Spiders ramp up while the Bats fizzle a bit

Comic day was a bit overwhelming this week, so much so that I even decided to drop Scarlet Spider from my rotation. It underwhelmed me last issue, and it just couldn’t keep up with all the other books out this week. Because holy cow there were a lot of books out this week, with strong entries.

Spider-Men really got a lot of my attention, because it’s such a clever cross-over event book. Unlike the last issue, this one actually drove the plot forward in some pretty meaningful ways. The action was a bit hard to follow thanks to the Mysterio illusions, but maybe that was the point. At any rate, this one created some real forward momentum for the story’s emotional side, which was always the appeal for me. Fighting is nice, but give me some dialogue any day.

Speaking of Spidey, Avenging Spider-Man was pretty fun again. It didn’t quite live up to some of the best issues like his team-up with Hawkeye, Cap, or She-Hulk, but as a sort of back door to launching the new Captain Marvel it wasn’t bad. I actually sort of like the “villain” of the book, despite being a tad heavy-handed.

AvX (the fight book) had some truly spectacular art this week, with two very different art styles. The Daredevil/Psylocke battle was more traditional comic art and drove the plot forward, while Thor/Emma Frost took a much more stylized approach. It also got weirdly sexual and emasculating there for a second, which I guess is sort of a thing when Frost is involved.

Batman & Robin introduced a new villain, or tribe of villains I suppose. It wasn’t bad, but it seemed to only pay lip service to the subplot of Damien showing up the other Robins. I guess they don’t want that to be the current “event” but it’s a much more interesting arc. Batman closed out the Court of Owls storyline, and it felt like they pulled back a little on the big twist from last time. They left it a possibility, but it’s a hanging question, so it seems like they were afraid to follow through with it. Also, the Owl monologued way too much, but at least it wasn’t Batman himself flapping his lips. Maybe they were trying to carry the theme of making them polar opposites.

  • Speaking of comic books, what a fortuitous day for my 1UP article on comic book and game narratives to go up. I basically break down how similar the progression of storytelling has been between the two mediums. It’s one of my favorite recent 1UP pieces.
  • Some of the powers in the new ME3 Earth DLC sound pretty interesting. I wish there were a more reliable way to unlock new classes, because I’d like to give one a try. I just know that I could grind forever and still not end up with one.
  • I think it’s interesting that some readers thought I was personally upset about the supposed new direction for the next Rocksteady Batman game. Honestly, Rocksteady has garnered a lot of goodwill from me, and I’m curious to see what they’d do with a lighter take on Batman. I’m not one of the character who think the show has to be brooding and dark — I love Brave and the Bold, for example. My comment was more speculating on how the core market might react to such a dramatic shift in direction.
  • I never got into the Max Payne 3 multiplayer, or even the single-player for that matter, but I love the cheater pool concept.
  • This trailer for Little Inferno is seriously pretty creepy, in a very classic subtle way. Love it. Curious to see more.
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