* To those who do not know what they're about to read. Well, here's your warning. The following is just Zechs being Zechs. Grammatical errors are bound to happen you down three bottles of This Ain't Your Dad's Root Bear trying to comprehend the garbage you read. So there. You've been warned. Anything now is on your head for not following the warning.
Ah three weeks of bliss since my last review. You know avoiding Inhumans vs. X-Men #1 was a godsent. It really was. Given the crapulence that Death of X #4 and Inhumans vs. X-Men #0 was, there was no way in hell I was going to be down for another horrible wild ride. Even if the ride was free.
This week on the other hand I decided to break my vow and lay some hard earned money down on two comics (Batman #13 & Amazing Spider-Man #22 and I'll get to my motivations on why for each). One however, I did not was Venom #2 and decided to just look through for free. Why you ask? Well, the comic absolutely sucks with the lessons I learned from the first issue.
If there anything redeeming of this comic is the art by Geraldo Sandoval is pretty great. That's where basically any compliment I can have for the comic ends. Look, I get the point of this comic. The main character in this is supposed to be utter garbage. That he's bringing back the evil to Venom when Flash Thompson brought about so much levity to it. But-- much like the third Ghost Rider from five years ago who's names escapes me because of just that. The flaw is they are so nonredeemable you just don't care. These characters are forgettable as hell because of this.
What's worse here is we seen this story of underworld flunkie turned super-powered by a symbiotic form before that comic in the Darkness. This comic here is no freaking Darkness. It's like a pale ironic shadow of what that comic was and uses the same devices that comic had (and it was done better there).
The fact that this comic is supposedly selling baffles my mind, but then again maybe it's selling on the name alone. Because the story is just a "hot" mess. The irony in those words are more so given that in this very story our new Venom is surrounded in a building with fire. Now, I seem to recall that the symbiote had this as a weakness and the fact that this weakness is overlooked to make Venom all "cool" almost made me roll my eyes all the way back from my skull. Yes, the move should have killed me. But like this comic I don't follow the rules.
Now the blame of course should be on the editors, since they should know these things and tell the writer. BUT-- early on when you open this comic you can already see that the editors for this comic just don't give a flying fuck.
So if they don't. Why should we? Then again, breaking them down after one minor issue, while it takes me about four articles is something that I should applaud Costa. I do have some fondness (see it ain't that hard to spell it right) for just going with emotion and fuck grammar!
And really, the worse crime here is what they've done to the Flash Thompson incarnation. It seems like the usual quota for the character that just when things get interesting for the character-- his comic gets cancelled and dumped. Any fan of the character (and his sidekick Mania) have to wait what six or five months for Venom #150. I guess. Eh, I sure as hell ain't looking for any sort of answer cause I'm just done with this comic and it's writer Mike Costa. I've given this guy three chances and in the end I've just come up disappointed.
The first I could almost forgive in IDW G.I. Joe given it was a playpen he could do anything without worrying about the previous rules. But-- the comic eventually and him ran of steam. The second, Web Warriors was something that Dan Slott (the man who built Spider-Verse up that this series spun-off from), Tom DeFalco (the guy who kind of gave us May Parker, Spider-Girl even if Marvel tries it's best to forget that fact given PETER PARKER CANNOT HAVE HAPPY ENDINGS!), and others built up very well actually. It filled that nice void of Exiles, but with alternate universe Spider-Men and Spider-Women. It instead turned into "the Amazing Spider-Gwen show" that barely even tapped into the well that it should had been, or the characters it had to play with.
So, yeah this is all the spotlight I'm ever giving this book, and the only way I'm ever coming back to it is if it does something truly rage inducing that would warrant it (so six months I'll be back to reviewing this then?).
Which leads me to the other side of the Spider-Man spectrum with Amazing Spider-Man #22. I bought this comic like the previous issue due to the Scarlet Spider. Last issue it was for Kaine Parker (and dear god re-reading the Scarlet Spider series Christopher Yost wrote between the time period made me realize just how much I love the progression of character that was done for him there). Anyway, this issue because of the revelation everyone and their mom saw coming in that the Jackal behind this event is not Miles Warren, but Ben Reilly, the original Spider-Clone (or not)!
This issue fills the gaps on how Ben is now the Jackal, and how he survived getting a Goblin Glider THROUGH HIS CHEST, falls off the Daily Bugle onto a parked car, and his body dissolved into nothing because he was a clone (ouch. I think George R.R. Martin would complain about the overkill there). We do get answers on how Ben is among the living again and what the heck happened to Miles Warren, but.. it just leaves us with more questions.
Of course any answers we get leads us to the man who lies about everything, Dan Slott. Oh, Dan my old friend. Here we are again me a little bit smarter to your game than all those years ago. The only irony now is I wish dear Dragavon was alive to see this twist (Ben was his favorite Spider character). I could almost visualize how he would react to this. But then, I'd have to remind him of what Dan did to me with the Hobgoblin and the overall lesson with Mr. Slott.
What is that lesson? Dan Slott lies about EVERYTHING. How do we know any sort of truth what is revealed here is actual truth or any interview he gives on the subject? Maybe that's why he's so damn good at writing the Jackal and Mysterio because the man has the whole smoke and mirrors trickery down to an exact science.
Instead, I just ponder on the questions this issue leaves me. Just how freaking long has Ben been the Jackal? I look around with some whom seem to think a pretty long ass time (since "Spider-Island" event). Me? I like to think and probably it is just right after the Scarlet Spider/Superior Spider-Man crossover. Because if that wasn't Miles Warren in that. Then some of the events in there take a whole new meaning then. Plus next's month issue showcase a fight of Jackals. So yeah.. we have some answers, but not all.
Anyway, my point is to survive this story if you're a fan of Ben Reilly. Wait and see, because the Slott lies. He tricks you into an emotional state, feeds off it, twists that knife in you, and then reveals things back to the status quo. ... For the most part (MC2 Peter dying I'm looking at you). Plus at this point I think fans of Ben Reilly are used to it. They've basically killed him off any chance they could in Spider-Verse. The only real legacy with honest treatment for the character has been in the pages of Spider-Girl (given May uses Ben's costume) and Clone Saga mini from a few years back (both done by DeFalco, though with an assist from Howard Mackie on the later one). Which is kind of weird now that I think about it how these writers treated him better than any current writers have done. Again, though the story isn't over. Just that they better not kill Kaine again. Dammit just send him to Mexico with Aracely. GIVE THEM A HAPPY ENDING DAMMIT!
It's that same method I went in with Batman #13 the finale to "I am Suicide". I have to confess, this arc has been a huge drop for me when it come's to Tom King. I loved "I am Gotham" and this story does read better in one go through. But there in lies the problem with this story. This feels like one large one and broken up in several pieces, it just felt off.
It does have a great moment with the Ventriloquist in here, and it teases something with Catwoman that I guess we'll be learning more next month. But when it's all said and done. The story just felt flat to me.
I think it has more to do with the character I was more interested in Bronze Tiger, really doing absolutely nothing in this arc. Really he doesn't. Punchee and Jewlee I can understand their reasons for being in this (Punch knew the layout of the prison and they were essential for the escape portion). Ventriloquist was there for said cool moment, Catwoman to do what she does in this arc, and really Tiger does nothing. Which is kind of a sad waste given this character has been through a lot of garbage the last few years. I had high hopes, instead they are met with mediocrity.
Still, given how amazing the first issues of the series was and I'll even confess the Ventriloquist moment was pretty good. Just that the overall feel of any threat of Bane was muted. Then again, I don't think I have to worry about that given Bane is coming back in February with "I am Bane".Just the whole Heart of Darkness Bane just didn't work for me, given we've seen Bane fight his demons before in Vengeance of Bane II. It just felt weird on how dependent he was to the Psycho Pirate.
Anyway, I'm done for this year in reviewing things. Unless there's something that demands my attention. I really can't think of anything off the top of my head next week. Then again it's freaking Christmas in a few days. So maybe it's because I'm never a man who thinks about next, more what today brings me. Today brought me a mixture of SUCK, eh, and meh. Thankfully, Nightwing #11 and Green Arrow #13 gave me much joy today.