Mr. Negative #3 & The Sinister Spider-Man #3 Reviews

It’s a Dark Reign Double Bill! Why am I posting two reviews at the same time? Not so I can catch up quickly, I don’t know what made you think that. It is because these issues are linked. You heard me correctly. Linked.

How are they linked? Which is the weakest link?

Read onwards and find out, true believer!

And to avoid any awkward questions, no. I did not have any Dark Reign puns left.

WRITER:Fred Van Lente
ARTIST: Gianluca Gugliotta
COLOURS: Pattison, Motta and Fabela
LETTERS:Dave Lanphear

Mr. Negative and The Hood face off, neither getting the edge over the other. Mere metres away, Nega-Spidey is attempting to kill Betty Brant, but she is too cunning for the brainwashed hero. She eventually catches up with Mrs. Li, who reveals the origin or Mr. Negative.

Martin Li drowned trying to get to America, but the gang that was taking him there still insisted on collecting the money from Mrs. Li. While she was being tortured, Mr. Negative saved her and took the identity of Martin Li.

Negative keeps fighting The Hood and tells the tale of him being on the same boat as Martin Li when he died and took his personal papers, such as passport, due to his criminal record. He was then used in drug trials for the same drug that created Cloak and Dagger, therefore linking himself to the same Darkforce that Cloak uses.

Spidey fights off Negative’s influence, but he escapes, thanks to his mole in The Hood’s organisation, The Spot. Also uses the same Darkforce. Osborn is cool with Negative now because he handed over evidence of the “Freak” experiments, as seen in New Ways To Die. Spot steals the evidence back though.

-Lot packed into this issue.

-The origin story has a couple of holes.
-Spider-Man was barely in this series.

Well, this went out with a whimper. We finally get the origin of Mr. Negative, who has been around since the beginning of Brand New Day. A year and a half isn’t too long to wait for an origin, some form of motivation for this character. Multiply that by three though, due to the amount of issues that have been released and it gets taxing. Slightly annoying. Show the origin tale in a mini-series, annoyance grows. Make the origin highly convoluted, you’ve turned it up to eleven. It’s a guy playing Martin Li, when he isn’t Martin Li, but his wife knows he’s not Martin Li, however the city sees him as Martin Li. It reminds me of kirk Lazarus from Tropic Thunder, “I’m the dude playing the dude, disguised as another dude!” And he got his powers at the same time as Cloak and Dagger. Right. Whatever.

Betty Brant finds half of this story out from Mrs. Li, but can’t print a story because she has no evidence and apparently can’t get a statement from Mrs. Li, so she has to go around pretending that this Martin is the real Martin. I believe that could be considered a reporting FAIL.

All round this issue did nothing for me. It revealed the background of a character that I didn’t really care about to begin with, but he had the “Aunt May’s new friend” angle that I sort of dug. Except she’s married JJJS now, and Martin Li isn’t Martin Li but a criminal who killed a multitude of people. Right. Good for him. Leave me out of it.

“I propose a toast. To evil.”


0.5 webheads out of 5

I very nearly kept to the theme of this mini-series and gave it a “negative” score. And yeah, this is the weakest link, for your information.

Knew I had a clever pun somewhere. Now onto Part 2 of this mega-deluxe review special!

WRITER: Brian Reed
ARTISTS: Chris Bachalo and Rob Disalvo
LETTERS:Jared K. Fletcher

Gargan is making Mayor Jameson extremely frustrated by setting off a gang war behind his back and not doing anything about it, despite being assigned by Norman Osborn, Director of H.A.M.M.E.R. (Still no meaning behind the acronym), to help the city. Dexter Bennet is printing mean things about him, so Gargan goes over to The DB! and throws up a squirrel on his desk.

Later on, a bomb threat goes off and the terrorists insist that Spider-Man speak to them. It turns out to be The Redeemer and his Z-List goons with their new cyber appendages. Most of them get eaten, the others have severe limb losses and Dr. Everything is handed over to the police.

The Redeemer, General Wolfram and The Dementoid still have a trick up their sleeve though. They send pictures of Gargan’s mutilation of the villains to Mayor Jameson…

-The art was bearable

-It wasn’t a quick read, but there still wasn’t much there.
-More mutilation, eh?

Just more of the same from this issue. Some limbs lost, JJJ gets angry, Gargan get away with everything, the usual story. Not a lot more to say, if I’m honest. This issue progresses slightly, but why it took an issue escapes me. There’s some banter and the throwing up of a squirrel, a fight and then some evidence that could lock Gargan away. However, there was no evidence of the other mutilations? We really need another fight to get Gargan into a jam? Looks like it.

Bachalo doesn’t draw a lot of this issue, instead it’s Disalvo, whose art looks like a smoother version of Bachalo’s. It’s very cartoon-like and decent to look at, if a bit boring at times. Panel layout is good again, which doesn’t seem like a big compliment, but it does make stories more interesting to read.

“I could just kill all of you.”
“See? That’s not at all the spirit of the discussion.”

1 out of 5 webheads.

So there you have it.

Wait a second…how are they linked you say? Well, I’ll tell you!

Mr. Negative, right? And you could say that Mac Gargan’s Spider-Man is sort of the opposite of how Peter Parker would be. The negative version, perhaps.

See? Told you they were linked.

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