On Wednesdays, I always park at Capaha Park, rather than in the university lots, mostly because the comic store is closer to the Park than my office. This is the second week in a row that there's been someone in the park playing bagpipes on Wednesday. Is there a Scottish holiday or something going right now? It's actually very nice, if a bit odd. Wound up with six books this week, so let's get a move on. Lots to do, so watch out or the spoilers might sneak up on you.
Amazing Spider-Man #535 - This was a nostlagia buy. I remember how, long ago, there used to be a monthly book called Amazing Spider-Man, and I'd buy it, and hopefully it was good (sometimes it wasn't). Anyone know what happened to that book? This is that book? Then where the hell's it been? Civil War? #$%^ Civil War!
Peter is having trouble sleeping, and 24 hour news tells him that Stark and Richards are making a buttload of money building prisons to hold non-registered types. Peter goes to Tony and says that he wants to see one of these prisons the people he's capturing are sent to. Tony and Reed oblige, and so Pete gets to use a jetpack! Neato! Stark notices Peter's not making jokes, or even calling him "Boss". The Negative Zone isn't funny, "Boss".
Stark explains the synthetic vibranium cells, and how some people get to live in virtual reality, which doesn't change the fact they're stuck in a prison in the Negative Zone, but hey, it's only temporary, right Tony? Tony? Oh, it's not temporary? Why? They've got no rights, because in the Negative Zone, the United States Constitution no longer applies to them? Which means She-Hulk's pretty much spinning her wheels with her legal motions (Tony says as much). Tony even takes off his helmet (at Pete's request), to talk about how he hates this, and hasn't slept in weeks. In that case, JMS might have wanted to ask Garney to show Stark looking a little more ragged, because he don't look bleary-eyed and worn down to me. And then he subtly threatens Peter with the same fate that Prodigy's suffering. As long as Peter doesn't go back to wearing the Prodigy outfit.
Then, my God, is that Reed Richards looking human? It is! Reed gives us the heart-rending story of his creative uncle, who wouldn't buckle to Joe McCarthy, and how it taught Reed to always follow the law, no matter if it's dumb, prejudiced, hateful, etc. Then Stark threatens Pete's family again (subtly). Pete's had enough, but Tony's been spying again. So Stark is still kind of a jerk, but Reed's nicer, and Pete finally woke up, so 4.1 out of 5.
Cable/Deadpool #32 - It's Cable vs. Deadpool! Booya! Boo-yeah? Boo-yea? Whatever. Wade gives it his best shot, but Cable's powers are working, so 'Pool's best is sadly lacking. Cable deals with some more resistance, then he and the Prez resume discussions. What? The President has doubts about the Registration Act, what it could do? But he really feels this is the best way for the citizenry to be safe? Is that. . . a reasoned defense of the pro-registration side?! I didn't believe such a thing existed!
Of course Cable points out that in his eyes, "registration" is quite different from what's actually going on, but agrees to disagree and he and Wade are gone. They pop up in Paris, and Wade's fist goes to town on Cable's face, until Cable's metal fist returns the favor. Ouch. After Wadey wakes up, he and Cable have themselves a discussion: about Wade working for the U.S., and whether Cable really is always right. I like that Deadpool shows he's smarter than he acts, and that he really thinks this the right thing for him, to be legit. Too bad Cable was still a few steps ahead of him. Loved it. 4.8 out of 5.
Heroes for Hire #2 - Last month was enough for it to earn a second chance. This month? Probably not so much. Misty's pissed that Goliath is dead; Tarantula and Paladin don't care, but they should probably keep that under their hats. Shang-Chi plays the voice of reason, and Tony plays his "I understand your concerns and empathize with them", when actually neither is true. Tony makes a joke about how it would be easier for Misty to control her team if she used implants like he's doing with criminals. Guess Ben Urich was right about Norman Osborn. Would you care to say that on the record, Mr. Stark? Why are you aiming your flattened, glowing palm in my direction, Mr. Stark? The squad agress to go after Captain America, but they need magic to find him, since they can't out-tech the SHIELD gear he's using.
Before they can get to Cap, a cop buddy calls them in because he's found a Skrull organ harvesting operation, which the H.F.H. bring to Reed's attention. You know, I thought all the bloggers were joking about a "Skrull Kill Krew", but it gets name-checked, so I guess not. Was that Bill Mantlo's doing? And Tarantula is apparently a major tech-head as she offers to build something if Reed just gives her schematics. With that subplot begun, it's back to catching Cap. They try to talk him in, but when they can't, we find out that Paladin is competing with Black Panther for "Most Grant Morrison Batman-like character in the Marvel Universe". Not bad, but I don't know that it'll be back next month, 3.5 out of 5.
Skull Kill Krew? Really?
The Punisher #38 - You know the problem with this week's books? They're all in the middle of some multi-issue arc, and so they're all stuck in that exposition phase. Just not a lot happening. This is case-in-point. O'Brien is about to bite it, but Frank just happened to call the British wog in Afghanistan that was about to shoot her (per U.S. government orders), and get him to stop. Meanwhile, Zakharov is miffed that Rawlins' plan to capture the Punisher by first capturing O'Brien has only lead to the death of about 9 of the General's men. Rawlins does avoid a nose-dive by coming up with another way to get Frank Castle where they want him. And that's pretty much it. Frank Castle does not brutally kill one person, to which I say, what the hell? A least give us a pity kill, Ennis. Meh. 3.1 out of 5.
Teen Titans #39 - It is only by the grace of the last page that this book remains on my pull list, and that's against better judgement. So we're meeting more Titans I don't care about. Zatara has a definite "Peter Parker before Uncle Ben died" vibe about him. Call me when he gets to the "Peter after Uncle Ben died". We get Raven's origin for what, the 2nd, 3rd time since this title began? Hey, I like Raven, but come on Johns, get it in gear. Well, it seems someone stole an encyclopedia from the Tower "i" through "k". I can't tell whether it's the book Raven had at the end of last issue. Stop bogarting knowledge Raven! Learning is important!
Then it's Miss Martian, who once thought it'd be funny to pie Ravager in the face. I guess she missed the part of the Three Stooges where somebody getting pied usually lead to punching, or at least some retaliatory violence. If Rose just cursed her out, she got off lucky. So for the record, as long as you don't laugh when Rose can see you, pie in the face is hilarious. M.M. can't really help them much, but she knows where Raven went next and... oh joy, it's a Junior Captain Atom! Or would that be Lieutenant Atom? Well, she's certainly sure who the traitor is, but I'm more concerned about Martian Girl. The Titans could be boned. 2.5 out of 5, only because of a strong ending. Apparently, I hate Johns' beginnings, and enjoy his endings. so I should probably skip the first 3 or 4 issues of Justice Society, huh?
Ultimate Spider-Man #100 - Well, that explains what happened to Richard Parker, if he's to be believed, and I think he is. Now we've got Gyrich in play in the Ultimate Universe (gods save us), six-armed Spideys (not for very long though), and Carnage is back on the field (crap). One of these days, Peter will learn that just because it's a smokestack, doesn't mean something will burn if you toss it in there.
Daddy Parker is in a rival organization to Fury's now, and his arrival on the field brings Fury out in force... with a bunch of weird robots, that I can't tell if the giant sphere under them is attached to them, or if they're levitating above them. I think they're attached, but I can't understand what the blue glow is about then. As he usually does, Nick Fury makes things worse, and Aunt May has that heart attack we all knew was coming sooner or later. And something happened to MJ. As for the rest, it's unused Mark Bagley artwork and character concepts, but as much as I love Bagley artwork (and if you don't know that about me, you aren't paying attention), if I'm paying a dollar extra for a double-sized issue, then I want double the story, not a freaking recap of the entire Ultimate Spider-Man story up to this point. So, with that standard in mind, 2.3 out of 5.