Amazing Spider-Man #696
Any good? Yes. Even on an off issue this series moves with such grace that it manages to satisfy. At the minute we're deep in the middle of a storyline wherein a classic supervillain (what's the point in being coy, you can see it's Hobgoblin on the cover image...) has returned to knock off the impostor who's been causing trouble for a whole buncha people in his name. The cheap thrill of just seeing him back would be enough to excite, but considering how lousy his would-be replacement has been the whole ordeal is elevated way beyond 'enough to excite'. It's nerd fan service of the highest order, coupled with great storytelling and art. Slott is careful not to make ASM a total nostalgia fest, using these characters more like a painter would use a box of old paints and brushes while working on a really weak metaphor. Things seem geared towards a big (a BIG) event for the 700th issue this December, but I've abstained from news sites and forums for the past while because, as I've learned, comics readers are much like soap fanatics in that they love to have stuff spoiled for them fucking months in advance.
Should I Buy It? This body of work, Slott's run on Spider-Man, deserves to be consumed in full. If you're at all interested in the character and catching some of the most fun twice-monthly stuff he's ever been up to let me know in the comments section and I'll hit you up with a reading list. I'm a coolguy. That's one word.
Batman Incorporated #4
Any good? Despite my apparently-hesitant-to-say-anything description, yes, it is wonderful wonderful stuff. I always seem to forget how much I love Batman Incorporated in the four weeks that separate each issue, but it is never not fascinating and frequently laugh out loud funny. Chris Burnham is a wonderful artist too and this issue, showcasing a great many of the alternate Batmen (among them Spain's El Gaucho, a motorcycle-riding bandito) in a commendably violent manner is a highlight of his run so far. Morrison's grasp both of the characters and just of character in general is fantastic and the issue is loaded with subtle moments and a neat twist on the last page that sets up issue #5 perfectly. And y'know, when I think about it, like I have just now for the first time, I actually consider this series the main Batman book, despite the fact that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are knocking it out the park on Batman every month. It's odd, this series seems a little sidelined but much more important to the developing mythology of the character. Huh! Self-revelationment is neato.
Should I Buy It? Unlike with Amazing Spider-Man where I merely recommended you catch up on Slott's stuff, Morrison's Batman pretty much needs to be read in entirety. It works a lot better. So you'd need to read from the introduction of Damian through Bruce's "death", onto the Dick/Damian Batman & Robin and into the first and now second volume of Incorporated to get a feel for the big picture. It's megasuper fun though, and I fully recommend it. Reading order available from me as always, so comment below or Twitter us. Tweet us? The second one.
Batman: The Dark Knight #13
Any good? It's not bad or anything, but it's such disposable entertainment at the same time. With so much going on in Batman and Batman, Inc. this series can't help but feel trite despite the better efforts of Greg Hurwitz and David Finch. I don't think it helps that the Scarecrow story they're working with has nothing to it that won't seem overfamiliar to anyone who's seen the Scarecrow once in anything ever before. The thing is, I should embrace it for using this format. I love that there's a Batman series just for telling other stories that fall either side of the bigger-picture stuff on Batman and Batman, Inc., I just don't like the particular direction. If they were introducing new characters I might dig it more. The 90s issues I've read of equivalent series (like Shadows Of The Bat, for example) often showcased totally shit villains, but I'm wired to appreciate stuff like that.
Should I Buy It? No. I imagine I'll be dropping the book after this business is wrapped, I'm afraid. Batman Begins tells a similar story better. I mean Jesus, there has to be more to Scarecrow than 'he'll make you see things you're afraid of and generally be a bit creepy'.
DD: End Of Days #1
Any good? The phrase 'happy as a pig in shit' ought now to be reworked to 'happy as a Paul with new Bendis Daredevil in his hands'. It is awesome from top to bottom of every page. The script, the art, the idea, Jesus, every single thing about this series has got me pumped up, UP I say, for what's to come. That's all you get.
Should I Buy It? Yeah you should. It's a celebration of the character that works best if you've familiarity with the character, so read Miller's and Bendis' stuff first maybe and this'll feel like it was written for YOU. It's that good.
Any good? I haven't a clue. If you read an issue of Spider-Man from 1963, 1980 and 2002, you'll recognize at least one or two major points within each issue. The latest issue of Spawn I've read is #100 and whatever's happened between now and then has rendered this issue, which is pleasantly illustrated at least, a puzzle to me, and not a cool puzzle either like that one in Resident Evil where you have to tune a music box, a crappy puzzle where none of the...fucking, things are there and it's all just aarrrggggh. So I feel it's unfair to comment other than to say it doesn't feel at all...AT ALL...like the Spawn I read in the 90s.
Should I Buy It? You kiddin'? I only bought it because I thought the cover was cool.
Wolverine Max #1
Any good? I guess. I like half of the art, but read this week that the guy who did that half of the artwork has fallen out with someone else who works on the book and that the first will be his only issue on the series. The story seems interesting enough but suffers from the modern trend of writing comics for publication as collections, meaning that there's very little in it and it may be better waiting for the 6-issue trade to hit bookshelves. At least it's set in Japan. Asia's played host to the best Wolverine stories. It seems maybe a shame to deal with an episode from Wolverine's amnesia years on account of it's not the late 80s anymore, but if the story's worth that device being abused I'll roll with it. One thing I would say is that, an issue in, it doesn't seem like a justified use of the MAX imprint, which it may only boast so Marvel fans can't bemoan another main-series Wolverine book on the stand as they are wont to do.
Should I Buy It? Leave it a while. Maybe after the first arc I'll be able to muster a recommendation.
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