After several light weeks in a row, today had a total of five new books to pick up. I was a very happy reader, especially since one of them was the debut of Spider-Men. This is an event book that Marvel has been teasing for a while, crossing 616 (“Amazing”) Spider-Man with the new Ultimate Spidey. For those unfamiliar, 616 is Peter Parker, but Ultimate was replaced in the past year. Peter Parker died in the Ultimate universe, and a kid named Miles Morales took over to carry on his legacy.
It still carries the same themes — that if you have the power to act, you have a moral obligation to act — but it turns them on their head in an interesting way. Instead of feeling that responsibility hit home because of the death of a family member, Miles is inspired by the death of Peter himself. It’s a really poignant look at how heroism breeds heroism.
So this event book has been pretty highly anticipated, as it will involve (a version of) Peter meeting Miles for the first time. This comes at a time during the Ultimates series that Miles is learning how to be a hero, and dealing with competing influences. The book seems aimed at setting him on the hero’s path while simultaneously handing over the mantle for good.
This first issue was mostly set-up, but it was carried by some great inner monologue from Peter and Sara Pichelli’s amazing artwork.
This definitely wasn’t the only big event going on. Batman is starting to close up its Night of the Owls story, with a pretty big twist that capitalizes on the freedom of the New 52 reboot. I won’t spoil it, but suffice to say it’s a trope that has been done plenty of times before. That makes it run the risk of being trite, but the arc as a whole has been really well-executed, so I see some longevity potential in this new villain. You can click here if you just want to spoil the twist, but if you can manage it I’d recommend reading the arc from the start. It begins pretty much at the start of the New 52 reboot, if I recall.
Batman & Robin is starting a new arc in which Damien tries to prove himself to the former Robins, which seems like a reasonable enough place for the character. Avengers vs. X-Men (the fight book) was fun, though the fights were a bit hampered by being so evenly matched. I prefer when the match-up is more asymmetrical. And Scarlet Spider was passable, not offensively bad but not as good as some of the issues that won me over. I’ll give it another issue or two to see if this current arc with Kraven the Hunter picks up.
A few quick gaming-related links. If you’re interested in writing reviews, or just interested in reading about the craft of writing them as an intellectual exercise, you should read this essay declaring a moratorium on snark. Also, while calling your detractors losers who live in their parents’ basements isn’t exactly the most effective way to get them to stop trolling, I have to give a hand to Aisha Tyler for her poetic verbal smackdown. She did a great job hosting the Ubisoft press conference, and haters be hatin’.
- It seemed like the E3 language was very measured, so it only makes sense that games with two GamePads are a long way off. Reggie just confirmed it.
- I got this Xbox 360 update last night and saw no apparent changes, so that’s at least one confirmation that it works as advertised.
- I suppose this 38 Studios Spouse letter is pointing a pretty direct finger at the company, but I thought it was more interesting just to read what it’s like to go through all that from a first-hand perspective. Regardless of who’s at fault, her account is pretty heart-breaking stuff.