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Deadpool Annual #2

Posted by Donovan McComish 19 July 2014

Hello everybody and welcome to my review of Deadpool Annual #2. Hang on, how come Deadpool's wearing Spidey's costume? We're not in for another Freaky-Friday-esque caper are we? And who is this mystery 'Spider-Stalker' that's running around stabbing our favourite web-spinner? Let's find out...

Synopsis:

We open this titanic team-up with Spider-Man violently slamming Deadpool into a rooftop, yelling "WHY WON'T YOU LEAVE ME ALONE"!

In spite of how this looks, Spider-Man isn't being harassed by the Merc With a Mouth, but instead believes him to be an imposter, the Chameleon to be exact. After Deadpool proves he's the real McCoy - by shooting himself in the heart - and explains why he was hang gliding through Manhattan (apparently he was looking for any nice hotels that had empty penthouses to crash in), he asks why Spidey has webbed the entrance to the rooftop door shut, as well as why he had Deadpool just shoot himself (uh, he didn't say to do that dude?).

Spider-Man explains that, a few days ago, he rescued a guy from being hit by a bus, who then showed his gratitude to the web head by stabbing him in the stomach. Before Spidey could catch him, the man had vanished. Since then, random people have kept attacking him and disappearing. Spider-Man was eventually able to catch a glimpse of Chameleon, who he correctly deduced was behind all the attacks. Unfortunately, Chameleon's hit-and run strategy has kept his Spider Sense buzzing constantly, leaving Peter afraid of what to do next. He can't return to his apartment in case the Chameleon tracks him there, nor can he take the chance of attacking the first suspicious party he sees in case he gets it wrong (as he just did with Deadpool).

Just then, a bunch of security people burst through the door, asking what the deal is "with the sticky on the door". Spider-Man rushes past them, yelling that they leave him alone, prompting Deadpool to give chase, neither of them noticing that one of the men is actually the Chameleon in disguise! Spidey heads down an elevator shaft, whose doors close before Deadpool can follow, forcing him to take the stairs whilst wondering which floor of the building to check. He soon gets his answer as he hears a scream which he follows to the corresponding floor, finding Spidey holding a slightly overweight woman by the throat, swearing he saw Chameleon change into her. Assuming that he's got the wrong person again, Deadpool talks Spider-Man down (definitely something you don't see every day), telling him that they can work together and strategise on this. As Spidey begins to let the woman go, she/he suddenly confirms his suspicions and stabs him in the neck with a syringe. A surprised Deadpool then hurls Chameleon out of the window, deciding to let the pavement punch him to death. Spider-Man however, isn't willing to let Deadpool kill for him and snags Chameleon with a web-line before passing out.

The actual civilians present briefly consider unmasking Spidey to claim some sort of reward before Deadpool draws his swords and forces them to leave. Wade then drags Spider-Man into a nearby broom cupboard. He reasons that he must protect Spider-Man from the bad guy as they are "Amazing Friends", but he's nearly out of ammo as he thought this day would just be a "hang gliding day". After a moments thought, Deadpool decides that they're going to "Chameleon the Chameleon" and switches costumes with Spidey, taking care not to look at his face when he unmasks him so as to adhere to the Super-Bro-Code (don't out a fellow Super-Bro). Planning to draw the Chameleon away from Spider-Man so the web spinner can get some much needed rest, Deadpool dives out of the window and lands on a car inviting the folks nearby to get their picture taken with "the real deal", soon discovering that, thanks to Otto Octavius' work as the "Superior Spider-Man", many of the people of New York see Spidey as a weirdo. One woman however, asks to have her picture taken with "Spider-Man", asking why his voice is different. Deadpool lies that the attempt to sedate "him" by Chameleon (who he simply refers to as a loser)  gave him a cold, at which point the woman reveals "her" identity as the troublesome villain, disappearing into the crowd before Deadpool can apprehend him, telling "Spider-Man" that he'll have something stronger next time and that he'll make a suit from Spidey's skin (Ergh!).

Acknowledging that, while he has fooled him into thinking he's Spider-Man, Chameleon has picked up on the voice difference, meaning he'll have to commit one hundred percent to being the web slinger lest Cammy finds the real deal, Deadpool tries out webslinging before coming across a mugging in progress. Confronting the purse snatcher, Wade questions why he's practising the tool of his trade in New York, the super hero capital of the world, knocking the man out before he can finish his answer. Deadpool then webs the guy to a passing police car so he won't have to string him up. Wade also grabs a nearby bystander to test if it's really Chameleon, but typically it's an innocent guy, who Pool releases. He then notices several snakes passing by his feet, all of them headed to the same building, leading Wade to conclude that he's dealing with an animal-themed villain. "Classic Spider-Man".

Entering the building, Deadpool finds the staff are being held captive by 'the Masssster' (sounds like an axed member of the Snakemen from Masters of the Universe), who has a very specific scheme in mind. You see, the facility is known for it's work in synthesized tissue, and the staff do a lot of that work through cloning mice. Basically if the mix of matter is right, they can transform anything into an instant mouse. With this in mind, the Masssster plans to use the facility to create an endless food supply for his army of snakes!

...Yeah, as Deadpool points out, it's pretty dumb, and as Spider-Man is a "champion against dumb" (in Deadpool's words anyway), he leaps into battle, almost immediately knocking the villain into some of the facility's equipment, causing a lot of blue energy to crackle around him. One of the scientists informs "Spider-Man" that the matter-converting energy is loose and, since the Masssster has a psychokinetic connection with his snakes, it will read them as one single batch of matter to be converted into mouse. Wade assumes that this means they will all become regular, tiny mice, but the scientists corrects him, "not mice...mouse". Now transformed into what looks like a cross between a white mouse and a T-Rex, the Masssster breaks out of the building and starts rampaging through New York. The scientist tells Wade that because the creature is so massive, the energy used to build it must be unstable and thin. He reasons that, if "Spider-Man" can injure the less connected internal tissue, then the monstrosity lumbering before them should simply fall apart.

Not wanting to waste time, Deadpool web slings into action, heading for the monsters mouth. Unfortunately, a police helicopter has decided to get involved, as Pool learns when he is shot by the gunner, who was half expecting "Spidey" to dodge the shot. Naturally a little pissed off by this, Deadpool snags the gunner via web line and pulls him out of the helicopter, using his radio to tell the two pilots that, since they won't allow him to get near the giant mouse, he's going to have to send in their vehicle instead. Fortunately for them, he's not sending them with it. Webbing the pilots out of the plane, knocking them out and anchoring himself to the roof of the building with more webbing, Deadpool then webs the helicopter and, despite the huge strain it places on his body, swings it towards the Mouse-sster, hitting the sucker right in the mouth and causing the chopper to explode. The giant mouse monster subsequently reverts back to the Masssster and his horde of snakes.
As the serpentine-themed villain is led away in cuffs on the ground below, Deadpool wonders aloud what he was doing originally when one of the pilots answers the question for him and sticks a syringe into his shoulder. Yep, the pilot was actually the Chameleon, who gloats that "Spider-Man" let his guard down even quicker this time. He is however confused at his foes behaviour, commenting that "Spidey" hasn't been acting "quite" like himself today. It's at this point that Cammy recieves a sharp kick in the back from the real Spider-Man clad in Deadpool's costume, who quips that "Diet Dr. Pepper doesn't taste like the real thing". Realising the two heroes have swapped outfits, Chameleon attacks "Deadpool", grappling with him and disguising himself as a duplicate of the Spidey. The two costume-swapped Spider-Men then try to convince Deadpool, who is still recovering from the drugs Chameleon shot into his system, of who is real and who is the fake. Wade briefly cycles back and forth between them both with his pistol before deciding to kill the one on his left, at which point the one opposite side protests, proving he is the real Spider-Man.

Satisfied, Deadpool only shoots the fake Spidey in the knee cap, while the real one suggests that the Chameleon tell him how he pulled all this off, lest he have Deadpool for a roommate. Chameleon reveals that he was able to track the web slinger via his new batch of web fluid that Doctor Octopus developed when he possessed Peter's body as the Superior Spider-Man (it's a lot nicer to talk about that in the past tense) - whose capture of the Sinister Six and constant bragging fuelling Cammy's desire for revenge - explaining that the new formula leaves trace radiation that's "exceedingly simple" to pinpoint. Deadpool comments that Spidey should probably fix that, to which the web-head responds that he'll get right on it. They then knock out the Chameleon with a double punch to the face, both of them rightly labelling him as a creep.

Shortly afterwards, our two costumed adventurers - both now wearing the right costumes - enjoy a much-needed hot-dog break under the starry-lit sky. Conveniently for us, Wade has just finished telling Peter everything that transpired while he was unconscious. Spider-Man thanks Deadpool for the assist, but adds that he has a feeling he's going to be spending the next month repairing the damage Wade did in his suit, snagging a copy of the Daily Bugle to check "his" exploits. Much to his surprise, and subsequent annoyance however, the headline for Page 1 reads "HOPE FOR Spider-Man", though Deadpool seems more interested in the closing of the Cats musical...

Thoughts:

Ever since Deadpool first came to prominence with his own, wacky comic from Joe Kelly in the late '90's', fans of the character (as well as us web-heads) have been begging for him to cross paths with Spider-Man as the two share several characteristics, the most blatant being a gift for the gab. And sure enough that has come to pass in recent years, but in my opinion, those team-ups have never quite hit the mark. The first team-up between the two wise-crackers in Amazing Spider-Man #611 featured some hilarious dialogue exchanges between the two (the issue was written by Kelly after all), but suffered from some poor artwork. The second team-up in Deadpool #19-21 fared better with it's art, but Daniel Way's characterisation of Spider-Man was a little off, not to mention that the story was more about Hit Monkey than it was Spider-Man or Deadpool. And as for team-up in Gerry Duggan & Brian Posehn's Deadpool #10, well that was just one big missed opportunity to satirise the Superior Spider-Man series. Overall, these stories have all been varying degrees of funny, but pretty inconsequential in terms of the dynamic between the two characters.

Thankfully in this annual, we are treated to a fun, energetic, but also quite touching romp, and once again it is hilarious. Christopher Hastings keeps the story at a fast clip whilst also making no effort to shy away from the weirder aspects of Deadpool's adventures. I never expected to see a snake-themed supervillian transformed into a giant killer mouse. The inclusion of that seems a bit random, but the Masssster isn't there to be taken seriously. Instead he's both a subtle and obvious jab at Spider-Man's rogue's gallery, the obvious part being that he's animal-themed, which Deadpool points out to us, and the subtle part being that his costume rips off Doctor Doom, which references the fact that Spidey has come up against more than a few second-string and rip-off bad guys, such as in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #16 when he faced the Wicked Brigade and Master Monarch, the latter being another Victor Von Rip-Off.
Despite the fact that Spider-Man is absent for a chunk of the issue, the dynamic between him and Deadpool is portrayed brilliantly here. In their last real team-up, it often felt as though Way was dumbing down Peter's sense of humour to make Wade funnier, meaning Spidey was way too serious given the zaniness of the situation. Peter is pretty serious at the start here, but there's more of a reason for him to be that way considering the Chameleon's constantly on his tail. Once he's managed to rest we get the classic, wise-cracking Spidey again. Deadpool meanwhile is given a lot more credit in this story than you'd think. It would have been all too easy to show Deadpool wrecking Spidey's reputation, but thankfully Hastings kept Superior Spider-Man in mind when writing those scenes. Deadpool really does see himself and Spidey as best buds, and you get the sense that, while he is having fun pretending to be Spider-Man, he's also trying to uphold Spidey's reputation in addition to protecting him from the Chameleon, the sincerity of which kind of offsets any creepy factor to Wade's behaviour. The ending scene between these two is short, but definitely satisfying, and we get a Spidey/Deadpool brofist, which makes everything better. It goes without saying that Deadpool is pretty hilarious here too. His reaction to Chameleon jabbing Spidey in the neck with a syringe made me laugh out loud from how over the top it was.

Talking of the Chameleon, there's been a concentrated effort at Marvel recently to make him a more threatening villain and it's mostly been a success. Despite not appearing that much in the issue, Cammy maintains a presence throughout thanks to the fact that he could pop up anywhere at any moment, and his relentless attempts to torment Peter really leaves you rooting for Spidey and Pool to nail the creep. The reveal of Chameleon being able to track Spider-Man due to his new web-fluid that Doc Ock devised was handled really well, as it not only gives Peter a solid reason to go back to his old formula (as Chameleon noted how easy it was to track the new one), but it also proves that Otto wasn't as Superior a Spider-Man as he thought.

Jacopo Camagni handles the artwork for this annual and for the most part, it's pretty awesome. The facial designs for the characters are rather cartoony, but there's a consistency to them that prevents the work from looking sloppy or disproportionate. The vibrant colours by Matt Milla also add to the 'nuts factor'. The only thing that didn't really work for me was how expressive the eyepieces in Spider-Man's mask were. Usually I have no problem with this, but in this case, it takes away from the otherwise solid contrast of Wade and Peter in the Spidey suit - Camagni even includes the little flappy bit that Wade has at the back of his Deadpool mask when he wears Spidey's, which is some clever attention to detail - since there's barely a consistent look to the lenses when Peter wears the mask, and some of the expressions done with them are a little weird, though on the flipside there are several that look pretty cool. One shot in particular reminded me of the style employed by Marco Checchetto, one of my favourite modern Spider-Man artists. There's also a bit of inconsistency with Deadpool's face. When we first see him unmasked, he looks pretty much in line with the current depiction of his scarred visage, whereas the second time, he instead resembles a cartoon zombie.

Nitpicks aside however, this is an awesome and hilarious 'sort-of' team-up between Marvel's two biggest blabbermouths. If you like either of these characters, you should definitely check this out...

Score: 4.5/5.0

The Amazing Spider-Man # 1.3

Posted by bulletproofsponge 15 July 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man # 1.3
Learning to Crawl: Part 3

This issue begins with Clayton, complaining that he is unable to use any of the footage recorded in The Amazing Spider-Man # 1.2, due to Spider-Man making him look like a fool.

Meanwhile, Peter returns back home to find his Aunt May extremely worried and concerned. She has found an envelope of money and some other chemicals that Peter had used to make his web fluid. Seeing the two items however have cause her to come to the conclusion that Peter had been making and selling drugs to make money. Peter gives a clever excuse for both, without revealing where he actually got the money, or why he had chemicals in his room, leaving Aunt May quite satisfied.

Elsewhere, most of the kids participating at the science fair are busy preparing their stuff, Clayton included. A girl- Polly, is quite impressed with Clayton's work, leading Clayton to believe that she may be interested in him. He also tells her to come to the fair on Saturday and check out what he has in store. Hearing that she likes superheroes, he plans to make an appearance as Clash.

Like all the other students, Peter is also trying to figure out what he should showcase at the science fair in hope to win a scholarship for college. While testing out some things, he overhears his fellow classmates talking about how they would like to see a close up picture of the Vulture. This gives Peter the idea of using his abilities as Spider-Man to get a close up shot of the Vulture.

He borrows Uncle Ben's old camera from Aunt May and proceeds to find the Vulture. While snapping photos, he gets attacked by the Vulture! Thankfully, the camera and the photos were not damaged.


After the fight, Peter goes back to devise a plan to counter attack the Vulture the next time they meet.  He invents an anti magnetic device, seeing that the Vulture uses magnetism to fly. He also decides that he will use that as his project at the science fair. Over at the bugle, Jameson is ecstatic about the photos of the Vulture and pays Peter handsomely. Peter decides that if he keeps earning cash from photos, he will no longer need the scholarship he hopes to get.

The next day, at the science fair, nobody seems to be impressed with Peter's invention! His classmates attribute it to him not wearing a superhero costume like all the other kids. Aunt May, who is present at the fair, somehow starts a conversation with Peters friends, in particular - Polly. Aunt May is so proud to know that Peter has friends, even more so, a friend who is a girl! She invites Polly to dinner with them and Polly agrees. This sparks some jealously from Clayton.

Clayton, very soon changes to Clash to get some attention. However, Peter sees Clash as a threat, with his spider sense going off. As such, he too changes to Spider-Man and attacks Clash.



This has everyone in the room terrified, especially Aunt May, who despises Spider-Man. Clash's sound waves cause destruction in the hall, endangering the others. Eventually, Spider-Man stops Clash using his anti magnetic device he created to nullify Clash's abilities.

Clash runs away, changing back to Clayton Cole, upset again at Spider-Man. Peter on the other hand has also changed back to check on Aunt May, who is so disappointed at Spider-Man, saying that he was not raised properly and that whoever raised him must be ashamed.

Thoughts..

Despite the long summary above, there isn't actually very much taking place in this issue. We see more of how Peter starts taking photos for the Bugle, and how Aunt May despises Spider-Man. From the start, Peter is already conflicted about Spider-Man, not having the approval of those close to him.

We also see how Clayton actually has reason to hate Spider-Man. However, like most of Spider-Man's villains ( except the goblin), Clayton is just an ordinary person who has gone slight the wrong way and is not actually a bad person.

Probably one scene that didn't make sense was when Spider-Man was attacked from behind by the Vulture. In the issue, Peter says he was attacked without warning because he could not hear anything coming behind him as the Vulture was using magnets. While that may be true, his spider sense should really have warned him of that.

Unfortunately, this issue does not leave the reader really wanting more of the story. While my opinion may differ from others, I don't find this story all that interesting, but as the title suggests, this whole story is about how Peter 'learnt to crawl' as Spider-Man. Keep that in mind, and the story line would be more bearable.

2.5/10


Deadpool Vs. Carnage #4

Posted by Jesse 29 June 2014

Last time we saw our friend Deadpool he wasn't doin too good, having just been once again decimated by the murder and chaos driven red symbiote menace: Carnage. However, fate has intervened and somewhat leveled the playing field.

Will it be enough for DP to put the cap on ole' Carnage , or will merc. with the mouth just end up pissing him off more? Find out now, and keep reading for my thoughts and analysis.


So Deadpool is the proud new owner of the Life Foundation Symbiotes...

Anybody remember these guys? Oh you thought they were wiped out after Lethal Protector? wrong Or they never returned after Seperation Anxiety? Nope. Or that Eddie Brock hunted'em down and killed'em off in the agent venom series? Not quite. At least 4 outta the 5 survived and were kept under gov. control, probably for just such an occasion. Now DP's gott'em and they've transformed him into 1 very super powered assassin. And so the hunt continues.

Seemingly rid of DP, Carnage and Shriek arrive at an insane asylum where Carnage questions the Psychiatrists on his theory of chaos. Obsessed with proving his point & DP wrong, Carnage fails to notice how DP has effected his mind & thus his purpose. As Carnage tortures the Dr's for answers, a bullet comes wizzing through the window, splitting Carnage's eye. Off in the distance DP sits in a tree with his sniper rifle and canine companion. Both of them are covered in symbiote. So DP sends in the dog to chomp'em to bits but Carnage retaliates.

The new improved symbiote DP takes this opportunity to demonstrate his new found strength,sight,and speed to assault Carnage. DP proudly announces his symbiotes: Phage, Lasher , Riot, and Agony, all having contributed to his power supreme. The inmates witness this fight and believe it to be ghosts and demons.

Lasher , the war dog symbiote  attacks Shriek who blasts it revealing the injured body of Carnage. Shriek is instantly shocked and guilty over harming her lover, Carnage. Yet Carnage informs her it's just DP changing appearance to trick her.  Despite this warning, Shriek runs off due to emotional trauma. DP does what he does best and gloats while taunting Carnage. DP unleashes a plethora of guns from his outstretched tendrils which proceed to all fire at once.


Carnage is not impressed, and just when he remarks that DP will have to do better, DP tosses him through a wall (4th wall perhaps?). Preterbed, Carnage launches himself at DP and receives more gunfire for his effort.  Carnage admits he came to the asylum seeking answers to disprove DP's "deeper connection" theory, and that no one, and nothing, except Carnage himself is guiding him, but DP retorts that Carnage DOES have a conscious and DP is responsible for leading him to their current location.

DP's argument insists that Carnage shares some type of mental / spiritual link to himself and other psychotics, even going so far as to transform into various spirit animals.


Again Carnage stubbornly refuses the idea, sending DP flying with a swipe of his tendril. DP does his best Fog horn Leg horn impression while trying to cram his guts that were spilled by Carnage back in his stomach. Carnage takes the opportunity to flee the scene.

Instead of giving chase, DP attacks Shriek as the scene shifts to Carnage hearing her scream in the distance.
He naturally follows, leading him to a message on the wall (seemingly written by DP) stating"You will be punished for your anger." The inmates warn Carnage "Don't hurt the scary lady." seemingly referring to Shriek but Carnage continues pursuing DP, attacking him from behind only to realize the body was actually Shriek in disguise as DP.

Carnage is very upset not so much because he may have killed Shriek but because he realizes that the warnings he ignored from his fellow loonies were trying to help him, and that by ignoring them out of ego he ended up hurting himself AND proving DP's point. Carnage's ego is damaged and causes him to turn himself in to the police, where he sits in prison  pondering his self control and waiting for DP's notions to leave his head.

Meanwhile Deady McPool aka Deadpool says a final farewell to his furry friend and the symbiotes 4, as he considers his success and next mission.

Thoughts

So in the end it was brains not brawn that defeated the beast. The whole time they were waging a physical war Deady was also waging a mental one. His plan paid off wit ha little..Ok a lot of help from his symbiote pals. I for one really enjoyed seeing DP merged with the life foundation symbiotes - Scream. Even though Rick Remember kinda made a point to kill them off in his run of Venom, I felt that was premature and the potential for them outweighed the negatives. Still, no sign of the most famous of the group; Scream. What a pity, but I'm betting Cullen Bunn has bigger plans to bring her back.

In my previous review I mentioned how I thought Scorn might show up and although that didn't happen it felt the story turned out just fine, utilizing Shriek as the straw that broke the camel's back. Which leads me to my next question, Did Carnage kill Shriek? I doubt she actually died and knowing her, I bet she would even forgive him seeing as how killing is ironically their way of life and strongest bond.

As for our gun touting hero, I think this is yet another straw in his hat, another notch on his belt. Who else can say they out crazied Carnage? Drove a homicidal maniac insane? And if you need proof of Carnage being insane, why else would he intentionally shut himself up in a prison cell and stay there? Yes Sir Carnage will have to think twice before crossing paths with Deadpool again, unless he wants another spoonful of Psychology, after all Deadpool called himself the Dr. Phil for loonies and I think he's earned it.
Still, it's hard to believe he didn't want to hang onto the symbiotes at least a little while longer.

In the end Carnage's stubborn but fragile  mindset caused him to become paranoid, overly aggressive, and predictable, allowing DP to take advantage. I've never seen Carnage defeated in such a way.
I wonder if carnage will learn from this mistake? Nah I can't really imagine Carnage becoming rationale, that would be.. anti Carnage.

Despite some slow roads or lack of direction, I enjoyed this short series for it's action and artwork. Outlandish? yes, Gratuitous? You bet, and it got the job done.It provided an exciting confrontation between to similar psycho freaks. In hindsight, I liked it a little more than Superior Carnage.

So Deadpool poses the question what's next? Well skys the limit for DP as series and stories for him seem to pop up like dazies, but for Carnage I'd like to see him tackle New Warriors, seeing as how he has unfinished business with Kaine.

I truly hope you've enjoyed this review series, and would love to read your comments.
What did you think of the story?




The Amazing Spider-Man # 3

Posted by bulletproofsponge 27 June 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man # 3 Review
-featuring The Black Cat

This issue begins with our 'other mysterious spider character', whom we have come to know as silk. She grows bored of her same old lifestyle, looking at old photos of her her family and brother. She tries to escape her home, only it isn't actually her home as we were previously led to believe. Silk is actually in captivity.

As she tries to escape, a prerecorded warning message from a young looking Ezekiel comes up, calling her by her real name - Cindy, asking her not to breach the security as she poses a threat to the world outside. Cindy finds it in her to listen to what the message has to say and stops trying to escape.

Elsewhere, the Black Cat has been busy breaking into penthouses and stealing their champagne and caviar, instead of stealing cash with which to buy champagne and caviar like she usually does. She's changed her style of doing things, realizing that everything in the city is already hers if she only reaches out to grab it.

In Alphabet city, Electro is struggling to sleep, having nightmares about what Spider-Ock did to him. In his sleep, he sets the whole building on fire and wakes up, furious at Spider-Man.

Meanwhile, in Parker Industries, Peter is trying his best to be a 'fun boss' different from Peter Ock, and different from what his employees are used to.  Peter invites his staff to go out with him on a field trip to test out their new 'Electro Tracking' equipment.



Sajani however, is not impressed with this new direction and thinks they should continue working on their initial project - developing nano tech. Ana Maria, knowing Peter's secret, understands the change, in that Peter, never wanted to start the nano tech project as that was Doc Ock's project. He also probably knows nothing about it! Regardless, Ana Maria offers to continue the project since she was close to 'Peter Ock' and knew how to complete it.

Peter's field trip takes him to the site where Electro started the fire. Though the firemen are already on the job, Peter changes into Spider-Man and tries to help. At the site is Ollie, Mary Jane's new fireman boyfriend, doing his best to make up for missing out on the Goblin War. ( He was busy driving MJ out of town)

Spider-Man is caught on camera which catches the attention of the Black Cat. This changes the scene to Jameson, who is having an interview in The Fact Channel Studios. At the end of the interview however, Jameson is told that they actually wish to hire him, to which Jameson is delighted.

Back at the fire, Spider-Man helps Ollie, recognizing him as Mary Jane's new boyfriend. They manage to save a little girl safely, but Ollie runs back into the building immediately after, only to have some debris fall on him. Spidey rushes in to help, but is met by the Black Cat. Unaware to what had happened with him and Felicia, Spidey asks for her help.

Felicia is shocked at his wits but proceeds to attack him. It doesn't take long for Spider-Man to realize this was Ock's doing. He tries to explain himself to the Black Cat, but she does not care. As a last resort, Spider-Man attacks her, pretending to still be Doc Ock. This stuns Felicia and she decides to bolt.

Ollie is saved and escorted out of the building by Spider-Man. Mary Jane runs to greet her boyfriend, but Spider-Man is already gone watching from a far by the time she comes.


Meanwhile, the Black Cat has stolen some valuable and the Electro detector from the Parker Labs crew. She tracks Electro down and asks for his help to kill Spider-Man.

Thoughts

Starting right at the top, we now know that Silk's real name is Cindy. We also know that she has been held in captivity, for the benefit of the rest of the world as it seems that she poses some sort of threat. She has also clearly been living in holding for many years considering the old equipment in her residence. The prerecording of the young Ezekiel also further proves that she has been here for a long long time.

There is the slight chance that the Ezekiel in the recording was not the same one that we all know and previously read about. Given his involvement with the 'spiders' however, I think that is quite unlikely. Unlike what I had previously thought, Cindy/ Silk is actually a good person from the looks of it, purposely staying in captivity so the outside world would be safe.

What we do not know is whether or not the threat she once posed is still a threat to the world today, given the technology advances since her captivity. We also do not know if this 'threat' is even real. It could be all a gimmick to keep her in holding!

Next, on my topic from this issue worthy of discussion would be Black Cat's new persona. She has gone from anti-hero to full on bad guy here. She has changed her costume, to a more burglar type costume - more practical and less revealing, probably signifying a new start.

After Spider-Man's explanation that it was Doc Ock who hurt her, Felicia still refused to listen to reason. As far as she is concerned, it was the Spider who hurt her, and it will be the Spider whom she will get revenge on. By the end of the issue, she certainly knows for sure that Doc Ock did at some point posses Spider-Man's body, yet she refuses to care and enlists the help of Electro.

To some extent however her behavior does make sense since she never cared who was behind the mask of Spider-Man. Even when they were lovers, she saw Spider-Man as the Spider and not for who he was behind the mask. As such, it would make sense that she could not care whose mind possessed Spider-Man.

If this had taken place before the mind wipe however, things might have been a little different, as back then, she knew Peter Parker was Spider-Man and considered him a friend, rather than a masked character.

Mary Jane, has returned to her worrying girlfriend role, and Jameson has a new job, back in the media! Nothing else in this issue is to much to shout about.

Rating: 3/5










Superior Foes of Spider-Man #12

Posted by Mike McNulty, a.k.a. Stillanerd 20 June 2014

That's right--no more delays or fill-in issues this time! Your favorite bunch of super-villain misfits are back and getting in trouble once again. And in case you folks may have forgotten (and as The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #12's recap page is kind enough to remind you), Boomerang, having just convinced his old boss, the Owl, that the Chameleon stole a painting showing Doctor Doom's true face, ran into both a very angry Beetle and Overdrive. Meanwhile, the Shocker, having the fabled head of former leader of the Maggia crime family, Silvermane, was about to be sold out by his buddy, Hyrdo-Man. Rest assured, hilarity and mayhem will ensue.

THE STORY
The comic begins right at the very last scene of The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #9, after which Beetle and Overdrive have commandeered a school bus full of kids that has been damaged by ninja-style weaponry, and are confronting Boomerang over having sold them out and leaving them for dead after the raid on the Owl's headquarters. Boomerang tries to change the subject by asking why Overdrive tricked out a school-bus, why a fifth-grader is brandishing a sword, to which Overdrive briefly explains that he owes money to Mr. Negative for him giving Overdrive his powers, that his forces attacked them, and that he stole a school-bus because he didn't have a lot of options to get away.

Beetle is about to blast Boomerang to which he responds that it wasn't him, but the Chameleon. He then goes on to claim that while he was in jail with the Chameleon, they didn't get along. So when the others came to bail him out, the Chameleon sucker-punched him and, when he came to, he found himself on a fishing barge with an ID chip in his back—which Overdrive points out is the plot from The Bourne Identity--while the Chameleon took his place. Beetle and Overdrive don't believe him, especially after Boomerang let's it slip that “the Chameleon” killed Shocker instead of “chickening out” and quitting like he told them. However, before Beetle can kill Boomerang, the Owl shows up and, having been convinced it was the Chameleon that stole the Dr. Doom painting, that Boomerang is telling the truth. Beetle and Overdrive, frustrated, decide to leave, but when the Owl offers them a job, they decide to stick around.

Meanwhile at an Italian restaurant, Hydro-Man is telling Hammerhead and his crew about how Shocker has the head of Silvermane in his possession and wants a “finder's fee.” Hammerhead, almost succumbing to an impersonation of James Cagney, is skeptical about Hydro-Man's story, so he sends some of his men out to check to see if the story is on the level and for another to contact his therapist as “it's an emergency.”

We then return to Boomerang as he explains the layout of the Chameleon's hideout and the traps therein –exactly like he did for the Owl's hideout back in The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #5—only for Beetle to say they are not falling for that trick again, pointing out that he's already screwed them over once and that now they're working for the Owl who just hour earlier tried to have them killed. Boomerang, however says they're not actually going to go after the painting for the Owl, that they'll use the Owl and his firepower as a distraction to take the painting for themselves. Beetle points out this is exactly what Boomerang did to them when robbing the Owl, but Boomerang insists it'll be different because, unlike last time, they'll be a team, and that the score will be enough for Beetle to start her own empire and for Overdrive to pay off his debts to Mr. Negative.

When Boomerang inquires about Speed Demon, Overdrive texts him and Speed Demon arrives. Beetle notices Speed Demon has been crying, and while Speed Demon denies it, he's thinking about Inspector the dog. When Boomerang explains to Speed Demon that the team is back together, Beetle says they haven't agreed to anything yet. However, the Owl, having overheard this, point outs that any one who chooses to leave run the risk of violating the terms of their “nondisclosure appropriate anticipatory actions, etc.” and, this time, Beetle won't be able to call her dad, Tombstone, to held them out. Owl also says he's brought Boomerang a visitor—his bartender girlfriend. Upon seeing Boomerang, the bartender rolls up her sleeve, punches him in the face, and tells him “Don't ever call me again” as she storms out. Then the Owl takes Boomerang to introduce to him the new members of his gang, as Boomerang requested more villains for the job, which includes The Fly, Mountain Man Marko, Mirage, The Armadillo, Shriek, Cyclone, The Squid, Clown from the Ringmasters of Crime, Bi-Beast, Scorcher, the Kangaroo, and the Spot. And with Boomerang, Beetle, Speed Demon, and Overdrive, the Sinister Six has now become The Sinister Sixteen!

Thus, when the Chameleon and his men hear a knock on the door of their headquarters, they look outside to see Boomerang and his new crew waving hello right before they attack. Sure enough, just as Boomerang planned, the new members are busy fighting the Chameleon while he strolls over to the elevator. Only this time, Beetle an Overdrive insist on accompanying him and upon leaving the elevator first. However, when they get to the bottom floor, Overdrive and Beetle are attacked by giant chameleons, allowing Boomerang to give them the slip. But to his surprise, Mirage is waiting for him, claiming that the Chameleon has already escaped with the painting of Dr. Doom. Boomerang, however, realizes it's the Chameleon and knocks him out. Overdrive then arrives, and Boomerang, as promised, shows him the painting of Dr. Doom and lets Overdrive take it. But Boomerang is not the least bit worried because—the painting of Dr. Doom was a fake all along! Instead, Boomerang goes after his real target, which is the contents of the Chameleon's safe.

Back at the Shocker's apartment, Shocker is stressed over the fact that Hydro-Man, who he considered a friend, has betrayed him. Silvermane, however, points out that Shocker's “friends” are criminals, and that Boomerang, who was also supposedly Shocker's friend as well, also betrayed him by stuffing his body in a car trunk and pushing it off a bridge. Shocker says that there's supposed to be a code, that gangs are like a “family” and that they're supposed to stick together. Silvermane says that even when he was the head of the Maggia crime family, he never trusted any of his people, and that the stuff about “family” was just another way to keep them in line and that “only the saps buy it.” He adds that the only way to stay alive in the business is to make others fear you, and tells Shocker, “Who would ever fear a nobody like you.”

At this, Shocker goes over to his closet and gets out a bowling bag. Then, removing the bowling ball, stuffs Silvermane's head into the bag. Shocker then vows he won't get screwed over again, that he's through playing the nice guy and the team player, then angrily throws the bowling ball out the window, vowing he's going to give those who double-crossed him something to be afraid of. Outside, waiting on the street, are Hammerhead and his goons, ready to charge into the apartment building, guns drawn and loaded.

THOUGHTS
Oh, Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber—how we've missed you! More than that, as Boomerang's sly, metatextual comment in the beginning suggests, not only have we been waiting for “a really long time,” but we actually got a genuine issue of Superior Foes, something which is very welcome in light of the disastrous and pointless filler that was last issue. As this issue reminds us, it was never just the fact that what makes Superior Foes so good is that it's merely a funny look at Marvel's less notable villains. It was because Spencer and Lieber were able to effectively use verbal and visual gags in subtle and creative ways to show character without actually demeaning them. Thus, reading this issue was very much like a “greatest hits” compilation of the best gags of issue's past. However, like all “Greatest Hits” compilations, that can have its downsides.

This is why I thought the main story involving Boomerang once again conning his fellow teammates and the Owl the steal back the Doctor Doom painting from the Chameleon didn't feel as strong as it could have been. Granted, the point is that Fred is using almost the same tactics to pull off almost the same con, but this also means running the risk of making the humor feel recycled. Just like the other characters have become wiser to Fred's methods, so too have the readers when it comes to the punchlines Spencer and Lieber are employing. Which is why when we learn that everything Boomerang has done since Superior Foes #1 has all been an elaborate scheme just to rob to paltry contents of the Chameleon's safe winds up working as well as it does. Because even though we, like the characters, are starting to get wise to the act, there is always one more trick up Boomerang's—and Spencer and Lieber's—sleeve to keep us on our toes. Not to mention, it's the most revealing insight into Boomerang as a character yet, because for all of his elaborate scheming and convincing himself that he's a genuine criminal mastermind, Fred really is nothing more than a petty crook. After all, his master plan to rob the Chameleon is akin to getting rid of ant hill with a bazooka.

What ends being more effective is the subplot about the head of Silvermane, and the lead up to a possible confrontation between the Shocker and (the real) Hammerhead. In hindsight, Herman Schultz, along with Fred Myers, has been undergoing the most significant character arc throughout the series, as we have steadily been watching him transform from being a pushover to becoming a badass. And now that he's undergone his Howard Beale “I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!” moment, it's all but a foregone conclusion that the Shocker will be the one undo all Boomerang's careful planing, all because Boomerang is convinced that Silvermane's head is as made-up as the Doctor Doom painting. Also, I enjoy the fact that Hammerhead is fully aware of being influenced by and impersonating James Cagney. After all, he's always been a deliberate parody of mobsters from 1930's gangster films, so having Hammerhead himself realize this actually makes it funnier and gives him more depth.

One thing I do worry about is, because we've had two interruptions on this series in a row whether it's possible to regenerate the kind of momentum Superior Foes has been getting, especially considering the precarious position the title is in due to its low sales. That being said, it's good to see that Spencer and Lieber haven't lost their touch during their brief absence, and I'm eagerly looking forward to reading the next chapter in their amusing crime caper, especially since it's believed we might be getting the actual origin of Overdrive. Not to mention what actually did happen to Inspector that made Speed Demon cry? Do yourselves a favor and get some extra copies of this one to celebrate their return.

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