Friday, July 29, 2011

Amazing Spider-Man #666 & Venom #5

Hey all, two more reviews to get through tonight, this time two Spidey-centric titles. If I'm a bit brisk with the reviews, it's because I really need to get moving with reading/reviewing these comics, since I still have like 10 more to get through before next Wednesday...

Amazing Spider-Man #666:

Summary: All around New York City people are developing Spidey powers of their own, be it sticking to stuff, shooting webbing, or that good old Spidey agility. Why is this happening? The Jackal(along with his nearly mindless minion, Kaine!!!), has spread bedbugs throughout NYC that have the ability to give out Spidey powers when they bite somebody. Oh, and by the way, I'm a huge Kaine mark, just so you know... Anyway, Jackal has been doing this at the behest of some unknown female benefactor(well I assume Jackal knows who she is, we don't... yet), who seems to be gaining power as the number of people with Spider-powers increases. This issue ends with the mystery woman giving Jackal “the real firstborn of this era”(possibly Ben Reilly?!?), who he proceeds to mutate before the woman takes control of the now mutated “firstborn”. And that's basically it.

Thoughts: You know what's really ridiculous? The fact that Amazing Spider-Man, which debuted in 1963 has reached issue #666, while Captain America, which debuted in 1941, just put out their 620th issue... But that's neither here nor there, now is it? Back to this comic... Did I leave a whole slew of stuff out of that review? Yes. Yes I did. But it wasn't anything exceptionally interesting. It was kind of a day in the life of Spider-Man/Peter Parker. He beats up street villains, beats up Hydro-Man, goes to work, hangs out with the FF, hangs out with the Avengers, etc... It was good, but not exactly in need of an in depth review, you know? No, the interesting(and important) stuff involved Jackal, Kaine, the “firstborn” and the mystery woman. No, I have no clue who the mystery woman is(what? I only restarted reading Spidey books again a few months ago!), but I AM hopeful that the “firstborn” is Ben Reilly. I am one of the few people out there who really enjoyed Ben's run as Spidey, and feel that if used properly, he could easily have a Spidey series of his own(as well as take some pressure off of Peter, who's in like 36 comics a month at this point...). Will this happen? No, probably not, but hey, it COULD happen, right?

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Please be Ben Reilly... Please be Ben Reilly... Please be Ben Reilly...

Venom #5:

Summary: This is another comic I'm going to breeze through... We get started with Venom beating up some goof named the Human Fly, who is, you guessed it, a human fly! From there Flash Thompson gets the Venom symbiote taken off of him by the government and goes to meet his girlfriend, the woman who is redefining the term, “damsel in distress”, Betty Brant. Before the two can get too cozy, Flash's mother calls him and tells him that his father had been getting extremely drunk lately and that she had no idea where he'd gone. We then get some flashbacks of how Flash's drunken father would beat him, which was why Flash was such a bully in high school, but his old man turned over a new leaf after Flash joined the army... Or so it seemed. We then head back to the present where Flash takes his erstwhile friend Peter Parker(I'd hope you know him as Spider-Man...) out to hunt down his old man. They hit a few bars but don't find Flash's father, although the search is beginning to grate on Flash's nerves. Eventually Flash gets a call from the cops to come down to the station to pick up his old man before they arrested him. Flash and Peter arrive and Flash's dad belittles him like he did back when Flash was a kid, eventually taking a swing at Flash. Flash is able to dodge the punch(in his wheelchair!), letting his drunken father fall to the ground. With that, Flash's father passes out, and upon taking his old man to the hospital, Flash learns his dad has cirrhosis of the liver, and wasn't expected to live much longer, which is the news that caused Flash's dad to fall off the wagon. Flash tells his mother the news, who is devastated, before leaving the hospital, since he didn't want anything more to do with his father. Flash meets Betty outside the hospital and breaks down a bit, although once his phone rings and he hears the general on the other end, he carries on like nothing happened.

Thoughts: This was a good comic. I liked it. It was a nice glimpse showing us what made Flash into the man he is today. However, it lacked any real emotional impact for me. I never really felt anything upon reading about Flash's abusive upbringing nor did I particularly care when the news of Flash's father's disease was revealed. For whatever reason, the dialogue just didn't elicit the emotional response I'd guess Rick Remender was gunning for. So while this was a pretty good one and done type story, it isn't something I'll remember down the road.

Score: 8 out of 10.Wait, why would somebody named the Human Fly be bulletproof? I mean, flies aren't bulletproof, are they??

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