Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Amazing Spider-Man: New Ways to Die (Marvel comics 2008)

They said the dream was over. They said he'd lost his way. They said he was Spider-man no more. Hell, even I said it after Quesada managed to balls up his own bad editorial decisions in Amazing Spider-man, rewrite J. Michael Straczynski's final arc to make a dumb story dressed in good writing even dumber and rebooted Spidey decades, before declaring that continuity is stuff they will explore for the next few years and screw it, it's magic, he can do what he wants. Pretty balls and pretty ballsy and much as I disagree with his editorial decision to use Spider-man to up his sales amongst the youngsters no longer buying books cos hey, us ageing geeks gotta go sometime and where's the legacy then? On a Playstation... so much as I disagree, he's given the fans a real treat with the return of the best artist on ASM for time immemorial, John Romita JR, and the new six part EVENT that is 'New Ways to Die.

My lord, it is a treat. JRJR brings out the big artistry guns and Dan Slott, quickly turning into my favourite of the revolving door Spider-writers has given us a cracker of a plot, labyrinthian in its scope as it explores the entire Spidey-verse and gives us some clues as to what the frickin continuity is!

Norman Osborn is back. But is he the Green Goblin? Of course he is, but for some reason no one knows it and people are offering retractions for past accusations. But that's not all... he's leading the taskforce designed to bring in rogue superheroes... Hold on, Normey is on the side of the good guys? And Venom's his team-mate? What? Mac Gargan, formerly Scorpion, is now Venom, a more sadistic and macabre one than Eddie Brock, as Venom always thought he was on the side of good, except where Spidey was concerned, so seeing Gargan chew everything including the scenery is pretty good. There's some new villain involvements including Mr Negative and Menace, a two-bit Green Goblin knock-off, or is he? So the Spidey-verse is getting fully explored finally. And hey, yeah, Norm-o is back in town to hunt Spidey down cos he's unregistered on the Superhero Registration Act.

2 issues in, it's amazing, it's vibrant, full of character and tension, full of jibing and action as the webhead swings all over town, either chasing or being chased. It's a pretty special storyline and while Brand New Day has been a little stop-start, it feels now like they were treading water for this one. This is the one. It's coming and oh man, next issue, there's the slight issue of a new guy called Anti-Venom.

Cop it.

No comments: