Dark Reign: Mr. Negative #2 Review

Chocolate Reign!

WRITER: Fred van Lente
ARTIST: Gianluca Gugliotta
COLOURS: Ronda Pattison
LETTERS: Dave Lanphear

Nega-Spidey is beating seven shades of silver out of the Hood’s goons, which include classic villains such as The Squid and Scorcher. The villains are surprised by Spider-Man’s brutal violence and wonder if it’s really him. They aren’t the sharpest tools in the box, really. Elsewhere, Mr. Negative gives Hammerhead orders to deliver a message to Norman Osborn about The Hood.

While he’s smashing through a SWAT team, Betty Brant questions Yana Li, Martin Li’s wife. She reveals that they both wanted to leave China for the USA, but only she could through being a student at Empire State. Yana hated it and told her husband not to come, unfortunately he took that to mean she had found another man and immediately tried to move to the United States, but Martin was tricked by the Snakehead gang and sent to Kenya. Betty tells Yana that the entire gang has been killed by the gangster Mr. Negative and she runs away at once.

Norman Osborn is reading to little kids (I found this bit very funny) before being attacked by Hammerhead. He quickly dons his Iron Patriot armour and takes Hammerhead into the sky so nobody can hear their conversation. Hammerhead tells Osborn to order The Hood to back off, because Mr. Negative has something Osborn wants.

Nega-Spidey has just defeated all the Z-Listers and is looking for something else to beat on. Mr. Negative notices Betty Brant chasing after Yana Li, so gives his orders for Nega-Spidey to kill Betty. He has bigger fish to fry, this fish being The Hood…

-The Osborn reading to kids scene.
-We get part of Mr. Negative’s origin.

-The art is bland.
-Average storytelling and plot.

This series has improved a little bit. Nega-Spidey’s narrative was interesting to read, however brief it was. If only he was beating on something more than some throwaway villains. Nonetheless, Spider-Man isn’t in the spotlight this issue, Mr. Negative is, and he is a mixed character. Calm and composed in Mr. Negative mode, arrogant and reactive in Martin Li mode, we never really know who’s in control. We see how he came to be who he is, but not how he got his powers. There are a few gaps in the origin and I hope these are cleared up in the next issue.

Hammerhead is written like I have never seen Hammerhead written before. “You have turned the spider to our side. You never fail to amaze me Mr. Negative.” I don’t like it, when has he ever spoken like that?

The art is bland and gets the job done, nothing more nothing less. The colours bamboozle me though. The events happen within one night, I’m assuming. I think this because it’s night when Nega-Spidey starts fighting the villains and it’s night when he finishes. I don’t think it took him a day to do that. However, when Hammehead confronts Osborn, it’s bright daylight. Whether this is a colouring mistake or an art mistake, I don’t know, but it confuses the hell out of me.

“I hafta go potty!”
“Disrupt this carefully staged media event and my people break your parents’ kneecaps.”

2.5 out of 5 webheads.

It’s starting to interest me.