didn't Wolverine kill those two cannibals?! I mean seriously. I get that Wolvie has a steady girlfriend, and is in a better place because of it, but these cannibals were talking about eating boy scouts... Wolvie didn't think THAT warranted a good old fashioned gutting? That was just SO not like Wolvie to me. I also wasn't overwhelmingly happy about Jason Aaron changing Wolverine's birth date. One Wolverine's mythos was the fact that Sabretooth would always hunt down and torment Wolvie on Wolvie's birthday. Now that Wolvie's birthday was switched, all of Sabretooth's attempts at making Wolvie's birthday a living hell were for naught. While that's nice for Wolvie, I don't particularly like that change... So after all that you're probably thinking, “Huh, X really didn't like this comic.” Even with those above stated complaints, I actually did enjoy the story here. Sure, I would have preferred for Wolvie to have killed the cannibals and the birthday thing bugged me, but the story WAS good. I liked Wolvie tracking the cannibals through the woods, I liked the scenes from the party between Melita and the various super-heroes(including Deadpool, who crashed the party), I liked Wolvie's battle with the cannibals right up to not killing them. So yeah, there were a few things I didn't love, but there was also a lot of good here as well.
Score: 8 out of 10.Jason Aaron must REALLY hate Canada...
Amazing Spider-Man #654:
Summary: We get started with Peter's scientist friend guessing that Peter Parker was actually Spider-Man's techie, which Peter readily confirms while secretly breathing a sigh of relief. The scientist helps Peter put the finishing touches a device that would dampen all of the Alistair Smythe's Spider-Slayer's spider-senses. Setting off the device from a close range would play havoc with Peter's spider-sense, so he also rigs a remote control activator to set off the device. From there, Spidey takes the device and heads to a spot in Manhattan where the signal should be able to reach all of the Spider-Slayers. Before Spidey can set off the device, he gets attacked by Scorpion, who destroys Spidey's remote activator, leading to Spidey setting of the device manually. This action kills all of the spider-senses, from the Spider-Slayers, to Scorpion, to Spidey himself. It also causes Smythe's ship to crash in the streets of New York, not that far away from the car carrying Mayor Jameson. Spidey makes quick work of the disoriented Scorpion, and rushes to the scene of Smythe's crashed ship, finding Jameson, Jameson's wife and father, Spidey's own Aunt May, as well as a few New Avengers. Everybody hugs and congratulates each other, figuring the battle was over, right up until Smythe bursts out of his damaged ship, knocking the spider-sense-less Spidey down and nearly out with a piece of debris. Smythe knocks the battered New Avengers out of his way and decides to simply kill Mayor Jameson, lunging at Jameson with his back blades. Before Jameson is skewered, his wife Marla jumps in the way, knocking Jameson away but getting impaled herself. By this point Spidey has recovered and knocks Smythe out with a thunderous blow. Jameson heads to his wife's side, where Marla begs her husband not to waste anymore of his life on hate before she succumbs to her injuries. This issue ends with Jameson holding his wife's lifeless body blaming himself for what had happened. There was also a VERY good back-up story about the new Venom. The bottom line there is that the US government has taken control of the Venom symbiote and has bonded it to injured US Army veteran Flash Thompson. Flash is able to control the symbiote, but shows some violent tendencies after being bonded with the symbiote for a few hours. The government scientists take the symbiote off of Flash after some training, telling him that he had passed all of their tests. This story ends with two of the government officials discussing the fact that Flash was the second veteran to have been used in this program, with the first veteran's brain being fried after extended usage of the symbiote.
Thoughts: There was some REALLY great stuff here. The main story was fantastic and nearly perfect, and the back-up story was JUST as good. You know I enjoyed the back-up Venom tale because I mentioned it in the summary. Usually I never bother mentioning the back-up stories I read because they're not worth the time. This one was really good, and has me looking forward to the new Venom series starting this March. As I said, the main story was quite good, although, and this is a really small complaint, I wasn't very happy to see Marla Jameson die here... Now don't get me wrong, I'm fine with her death, because I think it will fuel Jameson, but in my honest opinion, now wasn't the best time for Marla to die. Why? Because it splits Spidey's attention. I wanted to see Spidey mourn his longtime friend Johnny Storm. Now Spidey will be mourning both Johnny and Marla at the same time. I'd have rather gotten the whole Spidey mourning Johnny issue out of the way before Spidey lost somebody else in his life. Besides that one very small quibble, I liked everything else about this comic as Dan Slott continues to bring the awesome to Spidey.
Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.D'oh!