Worst Storyline in an Ongoing Series of 2008

new ways to die amazing spider-manFin Fang Doom says: “New Ways to Die,” Amazing Spider-Man!

While Amazing Spider-Man has been disappointingly good since Brand New Day started at the beginning of the year, the first “major” arc really fell flat for me. With Spider-Man, the Thunderbolts, Anti-Venom and Norman Osborn, there was just way too much going on in a six-issue story. Just like Spider-Man 3, “New Ways to Die” would have been better if they had left everything involving Eddie Brock for a different story.

Another major problem I had with the story is that it was the first major mention of pre-Brand New Day continuity in the title. The history Spider-Man has with Osborn, Venom and Eddie Brock comes from a time when Mary Jane was Spider-Man’s wife. It’s hard to accept that with MJ out of the picture, nothing significant from that history would be different. It’s easy to forget the mistake Marvel made at the end of 2007 when Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t mention anything from before that. But that’s the only thing I can think of otherwise.

Doom DeLuise says: “Search for a Hero,” Robin!

When it became clear that Batman RIP was going to change the face of the Bat-Family (I hate that term), I decided it would be a good idea to get onboard and see where each series was headed, so I’d be able to know all the details going into the post-Batman Gotham City.

Because of this, I decided to do something I haven’t done in years: Buy a new issue of Robin.

As a matter of fact, I bought several. The prospect of the new Red Robin being some ultimate adversary to taunt Robin seemed really cool, yet, when the big reveal of his identity took place, I was left wondering who the hell was even under the mask.

After awhile, it became clear that Robin was going to don the Red Robin costume, and that’s where we’re left at the end of the year. It’s not compelling, entertaining, or even close to being all that well-written. The one thing going for this series is that the Red Robin costume looks really cool.

Aside from that, I’m glad Robin’s getting canceled.

Jim Doom says: The Secret Invasion Backstory (New Avengers, Mighty Avengers)!

It’s probably not entirely fair to call this a “storyline” since it’s sort of the opposite — a string of stand-alone issues — but Mighty Avengers and New Avengers during Secret Invasion were a collection of stories telling the smaller tales that would fill in the background of the big crossover. So they’re definitely part of a whole with a beginning and end in their respective series.

I think maybe I was expecting too much. Bendis did a similar thing with New Avengers during Civil War, and it resulted in some of the best issues of the year and made me a New Avengers fan. The Secret Invasion back-and-side stories started off well, but about midway through, they became completely irrelevant. Rather than telling us things we didn’t know or adding to the bigger story, they repeated things we already knew and shared completely irrelevant and uninteresting events.

Secret Invasion as a whole could’ve probably benefited from being two months shorter. The main series drug on too long, and the exhaustion in the side series would’ve been less evident. As it was, though, I couldn’t wait for the pointless water-treading to end.