Comic Reviews: Spider-Men and Red Hood and The Outlaws!
Spider-Men #5 (of 5)
The meeting of the Ultimate and 616 Marvel universe concludes with this issue, and man, what a ride. Brian Michael Bendis and Sarah Pichelli’s Spider-Men limited series may have been light on action in parts, but man was it a great character study of both incarnations of Marvel’s flagship hero. Seeing Peter Parker and Miles Morales meet was a surprisingly moving experience that has a great (if maddening) last panel.
I’ll give the haters that it does seem a bit of a rushed last issue, but at the same time, I don’t care. For me this miniseries was less of a “Spidey team-up against Mysterio” tale than a meeting of a kid who gets the ability to meet his hero, and that hero’s reaction to the impact he leaves when he dies. The fact that our Peter Parker is seeing a world where not only everyone knows his secret identity, but where he’s also dead is still a great hook, and I hope it’ll have an impact on his world over in Amazing Spider-Man. One can already tell how much of an impact this will have on Miles Morales’ life, and the scenes at the end of the issue where the two Spider-Men defeat Mysterio are incredibly awesome, but even more so is the moment at the end with Peter giving advice to Miles. Seeing Miles act like the 13 year-old in awe of Spider-Man that he is was really sweet, especially when he asks Peter for his blessing. Brian Michael Bendis’ script really shines here, absolutely nailing the points that you hoped he’d touch one when this book was first announced.
Equally as impress is Sarah Pichelli’s artwork, which as always, is stunning. Her action scenes between Mysterio and Ultimates were phenemenal, my favorite being the layout depicting all of their worst fears after breathing in Mysterio’s “fear gas”. Bendis and Pichelli are a dynamite team and have created one of the best Spider-Man tales of all time, one that will hopefully be left alone and not diluted by a million sequels. Spidey fan or not, this series is a must read.
Red Hood and The Outlaws #0
Alright, confession time: of all of the DC “issue zeros”, the one I was looking forward to the most was this. Red Hood and The Outlaws started off as my guilty pleasure of the DC relaunch, but I’ve found that as the title has gone on I’ve really enjoyed it. Yes, it gets a little 90s sometimes, but I really enjoy Red Hood, even if I’m one of the only people on the planet who will admit it. I’ve been really curious as to how they will spin Jason Todd’s resurrection in the “New 52” landscape, and I have to say, I’m pleased with the result.
While the way Batman comes across young Jason has been altered, his death has only been tweaked slightly. Scott Lobdell’s new spin on Jason’s life makes him more of a tragic figure than in the past, and almost makes you understand why he was such a brat as Robin. Of course, the streamlined continuity to fit all of these Robins is pretty confusing, but at the same time, I tend not to get too hung up on it (and neither should you, to be honest). Pasqual Ferry takes over from Kenneth Rocafort for this issue, and while his art is fine, he’s no Rocafort. His early panels of Batman are a little weird looking, but it eventually grew on me. The big reveal about Jason’s return to the land of the living is exactly what I was hoping for, and there’s even another little cool twist in the back up story that I really enjoyed. For those who were upset by Jason’s return thanks to a “super-punch” last go-around, this issue will alleviate those feelings.