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Review Group Week 205 - AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #617

Discuss the latest comic book news and front page articles, read or post your own reviews of comics, and talk about anything comic book related. Threads from the two subforums below will also show up here. News Stand topics can also be read and posted in from The Asylum.

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Postby MrBlack » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:21 am

Punchy wrote:There's another Rhino issue coming up by Kelly and Fiumura, where the new and old Rhinos fight eachother.

And thus Old Rhino will be dragged back to his villianous persona.

This issue was well done, but it looks like a pretty cliche story overall.

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Postby Punchy » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:28 am

This was one of the best Spider-Man issues since OMD, and for a book that's been decent on the whole, that's saying something, really strong.

Review tomorrow or Saturday.

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Postby Old Man » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:08 pm

thefourthman wrote:and OM, this was not a fill in story, it was very much a part of the larger Gauntlet story. The actual story here was done in one, whereas the electro and sandman stories have been multiple issue storylines. I think this worked in the best tradition of done in one. The story as presented is complete in and of itself, but it has pieces of the larger story... in fact for me, it was particularly revelatory as I am starting to see things that were put in motion by OMD coming together. There was enough of the bigger story present that if you liked it, you could see that there is more to it. (and yes Michelle is psycho and anyone who has been reading the book can confirm this).

Sorry you didn't like the art. I think the guy is a genius though.


I haven't even read your comment because I had to post right away and ask that you not refer to me as OM. That guy has a reputation that I don't even want to get near. :wink: :lol:

Now I'll go back and read your post.
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Postby Old Man » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:12 pm

Now that I've read your post, I slightly disagree that this was a done-in-one issue. The second story was done-in-one, imo, but the first has interconnections to other stories.

As I said, didn't care at all for the art in the first story. Different strokes.
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Postby Old Man » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:23 pm

Punchy wrote:Review tomorrow or Saturday.


Lemme take care of that for you.

"Greatest. Rhino story. Ever. 10.5"
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Postby MrBlack » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:35 pm

Old Man wrote:Lemme take care of that for you.

"Greatest. Rhino story. Ever. 10.5"

I thought this was the greatest rhino story ever:

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Postby Punchy » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:07 pm

Old Man wrote:Lemme take care of that for you.

"Greatest. Rhino story. Ever. 10.5"


I never grade above a 9.

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Postby 48THRiLLS » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:12 pm

Punchy wrote:I never grade above a 9.

never ever ever?

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Postby Punchy » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:14 pm

48THRiLLS wrote:never ever ever?


Never, not even for Watchmen

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Postby ****** » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:37 pm

Punchy wrote:I never grade above a 9.


Is that a fact?

Punchy wrote:Nextwave: Agents Of H.A.T.E #8 - Doesn't really title, but the first caption covers it 'Dance, critters' - Ellis & Immonen
Story - I'm pretty sure Nextwave may actually be the best thing ever, and this issue was no exception, hilarious from start to finish. It takes a lot to make me 'laugh out loud' from a comic, it's probably only Scott Pilgrim and recent issues of Astonishing that have done it (Wolverine in Howlett mode!) but this issue did it twice! Once with the page of the Mindless ones hanging out, especially the one in the hoodie, and then the Captain and Rorkannu 'that's not the title of an adult movie!'. But even if the other stuff wasn't LOL worthy, it was still awesome, the first page, Ellie's past, Dirk, 'TABY' and the ending captions, all genius. Nextwave, I love you.
Art - Perfect for the book, it's expressive and cartoony, but just superheroish enough for the spoofery to click perfectly. Shout out to the cover layout, which, as always, is awesome.
Best Line - 'You have violated my gate of fire! Which is not the title of an adult movie!' 'You sure? I think i saw that one.

10/10


Punchy wrote:Starman #0 - 'Falling Star, Rising Son' - Robinson, Harris & Von Grawbadger
Story - Everyone knows about Robinson's Starman, one of the bright superhero lights in the 90s, a decade dominated by shoulderpads and Vertigo, and this first issue is a great indicator as to why this series is so revered, and a great example of how to do a first issue. From the opening scene, where David Knight is gunned down, to simple character bits like Jack knowing everyone on his street, everything just works. Robinson makes a compelling character already in only 20 or so pages, through unconventional inner monologue. I'm kind of jaded with inner monologues, they're kind of pat, but for Jack, Robinson does something different, it's disjointed, much more like a real persons thoughts, not everyone narrates their life like Raymond freaking Chandler you know, and Robinson gets this. Especially powerful is the scene in the fire at Jack's shop, where he's just panicking, listing all the things that are being destroyed, that's what real people think about, and it just stands out to me. John Workman's placement of the caption boxes helps here, they are disjointed, and make you work to follow them. The use of Flashbacks, and 'times past' was a big part of the Starman series, and it is used here well, you see Jack bickering with his brother a page after he is shot, and it really conjures up drama, only page 5. All this, and you get some exciting action scenes too, plus continuity, that isn't intrusive. This is simply a great comic, and if any of you have not read Starman before, DC is beginning a new series of hardcovers later this year, and you should definately pick them up. Me? I think I'm going to keep on getting this in back-issues!
Art - Tony Harris is one of the best comics artists working today, but of course, this comic isn't from today, it's from 1994, 14 years ago, and it shows. This isn't as good as his new stuff, but it is by no means bad. His facial expressions are strong, even without photoreferences like he uses now, and his use of shadow is excellent. It feels a lot more dynamic than Ex Machina, the page where Jack bursts out of the explosion on his cosmic rod is just iconic, and the splash page of The Mist is just wonderfully. Opal City is a big part of this book, as Robinson explains in the text piece in the back of the book, and Harris' backgrounds are perfect, at times highly detailed, but sometimes, when the story demands character focus, like the fall to earth of David Knight, minimal, just great.
Best Line - 'After all, with Davey dead... he's Starman. And I'm not' (it's mislettered as Danny in the comic, but I know what it means)

10/10


Punchy wrote:Never, not even for Watchmen


Oh, really?

Punchy wrote:Watchmen - Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins
Story - I'm sure we all know the basic story of Watchmen, famous superhero The Comedian is murdered by a mystery assailant, and the unhinged right-wing vigilanted Rorschach investigates the death, discovering a possible conspiracy that involves all the superheroes of their world, Nite-Owl, Ozymandias, Silk Spectre and the only individual with actual powers, Doctor Manhattan. And whilst this is a good pitch, a good story, it doesn't really do justice to what Watchmen is about. The book is an analysis and deconstruction of the superhero concept, This is Stan Lee's heroes with a feet of clay taken to the next level, heroes with no feet at all they're so unstable. Moore uses this mystery to poke around the history of a world just a few awkward steps from our own, with Rorschach's travels taking us all over the world and all over the characters. The way Moore integrates flashback into the story is flawless, with each piece feeling like a puzzle slowly forming, but it is not only the mystery that is forming, but a whole fictional reality. Throug the flashbacks and also the supplementary text articles, Moore and Gibbons create a world that is more real in 12 issues than the Marvel and DC Universes are in over a 1000. The structure of the thing is just pitch-perfect, whether it be the constant nine-panel grid, or the more experimental parts, like the opening panel from each issue being the same as the cover, the symettrical chapter, or the Doctor Manhattan issue or the much contested Pirate segments, it's very different from the standard comicbook structure, and yet also familiar, and this is what Watchmen is, familiar, but different, and all the better for it. Famously of course, the characters were initially intended to be the Charlton Comics characters that DC had bought but not used, Blue Beetle, The Question, Captain Atom, etc, and this similarity is a great way to show how different and special Watchmen is, we know what the Blue Beetle and Question are supposed to be like, but when Moore shows us what they would really be like in the real world, it creates some of the first fully dimensional superheroes, and a sense of ambiguity about the piece. Rorschach is ostensibly a hero, but he is a right-wing nutjob, Doctor Manhattan is cold and unfeeling, and Nite-Owl can't get it up. That's just the tip of the iceberg, every character, however minor has a real presence, whether it's Sally Jupiter, Hollis Mason or the group of ordinary people who congregate around the newsstand, such as the psychiatrist or the lesbian taxi driver, they all seem real and important. There is a sexual subtext to the book, especially with the 1940s super-team the Minutemen, most of whom seem to have become superheroes to get kicks, rather than fight crime. But all of this is left mainly unsaid, was Hooded Justice a violent homo-sexual? It's hinted out, but never explained, which is perfect. Most comics have an unhealthy urge to explain everything, that accident that happened? That was actually machinated by Luthor! Your miscarriage? It was the work of the Green Goblin! Mwahahaaha! Watchmen is not like that, just like in the real world things are left incomplete, as Doctor Manhattan says, nothing ever ends, and neither does Watchmen, it survives multiple readings, and is one of the classics of the medium.
Art - I mentioned the 9-panel grid, and it's here that Gibbons shines, every page is do detailed, it's a very difficult undertaking and it really pays off. His style is realistic, but also capable of conveying the fantastic, which is perfect for a book that juxtaposes the two. Gibbons also moves in and out of different styles, the photographs in the text pieces look different to the narrative, and the pirate comics look different, but it is unified, it is the same world. John Higgins' colours are also deserving of note, the book's colour's look different than most, but each choice is correct for the scene, with red skies and dark streets.
Best Line - It's hard to think of one, really, but I'll pick a favourite that I can remember in my head - 'Offered french love, swedish love, but not, american love. American love like coke in green glass bottles, they don't make it any more' If you can find it on Youtube, you can find Moore reading this scene, it's chilling.

10/10


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Postby 48THRiLLS » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:02 pm

:lol:

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Postby Frag » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:07 pm

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Outhouse Post #1,000,000:

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Postby fieldy snuts » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:45 pm

My 2 cents:

I've felt Kelly's ASM issues have all been solid ever since his Hammerhead arc. His over-the-top tone on scenes have always made reading his stories a a treat. He brings so much to the new supporting cast in the moments we see them....it feels like quirky Bendis type banter only it doesnt go on for pages in little one word sentence like that one sometimes goes. Basically it has a tighter feel and keeps the story flowing nicely. Norah is definitely a good addition to the cast and he even makes Michelle tolerable.

The Rhino in this issue was not what I expected, I knew there would be a new Rhino popping up thanks to future solicits but I didnt expect this take on the old version where Alexy seems to be trying to get his life back on track after busting through banks with a horn on his head for a living. Even refusing to be baited into a fight by the new Rhino (who I'm still on the fence about till i see him/her/it fleshed out a bit more).

Part of the over-the-top stuff I mentioned above also became part of the scene where new Rhino grabs a horse and beats Alexy over the head with it hard enough to make the thing splatter resulting in a panel of blood. Not many writers can pull that off without it being corny, in this case it worked.

The epilogue with Spidey giving Alexy life-pointers to not throw his new life with his wife (debut in this issue) away was also moving and showed that despite Peter Parker's personal life being in the dumps due to his shitty luck and attempting to juggle heroics and personallife together he does at least know whats up in that department...though obviously his feeling that Spider-Man is needed for the greater good obviously takes precedence and he chooses to sacrifice so much to help people has been one of the big factors in BND Spidey.

The Backup story was a great little addition that showed how Alexy came to his current choice in lifestyle, his motivations and how he came to be married. Genuinely a truly touching story that did a great job of conveying the backstory on Alexy prior to this issue. Though this happy story doesnt seem like it'll last given that in a while he'll put on the horn again.

Art was great, loved it and it was a great change from the retro style that was prevalent over the last few months. Not really familiar with Fimura but I was happy with it.

Overall top notch work in a standalone story that is a bit of a rarity these days. My verdict:

9/10

Minor nitpick: Like I said in my post prior to this review, the thing that throws me about the Rhino is writers either writing him full-blown Russian or American-Russian. Fractions Punisher had him decidedly American, the Rhino story in some Defalco short story in (I think ASM #600) had him talking in badly broken English, the way the words were structured in this issue i got the off-the-boat immigrant dialect. Before this from what little i remember it was always a kinda American accent from the slang and speech mannerisms. Was it always like this?

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Postby doombug » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:27 pm

And Punchy loses forever. :lol:
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Postby guitarsmashley » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:08 pm

Punchy needs to shut his whore mouth.
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