Hey X-Maniacs, I have a few comics from last week to post before I can move on to this week's batch of books. I'll be posting a standalone review for Brightest Day #21 tomorrow, so you KNOW the fangs will be out for that one! After that I think I'll post another 10 Thoughts review for the weekend, this time for the first Y: The Last Man trade. If you haven't ever read that work of art, trust me, you should. I'm two and a half trades in and saying that I've been enjoying the story would be a massive understatement. Anyway, that's what I intend on putting up the next two days. For now, here's three books that actually turned out to be pretty solid reads... Well except for one of them that is...
Amazing Spider-Man #655:
Summary: This issue begins with J. Jonah Jameson slowly going through the motions on the day of his wife's(Marla) funeral. From the moment he wakes up to the moment Marla's casket is lowered into the ground, Jameson's expression never wavers, and he truly seems to be a broken man. Peter Parker is also quite distraught at the fact he couldn't save Marla, and is haunted by dreams of all of the people in his life who have died/been killed. This segues into Spidey being confronted by the fact that his enemies always seem to come back while his loved ones remain dead. A few characters including Steve Rogers, Wolverine, Punisher and the Scourge of the Underworld(!!!!!) tell Spidey that his best bet was to simply kill his foes, that way they couldn't harm the people he loved anymore. From there Spidey spots the burglar who murdered his Uncle Ben and beats him violently, however when he looks down at the body it isn't the bugler's battered body laying at Spidey's feet, but Uncle Ben himself, who tells Spidey that he was let down by his actions. Spidey awakens with a start and decides that for as long as he was around, nobody would die. This issue then ends with a man killing a hostage to send a message to the police.
Thoughts: Well, I went out of my way to complain about my dislike of “silent” comic books during my review of Fantastic Four #588. The first half of this issue was “silent” but it worked MUCH better here than it did in the FF book. Where the FF comic could have used some words to help explain what was going on at certain points, all of the silent scenes in this comic worked perfectly, because words really weren't necessary. Marcos Martin's art did all the talking that needed to be done. You didn't need words to see that Jameson was a completely broken man, nor that Spidey was beating himself up over Marla's death. You could see that plainly in their faces. The dream sequences was also excellent, as it gave us a great glimpse into Spidey's tortured thoughts after Marla's death. Should he kill his enemies? Wouldn't that make things easier? Steve Rogers killed Nazis during WWII, which would lead Spidey to believe that in some cases killing was right, but then you had Wolverine accidentally and remorselessly killing other heroes and Punisher killing villains who weren't a threat to anybody. Ultimately it seems that disappointing Uncle Ben was the driving force for Spidey to NOT kill his foes, and the end of this comic, with Spidey swearing that nobody else would die, immediately followed by somebody dying was funny in a morbid sort of way. I mean leave it to poor Spidey to make a bold proclamation like that and then immediately be confronted by another innocent death. Once again, Dan Slott brought ALL of the awesome, and once again I'll be waiting eagerly for the next issue.
Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.This entire scene NEARLY pushed this comic to a perfect score all on it's own!
Green Arrow #9:
Summary: We get underway with Jason Blood, Galahad and Green Arrow confronting Etrigan in Starwood Forest. The Phantom Stranger is also there, but as usual, he doesn't lift a finger to help anybody. The trio of heroes take the battle to Etrigan, and are actually assisted by the enchanted forest itself. However, Etrigan manages to corrupt the forest and turns the forest against the heroes. Now at an even greater disadvantage due to Etrigan controlling the plant life in the forest, the heroes realize that the weird White Lantern tree in the center of the forest was being threatened by Etrigan's evil plant growth. Green Arrow and Galahad rush towards the White tree to protect it, while Blood tries to contain Etrigan. Before GA and Galahad can reach the White tree though, another tree sprouts up in front of the two heroes and unleashes a mess of giant bugs, whose only goal seems to be to break the backs of our heroes and make them humble. GA and Galahad do what they can, but the bugs overwhelm them and drag Galahad underground. This issue ends with Ollie alone and outnumbered against a horde of evil insects.
Thoughts: I actually enjoyed this comic a lot. Way more than I would have expected going into it. The battle with Etrigan was really good, the giant bugs proved to be a substantial menace, and Galahad got dragged away. I can't complain about any of that. If I had one complaint, it would be the fact that the deck is stacked SO against the heroes there really shouldn't be any conceivable way for them to win... I mean the bugs defeated GA and Galahad, and now GA is forced to face them alone, and Etrigan was MORE than holding his own against Blood, GA AND Galahad. I can't see how Blood alone can contain the Demon. For a change I'm actually looking forward to the next issue of GA!
Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Somebody is about to get humbled!!!
Summary: Namor, Thor and the Red Hulk head deep into the ocean so Namor can entrust the Infinity Gem he hid there to Thor. Professor Xavier and a small army of Avengers head to the STILL destroyed X-Mansion to try to retrieve Xavier's Gem, which he had locked away in a program in the Danger Room. A program that was supposed to be unbeatable. While those Avengers are dealing with that menace, Iron Man leads Steve Rogers and another band of Avengers to Area 51 where Stark had hidden his Gem. Stark manages to get through all of the safeguards and is shocked to see the Hood already there, stealing his third Infinity Gem. Before the heroes can react, Hood swipes the Gem and teleports to the location of the next Gem, standing directly in front of Thor, Red Hulk and Namor.
Thoughts: Ugh. It seems Brian Michael Bendis was up to his old tricks again in this issue... Don't get me wrong, the story itself is actually pretty solid and would be enjoyable if it was scripted by anybody BUT Bendis. The problem here was the dialogue though... My main complaint about Bendis is that at times he seems incapable of limiting the useless banter his characters use. There were just SO many cases where random characters would simply start talking about random things that had little or NOTHING to do with the story itself! Do we really need Luke Cage and his wife discussing the fact that Noh-Varr is an alien? Or Noh-Varr questioning why Spidey uses sarcasm in his speech? Did we really need Iron Fist and Ant Man sitting on top of the wrecked X-Mansion talking about absolutely NOTHING?! I KNOW we didn't need Moon Knight and Wolverine discussing the fact that X-Mansion has seen better days! It's obvious that it had! This comic became SO tedious towards the end that I actually found myself skipping large chunks of dialogue, and guess what? Doing that didn't hurt my enjoyment of the story itself at all! Here's hoping next issue heralds the return of Good Bendis, the one who can tell a good story, who limits the number of characters he has wandering around, and who keeps the banter to a minimum!
Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah......