Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Quick Spider-Man GN Reviews

Spectacular Spider-Man, vol. 5: Sins Remembered
by Sara Barnes, Scot Eaton & Cam Smith

One of the most talked about super-hero stories of last year was "Sins Past," the Spider-Man story by JMS that revealed that Gwen Stacy had been seduced by Norman "Green Goblin" Osborn and had twins shortly before her death. Those twins were lightly super-powered with advanced strangth and agility and were rapidly aging, and had a mad-on for Peter Parker. At the end, Gabe was seemingly dead and Sarah--who was the spitting image of her mother--went back to France. This wholly unnecessary sequel picks up a few months later, as Peter parker is called to France after Sarah reportedly attempts suicide by pills. Peter soon discoveres that Sarah is in trouble with a local drug lord due to debts incurred by her brother, and that Sarah also has a crush on him. It may not sound like it by my description, but for the plot to continually move forward it's required that the main participants act stupid most of the time. In Sarah's case this can be forgiven, since despite that fact that she looks like a hot twenty-something babe she is actually just ten-years-old, but Peter and Mary Jane should know better. Clichés abound, including that old chestnut of a person's siginificant other walking in the room just as he/she is being kissed by Object of Jealousy even though the attraction is unrequited. Eaton's art is competent enough in the light T&A style that's so popular these days, and he draws Sarah wearing plenty of tight sweaters--though at least she's not prancing around for three pages in her underwear.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

Spider-Man: India
by Jeevan J. Kang & Gotham Studios Asia

For some reason Indian comics producers Gotham Studios Asia wanted to produce a homegrown version of Spider-Man--so they did. The result is Spider-Man: India, which sees Spidey's origin reframed as mystical rather than technological, and the names of the characters Indianized (e.g. Peter Parker becomes Pavitr Prabhakar and Mary Jane becomes Meera Jain). Of course Pavitr is still the school outcast (he's a scholarship student from the country), Meera Jain is still hot and nice, Flash is still a jerk, and Uncle Bihm still has to die. Spidey fights versions of the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus and learns that with great power comes great responsibility. Except for the surface changes tehre's really nothing much new here. The art is by Kang and the studio, and it has that weird quality of sameness yet slight inconsistancy that can only arise from studio work.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

Marvel Knights Spider-Man, vol. 3: The Last Stand
by Mark Millar, Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson

Let's see, where were we: oh yes, Aunt May has been kidnapped (again!) and Norman Osborne is behind it. He wants Spdier-Man to break him out of prison in exchange for her life, and Peter shuts his brain completely off and goes along with the plan. Meanwhile, The Scorpion becomes the new Venom and the secret history of super-villains is uncovered; and Mary Jane gets jealous, though at least she does the one smart thing in this comic before she gets kidnapped (again!) by the Green Goblin and dangled off a bridge--just like Gwen Stacy! Sigh. The art by the Dodsons is okay, though it's far from their best work. The most amazing thing about Millar's MK Spidey run is that he managed to stretch his whole four-issue story out into twelve issues.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

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