We continue with more Marvel comics as I take a look at two of the best books coming out of the House of Ideas today(in my humble opinion), Amazing Spider-Man and Avengers Academy. You KNOW it's gonna be good, the only real question is how good?
Amazing Spider-Man #663:
Summary: This issue begins with Anti-Venom chasing after some of Mr. Negative's goons, who are running in terror from somebody named Wraith... Needless to say, this piques Anti-Venom's interest, and after unsuccessfully trying to scare information from one of Negative's men, he goes in search of this Wraith. After a quick search, Anti-Venom finds Jean DeWolff(!!?!), dressed in the Wraith costume, tormenting a criminal, all while claiming to be dead. From there, the Wraith teleports away, leaving the criminal terrified and Anti-Venom baffled. Meanwhile, Peter is celebrating the fact that he was in a feature for the American Science Journal, while Aunt May and her hubby, Jay Jameson are helping out at Martin Li's(Mr. Negative's alter-ego) homeless shelter. Oh, and Eddie Brock is in disguise there to keep tabs on Negative. Anyway, Li touches May, which seems to give her a mental flash of Negative killing somebody, which leads to her collapsing. Spidey, who was listening on the phone, begins to rush to the location, while May is getting put into an ambulance with Jay. As for Li, after seeing that May was taken to the hospital, he also decides to leave in his limo. Eddie, who saw the whole scene play out, decides to kill Negative here and now for possibly hurting May, and as Anti-Venom, hops onto the roof of the limo and begins to threaten Li's life. By this point, Spidey arrives on the scene and sees Anti-Venom attempting to attack Li(who Spidey doesn't know is actually Negative). Naturally, Spidey attacks Anti-Venom, but is quickly overpowered, and this issue ends with a prone Spidey pinned beneath a very angry Anti-Venom.
Thoughts: Okay, first things first, I apologize for that review, because it was a real mess... As I was doing it I was also on my Playstation 3, since for the first time in over a month, the PSN Store was up and running, and I wanted to check out what was in stock. Obviously I'm REALLY bad at multitasking, and this review proves that point... Anyway, this was a pretty good comic that had some really interesting moments(Jean DeWolff?!), as well as Eddie Brock, who I've always been a fan of. There's really not much more to say here... It was Amazing Spider-Man and it was written by Dan Slott... Of course it was good!
Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Peter Parker vs Eddie Brock... It takes me back to my childhood...
Avengers Academy #14.1:
Summary: This issue gets underway with the Avengers Academy kids trying(and failing) to apprehend c-list villain, Ruby Thursday. Eventually, Dr. Pym, or Giant-Man, since I think that's the name he's decided to use again, walks over and steps on Ruby, ending her “threat”. Afterwards, the kids reflect on the battle, and seem to be of the mindset that the Avengers were wrong when they pegged them as potential future super-villains(which is why they were brought into the Academy program to begin with). Stealth reveals that she remembered the name of an Avengers Academy candidate that the Avengers decided to bypass because he seemed to have his head on straight after Norman Osborn's torturing of him. With that, the kids take a field trip and meet up with Jeremy Briggs, teenage billionaire. Jeremy reveals that he was able to use his ability to transform the chemical composition of one thing into anything else to found a chemical company and rapidly make a fortune. Jeremy professes to be a huge fan of the Academy kids, since he himself was nearly a member of the program, but does state that the work he was doing with the money from his company was WAY more important than anything he would have been doing had he decided to become a member of the Academy. From there, Jeremy takes the kids on a tour showing them several other kids who were tortured by Osborn, and letting them see how happy and well adjusted they were, all while subtly taking jabs at super-heroics in general. Eventually he informs the Academy kids that one of the kids from Osborn's torture program had died the previous night trying to play super-hero before taking them back to his office. From there, Jeremy tells the kids that they were better off leaving the Academy and coming to work for him. It's at this point Stealth reveals that she had been studying Jeremy and that everything he had shown them were only half-truths and out and out lies. It seems that Jeremy is using his fortune to manipulate the people and events around him, making things turn out the way he wanted them to, even if it lead to the death of somebody to make his point. Upon learning this, the Academy kids try to attack Jeremy, but thanks to his ability to manipulate chemicals, he is more than a match for the Academy kids. Eventually Jeremy's security force enters the room, and he tells his security to escort the defeated Academy kids off his property since he had more important matters to deal with.
Thoughts: Well, it looks like the kids FINALLY have their very own villain! And he's a pretty awesome villain at that! He's kind of like a teenage Lex Luthor, somebody who detests super-heroes and has decided to use his fortune to manipulate people and things to his liking. Plus he has some pretty kick ass powers! If I had a complaint about this issue it's that it kept building up to something even a blind squirrel could see coming... Once you saw Jeremy you KNEW he was going to turn out to be a bad guy... He was just laying it on too thick! My problem was that it took the entire issue to get to that point. Every time I turned the page I expected to see Jeremy revealed for what he really was, but instead was given scene after scene of Jeremy trying to prove that his way was right, and the Avengers way was wrong. Even still, this series is my favorite Avengers ongoing series, as well as my favorite teen-centric series. If you haven't been reading this series from the get go, and with the next few issues crossing over into Fear Itself, this is as good an issue as any to start reading this great comic.
Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.The best way to deal with an escaping super-villain? Step on them.