Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

My Two Cents Worth on Superior Spider-Man

The internet is full of mixed reactions among comic fans in regards to Dr. Otto Octavius taking over Peter Parker’s body and memory, becoming Superior Spider-Man. I have read a countless number of compliments and complaints, but I don’t read too much of why fans either like, love or hate Superior Spider-Man. A lot of fans feel that it was time for a change. Others hate it simply because Peter Parker is dead.

I began reading Spider-Man at Amazing Spider-Man #698. So after reading 20 issues of Superior Spider-Man, I feel that it’s time for me to step up on my soapbox and give my two-cent input on this controversial subject. I’m not going to just say I like Doc Ock as Superior Spider-Man, I’m going to tell you why.

First of all, I have never wished death upon a person, fiction or reality. So I will simply say that I AM GLAD THAT PETER PARKER IS OUT OF THE PICTURE, BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER LIKED PETER PARKER. I didn’t like him when I was child watching him on Electric Company, and I don’t think I have ever read any of his comics while growing up. I never liked Peter because he talked too much. He was too friendly, and should have been pounding the heck out of all those villains over the years. He was also irresponsible. There was no reason for him to not have his Doctorate Degree. I wish I was only one credit and thesis away from a Doctorate. Peter Parker sickens me. I have always been hard on myself, self disciplined and an over-achiever with no time for goofing off. Peter could have, and should have, done better. I know these may be minor reasons to some, but everyone has his or her own perspectives.

Sometime towards the end of last year, a retailer tweeted about Amazing Spider-Man #698. He tweeted several times that comic fans needed to read that issue. He also tweeted that retailers needed to make sure they had an abundant supply. I called my husband and told him that I thought something was going to happen to Spider-Man because of the tweets. I was pretty new to Twitter, so I really didn’t know who to trust, or if it was a false hype. I contacted my comic shop and requested a copy be placed in my pulls.

I was speechless after reading ASM #698. I contacted the comic shop, requested ASM #699, ASM #700 and Superior Spider-Man for my pulls. I remember being anxious at work because I wanted to read ASM #698. I had the book on my desk but I didn’t want to get into trouble. I like my books to remain intact, so instead of peeling off the little sticker to reveal the digital code, I took a 15 minute break and ordered it digitally. Yes, I paid for it twice.

Doc Ock is one of my favorite villains in the Marvel Universe because he’s a brainiac. Genius. Over-achiever. Strategist. He is the perfect Spider-Man in my eyes and here’s why.

Discovered Vulture’s minions were children. Upon this shocking discovery, Doc Ock began to have flashbacks of his abusive childhood by his father. Where some villains would have dealt harshly with these young boys, he turned them over to Children Protective Services.

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Anna Maria Marconi. When Otto realized that Peter Parker was one credit and a thesis short of his Doctorate Degree, he became enraged and enrolled in college. Otto met and became a study partner with Anna, a young and pretty graduate student. Otto likes her because she’s assertive and a brainiac like himself. He doesn’t even mind that she’s a little person (I wonder if he really likes her or if he’s using her). When the school jocks, Brad and Justin, teased Anna, they were dealt with, Superior Spider-Man style.

I have always been teased. I am always teased about my name (believe me when I say I’ve heard it all from Creature Feature to LaCROTCHa). I have always been called a nerd, geek, brainiac and goody two-shoes.

The worst tease, and I hate it with a passion, is being told I “talk like a white girl.” I have been dealing with this crap since childhood from classmates and co-workers. But it hurts even more hearing it from my own family members. To this day, I’m still being told this by family members and co-workers. Not one of them has ever told me what a white girl talks like. It hurts like heck, but they don’t know any better. They don’t know that not all black people use slang and curse words in their everyday language (SARCASM INTENDED).

I don’t condone Spidey for what he did to Brad and Justin, but I have to admit that I admire him for what he did. It was also funny!

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Cardiac and Spider-Man save the life of a child. Amy Chen, a young girl with severe brain damage, was taking a turn for the worse due to one of Doc Ock’s schemes. There was only one treatment plan for Amy, surgery performed with Doc Ock’s neurolitic scanner. Cardiac stole the scanner, but not without a fight from Spider-Man. When Spider-Man learned the true reason for Cardiac’s use for the scanner, he performed the surgery himself on Amy. This story was, and still is, a tear-jerker.

My 7 year-old son has a rare condition, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC).  Although TSC is genetic, most of the cases are from the result of a spontaneous mutated cell, like my son. This disease causes tumors, called tubers, to form on body organs, such as the brain, heart, eyes, and kidneys.  It can cause seizures, loss of speech, autism, and behavior challenges. My son has several brain tumors, a history of seizures, and behavior challenges (aggressive, violent and destructive meltdowns).  He is also autistic (high-functioning) and developmentally delayed.  Currently there is no cure for TSC. But I would give almost anything to get my hands on that neurolitic scanner.

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Spider-bots and spider army. My next door neighbor is the city of Flint in the state of Michigan. Although Flint is a small city, it was the most violent city in America for 3 consecutive years, 2010, 2011 and 2012. I also work in the Emergency Department at a Level 1 Trauma Center in Flint. I have seen so many victims of violent crimes enter that department. Some make it out alive, others don’t. A few weeks ago, my co-workers ran past me carrying a 4 year-old child that had been shot. If only Spider-Man was here with his spider-bots, army and attitude. I’m pretty sure this small city would go back to being an unknown dot on the map.

I was attacked on my job three years ago. I am 5’1 and a white man 6’3, 300 lbs. tried to choke me before knocking me upside my head with his fist. He yelled that I was a nigger, nigger bitch, and a fucking slut several times. He also yelled that he hated me, and was going to kill me. I had no idea who that man was. I was sitting at my workstation on a quiet Saturday night when he attacked me out of nowhere. If Spider-Man was real, I know he would have found the attacker and dealt with him. Then maybe, just maybe, my anxiety, PTSD and nightmares would lessen.

Everyone has their own interpretation of a story, so I decided to share why I am enjoying this dark, funny, tear-jerking title. I can relate to several themes in Superior Spider-Man.

Yes, Dr. Otto Octavius is now Spider-Man. He may have blackmailed the mayor,

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and he may be a showboat,

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but he has a heart, and the will to help others.

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Doc Ock is not just Spider-Man. He is SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN. I applaud Marvel Comics, the creative team, and especially writer Dan Slott for such an outstanding, earth-shaking, internet breaking series. All the artists on this title deserve an applause as well, because they bring the stories to life with their amazing, I mean SUPERIOR, visuals.

Superior Carnage #1 Review

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The word carnage is defined as the killing of a large number of people. It is synonymous with slaughter, massacre and butchery. So the title, along with the cover art, was more than enough for me to know what this Marvel comic was about.

Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, is a serial killing psychopath with an alien parasite in his bloodstream. Residing in a maximum security prison for super villains, each and every kind of hell breaks loose when a mind controlled guard releases all of the prisoners, including Carnage. After witnessing the bloodbath at the prison, the Wizard attempts to gain control of Carnage’s mind. But little does he know, Carnage had undergone a lobotomy!

WARNING TO PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN: Carnage is definitely not for young eyes. Please exercise caution when reading this comic around your children.

Kevin Shinick is the writer of this well written script. This debut issue is a great opener, and I especially like the character and narration of Ted Connelly, the convict with the brown underwear (you’ll understand when you read the story). I also liked how one of the guards stood his ground against the Wizard, even poking fun at him. And the characterization of Carnage is frightfully awesome.

I cringed when I saw this comic on the shelf at the comic shop.  The cover caught my eye.  I thought, “Oh my gosh” as I held the book in my hands. There’s a couple panels where the look in Cleatus’ eyes told me that I should have waited until daylight to read this story. Carnage is one terrifying creature. I shivered while reading this constant page turner. I gasped at some of the panels, and I actually jumped out of my chair with fright near the center of the story. YES I JUMPED OUT OF MY CHAIR.  That’s because I didn’t know what to expect.  This was my first time reading a Carnage story.

And who is to blame for this adrenaline rushing, blood pressure rising art? Stephen Segovia (artist), Jay David Ramos (colorist) and Clayton Crain (cover art). The art in this issue is terrifyingly perfect. This is one story that does not require any text. And it’s 3D without the glasses.

Am I going to read the next issue? HECK YEAH. My heart was beating fast as if it was running in a marathon, but it was worth it. I watched Psycho, Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby on television as a child. So as an adult, I’m sure I can handle Carnage. The entire team deserves a round of applause.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I recommend this title for mature readers of gory fiction and Carnage fans.

Guardians of the Galaxy #3 Review

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If anyone is looking for Iron Man, he is on the planet Spartax with the Guardians.  He took a vacation from Earth to venture out into the universe.  Earlier in the series the king of Spartax made a new galactic rule that no one is allowed on Earth.  Becoming suspicious of the king, who is also his father, Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord and the Guardians head towards Earth.  They run into Iron Man who has intercepted the war ship of the Badoon, terrorist aliens.  They defeated the Badoon but were arrested by the Spartax Royal Guard for violating the rule.

The Guardians have been sentenced to the living prison.  All of their weapons were confiscated, even Tony Stark’s armor.  Meanwhile the meeting of the Galactic Council became heated when the king of Spartax accused the Badoon of ordering the attack on Earth.  After the king left the meeting the Council expressed their concerns and suspicions of the king.

The Royal Guard thought they arrested ALL the Guardians.  Let’s see here.  There’s Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket Racoon, Drax the Destroyer, Iron Man.  That’s right they forgot GROOT!  That little twig sitting in a flower-pot was overlooked.  In case you don’t already know, Groot can regenerate from a twig.  I will just say that the Guardians were glad to see him.  After taking over the Spartax Battleship Star-Lord addressed the entire fleet of ships, warning them to be wary of his father, the king.

I am still enjoying this Marvel NOW! title.  And it’s not because I stare longer at the panels with Tony Stark and Star-Lord.  It is because the Guardians is a badass team.  Gamora, the green alien lady, is said to be the most dangerous woman in the universe.  There’s the raccoon that gets a kick out of shooting people.  Uh oh, did I just call Rocket a raccoon?  I hope he didn’t hear me.  Drax likes to smash things.  Things as in people.  And then there’s Groot.  I would run as soon as I see him.

Brian Michael Bendis is the writer.  Dialogue is sharp and witty.  The interactions among the Guardians is worthy of being envied.  It is obvious the group values loyalty and friendship, and they respect their leader, Star-Lord.

The art team consists of Steve McNiven, Sara Pichelli, John Dell and Justin Ponsor.  Lifelike characters, finely detailed.  Scary looking aliens.  Great visual storytellers.  I can’t name my favorite panels because that would be all of them.  I also like the cover.  Rocket Raccoon is definitely not one to be messed with.

I definitely plan to continue reading this series.  I said I didn’t like Gamora’s costume in my review of issue #1.  There was no need for the space suit in this story, so I’m curious as to what she will be wearing in future issues.  I like her attire in this issue, however.  Baring flesh, but still kicking butt.  I am also curious as to what the king of Spartax really has up his sleeve.

VERDICDT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this title.

Fearless Defenders #5 Review

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My last review of this Marvel NOW! title, was issue #3. And believe me when I say A LOT has happened since then. By now you may know that Valkyrie neglected to select a new group of Shieldmaidens from Midgard (Middle Earth). She claimed that she couldn’t find any women that was worthy. In the meantime, the villainess Caroline LeFay used Dani Moonstar’s Valkyrie energy to raise the Doom Maidens. Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death, raised Queen Hippolyta from the dead to fight the Doom Maidens. The All-Mother appointed Misty Knight and Dr. Annabelle Riggs to accompany Valkyrie and Hippolyta as they rescue Dani and fight the Doom Maidens. While in battle with the Doom Maidens, it was learned that Valkyrie is a former Doom Maiden. Valkyrie, Dani and Hippolyta went to confront the Doom Maidens. Although Misty and Annabelle stayed behind, Misty decided it was time to take further action. Placing a phone call, all we know is that she asked the question, “Are you for hire?” And now we get to find out just who it was she talked to AND hired.

As Valkyrie, Dani Moonstar and Hippolyta go to battle with the Doom Maidens, Misty Knight and Annabelle arrive with surprise reinforcements. Misty hired a badass team of 12 female superheroes, although only 9 Shield Maidens are needed. The fierce battle has begun. Lots of body slinging, butt kicking and dragon slaying. Then some serious hell breaks loose and Valkyrie takes a turn for the worse.

This action packed issue is no joke. Non-stop action with continuous page turners. As I got to the center splash all I could say was, “DAMN.” When Valkyrie went through her changes at the end of the story, again all I could say was, “DAMN.” I rarely say curse words so you know that this series has to be top-notch.

It is more than obvious that I am still loving this title. But with badass chicks like Valkyrie, Misty Knight and Hippolyta I have no choice. They all have strong, yet distinct personalities. All from different backgrounds. The interactions among them remains phenomenal. Misty is still the Foxy Brown of comics, Valkyrie is serious but will put you in check if needed, and Hippolyta is still conceited as ever.

I even like Dr. Annabelle Riggs now. She was meek and timid at the beginning of the series, but her character becomes stronger in each issue. In this issue, it is apparent that she is strongly connected to Valkryie in some kind of way. I have a feeling of what it may be, but I won’t say until the story progresses.

The women that Misty Knight hired are:

    • Elektra
    • She-Hulk
    • Black Widow
    • Storm
    • Captain Marvel
    • Black Cat
    • Tigra
    • Spider-Woman
    • Thundra
    • Colleen Wing
    • Hellcat
    • Tarantula

I was very excited to see that She-Hulk, Elektra and Black Widow, my favorite badass Marvel girls, are a part of this story.

Cullen Bunn, writer, needs a round of applause AND a standing ovation. I still don’t know how he does it, but he is able to write amazing dialogue among these compelling characters. The interactions among all the characters are both funny and serious. I am still amazed at how well Bunn writes such realistic dialogue. A bunch of women all with different personalities; attitudes, funny, serious, conceited and evil. All I can say is that I’m glad Marvel has this creative genius scripting this series.

The creative art team consists of Will Sliney (art), Veronica Gandini (colors), and Mark Brooks (cover). The art for this issue is superb. The characters and backgrounds are lifelike and finely detailed. I like Gandini’s use of colors, especially in the panels with explosions and the dragon induced fires. And I love that awesome cover. I can ramble on about the art, so I’ll end by saying that with visual storytellers such as this team, you don’t need text to know what’s going on.

I continue to stress that in order for a story to work, it needs to have both a good script AND art. Fearless Defenders has both. I am going to continue to read this title.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I strongly recommend this title.

X-Men #1 Review

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Storm, Rogue, Psylocke, Jubilee, Rachel, and Kitty Pryde.  I can tell by the cover that this is going to be a kick ass girl team.

Having a sense of being followed, Jubilee contacts the X-Men.  When Storm, Rogue and Kitty arrive at the train Jubilee is a passenger on, they discover that she is harboring an infant she claims to have rescued.  Then all hell breaks loose.  The train has been tampered with and it’s up to the women of X-Men to defuse the situation.  Shortly after that, Jean Grey School For Higher Learning receives an unexpected, yet unwelcome visitor.  John Sublime, super villain and enemy of the X-Men, seeks their help for a crisis that he alone cannot handle; taking down Arkea Prime, his evil twin sister.

Brian Wood is the writer of this action packed series.  The pacing is fast but easy to follow, and I love the realistic dialogue and character interactions.  All the characters have distinct personalities, which makes the story more exciting to read.  I feel that Wood did a great job with the set-up of the story, beginning with the narrative on the first two pages.

The art team consists of Olivier Copiel (pencils/inks), Mark Morales (inks) and Laura Martin (colorist).  This team did such a great job at visual storytelling, that you really don’t need text to understand what is happening.  I love the cover art, especially Psylocke, Storm and Kitty.  Their facial expressions alone are enough for me to know not to mess with them or their teammates.  Each panel is finely detailed and realistically drawn.  The characters are so lifelike.  A couple of the baby’s facial expressions had me laughing.  Kitty Pryde has always been one of my favorite X-Men characters so I loved seeing her phase in and out of the train.  The lighting and colors in the panels are great, with my favorites being Mercury throwing that book at Bling (ouch) and the train explosion.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a good story needs a good script AND good artwork.  You cannot have one without the other.  X-Men #1 goes over and beyond a good script and art.  It deserves the adjective of SUPERB.  This creative team needs a round of applause.  And then a standing ovation.

This Marvel NOW! title by Marvel Comics is sure to not only retain its’ loyal X-Men readers, but to gain new readers as well.  You already know one of those new readers, ME.  I don’t recall ever reading X-Men titles, but I have been glancing through them for years (my husband is a loyal X-Men fan) and have become familiar with most of the characters.  I definitely plan to read the next issue because the super villain on the last page of this issue is sure to cause havoc.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend X-MEN, the Marvel NOW! title by Marvel Comics.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #23 Review

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The story begins one year after the fight between Spider-Man and Venom that left his mother dead and father injured. Spider-Man, aka Miles Morales decided to give up being a superhero.

Outside of being a superhero, Miles Morales is an ordinary teenager living an ordinary life. He has his best friend, Ganke, at his side. There’s also a teenage Katie Bishop, Miles’ girlfriend. Miles feels that since he is no longer Spider-Man, he can tell Katie about his secret past. However Ganke warns him against it, fearing that Katie will be put in harms’ way if she learns the truth.

At a rendezvous with Spider-Woman, Miles became upset when she tried to hand him a briefcase. After a brief dispute with her, Miles took off, leaving the briefcase behind.

I haven’t read Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, by Marvel Comics, since issue #4. I decided to grab and read this issue after Brian Michael Bendis, writer, tweeted that this issue would be a good jump-on point. And he was right. Several events took place in this issue:

  • Discussion between Miles and Ganke about his giving up being Spider-Man and whether he should tell Katie his secret or not
  • The meeting with Spider-Woman
  • Running into Gwen Stacy while at dinner with his dad
  • An explosion/fight outside the restaurant (No spoilers given. You’ll have to read and find out the couple that’s involved)

I really enjoyed this story. Well-written dialogue that is easy to read for all ages. I especially like the exchanges between Miles and Ganke. Short and to the point. But Miles appears in need of an attitude adjustment, having telling both Ganke and Spider-Woman (on separate occasions) they need to respect him. But then again, typical teenager.

Although I haven’t read this series in a while, I can definitely see a difference in the physical appearance of an older Miles Morales. He lost the baby face and although he is still cute, he is now a teenage boy with the height and attitude to go with it. Thanks to the creative team of Dave Marquez (artist) and Justin Ponsor (colors) for the visuals. Well defined features, especially Miles and Ganke.

I plan to continue reading the series to see where it’s heading. With Bendis as the writer, it can only go one way. UP.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I recommend Ultimate Comics Spider-Man for all ages.

Superior Spider-Man #9 Review

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A dying Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus or Doc Ock, found a way to switch bodies with Peter Parker.  Having gained the memories, powers and skills of Spider-Man, Otto now realizes the responsibilities that comes with being Spider-Man.  Otto vowed to be a better Spider-Man.  A smarter Spider-Man.  SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN.  However a small piece of Peter Parker is in the brain of the Superior Spider-Man.  Stuck in Otto’s brain, Peter is forced to watch Otto live his life and trying his hardest to keep Otto in check and out of trouble.

In the last issue, the Avengers forced Spider-Man to undergo extensive testing and evaluations because of his erratic behavior.  Test results did not reveal an imposter and Spider-Man was released with probation.

Seeing an anomaly on his brain scan, Spider-Man went to the H.E.A.R.T. Clinic to take back his neuro scanner that was stolen by Cardiac.  Spider-Man learns a little girl was severely brain-damaged during one of his schemes, so he performed surgery on the girl and saved her life.  Borrowing the scanner from the clinic, Spider-Man returned to his lab to study the anomaly in his brain.  He discovered the tiny fragment is Peter Parker!  Otto informs Peter that he is aware of him and that he plans to extract him from his mind once and for all.

The entire storyline in The Superior Spider-Man #9, a Marvel NOW! title by Marvel Comics, is about the lobectomy, and its’ outcomes, performed on Otto to destroy Peter Parker.  Or Peter Parkerectomy, as Dan Slott, writer, coined in the last issue.

Without giving any spoilers, I will just say that this issue is full of surprises.  I am amazed at the scope of this storyline.  The events that take place in this issue are breathtaking.  Action packed.  Adrenaline inducing.  Peter was not going down without a fight, and he and Otto were prepared for each other.  And well prepared they were.

The Superior Spider-Man series is not to be read lightly.  The more I read this title, the more involved I become in the story.  Especially this issue.  Peter and Otto fought long and hard, but I want to set the physical battle aside and talk about the verbal exchanges between the two of them.  Peter came down hard on Otto about his portrayal as Spider-Man.  He reminded him of nearly being fired from the Avengers, and the brutal treatment towards his enemies, including the murder of one of them (I won’t mention the name in case you haven’t read the issue yet).  He was basically telling Otto that he’s not worthy of being Spider-Man and that he should give him his life back.

Otto, however, broke it down to Peter and let him know why he’s the better Spider-Man.  Peter was always slinging around town being the “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.”  Always comical.  Wanting to be loved by everyone.  Not using his powers to its’ fullest extent, he always went easy on his enemies.  Since Otto has been Spider-Man, there has been a reduction of crime in the city.  And he gets full support from the mayor and the police.  Superior Spider-Man has taken down several enemies that Peter Parker went too easy on.  The Vulture and Massacre are perfect examples (again I won’t spoil it in case you haven’t read it yet).

I totally agree with Otto and I feel that he is the better Spider-Man.  He created a device to help Aunt May walk.  He stopped the Vulture from using children as his henchmen.  He re-enrolled in college to take that last credit and write a thesis for his (Peter) Doctorate Degree.  He saved that little girl’s life with the brain damage.  Otto may be a villain, but he is a hero at heart.  He has shown compassion far too many times for it to go unnoticed.

The Superior Spider-Man #9 is probably Slott’s best issue yet.  Well written and engaging dialogue.  Phenomenal character interactions.  Compelling characters, especially Otto.  A lot of information is packed in this fast paced story but it’s not hard to follow.

Superb artwork by Ryan Stegman (artist) and Edgar Delgado (colors).  These two are great at visual storytelling.  I especially like the cover.  Hmmm, I wonder if the layout of my brain spells my name.  Ummm that’s okay.  I don’t want to find out.

There is no doubt that I will continue to read The Superior Spider-Man.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this Marvel NOW! title.