Superior Spider-Man: The Controversy.

Let me start by saying that if you haven’t ready Spider-Man #700/Superior Spider-Man #1 by now, you deserve to have it spoiled in dirty spoiling shame. PETER PARKER IS DEAD! Well Dead-ish… There is so much to talk about here that I almost don’t know where to begin, so I’ll keep it as linear as I can. First of all, you have to understand this has been in the works for years. Dan Slott has had an incredible run on Spider-Man and it’s because of the trust Marvel has put in him. You don’t just hand over the keys to the Marvel version of a 1962 Shelby Cobra without having some talent, and Dan Slott has proven he has talent. He might not have used “I’m going to kill Peter Parker” in his initial pitch for writing the series, but don’t you think it was in the back of his mind?

I totally believe it was, and the reason why is Brian Michael Bendis. Not because he told me, but because he did something similar with Secret Invasion. He laid seeds for the event years prior to telling any of his editors he’d been doing so, and that’s were the genius of it started. When he went to them and said ‘Hey guess what! I made a bunch of people Skrulls when you weren’t looking to prepare for an epic event. What do you think?’ think about being in the editor’s shoes! How can you say no to that? Dan has written alot of great arcs, and he’s been rebuilding Spidey and Doc Ocks connection through almost all of it. He set us up.

The Recap:

I think back to when Spidey first encountered Doc Ock at the point where he had begun to physically digress, and learned that it was because of the years of physical punishment he took that would be his final ending. In my mind, that was when Dan was firmly set that he was going to do this. He made us all look away from it though, like a crafty magician. Look over here Aunt May and Jonah’s Dad gettin it on! Look Peter got his dream job! Aww look, Jonah’s wife died, no one else dies! Look, it’s Spider Island! Look over here at Spidey losing his Spider Sense! Give it up to Madam Web though, we all blew her off, but she knew what was up! All these things were distractions as he fiendishly plotted as if he were Doc Ock himself to gain his final victory over his arch nemesis. Crafty Dan, very crafty.

Then the final dance begun between the two, Dock Ock brought the Sinister Six back to glory. He hatched a masterful plan to hold the world ransom. Beaten in yet again by Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus seemed he would live his last desperate days in a hospital bed in the Raft. Then in the issues leading up to the Finale of the Amazing Spider-Man series, we saw that Doc had one last play. One final scheme, and most people didn’t even realize it had happened in issue #657! Otto had taken over Peter’s body, and put Peter in his decrepit, half-corpse of a body! THE AMAZING SPIDER-PUS?!?! It was a scary scenario, and as I often do, I tried to think what I would do in that situation, and I became worried for Pete.

He did something he’s had to do since the beginning though. He thought outside of the box. He used Doc Ock’s own plots against him, using the Sinister Six Protocols to free himself, and provide some muscle. He took control of the Doc’s assets, and used them to formulate his own plan to return his brain waves to his own body! He had everything in place to win the day again! But even though we all suspected it wouldn’t possibly end with Peter not getting his body back, Peter did not get his body back. Instead he appealed to his own body. Doc Ock didn’t physically switch their bodies, Peter’s brain was still essential the same ‘Hard Drive’ it had always been. Doctor Octopus just installed his ‘operating system’ on it, and was starting to see the effects of doing so.

He relived some of Peter’s memories as if he were Pete in those events! Nurture over nature now became the theme of what was happening as Otto began to develop a new outlook on things in issue #700. Not quite Peter, but most certainly something different from who he’d ever been before! And with Peter’s ‘dying’ breath in Ock’s body, he somehow found a way to appeal to this new-found side of his rival. Peter Parker for all intents and purposes was now dead. I also propose to you that at this point Doctor Octopus died at that time as well. We now had some new amalgamation of the two. Then Superior Spider-Man launched, riding this new wave of heated interest!

My Thoughts:

People reacted in so many ways to issue #700, I can only imagine what it was like for Dan Slott and everyone involved! Some loved it and were excited! Some were torn, not sure of how to feel. And then some were so distraught, they shamefully turned to ridicule and even death threats from what I understand! Regardless of personal feeling thought these books topped the charts and gained new readership and buzz far-spreading outside of the Comic Book Community’s usual circles. Mainstream media was invested in this story as much and more than when Death of Superman released. But would Marvel learn from DC’s mistakes in that event years ago? As great as it was, it was short-lived and degraded the character in my opinion. This though… this is something different.

In the first issue of Superior Spider-Man, and every one since, we see that Superior is not just the name of the book. This new Spider-Man finds more efficient ways of doing things. Thoughts and ideas on his powers and fighting crime that Peter had never thought of! With Superior comes new and exciting ways of using powers and tech to win the battle and save the day! With those things though, moral questions and character flaws come as well. Although he is still saving the day, as a reader, you find yourself rooting for everyone in Peter’s life to find out the big secret!!! And right there to egg them on with us…it Peter?

Peter has somehow manifested as a ghost-like entity, unable to interact with anyone, but still there right along side his former body. How? Keep in mind what I said earlier about his brain being like a hard drive, there is a very fundamental part of that brain that has Peter still backed up inside of it. I mean come on PHYSICALLY IT IS STILL HIS BRAIN! With this new phantom version of Peter, some readers believed it was only a matter of time before Peter is properly reinstated as owner of his body. I DOUBT IT. And thankfully so! This new avenue in story telling with the character has been incredible! you really don’t know what to expect or what will happen and that’s a great present in comics some days. What Superior Spider-Man is amazes us just as much as the old did, just in completely new ways! I don’t think Peter will come back anytime soon, if ever, because there is just so much road ahead of this new concept! Look for it to be thoroughly explored before there is even any THOUGHT about bringing him back in the traditional sense! And you should be like me in responding to that; Thank you Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, and Giuseppe Camuncoli. This book is great top to bottom and cover to cover. They know how it is, the world is ours to make.

-Nick Flair!

New Comics Day: The Results! Part 1

So I popped into Richmond Comix, who are excited for their 25th anniversary event this Saturday the 30th! They’ll have 25 Cent comics and 25% of just about everything in the store! Plus as a special bonus the guys from FreestyleRonin.com will be they’re doing some awesome sketches! Ok, now here’s what I picked up and what I thought:

1. All Star Western #10 3.5 out of 5 (Pretty Darn Good)

First off, this book is good bang for your buck. (Although it’d be better if they were still drawing the line at $2.99) You get 2 stories, the first of which centers around Gotham City in the wild west. The first page grabs your attention, and really gives you all the incentive you need to keep reading. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t follow the story because I hadn’t picked up previous issues, which is hard to do, and awesome when it’s pulled off! It had a lot of great things going on including; Bruce Wayne’s ancestor Alan Wayne, Jonah Hex, The Court of Owls, and even Dr. Amadeus Arkham!

2. Amazing Spider-Man #688  3 out of 5 (Nice and Enjoyable)

My Thoughts: I started reading this book and it jumped right into the action. Usually that’s awesome, but I felt like I had missed an issue at first. Then it jumped backwards to what had started off that action and explained it, which alleviated that feeling that I was an issue behind. In the middle of the book I got my bearings and in the end the reveal to what was going on was pretty cool. I definitely enjoyed it, but you have to keep in mind when you read Dan Slott’s Spider-Man, there’s going to be an arc more so than a single issue story. I like where this one is going, so you should jump in now!

3.Aquaman #10 3 out of 5 (Not too Shabby)

This book is what I like to think like a small cog in a clock. It’s necessary for the clock to work but not the most dynamic piece. It has incredible art by Ivan Reis that is hard to not just stare at in amazement! The story begins with some a really cool spy mission type action sequence and then short, but intense, battle between Aquaman and his archrival Black Manta. I’m interested in this story in the long run, but this single issue didn’t amaze me. I know something epic is coming though!

4.Flash #10 Sold out! Look for the review in part 2.

5. Hit-Girl #1 4 out of 5 (Socially Acceptable Ass Kicking)

This book picks up after Kick Ass and is the same team of Millar and Romita Jr. It focuses around Hit-Girl more (Obviously) as she tries to be a normal girl and all the social situations that come along with it. Same classic Kick Ass action, just looking at the story from a slightly different perspective.

6. Spider-Men #2 5 out of 5 (FREAKIN AWESOME)

This book is exactly what I wanted it to be! The art is amazing and spectacular (Yeah I said it!) and the way the Peter Parker and Miles Morales interact is priceless! Really great writing by Bendis both in dialogue and plot. The action is smart and really great. I literally flew through the pages to see what happened next, and then went back and just stared lovingly at the art. I cannot wait for the next issue! But I have to….

7.The Manhattan Projects #4 They had issue #4 but were sold out of issues #1-3. Look for the review in Part 2

8. The Ultimates #12 4.5 our of 5 (CRAZY!)

This whole series has been building to this issue so far, slowly gaining anticipation towards an ending. Keep in mind, this is the  Ultimate Universe, ANYTHING can happen! The dynamics between characters we all know and love are turned inside out and distorted into an entirely new and unfamiliar, but extremely interesting! I don’t want to ruin this for anyone so you’ll have to trust me when I say there are several ‘Wow’ and ‘No Way’ moments in this book! Pick up the trades if you haven’t been following this one!

9. Wolverine and the X-Men #12 Sold out! Look for the review in part 2

 

Check back soon for part 2 and the rest of the reviews!

-Nick Flair!

New Comics Day with Nick Flair!

Since its Wednesday, known all around the world as ‘New Comic Book Day’, I thought I’d share what I’m picking up and why! I’ll give you my thoughts on the titles in my stack, and why I think you should pick it up. After I read them, I’ll post a follow-up with whether or not it was a good decision or not. Let’s get started!

1. All-Star Western #10 (DC)
Why: I’ve heard so many good things about this book from friends, I finally decided I needed to give it a chance. I enjoyed the Blackest Night issue a while back, and though this is obviously different, I like western stuff! Maybe I should pick up some of the back issues first, but I’m daring. I’ll jump right in and see!

2. Amazing Spider-Man #688 (Marvel)
Why: It’s Spide-Man! Duh! I’ve been picking up this title for years and love it! I’ve fallen out of interest with some story arcs before, I admit, but it’s on a hot streak with the Big Time and End of the World story arcs! This is a good jumping on point if you’ve been out of the loop for a bit. Plus, JUST LOOK AT THE COVER!

3. Aquaman #10 (DC)
Why: Since Brightest Day Aquaman is, I dare say, more interesting and dynamic than ever! I’ve picked up this book since issue 1 and Geoff Johns is really doping great stuff with a character that had been made into a bit of a joke. The art is amazing, thank you Ivan Reis! Be warned, you’ll need to go back and pick up previous issues to follow the story.

4. The Flash #10 (DC)
Why: The dynamic and fun art from Francis Manapul could sell this book alone, but the story has been really fun as well! I feel like even if you haven’t been picking this up, you can jump in and enjoy it at any time! Do yourself a favor and pick this up if you aren’t already!

5. Hit-Girl #1 (Icon)
Why: It’s Hit-Girl. She’d kick my butt if I didn’t pick it up! If you’re a fan of Kick Ass, then this is a must. Obviously for more mature readers.

6. Spider-Men #2 (Marvel)
Why: That’s right Spider-MEN not MAN! This is the first crossover between the mainstream Marvel Universe and the Ultimates Universe! Miles Morales and Peter Parker meet up and kick butt! The first issue was great both in story from Brian Michael Bendis and in art from the spectacular Sara Pichelli! GET THIS BOOK!

7. The Manhattan Projects #4 (Image)
Why: Jonathan Hickman. I missed the first 3 issues, so I’ll be attempting to pick those up as well. I went to the panel for this book at Charlotte and really felt that I was missing out! I’m a big fan of Hickman, and literally have not read anything he’s written that I didn’t like.

8. Ultimates #12 (Marvel: Ultimate Comics)
Why: This story has been building up for a while, and it’s been really exciting! in the Ultimate Universe, it’s all the characters you know from Marvel, but here’s the thing, anything can happen to them! THEY KILLED PETER PARKER! NO ONE IS SAFE! It’s watching the Flying Graysons perform…. without a… net. Oh. Too Soon? My bad, sorry Dick.

9. Wolverine and the X-Men #12
Why: It’s a fun book! For get the whole Avengers versus X-Men tie in, this book has some great characters in it. Kid Gladiator always looking for something to smash, Quentin Quire attempting to redeem himself, and Genesis (Aka Kid Apocalypse) who could become evil and destroy the world any second! These are the reasons to pick up this book.

Just because I didn’t list something doesn’t mean it also isn’t great, it’s just not in my budget and not on my list. I’ll be heading down to Richmond Comix to pick these up, same as I’ve been doing since I was 9 years old! If anything is sold out I’ll pick it up online through richmondcomix.com/rcx/ and read it digitally, and as soon as I read them, I’ll let you know what I think! Be sure to check back, and feel free to add your opinion in the comments section!

-Nick Flair!