Lame pull this week. I mean really lame. I had to give a title a second chance just to have two books. And of course there was the delightful news that Civil War is being pushed back, and that's it's dragging about six other Marvel books back with it. I guess the saving grace for me is I only buy one of those books (Amazing Spider-Man) so I'm not that badly put out. Still, very smooth Marvel. Ah, let's just get on with this. Spoilers ahead (probably).
Ghost Rider #2 - Hey, Johnny Blaze isn't in Hell anymore! How'd that happen?
No seriously, how did that happen? This issue doesn't tell us. We see Johnny on a desert highway, getting helped by a friendly trucker, after she kicks him in the nuts, because he freaked out when she knew his name.
So he gets to a truck stop, but an elderly fellow in a van shows up as well, a family along for the ride. I thought it was Spidey's old enemy Tombstone at first, but it's not. Anyway, the old man is up to no good, he and Ghost Rider get into it, as we find out that apparently, Johnny Blaze wasn't the only person to escape from Hell.
Oh, and Dr. Strange showed up. I'll reserve judgement on that until I see how he's depicted. Next month. #3 is being released next month, right Marvel? It's not being pushed back because of Civil War is it? Expletive deleted. I guess I'll give the book 3.1 out of 5. Nothing jumped out at me in this issue compared to last month.
Sensational Spider-Man #29 - It occurred to me that I was probably hasty in only giving Aguirre-Sacasa one issue to win me over. Given I stuck with Reginald Hudlin for 11 mostly average issues, he probably deserved a more lengthy looksee. So here we are. I believe this story is best titled "Spider-Man Has It Driven Home To Him That Publicly Unmasking Was Really Freaking Stupid", but they went with "The Deadly Foes of Peter Parker". To that I have to say, really? The Scarecrow is a Deadly Foe? He got his butt whipped by the Falcon (in a Geoff Johns' Avengers issue, which is probably a sign of the things that went wrong with Johns' run on that book), but he's going to challenge Spider-Man?
And look, he's working with Will O' Wisp! OOOH, scary. I thought that guy had reformed. He was a good guy (sorta) back in the '90s (I'd say Spidey had the best rate of enemies turning things around of any hero, except most of them seem to have reverted). While those two engage in a little cat n' mouse with Webs, Chameleon is recruiting the Molten Man, by threatening to have Electro kill children. Well, OK, Electro that's better. I was afraid that Aguirre-Sacasa was just having to run with D-list villains because JMS and PAD and Paul Jenkins were hoarding all Spidey's good arch-foes.
OK, I've been mocking the book up until now, but I do want to give some props. One, we see MJ doing something other than sitting in Avengers Tower worrying about Peter. She's at the theater, getting ready to play Lady Macbeth, and she's not going to go hide in the tower just because Peter says so. Way to go MJ! Take back your life from your idiot husband! Two, Aguirre-Sacasa seems to be having the most fun with the Iron Spider outfit of the Spider-writers. I know two issues ago he had the suit demonstrate it's camoflauge abilities, and the fact it's actually a bunch of little robots, this month we see the glider wings and the suit's ability to counteract toxins used on Peter. So that's good. If A-S has to write the stories with Peter having that particular costume, he might as well demonstrate the differences/advatages to having that suit versus the classic costume.
Third, and most important - especially for Chris Sims - we have an appearance by a certain mass of bees. No initial sign of Nazism, but it was only a brief apperance. but I've said too much.
Fourth, we get cameos by Puma, Black Cat (who may still be in love with Peter Parker! Gasp, it can't be true!) and Madame Web.
There are certain notes that don't ring quite true. I'm can't believe Raxton would actually do what the Chameleon has apparently asked of him, even with children being threatened. I'd expect him to attack Electro, or yell at the kids to flee. But, it fits with the theme of the story, namely that Peter unmasking was a really bad decision, so I guess it's passable. Plus, I may be biased since the entirety of my experience with Molten Man was as we approached Harry Osborn's death and M.M. was trying to help Liz raise Normie. Well, I'll give the book another chance next month. 3.6 out of 5.
Say, where the hell is Normie these days?