Tagged: Superior Foes of Spider-Man

Troy’s Toys But With Comics: Of Foes and X-Men

The_Superior_Foes_of_Spider-Man_Vol_1_16_TextlessSuperior Foes Of Spider-Man #16

Nick Spencer/Steve Lieber/Rachelle Rosenberg

Marvel $3.99

It’s funny. I’ve been lamenting over the fact that SUP FOES is ending for months, but if this issue was the last one, I’ld be strangely okay with that.

It’s certainly not something I’m saying based on the book’s quality. Oh no, this issue is great, successfully capturing everything I love about this book in 20 pages. It’s more the fact that one of the Foes gets a win, and Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber have made this character so likable, you  cant help but be happy for them. Is this was the final issue Id be 1000% okay with that, despite the fact that said character has done some truly terrible things over the course of the series and would get getting away with a lot.

 

Of course, there’s an issue left and there’s still plenty of things that can go wrong. Spencer, Lieber and colorist Racelle Rosenberg introduce a number of elements that can still come back and bite this character in the ass. 2 of them justified, 1 of them a surprise of sorts, but great and welcomed none the less. Also given the fact that we’ve yet to see a proper appearance from Spider-Man himself in this book, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were too show up in the final issue.

 

But enough with speculation. This issue, much like every other issue of this series is great. The humor is second to none, and the return of a gag from a previous issue is just as funny this time around. The action piece when the poop the hands is surprisingly brutal, but successfully maintains the tone of the book. And then there’s ending. Smart, kinda cruel, but perfectly in line with the character’s actions. And you may find yourself wanting said character to get away with it, but we all know he won’t. It’s bittersweet in a way, but also something he’ll deserve.

 

There’s no question in my mind that this book will stick it’s landing. The real question is HOW it’s going to all go down, and if any of the Sinister Five are going to get away with it. I’m very excited to see it all plays out, and welcome this book’s end.

 

 

background (2)Uncanny X-Men #27

 Brian Michael Bendis/Chris Bachalo/ Tim Townsend

Marvel $3.99

Between the change in colorists that goes down halfway through this book and the most cliché of bad things to happen to S.H.I.E.L.D., I should by all means dislike this issue of Uncanny X-Men. However, even with those 2 massive flaws, this comic is really solid, continuing the book’s hot streak for nearly an entire year.

 

While Kris Anka has done great things with this book recently, Chris Bachalo is a perfect for Brian Michael Bendis’ script. Bendis writes a big action piece for this issue and crams a ton of characters into it, catering to Bachalo’s strengths. The end result shows just how in sync these 2 creators are, which works out in the reader’s favor.

 

Given the fact that he’s heavily featured on the beautiful illustrated cover, it comes as no surprise that Cyclops plays a big role in this issue (in addition to another X-man who definitely deserves more screen time) Bendis continues to handle the character well, although his intention at the end raise some questions. It’s the sort of drama the X-men became famous for in the 80s, with a hint of modern flair. It’s something I’m all about.

 

While Im less than thrilled that this arc proably stil has another chapter or two left before it’s over, I’m enjoying the ride. Uncanny X-men is far from perfect, but it’s definitely a fun read.

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: All New, Superior Review Spread (also something about Dick Grayson)

What I want to do this week: Dedicate 500 words on how rad that new Batgirl design is.

What I’m going to do this week: Dedicate those words to reviewing comics. Consider yourselves lucky. :/

tumblr_inline_n7pxrxoy321qbujoxGrayson #1

Time Seeley/Tom King/Mikel Janin

DC Comics $2.99

I’ll be honest, 2/3rd of that final issue of Nightwing really had me worried about Grayson. The last chapter of that comic was promising, and luckily, that quality carried over to the first issue of this new series, which was an excellent debut.

Dick Grayson’s got a new gig as a spy for Spyral, whom you may remember from Grant Morrison‘s Batman Incorporated run. And if you don’t hey no worries, the organization gets a good introduction, so you really don’t need to read that (which you should) or Forever Evil (Thank God) to get the full story. He’s partnered with Helena Bertinelli (she was the Huntress pre new 52 kids!) and is set to retrieve a Meta Human Bio Weapon from another shady organization because that’s the type of thing you do when you’re a super hero spy I guess.

Like I said above, it’s a great book. Tim Seeley and Tom King‘s script is fun and clever, which is the type of thing you want from a spy book. And Mikel Janin has come a long way from when I last saw him on Justice League Dark, providing some really good looking pencils and ink for the book (colored nicely by Jeromy Cox). It’s a bright, clean and colorful book, which seems to be the polar opposite of most DC titles and their Jim Lee-inspired house style. With my concerns put to bed, I’m quite pleased with this issue and am excited for a DC ongoing for the first time in forever.

3886216-all-new_x-men_29_coverAll New X-men #29

Brian Micahel Bendis/Stuart Immonen/ Wade Von Grawbadger/ Marte Gracia

Marvel $3.99

80% of this book is really good. It’s fun, good looking, and a nice little ending to this current arc of All New X-men. But man, there’s some things involving time travel and mind control that are a tad hazy, and I’m not sure if it’s on Bendis or Immonen. It’s unfortunate, because there are plenty of cool moments from this comic, and it’s rare to see this creative team not synch up 100% all of time. Overall a great, read, it’s a shame it stumbles a bit towards the end.

Spread-01-cover-kyle-strahm-felipe-sobriero-530x815Spread #1

Justin Jordan/Kyle Strahm/Felipe Sobeiro

Image $3.50

The first issue of Spread does not shy away from it’s influences. Writer Justin Jordan name drops Mad Max on the letter’s page, and you can tell the team also drew influence from the legendary manga Lone Wolf and Cub, fellow Image mega-hit the Walking Dead, and maybe not intentionally, Marvel’s last Cable solo series. That being said it’s a great read that proudly wears it’s influences on it’s sleeve.

Kyle Strahm reminds me a lot of mangaka Tsutomu Nihei (Blame! and the new Netflix anime Knight of Sidonia) in terms of style. The world of blame is disgusting and brutal, and Strahm’s art hammers that point across quite efficiently. The Spread monsters are made of pure nightmares, and there’s several panels/pages that really made me do a double take at what I was looking at.

The Spread isn’t the most original comic on the stands this week, but if you’re in the mood for something fun and horror-related, you could do a lot worst. That may sound like faint praise, but I assure you, I dug the hell out of the book, and this may end up being Justin Jordan’s equivalent to Fear Agent in a few issue.

SMFOES2013013-cov-8ab5aThe Superior Foes of Spider-Man #13

Nick Spencer/Steve Lieber/Rachelle Rosenberg

Marvel $3.99

So by now everyone knows that I like my super hero books to have some humor in them. Grimmdark too-serious comics are not my thing, which is why I favor things like Hawkeye to the bulk of the DC Comics library. So it should go without saying that I loved this issue of SUP FOES.

That’s not to say that Superior Foes of Spider-Man #13 doesn’t have some more serious moments to it. There’s a cool action piece featuring the Shocker, and this issue’s cliffhanger is fairly dramatic. But said action piece is also chocked full of little one liners, ans there’s a bull in chinashop bit earlier in the issue that’s also great.

So yeah, another funny and exceptionally well crafted  issue by Spencer, Lieber, Rosenberg. Also look at that cover, it’s super villains cosplaying other super villains. If that’s not your jam, I don’t even want to know you.

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Troy’s Toy, but with Comics: So much Marvel (Belated edition)

Without going into details, life happened. Here’s some reviews:

300px-Secret_Avengers_Vol_3_1Secret Avengers #1

Ales Kot/Michael Walsh/Matt Wilson

Marvel, $3.99

Real talk, I had trouble choosing between covers. Tradd Moore’s was awesome, but Katie Cook’s Avengers Ducks was the cutest thing to ever cute, and it had a M.O.D.O.Duck! I would gladly spend $4 a month reading about Secret Avenger Ducks, please take note Marvel.

I picked this book up for 2 reasons. The first one being my wife REALLY like Spider-Woman, and this appears to be the book to read about J-Drew  with Avengers Assemble wrapping up this month. The 2nd being when the preview pages dropped, this incarnation of the book looked VERY much influenced by the Fraction/Aja Hawkeye book, a title we all know I love.

In the letters section, writer Ales Clot says this is “Michael Bay directs an episode of Breaking Bad as it meets Arrested Development. and it’s full of spies and super heroes.”. And it literally is, (I guess makes it Agents of SHIELD meet Archer), as 4 different stories are interwoven into one narrative. And it works. It’s a fun, slighty-violent read illustrated wonderfully by Michael Walsh. Walsh reminds me a lot of David Aja & Michael Lark (Daredevil, Gotham Central), and is a perfect fit for this title.

I was really excited for this book to drop, and after reading it, I’m happy to say it surpassed my expectations. Fans of Agents of SHIELD, Hawkeye, Avengers Assemble and the new Black Widow series need to get on this title sooner rather than later.

hawkeye17cvrHawkeye #17

Matt Fraction, Chris Eliopoulous, David Aja, Jordie Bellaire

Marvel $2.99

After the crazy cliffhanger dropped in issue 15, the belated issue 17 (let’s not forget 16 shipped before 15!) is an holiday issue. In March. I’d complain, but  Chris Eliopoulous, the series letter, steps up on art duties to tell the tale (OR SHOULD I SAY..TAIL? HM HM HMMM!) of the Winter Friends. And you know what? Like every issue it’s fantastic. Eliopoulous is a amazing artist, and this fun little story has get twist to it, so who cares if it’s Christmas in March right? Also holy crap, look at that cover, it is sweet, also tight. Again, you should be reading this book, and if you’re not, it’s your lose. Also I’m judging you. More so than usual.

Captain_Marvel_Vol_8_1_TextlessCaptain Marvel #1

Kelly Sue DeConnick, David Lopez, Lee Loughridge

Marvel, $3.99

Don’t call it a comeback. No seriously, we’ve only been Captain Marvel less since November, and she’s been in a number of Avenger titles since then. It wasn’t that painful y’all.

But the 2nd volume of Captain Marvel makes an impressive debut. By now, no one’s questioning Kelly Sue DeConnick’s ability to craft a great story with Carol Danvers. She’s arguably the best thing to happen to the character since Chris Claremont brushed her off from some questionable decisions back in the 80s.

David Lopez however, is the Captain Marvel artist we deserve. While there was some serious talent involved in volume 1, the final page of this issue is some next level stuff It’s a great looking book, and sets up the new status quo for Cap Marvel quite nicely. It’s a good jumping on point for new readers, and it justifies a new #1 for returning readers. Between this and the newly launched Ms. Marvel , it’s refreshing to see some great female writers produce fantastic comics, and that Marvel is recognizing that there’s an audience for these stories.

portrait_incredibleSuperior Foes of Spider-Man #9

Nick Spencer/Steve Lieber/ Rachelle Rosenberg

Marvel $2.99

This is the issues where Boomerang and the Shocker both scheme and attempt to improve their lives. But these guys are super villains, so things do not go according to plan If that’s not worth  your $3, I have no idea what to tell you. Marvel’s best book you’re probably not reading continues to be the best book you’re probably not reading, and I really wish you were. There’s some genuine moments of badassery never seen before in this book, as well as some really strong comedy stuff with amazing timing. This team is so in synch it’s not even funny, only okay, the book is hilarious, never mind that.  The first volume is out in trade, so get on it, get caught up, and buy this comic. Unless you hate good comics. If so, let me tell you what’s going on in “Forever Evil“….

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Troy’s Toy but with Comics: #1 with a tie!

Well look at that, apparently there’s a tie. And I’m sure it has everything nothing to do with issue 7 of one of these series dropping this past Tuesday.

saga15-cover#1a) Saga

Brian K Vaughn/Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

With Hawkguy & Sex Criminals sitting at #2 and #3 respectively, I’m sure this comes to as a surprise to no one. Which means I have nothing to explain and the article is over.

 

::: Checks word count and curses :::

Okay so maybe I should explain some of this. But honestly, what is there left to say? NEWS FLASH: BKV STILL GREAT AT WRITING. FIONA STAPLES: REALLY HAS THIS DRAWING THING DOWN!  THE LYING CAT: STILL PRETTY GREAT, EVEN DURING THIS PAST YEAR, THE YEAR OF THE PIZZA DOG!

lying-cat-and-sophie-2Snark aside, Year 2 of Saga was fantastic. Sure we didn’t have the book every month, but when it dropped, each and every issue was a delight. Okay so giant monster gentitals may not be what some people consider delightful, but you get what I’m saying. It’s a well-crafted comic, and easily the crown jewel in the Image Empire these days. BKV’s dialogue is so natural, and his characters sound very realistic, despite having wings and televisions for heads. And again, Fiona Staples, REALLY good at drawing! The range of visuals she can supply to this book is beyond impressive, ranging from sexy to grotesque.

Also the book can be really funny at times, which I appreciate when it’s not tugging at my heart or toying with my emotions. I still get a little choked up at that Lying Cat conversation scene from above.

Saga was flawless in 2013, and I doubt that will change anytime soon. But like I said earlier, this is a tie.

background#1b) Superior Foes of Spider-Man

Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber (Marvel)

2013 saw the debut of 3 books with the word “Superior” in their title. First there was “Superior Spider-Man“, which upset many a nerd and sold a butt ton of comics this year. There was also “Superior Carnage“, but I don’t care about that, and chances are you didn’t either. And then finally there was “The Superior Foes of Spider-Man“, a book that wasn’t even on my radar until the first issue dropped and the early buzz called it the next Hawkeye. Intrigued, I picked up #1 and made sure to buy every issue upon release since then.

Superior_Foes_of_Spider-Man_Vol_1_6_TextlessAs I said like a month or so ago, SFoSM is an FX/FXX comedy set in the Marvel Universe. Past Marvel books starring villains usually attempt to rehab them somehow, making them anti-heroes or straight up heroes. Your Deadpools, Venoms and Thunderbolts for example. Superior Foes makes these villains, arguable the weakest version of the Sinister 5 Six, LIKABLE yes, but also remains you that yes, they are the bad guys, and they enjoy doing bad things. It’s surprising refreshing, and a ton of fun.

Superior Foes use of continuity is probably one of the best things about the book if we don’t factor in how friggin hilarious some of the running gags are. One of my many problems with New 52 DC is that they seem to be embarrassed by their legacy, and the work many talented creators have done for them over the year. The past is embraced here, factoring in stories from Marvel’s silver age up to modern classic runs by writer such as Ed Brubaker and Jeff Parker, which results in some powerful and/or hilarious stuff. Issue #7, which dropped this past Tuesday, is proof of this, tying into the origin of the new Beetle quite nicely.

Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber, 2 wonderful veteran creators came out swinging with this title, and I loved every issue to date. This book definitely owes it’s existence to the success of Hawkeye, but it’s very much it’s own monster. It’s violent, but more so Looney Tunes style, hilarious, and surprising modern and refreshing. And all without a single appearance from the sales-boosting Spider-Man so far. It gets my pick as co-book of the year by being a fantastic book with little to no hype and the use some some obscure characters. Big ups to Spencer and Lieber for really coming through in 2013, as well as to the other creators I’ve talked about these last 3 articles.

And with that, the best of 2013 is wrapped up. It’s been a great year for comics, and I’m excited for what 2014 will bring. I’m taking a small break as I’m MagFEST bound this weekend, but I’ll be back later next week to talk about… ::: checks pull list :: SEX CRIMINALS! And maybe a book that’s :: gasps ::: published by DC!

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Small Week.

QUICK REC: I’m not sure how much you, the reader, may or may not be interested in WWE wrestling (aka “The Wrestle”), but if you are, you NEED to flip through WWE Superstars‘ debut this week. That book is insane, in the best sorts of ways, and I assure you, it’s good for a few (unintentional) chuckles. People who aren’t into the “sport” should look away, but I believe in the Shield and I was not disappointed with what I got. Now to to comics definitely worth buying.

 

UNCX2013015-DC11-LR-3a1a4Uncanny X-men 15.Inh

Brian Michael Bendis/ Kris Anka

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages.

NOTE THE .INH! DON’T WORRY, IT’S NOT TOO HEAVY ON THE INHUMANITY THINGS, AND IT CAN BE ENJOYED REGARDLESS IF YOU CARED ABOUT INFINITY OR NOT.

Uncanny 15.INH was another solid done-in-one by Bendis and guest artist Kris Anka. Anka reminds me a lot of All New X-Men’s Stuart Immonen, only his character’s facial features seem a little softer. Which is not an insult mind, and is good seeing how this is a very female heavy issue. Anka does a fantastic job on this issue and I hope he comes back from time to time. His body language is great, his fashion sense is superb, and the very expressive art really helps to sell the humor Bendis injects into the script.

Bendis needs to pay extra attention to a name in this issue, as there’s a HUGE easter egg/gag referring to one of his most hated moments from his STILL on-going Ultimate Spider-Man run. And it works, given the X-Men played a role in THAT particular story. Clever nods to his past works aside, the issue is great. Ton of characterization, some really funny moments, a splash of action and a nice use of the greater Marvel universe to tie it all together. These last 2 issues of Uncanny X-Men have been the best the series has seen, which is exactly what this title has needed to even the playing field with it’s sister books.

Superior_Foes_of_Spider-Man_Vol_1_6_TextlessThe Superior Foes of Spider-Man #6

Nick Spencer/Steve Lieber/Rachelle Rosenberg

Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages 

“I wand you to draw Doom…like one of your French Girls.” G.P.O.Y. Y’ALL!

The Superior Foes… is pretty much the Marvel equivalent of an F/X (or is it FXX these days?) comedy. The cast is pretty unlikeable for some reason (or several), but occasionally do some things that makes them enjoyable, and then karma kicks them in the face and we have a good laugh. This issue starts off with a date, which makes you want to cheer for Boomerang at points, but then you remember that he’s kind of a scumbag. And then you find out what exactly his past actions have done to the other members of the Sinister Six, Speaking of endings, man the one for this one is a doozey.

Spencer and Lieber continue to wow me every month with this book. The humor is the best thing about this title, ranging from quick  little throwaway gags to some amazing panels that are laugh out loud funny. You may think a sad, drunk Doctor Doom isn’t canon, but I think it’s great and I’m sure I’m not the only one who does so. And the creators have done an excellent job of making a bunch of B-list villains both enjoyable and likeable, without ignoring the fact that they’re criminals. Which I like, because some bad guys are cool because they’re evil and it sucks when they’re watered down (see 90s Marvel). Superior continues to excel, and I hope this book sticks around, as it’s a complete gem of a title.

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Triple X Edition

Obviously yes, I am still experimenting with titles for this thing.

Amazing_X-Men_-1Amazing X-men #1

Jason Aaron/Ed McGuinness

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages

I’ll admit, I’m a little late to this party, mostly because I initially overlooked this title last week. I’m already pulling a ton (2) X-titles on monthly basis, so I figured I could trade wait Amazing. But then I got a free digital code for it, and decided to check it out, because free is great.

With that explained, let’s me start off with saying the Ed McGuinness‘ art is PERFECT in this book. His style, a mixture of classic John Byrne and 90s Capcom, really captures the script well, the character looks iconic and fresh. Also his BAMFS are super cute. The strong inks and colors only improve it, and Amazing is already on par with it’s sister books, which says a lot given the talent attached to those books. It’s nice to see Ed given a chance to work with a writer I really dig, sorry not sorry Jeph Loeb.

Veteran X-writer Jason Aaron‘s script is also flawless, mixing action and comedy for a perfect first issue. Bringing back a beloved fan-favorite character like Nightcrawler is no simple task, but these creators definitely meet and surpass those expectations. With Wolverine and the X-men ending in a few months, Amazing X-men is positioning itself quite well as the heir to the most dynamic X-book on the stands.

 

All-New_X-Men_Vol_1_18_TextlessAll New X-men #18

Brian Michael Bendis/ Stuart Immonen

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages

Kitty Pryde and the original X-men find themselves in a new school, new uniforms and new classmates this week in ANXM. Fresh from Battle of the Atom, Benis and Immonen use this issue to set up the new status quo, as the X-kids deal with the insanity that’s gone down  over the last few months. This also means an insane amount of drama and a ton of dialogue, which is to be expected from a Bendis-penned X-book.

Stuart Immonen is probably my favorite artist working at Marvel at the moment, as the level of talent he brings to this book is crazy. He’s tasked with drawing an insane amount of X-men, and each of them are unique (well except 2 of the triplets, which is kind of the point) and dynamic, despite most of the issue involved mutants standing around and talking. The new uniforms, something my wife described as Power Rangers-esque, are really neat, although  would have preferred to see Jean in White and Gold instead of White and Green. Apparently I’m a costume fashion snob.

 

Brian Bendis’ script is a very by the numbers talking-heads-Bendis script. Which isn’t a bad thing mind you, as the title is coming off a crossover and needs some time to breathe. It’s just something we see a lot from Bendis. Regardless of what my snark may imply, it’s a cute issue to start off year 2 of ANXM, and I’m excited for the new issue dropping in a few short weeks.

portrait_incredible (2)X-Men Gold

Chris Claremont, Bob McLeod, Stan Lee, Louise and Walter Simonson, Roy Thomas, Pat Ollife, Len Wein, Fabian Nicieza, Salvador Larroca

Marvel, $5.99, 60 pages

X-men Gold is a one shot in honor of the X-men’s 50th Anniversary, and is basically classic X-men continuity porn.

Let me be honest, if you haven’t read a X-men book before Grant Morrison started writing for the franchise in 2001, this is not the book for you. The “newest” story in this book canon-wise is a Fatal Attractions tie-in/Onslaught prequel. Which kids, are events that happened in the mid 90s. It’s definitely a old-school throwback, and at times, not even a good one, at it comes across a tad sexist and racist depending on the story. And it’s worth noting that at least 14 of the 60 pages are previews for Amazing and All-New X-men. It’s not for everyone, and even the intended audience may have some problems with this one.

detail (1)Superior Foes of Spider-Man #5

Nick Spencer/Steve Lieber

Marvel $2.99, 20 pages

This book is perfection.

It really is! Everything from the cover to the last page is great, without a misstep in site. Spencer and Lieber’s formula is no different than the one BKV and Fiona Staples use over in Saga; start off awesome, and end with a crazy, shocking (no pun intended) cliffhanger. I don’t think I’ve read a heist in comics before this insane, nor hilarious. And the intro for this issue is CRAZY tense, and kind of gross, but in a good way.  This book is a blessing, and it’s gone from great to can’t miss in the span of 5 issues. This book is up there with Hawkeye and Daredevil in terms of quality, something I know I’ve said a number of times before, and will continue to say until sales and morale improves. I mean c’mon it’s like Forever Evil, only no I suppose not come to think of it, and actually good!

 

NEXT WEEK! SEX CRIMINALS, PROBABLY ANOTHER X-MEN BOOK, AND OH BOY, DAREDEVIL!

 

 

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Here I have bought some comics and NEW YORK COMIC CON WEEK!

In case you’re new here, it’s been established that I have much love for the hometown show known as NYCC. Granted PAX East and Heroescon are probably my favorite shows, NYCC is all the HYPE of SDCC and is only a subway ride away, making it TON more easier to get to than it’s west coast counterpart. More importantly, I’ve always had a great time at NYCC, so I’m excited for Thursday obviously! But we still have 4 days, so let’s take a look at what I dropped cash monies on this week. (Also make sure you swing by the store for the numerous signings and events we’re having over the next 7 days!)

3345294-17a

All New X-men 17

Brian Michael Bendis/Stuart Immonen

$3.99, Marvel, 20 pages

One of the biggest joys I’ve gotten out of Battle of the Atom is watching my wife read this event. She’s still new to cape comics/events in the 616, and seeing her lose her collective sh*t over BotA has been great, considering I’m jaded towards these sort of things, even the ones I like. Chapter 6 of BotA plays off of the reveal from Chapter 5, doing some world building for the X-men of the future. Bendis had been hyping up the issue on twitter for a week, and while you can argue it living up to said hype or not, it’s still a fun read. Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger and Marte Garcia are still doing some of the best work in their careers, as this book continues to be a visual treat. And if you’ve been reading the X-books for a awhile and there’s a nice little homage to Jason Aaron‘s first Wolverine and the X-men story, which I enjoyed . The 2nd month of Battle of the Atom is off to a strong start, and I can’t wait for Chapter 7 to drop on the eve of NYCC.

Superior_Foes_of_Spider-Man_Vol_1_4_Textless

 Superior Foes of Spider-Man #4

Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber

Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages

Superior Foes continues to impress, as the Sinister 5 run into the Heroes for Hire, and things do not go well for our leads. Which is good, because they’re villains and they’re not supposed to have good things happen to them, right? I may be confused about that.

Spencer and Lieber are still firings on all cylinders here, and 4 issues in, we can see/enjoy a few fantastic running gags these 2 have established. If you would have told me that Boomerang was going to be one of the breakout characters of 2013 before this book dropped, I would have laughed at you. Now I couldn’t agree that statement anymore, although I do have some love for the female Beetle as well. And if you’re expecting some nods to Luke Cage and Shocker’s run in the Thunderbolts, you’ll get it. And the 2nd half of this book is fantastic, fleshing out Boomerang a ton, only to throw a hilarious black-humor swerve on the final page. Again, if you like Hawkeye and Daredevil or B/C-list villains you need to be reading this. book.

 

9780785166580_p0_v2_s260x420

Avengers Arena Volume 2: Game On

Dennis Hopeless, Kev Walker, Jason Gorder and Riccardo Burchielli

Marvel, $15.99, collecting issue #7-12

The 2nd collection of Avengers Arena answers several questions the ultra violent series raised in the first volume, all of which are brilliant in their own ways. But then several more are raised,  delivering a twist that could change how we’ve all looked at the series this far. Hopeless is blessed with 3 different and VERY talented artists for this volume, all who maintain a fairly similar art styles, which is nice if you’re a fan of consistency. And with most 2nd tier/new characters being used, it’s nice that the stakes in this death game still remain high. Marvel’s teasing a 2nd season of this title under a new name (which should be revealed at NYCC this week). Possibly the most violent Marvel title not being published under the MAX label, Avengers Arena remains a delight, assuming you don’t mind a book with high body count.

 

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I have bought some comics, one of them is called Hawkeye.

Before we get into the reviews, I just wanna give a thank you shout-out to Loran/Solphie, who’s time at FPNYC has come to an end. I wish her all the luck out in California, and thank her for her many years of writing about giant robots for us.

So a book I forgot to mention last week that’s worth your time is The Superior Foes of Spider-Man by Nick Spencer ( Morning Glories, Secret Avengers) and Steve Lieber ( Hawkeye, Underground), which a cool update of the ” Blank Foes of Spider-Man” mini series from the 90s. One of things I liked about this book was the fact that Spencer made sure to point out that these guys are STILL villains in the debut issue, and that’s something that isn’t going to change. There’s shades of a Brubaker crime book in this issue, but make no mistake, Spencer does not shy away from the fact that this book takes place in the Marvel Universe. The script is great for a debut issue, introducing this cast of B & C-list Spider-villains and throws in a few neat plot twists along the way. It’s also insanely funny at times, which makes the villains a tad more likeable, even though some of that humor is DARK. Lieber’s art is fantastic, and his style is very much in the vein of Aja on Hawkeye and Samsee on Daredevil. SFoSM is  the type of quirky book that Marvel’s been famous for as of late, and it’s a welcome addition to the already strong Spider-Man family of books.

Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend return to Uncanny X-Men this week, and I couldn’t be happier. Frazier Irving is a hell of an artist, but Bachalo owns the visual end of thisbook, and issue 10 is proof of this. Bachalo is an artist I usually associate with big-booming splash pages and double spread, but here he’s channeling his inner Steranko, with a dash of J.H Williams, and gives us some interesting panel work and layouts, not to mention some great use of white space. And his Magik is THE BEST, no one denies this. His pencils and Townsend’s inks stands over even better than to his own coloring, giving the final product an awesome look worthy of one of Marvel’s flagship titles. It kind of makes me wish Uncanny was bi-monthly, so that Bachalo wouldn’t need a guest artist every other arc. Bendis bounces back from the last arc strong as well, giving us a surprisingly dense script with some great character development. Despite the deceiving cover (a Bendis trademark), Uncanny X-Men is a great read, and I’m really curious as to how things are going to play out.

The crown jewels of Steve Wacker’s line of Marvel books both shipped this past week, and Daredevil and Hawkeye this month have a lot more in common than just an editor.  Both books are missing the artists usually associated with the title, but neither of them suffer for it. DD’s colorist Javier Rodriguez takes over for Chris Samsee as a guest artist for this arc, and while he’s not as gifted as Samsee is, the book still looks great. Mark Waid has written a nice little 1st chapter in a 2 parter that’s not an intense as the previous arc, but still a fantastic read, and a ton of fun (which is kind of a given looking at that cover). Then again Waid hasn’t written a bad issue yet on this book, so this come as no surprise really.

Meanwhile over in Hawkeye, Francesco Francavilla returns to help Matt Fraction introduce a new supporting cast member to the book, not to mention setting the record for the use of “Bro” and “Seriously in a single panel. I know the former may not sound impressive if you’re not reading the book, but I assure you, it is. Francavilla was done no favors having to follow up Aja’s amazing Pizza Dog issue, but he delivers in spades, telling a excellent story that blends tragedy, action and humor. While this issue isn’t as groundbreaking as the last one on technical or storytelling level, which is a bit of an unfair comparison, it STILL is one of the best book on the stands, getting the 2nd year of the book off to a great start.  (( Also worth noting is that the 2nd collection just dropped 2, which y’all need to get on.) This was definitely a Marvel-heavy pull week,  but it doesn’t matter to me who’s publishing what when the books are so good.

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