Friday, 31 October 2008

comics round-up 30 October 2008

Amazing Spider-man 575
We continue our development of the Brand New Day world post New Ways to Die and things seem a little slower. We have a new potential love interest for Pete in the form of a spunky spiky new reporter at Front Line. At the beginning we see him and a streetlady calld Greta in possession of a rat with a super-computer brain outrun some flying clowns. Then we see how Hammerhead with his new persona, skeleton and hunger for violence is recruiting new members to Mr Negative's gang. He's no longer a joke, and throughout, jokes are made to reflect this change in public perception of him. Spidey tries to keep some kids off the street and finally meets Hammerhead who smashes his jaw with his metal skeleton. The artwork's a bit cartoony and strange and Hammerhead looks like a weird misshapen teen throughout but it's enjoyable and Spidey's good fun and well-written. It's going to be hard keeping up the pace post-NWTD so hats off for the effort.

Amazing Spider-man Annual 1
This waste of paper is dedicated to the Jackpot mystery. She's got red hair, calls people tiger and is a reference to the immortal line 'Face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot'. So the entire time we're made to think Mary Jane has gained super-powers. We're given red herring after red herring and each time the mystery points to an even bigger pay-off. Has Mary Jane made her own private pact with Mephistopheles? Why is she running round NY as a superhero. Is she Jackpot? Well, the truth is a fucking waste of time. Over the entire annual, Spidey banters with and investigates Jackpot as they both investigate the mysterious Walter Declun. We learn who Sara Ehret is why Jackpot gave her name as her secret identity. Basically, she's just another girl who wants to be special (Heroes-style) so buys Sara Ehret's Initiative identity of Jackpot, which has been put together around MJ's acting work, pumps herself full of drugs like steroids and mutant growth hormone and runs around whacked on performance-enhancing drugs fucking up her attempts to save the world. And her name's Alana Jobson. And she dies at the end. Basically Marvel teases us for months, makes us think it's MJ, toys with the anti-BND audience's emotions, toys with all of us continuity fans and then as soon as they do the reveal, they show how little they really cared about her by killing her off. Much as I've been very pro BND/anti OMD, this sucks, this is cynical, stupid and unbelievably badly-written.

Marvel 1985 6 (of 6)
This final part to excellent Mark Millar mini-series is supposed to have serious repercussions for the Marvel Universe. God knows what they are. Instead, what we're left with is an extremely well-written tale about the blurs between fantasy and reality becoming smudged, about genuine affection for comics and Marvel characters and how we make our own realities. With blurred purposely 80s drawing and a powerful multi-character internal monologue, this series is really well-put together, lovingly created and the action zips along at a frenetic pace. Now it's over and we learn the macabre secret of Clyde Windham. Brilliant. More Millar magic.

X Force 8
Rahne is suffering nightmares. Warpath is looking for his brother. Warren Worthington can't control Archangel. And the legacy virus is being traded by evil mutants with an evil plan. It's up to Wolverine and X23 to try and bring in the Vanisher. Now Elixir is part of X Force and getting into the evil fun of being black-ops. I was worried that the new creative team wouldn't be as good and the Wolverine over-exposure would make me tired. But this is brilliant still, zipping along with a fun dangerous storyline. X Force are becoming infinitely more interesting than any of the other X teams.

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