This week the Superior Spider-Man enters “Goblin Nation”, we get a glimpse of Batman Eternal, and check out The Fuse!
Superior Spider-Man #27.1 (Marvel Comics)
Yes, this is the second Superior Spider-Man review in a row, but with this being the start of the final storyline, I figured you’d all forgive me for allowing a repeat appearance of OckSpidey. Yes, this is the first part of Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncolli’s “Goblin Nation”, where we will finally see the Superior Spider-Man face off with the Green Goblin (or Goblin King, as he’s taken to calling himself now).
Taking place 31 days after the previous issue, we find Otto trying to understand how his all-seeing Spider-bots could have allowed the Goblin army to ransack New York City. After uncovering the flaw in his designs, Otto manages to make his way to the Goblin’s underground lair, where….nah I won’t spoil it. All I’ll say is that Dan Slott is clearly having a lot of fun with this final story arc, and I’m glad that we didn’t have to wait too long for Otto and Norman (?) to meet up. There’s also some more time with Peter Parker attempting to piece together his memories, but with only 31 of them left, he’s going to have a pretty rough time trying to rebuild himself so he can get his body back.
Surprisingly, these Peter moments were some of the weakest in the book to me. I’m sure we’ll spend more time with him as the story goes on, but right now it’s kind of thrown in, and the cliffhanger for his portion of the story gets lost because of all of the big revelations that come after it. Of course, we all know by now that Peter’s coming back, so there’s not a whole lot to worry about. We just don’t know how he’s coming back.
I’m a big fan of Giuseppe Camuncolli’s work, and for the most part, this issue is fantastic. The opening panels of Otto swinging through the city in a panic are fantastic, and perfectly capture the look and action of Spidey swinging through the city. However, towards the middle of the book some of his art starts to look rushed. Many faces start to look weird, and the designs of the other Goblins towards the issue’s end look very inconsistent with what we’ve seen before. Despite this, he draws a fantastic Green Goblin, and even though the scene with Otto and GG consists of the two of them talking, it’s the highlight of the issue.
“Goblin Nation” is off to a big start, and has started to slowly answer many lingering questions that we’ve had regarding the Goblin and what he does and doesn’t know about Otto. Of course, we’re still not entirely sure that it’s Norman under the mask (my money is still on Harry), but there’s enough here to ease my initial concerns that this story was going to be rushed in order to make room for Peter’s return. While that still may be the case, Superior Spider-Man #27.1 continues the tradition of great storylines from Dan Slott, even if the big “#1” on the cover isn’t exactly new reader friendly.
Batman #28 (DC Comics)
“Zero Year” is taking a month off, but in its place, Batman #28 is giving us a taste of the upcoming weekly book Batman Eternal. There’s a ton of awesome surprises in store for longtime readers of Scott Snyder’s Batman run, and even some for fans of the pre-New 52 Batman continuity. Many of these surprises are super spoilery, so I’ll refrain from going into too much detail, but Snyder and James Tynion IV (member of the Eternal writing team) deliver one hell of an issue here, with a new spin on Gotham City, and Batman and a new sidekick breaking into the headquarters of the “new Kingpin of Gotham”, who is not who think it is.
Unfortunately Greg Capullo did not draw this issue. While his presence is certainly missed, the wonderful Dustin Nguyen steps up to the plate and delivers some excellent action and set pieces for you to drool over. There’s one splash page with new sidekick Bluebird that made my jaw drop, and Nguyen keeps the action coming. Once you see the new Kingpin of Gotham drawn by Nguyen, you’ll never see the character the same way again.
If you haven’t been reading Batman (and if you haven’t, what’s wrong with you?) you can still pick up this issue to get a taste for the upcoming weekly series. I myself was already going to get the first issue of Batman Eternal, but after reading this, I can honestly say I’ll start adjusting my pull list to accommodate a permanent residency.
What happens when you cross The Wire with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine? You get The Fuse, a pretty awesome concept that focuses on homicide detectives on a giant space station. Set in the far future, The Fuse is writer Antony Johnston and artist Justin Greenwood’s new book from Image Comics, and it’s a pretty cool first issue. Focusing on new transfer Dietrich, The Fuse centers around the mysterious death of a homeless member of the Fuse, a giant space station that’s a giant melting pot of peoples and cultures. Much of the this first issue is set up, telling us what life is like for a homicide detective on the station. Much of it is great , but it would’ve been nice to have been given a little bit more background info on the people on the space station and the new future lingo.
It’s clear from Antony Johnston’s script that he loves science fiction and police dramas, and he marries the two genres well here. The two detectives at the forefront are the kind you usually see in police dramas, but in this setting it seems completely new and fresh. Justin Greenwood’s art has a very Tradd Moore feel to it and for the most part it works well. There were moments where his cartoony nature seemed a bit out of place, but it worked more times than it didn’t. Fans of police dramas and sci fi will eat this up, and The Fuse succeeds because of the strength of its premise. Based on this and the series’ potential, I’ll definitely be coming back for issue two.