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Last Weeks Pulls (Week of 1/26/22)

I’d actually intended to talk this week about Nick Spencer’s run on Spider-Man last year. About how much I really appreciate him and his contributions to continuity. The man knows his stuff, and fixed one of the greatest problems in Spider-Man continuity, specifically that of the Stacy twins. But he also added in some new twists both with Mephisto and his relationship to Spider-Man on a grander scale, as well as the curse he laid on the Osbornes and how that figures into the whole overarching mythology. Good stuff. Pity it’s so gloomy and the read was such a downer. I’m glad I saw these changes made, but I didn’t enjoy reading it… And that’s really what you’re going to Spider-Man for isn’t it?

Transitioning into this new “beyond“ story line featuring Ben Riley taking over for Spidey again… I mean it’s just the aftermath of the clone saga again mixed in with a dash of corporate superhero themes that I’ve already seen a thousand times in both the Avengers and Youngblood. And of course, we’ve gotta find a good excuse for REAL Spidey to be out of the way, so radiation poisoning and hospitalization will keep Peter Parker tucked in a hospital bed until we need him again, right?

In Amazing Spider-Man 87, Peter is actually up and about. In fact, we’re going into something more of a learning curve storyline. Peters doing the superhero equivalent physical therapy, with black cat and Captain America trying to train him back up to Spider-Man levels of skill. I feel like I should hate this, but actually…

One of the big problems I feel Spider-Man has developed is we’ve lost a lot of what makes Spider-Man unique. There’s a plethora of various clones and copycats and spider people running around now. It’s not just SpiderGwen or Miles Morales, at one point during that Spencer run, we had both of them as well as Silk, and red Spider Woman and black Spider Woman and a couple others I didn’t recognize all doing stuff in the same story… There really wasn’t even enough room for Peter, much less any of his actual supporting cast. Thing is, the best superheroes are really enhanced and uplifted by their supporting caste people the ordinary, unpowered folks that surround them, and the more I read of modern Spider-Man the more I miss that. Stories with Mary Jane and Flash and Harry hanging out. JJJ and Robbie Robertson and Betty Brant up at the Bugle, Aunt May back home sharing the latest gossip from Anna Watson. Spider-Man had a rich and colorful supporting cast and I feel like they’ve been pushed out. That’s one of the things it was nice to see here. Black Cat was one of the first people that an unconscious Peter responded to in the hospital, and watching her recruit Captain America to help bring Spidey back up to speed… I feel like we’re getting a real Peter Parker story. I feel like we’re getting shenanigans with old friends, not to mention the single best Spider-Man costume ever!

More than anything, I had fun reading this. I haven’t had fun reading I knew Spider-Man comic in a good long while, and this is a welcome return to form.

Interestingly enough, there was a side story released last week as well, black cat and Mary Jane. The Hood showed up to try and force Black Cat to retrieve his lost hood and cloak… The source of his power. Otherwise he’s going to kill Peter and Mary Jane. Black Cat agrees, and demands MJ goes with her. She suggests that she’s part of the crew. It’s all a bluff to get Mary Jane out of danger, figuring that even in his incapacitated state, Peter’s spider sense will go off if he’s in any real peril and he’ll be able to take care of himself. What unfolds next is a really great one shot adventure. Equal parts heist, con, and superhero romp. MJ and Black Cat have a surprising amount of chemistry together, and again, it’s this supporting cast thing… It really plays well. Another title that I am surprised I liked so much.

A book I wasn’t surprised I liked last week was Human Target. Tom Kings actually doing a great job on this, and he and his artist have figured out how to handle Christopher Chance. They’re telling the story almost with a 40s and 50s detective throwback flare. Don’t get me wrong, this is firmly set in 2022, and really well meshed into the DC universe, especially the Justice League International that I remember so fondly from the 90s. But Chance himself has the swagger of a James Cagney, and the burgeoning romance between him and Ice has been surprisingly charming.

With the first issue being the actual job, standing in for Lex Luthor to prevent an assassination attempt and ending a poisoning, Chance is four issues in now to trying to figure out who it was it slipped the poison into Luthors drink… The poison that’s slowly killing Chance. I generally like the Human Target. Everybody has a different take on him, but this one may just work the best for me. It’s true to the character, and it’s still a nice travelogue through the DC universe.

I’d probably be remiss if I didn’t mention superman 78, which ended last week. And I’ve gotta admit… I want more. I get that this is necessarily just a six issue miniseries, never meant to go on any further, but man, I’d love to see a whole i’d probably be remiss if I didn’t mention Superman 78, which ended last week. And I’ve gotta admit… I want more. I get that this is necessarily just a six issue miniseries, never meant to go on any further, but man, I’d love to see a whole collection of miniseries like this. The story never stopped entertaining me from beginning to end, and has just enough fan service to keep me delighted, while maintaining A sense of the Superman that I really recognize. It’s not even that it’s specifically that Christopher Reeve Superman, it’s just the good old-fashioned, Boy Scout, big blue, big red “S” Superman. It’s a traditional, late 70s 80s portrayal, sort of thing that still bled into the late 80s and 90s John Byrne Superman that I really connect with. I’m waiting for this collection to come out in a trade so that I can swap out my individual issues for one big book. It’s very possibly my favorite thing to come out last year…

Well with the exception of Jeffrey the land shark of course!



3 responses

  1. I think I’d grabbed only the first couple issues of Superman ’78. Glad to hear it’s good throughout…I’ll definitely be watching for the collected volume (probably same for Batman ’89).

    Love Jeff the Land Shark!

    January 31, 2022 at 5:55 PM

  2. Pingback: Last week’s pulls (week of 2-9-22) | Argo City Comics

  3. Pingback: Last Week’s Pulls, Week of 3-1-23 | Argo City Comics

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