The Amazing Spider-Man 25

Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing The Amazing Spider-Man 25, originally released March 15th, 2017. As always, this article containers SPOILERS.

Spencer: As Aunt May herself points out this week, Peter Parker’s always been a busy guy. Add running a major international company to his already impressive pile of responsibilities and it’s almost guaranteed that something will start to give. The massive Amazing Spider-Man 25 digs into that dilemma from all angles, reminding readers of every task Peter’s got on his plate and what’s at risk if he fails at any one of them. It’s an almost overwhelming issue, a trait that effectively puts readers in Peter’s overstressed shoes. Continue reading

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Spider-Verse Team Up 3

spider-verse team-up 3
Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Spider-Verse Team-Up 3, originally released January 21st, 2015.

Patrick: We’ve gotten to understand the rhythms of Spider-Verse pretty well at this point. Meet some Spiders; have some fun with them; there’s some meta-commentary; maybe someone dies; repeat until you’re no longer having fun. Spider-Verse Team-Up 3 subverts that trend, turning thematic patterns on their head and insisting that Spider-Verse is more nuanced and interesting than it ever let on. But is what we sacrifice in fun worth the extra depth? Continue reading

The Amazing Spider-Man 1

amazing spider-man 1Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing The Amazing Spider-Man 1, originally released April 30th, 2014.

Patrick: If The Superior Spider-Man had us all asking what it means to be a hero (and, by extension, what it means to be a villain), then The Amazing Spider-Man seems poised to ask the question of what it means to be Spider-Man. It is a surprisingly wide question, with seemingly hundreds of discrete answers. What’s it mean to be Spider-Man? Kaine will tell you one thing, Miguel O’Hara will tell you another thing, Peter Parker will tell you something else, and Doc Ock (may he rest in peace) probably wouldn’t dignify the question with a response. Y’see, there are a lot of Spiders out there, and even more Spider-fans; what we want and what we expect from Spider-Man is so varied that even an issue designed to celebrate the hero can’t pick a tone and stick to it. It’s a fascinating, if uneven (and possibly even fascinatingly uneven), exploration of Spider-Man. Continue reading

The Superior Spider-Man 31

superior spider-man 31

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing The Superior Spider-Man 31, originally released April 16th, 2014.

Shelby: If I learned anything from watching countless episodes of M*A*S*H* as a child, it’s that the first step of dealing with any disaster is triage. You need to assess the situation and make some quick decisions to prioritize your next steps. Usually this means letting some people in pain suffer a little while longer so you can tend to the immediately life-threatening issues. It’s only after you’ve stopped the bleeding and patched up the worse off can you step back and consider the situation as a whole; that’s the point you can begin to make some decisions about long-term fixes and really start cleaning up your mess.

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The Superior Spider-Man 25

superior spider-man 25Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing The Superior Spider-Man 25, originally released January 15th, 2014.

Spencer: SPOILER ALERT: Peter Parker’s coming back.

Of course, anybody who has been keeping up with comic news in even the slightest already knows this. With news of Peter’s upcoming return in mind, it’s hard to look at The Superior Spider-Man 25 without focusing on just how exactly his return will play out and what it will mean for Otto. Fortunately, writer Dan Slott (assisted on this issue by Christos Gage) is ramping up the intrigue as this book nears its end. I have no idea how this series will resolve itself, but I do know one of the things I’m going to miss most about it: the expansive world and cast of supporting characters Slott has built up around Otto. Continue reading

The Flash 26

flash 26

Today, Scott and Shelby are discussing The Flash 26, originally released December 31st, 2013.

Scott: I recently watched the first episode of BBC’s Sherlock. After just a few minutes it was clear that the show is awesome- compelling characters, great acting, cool editing, etc. Then, something strange happened: halfway through the episode, I lost interest. I couldn’t figure it out; I had enjoyed everything about the show so far, but I couldn’t keep my head in it. It dawned on me that the show wasn’t following a typical format. The 90-minute episode is the length of a feature film, but with the slowly developing characters and relationships you’d expect from a new TV series. There’s nothing bad about the episode, it just doesn’t fit with what I’ve been trained to expect from a TV show. The beats were coming in the wrong places. I had the same feeling about The Flash 26. A stand alone issue of Flash? Something doesn’t seem right.
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The Superior Spider-Man 13

superior spider-man 13

Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing The Superior Spider-Man 13, originally released July 10th, 2013.

“What we leave behind is something we each determine, through the way we live our lives. Whether we achieve something we can be proud of, or fall short, we have only ourselves to blame.”

—The Superior Spider-Man, Otto Octavius

Spencer: From Ghost-Peter’s laments about how Otto was tarnishing his good name to Otto’s annoyance over his future inventions all being credited to Peter, legacy has been a reoccurring concern in the Superior Spider-Man since its very beginning. After the events of this issue Otto is ready to create a new legacy, free from the influence of Peter Parker, but without Peter’s guidance and memories, can he truly live up to the high moral standards of Spider-Man? Otto said it himself: if he leaves behind a legacy of failure or terror, he’s only got himself to blame.

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The Superior Spider-Man 12

superior spider-man 12

Today, Ethan and Shelby are discussing The Superior Spider-Man 12, originally released June 19th, 2013.

Ethan: When I sit down to write about an issue, I tend to start by flipping through my digital copy to grab the panels I want to include in the post. As I was looking through Superior Spider-Man #11, I ended up with about 10 separate images. That obviously won’t fit into a single post, but it’s a credit to writers Dan Slott & Christos Gage and artist Camuncoli that so much of the issue struck a note with me. A flashback to the worst day of J.Jonah Jameson’s life, further insights into Otto’s and Smythe’s psyches, a surprise cameo – there’s no time to waste!

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The Superior Spider-Man 11

superior spider-man 11Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing The Superior Spider-Man 11, originally released June 6th, 2013.

Patrick: Spider-Man’s always been one of the most relateable superheroes out there. Whether it’s because he’s a social underdog, or quick with a joke, people just love Spidey. I’ve always assumed it’s because Peter Parker lot of petty baggage that we can all relate too.  Tough time making rent? Girls don’t understand you? Homework got you down? Otto seems to think he’s immune to inane distraction, but for every dinner date with MJ he’s blown off, there’s an advanced degree he’s insisted on pursuing. And for what? Bragging rights? He’s already Spider-Man. Otto’s done a pretty good job of making his baggage work for him — thus far it’s mostly motivated him to be an effective crime fighter — but on the eve of the Spider-Slayer’s execution on The Raft, Otto’s hit with a few too many personal attacks to maintain his steely veneer. Continue reading

Superior Spider-Man 6AU

superior spider-man 6AU AU

Today, Ethan and Patrick are discussing Superior Spider-Man 6AU, originally released March 27th, 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.

ultron-div

Ethan: Familiarity is a funny thing. The exposure we have to a thing or activity, the more hard-wiring space our brains devote to it. That’s great when you need to do something quickly — like recognize and react to a baseball flying at your head — or when you do something the same way over and over — like driving a route to work every day. That hard-wiring can save you from injury, or save on processing power that could be put to other use. Automatic responses aren’t always helpful though; sometimes your conditioning assigns a label and to situation too quickly and funnels you into a course of action that almost always works, but not this time. In the Age of Ultron crossover Superior Spider-Man #6, writer Christos Gage and artist Dexter Soy demonstrate the folly of this kind of snap judgement as Otto Octavius (in the body of Spider-Man Peter Parker) faces off against the malicious artificial intelligence. Continue reading