Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Captain America & the Mighty Avengers #4

January 26, 2015
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MightyAvengers4

Well, I wasn’t expecting THAT to be the comic of the week… and maybe it wasn’t. Look at that cover. Ick.

Oh well… I am sticking with it.

Starting at the weakest.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #13 (Dan Slott / Giuseppe Camuncoli / Cam Smith / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

If nothing happens and a frenetic pace, still nothing happens.

FABLES #148 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy / B raun / Loughridge / Dalhouse) Vertigo

Did Willingham just want to get this story in before it was over? This feels like a fall-in story or something that belonged over in Fairest.

The Jack story was funny, kind of.

SPIDER-WOMAN #3 (Hopeless / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Having Jessica complain about flirting her way through trouble doesn’t change the fact that you wrote this story to kick off her book. It was okay, but this whole thing is tainted by Spider-Verse/ I hope it is like Mighty Avengers and can survive starting its run tied into a sub-par cross-over.

ALL-NEW X-Men #35 (Bendis / Asrar / Gracia) Marvel

Another book where it feel sleek the story is not moving forward… but at least it is doing so with rock solid characterization and good art.

BLACK WIDOW # 14 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Nice little ‘chain of evidence’ story as Natasha works her way up the ladder.

MOON KNIGHT #11 (Brian Wood / Greg Smallwood / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

Continuing the great style of book with Marc on the outs with Khonshu and being held by the government. Things don’t look good.

THE AUTUMNLANDS #3 (Busiek / Dewey / Bellaire / Comicraft) Image

This is the book formerly known as Tooth & Claw. (Didn’t we go through this last year with FBP?)

I am still a little leery of the white saviour angle, but the sudden Sci-Fi tip was interesting. I’m still along for the ride!

ROCKET RACCOON #7 (Young / Andrade / Beaulieu) Marvel

Two things made this issue better than some previous ones: Groot was talking less and the scene where Rocket is worried about Groot.

Too talkative Groot is annoying and gets dull fast. But any scene where tough guy Rocket lets his guard down a little is a good thing.

This was nearly the comic of the week. As was The Autumnlands.

CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE MIGHTY AVENGERS #4 (Ewing / Ross / Coello / Rosenberg) Marvel

Well, well, well. First off, that Inversion thing is down with, so that is a good thing.

Mighty Avengers is the best Avengers title there is these days… easily.

Having said THAT, having the first stories with the new black Captain America as a bad guy was STUPID, STUPID, STUPID.

So, how does this book deal with that? By DEALING with it. Immediately. Despite the terrible title that the book has been saddled with, having Sam Wilson as Cap is a pretty big deal and we need to treat it as such. With this issue, maybe they are finales tarting to do so.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #18

December 14, 2014
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AstroCity18

This has been a trying week, capped off by having to say good-bye to a loved pet, Zane the cat.

Big comic week, but I am lopping two of them off.

Starting at the weakest…

KLARION #3 (Nocenti / McCarthy / Florea / Johnson / Major) DC

I wasn’t thrilled with issue #1. I was happy with issue #2, but mostly due to one scene. This issue is a muddy mess. If there is a story here, it is well hidden.

Dropped.

SHUTTER #7 (Joe Keatinge / Leila del Duca / Owen Gieni / John Workman) Image

This book just didn’t turn out to be the book I was hoping for. It appears to be random craziness for the sake of random craziness.

Dropped.

SPIDER-MAN and the X-MEN #1 (Kalan / Failla / Herring) Marvel

This books as close to getting dropped after only one issue. I don’t have a lot of patience for bad writing. The plotting and scripting are just sloppy.

I am giving it another chance, but its leash may be very short.

AVENGERS / X-MEN: AXIS #7 (Remender / Kubert / Delgado) Marvel

Kin at Silver Snail asked my a very good question: why am I still getting this? I clearly don’t like it.

True, but believe it or not, this issue was a little better. And did they just drop HUGE bombshell in this issue? Wanda and Pietro are NOT related to Magneto? What?

BITCH PLANET #1 (DeConnick / De Landro / Peter / Cowles) Image

How can a comic both my pretty good and be disappointing? When your expectations are so high.

Will this book by a strongly written feminist comic under the guise of a women-behind-bars exploitation flick? Well, it has the potential and it has already started. Forget Orange is the New Black, this is a feminist Oz, and much better for it.

SEX CRIMINALS #9 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This book has flashes of brilliance but this issue was a little more mundane. The argument was interesting but the Ana backstory was a little trite. She looks like an interesting character going forward, though.

UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #1 (Bendis / Sorrentino / Maiolo) Marvel

There was very little story here for an oversized book, but what was there was interesting. And beautiful art!

I’ll admit that when Ava came back from her trip, I did not realize that she had aged so much. Did I just miss that, or was it not clear?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 (Ryan / Peterson / Atkinson / Nitz / Salas) Marvel

There is nothing really special about this book BUT at a time when the Spider-Man stuff is totally bogged down in the never-ending Spider-Verse stuff, it is nice to get some old school Spidey.

It is interesting that both stories had bit about Spidey not ‘quipping’.

“Don’t you have anything better to do?”

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 (Dan Slott / Olivier Coipel / Wade von Grawbadger / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

As for as Spider-Verse goes, this issue was okay. The Spidey/Ock fight was interesting and I like how Peter outsmarted Otto to win. The look at the Spidey cartoon version was kind of cute.

Do we NOW have the big boss? Will this story end anytime?

ROCKET RACCOON # 6 (Young / Parker / Beaulieu) Marvel

How do you get a Christmas reference without it begin a Christmas story? The Planet of Misfit Mechs!

How do you get the same vibe as Groot without overplaying Groot? A mech that only speaks in binary!

Fun comic.

AVENGERS #39 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

Illuminati vs Avengers… vs more Avengers? The Captain Marvel vs the Hulk scene was worth the price of admission alone.

ASTRO CITY #18 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

Maybe it is because I am getting older but this issue really hit home for me. Not the origin so much (though it was fine), but the glimpse into the life of aging super-heros. Things just start getting harder to do…

I get it.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Tooth & Claw #1

November 6, 2014
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Tooth-Claw-1-cover

What’s this? Rusty’s comics ON new comic day? Unheard of!

Don’t get used to it.

Starting at the weakest…

AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #4 (Remender / Yu / Alanguilan / Delgado) Marvel

Wait… did I miss an issue? What the hell is going on here?

I literally have no idea.

MIRACLEMAN #13 (Moore / Totleben) Marvel

Space comics rarely appeal to me. It feels like I have read this issue before… just with added nonsense.

Plus, the back-ups are getting ridiculous. Does anyone want to pay an extra dollar (or two) to see Totleben’s rough pencils?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9 (Dan SLott / Olivier Coipel / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

So this is part one? And the 10+ comics that are part of this cross-over that I have already read or just… prologue? Seriously?

Well, at least the art on this one is nice.

(Oh, and the whole ‘do you want to know the story behind Spier-xyz? Then buy…” No thanks.)

Spider-Ham is really part of this story. That is all you need to know.

FAIREST #31 (Buckingham / Braun / Dalhouse) Vertigo

Mark Buckingham is a better artist than he is a writer. That is no big insult because he is a very good artist. These issue just get more and more jerky and busy.

SWAMP THING #36 (Soule / Saiz / Hollingsworth) DC

Here is where I stop being grumpy. Abby! Machine people! An intriguing reveal! Good art! Good writing!

(It seems that this comes before the Annual. Was that said anywhere?)

ROCKET RACCOON #5 (Young / Parker / Beaulieu) Marvel

I comic, fully (nearly) narrated by Groot.

Yes.

It is as wonderful as it sounds.

TOOTH & CLAW #1 (Busiek / Dewey / Bellaire / Comicraft) Image

I had forgotten I ordered this, but Kin at Silver Snail hooked me up.

And boy, I am glad he did!

This reads like a fantasy novel, and I mean that in the best way. It feels like we have just been launched into a sprawling epic and I can’t wait to see who the great champion is. (My guess… a human.)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #16

October 11, 2014
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Astro City 16

I didn’t think I would get a chance to do this write-up (or even read all the comics) before I left for CFSW, but I was wrong. So once more into the breach before I head off to poetry Disneyland…

Starting at the weakest…

MIRACLEMAN #12 (Moore / Totleben) Marvel

When I read the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen TPB I was struck with how quickly Moore went to rape as plot device. He did it again here.

The introduction of Miraclewoman just HAD to involve Gargunza raping her over and over, did it? And she was o’kay with it? Somehow?

Ick.

KLARION #1 (Nocenti / McCarthy / Major) DC

Hmmm… I remember Ann Nocenti’s writing begin much more… coherent. This story isn’t bad per se, but it is a little opaque.

CALIBAN #7 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

I think I have to go back and reread the whole series because this issue made no sense at all. Why is she not dead? Why was she suddenly able to beat the crap out of something that handily killed everyone else? Was it just by shooting herself full of drugs?

That’s kind of weak. (Too gory as well.)

Overall, with the ending fixed up, this will make solid Alien-esque movie.

AXIS #1 (Remender / Kubert / Martin) Marvel

Meh. I am not a fan of uber big baddies whose claim to fame is just POWER. Then the heroes just fight and fight and fight unable to do anything until… they do. Weak writing.

Also, just last week (I think) I was talking about how it was nice to show Wanda as purely heroic. One week later she is a weak puppet. Great.

AVENGERS #36 (Hickman / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

Wasn’t I saying that Hickman is getting better? Well he is back to just throwing stuff at the wall and assuming that the writer will get it… or not care bough to bother. The universe is imperilled and Thor and Hyperion are travelling across the multiverse to die!

Uh, what? What has implied that they are going to die? What has happened that says that they need to?

Sloppy writing.

ROCKET RACCOON #4 (Young / Beaulieu) Marvel

Poor Rocket. Plus another blast from the past character. But wait… plot twist!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #7 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Smith / Fabela) Marvel

While it is nice seeing Ms. Marvel get out into the Marvel Universe, it was pretty clear that Dan Slott does not have the same grasp on the character that Willow Wilson does. She just wasn’t quite right.

Whoa, Saturnyne… cold.

WYTCHES #1 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth) Image

At the top of this column I spoke of Alan Moore using rape as a plot device. Scott Snyder does that as well, but somehow it felt more… legit? I guess? If Sailor really did manifest some powers, or called on someone that did, it makes ensue that it happened when she was driven to the ultimate fear. Also, having the assailant be a young woman also changes the dynamic somewhat.

That aside, this is a creepy, creepy book. In a good way.

SEX CRIMINALS #8 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

The introduction of Robert Rainbow was hilarious. His little imaginary striptease was just funny…. all the while reading… real. Suzie’s eye wandered and then snapped back. Real life.

But that ending… no!

ASTRO CITY #16 (Busiek / Anderson) Vertigo

That cover above is ‘thing’ Vertigo is doing this month with the story actually starting at the first page. The issue of Fairest last week was like that too.

What a story. Wow. A story of bullying and redemption. A story of of desperation and loneliness. And then a story of a trans-woman finding a new way of being, overlaid with super heroics while not acting like the trans nature of the character is something… weird. It just is.

Well done. INCREDIBLY well done.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Superior Foes of Spider-Man #15

September 7, 2014
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SuperiorFoesOfSpider-Man15-Cover

Not the best week ever. A lot of okay books and not many that blew me away.

Starting at the weakest…

SWAMP THING: FUTURES END #1 (Soule / Saiz) DC

(Shouldn’t that be Future’s End?)

Fancy cover. Well written. Good art. Interesting characters.

So why is it last?

Because stories have beginnings, middles and ends. This book is all middle. That would be okay if it were part of an ongoing arc, but it isn’t. This is a one-shot.

If you a re going to do a snapshot of five years int he future, in had better be a self-contained story. This was rubbish.

ORIGINAL SIN #8 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

A two-issue story stretched over eight issues. New status quo for old white Nick Fury, Bucky and the Orb.

The last one could be interesting. Maybe.

Winter Soldier is an incredibly lame character and Nick Fury ALWAYS goes back to being fine.

UNCANNY X-MEN #25 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Hold on now… so Charles did something smart but kept in a secret and now everyone is mad. Scott is acting like an ass and all as a set-up to face some uber-powerful mutant. Yawn.

The Bendis X-books are normally good but this is a BIG letdown after the build up to the will. I am looking forward to getting BACK to the will and learning more about the Mystique thing.

SPIDER-MEN 2099 #3 (David / Sliney / Fabela)

This was fine. That’s it.

ROCKET RACCOON #3 (Young / Bealieu) Marvel

Why was this better than last issue? The mention of Half-World. Yes. I loved that old RR mini.

MOON KNIGHT #7 (Brian Wood / Greg Smallwood / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

Interesting. In seems Wood is trying to keep the mood of the previous run while actually giving us a story rather than just vignettes.

If that is the case, this book should be a lot better going forward than the previous six issues would indicate.

MIRACLEMAN #10 (Moore / Veitch / Ridgway / Anglo) Marvel

Solid lead story with pointless filler, much like the previous issues. The Bates thing is interesting and while I don’t much like the idea that Liz is a puppet, the baby is quite intriguing.

SHE-HULK #8 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

Hands up anyone who didn’t see the last page coming? Anyone?

Doesn’t matter. Good comic. (Though I WOULD Like some explanation as to why Steve is old now. I don’t read the Cap book.)

FAIREST #29 (Buckingham / Braun / Dalhouse) Vertigo

The Owl and the Pussycat story was sweet. Reynard is an idiot but it is the former that really carried this book.

BLACK WIDOW #10 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

The time slipping was a little unclear at first. Also, setting up someone like they are going to be a big reveal and then making them someone you jus introduced is a little weak…

But still… strong writing. Strong art. Strong characters. (Though that was the movie Hawkeye, not the comic one.)

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #15 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

This is just good comics. Funny without begin silly. Intersting characters while still not giving them TOO much depth (which is odd… but it works).

The book is cancelled, but I would suggest picking up the trades. (Though you can skip the non-Spencer issues.)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #4

August 16, 2014
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MIles 4

 

This is actually LAST week. I was away doing a couple of shows down in Toronto and Whitby so couldn’t pick up my comics until now. I read last week’s first to give the illusion of schedule…

 

Starting at the weakest…

 

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #32 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Kubert / Dell / Fabela / Beredo) Marvel

 

So this is the ‘next’ issue of the cancelled Superior Spider-Man. Cancelled because Otto is dead. Well, this is a time travel issue from back when he was alive to kick off the Spider-Verse storyline.

It is kind of boring, actually. Some inter-dimensional baddy is killing alternate Spider-Men and they all have to team up. Repetitive mini-scenes gathering Spideys. That’s it.

 

ROCKET RACOON #2 (Young / Beaulieu) Marvel

The appeal of this has worn off pretty fast. I never thought I would say this but Groot was annoying. (Or, more that the conversations between Rocket and Groot were annoying. Groot’s ‘side’ of the conversation just didn’t ‘sound’ right to me.)

I don’t know how long I will keep buying this.

 

SHUTTER #4 (Joe Keatinge / Leila Del Duca / Owen Gieni / Ed Brisson) Image

This is late for me. It came out last month but I just got it.

It was… just a little bit frenetic. Even though there wasn’t action, it still felt like it was charging through the story too fast.

Much like Rocket Racoon, this book is getting its warning notice.

 

FAIREST #28 (Buckingham / Braun / Dalhouse) Vertigo

The problem with Fairest right now is that it doesn’t feel like its own story. It is just supporting the final Fables story and us such it never feels… important. Plus, the bit with the Spider as Fly tries to let him be human for a bit… well, that’s cheating. That is not the sign of a good leader, in my opinion.

 

BLACK WIDOW #9 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Hmmm… I am not sure I like the idea of a Black Widow then is more out-of-control ruthless than the Punisher.

 

MIRACLEMAN #9 (Moore / Veitch / Bryant) Marvel

This was quite a scandal when it first came out. Part of me thinks that the controversy is silly. The other part of thinks that the scene was drawn in a gratuitous fashion.

Of course the big pay off was actually AFTER the birth scene. Ma-ma?

 

MOON KNIGHT #6 (Warren Elis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

Ellis wraps up his run… by continuing to not give us any insight into Moon Knight whatsoever. A one page statement about love is not character development. Having said THAT, the was a decent issue as we got to watch the evolution of a villain.

Still, I don’t mind that Ellis is moving on.

 

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #24 (Spencer / Lieber / Ellis / Rosenberg) Marvel

The usual. If you have read this book, you know that is a good thing.

I wouldn’t be really thrilled about the sexual exploits of the one female character in the group becoming something for the others to joke about, but it surely wasn’t her who got the brunt of it. “Subtext” “I just need a minute” Funny.

 

SWAMP THING #34 (Soule / Pina / Wilson) DC

Like often happens in this book, a threat is built up as behind the scenes maneuverings and then is squashed quickly. It almost HAS to be that way do the power of the main character. A supporting cast, abruptly no more.

 

LAZARUS #10 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Wonder what happened to Jonah Carlyle? We get to find out. It isn’t nice. You have to feel bad for the poor guy.

Almost like when Jamie lost his hand… oh wait, is the parallel that blatant?

 

SHE-HULK #7 (Soule / Pulido / Vincente) Marvel

Much better than the last storyline. Here we have a one-off dealign with shrinking people so we get a Hank Pym appearance and some Hellcat in action… though Patsy is right, Jen is awfully condescending to her.

 

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #4 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Let me reiterate, I don’t think Peter is back. Moreover, if he IS back, that is a really bad idea and poor storytelling. But he isn’t.

Still, adding May and Mary-Jane to the mix is excellent. Also, the mystery of Katie Bishop… well, it doesn’t deepen per se. It appears, I guess.

Good stuff and keeping me interested in the next issue. In a relatively weak week, that gets you top marks.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #3

July 13, 2014
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MilesMoralesUltimateSpider-Man3-Cover

I wasn’t able to go get my comics last week. I got both week’s worth this week, read them, ranked them, and then split them back to their respective week so this is LAST WEEK’S list.

This week was bigger than the other, but the book of the week also only ranked third when I put them all together.

Starting at the weakest.

MIRACLEMAN #8 (Moore / Austen) Marvel

This comic actively angered me. We pay $5 for this comic. Normally that means you get multiple stories and then back-up material. I would rather they drop the old Mick Anglo stuff and charge less, but that might just be me.

THIS issue, though, had much less. You had the wrap up to the Gargunza story. It was fine but very simple. Then we get some stupid Cat Yronwoode filler that doesn’t even make any sense because they took it out of context with the reprints it was referring to. THIS shouldn’t have been bonus footage but instead it is a ‘main’ story. They should have dropped the Anglo stuff and given us another full story (original issue 9).

I feel ripped off. If this was normal, I would be dropping this book right now.

THIEF OF THIEVES #22 (Diggle / Martinbrough / Lucas) Image

You know what? I have had enough of this book. Not much more to say. It isn’t terrible, it just goes nowhere. It meanders and we basically get the same story over and over and over and over.

Dropped.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #4 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

What a beautifully rendered book.

What terrible storytelling and (frankly) offensive characterization.

It four issues, Andrews has completely ripped Iron Fist apart, with no reason given, turned him into a selfish predator who takes advantage of women to try and fill some emptiness (that was never referred to before now), and made his title character completely unsympathetic.

The character of Brenda is incredibly insulting and a horrible stereotype. Ugh.

Dropped.

MOON KNIGHT #5 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

This book shared some similar problems with Iron Fist… without the offensive parts.

It is very well drawn (not as good as the Andrews stuff in IF, but still very good).

It is very badly written (not as bad as the… etc.)

Warren Ellis has a rep that is well deserved but sometimes it feels like he cuts corners way too much. Here was have a story that has no first act. At all. Jus throw us in there, don’t explain anything, and let in unfold. Why was the girl kidnapped? There is an oblique reference to a crime family but that is it.

It is one long fight scene that seems to want to evoke that terrible Dredd movie or something.

I am NOT dropping this, because I consider this a misstep rather than an indictment against the book.

ORIGINAL SIN #5 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

So, is THIS why the mini exists? They continue to have th problem that it isn’t a story as much as a plot device.

I have a hard time getting worked up over changes to Nick Fury. They happen all the time. They always get reversed. Always.

SWAMP THING #33 (Charles Soule / Javier Pina) DC

Interesting storytelling technique. The book was about the conversations at him while Swampy fighting unending hordes of… something… was the back story.

Hmmm….

FAIREST #27 (Mark Buckingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

Bucky writing instead of drawing. Interesting. I like the concept…. though it was done back in the second Fables book. The animals are revolting! (“They certainly are!”)

Seeing how the books are wrapping up, who knows how this one will turn out!

LAZARUS #9 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Somehow I think that Casey and Michael have just become the most interesting characters in the book (with all due respect to Forever).

The whole ‘Lifted’ concept is problematic, but this whole work is that. Where are they going with it? When is it all going to come tumbling down?

BLACK WIDOW #8 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Problem: you shouldn’t need to read the recap page to understand what is going on and the whole Bucky / Natasha scene and final page wouldn’t make any sense at all if you hadn’t read the crappy Winter Soldier story.

Having said that, I quite liked this comic. Noto’s art con tunes to be wonderful and the character of Natasha has just the right level of opacity. The Isaiah story is also getting really interesting.

ROCKET RACCOON #1 (Young / Beaulieu) Marvel

I have (had?) the old Bill Mantlo Rocet series… but this is a little bit different. TH sold one was like a serious version of Captain Carrot. This one is just fun. Space fun, but fun nonetheless.

Believe it or not, this isn’t the best Groot appearance I read this week (next week?). Groot as wrestler is kind of weird.

Will this level of wackiness maintain? Will I get tired of it?

DAREDEVIL #0.1 (Waid / Krause / Kalisz) Marvel

Why does this comic exist? I am unsure. Maybe it was meant to be a Daredevil Annual or something. Regardless, it is a really good story. It was interesting to me that Daredevil – who is very familiar with any number of artificial lifeforms – completely dismissed the idea that the Adaptoid could be a ‘real person’. I wonder what the Vision would have thought if he witnessed that.

In the end, he feels bad because he cared at all.

Really?

I don’t like that part, but it still felt real. Good story. Well done.

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

David Marquez is a brilliant artist. Open the book to page #5. Look at that page. Look at Katie and Miles. Even look at Ganke. This is a perfect, non-action, page. I would like to own this page.

Please, please, please let this all be a trick. No return of Norman. No return of Peter. Just no.