Monday, 27 July 2009

Flip The Page Text Review: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600 by Various PART 2

Ah, JRSR variant cover, how I love thee...


Oh didn't see you there. Welcome back to the long-ass and kinda not that good review of Amazing Spider-Man #600! This time around we delve into all the other stories. Though be warned, one of them defies my system of momentitude. It has left me distraught and fat.... Okay the latter wasn't because of that but shut up LET'S GET FLIPPIN'


Perhaps I reveal too much.





Turns out that Amazing Spider-Man knows how to take the piss out of itself and then some. These mock-covers are hilarious and nothing can take that away, not even the fact that Jeph Loeb did one (It's funny... I'm scared). As such these are all bonus flippin' moments that add to your overall value. Awesome. Moving on.

SECOND STORY: IDENTITY CRISIS by Stan Lee and Marcos Martin

FINALLY, a story where Mary Jane is killed by Janet Van Dyne as part of a convoluted plot to get her and Hank Pym back together! I'll tell you now, hearing that Mary Jane was raped by Dr. Doom caught me way off guard! And that footprints on the brain moment? WOW! This comic is amazing and dark and deep. I'm astounded by it all. Still we all know that Mary Jane's death will become part of the horrible event BLACKEST REIGN, where she'll be raised from the dead by the original Black Knight (the villain one) along with other dead Marvel heroes and use their Black Rings and enhanced zombie powers to kill anyone and everyone super to add to their army of BLACK LANTERNS! That'll be awesome.

.... Wait... What?

Uh... I'm not sure what I just did.


Art... Good... Writing... Stan Lee... Uh...

I'm gonna go, my brain is leaking out of my ears.

1. Various Spider-Men

Strangely convenient this one. Tim has just reviewed an Astonishing Spider-Man where some of these various forms appeared and then Stan Lee throws together a comic where they come out again. Brilliant eye-catchers and great demonstrators about how much Spidey has changed over the years (answer: A LOT OVER AND OVER AND OVER). Technically this can be counted as a ton of flippin' moments, but I've bundled them together so I can write less. WHO SAYS PEOPLE CAN'T CUT CORNERS?

2. Who Thera...pises... The Therapists?
A striking image and a humorous close to a brilliant Stan Lee story. Honestly I didn't see the ending coming and it left me with a pleasant taste in my mouth like Stan Lee had been feeding me jelly babies. Or something more delicious I don't know.

THIRD STORY: MY BROTHER'S SON by Mark Waid, Colleen Doran and Jose Villarrubia

Now, I don't usually credit the colour artist on these things, but Villarrubia is awesome and has done some of the best colour work I've seen (especially on X-Factor Investigations). It's something special and puts Villarrubia above any other colour artist just because I remember the name!

This story is momentless, but much like All Select Comics 70th Anniversary Special it's not a detractor, as the entire comic itself is brilliant. It just doesn't need those OOMPH moments that make you go "OH YEAH I'MMA BUY THIS!". On the contrary it's so understated and clever that it does better without anything like that. Mark Waid does a great job writing the story and shows writing chops I didn't expect from the man. I mean this is really touching, like emotionally and all that jazz. A job well done.

The pencils on the other hand feel kind of strange. Not bad, just unusual. I think this isn't as much Doran's pencils as her inking that messes this up here but everything feels like it's been crinkled up and spread out again, looking worse for wear. Which is a shame because if it weren't for that one strange flaw it's well suited to the story and quite pretty. Still nothing's perfect and it gave me an excuse to mention some downsides.

It occurs to me at this point that I don't know if I try to keep my writing spoiler free or just never fit in plot summaries. Either way lame.

FOURTH STORY: IF I WAS SPIDER-MAN by Bob Gale and Mario Alberti

Another story where I can't honestly say there's a flippin' moment, but it certainly sticks out from the back for spending most of its time in grayscale with some awesome splashes of colour. The gist of the story is a kid wanting to be Spidey and his friends pointing out how that's dumb. It's not particularly pretty pencils-wise, or that well written, but it gets a fair amount of slack simply because what's going on with the colour is interesting. So hats off to Alberti and let's never speak of this again.

FIFTH STORY: THE BLESSING by Marc Guggenheim and Mitch & Elizabeth Breitweiser
(pencils and colour respectively)

I don't like this story. The entire thing is Aunt May hoping that Uncle Ben would have approved of her marriage, which has already been addressed in Slott's 60 PAGE STORY. It's thoroughly pointless and doesn't add anything other than a layer of pretentiousness to proceedings. The art is adequate, the writing is okay for something that didn't need to be done and there isn't a single flippin' moment, let alone and enjoyable one. Ignore this story if you're pressed for time.

SIXTH STORY: FIGHT AT THE MUSEUM by Zeb Wells and Derec Donovan

Two people who have weird first names team up for a poorly named comic (there's no fighting in the museum). Still now the naming coinkydink is done with let's talk the actual comic. Writing is Zeb Wells, of New Mutants fame, so for me to expect anything other than a good story would be a great disservice to the man. And lo and behold, it's a BRILLIANT little story. The art is functional and fits the comedic tone pretty well so I have no complaints there. But you know the REAL reason this gets my praise?

One of the best parts of Spidey's history, this is the car that no kid on the planet wants to admit to wanting to own but would take at the drop of a hat. I mean look at this sweet-ass ride. You could pimp this bitch out to no end and it couldn't get any cooler than it is now. For Zeb having the insight to do a story with this as the main feature... Well he needs an award for services to mankind.

2. Comic Book Guy
After remembering that Comic Book Guy ISN'T based on Peter David in his younger days (ya see they both moan on the internet about things and get into online arguments and stuff... and are cynical... and passive agressively mock others... no that doesn't work I'll shut up) I almost dropped the moment, but the segue thrown in there made me laugh so hard that I died... Which would be problematic if it weren't for that zombie chip H.A.T.E. put into my head. Now I'm just consuming my loved ones brains... Mmmmm brains.

3. Two Words: Spider. Signal.
Okay I might just be nostalgia trippin' but this is a brilliant moment that adds JUST enough to this miniature tale that it becomes my highlight of the whole issue. Or something. Okay okay it's just nostalgia shut up.

4. Good Parenting Is Making Little Brats Fuck Off. True Story.
I hate bratty kids. Which technically means I hate all children above the age of two but shut up I'm making a point here. Seeing a kid's mother take him the hell away because he was dissing Spider-Man is the sort of thing that pleases me to no end and the type of action I wish all parents would take against their shitty little spawn. This is only made better by the tear of happiness it brings Peter Parker in the closing panel. Truly a great ending to a tiny story. Also, it occurs to me this is a great send-off for the Spider-Mobile since it's purpose in Wolverine is long past (it played a great part in Old Man Logan ya see).

FINAL STORY: VIOLENT VISIONS by Kelly, Fiumara, Chuckry and VC's Caramagna

Oh thank God we're at the end! This final story is merely a teaser for the upcoming arc 'The Gauntlet' but that fact alone is enough to make it unbearably awesome. Madame Web is sensing forthcoming events involving various shit and a beastly figure (hint: IT'S KRAVEN! OR KRAVEN 2! OR KID KRAVEN! PROBABLY KID KRAVEN!). This backed by the fact that she realises they're "hunting spiders". This means we could have an arc with Spider-Man, Arachne, Spider-Woman, Venom, Anti-Venom and anyone else who is part of the spider-people. Okay, I'm aware that the symbiotes don't REALLY count but Venom and Anti-Venom are both based somewhat on Spidey's powers. Shame it doesn't stretch as far as saying Toxin (who has pretty much NOTHING to do with Spidey... At all) but then I'm just a hopeless dreamer.

The art is pretty good and reminds me a fair amount of Alex Maleev. As compliments god this is a pretty high one, as he drew some of the only good Secret Invasion tie-in material featured in either Avengers title at the time, made a Halo comic look interesting (though Nguyen has also managed this) and.... completely fucked up that Secret Invasion: Dark Reign one-shot... Okay it's not that good a compliment but shut up.

The writing... Well it's only a small amount but I'm curious enough to actually want to go back and read Kraven's First Hunt and to keep reading ASM post-American Son, which I've admittedly already done by reading this. MOMENTS TIEM NAO:

1. The Gauntlet
Strike me down if that's not the most awesome looking tease EVER. I mean seriously, it's beautiful and lays out what could be coming our way. What have we got here:
  • Spidey in a jungle
  • Bloodied and torn up Spider-Woman
  • Electricity
  • Someone dangling AraƱa off of a building (oh forgot about her)
  • Lizard (WOOOO)
  • A woman with a handprint on her face who probably isn't Echo (Kid Kraven's Mother I think)
  • Spidey's chest. Stabbed.
  • Man-Wolf ripping up a black spider-suit (Sinister Spider-Man/Venom related?)
  • Rhino being attacked by a big black arm
  • Spider-Man kissing Black Cat
  • Crazy looking Kraven

If that's not awesome I don't know what is.

2. They're Hunting Spiders/Kid Kraven
Okay first up her shock at the whole 'hunting spiders' thing is awesome. Secondly Kid Kraven, who... Christ when I heard about her I was all "BLAH AWFUL" but seeing her in action like that and speaking like she's 100% FUCKING CRAZY just makes me want to read her introduction story. The Gauntlet WILL be brilliant if it's anything like this.

I daren't show any more of this because it lays out an aspect of The Gauntlet that will probably shape a lot of it and is probably TOO spoileriffic. As such I should get onto the rating.

This comic has it's downsides, but the content for money value is far too good and the teaser for The Gauntlet has whet my appetite and then some. There are those who think BND Spider-Man isn't very good. These people are WRONG and if they try and tell me they're right I'll thrust this comic down their throat.

As such this is a...


Oh thank christ I'm done with that. Quick-Fire tonight and Top Ten tomorrow maybe. This is all exhausting.

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