Amazing Spider-man #574
This is a bit of a strange one, a filler to calm everyone down after the explosive end to New Ways to Die. It also fills in while the Spidey continuity over in Secret Invasion is sorted out. This issue focuses on what happened to Flash Thompson, why he's been out of continuity since Brand New Day started. Last time we saw him, he was helping Spidey defend the school they both worked at against three Mysterios. Now we catch up with him in the new continuity. He's been back to war to fight against the Iraqis. There's a general interviewing him wanting to give him the Medal of Honour. We learn of the events that led to this, and just in case you forgot it's a Spidey comic, it refers back to classic Spider-man images to help fuel Flash's bravery. And then we find out he lost both his legs in the war. It's a strange nationalistic issue, complete filler and a bit guffy about the soldiers in Iraq. It does manage to stay apolitical about the war itself but celebratory about the good ol soldiers. I'm not really sure how to feel about it. There are other ways to do filler, maybe something more comedic, but something like this that makes a point of staying apolitical about one of the most political wars ever, that it feels a bit cowardly. Hopefully normal service is resumed next week.
Amazing Spider-man Brand New Secret Invasion #3 (of 3)
This is the final part to the Spidey Secret Invasion tie-in special. It was a bit of a weird decision to do this mini-series seeing as Spidey is so integral to the Secret Invasion action. It focuses on his new supporting cast including Menace, Jackpot and Bennett as they attempt to escape the super-Skrull out for some radioactive archno-blood. It focuses heavily on Jackpot and her fighting style and technique, brash and spunky. It's a bit of a waste as well, as its entire purpose seems to pique the reader's curiosity as to Jackpot's identity. This curiosity has only came about because the artists knowingly made Jackpot look like MJ. We know one thing for sure, she's somehow connected to a Sara Ehret and they both like calling each other Tiger. They want you to thin MJ is Jackpot at the end but the reality will be a lot more dull. We find out next week in a Spider-man Annual. But this issue is such guff and so filler-ridden, I can't even bring myself to give you the particulars of the plot. Basically, Jackpot kills the super-Skrull. She and Spidey have an inneuendo-laden chat. Then she has a bath and Sara Ehret calls her and there's a full-page teaser ad for next week's Annual that will reveal her identity. Which won't be MJ.
Secret Invasion #7 (of 8)
I really don't like this now. In Spidey Secret Invasion, there's a several weeks later coda when Parker returns to his gang and they discuss how the Skrull threat has disappeared, so we know this'll end well for the humans. The problem is there's all this stuff about the big shake up to the Marvel universe coming, and embrace change and all the rest of it. Obviously, they steer clear of any implications post-threat but still, it's given the game away surely. Anyway, this issue is the all-out action they've been promising for 7 issues and it's a bit of an anti-climax as all the threads at play for the last 7 issues and the tie-ins all come together for some balls-out action. Not good.
Thank fucking god for Brubaker. There's no Mark Millar issues of anything this week so it's kinda weak and Spidey's reeling from the seminal New Ways to Die arc with some padding but thank fuck for Daredevil, consistently brilliant, dark and gritty and plot-twists and turns, character development and pulpy artwork. Part two of the Lady Bullseye arc and the strands are starting to come together. She's testing Black Tarantula and Immortal Iron Fist, who bring the fury back. There's a masterstroke still to be revealed but you can guess that the Hand is going to be pulling the strings. Meanwhile Matt Murdoch is reeling from his night in flagrante delicto with Dakota and worrying about how much he liked it. To be honest, she's hot for comics so he shouldn't be too hung up. The end involves a tied-up Black Tarantula, a lover's tiff and a wise old Chinese man. Can't wait for the next issue. DD is killing it consistently at the moment.