Friday, March 21, 2014

Arc Review: The Spider Totem, aka "Coming Home"

J. Michael Straczynski's (hereafter referred to as JMS) run on Amazing Spider-Man is a bit divisive; at the time it was coming out, JMS was a "superstar" writer and his take on the comic was by and large seen as a breath of fresh air. I believe the common view is that his later work on the title is not as good due largely to editorial interference and crossovers with "events" like Civil War. While it's not universally beloved, the Spider-Totem arc made it to spot #13 in CBR's "top 50 greatest Spider-Man stories." In 2009, Marvel began publishing an "Ultimate Collection" of JMS Spider-Man comics; five volumes were published, collecting everything JMS wrote for the book, rather than focus on individual storylines. As a bit of background, I purchased the Amazing Spider-Man DVD some years ago, and have slowly been working my way up through the 70's up until JMS begins his run in 2001. So unlike a reader starting fresh, I came into JMS's run having sat through a truly awful period of comics (and I'm not referring to the Clone Saga, but Howard Mackie and John Byrne's post-Clone Saga relaunch), along with pretty much everything else. Maybe it's this perspective that makes me think that JMS's first story arc is a pretty bad Spider-Man comic.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Review: Avengers #393

Avengers #393, "Dark Days Dawn," Cover Date December 1995
Plot by Bob Harras and Terry Kavanagh, Script by Ben Raab, Pencils by Mike Deodato, Jr., Inks by Tom Palmer

Avengers 393 Cover

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: Iron Man #323

Iron Man #323, "Innocent Eyes," Cover Date December 1995
Plot by Terry Kavanagh, Script by Dan Abnett, Pencils by Hector Oliveira, Jim Cheung, and Yancey Labat, Inks by Mark McKenna

Iron Man 323 Cover