Amazing Spider-Man #697
Issue 700 is a mere 3 issues away for Amazing Spider-Man, but before he can get “Superior”, Spidey has to deal with a double dose of Hobgoblin in this week’s #697. Concluding “War Of The Goblins”, writers Dan Slott and Christos Gage deliver a very satisfying ending, negating my fears that this would be a rush job ending like the previous “Alpha” storyline.
Peter Parker and his boss, Max Modell, are on the run from Roderick Kingsley and Phil Urich, both men who are also The Hobgoblin, and are also currently fighting over who is the “real” Hobgoblin. As this is going on, Peter and Max finally locate one of Norman Osborne’s Goblin Bunkers, the secrets of which Urich Hobby is after for the Kingpin. Seeing the inside of Osborne’s hideout was very cool, and a good reminder that even though he’s become a Lex Luthor like threat to the Marvel Universe, he’s still first and foremost a Spider-Man villain. Artist Giuseppe Camuncoli does an excellent job filling in the lair with numerous references to Osborne’s past with Spidey, and there’s even a nice surprise cameo as well. Camuncoli’s delivers once again on the art front, however there are some panels where Peter looks oddly shaped, causing me to check the beginning of the book to make sure that Humberto Ramos didn’t fill in on some pages.
Yes, this is another three part event, but as I mentioned earlier, “Goblin War” doesn’t feel like it’s rushed at all. Perhaps this is because Slott had assistance from Gage, but this issue moves along at a great pace and never once feels like something was cut out to make everything fit into three issues. There’s a slight hint into the upcoming issue 698, but there’s really nothing here that’s essential for people looking for clues for issue 700.
Ho. Lee. SH*T.
Pardon my French, but Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have done it again. At this point it’s moot to call this one of the best comics on the stands, but, this is one of the best comics on the stands. Of course this will be spoiler free, but Batman and Joker finally meet mano a mano, and man, is it a doozy. We see the ramifications of last issue’s encounter between Alfred and the Joker, and the fallout from that incident ramps up the tension in this book even more. Just when you think the tension can’t get any higher from there, then Snyder drops the biggest bomb in comics since Walking Dead #48. The promos all say that The Joker is playing for keeps this time, and this issue solidifies it. My only complaint is that this book doesn’t come out nearly as much as it should.
Brain K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga finally returns from its “creative break” to continue the story of Marko and Alana, who we last saw leaving their planet on a wooden spaceship, with Marko’s parents appearing on board. Vaughn opens the issue with a flashback to Marko’s youth. While this doesn’t move the plot forward right away, it does give us some interesting background into Marko and the culture of his race.
We’re then flashed forward to the present, where Marko and Alana have it out with Marko’s parents, who just murdered their ghostly “babysitter” Izabel. Marko decides to go after her, entering a strange kinda-sorta alternate dimension. His mom follows, leaving Alana and Marko’s father behind. While his father seems innocent and kind at first, by issue’s end you may have some different feelings towards him.
Saga‘s return may not quite have been worth the nearly 2 month wait, but hey, even a “good” issue of Saga is better than most books on the stands. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples have created such a unique world in only seven issues that I don’t mind when we take our time with the plot. Half the fun of this series is seeing what kind of insane aliens and planets Vaughan and Staples throw at us each month.
Jonwahizzle is a jack of all trades: Educator, comic book slinger for Jetpack Comics, and member of Another Let Down. Follow him on twitter and check out his blog, The Collective: Examples of Nerdery for more!