The cover promises a fight between Iron Man and Spider-Man with Miles thrown in for spice. However, the cover lied about Miles last issue, so who knows what will be in this issue. Power Pack? Dazzler? Only one way to find out!
The Devil in the Details
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Guiseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Cam Smith
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Editor: Nick Lowe
Published: June 1st, 2016
The Story – Pay Attention, This Will Be on the Test
Some super fish guy (as police officer Frobisher so eloquently put it) comes raging out of the ocean carrying an oil tanker. People freak out until Regent, Hero Extraordinaire, comes around and beats the living snot out of him, then carts him off to his prison to have his power siphoned for later use.
Betty Brant is back in town, but is going out to lunch with Harry
Osborn Lyman. Peter wants to be invited along, but Harry completely blows him off, leaving the reader wonder what is going on? Is Harry and Betty getting together? Are they conspiring against Parker Industries? We have to wait to find out because that story gets interrupted by Peter dodging his duties as CEO.
Spider-Man swings down to the local batting cages where he is supposed to meet Miles Morales, but is a little ticked off by seeing Iron Man there. Iron Man antagonizes Spidey.
Meanwhile, Betty Brant and Harry Lyman meet up with MJ, thus the reason they cannot allow Peter to come with them. They, with very little thought, figure out that Augustus Roman is Regent. Betty runs off to write up a story.
Back to the batting cages, Spider-Man has had it with Iron Man and punches him. Iron gets angry and they go at it, leaving Miles Morales to try to get the bystanders out of the way and trying to remind them that they really are heroes. He leaves and gets ambushed by Regent. Spider-Man and Iron Man realize what suck-egg mules* they are being and go to find Miles, but they are too late. He is already being processed to fuel Regent’s suit.
Betty confronts Augustus about being Regent.
We set Regent up as a powerhouse by having him take down the “super fish guy.”
POP QUIZ TIME
Who is the super fish guy able to lift an oil tanker?
b. Orka (not to be confused with okra, although each is equally repulsive)
c. Attuma (I can’t hear this name without hearing Schwarzenegger say, “It’s NOT a tumor!”)
d. Tiger Shark
Click image to see answer
The answer is irrelevant since all that matters is that we are being shown that Regent is super powerful (in case you didn’t read Secret Wars). I have no problem with that and the opening panel was awesome.
The story itself needs little analysis. Iron Man and Spider-Man fight for less reason than Torch and Spidey fought back in issue #3. We do get a set up for a Betty Brant side story as she starts to go after Augustus for being Regent.
There are two minor characters that do deserve more attention, though. One is Officer Frobisher. I have started paying attention to minor characters when we get their names. There tends to be a back story. When I see such an unusual name as Frobisher, my curiosity is really spiked. There are three people that could be the inspiration for officer Frobisher. The first and least likely is Sir Martin Frobisher, privateer and maritime explorer for England. The second is John Frobisher, the character that Peter Capaldi played on Torchwood, a Doctor Who spin off for the BBC impaired among us. This is more likely since Dan Slott is a huge Doctor Who fan. However, the most likely reason he picked that name is because Frobisher is the name of a companion of the 6th and 7th doctor in the Doctor Who comic strip. This guy is a shape changing alien that prefers the guise of a penguin. When he acts like a private detective, he goes by a name that means, “haven’t got a clue.” That certainly fights the officer that shouts out “super fish guy.”
The other minor character I’ll save for the extra credit question.
Some of the art is good. Camuncoli is especially good at drawing the superhero. That opening panel was awesome. I wish I seen a fight between Spider-Man and Orka based on that panel rather than what we got – and that is saying something since I have absolutely no desire to read a comic with Orka in it otherwise.
The jokes are not overplayed. Peter correcting Miles on his onomatopoeias was funny-ish. I liked that Frobisher’s badge is all we get of the allusion rather than having some bystander have to make a comment to help us connect the dots.
Miles showing off for the crowd by webbing baseballs in the batting cage was a nice touch, too. In fact, everything Miles does is a pass here. The fact that he actually shows up in this comic is a win.
Miles takes on the attitude of the reader. While I did not like what went on around him, his reactions were spot on. He could easily be a panelist on the podcast with the criticisms that he is shouting out at them. At one point he just walks away from them telling them he is embarrassed to even be in a costume – and the reader was embarrassed for him. Which brings us to…
I’m going to let Iron Man sum it up:
That was my thought (more or less) as I read most of this comic. I was really looking forward to this issue, but the whole set up for the Iron Man and Spider-Man fight is rather inane. Spider-Man has plenty of baggage with Iron Man, but instead of pulling from that, he is going to get angry because Tony redesigns Miles’ web shooters, has hired MJ (which Spidey yells out is Parker’s girl – newsflash, Spidey, you may want to go back and read OMIT), and, what really set him off, Iron Man offers Spidey a job. Now, getting frustrated, irritated, even angry is one thing, In fact, if we had that kind of dramatic irony** going on the whole time, it would have a bit humorous. Instead, Spider-Man just punches Iron Man.
O.K., Spider-Man punching people without thinking it out is sort of his M.O. – poor Morbius always gets punched first. However, there are three big problems with this. 1. Iron Man is not a villain (I don’t care what your take on Civil War (movie or crossover) is). 2. They are in a batting cage. As in a park with little children everywhere. JJJ was right all along! 3. They are supposed to be mentoring Miles. The best scenario that could come from this is that Mile decides to leave these chumps alone until Spidey gets a different writer. It’s just an awful fight. Also, true to many of Slott’s fights, most of the fight takes place off panel. This is just awful. I got more enjoyment looking up that stupid shape shifting penguin than I did reading this fight. I understand Regent’s desire to eliminate the heroes based on crap like this. He watches it being streamed live via Parker Scope and his comment is, “Where’s the villain?”
Speaking of Regent, I would have liked to see Mile put up a better fight against Regent; however, I’m fine with the way it goes down. Miles is thrown off by the fact that he believes Regent to be a hero and if his spider-sense was going off, he would have little reason to think it was warning him about Regent. Instead, he probably would have assumed that the threat he is sensing is whoever Regent is there to catch in the first place.
Responsibility – Peter shrugs off what is obviously an important meeting (they are trying to work out billion dollar deals) so that he can go hang out with Miles. Slott tries to make it work by comparing it to Peter blowing off classes, but I just don’t buy that Peter went to his share of classes. He tried to make both aspects of his life work and as a result he failed miserably at it. Here, he is not even trying to make this work. How he still has a company, I don’t know. Especially now that Zodiac is no longer managing the business for him.
The art. This seems to be a recurring theme in my reviews of Camuncoli. His superheroes are nice, but his faces are not. Especially if it is supposed to a character that we recognize. Take a look at MJ:
If this were a new character, I’d have no problem with it. But this is MJ and the only reason I know is because Harry told me and her hair is red.
Why should the name Dr. Shannon Stillwell sound familiar to you (besides the fact that she was in Secret Wars)? Or maybe I should put it – who is most likely her connection to her in the Spider-verse?
I think Miles can sum this comic up best for me:
Grade? Without Miles this would be a solid F, but he raised it up to a:
What grade do YOU give it?
• Things aren’t going well between the Amazing Spider-Man and the Invincible Iron Man and their conflict is opening the door for Regent and his plan against our heroes!
• Now that Regent has started imprisoning HEROES and stealing their powers things have gone from bad to worse.
My enthusiasm for this upcoming issue knows no bounds.
* A suck-egg mule is something my mom would call people when she couldn’t think of something nice to say. I asked her what it meant and she said that a suck-egg dog was a dog that snuck into hen houses and sucked the eggs. Her sister called her that once, so she called her a suck-egg mule since that must be worse. Now you know.
** Dramatic Irony – we know something the character(s) do not – remember that kiddies if you have to take an English or language arts exam sometime soon.