A few quick notes before I jump in to some brief reviews of my pull-list last week:
-Moving sucks. There is no other way to say it, but holy s**t, it really, really sucks. My move from Manchester, NH, to Portland, ME, was successful and I happily and wearily type this from my new temporary home at my friend Rob’s house. Much luck to my partner Ben as he makes the crosstown move into he and wife Jen’s first home! Great place and I hope we’ll reunite to p’cast there very soon.
-Our regular podcast will return shortly, but I think Ben is finishing some additional audio we recorded just over a week ago to help bridge the gap. Hope to hear that soon and get on a regular schedule sometime in mid-September.
-I am currently listening to the first two-hour edition of the Brian Bendis Fall Word Balloon interview. You can get that here.
Now…some mini-reviews! There are spoilers included so tread lightly if you haven’t read any of these:
Kick Ass: even a great book can have an off day.
-Kick-Ass 4: I still am amazed at how violent this book is…and that’s a great thing. This was a decent ish, but it seemed to fly by and not cover too much of the Dave/Kick-Ass character. Mainly, this focused on this new power killer duo made up of a large man (Big Daddy) and a 10-year-old (Hit-Girl) you see at the end of issue 3. Johnny G (mob boss) is increasingly concerned about his business due to Kick Ass, Big Daddy and Hit Girl’s vigilance. There is a lot of filler penciled pages at the end when we could have used more story. If this starts shipping regularly, I think that’ll help appease me but I wasn’t left with a wow feeling that 1-3 gave me.
-New Avengers 44: This latest Secret Invasion tie-in covers how the Skrulls figured out how to avoid being detected in their shape-shifted form. Basically, they cloned Reed Richard and monitored him, using his mannerisms from the cloning to determine what his thought process would be. An interesting subplot you’re seeing in S.A. is that the conversion that the Skrulls are undergoing are sometimes going too deep and that the Skrulls are actually acting like they are the people they are imitating. I got confused near the end of this issue, but reading a few boards helped me figure this out. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.
-Mighty Avengers 17: This covers Hank Pym – the guy who is really about 100 different heroes – and the issues the Skrulls had in finding a good candidate to take him over. Issue 17 covers the problems they had. This was kinda blah because I don’t really care about the Pym character to begin with. However, when coupled with New Avengers 44, you start to see the underpinnings of how the Marvel Universe is going to defeat the Skrulls in the end.
-1985 4 (of 6): F’n awesome. Enough said.
-Ultimate Spider-Man 125: The continuation of the War of the Symbiotes arc sees Venom on the loose and the Beetle (suddenly cool) in hot pursuit, slicing off a tendril in battle to keep as a sample. Spidey jumps into battle and within a few minutes, the symbiote rolls off Venom and back onto Spidey, giving us our final panel which makes our hero look more like Grendel than a symbiote-covered Spider-Man. Are people really into this series anymore? I still religiously pick it up, but I never feel excited to read USM.
-Amazing Spider-Man 568-569: The first two issues of the six-ish arc New Ways To Die didn’t
Anti-Venom: welcome to the Spider-Verse.
disappoint. 568 helps set the scene as Norman Osborn is asked by old friend Randall Crowne to help support his campaign against Hollister. Part of this initative is to bring in our favorite fugitive as part of his Thunderbolts crew, featuring Venom, Radioactive Man and Songbird. The backup tale focuses on Eddie Brock being cured of cancer, a ‘miracle’ that is part of many happening at the F.E.A.S.T. center run by new bad guy Mr. Negative.
However, issue 569 really kicks it up as while searching for Spider-Man, Venom senses his old host at the center and then attacks, surprised to see Eddie Brock instead of Spidey. While trying to kill him, something starts changing in Brock and our last panel gives us the new character of Anti-Venom. Sigh. I was really hoping that the Venom symbiote would return back to Brock, but perhaps there is still hope. Also of note was an interlude with Norman and Harry Osborn that causes Harry to show a bit of his aggressive side (heavy foreshadowing here…Menace perhaps?). Mr. Liu/Negative is shown earlier talking to Brock and obviously, he is the reason for Brock’s transformation. Negative is turning out to be a major player in the new Spider-verse and I’m interested to hear more about his backstory at some point.
Alright…that’s enough for now. There are plenty of good books out there, so go get ‘em!