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



Star Wars: 4-Lom & Zuckuss #1 Review

While the earlier comic was a tense, nail-biting, white-knuckle ride of an issue, Daniel José Older’s approach is a much more light-hearted and humorous one which is no less refreshing….


STAR WARS: 4-LOM & ZUCKUSS #1
Reviewed by Nathan Harrison 12/8/21

Written by: Daniel José Older
Art: Kei Zama
Colours: Felipe Sobreiro
Released: 04/08/21
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Much like Star Wars #15 before it, 4-LOM & Zuckuss #1 (at least seemingly for now) acts as a bit of a diversion from the main narrative of the War of the Bounty Hunters event that has been running through various Star Wars comics for the past few months.


While the earlier comic was a tense, nail-biting, white-knuckle ride of an issue, Daniel José Older’s approach is a much more light-hearted and humorous one which is no less refreshing. Could any less be expected from the man who brought us the Jedi affectionately known as Buckets of Blood in his work on The High Republic Adventures?

Insectoid bounty hunter Zuckuss and his lethal droid companion 4-LOM have proven surprising fodder for comedy in their appearances in the ongoing Bounty Hunters series and Older takes this even further with a truly madcap approach to his story, bringing in an almost Guardians of the Galaxy style sense of humour to proceedings. Heck, there’s even a raccoon-like creature with a penchant for removing limbs…

That’s not to say that this issue doesn’t have substance and depth – we see Zuckuss in a whole new light by the end of this issue and 4-LOM is certainly transformed, albeit in an altogether more out there, slightly terrifying way, wonderfully revealed in one of a number of Kei Zama’s splash pages. The Japanese artist’s lines are satisfyingly clean, creating a cartoonish feel when paired with Felipe Sobreiro’s dynamic colour work. A lot of this issue’s colour palette is on the darker end of the scale, but when brighter bursts are appropriate, Sobreiro makes the most of them, especially when blaster rounds start firing.

Deva Lompop, the new bounty hunter character introduced in the previous Jabba the Hutt one shot makes an altogether too brief appearance, although that does mean that the focus here is squarely on the title characters, which wasn’t quite the case with Jabba. That said, it would have been fun to see Older take on the character, as her anarchic presence seems like it would fit right within his wheelhouse.


VERDICT

4-LOM & Zuckuss #1 acts as a fun, exciting and somewhat bonkers side-line to the War of the Bounty Hunters, although no doubt the events of this issue will feed into the greater narrative at a later juncture. Older’s script is fast-paced and frenetic and the fun he’s had here is evident. And if the writer has fun, especially in a world like Star Wars, so does the reader. Those who haven’t had a chance to get into the wider event will have a tough job catching up at this point, but this issue stands on its own nicely and thoroughly entertains.


Review by Nathan Harrison 12/8/21


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