Alien #5 – Review

This arc is beginning to show that they might be investing in more action-based plots than horror, but with a view to creating a bit of new Alien lore and reveals.

Alien #5

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson 
Artist: Salvador Larroca

Colorist: Guru-eFX 

Published by Marvel Comics
Released – Sept 2021

Wow! This INHYUK LEE cover is an absolute stunner. I don’t care that it doesn’t resemble anything the “Alpha” or Alien drone looks like in the comic itself. It’s action, its terror and it is bursting through glass and the cover to attack at a frightening speed.

I love it, and I also love that it detracts from the pretty underwhelming Alpha we were introduced to in the last issue. It offers the promise that, although Marvel has failed to fully grab the reigns of the new Alien franchise, it can attract a wide range of influence from the House of Mouse (Disney) and the undoubted talent it might lure to the fold.

I actually quite enjoyed this issue especially when I gave it a read before the review write-up so as not to write it on first impression. My first impression was actually pretty good too though! . I chewed through it and found it entertaining. I think previous issues had helped me lower my expectations and increased my acceptance of the new audience that Marvel is trying to include and their approach to overseeing this current story. This arc I think is beginning to show that they might be investing in more action-based plots than horror but with a view to creating a bit of new Alien lore and reveals.


We are straight into the action from the start but this is delivered as an introspective insight into Gabe (our main character’s) history. It not only adds character depth it was reminiscent of the good old Dark Horse Comic plots. These few opening pages are pretty impactful and the gravity of the horror that could spread is so well-timed when Johnson writes ” I saw a TIDAL WAVE of living nightmares exploding out of my chest, blanketing the universe ” right before an image of a female resembling humanoid Alien around which there is building mystery and a sense of importance.

We get a nice double-page infographic that helps bring the reader up to speed. The mystery for me here though was that the Alpha Alien depicted was held in the Weyland-Yutani Epsilon station for heaven knows how long and yet with all them scientists not one thought to document things like its size whilst it was in a giant test tube! 


As for the main body of the issue, it’s pretty entertaining and rolls along quite well. Two pairs independently trying to trace against time and the ever-present xenomorph threat to the escape craft with an added little twist at the end. 
I’ve labored in past reviews about Larocca’s Aliens I don’t want to rehash old ground. Suffice it to say the drones particularly still look a bit frozen but I did find myself smiling in satisfaction at the presentation of the center ( stapled ) pages.


Verdict:
The Alien franchise is taking a new and bold direction in this first story arc. his is a solid issue and I looked forward to #6, titled The Beginning.



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



The Swamp Thing #9 – Review

Following the events of ‘In My Infancy’, Ram V and company bring us to a new chapter, ‘Conduit’.

The Swamp Thing #9

Written by: Ram V
Art: Mike Perkins
Colours: Mike Spicer
Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Published by DC Comics
Released -Nov 2021

The cover for issue 9 feels like a promotional poster for a title fight, more so with the tagline ‘Brother vs. Brother’. This continues a vibe established by Mike Perkins and Mike Spicer on the title page of last issue, only here Levi/Swamp Thing faces his brother Jacob as the warped, vengeful perversion of the Green he has become. It’s powerful stuff, exuding the inner turmoil of both characters. Perhaps fight promoters ought to be approaching these guys to do some poster work…

Following the events of ‘In My Infancy’, Ram V and company bring us to a new chapter, ‘Conduit’. Part one opens on Jennifer Reece (Levi Kamei’s close friend/love interest) being ‘escorted’ through an imposing facility to meet with the apparent mastermind behind the machinations of the Prescot corporation. Mr. Pilgrim seems to know a lot about her, Levi and the Swamp Thing and, perhaps more dangerously, hints at considerable knowledge of The Green.

We then cut to New York and Levi trying to visit Jennifer, only to discover her missing. What follows is classic Swamp Thing and shows a much more ‘in-tune’, self-assured Levi as he puts his abilities to work tracking Jennifer down.

The story goes from there, with Ram V giving us a matter-of-fact ‘villain’ in Mr. Pilgrim, who goes on to outline his version of the big picture. In his hubris, he is quite unaware of the doom that approaches. It’s not long before chaos unfolds, with Jacob arriving to lay waste to the Prescot site.

As ever, this is a compelling read, initially offering a few moments to breathe following last issue’s action packed, fast paced events. Ram V does a great job of revealing the man behind the curtain while also showing us a more confident Levi alongside a further portrait of his brother, Jacob. The history of Prescot an Mr. Pilgrim’s involvement with Swamp Thing and The Green unfolds over a fascinating and brilliantly executed double page spread; one of many highlights in this issue.

Mike Perkins brings us everything here, from clever use of organic structures as both frames and panel elements through to inventive action and intricately rendered human emotion. His artwork is consistently amazing and is always perfectly complimented by Mike Spicer’s colours, whose palettes guide our subconscious mind as we read. Every colour choice has a purpose, beyond the function of looking good. Spicer makes a lab seem cold, a person seem even angrier, a moment of violence all the more unsettling.

As an interesting side note here on the subject of colours, at a recent panel discussing Swamp Thing, Mike Perkins and Ram V talked about some of the palette used in the title and its predecessors. Apparently, forests and swamps are often rendered in shades of purple so that Swamp Thing can stand out against the backdrop (avoiding a green-on-green mush of confusion). We can see this on not only the cover of issue 9 but in several interior panels as well.


Verdict

From cover to cover, this is an outstanding experience, with one of the best creative teams bringing us one of the best titles. It holds so much for the reader to engage with and gives us characters and events that we actually care about. And after all that, it’s full of cool things that we can check out again and again and say ‘wow’ to. I know I’m a proverbial stuck record on this, but Swamp Thing really is just that good.


Review by Andy Flood, 17/1/22



The Amazing Spider-Man #82 – Review

In previous ‘Beyond’ issues, Peter Parker has been slowly recovering from radiation poisoning and at this point in the beyond storyline, he’s in a very weakened state and can barely remain consciou


The Amazing Spider-man #82

Written by: Saladin Ahmed
Artwork by: Jorge Fornés
Published by Marvel comics
Released – 22/12/21

Spider-Man gets spooky in this oddball issue of the Amazing Spider-Man as writer Saladin Ahmed teams up with eerie artist Jorge Fornés to create a one off, special issue!

In previous ‘Beyond’ issues, Peter Parker has been slowly recovering from radiation poisoning and at this point in the beyond storyline, he’s in a very weakened state and can barely remain conscious for 5 minutes. After being moved out of the ICU , Peter meets a guy in the same ward, after talking to him for only a few moments, a doctor comes and wheels him Away, Fornés manages to use his art create an off-putting tone for the issue by obscuring the doctor and he is helped by the colourist Dan Brown, choosing to use a colder colour pallet in the room.

Being wheeled away, the patient cheerfully says goodbye to Pete as MJ enters the room to visit. Midway through the conversation, the mysterious Doctor, whose face is still hidden tells the wife of the other patient that he was never registered to the hospital, which is evidence enough this Doc is one bad dude. Another nice bit of attention to detail is that the panels showing the outside of the ward displays mostly warm colours, just a nice touch to emphasise the dark, cold feeling of the room. Pete notices the doctors lies but before he can say anything, he falls asleep.

Finally, the doctor enters the page on full display, a grotesque looking man with blood red eyes, it’s such an exciting moment as you see the villain of the story emerge, looking just as you’d expect. Great stuff. The doctor clears MJ out if the room and takes another woman from the ward, unbeknownst to her, his intentions are far more sinister then he let’s on and as she’s wheeled away. Peter tries to stop him but he moves to fast, jolting into pain and fading into unconsciousness. Ahmed is surprisingly good at knowing how to build tension in readers through his storytelling like in a movie when the main character has solved the mystery but is helpless to do anything about it.

When Parker awakens, the doctor decides it’s time to take him away and wheels him through the hospital, taking him to the abandoned -2 level. These pages are riddled with gorgeously morbid images of subtly uncomfortable panels such as The use of shadows the doctor emits which show him to look even more disgusting then he himself does and the Dutch angle shots, symbolising a sense of uneasiness . Once the doctor reaches his destination, he gives some exposition to Peter and shows him a pile of bones (presumably from the other patients) before walking into the darkness to emerge as a giant demon monster thing! In its creepy glory, it prepares to star eating Spider-man as it tells him about its weakness (which is incredibly stupid, I mean c’mon man he’s Spider-man you should know that’s a bad idea even if you don’t know he’s Spider-man). He says that light causes him pain which helps out MJ a lot, who was spying on the pair and flashes the monster with her phone, temporarily stunning it!

Leading him into a room of lights, she manages to set the creature on fire and burn it to a crisp in a particularly horror movie fashion. I just have to mention the colours once again, they make this scene so much more energetic from the moody blues of the abandon corridors to the blinding light of the fire, it’s probably one of the best colour jobs marvel have put out in a while. And sticking to the horror movie tropes, the two treat the whole fiasco like its no big deal and move on.

After that, we get a little epilogue with Misty Knight and Coleen Wing in the sewers, stumbling upon the lizard. This weird little spinoff in the beyond saga is the only part I don’t really understand. I mean, why are they there? I’ve tried to find other books they’re in to try and piece together their involvement but this is it. They just show up in random spots with no explanation. Weird, right?


Overall, this book is a special one, it was a really great one off read with great atmospheric writing, art and colour similar to stylish horror movie from the 70’s. This issue really impressed me and I hope we can get more off shoot stories like this in Spidey’s future. Next time, we stay with Peter in an issue Marvel says contains “on of the biggest moments in Spider-man history!”, Be here!

10/10 (wow!)



Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst on 11/1/22



Top 7 Classic George Perez Comic Covers

We take a look at seven classic George Perez covers.

A dark cloud has been cast up comic fans from all across the globe recently with the sad news of the impending retirement of the great George Perez.

If the retirement were under better circumstances for George then we have no doubt the same bravado would ensue, but alas it is not the case as it has been forced upon him by way of ill health. Tragically, it has become clear that it does not appear to be getting any better and one week ago CGC announced that on the 31st of January, George Perez would be holding one final, all be it private, signing session.

The impact and influence of George’s work upon the industry is legendary, his stories have become timeless classics and perhaps most impressively of all, many of the characters that he either created or redefined are still considered by many to be the definitive or standard setting versions, something that is backed up often in TV/Movie adaptations in recent years.

Comic Book Legend George Perez

This is the start of a short series of articles we will be doing looking at some of our favorite elements from his most popular works. We are looking today at our seven favorite classic covers this time, perhaps an artists best way of becoming a household name of course is doing a classic cover, and George certainly knows how to set us up with something alluring to behold on the shelf, so lets take a look…


#7

Logans Run #1 – (1977)

Perhaps its that totally awesome logo, or that mad dash out of the page that Logan and Jessica are doing in a remarkably Kirby-Kamandi like manner (Michael York-Mandi?), but anyway this cover has imprinted on many a readers memory. A fun little run too, if you like that kind of thing! We do!


#6

The New Teen Titans #1 – (1980)

Iconic to the core. Having all the Titans on the front was always a must, but that badass arrangement around Raven coming towards us as the poor green skinned cannon fodder that’s about to be pummeled would have been an eye catcher for any punter in the shop that day looking for a bit of new DC action.


#5

The Infinity Gauntlet #1 – (1991)

Just look at thing thing… I mean, flash forward thirty odd years and look around at the marketing used for the MCU, the designs on packaging for toys (good ones) and all manner of other things, this really has aged beautifully. Possibly more widely known now that it ever was back in the 90’s, its George’s ability to cram so much, so clearly and without any offence to the eye on any cover that continues to astound today.


#4

Wonder Woman #20 – (1988)

This one may have as much to do with the story than it does the cover art. Without giving much away ‘Who Killed Myndi Mayer’ was a great arc that came at just the right time in the Perez run, with us witnessing Diana’s continuing struggle to find her own moral compass within a confusing new world, and on the back of the grim murder of her eccentric and controversial publicist. This mock newspaper cover was just the right tone needed to carry the story forward, and always sticks out when flicking through the run and brings us to a brief stop, as we pull it out and go “Ah yes… Who was it who killed Myndi again?”


#3

Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 – (1985)

What needs to be said, arguably it doesn’t get more iconic than this. Its always been his most dramatic cover, that’s for sure. First we have that gut wrenching and hopeless pose from Superman, then there is the fact he’s holding his (spoilers) Supergirl, his dead cousin who is drooped in his arms with what on an initial look would be quite graphic injuries for a Superman feature cover from DC 1985. Then finally you have the wave of characters who mourn in the background, silhouetted like an army of the dead. It stinks of failure. Its perfect.


#2

The New Teen Titans #39 – (1984)

There were lots of quality stories going on within the New Teen Titans, but one that was perfectly reflected by its cover was that of issue #39.

Kid Flash, or Wally West rather, formally announces that he is leaving the team and soon after Robin announces that he too is giving up being Robin entirely. It has some subtle emotional twists in the narrative, and despite not being a true classic, it certainly delivers. Much like the cover, which reflects the narrative within really well. You are very much left with an empty feeling, possibly even upset upon finishing the read, and so when turning back to the cover Perez gives us a perfect summery. No background, no jokes, no care or nostalgia for their uniforms at all as Robins costume conveniently hangs rather ominously from the Titans logo. Dramatic indeed.


#1

Wonder Woman #36 – (1989)

I’ve read this run several times and I can’t for the life of me remember what part of the story this covers, however, it matters not. Just look at the cover. Perfectly capturing what feels like the essence of a character in one image. There are loads of brilliant Perez covers in his Wonder Woman run, many with Diana in battle of course, but this one stands out in particular for that incredible expression of harmless joy and the striking angular T pose as she leaps high above her home. This run had its really dark moments, but Perez knew how to treat us with iterations of these characters that we genuinely felt happy for when they were totally happy, and rare times they were indeed. It was the 80’s…



Batgirls #1 – Review

This is a comic that will certainly appeal to younger female readers who will instantly identify with the personalities of the three main characters

BATGIRLS #1

Written by: Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad

Art: Jorge Corona
Released: February 2022

Published DC Comics

Described on DC’s website as “the pizza slumber party you don’t want to miss,” this new six-part series by writers Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad is filled with the kind of energy you’d expect to see at, well, a teenage girls’ slumber party!

Ever since Batgirl Cassandra Cain handed over the reins to Stephanie Brown (who, as Spoiler, kicked back teenage-rebellion-style at her criminal father the Cluemaster), fans have been eagerly awaiting a team-up of the two friends. Under the watchful eye of Barbara Gordon, the three move into an apartment on the outskirts of Gotham, away from the mysterious Seer and, hopefully, any criminals who might test their combined strengths. This being Gotham, it isn’t long until Cass has to take down a gang of thugs, leading her and Steph to a hide-out where they kick butt and face down a group of workmen who appear to be under some kind of hypnotic spell. Throw in a spate of murders and a suspicious looking neighbor, and it looks like the Batgirls’ plans for a discreetly led life are going to be short-lived.

This is a comic that will certainly appeal to younger female readers who will instantly identify with the personalities of the three main characters: in Cass we have the quiet, thoughtful one who won’t take things lying down (a nod to her backstory as a trained child assassin); Steph – dressed in her Spoiler costume — is the impetuous, fun-loving one; while Babs/Oracle is the level-headed leader of the group who tries in vain to keep her two friends from exposing themselves to the criminal underworld. Cloonan and Conrad know what make girls tick (or, for that matter, any teenager whatever their gender): Steph is as enthusiastic about who gets first dibs on the top bunk as she is about accompanying Cass on a crime-fighting night-time excursion, and the comradeship and excitement of three friends moving in together is shown through simple pleasures like sharing meals, goofing off and the freedoms offered by living independently from adult male interference.

As a father of twin 11-year-old daughters, I was completely onboard with this comic; it doesn’t patronise the target audience, the ear for dialogue is deftly tuned in to how teenagers actually speak, and the affection the characters feel for each other is beautifully realised through Jorge Corona’s impressive artwork; he captures the attitudes of the three perfectly, making them recognisable through a series of sideways glances, defiant scowls, and hesitant expectation (in one page, wherein Bab’s excitement at revealing the bat-bikes is matched by Cass and Steph’s disappointment on seeing them, the individual characteristics are illustrated so effectively, the scene would have worked even without dialogue). It’s also to Corona’s credit that he doesn’t resort to the anime-like frenetic expressions (jumping up and down, arms waving, etc.) that can sometimes render teenage characters silly; these three are all-business, albeit with a streak of fun.


But enough of this old man’s ramblings, this is what my daughters had to say about Batgirls #1:

“We liked Cass and Steph the most, and the bit with the bat-bikes was really funny. The story was gripping and the way the girls spoke was really cool, especially Steph’s sarcastic “Decisions, decisions” when Babs offers her a choice of Pot Noods or Pot Noods. Looking forward to the next issue!”


Reviewed by Christopher, Daisy and Robyn Witty


MAKE ANY PURCHASE ON WOWCOMIX.COM AND YOU COULD WIN A YEARS FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN COMIC!

Make ANY purchase between now and new years eve on http://www.wowcomix.com and YOU could WIN a whole years supply of The Amazing Spider-Man comic delivered out to your door each month!


We don’t know if you have heard, but this Spider-man chap is making some waves again this winter with the release of Spiderman: No Way Home, and upon hearing that initial reviews were more than kind (phew) we thought that of all the things we could offer perhaps there might be one or two folk keen on taking the plunge into AMS comics in 2022!

Here is your chance! Make ANY purchase between now and new years eve on www.wowcomix.com and YOU could WIN a whole years subscription of The Amazing Spider-Man comic, with every issue delivered out to your door each month!

We mean, there are worse things you could win, right? And whats more, each copy comes freshly bagged and boarded so that you can keep your copies in nice mint condition for future reading!

We will announce the winner on New Years Day 2022, so that means you have two weeks to get an order in and be in with a chance of being a winner!

So once again, entry is automatic upon purchase of any item and the winner will be chosen at random. Please bare in mind that this competition is only open to those residing in the UK.

See below for a little taster of whats coming in through January/Febuary alone!

Good Luck!

Web of Spider-Man #97 (1993) – Throwback Review

This book features some good, old school, 90’s fun. When everything was going great for the most part, when Spidey was married, Venom and carnage were the coolest guys around and clones weren’t on anybodies mind.

Web of Spider-man (1993) #97 (Retrospective)

Published in 1993 by Marvel Comics
Written by: Terry Kavanagh

Artwork by: Alex Saviux, Derek Yaniger


Welcome to this corner of the Spider-verse, to a time long, long ago. 1993. Horses were still being ridden and the world enjoyed blissful ignorance to the horror show that would be…Coldplay. Also, this issue of Web of Spider-man was released!

Web of Spider-man was the sister in-law to the Amazing Spider-man (the sister series being the spectacular Spider-man). It began in 1985 and for a while there, it was the more artsy Spider-title, featuring incredible ,then upcoming artists like Arthur Adams, Marc Silvestri and Mike Mignola. This was all well and good until issue 35 when artist Alex Saviuk jumped on board. Don’t get me wrong, his art is good and in later issues (around issue 100 and after) even great but his seven year stint on the book made it feel like the lesser Spider-man book on stands. His house style would have been no doubt perfectly adequate in other time period but then the 90’s rolled around. Artists like Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen and Mark Bagely were making waves with their electrifying pencils And even Spectacular Spider-man had legendary marvel artist Sal Buscema on the title leaving Web of Spider-man the weakest series. That’s not to say “Web of” was bad though, the issues before the one being reviewed here were part of the awesome Spirits of Venom storyline which crossed over with the spirits of vengeance book. And a few issues later, the 14 part epic maximum carnage was told in part in the pages of Web of. So with all that context out of the way, let’s get into this issue.


First of all, this issue marks a first appearance, being that of Nightwatch who appears in a weird scene where he introduces himself to some dudes on a beach.
The story is mainly centered around blood rose, the new moniker of…the rose. The issue starts with him taking down some gangsters in a particularly gruesome fashion for a Spider-man book. We then cut to Peter at the doorstep with Betty Brant who has dinner with the Parkers (which, at the time, included Peter’s ‘parents’). Just as a quick side note, this a time where Peter and Mary Jane were married which was the best part of Spider-man comics for about twenty fricking years and they ripped it away from us. WHY MARVEL, WHYYY!!! Sorry about that, just have some issues with Joe Quesada’s at a certain comic book publishers.


Once dinner is finished, Peter is being yelled at by Robbie Robertson when a huge explosion is hears from Fisk towers, Pete suits up and gets caught up in a bloody rampage that blood rose is making. Gunning down men left and right and throwing them out of windows until Spidey intervenes. Rose makes a getaway, or so we think until he shows up behind Spider-man with a hostage! Spidey it’s the hostage in the face with impact webbing (which was pretty funny), making him land on the webbed net outside the tower. Rose shoots at our hero until Spidey can get a couple of punches in when the tower quickly begins exploding and collapsing upon the pair. Outside, bystanders are evacuated as Spider-man breaks through the rubble. Stumbling upon Robbie and also, on a cliffhanger note, the Blood Rose!



This book features some good, old school, 90’s fun. When everything was going great for the most part, when Spidey was married, Venom and Carnage were the coolest guys around and clones weren’t on anybodies mind. The book was by no means bad, but just a little predictable, which is fine. If you have me a trade with 20 issues of Web of I’m sure I’d enjoy it, but then again it wouldn’t rock my world.

Epic Retro mega mono rating: 6/10


Review by Leo Brocklehurst

The Amazing Spider-Man #75 Review

Things look pretty rough for Peter but it makes for one heck of a story!



The Amazing Spider-man #75

Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst

Written by: Zeb Wells 

Artwork by: Patrick Gleason
Released on 6/10/21

Published by Marvel Comics 

BEYOND IS HERE!

So I haven’t been THIS excited for Spider-man in quite a while now, I was hyped when this new run started because we finally got a change up from Dan Slott to Nick Spencer and my favourite artist Ryan Ottley was on the book aswell.

However, as the series progressed, we lost Ryan Ottley (on Spider-man, he is still very much alive) around the halfway point of the run and the plots got a little stale (Kings Ransom and the Chameleon Conspiracy to be specific). The stories were in my opinion, more exciting than the previous run but lacking the constant state of epic-ness and energy that the book had seen before, but now, I think things are finally going to be… amazing (forgive the pun) once again. Let’s dig in!

This time around, the story starts with a young Peter Parker walking the streets of New York with Aunt May, blowing up a piece of gum. Aunt May realises she never bought that for Pete and asks where he got it from, Peter doesn’t understand what he did but said “it felt too easy”. They end up going back to the store and paying the store clerk for the gum and once they get home uncle Ben asks to talk to Peter, giving him a speech about the man who you are in private and that you can’t hide from him. Ben turns around, disfigured by a hole in his face with spiders crawling out of it and we soon discover it was just a dream.

Peter wakes up miserable over Harry’s death (last ish) and decides to go get some fresh air outside, on a specific building where its quiet and solitary, where he has nothing to worry about. I always like little things like this, they communicate to readers that Peter is a human being; he still faces problems and tribulation and has his safe spaces of his own to go to, they really drive home the “everyman” aspect of the character. Once he gets up onto the roof of this building he sees another Spider-man swing past?! Spidey throws a slue of tricks at the imposter but they prove useless; his webs bounce right of the shady character and they run right through the wall Peter pulls down on them. Following that, a spider looking device is deployed and wraps Peter up, allowing the doppelganger to escape. The device tells Peter that he will be let go in an hour and he should use this time to “reflect on his life’s decisions” Which might be the funniest thing I’ve read all year.

The following day, Pete runs into Ben Reilly (who last appeared in Iron man a few years back I believe but I’m sure you’re familiar with the character from the infamous clone saga storyline back in the mid 90’s). They talk in a restaurant and Ben reveals it was him who was running around the night before and that’s what he’s come to talk to  Peter about. The beyond corporation has hired him to be Spider-man after acquiring the trademark to the hero from the now defunct Parker industries (the company Otto Octavius began when he was in control of Peter’s brain, when Peter regained control he totally tanked the company and had to sell off all the assets although he was unaware Otto had trademarked the Spider-man name). Ben came to tell him that he wasn’t asking to be a Spider-man but that he will be, like it or not. After all, they both have the same moral code so its not like you can keep him out of the fight. Peter has no choice but to accept it and they go their own ways.

Ben returns to his penthouse in the beyond tower to his girlfriend Janine, who just got out of prison last issue. There’s a pretty nice moment where they take in just how different their living conditions are now from a few years ago until its interrupted by Reilly’s overseer of sorts to partake in some sort of session.

We cut to later as the (typically hulk villains) U-foes are carrying out a mission when Peter arrives on the scene to stop them, he makes a joke about the stench that X-ray carries when they reply that the joke wasn’t funny the first time when, all of a sudden, Reilly breaks through the debris under him. They team up against the villains and hold their own until X-ray let’s out an explosion of ionising radiation, reducing the area to Rubble; as Ben recovers (due to his radiation proof suit) and goes to re-group with Peter he sees that Pete’s been injured pretty bad and as he falls to the ground and blacks out, the issue ends.

Things look pretty rough for Peter but it makes for one heck of a story! Before I talk about anything else I just want to talk about beautiful wrap around cover by comic book veteran Arthur Adams! This cover was jaw-droppingly gorgeous and the solicited covers for the beyond books look incredible, in other news, I loved this book! Pretty sure this is my favourite issue of Spider-man since the red goblin arc in 2018.




I didn’t realise how much the title was coasting until I came out of it and beyond looks like a non-stop thrill rife and I can’t wait!!! I’m pretty sure they had me in mind when they made the series thrice-monthly if I’m being completely honest. Zeb Wells writing was funny, exciting and did a spot-on job of all the characters personalities and the like although Wells is no newcomer to ASM, he’s done several short stories in other spider-books and scripted the awesome storyline SHED back in 2010 with legendary artist Chris Bachalo. Patrick Gleason’s art in this book is really just brilliant, I love the way he draws Spidey but I just have one teeny, tiny nit-pick on the artwork which is that it can be pretty inconsistent. I double checked and he is the only pencilled on the issue but it looks like it can be two different styles at some points. In parts, peter looks in style with Gleason’s art but in others he looks like a 3-d tracing. It’s the only problem I’ve had with his art, I don’t know whether he gets worn out or if he’s just experimenting with different styles but when that’s my biggest complaint with a comic you know it’s good, it’s sooooo good. BUY IT!


10/10

Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst 14/10/21

Spawn #322 – Review

The latest issue of Spawn is pretty decent, a solid filler issue with criminally good art and good enough plot. The book picks up directly where the last one left us; in a pitch-black city, confronting a monstrous vampire named Paul…

Spawn #322
Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst

Written by: Todd McFarlane

Artwork by: Carlo Barberi
Released 30/9/21

Published by Image Comics

Hi there! You seemed to have stumbled on a review of Todd Mcfarlane’s latest issue of iconic indie comic series Spawn, I hope you enjoy it and remember all the new comics I review here should be available to order through this wonderful website you find yourself on!


The latest issue of Spawn is pretty decent, a solid filler issue with criminally good art and good enough plot. The book picks up directly where the last one left us; in a pitch-black city, confronting a monstrous vampire named Paul who has beaten abused and sexually assaulted a young woman and bore her a child that she can’t take care of under his cruel household. The reason for the city’s darkness is due to Spawn lashing out last issue in rage of Paul’s disgusting crimes and unlike my very cool idea in my last review, there is no epic night war battle (yet).


Paul shoots at Spawn with a shotgun but fails to hurt him and Spawn renders him unconscious. Following that, Spawn saves the young woman and takes her to safety by teleporting to some doctor’s office I’m pretty sure. Paul wakes up 4 days later and needs to feed (being a vampire and all) so Spawn has devised a cruel but justified game for the devilish wimp by removing all the spikes off of his outfit and placing them on a hallway, on the other side of it lies escape and food. The coward starts pushing himself through the torturous hallway in a truly gross scene that I may have skipped through and has given me an acute fear of small spaces.

About halfway through his fun little trip, a bunch of bugs start following him through (the comic explains that since Paul is a vampire, he is scared of anything that sucks blood because it’s some sort of competition I guess?), forcing him to push harder until he falls out a grim, bloody body. Spawn stands at the end of the corridor with Paul’s two dogs (that he has control of now because of Spawn powers I suppose). He tells Paul that on the OTHER side of the hall is an escape and he’ll have to venture through once more to get out and as Paul starts to limp through the hallway again, Spawn sicks the dogs on him and I’m guessing Paul is no longer among the living.


This issue was pretty good, I can’t really mention any flaws and I, as a reader feel Mcfarlane’s rage in this issue, I guess he watches the news. But the book suffers from the same flaws it has for a while. Namely that nothing of note to the overarching story has happened since way back in August 2019’s #300, the series keeps talking about some massive war between heaven and hell but I can’t see anything progressing to the point just yet, but as far as negatives go, that’s about the extent of it.


This book features stunning art by Carlo Barberi and is way less wordy than usual which is very refreshing since sometimes I feel like I should be awarded a medal for getting through all the text in a Spawn comic.

7/10



Review by Leo Brocklehurst 12/10/21