Quick Hits: Reviews of Amazing Spider-Man #655 and more…

Amazing Spider-Man #655

Amazing Spider-Man #655: I’ve probably said this before, but I wish Marcos Martin could draw every issue of Spider-Man. He’s got a very unique style that’s both simplistic and quirky that I think suits the wall-crawler very well. This latest issue has received a lot of press and positive reviews as Dan Slott deals with the death of NYC mayor J. Jonah Jameson’s wife, Marla, who died last issue in the crossfire between Spidey & the Avengers and the Spider-Slayer. The first half of this issue is entirely without dialogue or captions as we see the characters silently deal with Marla’s funeral. And in the second half, Slott takes us deep into Peter Parker’s subconcious as we see firsthand his guilt over letting another innocent bystander perish. This issue is definitely—so far, at least—the touchstone of Slott’s run on Spidey, a truly moving issue that’s inventive, eccentric and still, down-to-earth. A
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Avengers #10: Not the greatest issue thus-far from Bendis and Romita Jr., but one certainly feels the tension build for this Avengers team, both within and without. Our heroes have split up to recover the remaining Infinity Gems, with Thor, Namor and the Red Hulk diving far into the oceans depths as Xavier leads a group to face down the danger room program that protects his and Iron Man and Steve Rogers try to trace down the fifth gem only to see those efforts fail. This is the first time the Red Hood has revealed himself to any of the Avengers as their antagonist and I’m highly confident that someone is going to get punched—hard—in the next issue. B-
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Captain America #615: The conclusion to the trial against Bucky Barnes, and a big face-off against the new Red Skull atop the Statue of Liberty. The resolutions here aren’t anything too surprising, but they’re handled well and in a fun manner by writer Ed Brubaker—it’s nice to see Bucky match the earnestness of Steve Rogers—and Butch Guice certainly draws the hell out of this issue. And while the loose ends that get tied up here weren’t totally a shock the last-page cliffhanger certainly was! B+
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Detective Comics #874: I’ve been wanting to check out this run from much buzzed-about author Scott Snyder for some time, but not being a fan of Jock, I was waiting for another artist to pick up the reigns. Enter Francesco Francavilla, who provides the pencils and colors for “Skeleton Cases pt.3.” It’s the “part three” there that gives me pause; DC had solicited this issue as a stand-alone story, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. In any event, it’s a little light on content; the book’s split about halfway down the middle, with the first part dedicated to Jim Gordon reconnecting with his troubled son and the latter half given over to Dick Grayson and Tim Drake investigating a new criminal organization. Neither part of the narrative provides much more than a tease, though each segment is written mysteriously enough that they could trap new readers. It seems as though Snyder has brought the “detective” back to “Detective Comics.” Still, the real star here is Francavilla, whose beautiful pencils should really be anchoring some Bat-book full-time. Unfortunately, next month Jock returns, and I didn’t catch enough from Snyder to make me want to stick around.  B
Review by Rebel Rikki

Justice League: Generation Lost #20: Though I’ve complained before about this book’s use of full-issue flashbacks, I find that this issue’s retelling the history of Max Lord provides a welcome respite after the action-packed (and somewhat controversial) last installment. Lord’s one of the most compelling long-term protagonists DC’s employed in the past few years, and I’m happy to have a chance to really dig into his backstory here, even if some of it does seem a bit trite or played out. The use of flashback also provides another interesting result: readers are still kept up in the air as to the ultimate fate of the Blue Beetle, seemingly killed by Lord last issue. Is it weird to like that the comic is toying with us on that one?  B+
Review by Rebel Rikki

Secret Avengers #10: Steve Rogers and company mount a rescue mission to save Shang-Chi in the final installment of this series’ second arc. I’m really happy that this book mostly dropped its pretenses to mysticism here to give us an issue of all-out action, stunningly penciled by Mike Deodato. I’ve had problems with this series’ genre-mixing throughout its brief run—why is it so anxious to embrace war and kung-fu stories when the core concept of an espionage-based Avengers team bears so much fertile ground on its own? But those complaints have been momentarily shelved by Ed Brubaker letting the diverse team he’s assembled kick some ass again. A
Review by Rebel Rikki

Star Trek Infestation #2: My favorite thing about the first issue of the Trek entry into IDW’s zombie crossover was the way it threw our favorite spacefaring heroes into the familiar horror movie genre almost completely. Usually when writers leave no cliché unturned it’s because they’re just uninventive, but I found a real sense of fun in the way Scott and David Tipton rolled out the tropes to bring together two worlds that had never really met. Come the second issue, they’ve turned that trick on its head — now the zombies are firmly in the world of Star Trek. Of course 23rd century technology can cure a zombie plague, but how can Kirk, Spock and Bones revitalize a whole planet when they’re forced to fight Britt, the superpowered, reality-hopping zombie/vampire masterminding this whole outbreak? Star Trek: Infestation has provided a wild ride that ably combines the science-fiction and horror genres, never cheating either but giving us the best of both. Even if the main Infestation series fizzles out, as the final Transformers installment indicated it might, we got a really fun Star Trek story out of it.  A
Review by Rebel Rikki

tags: avengers, batman, captain america, detective comics, infestation, justice league, secret avengers, spider-man, star trek

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