Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spider-Man's Tangled Web Vol. 2 Review

Spider-Man's Tangled Web Vol. 2
Marvel Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
128 pages
ISBN 9780785108740

Contributors: Bruce Jones, Lee Weeks, Kaare Andrews, and Darwyn Cooke

Reprints: Spider-Man's Tangled Web #7-11

Synopsis: Three different stories featuring three different creative teams:
  1. "Gentleman's Agreement" - A hack in NYC gets some bad news - cancer, the terminal kind.  He stumbles onto a secret that could save his life - Spider-Man's secret identity.  Will he betray the trust of a hero to save himself?
  2. "Ray of Light" - Two boys idolize Spider-Man, but one of his battles spills into their home and threatens their lives
  3. "Open All Night" - Spider-Man battles the Vulture on Valentine's Day, but this battle is nothing compared to Peter Parker's dilemma - he's double-booked with two lovely ladies!  The Parker luck strikes again!
Pros: Some decent creators

Cons: Andrews' art attempts to be photo realistic and ends up falling short (too much black background), Cooke's art/story is uber-cartoony, Jones' storyline is somewhat convoluted and hard to follow

Mike Tells It Straight: This second volume of Tangled Web didn't interest me as much as the previous one.  The first storyline was decent with a twist ending, but Andrews' one-shot fell flat.  His liberal use of pitch black background seems like a convenient way to avoid drawing backgrounds.  Cooke's story was lively and entertaining, but his style is a bit too cartoony.  Overall this volume is somewhat entertaining, but utterly forgettable.

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spider-Man's Tangled Web Vol. 1 Review

Spider-Man's Tangled Web Vol. 1
Marvel Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
144 pages
ISBN 9780785108030

Contributors: Garth Ennis, John McCrea, James Hodgkins, Glenn Fabry, Greg Rucka, Eduardo Risso, Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo

Reprints: Spider-Man's Tangled Web #1-6

Synopsis: An anthology series featuring three different stories and creative teams:
  1. "The Thousand" - Someone has discovered how Spider-Man got his powers.  They attempt to replicate the results, but suffer horrible consequences and seek out Spider-Man for revenge!
  2. "Severance Package" - One of the Kingpin's lieutenants has failed and now it's time to see the boss for the last time
  3. "Flowers for Rhino" - A spin on "Flowers for Algernon" starring the grey behemoth as he gets smart only to realize it's not what he expected 
Pros: The art and writing across the three stories is pretty good, McCrea shows a much different style than usual (possibly due to Hodgkins' inking)

Cons: Stories are amusing, but have no lasting effect on continuity

Mike Tells It Straight: Three solid stories by some great writers and artists.  By no means are these stories essential Spidey reading, but worth the time if you dig the character and his peripherals.

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Superman vs. Predator Review

Superman vs. Predator
DC Comics/ Dark Horse Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
160 pages
ISBN 761941226774

Contributors: David Michelinie, Alex Maleev, Matt Hollingsworth, and Bill Oakley

Reprints: Superman vs. Predator #1-3 (of 3)

Synopsis: A S.T.A.R. Labs expedition uncovers an ancient derelict spacecraft in the jungles of Central America.  Superman investigates the ship and catches an alien virus which cause his powers to fluctuate wildly.  The group is captured by a band of mercenaries working for a clandestine scientist.  He plans to use the alien technology to facilitate selective global genocide based on genetic sequencing, but he didn't count on one thing - the meanest alien hunter in the galaxy!

Pros: Maleev's art shows promise, he draws the most realistic boobs on the head S.T.A.R. researcher I have ever seen in a comic

Cons: Michelinie's scriptwork is weak, Superman's powers fluctuate yet always work when he needs them most

Mike Tells It Straight: A few decent story points, but overall very standard Superman fare.  Uncompelling story aside, Maleev's art is interesting and shows the potential which got him paired with Bendis on Daredevil.  The boobs in this book are amazing - never have I seen more realistic gravity-obeying cleavage!

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Daredevil: Yellow Review

Daredevil: Yellow
Marvel Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
152 pages
ISBN 0785109692

Contributors: Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale, Matt Hollingsworth, and Richard Starkings

Reprints: Daredevil: Yellow #1-6 (of 6)

Synopsis: A retelling of Matt Murdock's origin focusing on his first outings as the masked crimefighter Daredevil.  His relationship with Karen Page and first superhero battles with Electro and then the Owl are highlighted.

Pros: Wonderfully detailed art by Sale, excellent story/script by Loeb, great color by Hollingsworth, and cover gallery

Cons: Sale's rendition of Matt Murdock is too cartoony (especially his profile), the story has no real surprises

Mike Tells It Straight: The Loeb/Sale team scores another touchdown with this book and adds Daredevil to their library of captivating, touching stories.  They showcase the fledgling days of Matt Murdock's superhero career when he was still full of innocence and naivete.  Especially poignant is the budding relationship with Karen Page.  A quality read and must-have for Daredevil fans.

TO BUY and Recommendations: