Comic Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 679.1, DC Universe Presents #6 Challengers of the Unknown, and Army of Darkness #1

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The Amazing Spider-Man 679.1

 

Yeay point one issues! I feel like these “entrance point” issues provide me with field trip opportunities into comic books that I don’t normally read. We can visit friends in these issues, see how they’re doing, get a bit of information about what’s been going on, and yet not be completely confused.

Issue 679.1 is the second point one issue in the Amazing Spider-Man line. Authors Christopher Yost and Dan Slott are really good at balancing an intriguing story that also gives new readers enough background information without overloading us with unnecessary baggage. In this issue Peter Parker is finally able to settle into his life a bit – the Spider Island chaos is over and he’s got a stable job that he actually really likes. He is one of seven lab technicians at Horizon Labs.

But life isn’t completely without mystery. Only five of the other six lab technicians are known – whoever is in lab six has been kept a complete secret. And of course that’s driving Peter Parker and his young colleague Uatu Jackson completely nuts. Who is it? You’ll have to read to find out!

I have little more to say about this issue other than it was completely entertaining and reminded me (for about the thousandth time) that if I had infinite time, cash flow, and storage space, I would be adding every title in which Spider-Man appears.

 

DC Universe Presents #6: Challengers of the Unknown

The Challengers. Out of time and on the run. Eight survivors of a fiery plane crash, bound by fate and death, are on a desperate mission to uncover the mysteries of the Unknown before the powers that saved their lives, claim them for eternity.

DC Universe Presents has moved into its second story of focus this week. In issue five we saw the wrap-up of Deadman by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang. This week begins Challengers of the Unknown by Dan Didio and Jerry Ordway.

Considering Didio was on this title, I had high hopes for it. While it was a solid story, I felt a bit disappointed by the end, though. This periodically-revived series has been given an update. In this modern version, TV producer June Robbins has compiled a load of D-list celebrities to take part in an adventure reality show where they will be competing to survive in the Himalayas. Instead, the plane crashes and its passengers survive, though they are now bound to a mysterious power. They discover a secret city and are confronted by an unexpected beast – and not all of them make it out alive.

The beginning of this issue started out quite well, but as the pace quickened and the information became more important it began to feel a bit jumpy and spotty on important facts. Crazy things just start coming out of nowhere, and the character’s reactions aren’t always realistic (I don’t care how much of a bimbo celebrity you are).

This five-issue run of DC Universe Presents might be worth checking out for lovers of the old Challengers series. Now that the stage has been set, I have a feeling that Didio will really reign this story arc into something fun.

 

Army of Darkness #1

 

Evil Dead fans in the house? (No? You should be. Come on!)

Army of Darkness #1 had a very different feel to it than the typical Evil Dead stuff. It was still fun and witty and completely entertaining, though. Maybe it’s because I haven’t read the other Army of Darkness comics from Dynamite, but I thought this was a bit confusing. While Elliott Serrano kind of explains what’s going on in a hurry and during the middle of the action, it isn’t really enough info to truly grasp the plot well enough to feel included in the story. There is a lot of jumping back and forth in time in order to tell the background of the story and perhaps if events were a bit more linear I wouldn’t have had such an issue.

That being said, I really loved Ash (Ashley). She was a wonderfully funny, tough, and sexy character. She was immediately defined and had an extremely strong voice. Though, I was a little annoyed by her constantly being drawn with the stereotypical comic-book/porn star ‘fish lips’ in every panel, but I could deal with it. (And what’s up with the cover? Was she seriously running around Egypt in a shirt opened down to her belly button and no bra? Yeah – that looks comfortable.)

Aside from the fish lips and the lack of appropriate undergarments, the art of this book was actually quite good. I love artists who can balance just the right amount of background scenery with detailed character images and Marat Mychaels does just that.

If you like this franchise I would absolutely give the comic a chance.

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