Detective Comics #1047 – Review


THE TOWER, PART ONE / HOUSE OF GOTHAM, CHAPTER ONE 

“The Tower” begins! The 12-part weekly Detective Comics event starts here. Arkham Asylum has fallen, and in its place, Arkham Tower has risen in the heart of the city, a pitch made by the mysterious Dr. Wear. Unlike the Asylum, Dr. Wear promises his methods and drug treatments will heal Gotham’s criminally inclined for good—a claim that skeptics like Deb Donovan and the Bat-Family don’t believe. There’s something wrong with the tower, with Dr. Wear’s methods—and with Batman away from Gotham City, the rest of the Bat-Family is going to find out what…but not before everything explodes. Written by critically acclaimed author Mariko Tamaki, continuing her incredible Detective Comics run, and drawn by DC Comics legend Ivan Reis

PLUS! “House of Gotham” begins! For a long time two houses have overlooked Gotham City, beckoning its broken: Wayne Manor and Arkham Asylum. In this epic 12-part backup story, writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Fernando Blanco will explore the impact that Batman and Arkham Asylum have had on the city…through the eyes of a boy whose life was changed forever by The Joker one dreadful night early in the Dark Knight’s career!’



The Thing #1 – Review

This is really good comic. Writer Walter Mosley and artist Tom Reilly pack so much into the thirty-two pages that’s instantly worth reading it again and again!

The Thing #1 (1/6)

Written by Walter Mosley
Art by Tom Reilly
Colour Art by Jordie Bellaire

Released November 2021
Published by Marvel Comics

Join Ben Grimm, or The Thing to use his professional name in a new six-part solo series entitled The Next Big Thing. Set away from the Fantastic Four’s present continuity, somewhen in the team’s past, this is something to be enjoyed on its own, without the need for a ‘previously on’ recap button.   

And I hope you do enjoy it. Because I thought it was fantastic! There, got my verdict in early…

This is really good comic. Writer Walter Mosley and artist Tom Reilly pack so much into the thirty-two pages that are instantly worth reading it again and again. It’s got a bit of everything, action, humor, super-hero hijinks, and a surprising amount of horror. Presumably, the kitchen sink will be in issue two.

But mostly it’s full of character. Mosley and Reilly combine to capture all sides of Ben’s personality, from his big heart to his big temper. Reilly’s cartoon-style art is incredibly expressive and perfect for capturing the range of emotions on The Thing’s rocky exterior. However, the standout theme is one of loneliness and melancholia. Despite his positivity and can-do attitude, Ben is still a man forever trapped in the body of a rock-skinned monster. Although it’s his jealousy and not his appearance that is the biggest obstacle to love and happiness.

Ben returns home from a few days fishing, ever-lovin’ and ready for some company only to find the Baxter building empty and the rest of the FF and girlfriend Alicia away being busy or having fun. Ben is out of the loop and reunions will have to wait. It’s the first touch of sadness but there’s more to come.

The reunions don’t go well. Ben’s jealousy and temper get the better of him and he ends up getting arrested by the superhero police. The prison sequence is great fun, locked up with the Avenger Hercules (who’s hungover) in an unbreakable cell. It’s proper superhero daftness and it’s a joy to watch them break out.

Bailed out by his teammates and dumped by Alicia, Ben is offered the chance to join an intriguing new dating agency. Reluctant at first but loneliness and bad dreams change his mind. There’s a lovely scene where Ben has to fill out a character questionnaire form and has to be thoughtful and honest with himself. In fact, every page seems to have a lovely moment or surprising detail in it that elevates everything to another level.

Sometimes it’s just a panel, like the look of regret on Reed Richard’s face unable to ease his friend’s pain. Other times it’s the whole page. Ben walking alone through the cavernous fairy-tale Baxter Building surrounded by wonders, a Beast minus his beauty. I could list a dozen other special moments.

Meanwhile, there’s a horrifying new villain called MOT stalking the streets and dreams of New York. A death-like figure is able to reach into a person and pull out their heart, corrupt it, and then put it back in. MOT’S sequences add an unexpected strain of horror to the story. There’s some strong imagery and nasty violence (and the consequences of violence, which is refreshing). However, there’s nothing gratuitous. Like everything else in this comic, its pitched just right.

Finally, Ben starts a new day with a message in his inbox and he’s off to meet someone new. A positive ending on what’s been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. 

Then the wall explodes. Roll on issue two.


Verdict.

See above. Superb storytelling and great art, a really strong exploration of the character, and packed with lovely moments. These guys really know their Thing!


Review by Ross Kelly


The Amazing Spider-Man #84 – Review

This comic gave me everything I wanted. A hero and villain fight, character development, sharp humor, and a great cliffhanger.

Amazing Spider-man #84

Written by: Cody Ziglar
Artwork by: Paco Medina
Published by Marvel
Released – 5/1/22

THE DOCTOR IS IN!

Otto Octavius makes his sinister return in this issue of The Amazing Spider-man, but is he really such a bad guy? Yeah, he kind of is. However, the real question is: are Beyond worse?

Somehow, Doc Ock manages to slip into Beyond’s offices without tripping any mental alarms in the employees, it’s only when the turtle man (only people who read issue 80 will get that epic reference, and if you didn’t, there’s always my review on this very website you can skim through!) spots his ginormous octopus arms that they realise that they have an A-list supervillain in their office! It’s just a small thing, but the fact they put the turtle man back in the book as a cute little reference is a really nice touch and I can’t tell whether to feel rewarded for reading all these Spider-man comics or sad for paying so much attention, but screw you, Spider-man’s awesome.

So we end up getting another one of those flashbacks with Uncle Ben, where he has a webbed hole in his face, this is about the 4th one I think? And once we jump out of it, it just turns out to be Ben in therapy with Doctor Kafka, who, by the way, keeps on getting younger? Like seriously, if you guys go and look at her earlier appearances in the ’90s and 00’s she even has some white in her hair but over the years, she’s reverted into a 20 something-year-old, what’s up with that? Anyway, we check in on Janine as she and Ben appear to be going out for dinner which is a welcome touch as it shows the readers that these two are ACTUALLY dating, it’s something they haven’t actually done too much with Pete and MJ in recent years, it just makes it feel more authentic when they actually do stuff together instead of just being around each other a lot.

Cody Ziglar seems to have his strong suit set in character realism, in the past few issues he’s written of Spidey, we feel like these people are like us, and not just immortal gods that continue to be caught in an infinite loop of fighting super-powered enemies. Well, we would feel that way if Ben didn’t immediately get dragged into Beyond’s offices to fight Doc Ock! Before he goes though, he has to part with Janine and every scene that these two are in together makes me love them (agape style, not literally), and it kind of breaks my heart that this story is going to end in just 3 months time, I’m going to miss the couple and hopefully if they’re not dead in a Ditch by the end of this saga, they’ll get their own book someday? One can dream.

Octavius has taken Beyond staff hostage as he tries to attain Beyond’s central hard drive with all of the big, bad Intel on the company, let’s just call this the McGuffin of this book. Once Ock gets inside, he also gets a fantastically drawn Spider-man’s foot to the face as Ben shows up to tackle Otto for the first time since the clone saga, and even then it was his female counterpart so this is quite a cool sight to behold. Ock tells Ben that he’s only here for the info and things are looking up when Spidey slaps a mega cool anti-Doc-ock device on Octavius which causes his arms to go limo (insert funny ED joke here). But at this moment, in an incredibly cool moment. Ock just removes his metal companions and destroys Spider-man, using the control panel to barrage him with bullets and sonics, so this just in, Doctor Octopus just whooped Spider-man’s tooshie without his tentacles! And modern marvel veteran Paco Medina makes this brawl look astonishingly sleek, his Spidey looks so fluid and insect-like, he really sells the fast movement of the character and makes it look stunning as he does it.

Ben awakens to Marcus and Maxine Danger, the high up, scary boss of Beyond who assigns Ben to retrieve the Mcguffin at all costs, Ben continues to have problems with Beyond, or at least Maxine’s handling of it, but can’t rebel in fears of giving up his life and Janine’s freedom from prison and so his part in this issue ends with him accepting his mission. On the other hand, Octavius is far from done causing trouble for Beyond because THEY have assumed all of Parker Industries, the company Otto formed during his time as Spider-man (confused? Pick up Superior Spider-man!). His gauntlet begins once this book ends with him storming Beyond tower!


This comic gave me everything I wanted. A hero and villain fight, character development, sharp humor, and a great cliffhanger. Ziglar and Medina make a fantastic team and I’m twitching to get my next fix of two men with animal-based identities fighting about a company that stole one of their businesses assets (which they built whilst they had control of the other’s mind)! Come back into the Spidey corner soon when I blabber on about that for a few paragraphs.

8/10


Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst on 23/1/22