A bit of a return to normalcy from last week's 7-pack, only three books for me this week. One of these is Amazing Spider-Man #532, so none of you should buy that this week, because I'll discuss it, with a review today, and a more in-depth look this weekend probably. I did, however, look through several other books, - SPOILERS! - including the most recent Hulk (Green Scar vs. Silver Savage over too soon), that new Spectre book (Yawn), I think it was last week's She-Hulk (meh), Son of M #6 ('war', I really enjoyed that), Ultimate Extinction #5 (Way too much happened too fast), and Superman/Batman #26. I might talk more about that one tomorrow. Anyway, on with the 3, spoiler warnings, because I don't want you to fling used chimpanzee diapers at me.
Amazing Spider-Man #532 - Remember, I bought and read it, so YOU DON'T HAVE TO. Seriously, don't buy this, it's terrible. For all the poltical yadda-yadda the previous two issues had, they were still good because there was webslinging. This issue? No webslinging. So what did transpire?
Peter and Tony go to Stamford. Peter observes that the people hate them, Tony understands their sentiment. Thanks a lot Stark, or should I call you "Windsock"? Tony and Peter go to the White House, because the Prez wants to speak with Stark about all this. Peter's got 5 o'clock shadow. C'mon Parker, show a little class, it's the White House, man! The President tells Tony the bill to force superhumans to register will be signed within a week. He also asks Stark if he is Iron Man. Tony told him "yes". Now comes the crappy part.
If Peter is going to work with Tony Stark, because of Stark's position, Peter has to reveal his identity to the world. If he doesn't, then Tony will be aiding a fugitive (apparently that's a bad thing, who knew?). Peter is, not surprisingly, against this course of action, but Stark points out refusal doesn't just bring the law down on Peter, but on May and MJ. Dirty pool, Stark. Stark makes it pretty clear, stand with me, or we're done, the choice is Pete's.
On the way back to New York, Peter starts investigating the possibility of taking all the money that's just his (not in the shared account with MJ, good man) and hitting the road, in essence, doing the Ben Reilly thing. 11 thousand dollars could last a while like that, I'd figure, but Pete needs to talk to his family first. This is where someone says in singsong voice "Somebody's whipped." MJ and May don't want Peter to live on the run, as they couldn't have any contact with him, so they assure him they're fine with his going public. Aunt May is heavily in favor, because she wants people to stop thinking of him as a criminal. Still, Pete's ready to run, 'till Aunt May cuts him off, damn old woman. Fugitive Spider-Man is much more interesting than Peter Parker, Agent of SHIELD. Pete returns to Washington, and these are the words that fill me with dread (from Peter, to Stark):
"You took us in when we had noweher to go. You've been good to MJ, and to Aunt May. You stood by us. You've been like - a father to me. I made a promise that I would stand by you, no matter what. I keep my promises, Tony. Do what you have to. I'll back you up. All the way."
Which is how we get a final page of Spider-Man (classic costume, whoo?), standing in front of the Press Corps, preparing to make an announcement.
This has all the makings of a horrible idea, but I will be kind and somewhat reserve judgement until next issue, so 2.1 out of 5. I've got a lot more to say, but this is running long, so probably tomorrow.
Ultimate Spider-Man #95 - Well, nothing horrifying happens in this comic, it just seems to meander a bit, without really doing much. First we have a flashback to when Spidey met Ultimate Blade, way back in that Ultimate Marvel Team-Up book, that came out before even Ultimate X-Men had begun. Flash to the present.
Peter and Kitty are having a phone conversation. Apparently, Spider-Man and Shadowcat is the hot couple of the year, which means Peter and Kitty can't go dating, especially since Kitty has to stay in the X-Mansion for awhile. Kitty yells at Peter, Peter gets a concerned, Kitty realizes she was yelling at him about stuff that isn't his fault, she freaks that she's driven him off, Pete calms her down, the situation seems temporarily resolved. Peter then sees Ben Urich's story on vampires get shot down by Jonah, because it's too silly. Riiiight. The Earth being menaced by a fleet of giant artificial bug-ships that hate organic life happens, but vampires, that's just absurd. Urich agrees it's currently a weak story, but Peter knows there are vampires, but can't tell Urich, because he met one as Spider-Man, yadda, yadda.
Peter tries to talk to MJ, who is less than pleased with the Spidey/Shadowcat thing. That conversation predictably goes downhill, especially when Peter suggests MJ ought to start dating again, and that she's still his "friend". Yikes. Smooth move there, Master P.
Then Urich goes missing while trying to improve his story. Then Spidey goes searching. Then Morbius shows up. Hmm. Something was off with the art here, I think it's because Tony Dell, the normal inker, didn't do all of it, Palmiotti handled some of the chores, because Bagley's art just doesn't look as clean as normal, especially in the MJ/Peter scene. 2.9 out of 5.
The Punisher: The Tyger - And this, was the high point of the week. Sigh. I'm not entirely sure what this is, other than trying to fit some more motivation for Frank Castle's war than just "His family was killed senslessly, and he developed a taste for killing in 'Nam." I don't think that's a bad thing; it's just difficult to reconcile the kid who attends a poetry class at the catholic school with the guy we see now, even if this is written by Ennis.
So Frank likes poetry, but draws the ire of the instructor, Father David, for suggesting William Blake's poem "The Tyger", is telling us that fierce things like tigers weren't made by God, while sweet things like lambs were. Imagine if Frank says that's because God is a woman, and so doesn't understand big mean things like tigers. The nuns would have had his hide. Along with this, we get to see Frank maybe developing a tenative relationship with a girl in the class, we see a man set on fire, and a confused young woman step out in front of a truck. Turns out she was taken by the son of the local boss, and ain't shit anybody can do about it, including Frank's dad, who survived Iwo Jima, but is more frightened by this. Even so, there's always going to be someone who'll say "Screw it, I'm not standing for this," and this story is no exception.
Well, little Mister 'Take Girls Whenever He Wants' gets his comeuppance, in typically vicious Ennis style, but not from who you're expecting. This wasn't bad, wasn't great, if only because I still find it kind of hard to see the boy Frank was growing into the guy he became. The more I think about it, the more I can see it, so maybe by this weekend I can verbalize it. We'll see. 3.8 out of 5.
One last thing.
Geoff Johns, put Sand in the new Justice Society of America book. That is all.