Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Ways to Die part 2 Review

I said that at times the reviews would be short, or no reviews at all, and that stays true to this weeks reviews, only ONE comic! Now don’t think I dropped Skaar and Wolverine, their tucked safely away in my pullbox, waiting for me to pick them up either next week or the week after that, along with them is New Ways to Die, part 1.

I decided to pick up part 2 to stay current with my favorite Web Head in tights, and to see what’s going on with a certain Mr. Brock. But enough talk, let’s pull out our guns, put on our best gunslinger hat, and get to the reviews!

The Amazing Spider-man #569

Written: Dan Slott

Art: John Romita Jr.

Opening comments: It’s been a long time, Spider-man. Remember our last dance? Oh how we danced, until you turned bitter and pushed me away. But I’ve come back to you; I’m willing to give you one last chance to make this relationship work. Luckily, it seems you’re not afraid to set the New Ways to Die arc on fire with part 2.

Story comments: the issue picks up right where part 2 left off, Peter in his apartment, being confronted by his good buddy Norman Osborn and this Thunderbolts. If you’re hoping for a big epic confrontation there on the spot, look elsewhere, the twist everyone figured would happen is the consequence here. Norman is simply here to ask Peter if he knows where Spider-man is, it’s a boring opening since we know nothing interesting is really going to happen.

Just as this cute scene cuts away, we get to check up on everyone’s favorite brain-eating anti-hero, Eddie Brock. As I’m sure you know by now, his cancer has been cured, by Mr. Li AKA Mr. Negative. We get a really great moment between these characters, Eddie so grateful for losing the cancer, as well as the bits of the symbiote, and Mr. Li divulges a little bit of a wink to the audience.

The hint that Mr. Li and Mr. Negative isn’t the same person is the fist interesting aspect to a BND villain yet. The idea of the villain not knowing he’s a villain, classic, but it hasn’t been done in quite some time…I think the most recent villain who comes to mind is…hell, I honestly can’t think of one. I would suppose the Green Goblin himself, really, how ironic.

After this we get 2 pages of Norman Osborn getting the key to New York City. In between his little speech, we get a very frustrating hint regarding One More Day…as it turns out, Pete just may know yet about his deal with the devil. It’s just a tiny little hint, not quite as plain and blunt as MJ’s a couple months back, but it’s frustrating either way. If you want us to get over OMD, stop bringing it up so damn much.

Following this is the moment I’m sure all Harry Osborn fans have been waiting for, Norman and Harry, father and son together again. What should be an interesting and classic moment is ruined as Slott chooses for the stereotypical Norman Jackass Moment to his son. Taking a page right out of the Spider-man film.

I can’t necessarily complain about it, but still, with someone like Dan Slott I was hoping for something a little cleverer than the typical Norman put-down followed by a pissed off Harry. Though it was nice to see him lash out his girlfriend, showing that maybe the apple isn’t too far from the tree after all.

After this we get Norman and his Thunderbolts (most of them, at least) hunting down Spider-man. We get some fun moments like him verbally bitch slapping Songbird and insulting Bullseye, always well for a laugh. This is followed with Spider-man infiltrating their make-shift base, trying to threaten Norman, and just ending up looking like a complete idiot.

I can understand that Spider-man thinks he’s got an edge over his old nemesis, but there is a difference between having an edge and just feigning intimidation, Spidey can’t seem to distinguish the two.

After this we get what is, in my honest opinion, the best damn part of this stuffed comic. Venom attacking the FEAST building thinking he’s found Spider-man, only to realize it’s Eddie Brock that the symbiote leads him to. This is followed by an awesome scene and the birth of….Anti-Venom!

Yes, that’s right folks, Eddie Brock, the former Venom, is now Anti-Venom. And he’s about to unload a can of white and black whoop ass on that poser Gargan. A 7 day wait has never been this killer.

Art comments: I think I should say that I honestly am not a big fan of Romita Jr. While I love his father’s work, I think Jr. has had both his ups, and his incredibly down downs. World War Hulk being my main point, while the first 2 issues where good, 3, 4 and 5 where all fairly bad, and he did not fit the tone of the book at all.

However, this isn’t World War Hulk, this is Spider-man, Romita Jr. is in his element here, and it shows. For the most part, his art is incredible, doing a great job on characters like Spider-man and Venom of course, but there are his usual moments when heads look like anything but a head, and composition goes out the window. Luckily, these bad moments are down at a minimum, so don’t worry too much over this, his art here is strong with some great work.

Final Comments: The story is a little all over the place, as far as pacing is concerned, and the art has it’s bad moments, but for the most part I’d say the second part to New Ways to Die is a strong comic with great character moments and some incredible art, if you’re a Spider-fan who, like me, left with the great Retcon of OMD, come back, you just may remember why you loved Spider-man in the fisrt place.

4 out of 5

Must Read


Keith Gammage said...

I assume Anti-venom has something to do with how Mr Negative cured Eddie's cancer, seeing as how Anti-Venom looks a lot like a negative of Venom.

What I don't understand is why, if Norman's gonna leave some of the Thunderbolts behind, he brings Songbird and Radioactive Man, who are the two on the team he can least trust to go along with his vendetta against Spider-Man.

Andrenn said...

I agree that Anti-Venom and Mr. Negative are connected, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's just Negative's way of having a new force that can help take out the competition.

My best guess is that Slott simply didn't want to use Penance and Swordsman. Which is odd though, I can understand Swordsman somewhat, but Penance is a power hitter, he's fairly essential to the Thunderbolts' strength.