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Spider-Man Crawspace Reviews: @Marvel Superior Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, Morbius



Here are today's Guest Reviews from the guys at Spider-Man Crawlspace for Marvel's; Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #2, Scarlet Spider #20, Morbius: The Living Vampire #8, and Superior Spider-Man #16. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.


Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #2 - Sibling Rivalry: Part 1


SIBLING RIVALRY BEGINS HERE!


Because you demanded it! Parker versus Parker! The Superior Spider-Man Versus Scarlet Spider!


Kaine has come to New York to check on Peter's 'superior' behavior, not realizing Doc Ock has taken over Peter's life. But Ock sure knows who Kaine is...Kaine, the man who once KILLED Doctor Octopus. And now it's payback time.


Preview



Clone Saga?


Plot

Peter’s unfortunately not-dead evil clone Kaine has returned to NYC wearing the costume of Peter’s mercifully dead insipid clone Ben just in time for the Jackal to grow yet another batch of clones. Really we’d all save ourselves a headache if we stopped with that sentence there, but I suppose if I had to suffer through reading this thing we may as well go into specifics.

Review

This is a microcosm of why the Clone Saga suuuuuuckkkkkeeddd so bad and all of the characters associated with it need to never ever under any circumstances be even mentioned in a comic book ever again let alone actually used in a story.

Let’s start with page 1 in which we see an issue of the Daily Bugle informing us that Scarlet Spider has come to New York and speculates that he is “Believed to be a clone created by Professor Miles Warren, also known as the super villain the Jackal.” How is any of that public knowledge? I can’t imagine Peter told anyone he has an evil clone running around because if someone unmasked Kaine they’d know who he was too. It’s not like there aren't other spider-powered people in the Marvel Universe besides Peter: for example the 57 Spider Women. So where is that conclusion coming from? And why do people know that the Jackal grows clones? How is that common knowledge? Admittedly I've blocked large portions of the Clone Saga from my memory in order to preserve my sanity, but I don’t think Jackal’s ever gone on TV and said, ‘Hey know what I like to do in my spare time? Grow clones.” For that matter I’m not sure Jackal’s identity should be publicly known as to my knowledge he has never been to prison to be finger-printed and identified by police; instead he tends to die at the end of every story arc he appears in. But that’s the least of the awful in this story.

Read the rest of the Review at Spider-Man Crawlspace

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.3 - 
(Buy Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #2) SAVE 10%


Scarlet Spider #20 - Sibling Rivalry: Part 2


SIBLING RIVALRY -- PART TWO!


Scarlet Spider has come to New York City to check on his 'brother' Spider-Man! But their reunion has been interrupted by an army of mutant spider-clones!


Can Spider-Man and Kaine put aside their differences to deal with the Jackal?

Preview



Spidercide 2.0


Plot

The Jackal, having Ock and Kaine captive, has harvested Peter Parker’s DNA again and has basically the same plan he did in 1995. Kaine breaks his chains by the power of being awesome and he and Ock team up to fight mutant spider-clones again. Ock decides to blow the place up, and does so, wiping out his DNA sample and killing the Gwen Stacy clone as collateral damage. Kaine is still too stupid to realize this isn’t Peter, so he just punches him and leaves. In the first of two epilogues, Kaine is back in Houston and when he looks in the mirror, finds his clone degeneration scars are returning. In the second epilogue, the Jackal retrieves DNA samples he’d taken of Kaine and declares, “Who’s ready for Spidercide 2.0?”

Review

Wow is this one very mixed bag. On the one hand, I love me some Clone Saga, I really do. On the other hand, this feels less like reading a 2013 comic book about characters from the Clone Saga and more like reading a comic book that was actually published in 1995, and I do not mean that in a complimentary way. Spider-Man and Scarlet Spider are in the Jackal’s lair, he plans to overrun the world with clones made from Peter Parker’s DNA, they have to fight through a bunch of disposable clones, and in the end they’re at odds. I've read this one before. And what’s worse, it wasn't one of the better parts of the Clone Saga.

And let’s go ahead and address the elephant in the room – that second epilogue. This was about my reaction when I read that:

“Who’s ready for Spidercide 2.0?” – The Jackal
“F***ing NO ONE. NO. F***ING. ONE. That’s who!” – Me

Immediately after, I texted Zach Joiner this: “Ok, I love the Clone Saga as much as anyone who loves the Clone Saga loves the Clone Saga, but…Spidercide 2.0? Kill me now?” And it turns out that’s the one thing he didn't like about the issue, either. Look folks, if you've read the old issues, I’m pretty sure you’re already there with me. If you haven’t, let me just tell you: no one who liked the Clone Saga remembers Spidercide fondly. He basically represents everything that was bad about the story, everything that went off the rails. He screams 90s so loudly he makes huge guns and shoulder pads look like solid fashion choices. Spidercide is, in a nutshell, why I totally understand people that hate the Clone Saga. And frankly I don’t care how much the concept is going to be changed for this “2.0″ – it could be, and hopefully will be, a TOTALLY different thing – the problem is that this was the tease. The last page of this comic, an epilogue to get people looking in for the SSMTU crossover excited, was a tease with the name Spidercide. What an incredibly wasted opportunity that was. Minimum Carnage might have been a patently awful crossover, but at least it showed off the Scarlet Spider book in a way that made Venom readers want to keep giving it a try (we know this for sure because former Venom reviewer, CrazyChris, was one of them). But if I was an SSMTU reader trying Scarlet Spider with this crossover, I have to admit – I’d drop it like it’s hot after this. The story wasn't that great to begin with, and if Spidercide’s what you've got to try to hook me, I’m out.

But it wasn't all bad (just most of it). The first epilogue was actually quite good. Kaine’s been living a different life for awhile than he’s ever gotten to live before. Since his body was healed after Spider-Island, he’s been able to live as a normal man, and he’s made friends and gotten to see what a real life is like. This has helped immensely on his journey to redemption. So if his clone degeneration is back and his face is hideously scarred again, how will that change what he’s been building in Houston? How will that affect his journey of redemption? I can’t say for sure, but this is a solid tease because it gets me wondering and eager to find out. Had the teases at the end of the book stopped here, I would have said the issue did an EXCELLENT job of trying to hook new readers. If only.

Read the rest of the Review at Spider-Man Crawlspace

My Rating



Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 5/5

Verdict - 4.6 - (Buy Scarlet Spider TPB Vol. 3 Big Leagues) SAVE 10%


Morbius: The Living Vampire #8 - The World Breaks Everyone Part One


"The World Breaks Everyone," Part One of Two

Everything has been leading up to this momentous conclusion!

Morbius just found out The Rose has an Ultimate Nullifier in Brownsville.

The Rose just pressed the trigger.

Preview



I Miss Titles


Plot

Morbius gets punched by Nikoleta Harrow (or “Harlow,” according to this issue’s recap page) before she leaves, then sends the entire population of Brownsville to Monstropolis for safe-keeping (those back-issues of Franken-Castle and Legion of Monsters are finally paying off!), and finally challenges The Rose, which ends in The Rose Ultimate Nullifying Morbius. Oh noes! Morbius is really dead this time, kids!

Review

I’m sorry, I clearly can’t even get through a short plot summary of this series with a straight face anymore. And let’s face it, you already know what I’m going to say about this if you've been reading my reviews of past issues – this was flat-out bad. Preposterous plot, poor dialogue, and gimmicks out the hoo-ha. Must be another issue of Morbius!

Let’s begin at the end. The cliffhanger – such as it is – is yet another "Morbius is dead" fake-out. Again. It’s only been 8 issues, guys. Isn't that a bit early to be recycling your big "shock" moments? And oh no – Morbius is framed by a coffin on next issue’s cover! So he must REALLY be dead, just like when Morbius was in a coffin on the cover of Morbius: The Living Vampire (1991 series) #29! Which we all know he never got better from. I jest, but seriously, what dramatic tension am I supposed to get from The Rose using the Ultimate Nullifier on Morbius at the end of this issue? The most that’s going to happen is it’s going to change one of Morbius’ powers. That’s the biggest possible lasting effect this will have, and even that isn't OVERLY likely.

Then there’s The Rose’s "plan." He’s going to blow up Brownsville and pin it on Morbius. That’s about as much detail as we get. He’s going to blow up a place that we've well established that no one cares about, and he's somehow going to pin that on an already wanted fugitive, who can’t really be MORE wanted considering he’s a murderer and prison escapee. CRIMINAL MASTERMINDERY!

And how about that major plot point where it turned out a few issues ago that The Rose is working for Morbius’ dad and has Morbius mom captive? Well, this issue we get a brief flashback where we find out Morbius dad was supposed to stay away from Michael and his mom – but didn't! And…that’s…really it. There’s one more issue left and that’s all we've got. Oh, but Morbius dad was given a first name: Makarioa. His supervillain power is that his name is inpronounceable. 

Read the rest of the Review at Spider-Man Crawlspace


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3
 - (Buy Morbius the Living Vampire #8) SAVE 10%


Superior Spider-Man #16 - Run, Goblin, Run! Part 2 of 2


"Run, Goblin, Run!" Part 2 of 2

How has the Hobgoblin evaded the Superior Spider-Man for so long? And does that hold the key to the Superior Spider-Man's greatest success -- or greatest failure? It's the end of the line for Hobgoblin, and possibly an end for a big chapter in the history of Spider-Man.

Preview



The Avengers acting like fools?


Plot

Spi-dOck has revealed the secret identity of the Phil Urich Hobgoblin, or as I call him, the Phlobgoblin. Phob Gobich takes the Daily Bugle hostage (or should I say “phostage”?), but Parkter Pocktoper detonates the nano-spiders he injected into Philblin, stunning him. Arach-tavius pushes Hobich through the window and onto the street, where Spocky’s army surrounds Philob, who surrenders. The authorities take Urgob into custody.

Review

I actually really like this issue, despite how it systematically checks off practically every item on my list of pet peeves for this series. Pointless, go-nowhere investigation by Carlie Cooper into the truth she already knows? Check. The Green Goblin talking ominously and recruiting more followers, but not actually doing anything? Check. The Avengers acting like fools? Check.

But the meat of the story, the scenes with Phil in the Bugle, work fantastically. It’s a confined space full of vulnerable people, and the creative team effectively builds the suspense by showing Phil lose his nerve and start to crack gradually. The reader knows that he could snap at any moment. Joe Robertson describes the scenario as a “pressure cooker” in the dialogue, and that level of tension comes across to the reader. I could not stop turning pages. And once the tables turn and Spider-Man has Phil at his mercy, the tension doesn't go away because the question remains whether Spider-Man will outright murder him or not. Again, Slott and Ramos masterfully play off of that suspense.

When I first saw this story advertised, I began rooting for Phil’s punk ass to get wasted. Now I’m glad he survived, for two reasons. First, I've honestly warmed to him over the course of this story. The past few issues have been as much about conveying Phil’s sense of desperation due to his debt to Roderick Kingsley and his being pursued by Spider-Man as they have been about the danger Phil poses to other people. By pulling readers into Phil’s emotional state, Slott makes him somewhat relatable, if not sympathetic.

Read the rest of the Review at Spider-Man Crawlspace


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.4
 - (Pre-Order Superior Spider-Man TPB Vol. 3 No Escape) SAVE 20%

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