#1- Dueling Countdowns

Amazing 535#1 Civil War Crossover- Amazing Spider-Man #535

The story that has been unfolding in Amazing Spider-Man this year has easily been the best Spider-Man arc in entire the J. Michael Stracynski run (which I realize isn’t saying much to some). Spider-Man always works best as a fish out of water, whether it’s battling the impossibly-defeated Juggernaut, buried alive and replaced by one of his greatest villains or thrown into an impromptu team-up with the Human Torch. And Spider-Man is certainly out of place as Iron Man’s left-hand man.

Watching Peter make a promise to Tony Stark and slowly realize that it was the worst decision he’s ever made has been great. Even independent of Civil War, the Peter Parker/Tony Stark storyline has been handled perfectly.

This issue saw Peter finally realize he’d made a huge mistake and turn on Tony. I’m surprised Marvel let the turn happen in Amazing instead of the Civil War mini, because it’ll obviously be a huge moment for Civil War, especially considering Spidey unmasked in the mini and not his own title. It makes sense though, because Civil War is a story about Captain America and Iron Man, and Spidey’s really just a pawn. Peter unmasking was truly more of a moment of triumph for Iron Man than it was anything else, and Iron Man’s story takes place in Civil War. Peter turning on Tony is a triumph for Peter, not Cap, and Peter’s story is being told in Amazing Spider-Man. I’m actually amazed Marvel was able to realize that and have this moment take place where it was meant to.

One final thing: Mark Millar is taking on the Patriot Act in Civil War. JMS is addressing secret prisons and holding detainees without trial in Amazing Spider-Man. I just find it interesting that the “ancillary” title is much more timely than the main one.

Batman 657#1 Disappointing Book- Batman #657

Is it just me, or does it seem like Grant Morrison is jealous that Frank Miller got to screw up Batman in ASSBAR and he didn’t? Batman seems way out of character here. What kind of an idiot would leave a pre-teen ninja assassin unsupervised in the mansion? Why would Batman even bring the kid home with him in the first place? Damian is unlikable on so many levels. He’s not badass; he’s not a cool villain; he’s just an annoying little brat. Batman needs to slap some sense into that kid but fast. Morrison even makes Robin, a hero who I think changed for the better more than anyone else since OYL, into a worthless character. Grant Morrison is always hit or miss, and Batman seems to be a giant miss. And whichever Kubert is drawing this mess (I think it’s Adam) needs to just stop drawing comics, period.