Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-Man #4 | November 12, 2011

So here is my first week of comics for the new blog…. are you excited yet? Ready?

Every week, as I read the comics I rank them, so Ruthanne can save the best for last. So here are the books I bought, from best to worst… (though if I really thought something was going to be bad, I wouldn’t have bought it…

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #4 (Bendis/Pichelli/Ponsor) Marvel

Man, do I love this comic. Since the relaunch it has been my favourite book being published… probably since Joe the Barbarian (a Grant Morrison Vertigo book which I absolutely loved).

The characterization of Miles Morales is excellent. There are a lot of people who could take lessons from Brian Bendis on how to write youth. I LOVE that the new Spidey is non-white and I love that it isn’t the only thing that makes him who he is. He is as well-rounded a character as you can find after only four issues.

I really like the art as well, but I understand Chris Samnee will be doing some issues and that is something I can really get behind. I am a big fan.

This issue finally starts to create a connection between Morales and Peter Parker. Guilt is an amazing motivator…

BATWOMAN #3 (J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman) DC

I am normally a ‘story-first’ guy, but it is the art the makes this book special. Williams doesn’t blow me away as a writer but this is the best designed comic on the shelves. Every page is beautiful.

The story has not been as strong since Rucka left, but it gets by on the strength of so many great characters. Kate Kane, Flamebird, Maggie Sawyer, Chase… good stuff.

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #1 (Zeb Wells, Joe Madureira, Ferran Daniel) Marvel

Spider-man has always been one the best characters in comics, but he has been horribly written at times. Right now is an embarrassment of riches for a Spider-man fan. Ultimate is one of the best books on the rack. Amazing is in the midst of a great run by Dan Slott, and now this. I am not a huge Madureira fan normally, but this art is pretty solid. Even Rulk, who I am not a fan of, works.

This cook is basically the return of Marvel Team-Up with an Avengers reference in the title to make it sell.

I’m sold.

(I dislike that it comes in a bag, though. I know why, but its still wasteful packaging…)

BATGIRL #3 (Gail Simone, Adrian Syaf, Vicente Cifuentes) DC

A great character. A great writer. A great art team. An interesting new villain and intriguing co-star. What’s not to like?

Well, to start with, three issues in without an explanation as to how she got out of the wheelchair. Oracle was one of the most original characters in comics, and Babs is the only good Batgirl, in my opinion, but we need to understand how she got out of the chair. This is a really big deal and the longer Simone draws it out, the tougher a sell it will be.

It had better be something ‘comic-booky’. Magic hopefully. If she claims that she just has good recuperative powers or whatever it will be a pretty big insult to people who really suffer from severe injuries of that nature. I’m still on board to find out…

THE UNWRITTEN #31 (Carey/Gross/Perker) Vertigo

This has been Vertigo’s top book of late, but it seems to have lost some steam. I don’t know what it is, but now that Tom has a magic wand and can cast his Potter… I mean, Taylor spells… well, let’s just say I hope the book won’t keep meandering as it has been.

It used to be that this would be higher on this list. Hopefully it can get back there. Still worth reading.

THE NEW AVENGERS #18 (Bendis/Deodato/Beredo) Marvel

Other than Avengers 1959 (yeah, yeah) I still collect all the Avengers books, but even if I didn’t, I would get the Bendis ones. His grasp on the team is solid, and his Norman Osborne is excellent. The new Dark Avengers he assembled has me a little worried, since most of the characters he brought together are from books I didn’t care for. The big exception are the ones from the Osborne mini, and the magic shape changing Spider-dude was a bit of a stretch.

Still, I want to know what happens next.

But, MAN do I dislike Mike Deodato’s art! It is a good thing the new team has women with different hair colours, otherwise I couldn’t tell them apart. Also, I assume that is Gorgon pretending to be Wolverine, but how could you tell except by process of elimination?

AVENGERS ORIGINS: VISION (Higgins/Siegel/Perger) Marvel

After the pleasant surprise of how good the Ant-Man & Wasp issue was, my hopes for this rose. I am a big Vision fan (his first appearance was my first ‘important’ back issue that I bought when I was putting together my Avengers collection as a teenager), but this issue didn’t really add anything to the origin we already knew. Rather than dealing with the convoluted pre-Ultron part of his backstory, it just gave as the standard intro. The art was really good for all the parts that had no people in it, but not as strong when it wasn’t just Ultron and Vision.

SUICIDE SQUAD #3 (Adam Glass, Cliff Richards) DC

I really want this book to be better. I LOVED Suicide Squad. Back in the day, it was second only to the Avengers as a book that I followed slavishly. Can only John Ostrander write it properly? It is starting to seem so. I’m still not dropping it… but I really hope it turns around.

The art isn’t any great shakes either.

Ruthanne also picked up a big book called Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess. I haven’t looked at it yet, so I will leave that to her to comment on.

So that is what I bought this week… anybody else pick up anything good that they want to talk about? Bring it on!


  1. Avenging Spider-Man #1 was epic. I’m waiting for them to come out with a Ultimate Spider-Man collection for the new Miles Morales series.

    Comment by Spendawg — November 15, 2011 @ 12:11 am

  2. Finally read S.S. #3, and while I agree with your observations about the sheer kick-ass-ness of the original series, and Ostrander, I must say I’ve been enjoying this new series.

    But in the way I enjoyed the A-Team movie… recognizing it as a thoroughly modern attempt to reconnect an audience with and recreate something that I think could only truly have worked (and did!) back in the “good ol’ days…”

    Quite frankly, I think the first 3 issues of S.S. have been better than almost any rendition of Checkmate I’ve seen since stepping back into superhero comics a couple years back (my holy trinity back in the day: Manhunter, Suicide Squad, Checkmate)…

    Comment by shayneavecigrec — November 23, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    • I have a theory as to why it is going off the tracks, imo. When the Ostrander SS came out, it was fairly edgy. Today it would be considered fairly tame. I think they are TRYING to make the current series edgy and that is often a recipe for disaster.

      I am still buying it (and I HAVE cut one of the DC books already), but we’ll see…

      Comment by rpriske — November 23, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

  3. And, there was a BUTT LOAD of cussing words. I don’t have a problem with them, but there was so many it was unesscesary.

    Comment by Spendawg — November 23, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  4. […] I was talking about how the Unwritten was still good, but had slipped a little in recent times. Wow, what a turn around […]

    Pingback by Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Unwritten #13.5 « Rusty's World — November 27, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

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