The Amazing Spider-Man #83 – Review

Pat Gleason does a fine job as the sole storyteller on this issue of The Amazing Spider-man and that’s worth commending. Well done beyond team!

The Amazing Spider-Man #93

Written and drawn by Patrick Gleason
Published by Marvel Comics
Released – 29/12/21

This issue of the Amazing Spider-man is a special one! Beyond board member/artist Patrick Gleason takes on scribing duties as well as art on this book. A story of heroic success and rising above his enemies…is not the story told in these pages, well, it kind of is actually…

Janine Godbe, Ben Reilly’s loveable girlfriend stares at a highly advanced screen sprawling headlines with Spider-man’s name across them as she sits in a pool. This scene, by the way, us about as much as we see from the Reilly side of the Spider-family. She talks to (guess who?) Marcus on the phone and then wanders off. Not a needed scene, but it’s good the book tries to keep intertwined with both Spider-men in the same issue instead of drawing away from the main arc.

Next thing we know, we’re in the hospital where Peter Parker, who has apparently totally forgotten about the crazy monster that tried to EAT him last issue, is being scolded for not being up to physical therapy. Luckily, these last couple of issues Peter’s been getting a lot better to the point where he can stay conscious and even be able to walk. Once the doctor leaves, however, his Spider-sense sets off and goes crazy, the imagery in this scene is pretty darn cool and Switches up the colorist to the renowned Nathan Fairburn who makes the scene look flatter but insanely vibrant and beautiful as Spider-man falls through his own brain. We get some more awesome imagery as a spider literally breaks through Peter’s face and a Spider-man-like creature walks out of his head (yep) into the distance.

Sometime after, the nurse once again confronts Peter about his physical therapy and she’s told he’s up to it as she hands him a package. Inside the package is an old, tattered Spidey-stume from, as the comic states, 2007?! That would mean that Spider-man has been Spider-man for at least 15 years. So that means that if we take into account that Spider-man was 15 when he became the web-slinger, he is now AT LEAST 30 YEARS OLD! THAT’S ANCIENT!!! (apologies to any readers in their 30’s and up, you aren’t THAT old). In my mind, Spider-man should be no older than 25-26, that’s not too young to be married or even have a kid and he’d still be considered young in the grand scheme of things (again, no shame for people in their 30’s, you’re in your bodies physical prime, enjoy it whilst it lasts!). unfortunately, however, his age does fit into marvel’s sliding timescale ratio, being that 4 years in real-time is one year in the marvel universe, so considering Spider-man turns 60 this year, dividing that by 4 we do actually get 15 years.

Sorry for my rantings but I just wish Marvel could do some sort of reset to make the characters younger, they have to do something at some point, or else in another 60 years Spider-man’ll be walking his kids down the aisle, which is not cool (or it could be, perhaps in an alternate universe). Aaaaaanyways, this is the point where marvel deems this the biggest Spider-man moment in years, that is, Peter Parker getting acknowledged in action!

Lounging on a skyscraper wearing a gown and slippers, he spots his first criminals of the night, a couple of star-crossed lovers who’ve just robbed a bank. Just a little side note, in this scene in particular l, the dialogue sounds a little janky and unnatural, I’m not sure how far Gleason’s writing career extends but some of the speech doesn’t sound like how a person would speak. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Tarantino characters sound totally weird but it works for the narrative, but this however was just a few errors that could have been ironed out. VERY if it sounds like I’m being a downer but that’s my biggest complaint with this issue and it’s VERY minor which should give you an indication on how good this issue is. Spider-man lands on the hood of the thieves car and as he prepares to shoot his web, his web shooter starts playing toy sounds, with Peter understanding the seller he had bought it from had reworked it to be a toy, and gets hit full force by the car as it thrusts into the wall, then taking a huge beating from the couple who would’ve been slim pickings a few weeks ago in Spidey’s life.

By some divine intervention, Captain America, an avenger who is likely busy with saving the world, just happens to be hanging around a New York car park and saves Spider-man from the terrible clutches of two Bank robbers! One of the robbers ends up shooting a bullet directly at Spidey’s head when it’s diverted by Captain America’s shield! However, in a moment that ca  only be summed up in the word “ooooooooffoowweech!” Spider-man gets totally spangled on the dome with America’s symbol of heroism. Aaaaand that was the end if Spider-man’s short-lived super-heroine return. Another dream sequence occurs where uncle Ben has a wholesome chat with Peter about heroes and that Spider-man looking creature from before emerges when a young Peter calls out the webheads name as the spindly figure lunges at him, he turns into Spider-man and bats the creature away and the issue ends with Peter waking up, crying NEVER!


Did this issue have one of the biggest Spider-man moments ever? Not really, on the other hand though, it was a really solid, action-packed issue with various qualities of coloring and one of the funniest Spider-man scripts in a while, this book did make me chuckle a couple times. Pat Gleason does a fine job as the sole storyteller on this issue of The Amazing Spider-man and that’s worth commending. Well done beyond team!

8/10


Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst on the 18/1/22



Venom #1 – Review

Immortal Hulk scribe Al Ewing teams up with fellow British comic veteran Bryan Hitch to weave an all new, exciting saga in VENOM!

Venom #1

Written by: Al Ewing

Artwork by: Bryan Hitch

Published 10/11/21 by Marvel Comics

A NEW ERA OF VENOM STARTS NOW! OR MAYBE IN THE FUTURE!

Immortal Hulk scribe Al Ewing teams up with fellow British comic veteran Bryan Hitch to weave an all new, exciting saga in VENOM!

After the events of King In Black, Eddie Brock is now the god of the symbiotes and is able to transfer is mind through any symbiote he wishes to complete his new intergalactic duties whilst he resides back on earth, ll. In the meantime, Eddie’s son, Dylan has taken up the mantle of Venom aswell as getting into multiple brawls at school: threatening his place there. To make matters worse, Dylan barely sees his father anymore since he’s out saving the universe up in space. So when he finally gets to have some time with his dad again, you’d think it’d be a happy occurrence but instead, Eddie gives Dylan a call after they had a disagreement except that this wasn’t the same Eddie. He tells Dylan that the one in his house is NOT his father and that he should meet the REAL Eddie at a motel some other place in town.

After this we cut to Space. Where our new god of the Klyntar investigates a ship that’s possibly been taken over by some skull looking robbers. Eddie’s got with him a group of four symbiotes (assigned the names John, Paul, George and Ringo [ha ha]). Everything goes just swell until Eddie gets a telepathic message from “George”. Once he traces the message to its source he finds the crew of the ship, Slaughtered, with George stood on top of them with red eyes. He then says he brings a message from the future and that he won’t have a seat on the throne for much longer before crumbling to dust.

Now we return to earth. Dylan packs his things and makes his way to the motel with sleeper (another symbiote that has taken the form of a cat). Eddie sits in his room and questions himself. He thinks that if he can go anyWHERE he wants, why can’t he go anyWHEN? And so in a split second, he slips through time and space, and us faithful readers get some epic glimpses of what’s to come this volume. We see images of Kang the Conqueror, a venom hand where the fingers are…candlesticks? And a new character that looks an awful lot like Toxin called Bedlam. Very cool stuff.

As Dylan approaches the motel it EXPLODES as the police (?) Attack and VENOM IS UNLEASHED. The art in this sequence is really great, when I heard Bryan Hitch was going to be on the book I was worries it wouldn’t be quite a fit but I was totally wrong, it. Is . Awesome! In particular this super-sweet double splash pictured below. As venom continues to battle the police, Eddie is fine as he shifted through time before the room exploded. He ends up in a beautiful place with purple trees and red mountains. A voice appears, it tells Eddie not to talk, it would be impossible whilst his atoms reform and introduces himself as Meridius, welcoming Eddie to his “garden” at the end of time.


VERDICT

So wow, this is a lot to unpack. Dylan Brock is now venom, Eddie is protector of the universe, not only that but he is currently confronted by an unknown being at the end of time itself. When I put it lime that it sounds crazy, which is good because I don’t want to read a venom comic book that isn’t crazy. I had a lot of fun reading this book and I got a certain feeling, it’s like that feeling you get from a movie like fight club or a game like the last of us, you just don’t want to leave! It’s so interesting that you just want more, and unlike those pieces of media, Venom comes out every month. It features solid writing with just the right amount of angst and fantastically intricate artwork. Buy it! It’s good!


Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst on 20/11/21

King Spawn #1 Review

King spawn number one has arrived! The most anticipated spawn book since 1992 is here and it sure lives up to the disturbing nature it’s famously set for the last 30 years…


KING SPAWN #1
Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst

Written by: Sean Lewis
Artwork by: Javi Fernandez, Stephen Segovia, Marcio Takara, Phillip Tan and Brett Booth
Published by Image Comics
Released – 25/8/21

King spawn number one has arrived! The most anticipated spawn book since 1992 is here and it sure lives up to the disturbing nature it’s famously set for the last 30 years. The book contains five stories, so guess what? That’s right, we’re going through them all, one by one. Strap in!

The first is a (slightly disturbing) story about some cultists who murder children. Yep. Spawn is caught in the midst of this discovers the existence of a man(?) Named Metatron and sets out to of course stop him. Little does he know that this horrifying series of events is bigger than he can fathom and next thing he knows…. Megaton is quite dead. Murdered, even (in a pretty gruesome fashion). Turns out the big man behind the whole kid killing thing is none other than new York’s own resident serial killer turned evil hell-being: Billy Kincaid! In case you aren’t in the know, Kincaid is one of spawn’s earliest villains. The story is particularly traumatising and involves the disgusting evil-doer parading as an ice cream man and terrifying children all around. Eventually spawn saves the remaining children and puts an end to Billy’s reign of horror (permanently). He was revealed to be alive about a year ago after being presumed dead for nearly thirty.
This stories art is pretty solid, Javi Fernandez delivers on some form fitting Spawn art, scratchy with a pseudo realism style and it works. Spawn looks great but there are sections where it looks a little like it was traced over 3d models but so did Szymon Kudranski and Jason Shawn Alexander’s work. Sean Lewis’ writing is as good as it can be and I didn’t notice any weird, awkward pieces of dialogue. Moving on!

The second story was the one I was most excited about. Its the return of HAUNT!!! The character (created by Kirkman and McFarlane) was completely forgot about almost a decade ago, he’s a priest who is bonded with a symbiote and sent on missions by his dead military brother, that’s the basic gyst anyways. So this new story didn’t give put too much but at least we know he’s still around. He’s pinned to a wall jesus style with knives by the redeemer and then told about his involvement with heaven and hell, its basically a nice little check up on the character with some pretty amazing art by Stephen Segovia. To the next one!

Nightmare is a story I won’t linger on too much. It’s kind of gross and disturbing and is very, very short. The artwork by Marcio Takara is usually very nice and bright but here it makes we want to run into the nearest wardrobe and lock myself in for a month or two.

The story focuses on a Spawn? (Not exactly sure which one). Killing a couple guys in a particularly non-pleasant fashion and then it ends. “Nightmare” was for sure the right title to choose for this section.
“the hero” is kind of weird. It involves an angel brutally murdering a bunch of gangsters. The child of one of said gangsters comes back to see all the dead men and the redeemer looking guy who tells the kid HE did it and that they are basically one. He also reveals the child’s father is alive. Father and son reunjte. Angel leaves. Spawn looms. The end. The artwork in this portion is sensational and illustrated by spawn vet Phillip Tan and looks stunning in the parts without decapitated heads.

The last story is a continuation of the gunslinger back up featured in spawn’s universe. It’s pretty damn solid and gets the reader pumped for the next ongoing spawn title coming in October (which will be available to pre order from this lovely website if it isn’t already) Brett Booth really knocks jt out of the park here.


Verdict

In summary, King Spawn is a grisly and disturbing read that any hardcore fan of the franchise will surely get a kick out of. It isn’t for everyone but it’s certainly fitting of the spawn title and dishes out some real entertainment any comic reader will appreciate.

8/10


Review by Leo Brocklehurst on 5/8/21

Batman #110 Review

The pairing of artist, Jorge Jimenez, with colourist, Tomeu Morey, works wonders in bringing Tynion’s compelling study on societal fear to life…


Writer: James Tynion IV

Art: Jorge Jimenez (“The Cowardly Lot Part Five”) and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz (“Ghost-Maker Chapter 4”)

Colours: Tomeu Morey (“The Cowardly Lot Part Five”) and Romulo Fajardo Jr. (“Ghost-Maker Chapter 4”)

Published by DC Comics Released: 06/07/21

Review by Bryan Lomax


I stated in my review for the previous issue that I came into James Tynion’s story, “The Cowardly Lot”, somewhat late, but that I filled in the blanks with a quick search on the internet. Since then, I have gone back and read issue #106-#107, and I would highly recommend everyone doing the same if you haven’t already. Issue #107, in particular, really tells us who the character of Miracle Molly is, and what she stands for, in a way that makes me care for whether or not she will get out of the predicament we find her in by the end of issue #110. It also dives deep into the main themes of Tynion’s overarching story, adding more weight to events that happen in the current issue.

That theme is fear or, more to the point, societal fear. Tynion is asking, “where does that fear come from, why do we allow ourselves to be held prisoner by it and who stands to gain something from it?” The Scarecrow is obviously the perfect villain from Batman’s rogues gallery with which to explore that theme. But it’s still unclear as to where he fits into it all. Is he being used or is he the mastermind behind all that is happening in Gotham?

Then we have Simon Saint and his Peace Keeper program. Saint represents a threat that uses fear to achieve an agenda. And, while that agenda may ultimately be based on noble ideals, it’s execution reveals a complete lack of trust in the people it would supposedly serve. It is therefore no more than a vain attempt at making a play for power and control, marking Saint out as a true villain.

We have former Arkham security guard, Sean Mahoney, who takes up the frontman position of Saint’s Peace Keeper force. He represents much of what so many people today fear, particularly in the US, as their country becomes more and more divided, seemingly heading towards totalitarianism. If Gotham was to embrace Saint’s Peace Keepers then it might as well change its name to Mega City One.

The scary thing about Miracle Molly and the Unsanity Collective is that everything they say about the definitions of “sane” and “insane” and who gets to decide upon them makes for quite a convincing argument. The greatest system of control, Tynion argues, is fear and we are all caught up in it. But those who do not fear anything, such as Ghost-Maker, are labelled as psychopaths, even though, as this story shows, they might be the only ones we can count on to release us from our own prisons of fear.

These are the things I find myself thinking about as I read this issue, which is all down to the excellent story telling from Tynion. And once again I have to say that I’m really loving the artwork by Jorge Jaminez and the beautifully rich colours by Tomeu Morey.

I’m still not quite as keen on the artwork for the “Ghost-Maker” origin story, now in its fourth chapter, which kind of feels like Tynion is setting up a rogues gallery for his creation, that he can then use as a starting point, should the character get his own series. Beyond that there’s not much to complain about and I eagerly await the next issue.


Verdict –

The pairing of artist, Jorge Jimenez, with colourist, Tomeu Morey, works wonders in bringing Tynion’s compelling study on societal fear to life.


Review by Bryan Lomax, 17/07/21