Next up are two Spider-Man related comics, the second(and final) part of Spidey's first meeting with the Avengers Academy kids, as well as Venom. Both should be really good, the only question is how good???
Amazing Spider-Man #662:
Summary: We continue with Spidey's REALLY bad day as a substitute teacher for the Avengers Academy. Not only did Spidey's lesson plan in class bomb, he took the kids out on patrol and they wound up getting mind-controlled by the Psycho-Man, and were now trying to kill Spidey. After a lengthy battle, Spidey manages to get through to one of the kids(the Avengers Academy class leader, Reptil), who in turn manages to help his teammate, Veil, shake free of the Psycho-Man's mind-whammy. Veil manages to use her powers to help the rest of the Academy kids shake the Psycho-Man's influence, which leads to the kids attacking and demolishing the Psycho-Man's body, causing him to return to the Microverse. Before he goes though, the Psycho-Man does take some solace in the fact that the Academy kids were so full of negative emotions, that they were already irretrievably lost to Spidey and the Avengers, at least in the Psycho-Man's eyes. Naturally Spidey sees things differently, and is proud that the kids managed to break free of the Psycho-Man's influence and defeat the villain. From there, Spidey takes the kids back to the Academy, and this story is a wrap. We also had two little quickie stories, another Infested: The Road to Spider-Island and a pretty good one and done story by Frank Tieri.
Thoughts: Well, I didn't enjoy this issue as much as the prior one, but then again, since I gave the last issue a perfect score, it would have been kind of tough to have enjoyed this issue as much as that one... Still, it was really good, and it was great to see Christos Gage taking his Avengers Academy kids out of their book and having them guest star in one of Marvel's top selling titles. Here's hoping this storyline has managed to get the Avengers Academy series a few new readers, because it really is a hell of a good read.
Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Heh heh, he called them delinquents.
Summary: Venom(Flash Thompson) is still in the Savage Land trying to destroy the Vibranium shipment the Crime-Master wanted to get his hands on. Thanks to Venom's tussle with Kraven last issue(who I STILL say should have remained dead!), Flash has lost several hours, and was having great difficulty keeping the Venom symbiote under his control. While Venom is decimating the Crime-Master's goons in the Savage Land, Crime-Master's top operative, Jack O' Lantern, has managed to kidnap Flash's girlfriend, Betty Brant, since the Crime-Master had discovered Venom's civilian identity last issue. Flash manages to destroy the Vibranium mining plant, and gets out of the Savage Land with a helicopter full of Vibranium. Mission accomplished, right? Not so fast! The Crime-Master contacts Flash via the helicopter's radio and tells him that Jack had kidnapped Betty, and that they'd release Betty... Provided Flash brought the shipment of Vibranium to the Crime-Master in New York. Meanwhile, Peter Parker discovers Betty's ransacked apartment and dons his Spidey clothes to search for her. Flash, rapidly losing control of the symbiote with each passing second, manages to make it to New York, and reluctantly turns the Vibranium over to the Crime-Master, who tells Flash that he had 5 minutes to get to Betty before the warehouse she was in exploded... Ah villains... So damn dramatic... Flash rushes off while the Crime-Master gloats about the fact that he now had the US's newest super-spy running errands for him. While nearing the warehouse, Spidey intercepts Venom, figuring that Venom had somehow recalled Spidey's secret identity and kidnapped Betty to get at him... Awesome. Spidey tears into Venom, while Flash attempts to get away to reach the warehouse and Betty. However, by this point, Flash has been bonded to the symbiote for too long, and the symbiote takes complete charge, with the lone thought in it's mind being to kill Spider-Man. Back at the Project Rebirth facility, Flash's superiors see the Venom/Spider-Man battle on TV, and figuring Flash had completely lost it, push the button to fry Flash's brain(!).
Thoughts: Wow, that was one hell of a comic! There wasn't a dead spot anywhere in this one. The entire thing was action packed, AND told an awesome story. Plus the obligatory Spider-Man appearance(you KNEW he was going to show up eventually!) made perfect sense, and didn't seem forced in the least. I really don't have any major complaints here at all... The story was really good, the art was really good, and the cliffhanger left me salivating for the next issue. What more could I ask for?
Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.The huge bomb behind Betty labeled "TNT" is pretty damn hilarious...