Thursday, July 22, 2010

Recent Spider-Man Issues

Amazing Spider-Man #636 by Joe Kelly, Marco Checchetto and Michael Lark with a backup story by J.M. DeMatteis, Emma Rios and Max Fiumara and another backup by Stan Lee and Marcos Martin.

I was very interested in seeing how the writers would fix Spidey's death in the previous issue. I was happy that the explanation makes sense. Joe Kelly has really excelled in this series by making you think something is happening and something else happens. There is quite a bit of mysticism involved with the return from the dead of Kraven, but besides that, the story stays true to other Spidey stories where we don't get much mysticism.

This issue is not drawn by Michael Lark, despite my love for Lark's artwork, I was impressed with Checchetto as I hadn't realized it wasn't Lark for a bit. I also didn't notice a change when it changes back to Lark near the end of the issue. Great job by both of them.

I am interested with Kraven's reaction. He is very unhappy to be alive again. He has always been a bit unpredictable and now he is even more. I wonder what will happen. I am not thrilled at seeing him back, given that DeMatteis "Kraven't Last Hunt" was such a great comic, however, this story arc has been outstanding this far and I won't judge the resurrection yet.

The backup story was quite emotional. I was very saddened with Kaine's actions. It is interesting to see Kaine act heroically in the main story but act like a villain in the back up. An interesting reversal of roles. This is the best of the back ups between DeMatteis and Fiumara. Can't wait to see the ending of their mini arc.

The Spidey Sundays strip by Stan Lee and Marcos Martin was great. The page design by Martin is fantastic. I really liked it. Hard to know what will happen with the story since we only get two pages, but the art was really good. It seems like a nice memorable project.

Web of Spider-Man #10 by Fred Van Lente and Nick Dragotta with a backup by Marc Guggenhein and Sana Takeda.

The final part of the Extremist trilogy occurs in this issue. I have to say that I liked it a lot. The Extremist is an interesting new villain and I really liked how Spider-Man handled the situation. He used his intelligence and his humor to defeat the Extremist. This is a quintessential Spider-man issue. Fantastic.

The back up story was not bad. The art by Takeda is quite good. I don't really care for Jackpot, I thought she had died before so I am a bit confused. I also mostly forgot what happened in last month's issue, so I don't really understand Jackpot's urgency. However, this particular issue had an interesting ending and I liked the art, so overall I liked it. The main story was much better though.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Various Recent Single Issues by Small Companies

Comic Book Guy The Comic Book #1 by Ian Boothby and John Delaney. Bongo comics.

This comic is about the comic book guy in the Simpsons. He makes a funny video of himself acting out famous death scenes but is beaten out by another geek who made an even better video (although we don't get to see that video).
While the issue was funny at times, I didn't like the comic too much. I will read two more issues because I already ordered them, but unless they are fantastic, this will be it for me.

Shrapnel: Hubris #1 by Nick Sagan and Clinnette Minnis. Radical Comics.

The miniseries Shrapnel: Aristeia Rising was pretty good. It wasn't great but it was good enough to make me interested in getting this issue. This issue was actually very good. The issue builds up for another confrontation between Venus and the Solar alliance and I am looking forward to how it goes down.

I like how Radical Comics sells issues that are much longer than usual (over 60 pages instead of 22) and charges just $1 more than usual (they charge $4.99). One thing I don't like that much is the art. It looks too static. Some scenes are hard to understand and others just seem very unnatural. Overall, the art works fine enough, it doesn't detract too much from the story. I am looking forward to the next two issues.

Royal Historian of Oz #1 by Tommy Kovac and Andy Hirsch.

This issue started weakly with a not too interesting premise, however by the end I was hooked. The idea is that Oz really exists and a fan of the series discovers it. Since he really wants to tell a good Oz story he steals stuff from Oz and brings it into the real world. This creates issues with Oz as they don't like to mingle with the real world. It should create some fun issues in the future.

Mindfield #1 by J.T. Krul and Alex Konat.

Mindfield is a comic about four psychics that work for the CIA. They use their psychic powers to stop terrorists. The art in the early pages was really good, creating really dynamic scenes where we can see the psychic powers in action. I enjoyed it very much. The second half of the issue is a bit more calm, where we find out a bit more about the protagonists. I liked it as there are clear differences between the four members of the group.

There a couple of pages that don't relate yet to the main group. It seems to be setting up a difficult challenge for the protagonists. I am looking forward to finding out what happens. Solid first issue.

Various Recent Single Issues by Image Comics

Sweets #1 by Kody Chamberlain.

Chamberlain did everything in this issue. Pencil, ink, color, letter and write. It shows how much he cares about this project. His artwork is quite good and the story is also shaping up nicely. I am a little thrown off by the pacing as sometimes the panel transitions seemed weird, but overall I am happy with this issue and I'll stick with the miniseries.

The story is about a serial killer in New Orleans. A serial killer who has just killed a high profile priest. The best detective has been having marital and drinking problems (going through a divorce). A solid first issue.

Codebreakers #4 by Ross Richie, Carey Malloy and Scott Godlewski.

This is the last issue in the miniseries. I was confused at first because I didn't remember how the last issue ended, but once I got into the rhythm I enjoyed the issue. It has a nice ending and overall it was an okay series. I can't recommend it because I don't think it was that great. The title led me to believe that codebreaking would have a bigger impact in the story and that the characters would use their intelligence to solve crimes. This wasn't exactly the case and if I had known in advance that this wouldn't be the focus of the comic, I wouldn't have bought it.

Despite my disappointment with the series, I should point out that I thought the artwork by Godlewski was very good. He did a great job.

Turf #2 by Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards.

This series is quite interesting. The creators have managed to make a fun, compelling story with vampires, aliens and 1920s gangsters. I liked this issue a lot. The artwork is fantastic and I like that the comic is not afraid of throwing caution to the wind with a fun unusual story.

In this issue, a mobster fights with vampires, an alien allies himself with a mobster, there is a vote of no confidence for the vampire leader and a crooked cop betrays the cops to the vampires. Lots of cool things happen and I can't wait to read what will happen next.

Chew #12 by John Layman and Rob Guillory.

Chew is possibly my favorite ongoing series right now. It is full of creativity, humor and just plain old fun. Layman is not afraid to do strange things, such as placing the 18th page at the beginning and joking about it with the audience and the art has maintained itself as a true gem in comic books. Guillory is a master of drawing action with humor.

In this issue, Tony Chu teams up with a chicken dealer to catch a bad guy that killed another man to get Poyo, the ultimate rooster. Guillory does a great job of drawing Poyo, showing us why Poyo is so awesome. Overall, the issue is great and this series keeps making it worth to buy the issues instead of waiting for the trade. Each issue has its own story and we still get an overall arc. Great job by Layman and Guillory.

Various Recent SuperHero Single Issues

Amazing Spider-Man #635 by Joe Kelly and Michael Lark with a backup by J.M. DeMatteis and Max Fiumara and another back up by Stan Lee and Marcos Martin.

I really liked this issue. In the last issue we get the cliffhanger of Ezekiel coming back from the dead so I was very interested in what would happen. In the end of the issue we find out that Ezekiel is actually the chameleon, which makes complete sense. I was surprised how well they fooled me. I like how Kelly has been playing with spiritual forces but at the same time doesn't go too far with them. Overall the issue was really good, with great artwork by Michael Lark and an issue full of action and intensity. I am looking forward to the rest of the series, specially considering the incredible cliffhanger at the end of the issue.

The first backup, which is written by J.M. DeMatteis is pretty good. This is the second issue in this storyline about Kraven. I liked Fiumara's artwork more here then in the previous issue, he seems to have gotten a better hold on how to draw Kraven and Kaine. The issue was pretty good, I really like the interaction between Kraven and Kaine.

The last backup, the two pages by Stan Lee and Marcos Martin are interesting. Not as good as in the previous issue, but it seems to be setting a funny series. These two pages don't work as well in isolation, but hopefully it will work well once we have all the package together.

Superman #701 by J.M. Straczynski and Eddy Barrows.

After a lackluster prologue in #700, Straczynski finally starts his Superman story called "Grounded" in which Superman walks across America to find his roots and why he is a hero. This issue has a few flaws, places where Superman says strange things (such as saying the world is unfair by mentioning that John Lennon is dead) and seems a bit pretentious at times (quoting Thoreau near the end), however I liked it in whole. I liked that Superman is not nice to reporters, given that I hate reporters that just follow celebrities. I liked that Superman cares about saving one life. The scene where he cares about a girl about to kill herself is pretty good, although one has to wonder about this scene, given that Morrison had just done this in an "All Star Superman" issue.

The artwork in the issue is not great, but it is not bad either. I think in terms of storytelling it is okay, he just sometimes doesn't draw Superman's face as perfect as I imagine Superman. Sometimes he nails it, sometimes he doesn't.

I am looking forward to the rest of the series. It was a much better issue than the prologue and I think that once Straczynski goes into rhythm we'll get better issues.

Irredeemable #15 by Mark Waid and Diego Barreto.

Issue #14 ended with the Plutonian coming at the Paradigm in full force, so this issue starts with a lot of action. The heroes have a secret weapon that can destroy the Plutonian, a bullet that has a special wax inside that is known to make the Plutonian vulnerable. One of the Paradigm's leaders, Qubit, doesn't trust the Orion, an evil alien that is helping the Paradigm destroy the Plutonian. There is a bit of a struggle between the Paradigm deciding whether to kill the Plutonian, in which case they would be vulnerable to Orion and not destroying the Plutonian now in hopes of finding a way later on. Besides all these problems, the Paradigm doesn't know that who they think is their resurrected friend Samsara, is actually the villain Modeus. In other words, all sorts of chaos is going on in this series and I love it. Anything can happen. The end of this issue was incredible, making a victory seem like a loss.

While I miss Peter Krause's artwork a bit, Diego Barreto does a fantastic job of covering him. The action scenes are well drawn and he is able to clearly show complex situations in the book. I like his artwork quite a bit.

Overall this series continues to impress. I am glad I gave it a chance last year and I will continue to read it for a while.

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #2 by Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert.

I had already forgotten the end of the first issue, so I was confused with how this issue started. However, I shouldn't worry about being confused anyways, because later on I realized that the writer just skipped months in time between the end of last issue and the beginning of this issue. Last issue was based in prehistoric times where Wolverine leads a tribe while Spider-man tries to figure out how to get back in time. At the end of the issue, Spider-man and Wolverine are thrown in time to the future, a future where humanity ended and instead of humans, ape-people rule the world. Ape-people are pretty friendly and in fact Spidey has been teaching them science these months.

The issue is quite good. Once the threat arrives, planet Doom, the issue becomes incredible. I can't believe how much detail Kubert is able to put in his art and I can't believe how outrageous this comic has been. Really fun, unpredictable and exciting. An excellent combination. I am looking forward to the rest of the series, I am very happy I am reading this series.


Underground by Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber is a miniseries consisting of issues 1-5 of Underground.

I had heard good things of this comic while it was being released in the monthly issues and decided to give it a try once it came out collected in trade paperback. I am very glad I did. The comic book is great. The comic is about a cave in Kentucky. A rich man in the region wants the cave to be open to the public, something that would help the economy in the region by creating jobs and bringing tourists. Some people (very few) are against it because it would hurt the cave. Some formations in the cave are millions of years old and too many tourists would be very bad for the cave. The rich man has a plan to convince the state and this plan consists of blasting off an opening to make it easy to see that it would be easy to make it into a tourist attraction. Things don't go well and two rangers end up in the cave thinking people want to kill them. This is the set up and the writer and artist make a great job of using this set up and giving us the best possible story. Let me mention the things I love about this comic:

I love that there aren't any clear villains. While one side does some wrong things, they don't have bad intentions. A lot of the danger comes from misunderstanding. No one is truly evil.

The art throughout is excellent. The artist does a great job of creating the feeling of claustrophobia that some parts of the cave would create. He also excels at showing the wonder in the cave, such as in his beautiful 2-page spread of the "ballroom" in the cave. The comic needed a very good handle of space and dark colors and the artist and colorist did as good a job as one could imagine.

The book also has plenty of action scenes and all of them seem plausible. I love that the heroes aren't sure of themselves. I think the comic was fantastic in portraying how people would react in this circumstances.

If Parker and Lieber team up again I will definitely read what they come up with. They did a fantastic job with this. I highly recommend this book.

A God Somewhere

A God Somewhere by John Arcudi and Peter Snejbjerg is an original graphic novel.

A God Somewhere is an interesting graphic novel. It is about a man who one day becomes super powerful. Little by little he starts thinking of himself as a new God. The book in a way is a study of what could happen with a superhero on the real world. Comics have dealt with this question many times. While this is a topic that has been covered many times, I think this book was worth reading for several reasons. First of all, the book builds up slowly and has plenty of characterization. The first ten or so pages are about the normal lives of the main characters and there are some flashbacks throughout to give more depth to the characters. The wonderful art helps a lot in this, because a lot of the characterization comes through subtle drawings (such as facial expressions depicting disappointment when the dialogue doesn't make it evident, just as it would happen in real life). Another reason this is very good is that it follows the surroundings of the "hero" more than the hero. We get to see how his actions affect his family and his best friend. Finally, another great reason why this comic is very good is the conflict that the best friend has. It is interesting to see how a man reacts to seeing his best friend, a great man, become a monster. Very interesting.

The art in this comic is superb and the story is very good. Without too many pages (about 130) the comic changes a lot, from a superhero tale to a monster tale. The main drawback for me was how the transformation wasn't truly explained. The main character is very vague and his transformation is quite drastic. I think this makes the book very interesting but at the same time it feels like it could have used a few more pages. One could argue that all the information that is not in words is in the art.

A very interesting book. Worth reading and one that probably feels different if read multiple times since a lot of it is vague.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jack of Fables Vol. 5: Turning Pages

Jack of Fables Vol. 5: Turning Pages by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges and Russ Braun consists of issues 22-27 of Jack of Fables.

This volume consists of two three isssue stories. Surprisingly, after leaving us with a big cliffhanger on the end of the Americana storyline and then telling us a single issue story that didn't have any relevance to the cliffhanger situation, we start the book with another irrelevant story. Not the best timing to have this story. However, the story, about Jack's misadventures in the wild West in 1883 is quite good. In the story, Fabletown becomes worried that Jack's exploits are too public and incredible, creating a possible problem for the Fables that want magic to be secret. Fabletown hence sends Bigby (the big bad wolf) to track Jack down. Bigby is one of my favorite characters from Fables, so it was a fun little story. The story did not seem like a Jack of Fables because it didn't have as much humor (although it did have a joke in an extra page at the end of each issue). It felt more like a Fables story than a Jack of Fables story.

The second story finally addresses the cliffhanger at hand at the end of the Americana story. However, it does so in a kind of roundabout way, moving the story slowly and building it up for the next volume. Despite the slowness, I enjoyed it, because we finally get to know more about the Page sisters. Characters that are supposed to be important, but of which we know very little. In this story, "Turning Pages", we get to see a bit of the past of the characters, changing Priscilla quite a bit in my mind, showing the nice side of Robin and showing why Hillary wanted to meet her father so much. Overall it was well done, however I wish we had these issues before the 1883 story. I guess it happened this way to sync up the Fables Crossover later on.

A good volume, but so far the worst of the five. It seems like the sixth one will be a fun one though. I am looking forward to it.

Jack of Fables Vol. 4: Americana

Jack of Fables Vol. 4: Americana by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges and Russ Braun consists of issues 17-21 of Jack of Fables.

This volume consists of a four issue story (continuing the main thread in the comic) and a short one issue story. The main story is called "Americana" and it is about the Fables from America. Fables such as Paul Bunyan. The reason Jack wants to go there is to find a treasure and in the way he meets up with Hillary Page. She is going there secretly to try to find something. I won't spoil what she tries to find as it is an important part of the story.

The journey in Americana is quite fun and it almost seems rushed as Jack goes through a lot of adventures in a few pages (specially in the third issue, where they go to different American parts such as Western stories, idyllic stories, among others). The writing keeps being humorous and fun. I really like this story. One of the best so far.

The single issue at the end is not that good. The Americana storyline ends on a kind of cliffhanger and having a story where Jack doesn't feature doesn't help out. Usually I welcome the single issue stories that Willingham and Sturges bring our way, and on paper it sounds great to have an issue focus on Gary (the pathetic fallacy), however this issue wasn't as great as other Jack of Fables issues.

Overall a good volume, as good as the previous one, but not as good as the second one.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jack of Fables Vol. 3: The Bad Prince

Jack of Fables Vol. 3 The Bad Prince by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges and Tony Akins consists of issues 12-16 of Jack of Fables.

This volume has two stories. The first one consists of four issues and it is hard to describe. It does a lot in terms of giving the series more depth. It gives us more background on Revise, it shows us a lot of Jack's past by having him cross paths with Wicked John (a very similar guy to Jack in personality and in looks, the only difference seems to be the color of their hair). It introduces the notion of "Literals" which will have repercussions later and it gives a big spotlight on Gary, the pathethic fallacy. Even though this story seemed to not be very plot driven, I think it was very good, mainly because it has a ton of humor. Almost every page has a funny scene in it. In the volume, there are three pages that focus on Paul Bunyan's pet, and this pet is hilarious. Each one of those pages consists of the pet having delusions, such as being the inventor of graham crackers or a kind pirate.

The second story is one issue long. Another fairy tale kind of story. Doesn't have a huge impact on the overall story arc, but it is a nice short story involving Jack. This time it is about his time as Jack O'Lantern. Jack makes a deal with the devil and ends up being in our world without being alive. It is hilarious to see how reckless Jack is. This story is much weaker than the Jack Frost story in my opinion, but it is still worth telling. I really like the side stories that Willinghma gives us. It's been a great joy reading stories from his FABLES universe.

Jack of Fables Vol.2 : Jack of Hearts

Jack of Fables Vol. 2: Jack of Hearts by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges and Tony Akins consists of issues 6-11 of Jack of Fables.

This book has two stories. First it tells us about how Jack became Jack Frost. One thing that Willigham is great at, is in creating fairy tale stories for adults. In Fables, besides having the main story arcs, he always dedicates an issue or two between story arcs to give us a new fairy tale. He does this in Jack of Fables too and that is why we have the story of Jack Frost. Jack fools a goddess (winter) to give him her powers. He is excited about it, but then realizes the problems behind being a god that brings cold weather. It is really funny to see Jack realize the disadvantages and then the confrontation with the other season's goddesses is also hilarious. Great job with this story.

The second story is about Jack going to Vegas. He decides to go to Vegas to take advantage of Gary's powers (Gary is able to bring inanimate objects into life and make them do what he wants, for example, making a slot machine give him some quarters to pay for Jack's drinks). What ends up happening in Vegas is a really cool story. The story has as its main villain, Lady Luck. The character is a very attractive woman that eats brains to suck the luck of other people. She and Jack cross paths and a lot of cool things happen. A really good story arc, I specially like the little side story involving Aubrey, a nerd that has a lucky horseshoe. The comic gives us snippets of his blog here and there, and every entry is hilarious.

Overall, this is a great volume in Jack of Fables. It has a very different feel to Fables, being not so serious and very funny. I like it a lot.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Various Single Issues

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #3 by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette.

This issue is great. It has a nice stand alone story while moving along the overall story arc of Bruce Wayne moving in time. I still have no idea how this is happening, but Morrison is doing some cool things with the time travel part of it. Specially as the whole issue focuses on one particular time. It is interesting that Bruce is getting his memories back little by little, it should create interesting stories as the series goes on.

Overall, a great issue, I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

Superman #700 by James Robinson, Benard Chang, Dan Jurgens, J. Michael Straczynski and Eddy Barrows.

There are three stories on this issue. The first one is by James Robinson and it serves as an epilogue to the last two years of Superman he had written. It was a romantic story about Superman and Lois being back together. I haven't read anything by James Robinson before, but I didn't like this story. Essentially nothing interesting happens. I guess for those following the story it might be nice to see clark and Lois together but I didn't are.

The second story is by Dan Jurgens and I liked it quite a bit. It was fun. It was kid of ordinary in that it had Robin getting in trouble after not following Batman's orders and it was obvious Superman would come in to save the day. However, the last two pages have one twist after another that made the story a bit different, fun and funny. I enjoyed it.

The third story is by J. Michael Straczynski. Straczynski had a great run in Spider-Man and he wrote one of my favorite comic books, Midnight Nation. He also wrote the TV series Babylon 5. A series I like a lot. He is a high profile writer and he is planning a thirteen issue story of Superman walking across America to get back into his roots. I like the idea, I think JMS is very good with this kind of story (he had an episode in Babylon 5 about it, also, Midnight Nation involves walking across America to finding oneself). It is the kind of story that JMS does over and over and I think he will do a good job with it. However, this prologue to that story was very weak. It gives a completely dumb reason for Superman to do that. I really can't see how a woman can blame Superman for her husband's death and how Superman can react to it that way. Superman must know better. JMS should have been able to find a better reason for Superman to want to understand his roots in America.

Spider-Man: Marvel Adventures #2 by Paul Tobin and Matteo Lolli.

This is one of the issues that I have liked the least of this comic book series. It is not bad, but it is not that fun or interesting. The main thing I like is Carter Torino. A son of a mobster, but who doesn't want to be a criminal and who likes Spider-Man. It seems like good stories will come from playing with this.

Spider-Man: Marvel Adventures #3 by Paul Tobin and Matteo Lolli.

The issue is pretty fun and at the end it gets interesting with Bullseye finally doing something. I really enjoy how this series is simple fun without trying to be grim and gritty. Peter acts like a teenager and there are cool supporting characters.
I am happy I am reading this series.

One complaint about the art in this issue is that there's a character whose jacket looks different colors in different panels. It seems like the colorist made a mistake.

Amazing Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man #631 by Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo.

This is the second issue in the "Shed" story arc. The issue is very dark. Maybe the darkest issue I've ever read on Spider-Man. After the Lizard killed several scientists in the first issue, now he's heading towards his son. Spider-Man tries to stop him and he kind of those, except that the kid has been kidnapped by ana Kravinoff. Spidey doesn't know where the kid is and Spidey has to save the life of the foster mother, in the meantime the Lizard can track his kid through smell.

The art in this issue is interesting. The panels are often much thinner than normal and they create a sense of chaos. The story is not as easy to read from panel to panel because of it, but I think it works in the sense that it gives the book a chaotic feel.

Amazing Spider-Man #632 by Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo.

After the intense ending to the previous issue, Spidey arrives to the scene to realize that Connors has Shed his skin. The Lizard is no longer Curt Connors. The Lizard has taken control and therefore is no longer human, it is completely reptilian. Not only that, but he has to power to tap into the primitive parts of other people's brains and make them act on instinct. This allows him to easily beat Spider-Man as Spidey's primitive brain tells him to flee (since the Lizard is a much bigger foe).

The ending on this issue is incredible. After reading this issue I really wanted to read the next one, specially knowing that the next issue would finish the storyline.

Amazing Spider-Man #633 by Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo.

This is the last issue in the "Shed" storyline and it is fantastic. A block of New York City is in complete chaos due to the Lizard. Spidey has an antidote to prevent his primitive brain from taking control of him, but it does nothing on the Lizard, since the Lizard is all primitive brain now. However, during the fight, the Lizard seems to understand the good side of having a monkey brain, by noticing how men have created airplanes, buildings and other things. It was interesting. But the best part was that the issue was fun and exciting. The art really works with these fight scenes and I also like how the last third of the issue is drawn by Emma Rios, bringing a very different style for a different environment, helping the story too by showing the less chaotic side of things. It was also nice to see Aunt May come back to normal, although I wish there were a better explanation of why she was able to go back to normal.

Great issue and overall a fantastic Spider-Man storyline. The best I've read in a long time, at least 20 issues.

Amazing Spider-Man #634 by Joe Kelly and Michael Lark with a backup from J.M DeMatteis and Max Fiumara and another back up by Stan Lee and Marcos Martin.

This issue starts the long awaited "Grim Hunt". The Kravinoff family has been creating havoc on Peter's life for a while now and they are finally attacking him straight. The issue is very good. We get to see Spidey fighting alongside Arachne against Alyosha and Ana Kravinoff. We get to see a beaten up Kaine warn Peter. We get to see Ezequiel again (one of my favorite Spidey characters) and we get to see a little bit more of the Kravinoffs, finally understanding what they are trying to do (although without understanding why their plan will work). A solid issue, hopefully it will be even better than "Shed". Joe Kelly is a great writer and I have high hopes for the rest of this series.

The back up issue by J.M. DeMatteis wasn't that great. The art was interesting and the story was okay, but we don't get much out of the issue. I think overall the story will be okay, it seems to be leading up to a Kraven versus Kaine confrontation, which should be cool.

The other back up is only two pages. The art by Martin is pretty cool and the series seems to lead up to a funny storyline. The story seems to be a bit inspired by Pinky and the Brain. We'll see what Stan Lee can do with it. I am hopeful.