Last month, to celebrate the passing of the torch from Peter Parker to Doctor Peterpus, Marvel released 5 point one issues over four weeks. In one week, they released two of these issues, which made the most sense since they were related. Today’s review will cover the first, with 700.4 coming soon. There are two stories that run in these issues, so We’ll divide them up into halves in this review as well. I’ll list the credits together however.
THE BLACK LODGE-PART ONE: Convalescence WRITER: Joe Casey
ART: Timothy Green
INKS: Walden Wong
COLORS: Brad Simpson
CAT AND MOUSE: A BLACK CAT MYSTERY
WRITER: Jen Van Meter
ARTIST: Emma Rios
COLOR ARTIST: Jordie Bellaire
LETTERS: VC’s Joe Caramagna
EDITORS Tom Brennan and Ellie Pyle
SENIOR EDITOR: Steve Wacker
EDITOR IN CHIEF: Axel Alonzo
CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: Joe Quesada
PUBLISHER: Dan Buckley
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Alan Fine
More, of course, after the jump. THE BLACK LODGE is our first story, and it’s part one of this issue, clocking in at 20 pages (The standard page count these days) it encompasses the majority of the issue. We begin our in a junkyard in Queens, were Firebrand is doing insureance fraud for the Maggia. Peter encounters him, and after blatantly insulting him, he tries to burn him alive. (No. Really.) He gets 3rd degree burns. Because his costume was burned away, he gets picked up by the staff of a secret hospital that tends to the Supervillian crowd. He is completely bandaged up and he vainly interacts with the super-villians. At the end of the issue, the general surgeon finds out that he’s Spider-Man because.. comics. To be Continued.
CAT AND MOUSE is a fairly simple story, it’s about Black Cat trying to infiltrate a house and does some digging while Spider-Man mingles with the other guests, and along the way runs into a little girl who just wants to get away from the bad rich people. The little girl helps Felicia out. Meanwhile we find out that Spider-Man isn’t here, but rather its an undercover cop who wants intelligence.
THOUGHTS: Boy. This is… wow. Let’s start with the first story. I liked the quips that were used in the very beginning, and I like the art for the most part. But DAMN DID THIS FAIL ON MANY LEVELS. First, the surgeon who operated said that Peter has an advanced healing factor. Sure, I get that he heals up quicker than the average bear, but damn. This was one of the worst back-up’s I’ve read in a long time. He gets his ass royally handed to him by a D-Lister named Firebrand. THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A SECOND. The guy who beat down FIRELORD got his ass handed to him by Firebrand. While the premise is interesting, I feel that there is major plot hole and that makes it less to be desired. While the interactions are good, and we do get an appearance by The Shocker, the whole thing smells of bad stock story and it just was a waste of my 22 pages. As for the 10 Page second story, It leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve never enjoyed Rios’ art, and the story felt like it was supposed to be Catwoman and not the Black Cat. I don’t care who you are, those two are similar in some ways but way different in many other respects. I did however enjoy the twist at the end with Spidey not being Peter because it leads one to believe otherwise in the opening pages of the storyline. The other ‘cool’ aspect was the female led writing and art team. Jen Van Meter has apparently written some other comics work, including the book Hopeless Savages. You’ll also remember her from the last Black Cat miniseries from 2010. So while I think it’s cool that Marvel brought her in with other females to produce content (Something this industry needs right now) I feel like it didn’t work as a Black Cat story. (Mainly because of her bastardized characterization we saw during Brand New Day which is felt as an influence in the story.) If those characters (Such as the cop) did show up in that mini however, I’d like to know. BY THE WAY… That Alternate cover, is made of awesome.
GRADE: D. Skip this one.