The Amazing Spider-Man #55

“Last Remains Part Six”

Writer: Nick Spencer

Artist: Patrick Gleason

Cover Art: Patrick Gleason

I have been enjoying the current arc of Amazing Spider-Man, that started in earnest with the return of the Sin Eater (though seeds have been planted for the character of Kindred for some time before that). Today, the Last Remains arc came to a close with an uncomfortable and unnerving issue, Amazing Spider-Man #55.

No spoilers here, but there appeared to be something tragic happen at the end of the story that I really hope is just smoke and mirrors.

The cover of the issue, drawn by Patrick Gleason, is a beautiful piece of art. It is perhaps my favorite cover of the year. It is a black profile of Spidey with his head outline with what looked like white webs. The design is gorgeous and the execution is even better. It is truly a striking cover and it is apparently causing the online price to skyrocket.

The conflict between Peter and harry continued to play out as all of the other Spider-people are in their place. There was a major hint dropped about what Spidey era of comics this story dates back to which, again, I will not spoil, but it feels as if this is just the beginning to the build to something even bigger. The LGY for the issue is #856, could they be build toward something massive for Spider-Man #900?

The issue is completely tense and nerve-wracking. It leaves off on a terrible cliffhanger too so I am anxious to see the next issue soon.

Post Americana #1

Post Americana#1

Writer: Steve Skroce

Artist: Steve Skroce

Cover Art: Steve Skroce & Dave Stewart

Sorry Todd, this was as early as I could get to this.

New series released by Image Comics found its way into my pull box because my friend Todd, who works at the comic shop I attend, thought that I would like it. I have been buying more non-Marvel books over the last year and a half and I like giving some of these a chance. This appears to be a six-issue series from Steve Skroce.

How many independent comics deal with a post apocalyptic world? There seems to be a bunch of them. You would think that there would not be any new ideas or premises that we haven’t seen before. And while Post Americana #1 may feel familiar in certain moments, there are some wild moments that make th eissue worthwhile.

I mean… chickens.

I liked how the story presented itself to us as an audience. Instead of just dropping a ton of exposition for the new version of the world the characters are living in, it takes its time and weaves the exposition in and out of the story. I thought it was a creative way to present information without the dangers of an info drop.

Our two main protagonists interest me as well. They make an intriguing pair and I look forward to seeing what will come next with them.

I found the story beat about the wealthy of the world surviving below the surface in their own little bunker as the world ended around them to be filled with a lot of potential story.

The only negative I would say was the art was not my favorite. It is difficult to put into words why I was not a fan. It was fine, and I have certainly seen worse, but there was something about it that made it feel … cartoony. I’m not sure I can explain it to you, but I was distracted by some of the art in the book despite not hating it.

Overall, it was a decent book and Todd was right with his idea that I would like it .

M.O.D.O.K: Head Games #1

Writers: Jordon Blum & Patton Oswalt

Artist: Scott Hepburn

Cover Art: Cully Hamner

Jason Blum and Patton Oswalt are the showrunners for the upcoming animated Hulu series featuring M.O.D.O.K. He is the super genius supervillain gigantic head with small arms.

It seems as if M.O.D.O.K. has having some problems. AIM is looking to regain its strength and one of the way they are choosing to do it is to deactivate the malfunctioning M.O.D.O.K.

It does not turn out well.

So what does a supervillain do when its organization turns its back on you and you start seeing images that you know cannot be true?

You’ll never guess.

I enjoyed this issue and it had a different feel to it than other Marvel books. Perhaps that comes form the writers who are not normal comic book writers. If this is what the animated series is going to be like, then I will be watching Hulu when it comes out.

King in Black #1

“Chapter One: Reign”

Writer: Donny Cates

Artist: Ryan Stegman

Cover Art: Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer & Frank Martin

I have to say, I do not collect Venom comics.  I like the character, but I have just never been into him much.  I really did like the arrival of his son in the last Venom/Spidey event, but I have not seen anything from him since.

I enjoyed King in Black a great deal.  I have not been a fan of the last few Marvel massive crossover events.  If it is not tied to Spider-Man, I have basically waited for them to end.

I think this is going to be different.

There is such a feeling of dread involved in this issue.  The arrival of Knull is absolutely devastating for the heroes, and when you see Tony Stark reacting the way he does, you know there are problems.  Knull then almost immediately shows you his dominance in a powerful moment that you do not see coming.  

I still wish we could get rid of all the crossover issues.  These major Marvel milestones always feel as if the crossover issues are unimportant and are just there to try and get the collectors to shell out some more money.  However, the main book can be intriguing and this is one of those.

I am excited to see where the story goes.  The book did a good job of telling the story and I feel as if I have a pretty decent understanding of what is happening, even though I have not been a Venom reader.  This may be a good time to jump on.

And Knull is totally terrifying.  How is this monster going to be stopped?  Our heroes are clearly at a low point.  What are they going to do?

I can’t wait to see.

Daredevil #25

“The Red Fist Part 1”

Writer: Chip Zdarsky

Artist: Marco Checchetto

Cover Art: Marco Checchetto & Matthew Wilson

Chip Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil has been a must read every month.

This month’s 25th issue of Daredevil is everything you could possibly want in a Marvel comic. The characterization is great. You have characters doing things that fit with their character and making choices that make sense and are yet shocking. The art is great. The action is great.

It has been one of the best comics in Marvel.

No spoilers here, but the focus this month on Elektra gives us some fantastic insights into the character of Elektra Natchios. We get just a flavor of Daredevil in prison. There is going to be so much more coming from that.

The issue dives into the relationship between Matt Murdock and Elektra. How they are the same. How they are different. What they think of each other.

And all of this with Hell’s Kitchen as the backdrop.

It is story telling at its finest and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

I Walk with Monsters #1

I Walk With Monsters#1

Writer: Paul Cornell

Artist: Sally Cantirino

Cover Art: Sally Cantirino

As I was looking at the independent comics at my local comic shop released today, I spotted a new book called I Walk With Monsters #1. Over the last year or so, I have been looking for more independent books because the ones I have tried have been so good.

One of the best ones that I have picked up was Something is Killing the Children. That is such a brilliant book that it really inspired me to keep giving these number one issues a chance. It is also why I grabbed I Walk With Monsters #1. The quick glance at it made me think about Something Killing the Children. While not at that level, I Walk With Monsters was fascinating.

I am not sure I know what happened here.

There are two characters in the book, Jacey and David, and one of them seemed to have some kind of monster inside him. A monster that ate a serial killer.

It was a shocking few pages right at the beginning.

But the unexpected surprises did not end there. They then seemingly had some flashbacks where … I think… they show a younger Jacey with another kid named Jake with their father (maybe???) and … do they, as a family… eat another kid named Eric? There was also a flashback scene from a state fair and there was something with a politician.

Honestly, I had to look it over several times. I was totally fascinated with the story. I loved that I was just not sure exactly what was happening and I really wanted to know.

The book is from a company called Vault, which I had never heard of before, but I will be buying another one.

Iron Man #1 (2020)

The Armored Avenger Goes Back to Basics in New 'Iron Man' Series This Fall  | Marvel

Iron Man #1 (2020)

“Rest Your Brains”

Writer:  Christopher Cantwell

Artist:  Cafu

Cover Art:  Alex Ross

After the run of Iron Man 2020, I was ready to see Tony Stark’s return to prominence in the Marvel Universe.  I feel as if Tony has been crushed too much and his character was messed up.  That was why I was so pleased with the new Iron Man series from Christopher Cantwell.  It feels like a great new start for the iconic character.

I really enjoyed the new direction and the arrival of Tony Stark.  I also thought the use of Patsy Walker’s Hellcat was an interesting choice.  I guess Tony Stark has to have a redhead hanging around.  It was also intriguing how they ended the Janet Van Dyne/Stark relationship in like two panels.  It made me think about JJ Abrams’ Rise of Skywalker  just wiping out some of the materials from the Last Jedi.  

I found the framing technique of the “Tweets” really funny and engaging. It worked well for me.

The art in here from Cafu was gorgeous. I did not know much about Cafu, though I remember some wonderful work in Jane Foster: Valkyrie. There is a new suit of armor for Iron Man designed by Alex Ross and it is a wonder.

This is a great start and I enjoyed this more than I have for quite a long time.

The Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn #1

Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn (2020) #1 | Comic Issues |  Marvel

The Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn #1

 Writer:  Nick Spencer

Artist:  Federico Vicentini

Cover Art:  Ryan Ottley & Nathan Fairbairn

I have to say that I typically dislike this kind of promotion.  There is no reason this issue had to be a number 1.  It could just be part of the Amazing Spider-Man series since it basically takes the storyline of the Sin Eater and continues it.  Marvel does this a lot with their event runs and it is very annoying.  Add to the fact that a lot of these types of issues feel disposable and unimportant to the storyline makes it even worse.

However…

This was just tremendous.

I loved this issue.  There was so much going on and it certainly brings the story to a new level.  The interactions between Spidey and Osborn are amazing and the formation of the group of Spider-people who plan on helping Peter out is special.  

This book continues the build of the Sin Eater (with a mouth dropping moment inside Ravencroft) and the mystery of Kindred.  And Norman Osborn is easily heading back for big things.

The Amazing Spider-Man series has been building this story for awhile now and this book was one of my favorites this week.  Nick Spencer has been knocking it out of the park lately and I am excited to see where this goes from here.

Stillwater #1

Stillwater #1 is a fantastic debut a must for horror fans

Stillwater #1

“Chapter One: I Can’t Protect No One Can”

Writer:  Chip Zdarsky

Artist:  Ramon L. Perez

Cover Art:  Ramon K. Perez

The highly anticipated new series from writer Chip Zdarsky and the collaboration between Image and Skybound was released today and the anticipation was well worth it.

Two men head to a mysterious town called Stillwater to claim a supposed estate left to one of them, Daniel, from a deceased relative. Once they arrived in Stillwater, the locals are not friendly and the weirdness kicked into high gear.

I enjoyed the mysteriousness of the story. You had no idea what was happening and that feel of uncertainty had me turning the pages to see what was going to happen next.

Chip Zdarsky’s recent work on Daredevil has been so stellar that I have become a huge fan. There are a handful of writers these days that I am willing to pick up a non-Marvel title just because of name value, and Zdarsky is one of them. He spends a good chunk of the early part of the book developing Daniel and his friend and it pays off big time in the end.

As a fan of the small town weirdness such as Twin Peaks, Eerie, Indiana and Deery, Maine, Stillwater feels as if it could become as loved as any of these.

Stillwater #1 is a fantastic debut a must for horror fans

Black Widow #1(2020)

Black Widow (2020) #1 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Black Widow #1

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist:  Elena Casagrande

Cover Art:  Adam Hughes

We got another Marvel Black Widow series today, a book that apparently was ready to go back in March but got messed with in the COVID-19 quarantine.  Written by Kelly Thompson, this book is unexpected and filled with some great mysterious events.

I really enjoyed this first issue.  This seems to be the week for spy comics and this is another wonderful one. 

The art is so very beautiful and the colors set the mood throughout the entire book.  The story was shocking and entirely unexpected.  I loved the twist about half of the way into the book and the final page was exceptional and extremely welcome.  

I also enjoyed the specific cameos of other Marvel heroes appearing in the book who normally circulate in the Black Widow orbit.  

Kelly Thompson has had some great stories over the last few years and this feels as if it could be really special leading up to the Black Widow MCU movie in November.

Black Widow (2020) #1 | Comic Issues | Marvel

We Only Find Them When They’re Dead#1

REVIEW: We Only Find Them When They're Dead #1 — Comics Bookcase

We Only Find Them When They’re Dead #1

Writer:  Al Ewing

Artist:  Simone Di Meo

Cover Art:  Simone Di Meo

Al Ewing has been on a roll for awhile now.  His work on The Immortal Hulk has been some of the best comic book work for years.  His name alone has drawn me to this book.

I was at my comic book shop months ago and I had them add this comic to my pull list.   I remember them surprised at the length and strangeness of the title.  No one knew about it.  Neither did I.  The only reason I added this title from Boom! Studios was because of Al Ewing.

As I walked in today to my comic shop, the owner was raving about this book and said how lucky I was being one of the few people at the shop that had a copy of this book pulled for them.  He said that he had not read anything this brilliant, had a feeling reading like this since he read Someone is Killing the Children.  That is high praise indeed.

He is right.  This was an amazing book.

We Only Find Them When They’re Dead is really hot and you can see why.  There are few books more beautifully drawn and designed.  The brightness and the color are stunning.  And it features some themes that are unique in the world of comic books.

The sci-fi thriller feels like a massive epic, but also is able to feel like a smaller story.  A story of a group of “Autopsy Ships” that are salvaging parts of the deceased bodies of celestial gods that float in space after they die.  Meanwhile, there are interaction between characters in the book that are engaging and fascinating.  

There are some unbelievable concepts here and I am very excited to see where Al Ewing takes this book from here.  

 

REVIEW: We Only Find Them When They're Dead #1 — Comics Bookcase

Spy Island #1

Spy Island #1 :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics

Spy Island #1

Writer:  Chelsea Cain

Artist:  Elise McCall & Lia Miternique

Cover Art:  Lia Miternique

I put this comic on my pull list awhile back.  Seeing it today with the rest of the issues, I was not sure why.  I mean, it had an amazing cover, but I was uncertain why it attracted me.  I am more of a Marvel guy than anything else and, even though I have read more independent comics over the last year and a half, it is not like I have a large number.  I had a fleeting memory of liking the synopsis that I had read in the Previews, but it still did not compute.  

Then I saw it.

Chelsea Cain was the writer and was the co-creator.

That is why I wanted it.  

Chelsea Cain wrote one of my favorite runs of any comic book ever.  Mockingbird #1-8 (which we inducted into this year’s EYG Hall of Fame) was some of my favorite comic books ever written.  I absolutely loved that.  Seeing her return to comics with a spy story set in the Bermuda Triangle… well, to say the least, I’m in!

Cain was treated horribly by the internet during her run, with some of the anti-women rhetoric spewers becoming butt-hurt with the strength and feminism of Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird.  I never understand what is wrong with people.  Why couldn’t they just enjoy the brilliantly comedic and amazingly plotted Mockingbird series.

Honestly, I was downright angry when it ended.  I still have negative feelings surrounding that cancellation.

Maybe I can get over it now, because Spy Island #1 has that same tone, feel  and humor of those wondrous Mockingbird issues and I really loved it.  This was so entertaining and it scratched that itch I had been missing.

Nora Freud is the main character in this issue and she is on an island on the cusp of the Bermuda Triangle.  She is a spy, but there seems to be plenty of others here as well.  She is meant to keep an eye on the place, but how do you keep an eye open on so many possible problems?

I totally trust Chelsea Cain to entertain me and, if this issue is any indication, I have not misplaced that trust.  I thoroughly enjoyed this debut issue and the worst part is that it is only a four-issue limited series.  

I would be remiss if I did not mention the beautiful artwork in the book by Elise McCall and the absolutely stunning cover by co-creator, Lia Miternique.  

 

 

Ghost Spider #10

Ghost-Spider (2019) #10 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Ghost Spider #10

When the Chips are Down

Writer: Seanan McGuire

Artist:  Ig Guara

Cover Art:  Takeshi Miyazawa & Ian Herring

One of the collateral damages coming from the pandemic has been how several of the Marvel titles have been mucked up.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not comparing the horrors of COVID-19 and the loss of so many lives to the cancellation of a comic book.  But facts are fact.  Ghost Spider #10 is the final book of the current series run and you can tell that the creative team behind it had not intended to wrap their story up so quickly.

Truly, Ghost Spider’s story arc was scheduled for 12 issues, not ten.  And this issue showed that because it felt crammed with story and it felt rushed in the reveals.  The confrontation between Gwen and the Storm siblings came out of nowhere and it felt that way.  Heck, even Gwen Stacy was feeling that confusion.

Having said that, the story was really great and was taking the character in a fantastic (pardon that pun, it was unintentional) direction.  I would have loved to have seen this over two more issues.

Unfortunately, Ghost Spider fell victim to a series of cancellations that ended several very solid books.  I am going to miss Ghost Spider as I had been enjoying the story being told by Seanan McGuire.  Ghost Spider is one of the most original creations of the last few years and the new use of Johnny and Susan Storm in Gwen’s dimension was very creative.  Heroes more concerned with their social media accounts and their image, which brought them into conflict with Gwen is a solid story.  I wish it had time to develop more than what we got.

I am sure that Ghost Spider will return in the Marvel Universe and I hope she will continue to grow as a character.

ReadIt

Ghost-Spider (2019) #10 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Thor #6

Thor (2020) #6 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Thor #6

The Devourer King Part Six:  Herald of None

Writer: Donny Cates

Artist:  Nic Klein

Cover Art: Olivier Coipel & Laura Martin

Good lord.

This was amazing.  The finale of the arc that saw Thor and Galactus interacting, with Thor starting off as the new herald has been utterly fantastic.  And this ending is shocking and unbelievable.

The art is breath-taking.  The story is brutal and takes no prisoners.

And the ending is universe shaking.

Go read this.  In fact, read Thor #1-6 because this whole story arc is one of a kind.

I don’t have anything but the highest regard for this series and this issue.

 

excelsior

Thor (2020) #6 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Maestro #1

Comic Review - "Maestro #1" - LaughingPlace.com

Maestro #1

Symphony in a Gamma Key Part One: Overture

Writer:  Peter David

Artist:  German Peralta

Cover Art:  Dale Keown & Jason Keith

One of my all-time favorite mini-series was Future Imperfect with the Hulk.  It was an alternate future story of a world without the heroes and ruled by a monstrous villain known as Maestro.  It turned out that Maestro was actually Dr. Bruce Banner himself and the Hulk from the past had to face off with the Hulk of the future.

It was a great two-issue series.  You always wondered what lead to Bruce Banner becoming this villain.

Finally, the original writer of Future Imperfect has returned to give us the origin story of Maestro, and if issue #1 is any example, we have a wild ride ahead of us.

Peter David is one of the great writers in comic books and he has had an epic run with the Incredible Hulk.  He kicks off this book with some misdirection and immediately hooks you into the hero of the book, Bruce Banner.   You can already see some of the cracks forming in the character of the Hulk and I anticipate the fallout to be glorious.

excelsior

Comic Review - "Maestro #1" - LaughingPlace.com