The Comics Corner - Week of 12/23/09

Ryan Porter is back with his unique take on Amazing Spider-Man #616, Fantastic Four #574, Green Lantern #49, and New Avengers #60! Come inside and see what made the top of the stack!

Amazing Spider-Man #616

4 Stars (Out of 5)

Alright, letís get this out of the way. I hate the art in this book, a lot. Itís not that it isnít good; itís just not what I want in my Spider-Man comics. It continues to be a source of great frustration as I read theses issues and were it not for such a spectacular story I donít know what I would do. Luckily, for you and for me this book rises to the Top of the Stack despite the art. By the way, this is the first time Amazing Spider-Man has been the pick for Top of the Stack. Just felt like Iíd make mention of that, after all he is my favorite character. But I digress. Sandmanís new array of powers and how he uses them are simply fantastic. Itís so much fun seeing these old villains given a make over, so to speak, and be able to use their powers in a whole new way. Not surprisingly Sandmanís powers, like Electroís before him, come with all new weaknesses. Weaknesses that Spider-Man is able to use against them, after all it is still all about Spider-Man! Spider-Man tries so hard to do the right thing, to do what he knows is right and puts himself out there the way few other heroes do. Unfortunately, for Spider-Man, no one else is so often left wondering did he do the right thing? Did he actually only make things worse? Itís moments like this, not the epic battles that make Spider-Man my favorite character. Issues like this, that use every element of what makes Spider-Man who he is, donít come along nearly enough.

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Fantastic Four #574

4 Stars

Power Pack! Dragon Man! The Amazing Spider-Man! It must be Franklinís birthday! The first half of this issue feels like it was pulled from the Silver Age and written by Stan Ďthe Maní himself. And I mean that in a good way. Hickmanís grasp on the Fantastic Four is wonderful and he is able to capture all the things that make the Fantastic Four who they are. Small personal moments with their super hero friends, to the mystery man from the future with the cryptic warning. Edwardsí art continues to frustrate me and his Valeria looks just as bad as she did in the last issue. Eaglesham canít return soon enough because Hickman is making the Franklin and Val to be every bit as important to the family as the rest of the group. While the events that unfold in this issue are not the most original, I have to assume it only looks that way right now. After only four issues, five counting this one, Hickman has earned my trust as a Fantastic Four fan.

Green Lantern #49

3 Stars

Blackest Night has been a stellar event and most of the tie-ins have been spectacular in their own right. The main companion book to this event has been Green Lantern. This series and event has been so good in fact, it turns an average issue into something less than average. Shifting attention from Hal Jordan onto John Stewart the issue starts off with a weird vibe. Why all of the sudden is this all about Stewart? Weíve barely had a glimpse of him since Blackest Night began and now, for some reason, weíre finally getting his story. Geoff Johns has once again given me reason to care about a character I previously knew almost nothing about, but it appears Iíll have to wait until the next issue for any actual payoff. The back-up story was a nice touch, giving a few more hints and details while reiterating what has happened, all leading into Blackest Night number six.

New Avengers #60

4 Stars

Despite my best efforts Iím totally setting myself up for the big fall. You know the one Iím taking about. Weíve all done it at one point of another. Maybe youíve done it with the big summer blockbuster movie, or the repeatedly delayed video game, but chances are youíve done it. And now I find myself doing it on a weekly basis. Every Marvel book I read that in some way deals with Siege I find myself getting more and more excited. In my own mind Siege will become everything that Marvel is telling me itís going to be, and more. Even when I read this monthís New Avengers I got excited. Itís a pretty good issue, nothing spectacular, and does very little in terms of development. But it is full of those great character moments that Mr. Bendis does so well. Immonenís art is as spectacular as always and the Avengers, specifically Spider-Man, take a great shot at Norman Osborn. Siege is right around the corner, but am I setting myself up for the fall? When it all comes to an end Norman Osborn and I may both be looking back and wondering where it all went wrong.

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