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  1. #76
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clonegeek View Post
    Out of sheer curiosity, what's a Spider-Man story that you utterly hate?
    Temperamentally, I don't hate that many stories.

    If I don't like something, I'm not going to read more of it. So I didn't care for the first issue of Jodi Houser's Renew Your Vows, so I didn't read any more of it.

    Some stories I really don't like would be much of the Clone Saga, parts of the Mackie/ Byrne relaunch, the Todd McFarlane Wolverine story, the last issues of Nick Spencer's run, much of Last Rites, the Jenkins/ Damien Scott Lizard story (which I was looking forward to so much as a fan of Jenkins and the Lizard; Damien Scott was also my best friend's favorite artist) and Simone Bianchi's mini-series Amazing Grace. There was a Spider-Man Adventures story that I thought was badly done and repetitive, but I realized it seems unfair to talk about a budget comic from nearly 30 years ago.

    The thing that's bothered me the most is the use of progeria in Sins Past/ Sins Remembered. It is a rare disorder that causes suffering and early deaths, and in the comics, they use it as an excuse for why kids who should be in elementary school look and act like adults.

    I can generally appreciate the craft in something, and can recognize different takes on Peter Parker as being valid, so I am probably less likely to give low reviews in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegan View Post
    Every time I see someone praise this run, I think of that completely inane way to resolve a subplot and wonder if weíre reading the same books.
    Seemed fine to me.

    The guy pops up a few times and annoys Peter. It's a logical complication given Peter's extensive medical bills as a result of what happened in "Beyond" and it is unfortunately quite realistic given the predatory nature of medical debt.

    He pops up twice in #14 and both times it serves the story. In one sequence, it shows Ben Reilly's headspace shortly after the events of Beyond. In the last sequence, it shows the pivotal moment when Ben Reilly decides to trust Madelyne Pryor and hatches his plan to get Peter's memories.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinroc View Post
    It'll be interesting to see the perspective of someone who clearly likes this run talk about Dark Web and then Dead Language. (With a few issues by another writer nestled in between those two stories.)

    https://leagueofcomicgeeks.com/comic...ing-spider-man

    The League of Comic Geeks ratings got lower and lower with Dark Web and Dead Language. The recent Doc Ock story picked things up somewhat, but the annual got a middling score.
    I've read each issue in Dead Language a few times, and generally think it's fine. I'm guessing I'll give it a good rating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jman27 View Post
    Peter did beat Venom in this event without help now that I'm thinking about it
    Oh, I forgot about that part.

    Spider-Man defeats Venom by himself.
    He holds his own against Ben Reilly, and goes to limbo to save Jonah and Robbie.
    Rek-rap takes on the Insidious Six, although this is a victory for Peter who basically convinced a demon to become a good guy.
    He gets help from the X-Men in the final battle royale, although that's kind of how team-ups work, and he was quite outnumbered.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  2. #77
    Mighty Member Alex_Of_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    the Jenkins/ Damien Scott Lizard story (which I was looking forward to so much as a fan of Jenkins and the Lizard; Damien Scott was also my best friend's favorite artist)
    Yea, that one's a stinker...

    If u ever do a re-read of Jenkins's stuff, I'd love to read along, Mets. I found it at a very formative time for me as a reader; would love to revisit it and see how it holds up

  3. #78
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Dark Web: Ms. Marvel #1-2
    This two-parter is the main Ms. Marvel spotlight before she's killed off in Dead Language (and resurrected in Hellfire Gala.) So her basic storyline is that she's seeded in the book working for Norman Osborn. This two-parter is her main chance to shine. Dead Language reveals why she's working for Osborn (mainly to keep an eye on him) before she dies fighting an ancient God. The next issue has a heart to heart between her and Spider-Man regarding her resurrection. That's a structure that would be fine for former leads Nate Grey, Danny Ketch or Richard Rider, although there probably should have been an explicit Spider-Man/ Ms. Marvel team-up. The biggest thing that seems off that I don't have much of a sense of Kamala Khan's age. Is she in high school or college?
    I am unfamiliar with the creative team of Sabir Pirzada and Francesco Mortarino, so this serves as an introduction to them. Pirzada's script is witty and Mortarino's skill with architecture definitely fits this story.
    The story brings back mad inventors from Kamala Khan's first adventure, as the avian Thomas Edison takes advantage of the events of Dark Web (and in the second issue is revealed to be returned as a result of it.) There is an immediate lived-in sense of community with Kamala Khan's family and mosque. A scene where relatives ask about her Oscorp internship and make fun of her for flitting from different career paths does sell the internship as something she would do (and the reasons for in Dead Language make sense.) And it does make sense for Oscorp's lab to be the worst place to be during an event that makes inanimate objects come alive.
    There's a decent private plot where Kamala tells a guy she's not ready to date and just wants to be friends, and he wonders if it has anything to do with Hindu religion. The most ridiculous moment of the story is when he meets Ms. Marvel and doesn't recognize her.


    We get to see Kamala Khan's perspective of her encounter with Ben Reilly/ Chasm, which works to make this tie-in accessible to people who aren't checking out the rest of Dark Web, and adds more context to someone reading more of the event. Granted, the cliffhanger where she's sent to limbo and its resolution are less interesting than the inventors plot, and what happens when a mosque gains sentience. Its motives for trying to climb skyscrapers ends up being surprisingly wholesome. The Miles Morales Spider-Man pops by, and the main take on him just seems to be considerate. He's "what a nice young man" as a superhero. A final pep-talk seems over the top, although white male superheroes have gotten similar messages.
    B

    Next up is Dark Web: Mary Jane & Black Cat

    One point I want to make before I forget is that I didn't realize the extent of Jed MacKay's work on Black Cat solo stories. There were six TPBs before the Beyond one-shot. Maybe I'll cover those when I catch up to the current issues.

    I remember reading one of those issues and thinking it's fine, but it's basically Catwoman. And one good thing about teaming up Black Cat & MJ is that it puts Felicia Hardy in situations that are unique to her.
    Last edited by Mister Mets; 08-06-2023 at 03:16 AM.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  4. #79
    Mighty Member Alex_Of_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    One point I want to make before I forget is that I didn't realize the extent of Jed MacKay's work on Black Cat solo stories. There were six TPBs before the Beyond one-shot. Maybe I'll cover those when I catch up to the current issues.

    I remember reading one of those issues and thinking it's fine, but it's basically Catwoman. And one good thing about teaming up Black Cat & MJ is that it puts Felicia Hardy in situations that are unique to her.
    And the Iron Cat series, which is five issues of Felicia and Tony dealing with her stuff

    It's great. Very Catwoman, except that all the gothic noir is replaced with frenetic, outlandish action on a romp thru a fun Stan Lee-ish Marvel U. It's breezy, is the best word I can put on it. Reads great in bulk btw--that's how I caught up to it. Give it a whirl

  5. #80
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    This Dark Web mini probably did way more with Kamala and this status quo than Wells did in all the issues leading up to her death. And it still feels a tad forced.

    (Also standing up for Norman Osborn is never a good look).

  6. #81
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Iím on vacation right now in Maine with my brother, with crappy internet, which explains the lack of posts.

    I figured Iíd read a bit of Jed MacKayís Black Cat, to get a sense of if thereís any history Iím missing in the Mary Jane stories. I think I ended up reading everything but Iron Cat (thanks for the lead Alex) on the drive up (during the half of the roadtrip my brother was driving.)

    Itís a fun romp, and typically a fast read. The first volume features Black Catís travels through the Marvel Universe, pitting her against various guest starrs. The second volume is more about her history, looking at stories involving her mentor, her mother and the thieves guild.

    One problem is that she is so similar to the Black Cat, a fun-loving beautiful bisexual thief with a cat theme. You could easily have a Catwoman run that has her stealing artifacts from the big cities of the DC Universe.



    Dark Web: Mary Jane & Black Cat #1-5
    The first issue confirms two things that weren't obvious in the regular Spider-Man issues: Black Cat is now dating Peter and Mary Jane has probability based powers. There were some complaints about a lack of clues about what happened before #1 around this time, but we do get major hints in this story. It may have made more sense as chapters of Amazing Spider-Man, since it involves recurring Spider-Man characters and gives clues to the larger mystery. Two problems are that we never see Peter responding in any way to what happened to two important women in his life. The monthly format also doesn't do the story favors, with the last issue coming out when Amazing Spider-Man is deep into Dead Language. The story is a bit padded. I don't think it needed five issues, especially when a standard comic book is four bucks (five bucks, soon enough.)


    I do like Black Cat's awkwardness with MJ, and the clash between power-sets. On this read, I realize Iron Man's coldness towards Felicia and a crack about carrying Wolverine reference previous adventures from Jed MacKay's run. I will say artist Vincenzo Carratý is quite good. He has a clean style that is a great fit for Black Cat, and I'd have no problem with whatsoever with him on the regular Spider-Man book.
    Black Cat & MJ find themselves in limbo, where there's an obsession with Earth girls. Black Cat's unwillingness to tell MJ about her relationship with Peter gets a bit tiring, although the consequences are interesting. The story ends with a con, which is fitting. It's a fun fast read like much of MacKay's work on the character, and when Black Cat's working with MJ, she doesn't feel like a Catwoman knockoff.
    B
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  7. #82
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    I think on a surface level one can see a lot of similarities between Selina and Felicia but I think Mackay did a great job in her solo distinguishing her in terms of personality and relationships. At best her solo is a lot like 90's Catwoman but I think Felicia distinguishes herself a lot over time.

    The problem with the MJ/BC Dark Web mini is...well, a lot.

    Most of the issues stem from having to play off of or workaround stuff going on in ASM and the writing/characterization problems from that run end up infecting the story of the mini, where you have Mackay having to scramble to write around a status quo he had depicted Felicia as being well past while MJ is grappling with a bunch of BS from the main run (the kids, the sudden watch) and that conflict drives the book while also just making for a very frustrating read.

    And honestly I just don't think either lady was a good fit for a Limbo story, at least as depicted. It just didn't feel as appropriate or as fitting for them as them cutting a swath through the New York criminal underworld in the Beyond one-shot and was nowhere near as fun. MJ's powers were also kind of underwhelming.

  8. #83
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    The Gold Goblin mini-series has a weird structure. It's kinda like the 1990s. It's a story with a complete beginning, middle and end, focusing on two main antagonists. However, the second and third issue are set during the Dark Web event book.

    Gold Goblin #1-5

    It's a bit weird considering how well he works as a villain, but Norman Osborn, especially after his sins were cleansed, is a compelling lead. He's a guy who has done terrible things, and has the capacity to make things significantly better. Cantwell has a good voice for Osborn, a sense of humor overshadowed by Spidey's, still ambitious but guilty over the terrible things he's done.
    The villains are the Goblin Queen and a new Jack O'Lantern, and the intersection makes for a decent arc in the end.

    Lan Medina has an understated style. It's not my favorite, but it's fine for this story, especially when the main character is a middle-aged grandfather. it reminds me a bit of 1990s Valiant.
    B
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  9. #84
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Amazing Spider-Man #19-20
    This was an odd choice of a fill-in. Joe Kelly and the Dodsons feature a sitcom problem of Peter and Felicia going on a date to the same place MJ is with Paul. (This is explained by targeted marketing.) And Peter's drawn into a new plot involving the White Queen and one of her henchmen from the first Wells/ Romita story, so this makes sense as an arc of Amazing Spider-Man. It's odd to have it as a two-parter in between two major arcs by the main writer (Dark Web just ended; Dead Language is going to kick off soon.)

    The story itself is fun. There are decent gags and sequences. The idea of rich people borrowing supervillain tech for the fun of it would almost certainly happen in the real Marvel Universe. The Black Cat and White Rabbit have a decent dynamic.
    B

    To explain one quick thing on grades, a "B" means I enjoyed a comic book, and expect that I'll enjoy rereading it at some point in the future.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  10. #85
    Extraordinary Member Jman27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post


    The Gold Goblin mini-series has a weird structure. It's kinda like the 1990s. It's a story with a complete beginning, middle and end, focusing on two main antagonists. However, the second and third issue are set during the Dark Web event book.

    Gold Goblin #1-5

    It's a bit weird considering how well he works as a villain, but Norman Osborn, especially after his sins were cleansed, is a compelling lead. He's a guy who has done terrible things, and has the capacity to make things significantly better. Cantwell has a good voice for Osborn, a sense of humor overshadowed by Spidey's, still ambitious but guilty over the terrible things he's done.
    The villains are the Goblin Queen and a new Jack O'Lantern, and the intersection makes for a decent arc in the end.

    Lan Medina has an understated style. It's not my favorite, but it's fine for this story, especially when the main character is a middle-aged grandfather. it reminds me a bit of 1990s Valiant.
    B
    it was a good read
    "He's pure power and doesn't even know it. He's the best of us."-Matt Murdock

    "I need a reason to take the mask off."-Peter Parker

    "My heart half-breaks at how easy it is to lie to him. It breaks all the way when he believes me without question." Felicia Hardy

  11. #86
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    And around this time, Marvel went with what seems to be the most successful Spider-Man satellite in a long time.



    Spider-Man #1-7
    So it's my favorite interdimensional Spider-Man story, and also my favorite longer Dan Slott Spider-Man story (as far as longer standard TPB length stories go.) It's a new challenge for the spider-verse, and this time they have to work with Morlun against another JMS/ John Romita Jr creation. This story has some excellent concepts, like a prototype world and its Spiderman, a cameo that has led to a spinoff series, and a bad decision involving a version of Norman Osborn. Seemingly throwaway comments like how Spider-Man seems to be getting predictable, or another retelling of the origin seed different scenes.


    The highlight for me is the fifth issue, where we see what happened to Peter Parker in a world without Spider-Man. It's my favorite Spider-Man comic in the last few years (since at least Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley's first issue of Amazing Spider-Man) showing how classic and recent comics would be different in that world. It works as a statement on Peter Parker, and a scene within the larger stories.
    Bagley handles all the spider-men with aplomb, just reminding everyone why he is clearly a top ten artist. He does crowd scenes and quieter moments in a story that uses his skills at depicting Peter's high school days, and encounters with multiple Spider-Men.
    A+
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  12. #87
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    I reread "Dead of Winter" in Amazing Spider-Man #555-557 since it has the introductions of Rabin and Wayeb.
    There was some criticism of Wells' Amazing Spider-Man that he was making it all up on the fly, and hadn't planned things in advance, but it seemed pretty clear that when he wrote the ending of Amazing Spider-Man #93 he knew that the villain would be Rabin, and that Mary Jane would be trapped in a dimension where time moves differently.

    It seems that he put thought into the specifics of the villain, with references to other dimensions, Mayan cultists, playing around with time (this story features the villain attacking Peter in the near future/ later pages, which we'll see again in "Dead Language") and the power of symbology. It makes sense for Wells to bring back this bad guy, since it works for the story he wants to tell and any story in which Peter and MJ break-up would end up being controversial, which would change the reputation of its villain. I don't know if fans of Cardiac or Mac Gargan or whoever would want them.
    Wells also has some fun in "Dead Language" by having Peter completely forget this bad guy he fought once in a blizzard years ago, a contrast to how he immediately recognized Digger in the first issue.
    Using a villain from one earlier arc is fairly accessible to new readers. There’s a bit of a history, but it’s not overwhelming. If readers like the idea of Spider-Man VS Mayan villains, they can check out that one story illustrated by Chris Bachalo (a well-regarded artist who has his own Marvel monograph), and guest-starring Wolverine. Readers can also follow the current comic without ever checking it out.

    There is a potential One More Day tie, since there's a crucial Doctor Strange appearance. The story starts with Spidey in Avengers mansion during a snowstorm. Dr Strange offers an update on the weather, and determines that it is somehow mystical, which brings Spider-Man to conflict with the enemy. If there was a future One More Day retcon, considering Dr Strange's role in that story and his duel with Mephisto in Nick Spencer's run, a possible plot point could be someone manipulating Dr Strange. Carlie Cooper is meant as an initial sacrifice, so that's also one thing that may end up being relevant in a follow-up.
    Chris Bachalo was just supposed to do the one story in Brand New Day, but stuck around as a regular artist. Sometimes it's hard to decipher what's going on in his pages, but the visuals are often impressive.
    I thought the story generally worked, with Spider-Man pushed to the limit and doing the right thing even when it is difficult. I generally like Wells' take on Spider-Man, a guy who is frustrated and intelligent, and very quick on his feet. A homeless man ends up saving the day, and Spidey reacts well to all the craziness.
    B+
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  13. #88
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Now the big one...


    Amazing Spider-Man Volume 6 #21-26
    I wonder why Marvel opted to tell the story at this moment. There is a sneaky way it could acclimate fans into a status quo that they wouldnít like, with Wells using the mystery box to break up Peter & MJ quietly, kinda like dropping a frog into a pot of water and slowly increasing the temperature until it boils. It is similar to what Marvel did with One More Day and One Moment in Time, although in that case they waited longer (nearly three years and eighty issues of Amazing Spider-Man) to explain what Peter and MJ knew about their break-up.
    It seems that this story plays fair with what we've learned so far. We learn why Spider-Man is alienated from the Fantastic Four and Avengers, how he worked with Norman Osborn to save Mary Jane, why Ms Marvel is working with Peter, who Paul is, why he hit Peter at one point and why Mary Jane is raising two kids with him.

    It's an intense story with consistent forward momentum. One of my favorite scenes ever is when he's really pissed off at Norman Osborn in Amazing Spider-Man #122. It pissed me off that we didn't see this in Amazing Spider-Man 2, and one of the reasons I love Spider-Man: No Way Home is that it featured that facet of the character when he no longer cares about the rules. So I'm definitely primed to enjoy this story.
    It is a deeply unfair situation for Peter and Mary Jane. Spider-Man understands the urgency of the situation, and moves as fast as he can, and it may be enough to save Mary Jane's life, but not his relationship with her. There are some complaints about the lack of agency, but sometimes people are in situations where their choices are limited.

    The pacing is a bit weird with most of the story devoted to the flashbacks, and the last issue featuring a showdown with Rabin, who is a menace on the level that would require a lot of superheroes. I don't mind Ms Marvel's death, especially since Peter will be able to have a chat with her five issues later. She's brave, outpowered and still ends up saving the world.
    Romita Jr's storytelling remains exceptional. Kaare Andrews delivers a sense of tremendous energy to the MJ spotlight. Rainbow Rowell & Alvaro Lopez have a goofy story about Spidey chasing a thief at a wedding. I'm not familiar with Lopez, but he's got a solid take on Spidey and I would not mind seeing him again on this title.
    A-
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  14. #89
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Of_X View Post
    Yea, that one's a stinker...

    If u ever do a re-read of Jenkins's stuff, I'd love to read along, Mets. I found it at a very formative time for me as a reader; would love to revisit it and see how it holds up
    Thanks.

    I kinda like the idea of reading all the comics from one era, so the next thing I do is probably going to be in that style.
    I was thinking about starting with the marriage, or the clone saga, the relaunch, JMS taking over, Brand New Day or the intermediate era between the clone saga & relaunch.

    One problem is that everything references older material.

    David Michelinie had an year-long run on Web of Spider-Man before he tackled the marriage. Wells & Slott did some Spider-Man stories before Brand New Day. The clone saga builds on earlier developments (on the old forum, I did a reread starting with Maximum Carnage.) The relaunch is set-up in nine issues worth of crossovers.

    I'm tempted to go with the intermediate period between the clone saga and relaunch, since I haven't read it in that context. It's more that I read stories by specific creative teams, rather than as part of one epic. These are comics that were clearly meant to be a jump-on point, even if the creative teams started earlier.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Thanks.

    I kinda like the idea of reading all the comics from one era, so the next thing I do is probably going to be in that style.
    I was thinking about starting with the marriage, or the clone saga, the relaunch, JMS taking over, Brand New Day or the intermediate era between the clone saga & relaunch.

    One problem is that everything references older material.

    David Michelinie had an year-long run on Web of Spider-Man before he tackled the marriage. Wells & Slott did some Spider-Man stories before Brand New Day. The clone saga builds on earlier developments (on the old forum, I did a reread starting with Maximum Carnage.) The relaunch is set-up in nine issues worth of crossovers.

    I'm tempted to go with the intermediate period between the clone saga and relaunch, since I haven't read it in that context. It's more that I read stories by specific creative teams, rather than as part of one epic. These are comics that were clearly meant to be a jump-on point, even if the creative teams started earlier.
    Michelinies Web of Spider-Man could be interesting to reexamine. I did quite enjoy that run

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