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  1. #46
    The Superior One Celgress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I feel bad for Kafka. Get brought back just to transform into a crazy villain.
    I feel bad for everyone who read this run until Amazing 26, and beyond.....

    But, yeah, Kafka, like Ben, got done dirty.
    "So you've come to the end now alive but dead inside."

  2. #47
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Amazing Spider-Man #91-92
    There's a bit of a creative team change with Kelly Thompson writing #91 and MacKay working over her script in #92 and Ze Carlos joining Fran Galan and Sara Pichelli on art with *92. A plot involving an A-list Spider-Man villain is also saved for #92 BEY.
    The penultimate story in the Beyond run is okay. The highlights would be Pichelli's art, a sudden appearance of an ungraded A-lister, the way some previous threads with Morbius and the Daughters of the Dragon intersect, all the oddball inventions Beyond has in action and Ben Reilly at his most desperate.

    There is a clear lack of cohesiveness with shifts in artists, and the decision to tie up the A-plot in a tie-in issue. I also wanted the Ben and Peter team-up to last longer. That's been missing with 21st Century Ben Reilly stories, and it's fun when we see it.
    B
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  3. #48
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    Rundown of the many negatives and 1 or 2 positives of the Zeb Wells run.

    https://www.cbr.com/zeb-wells-amazin...icisms-marvel/

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by HypnoHustler View Post
    Rundown of the many negatives and 1 or 2 positives of the Zeb Wells run.

    https://www.cbr.com/zeb-wells-amazin...icisms-marvel/
    Damn I do think that a lot of the points are probably resonant with the general audience, its just so weird seeing CBR say these kind of points.

  5. #50
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Amazing Spider-Man #92.BEY
    The creative teams are a bit of a red flag. There have been a bunch of BEY one-shots, but those tended to have a single creative team telling a particular story. Here we've got a bunch of folks with different material.
    First, Jed MacKay and artists Luigi Zagaria and Jim Campbell tie up a loose end, as the Daughters of the Dragon and Morbius defeat an A-list Spider-Man villain. it's okay, although it should have happened in the main title.

    The longest and best story is MacKay and Zagaria, as they focus on Monica Rambeau and her showdown with Beyond. She got her powers in an Amazing Spider-Man annual by Roger Stern and John Romita Jr, so she has an impressive Spider-Man pedigree. She was one of the heroes in Nextwave, a series where Beyond made its debut. The Nextwave sense of humor has definitely part of the Beyond run, so this story's appropriate and brings in someone else from that run.
    Cody Ziglar and new artists have a decent story about someone affected by all these adventures, a shmuck at Beyond who has a lucky break in what's supposed to be his final performance review.
    Wells and Bagley feature a brief encounter between Ben Reilly and the Slingers, which gives that one-shot more weight.
    And then there are cliffhangers to hint at future stories that do not appear to have been all that relevant.
    B
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  6. #51
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Amazing Spider-Man #93

    Finale time.
    The visual motif of disappeared memories is creepy, and it's a reason the larger story holds together so well with multiple creative teams.
    The little moments matter here, because it's important to sell Ben's arc and desperation. Some of the moments land- I like a scene where MJ briefly misunderstood Peter's "It's always something" comment.
    The battle with Ben is perfunctory. Ben's heel turn makes sense given all the stuff he's been through, and all that's been done to his head. But this seems to be more about set-up and getting the character to the right place for a future story. It seems Marvel's take on him since Clone Conspiracy is a Spider-Man who was broken, and that's what they want to explore. I'm not a fan of that approach, although it does make sense in the context of Peter about to get pushed to the breaking point.
    Maxine is over the top nasty as an evil CEO. That attribute almost makes her generic. The CEO who revels in evil is kind of a comic book cliche at this point. Obviously she's been over the top evil for the last few issues, but it just doesn't seem there's anything new to say about it here. The effort to murder a supporting character isn't that original, and leads to some questions about what happens to Beyond next.

    The infantilizer is cute.
    Wells and Bagley have a sweet final scene with Peter and MJ before everything goes to hell. Though it does seem pretty clear that the guy saying "a road of blood led me to you" was always meant to be the guy obsessed with blood and road metaphors from Wells' first arc of Spider-Man.
    B-

    Overall grade for Beyond: B+
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post


    Finale time.
    The visual motif of disappeared memories is creepy, and it's a reason the larger story holds together so well with multiple creative teams.
    The little moments matter here, because it's important to sell Ben's arc and desperation. Some of the moments land- I like a scene where MJ briefly misunderstood Peter's "It's always something" comment.
    The battle with Ben is perfunctory. Ben's heel turn makes sense given all the stuff he's been through, and all that's been done to his head. But this seems to be more about set-up and getting the character to the right place for a future story. It seems Marvel's take on him since Clone Conspiracy is a Spider-Man who was broken, and that's what they want to explore. I'm not a fan of that approach, although it does make sense in the context of Peter about to get pushed to the breaking point.
    Maxine is over the top nasty as an evil CEO. That attribute almost makes her generic. The CEO who revels in evil is kind of a comic book cliche at this point. Obviously she's been over the top evil for the last few issues, but it just doesn't seem there's anything new to say about it here. The effort to murder a supporting character isn't that original, and leads to some questions about what happens to Beyond next.

    Overall grade for Beyond: B+
    For sure. He's the "trouble young brother," to Miles's "well-adjusted partner." While there's an argument to be made for Kaine, his redemption was predicated on living up to Ben's heroic example...made possible by Ben being dead. As soon as Ben returned--not as a saint, but a flawed character in his own right--Kaine's story had to pivot to being, essentially, his brother's keeper. Except for when that's Peter, obviously. I think that explains why we see so little of Kaine: his niche is contrasting Ben. If chasm ever has his own mini, without Peter's involvement, chances are Kaine will be back to put Chasm right.

    As for Ben...I think both Jackal and Chasm are good, clever stories to play out with him: him becoming his own worst enemy, and the worst version of him, respectively. Credit to Wells and Slott in finding ways to make the character relevant 20-25 years after the clone saga. It's more than his contemporary Thunderstrike has ever gotten.

    A slot on the revived New Warriors could do Ben good...if only that book hadn't died on the vine

    Loving these re-reads, Mets. Keep 'em coming!

  8. #53
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Of_X View Post
    For sure. He's the "trouble young brother," to Miles's "well-adjusted partner." While there's an argument to be made for Kaine, his redemption was predicated on living up to Ben's heroic example...made possible by Ben being dead. As soon as Ben returned--not as a saint, but a flawed character in his own right--Kaine's story had to pivot to being, essentially, his brother's keeper. Except for when that's Peter, obviously. I think that explains why we see so little of Kaine: his niche is contrasting Ben. If chasm ever has his own mini, without Peter's involvement, chances are Kaine will be back to put Chasm right.

    As for Ben...I think both Jackal and Chasm are good, clever stories to play out with him: him becoming his own worst enemy, and the worst version of him, respectively. Credit to Wells and Slott in finding ways to make the character relevant 20-25 years after the clone saga. It's more than his contemporary Thunderstrike has ever gotten.

    A slot on the revived New Warriors could do Ben good...if only that book hadn't died on the vine

    Loving these re-reads, Mets. Keep 'em coming!
    Thanks. I like the Thunderstrike comparison.

    Later today, I'll start with the opening storyline of the main Wells run.

    I'll cover every main issue of Amazing Spider-Man, as well as tie-in issues written by Wells (IE- Dark Web Finale) and major Spider-Man comics like the Slott/ Bagley Spider-Man run or Amazing Fantasy #1000.

    The Gold Goblin, Black Cat & Mary Jane and Dark Web: Ms. Marvel seem connected to what's going on in Amazing Spider-Man, so I should probably check those out.
    The Dark Web: X-Men mini-series and Venom tie-in issues don't seem that relevant, so I'm not going to write about that.

    It doesn't seem Non-Stop Spider-Man or Spine-Tingling Spider-Man or Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man are that relevant to what's going on in the main title.

    Cody Ziglar wrote a few issues in Beyond, but I don't see the Miles Morales series as connecting to Wells' larger run.

    The Spider-Punk mini-series and various Edge of Spider-Verse comics also don't seem connected to Wells' run.

    The Hallow's Eve and Red Goblin comics do seem to fit what's going on in the main title.

    Is there anything I'm leaving out?
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  9. #54
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    The Dark Web: X-Men mini-series and Venom tie-in issues don't seem that relevant, so I'm not going to write about that.
    I think it depends on how fair you want to be to Dark Web overall. While it only ran through Spider-Man's ongoing, the crossover is intended as the sum of its parts and I believe the bulk of Madelyne's story (which is the reason the finale is the way it is) is told in the X-Men book. Also, the X-book could be great for all I know.

    Then again, if it's just the Spider-Man side then Maddy being resolved elsewhere doesn't really matter too much as the result would be referenced in the Spider-Man book.

    Definitely do Gold Goblin, if for no other reason than it was pretty darn good and you deserve it.
    "Has Sariel summoned you here, Azrael? Have you come to witness the miracle of your brethren arriving on Earth?"

    "I WILL MIX THE ASHES OF YOUR BONES WITH SALT AND USE THEM TO ENSURE THE EARTH THE TEMPLARS TILLED NEVER BEARS FRUIT AGAIN!"

    "*sigh* I hoped it was for the miracle."

    Dan Watters' Azrael was incredible, a constant delight and perhaps too good for this world (but not the Forth). For the love of St. Dumas, DC, give us more!!!

  10. #55
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Amazing Spider-Man Volume 6 #1-5
    Wells starts his main run here, with this storyline establishing the mystery box of what Peter did and an A-plot with Tombstone getting into a crime war. That part is a great fit for artist John Romita Jr, who is one of the best Spider-Man artists ever, and one of the best crime artists in comics (and he is just the best at street-level Spidey stories) although it does show how Wells likes using big events to promote relatively obscure villains. The new #1 features Tombstone, Digger and White Rabbit. The 900th issue (seeded in a two page teaser in #1) is the Living Brain.

    In the Dead Language arc we get the answers to what happened six months earlier, and these do seem to match what's presented here. That part holds up okay.
    The structure of the run makes sense for someone used to a particular model of TV writing with a blend of discrete episodes with their own storylines, and "mythology" episodes where the important stuff happens, sometimes lightly seeded. This run has clearly discrete stories. The first 5 issues are about Tombstone. The super-sized 6th/ 900th issue features the Living Brain. #7-8 are the Vulture. #9-10 are single issue stories connecting to other Marvel events. This isn't like Beyond where some chapters would be incomprehensible in insolation. Waiting for a year to answer the obvious questions can be frustrating for readers who wanted faster resolutions, especially if the main thing they cared about was Peter & MJ.
    Last edited by Mister Mets; 07-28-2023 at 07:31 AM.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  11. #56
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    I read each issue when it came out, and I'm pretty sure I read this storyline in one sitting, but that was a year ago. From my perspective, it holds up. We get clues about what happened with Mary Jane, and the Fantastic Four, but Peter does mend fences with Aunt May, Randy and Black Cat. I didn't pay attention to her role in this story last time around, but they do set up a moment in the 900th issue and it makes sense to have her as the person trying to get Peter out of his funk. The dynamic with Norman is interesting, building on Nick Spencer's arc for Spider-Man's archenemy, and getting us to the version of the character for most of the Lee/ Romita run.


    There are little details in the story that I like. Tombstone's really into cats, and the highlight is the cat's reaction to an attempted bombing. A hoodlum repays the favor after Spider-Man saves his life. Digger is back thanks to events in The Immortal Hulk.
    Wells generally has a good voice for Spider-Man. It's not just that the quips are good, but that they build and he second guesses them. We also see his generosity and desire to avoid harm coming to others. Peter seems like his mind is racing faster than the reader's, which is how it should be.

    Tombstone's the main villain here. Wells builds nicely on the backstory Conway established, and Tombstone's status from the Nick Spencer run. Even when he's making a speech about the futility of expecting a lion to act any differently, he is nuanced. He doesn't want to be this nasty. Tombstone gets the upper hand a few times, overpowering Spider-Man physically and tricking him, but Spidey's able to exploit a problem in his plan. And the thing that affects Tombstone the most fits the character so well.
    A

    Random thought- Does John Romita Jr not like drawing Jonah? It just occurred to me that the biggest Jonah scenes are in Ed McGuiness' three stories. Maybe McGuiness really likes drawing Jonah. And Dr Octopus.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  12. #57
    Mighty Member Alex_Of_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Thanks. I like the Thunderstrike comparison.

    Later today, I'll start with the opening storyline of the main Wells run.

    I'll cover every main issue of Amazing Spider-Man, as well as tie-in issues written by Wells (IE- Dark Web Finale) and major Spider-Man comics like the Slott/ Bagley Spider-Man run or Amazing Fantasy #1000.

    The Gold Goblin, Black Cat & Mary Jane and Dark Web: Ms. Marvel seem connected to what's going on in Amazing Spider-Man, so I should probably check those out.
    The Dark Web: X-Men mini-series and Venom tie-in issues don't seem that relevant, so I'm not going to write about that.

    It doesn't seem Non-Stop Spider-Man or Spine-Tingling Spider-Man or Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man are that relevant to what's going on in the main title.

    Cody Ziglar wrote a few issues in Beyond, but I don't see the Miles Morales series as connecting to Wells' larger run.

    The Spider-Punk mini-series and various Edge of Spider-Verse comics also don't seem connected to Wells' run.

    The Hallow's Eve and Red Goblin comics do seem to fit what's going on in the main title.

    Is there anything I'm leaving out?
    there was a three-parter focused on Peter going up against White Rabbit on Marvel Unlimited? Not terribly consequential, but fun nontheless. Ze Carlos did the art, I believe.

    Other than that, you're golden!

  13. #58
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Amazing Spider-Man #6/ 900
    Ed McGuiness has a goofy cartoony style. It makes for some fun sequences when Dr Octopus' tentacles attack Peter's birthday story. After a crime war story in which Peter was in a funk after a break-up, this is a change of pace. Even if there's still a body count, and Spider-Man is pushed to put his life on the line.
    This guy is a good storyteller. It's a bit weird to have him for this one issue, even if it is triple-length since it obscures his contribution to the larger run. Especially with Romita Jr drawing the main cover. McGuiness handles the supporting cast, familiar villains and weird technology with aplomb.
    The concept works for an annual, building on the specifics of early adventures. The Living Brain wants to know who Spider-Man is, the first question he was asked back in Amazing Spider-Man Volume 1 #7. He doesn't care about the man behind the mask, but the essence of the character. So he kidnaps the Sinister Six and puts the powers in a Super-Adaptoid so Spider-Man has defeat a villain with the abilities of his greatest enemy. A surprise birthday party is an excuse to get much of the supporting cast in one place. And there are some long-term developments in the story both with the personification of Dr Octopus' tentacles, and Black Cat's renewed interest in Peter. It's not the best Spider-Man milestone issue, but it's decent.

    The story has nice smaller moments like Ana Marconi's asking as she looks when Doc Ock's tentacles show up, Mockingbird saying other superheroes were worried Spidey may need an intervention, Jonah's feeble efforts to cover for Spider-Man and Aunt May telling a villain who wants to meet Spider-Man that she suspects he'll have that chance very soon. I like the mannerisms of the Super-Adaptoid with all of the Sinioster Six inside him. When Spider-Man has to work with the Sinister Six, it doesn't go well, but it's doomed from the start. The one false note might be Spider-Man trying to appeal to their better angels of their nature.

    The back-ups are nice. Dan Slott and Marcos Martin get the essence of Spider-Man in two pages. Daniel Kibbelsmith and David Lopez have some fun with Peter's library card (a tie-in to a New York Public Library promotion at the time) while Jeff Loveness and Todd Nauck have a team-up with Jimmy Kimmel, which is fine for a five page thing.
    B+

    There's a criticism of the run that Spider-Man doesn't really win, so that's something to keep track of.
    In the last arc, he outsmarted Tombstone. Here, he's willing to take on the Sinister Six to protect a defenseless enemy. The reasons for the defeat of the Super-Adaptoid are clever. Unconventional victories have been a hallmark of Marvel comics since long ago, so it seems appropriate.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  14. #59
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Amazing Spider-Man #7-8
    I really like this two-parter, and it's the kind of thing that makes me wonder about how some people online are responding to the run. It just seems to obviously be a well-told story. I get that you can bothered by plot developments you don't like (Peter and MJ's break-up, Peter considering working for Norman) but if that's the case, don't pretend its about the execution.
    The Vulture gets some bad news from his granddaughter, providing a follow-up to a back-up story in Amazing Spider-Man #850. I like his ruthlessness and his voice, and the nasty way he lashes out at Spider-Man. It makes for some impressive fight scenes. Spidey's quipping, but it's a dangerous situation.

    With Peter unemployed, I was having flashbacks to Spencer's run, when it took over a year for him to get some kind of job. Working for Norman is an interesting potential dynamic. We do get a sense in this story that Norman is trying to do better, and that it's not easy for him. Kamala Khan pops up as an intern working for Norman. Peter bumps into Mary Jane at Norman's and that scene works with where the character is at this point, having gotten out of a funk and having realized that some of his habits were unhealthy. There are some clues about the missing six months, which seemed to have solid payoff in 'Dead Language' (Paul hit Peter- we get the story behind that, Norman refers to a project he worked on with a desperate Peter.) I do like how Peter gets angry with Norman about the encounter, when Norman thought Peter would want to see her.

    In this story, a desperate Spider-Man asks Norman for help. But Norman doesn't provide it, for reasons that are entirely sensible. So Spider-Man has to improvise. He uses tech that Norman helped build to defeat the Vulture, but this is material that Peter had a hand in as well. His victory here seems well-earned.
    This is a nice standard Spider-Man story. That's a bit of a hobbyhorse for me, just looking at what are good stories where no one dies, no major character is introduced and Spider-Man has an interesting encounter with one of his rogues. There's a need for that. And this is a good example.
    I think this is my favorite Vulture story. I mean that as high praise. I loved his second appearance, the story where he kicks Blackie Drago's ass, "Funeral Arrangements" and his role in Millar/ Dodson's Marvel Knights Spider-Man.
    A+
    Last edited by Mister Mets; 08-13-2023 at 04:42 PM. Reason: I forgot Mark Millar and Terry Dodson!
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post


    Amazing Spider-Man #7-8
    I really like this two-parter, and it's the kind of thing that makes me wonder about how some people online are responding to the run.
    To be fair, I don’t think most people had a problem with this 2-parter (except maybe the part where Peter begged Norman to save him). I didn’t like it as much as you, but I thought it was alright.

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