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Amazing Spider-Man v3 # 18

Posted by bulletproofsponge 16 May 2015

Amazing Spider-Man v3 # 18 review
The Graveyard Sift: Part 3
Trade Secrets

In Amazing Spider-Man # 17, we last saw Sajani, seemingly being killed by the Ghost as he had his hand pierced through her body.

As it turns out however, the Ghost had simply phased through Sajani's body, without materializing, thus causing no physical injury. Sajani's heart however suffered some slight trauma.After saving Sajani, Spider-Man tries to fight Ghost. Unfortunately, due to Ghost being " ghost like" Spider-Man was unable to physically hurt his enemy.

In the meantime, the rest of Parker Industries' staff is taking refuge in "Spider-Man's secret entrance." While most of the staff is frantic, Ana Maria and Clayton Cole decide to use some of Spider-Man's equipment to help Spider-Man in his losing battle against the Ghost.


Up to this point, Spider-Man had in mind that Ghost was sent to destroy the prison project that Parker Industries was working on. Mid battle however, Ghost reveals that, contrary to what Spider-Man thought, Ghost was actually there to bring down the whole Parker Industries building and had already set bombs around the building hours before he had revealed himself. Spider-Man, very soon finds himself stuck beneath some rubble as the first bomb goes off right where he is standing.  Fortunately, Clayton and Ana Maria come soon after and fire at Ghost using sonic vibrations that Clayton cooked up and some sonic webbing designed by Peter to fight venom.

Ghost is quickly subdued and the staff of Parker Industries are led to safety before the entire building crumbles. Sajani, now recovered, focuses her anger towards Peter for not telling her that he was still secretly working with Spider-Man. She blames him for all the problems that took place. In light of having secrets out in the open, Ana Maria then rebukes Peter for keeping secrets before revealing to Peter that Sajani and herself were also keeping a secret, - i.e continuing to work on the Nanotech research. Peter is astonished that his partners have been keeping secrets from him. Having felt betrayed, Peter apologizes to Sajani for keeping his activities with "Spider-Man" a secret. As expected however, Sajani finds it hard to accept Peter's apology as sufficient remedy for all that has taken place.



Repossession Part 3: Nothing left to lose

Later, Peter goes over to his Aunt May's house to explain to her and Jay that their investment in his company has crumbled to the ground. Peter knocks on the door for a while but decides to use the spare key he has to get into the house when no one answers the door. Inside, he finds that the place has been ransacked and that his Aunt and Jay are no where to been found. Realizing that nothing valuable in the house was taken save the new antique that Aunt May and Jay had won at the auction a while ago, Peter concludes that this must have been the work of the Black Cat.

In case you're wondering how he came to that conclusion, in the last issue, Peter saw the antique at the dining table and thought it familiar, though he could not quite remember where he had seen it before. Seeing the house trashed with nothing but that item missing jolted his memory a little, allowing him to connect it all to Felicia.

Spider-Man swings over to Felicia's old Penthouse where the Black Cat has Aunt May, Jay, and the
other young lady who won most of the items at the auction tied up. There Felicia decides to burn all her old treasures along with her captives so that she will never again have anything to lose.

Naturally, Spider-Man comes just in time to save the people. He manages to get a glimpse of Felicia and actually asks for her help. Unfortunately, as the Black Cat herself states, the old her is dead and the new her is done doing what others want her to do.

Eventually Spider-Man gets everyone to safety. Aunt May apologizes to Spider-Man for having doubted him in the past and tells him that he has her blessing to work together with Parker Industries, the company that she invested in. This leads Spider-Man to explain that Parker Industries was burnt to the ground, though it is not actually shown in the comic.

In the aftermath, the Black Cat, now the crime lord in town, warns her followers not to cross her path and to stick to her good side as there is no longer a limit to how far she is willing to go.

Thoughts

Thought most of us all foresaw that Parker Industries would eventually fail, be sold or come to ruin, I did not expect it to come to an end as abruptly as it did.

Regardless, it was an issue that needed to be taken care of that is now history. If there is one thing we know by now, it is that Peter Parker as Spider-Man cannot ever seem to progress as a character. Even if he does progress, they will eventually regress him again, even if it is 20 years later ( Hint)

Unlike many other progressions of the character in the past however, Parker Industries was not among my favorite things to ever happen to Peter.

For this exact reason, I am really not at all too worried about the Black Cat going down the deep end. Black Cat has always been an anti hero so to speak. As Peter had very quickly pointed out in this issue, it is probably her bad luck powers that are getting the best of her and sending her down this spiral.

Personally, I think Black Cat is being written like a teenage girl who just got her heart broken and wants to take it out on the world, very immature for a character who has gone through so much over the years in Spider-Man comics and completely out of character.

So to sum up the last few issues in four words - Parker Industries gets destroyed.

Everything else that happened, like Sajani dying, and Aunt May and Jay winning the auction and getting kidnapped for it, can be ignored because at the end of these three issues, Sajani still lives and Aunt May and Jay are safe with no antique for their dining room..





Spider-Gwen #1 Review

Posted by NDwebhead 04 May 2015


Well, it's here! Arguably the most popular of the spider personae to emerge during the Spider-Verse event, Spider-Gwen (Stacy) now has her own publication. Millions of webheads and cosplayers can't be wrong...right?

Since we already got Gwen's origin story in Edge of Spider-verse, this issue doesn't get weighed down rehashing the origin and quickly gets down to business. In order to welcome in newcomers, writer Jason Latour does provide a quick one page summary of how Earth 65's Gwen Stacy turned into Spider-Woman.

With that out of the way we immediately are introduced to this world's Yancy Street Gang who prove as much a foil for Ben Grimm on Earth 65 as they do on 616. The difference here is that ol' Grimmy isn't the Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing, but just a regular, flesh-and-blood beat cop (albeit a rather overzealous one).

Officer Grimm climbs a billboard to corner the young YSG graffiti artists when out of nowhere swoops the Vulture! Apparently annoyed by all the attention wanted criminal Spider-woman is receiving, Vulture flies to the billboard with Gwen's mugshot on it and abducts Officer Grimm to show everyone he's a better criminal than any silly spider chump. Vulture drops Grimm from on high and lets gravity do the rest.

We transition to Gwen, who is having a bit of an existential crisis. Not only is she misunderstood as a criminal, wanted in connection with the death of her beloved Peter Parker, but she has also just returned from defeating a frightening threat to the multiverse and is now stuck catching purse snatchers and petty crooks. Bummer.


Enter Hamburglar Man! Err..I mean the Bodega Bandit! Maybe foiling his robbery will show the police that she's a good guy...or not. Turns out the register contained only 78 cents and when returned, its rightful owner actually gives Gwen grief. As annoying as the shop owner is, he does provide a nifty reference to the original 1960s Spider-Man theme song when he rebukes Gwen's query about a reward and says, "Action is your reward!" (Okay, maybe I'm the only one who geeked out over that).

Checking back in with Officer Grimm, we find Foggy Nelson and Captain Stacy in Grimm's hospital room. Foggy reiterates his support for Stacy's belief that Spider-Woman is a good guy, but informs Stacy that the mayor has caved to pressure and replaced Stacy with Captain Frank Castle on the Spider task force. Yes, Frank Castle.

We cut to Frank "interrogating" a non-Rhino-skinned Aleksei Sytsevich and it turns out this world's Castle might be even more brutal than the 616 version. Frank gets Aleksei to give up the Kingpin as his connection to Spider-woman, but proceeds to bloody him some more anyway.


Returning to our title heroine, we find Gwen tracking down Adrian Toomes. Correctly deducing that Adrian is a bit of an egomaniac, she graffitis the area around Vulture's apartment with provocative graffiti like "Death from a Butt." The plan works like a charm, drawing out the self-aggrandizing geriatric for a wild mid-air tete-a-tete with Gwen. The issue concludes in classic cliffhanger fashion, with Spider-woman falling from her Vulture-cut webline at a perilous height over the piers, not a single structure to web in sight!

Thoughts:

I had very high hopes for this issue and for the most part Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez did not disappoint. Latour writes a very quippy, super-sarcastic Spider-woman which fits in perfectly with her overall quasi-punky character. While the mouthiness during battle is classic 616 Spider-man, Gwen differentiates herself with a bit more rebelliousness - classic Spidey would never have thought to spray paint antogonizing messages to draw out the Vulture. Obviously, this is only one issue and it is impossible to say how the character will develop, but what is obvious is that this Earth 65 Gwen Stacy is already a million times more of a fleshed-out and interesting character than was 616 Gwen.

The artwork does a great job of capturing the punk/rebel vibe of Spider-Gwen. The trippy neon greens and purples can border on being too much, but Rodriguez and colorist Rico Renzi toe the line just enough to keep us sane. The facial expressions of Rodriguez's characters work well in action scenes, but when characters are having a somber conversation the overly-expressive faces can be a little much.

I was not alone in anticipating this issue and it did not disappoint. It is exciting to have a legit, cool, mouthy Spider-woman who seems to be developing her own distinctive character. For its significance alone this issue is a must-read, but Latour and Rodriguez ensure that your reading experience will also be an entertaining one.


Amazing Spider-Man # 17.1

Posted by bulletproofsponge 30 April 2015


Amazing Spider-Man # 17.1 review
Spiral : Part 2

This issue is a side story that continues from Amazing Spider-Man 16.1 .

With Tombstone busted in the last issue, Hammerhead and the Hobgoblin, now going by the name "Goblin King," are trying to fill the vacuum for power over the Third Precinct. The two make bets with their fighters in the ring. The fighters would fight to the death and the winner would take control of the area. The meeting however is broken up by Spider-Man. The Goblin King takes off immediately, as does Hammerhead, as soon as he can, namely while Spider-Man is busy taking care of Hammerhead's fighter from the ring.

Having lost all the bad guys, Spider-Man then proceeds to head to Captain Watanabe, who is in the Third Precinct to update her on what he knows ( mostly nothing except that Hammerhead and the Goblin King have plans involving her precinct)

Watanabe is not having it easy back at work as her superior is giving her a hard time for disobeying
orders and not bringing lawful evidence the correct way as according to the system as seen in the last issue. She is also instructed to pay Judge Howell a visit at prison. ( Watanabe jailed him for buying drugs from Tombstone's second in command as told is the last issue) The judge explains how he bought the drugs for his wife who got addicted after her surgery. Watanabe's shows no sympathy and rests assured that Judge Howell deserves worst than to be in prison, believing the Judge purposely allowed Tombstone to walk guilt-free because he needed the drugs from him.

Later, Watanabe gets another tip from Mr Negative, regarding the cage match/ bet between Hammerhead and the Goblin King and its location. With the tip on the time and place, Watanabe, as Wraith decides to pay the bad guys a visit. Spider-Man spots her while swinging and decides to join.

Over at the ring, Hammerhead's fighter, having been busted by Spider-Man earlier is not present to fight. Goblin King thinks he is about to win the bet, but Hammerhead surprises him by going into the ring himself. He easily kills Goblin King's fighter, claiming victory. Just then however, Wraith and Spider-Man swing in and spoil the show.



Everyone gets busted except for Goblin King who again manages to escape. In the final scene, Spider-Man realizes that Wraith is more concerned about protecting her turf than about protecting people and catching bad guys. He tries to explain that the photos from her source  (Mr Negative) gave her had to be taken from someone on the inside, implying that Tombstone was betrayed. Wraith however can't seem to care about how things are done, but is instead more concerned that they are done!

In the background we see Mr Negative sitting on a chair watching everything play out as according to his plan.

Thoughts

The Spiral is more of a story about Watanabe rather than Spider-Man. This story appears to be the turning point for Wraith, from a good law abiding cop, to a bitter woman who realizes that the system is not going to work as long as corruption is present. As such she takes it upon herself to take the law into her own hands in order to provide the evidence required to put the guilty behind bars.

As implied in the last scene, Wraith no longer cares about how the job is done. Her main objective is to make sure it is done, even if it means working with criminals like Mr Negative to do so.

In this issue, Spider-Man tries to be the Angel on Watanabe's shoulder, doing his best to remind her of what they do and why they do it. Up to this point in the story however, his advice seems to be falling on deaf ears. Spider-Man has been sticking around to ensure that Wraith does not do anything silly that she might regret later. He is also taking it upon himself to ensure that she stays on the right side of the law.

Mr Negative is actually the true mastermind behind everything that has been taking place in the last two issues. He had a man on the inside to spy on what Hammerhead and Goblin king were planning. He was also the one who betrayed Tombstone, or at least had a man on the inside do so. In doing so, Mr Negative has, in the last two issues, eliminated the criminal lord of the Third Precinct as well as any other possible competitors who may rise to fill the gap, thus leaving no one but himself to run crime in the city.

While this is really a side story for Spider-Man, it is a must read for any Wraith fans out there! Till the next issue...

... and here's a ridiculous pose from Yuri Watanabe for the album..







Spider-Man 2099 v2 # 10

Posted by bulletproofsponge 10 April 2015

Spider-Man 2099 v2 # 10 review
Misery at the Hands of Maestro

The Story
This all begins with Maestro walking through his palace when he is approached by the minister of the place. The minister respectfully questions allowing Spider-Man to be in a room with the Sorceress Supreme. It is implied that Maestro realizes what he had done and intended for it to be that way.

Over at the prison cell, Spider-Man 2099 is dying after having been
beaten nearly to death by Maestro as see in Spider-Man 2099 #9. Strange however manages to heal him after she instructs him to fire a web line at her so she could pass some healing magic to him. In case you were wondering, Strange is bound in mystical chains that prevent her from moving.

The two soon escape and head to Maestro's trophy room, where a broken time travelling machine is supposed to be. As we later find out, Maestro, despite being Bruce Banner, has lost touch with his human side so much so that he is unable, or unwilling, to try to fix the time machine on his own.

Inside the trophy room we see some souvenirs from heroes and villains that Maestro had killed over the years, among them is Dr Doom's time travelling machine. With the help of some Iron Man equipment lying around in the room, Spider-Man is able to fix the machine.



His joy is soon brought to an end however when Maestro comes out of an invisible cloak and kills Strange with a soul dagger. Thinking quickly, Spidey swings across the room and fires at Maestro with one of Iron Man's blasters before going through the time machine, seemingly killing the brute.

Spidey 2099 is then seen back in time, but without the remote for the machine. He then swings off hoping that Maestro died from the blast. Back in 2099 however, we find out that Maestro is still alive, and so is the Sorceress Supreme, who is actually someone else who has Strange trapped in her body!

In the final page, Maestro is seen having traveled back in time on Christmas day, ready to conquer the world again!

Thoughts

From the start of the issue we all knew that Maestro had been planning for Spidey and Strange to escape. As the minister pointed out, it was quite a silly move, unless it was all planned.

While it was intended for the reader to suspect that Spider-Man was falling into a trap, I'm sure I speak for everyone else as well, that nobody could have possibly foreseen that the Sorceress Supreme was not actually who we thought she was. I wish I'd read more 2099 books to know who exactly this impostor/ Strange Captor is.



Essentially, this story carried a brilliant twist that just earned Maestro some new respect as a bad guy. Great writing thus far. With even more time travel and universe jumping, we are bound to see the universe collapse as we know it in no time, as has been hinted for months now in other marvel comics as well.

Will Spider-Man 2099's story have a link to Secret Wars?





Amazing Spider-Man v3 # 17

Posted by bulletproofsponge 09 April 2015

Amazing Spider-Man v3 # 17

The Graveyard Shift: Part two


Needless to say, this is part two of the Graveyard Shift, which started in Amazing Spider-Man # 16. It starts with Peter and Ana Maria having dinner at Aunty May's place. During dinner, Aunt May makes a comment about Ana and Peter getting married. Ana Maria saves Peter's ass by explaining very quickly with a valid reason why they broke up.

During dinner, we also see a centrepiece which Jay and Aunt May won at the auction they were at in the last issue. Peter finds it familiar but can't seem to remember where he's seen it before. As readers however, we all know that it used to belong to the Black Cat.

Peter and Ana then swing over to Parker Industries and enter though a secret entrance as they are already late for the testing of the new prison for super villains. Over at the lab, Sajani, is as usual, complaining about Peter and how his idea to catch and reform the bad guys the lame. Clayton, being a former villain himself tries to explain to her why it is such a good idea.

Everyone is soon present and the testing begins. Unfortunately, it is sabotaged by the Ghost, whom we saw was hired by Tiberius Stone is the last issue to sabotage and destroy Parker industries.

Things get hectic and soon the Parker Industries staff are scattered and getting themselves in harms way. Peter is forced to use his powers to help get the others to safety. Ana Maria covers for him again  with spectacular excuses as she had already done several times up to this point in the issue.

Ock's robot helper, now called the Living Brain, is tasked with the responsibility to get everyone to

safety and out through Spidey's secret entrance. Again, Ana Maria gives a brilliant excuse for why Spider-Man's gear would be in Parker's secret lab. However, the Living Brain soon begins to take some damage, and Sajani grows anxious since all her work which she and Ana had been doing on the side is stored in the robot.

Sajani soon disappears and finds the Ghost. She explains how she found which room he was operating from and offers to help destroy the lab in exchange for the safety of the people. ( By this point she is tired of Peter and his whole company and is willing to help sabotage it.) Ghost is intrigued by her offer but explains how his purpose is to kill everyone.

In the final scene, we see Spider-Man, finally changed into his costume entering the room just as Sajani is being killed by the Ghost.

Story 2: 
Repossession: Part 2
No take backsies

Just like in the last issue, this issue too has a second part to the second story revolving around the Black Cat. While the title of this story doesn't quite make sense to me ( what's a backsy?), the story is pretty decent for a secondary story.

To summarize it quickly, Black Cat re-steals all antiques, paintings and other such items from a rich blonde named Regina, who bought all the Black Cat's items at the auction in the last issue.

While in the last issue I made the assumption that the blonde was just Felicia in a blonde wig due, it turns out that she is actually a completely different person. Anyway, Felicia robs, drugs and keeps Regina hostage by tying her up and explaining how she likes to play with her prey. When going through her treasures, Felicia realizes that there is still one piece missing. We then see the Black Cat peeping though the window to Aunt May and Jay's home where the last piece of her treasure is.

This whole story is really slow, yet enjoyable. With Aunt May getting caught up in the mix, things will soon get really personal for Spider-Man, resulting in a long awaited rematch between the ever growing lucky Black Cat and Spider-Man.

Thoughts

Starting up top with the first story, I'm actually a little glad that Parker Industries is being destroyed. I never was a fan of Peter owning a whole company. Though great for his financial situation, Peter running a company is just not in his character.

Sajani, being a little b*tch got her self in trouble, and will most likely never live to regret her actions.

The main focus of the first story however is not so much about what is taking place, but more to make a point about how great Ana Maria is at covering for Peter's disappearances. Though they may no longer be together as a couple, Ana Maria still proves to be a valuable friend whom Peter would be foolish to remove from his life.

The end of Parker Industries would also probably mean a huge loss of investment on Aunt May and Jay's end. However, their soon-to-be encounter with the Black Cat will probably put some things into perspective and make them forget about their petty investment and treasure their lives more.

It would also probably be the last time they decide to buy auctioned goods from a super criminal! Also, as mentioned earlier, I am looking forward to the second battle between the Black Cat, who now has a major upgrade on her good luck powers, and plain ole normal Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.

Finally, I also kinda liked that we got a glimpse of what Mary Jane has been up to in her giant billboard advertisement for her own brand of perfume.















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