Last month saw Amazing Spider-Man rise from the depths to enter “Decent” territory. Spoiler alert: No chance of that happening in Marvel Comics October 2023 or ever again, I think, as long as Zeb Wells writes this title. I can’t take the extreme step that Chris did and remove this from my pull list.
Two Reasons. 1. I discovered a couple of months ago that I own a third of all of the Amazing Spider-Man issues ever printed. B. I worked to put together an uninterrupted run back to at least issue 800. I need to look at my inventory spreadsheet because I went to a couple of stores an a flea market to fill in more issues.
Returning Category: Can We Don’t?
Amazing Spider-Man: (Writer: Does it even matter at this point?, Artist: Patrick Gleason and Ed McGuinnes). I gave Wells a chance. You can’t say that I didn’t. I lasted longer than I ever thought possible with this mess of a title. I intend to keep collecting, but I will not read another Spider-Man story until Wells name is not associated with it. I blacked out during the mention of Paul in 35 and then threw 36 in disgust when I saw Rek-rap. I’m out. My verdict: How dare you?
Incredible Hulk 6 (Legacy 786, Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Artist: Travel Foreman). I wrote Chris about a variant upcoming by one of our favorite artists. He said, “Oh, thank God.” then mentioned how bad the art looked this time. Yikes. I like the story, but this one gets demoted because of that art and also the story is too gory for me. I don’t want my Hulk with a blood lust.
Venom 26 (Legacy 226, Writer: Torunn Grønbekk, Artist: Julius Ohta): Torunn Grønbekk is finding her voice in Venom, but it’s still a bit inconsistent. To be fair, I think it might be just where this hero is right now. Ewing tried to clean up the mess left by Cates and did an admirable job. But, there’s just too much happening there right now. I like what I see and have faith. It will take time.
Black Panther 8 (Legacy 217, Writer: Eve Ewing, Artist: Mack Chater): It took me a while to figure out this book. He, like I say, sometimes it just isn’t for you. But I stayed with it because I saw something there. This issue starts to pay off that patience. I enjoyed this issue and I can see this one bumping up to “Great” in the near future.
Captain America (Legacy 752, Writer: J. Michael Straczynski, Artist: Jesus Saiz): I make no secret that, other than Spencer, I think JMS wrote the best Spider-Man of the last 20 years. He gives us a Cap/Spidey team up that soothes the soul from the main title disaster right now. If he keeps this up, he might join Spencer and Brubaker in the Captain America pantheon, too.
Doctor Strange 8 (Legacy 434, Writer: Jed McKay, Pasqual Ferry): I struggled with this one for a bit. I went back and forth between “Good” and “Great”. The title kind of oscillates between those two itself right now. I just couldn’t quite push it to the great this time around. Besides that category is a bit busy right now.
We finally get the pay off in the Avegners to the Planet Eaters or whatever. Each of the Avengers uses their unique strengths to finally best their particular villain. And, now Viz gets a featured story in the next issue (arc?) What more can I ask for?
I can’t believe how closely this title resembles all the great things from the old Lee/Kirby run of Fantastic Four. Ryan North absolutely understood the assignment and continues to deliver fun stories. This time we get the FF (and a prominent villain) as dinosaurs. I mean, come on, if you can’t find fun in that, you have no soul.
We got a payoff for Grootfall in the last issue. Now, we are all Groot. I loved GotG since their introduction in the mid 90s. I think I like this story better even than anything James Gunn did with his movies. They just know these characters and treat this whole thing with such tenderness and, dare I say, love that I want them to write this comic forever.
What can I say about Thor? Al Ewing brings his magic to another title and gives me a reason to enjoy this book again. I forgot he was writing it and missed the first two issues. I’ll fill them in on my next Midtown order. I want this to be a full run like his Immortal Hulk.
I’ve run out of compliments for Rainbow Rowell’s She-Hulk. It is the most fun I have reading comics right now. If you’re not reading this book, you’re doing life all wrong right now.
I’m so mad that comics will probably die in the next few months. Hey, Chris and I have a track record. We need to say this every few months or it might actually happen. Seriously, both companies figured out how to make books fun and entertaining. Marvel Comics October 2023 (other than ASM) gave me so much joy that I don’t even care that much that Amazing Spider-Man is quite possibly the worst it’s ever been.