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Category Archives: Spider-Man

Fanboy Analysis: Avengers vs X-Men Battles

Marvel has been putting out tons of preview pages for the upcoming Avengers vs. X-Men tie-in books.  All of these one-on-one battles intrigue the fanboy within so I can’t help but be fascinated by the matchups.

There are four new matchups that have been revealed in addition to the Magneto vs. Iron Man battle that was revealed earlier this week.  The four match-ups are shown below with my opinions as to who would win the battle.  Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments though.  I’m always up for a spirited comic book debate.

The first match-up we’ll cover is Black Widow vs. Psylocke.  Both are highly trained martial artists and have notoriously been depicted as being able to stand toe to toe with anyone in physical combat.  From my perspective Black Widow probably has the slight edge in martial arts but Psylocke takes the fight with her mutant powers.

Avengers: 0

X-Men: 1

Second up we have the God of Thunder, Thor, against the Queen of Wakanda, Storm.  Now this is an interesting match-up just because of the parallels of both combatants being able to use thunder and lightning as weapons.  But how does a mutant beat a god?  I just don’t see Storm pulling out the win against Thor.  Thor can take just about anything Storm throws at him and his still has his hammer which can do tons of damage.  Thor gets the win here.

Avengers: 1

X-Men: 1

Next we have Spider-Man taking on his amazing friend Iceman.  I like this pairing if only for the play on the 80s cartoon.  Just add Firestorm and it will be a reunion.  Iceman is an Omega level mutant once of the most powerful of the X-Men.  Peter Parker is finally getting his due as one of the smartest minds of the Marvel Universe.  His close relationship with the Future Foundation/Fantastic Four allows him to exercise his mind and encourages him to think first and then act.  Both combatants have a history and familiarity with each other.  Spidey’s big brain saves him in the end as he comes up with a good plan or technology to defeat Iceman.

Avengers: 2

X-Men: 1

The final battle puts the leaders of both teams against each other.  Captain America takes on Cyclops in what I think will be a fun read.  Cap is the longtime leader of the Avengers and is a historical icon.  Cyclops is the longtime leader of the X-Men and now the leader of Utopia and a vast majority of the remnants of mutantkind.  Both men are well established leaders and strategists so I think this battle comes down to one thing… experience.  Cap has been fighting since World War II long before Cyclops was even born.  His experience gives him the edge here and he exploits Cyclops’ obvious weakness, his visor.  Cap’s shield can take anything Cyke throws at it… but one shot from Cap’s shield to the visor and Cyclops is down for the count.  Cap takes this fight.

Avengers: 3

X-Men: 1

I spoke about the match-up between Iron Man and Magneto last week but I didn’t give a prediction as to who the winner would be.  Its a toss-up between Reed Richards and Tony Stark in regards to who the smartest man in the Marvel Universe is.  Tony’s powers all stem from his creations and the Iron Man armor is a phenomenal piece of tech.  Magneto has reformed from his terrorist ways and has become a solid member of the X-Men.  But he’s still the master of magnetism and Tony Stark wears a metal suit.  That fact alone makes me lean towards Magneto as the winner.  Tony might come up with a way to make his suit non-magnetic but there are still lots of other things around that Magneto can control to combat Shellhead.   Also factor in the fact Tony is still recovering from falling of the wagon and I think in the end Magneto comes out victorious.

Avengers: 3

X-Men: 2

With a current score of 3-2 nobody is running away with the fight and the Avengers keeps a slim lead.  As more of these match-ups come out I will continue giving my fanboy analysis.  In the end I think the Avengers will just barely eke out the win… but I could be wrong.  If you disagree with my predictions let me know and lets start a debate on this.  One of the best parts about being a comic fan is arguing over who would  beat who in a fight.

There’s Still Hope For Ben Reilly’s Return

Marvel has dropped a couple teases during Spider Island that the original Spider-Clone, Ben Reilly, might be returned to the Marvel Universe.  Marvel is moving forward with a new mini-series entitled Point One and the latest teaser image depicts a Spider-Man looking character wearing a hoodie.  As you know the hoodie was a trademark part of the Scarlet Spider costume.

This picture is certainly meant to make you think that Ben might be coming back to life, but Marvel loves to tease his return to get fanboys fired up.  Whether Spider-Man fans either love or hate Ben Reilly his presence sparks interest.  Do I want this to be Ben Reilly returning to life?  Hell yes.  Do I think this is Ben?  Probably not.

Standby for my theory.  In the latest issue of Spider Island, Reed Richards has found a cure to the Spider powers that have spread throughout NYC.  This cure requires Eddie Brock as Anti-Venom to be present and Reed states that creating the cure could depower Brock.  My guess is that Eddie will lose his Anti-Venom powers but retain some Spider powers.  Just a guess, but who knows!

Will Spider-Island Bring a Return of the Scarlet Spider?

One of the teaser posters shown at the San Diego Comic Con showed the blue hoodie worn by the Scarlet Spider, aka Ben Reilly aka the Spider-Clone, set ablaze.  This fueled speculation that Marvel might bring Ben Reilly back to life after his death in 1996.  Well prepare to add more fuel to that fire with the latest press release about the ongoing Spider-Island arc.  Pay special attention the the text that I have marked bold for emphasis.

It’s the Spider-Man event of the year, and with so many twists and turns – there’s no telling what will happen next! But there’s one thing we can tell you, fans can get excited for the return of someone very important to the life of Peter Parker. Except where will he show up? With Spider-Island selling out across the board, it’s obvious that fans can’t get enough of the Wall-crawler, all 8 million of them!

Haven’t checked out Spider-Island yet? No problem! Marvel is pleased to announce that that it will be going back to press on a wide number of Spider-Island tie-ins including, Spider-Island: Cloak And Dagger #1 Second Printing Variant, Spider-Island: Deadly Foes #1 Second Printing Variant, & Venom #5 Second Printing Variant! And with the Amazing Spider-Man #666 Second Printing Variant on the way, there’s no better time to get in on the action. So what are you waiting for? Head over to your local comic shop and get in on Spider-Island today!

Curious to who will be returning? Join the conversation on Twitter with #SpiderIsland!

While fans in general loathed the Clone Saga there is a part of the fanbase who genuinely enjoyed the character of Ben Reilly.  The subject of his return has long been taboo in the eyes of Marvel writers and editors.  Whenever they were asked about it in the past a return was quickly shot down.  So what’s changed their opinion now?  I’m not sure but Ben’s return has been hinted at in the beginning of the Spider-Island arc, with Miles Warren, aka the Jackal, discussing a perfect clone.

The press release and promo art seem to hint at Ben’s return, however it does not appear to be long lived.  Personally if they bring Ben back just kill him in a couple issues it seems like this is a move to appease the fanbase.  One part will be happy Ben is back, even if its for a short time, and another section would be thrilled to see the Spider-Clone die yet again. There is a lot of hatred for the Clone Saga and it seems to taint a lot of opinions about Ben.

As for myself, I would love to see Ben come back and potentially have adventures of his own post Spider-Island.  With all the superhero teams created due to the Initiative Ben could go anywhere and contribute. Plus there have already been other Spider-Men, wearing the Iron Spider-Man costume,  serving in the Initiative.

I hope Marvel keeps Ben around for a while mostly because the brother-like relationship with Peter is a great story element.  My worst fear is that if Marvel actually brings Ben back and keeps him alive he will end up with Mary Jane Watson.  Marvel seems intent on keeping her and Peter apart with Brand New Day and this would be yet another way to do that.  And something like that would shatter the relationship between Peter and Ben.

After Fear Itself It’s Shattered Heroes

Marvel’s big summer events have been the brand wide Fear Itself and the X-Men-centric Schism.  Both of these mega events are billed as having major repercussions.  For instance in Fear Itself Bucky Barnes has died, Captain America’s shield has been shattered, Tony Stark has fallen off the wagon, and Thor will presumably lose his title as the God Of Thunder.  Schism will supposedly be the big break between Cyclops and Wolverine and will in turn lead to two completely separate X-Men teams.

After the end of these mega-events Marvel will be rolling into the brand-wide story entitled Shattered Heroes.  Presumably this is the aftermath of both Fear Itself and Schism and will show how the heroes are dealing with the radically changed world they find themselves in.  At the San Diego Comic Con it was announced that Shattered Heroes will consist of a series of one-shots focusing on the effects the currently ongoing events will have on Marvel’s superhero population.

Marvel has begun releasing promotion material in regards to Shattered Heroes but it really doesn’t tell us a whole bunch.  In addition Marvel has pitched the Twitter hashtag #ShatteredHeroes for fans to talk about their reactions to the series.  The first promo poster released is below as well as this accompanying quote from  Tom Brevoort.

“The war is over, and the warriors return home, carrying with them scars of battle, both physical and mental. Now the cost will be tallied, the casualties buried and mourned, the rubble swept up and carted away. But the damage to our heroes isn’t easily repaired, the wounds not easily healed. Decisions are made and lives are changed—can shattered heroes find renewed courage to go on?”Tom Brevoort, SVP Executive Editor

Today Marvel released another poster promoting Shattered Heroes.  As a fan of John Romita Jr’s artwork I have to say I really like this promo.  If you look closely there are two heroes that might be unfamiliar.  Marvel has already announced that there will be a new God Of Thunder named Tanarua who can be seen on the top left side of the image.  The other hero, depicted in the red and black samurai armor, is new to the Marvel Universe and as debuted in promos for a new super group referred to as The Forgiven.  I’m curious to see what this team ends up being but for now I would guess they are a team of heroes if one of its members is shown with the rest of Marvel’s heavy hitters.

"Our heroes' lives are shattered. Can they pick up the pieces in time to face the coming storm?"

There are a couple of takeaways that come from this picture.  Firstly, Hulk is back and no longer the world breaker.  However, he looks pretty rough like he has been changed from his experiences.  Additionally, Cap’s shield looks to be intact once more.  The question is, is this the original shield repaired or one of Asgardian design?  This poster is also accompanied by a quote from quote from Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso who asks the question:

“Our heroes’ lives are shattered. Can they pick up the pieces in time to face the coming storm?”

It would seem that there is something dangerous in the distance for the heroes of the Marvel Universe.  The question is, what is it and will the heroes be able to win?  After all the battles that have taken place in the last few years, story-wise, will the heroes be able to cope with yet another massive battle?  I bet we’ll find out in Shattered Heroes and to be honest I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in October when everything kicks off.

Who Is The New Ultimate Spider-Man?

As I’m sure you are all aware of Marvel killed off Peter Parker in the Ultimate Comics.  Shortly thereafter it was teased that a new Spider-Man would arise.  A Spider-Man that was not Peter Parker since he would be remaining dead.

The fallout over the death of Spider-Man has been taking place in the weekly mini-series Ultimate Fallout.  Right now the coverage is primarily on the funeral for Peter Parker and how some of the main characters of the ultimate universe are dealing with the fallout after Peter’s untimely demise.

There has been a good deal of speculation over who the next person will be to assume the mantle of Spider-Man.  Some people are theorizing that Spider-Man will be of a different race or even gender this time around.  One of the popular theories is that the Ultimate-verse Ben Reilly will be the new Spider-Man.  After all he does still have a vial of Peter’s blood.  I’m not going to guess… mostly because I think that I will end up being wrong.

I will be checking out Ultimate Fallout #4 when it comes out next week.  Marvel has issued a press release stating that this will be the first appearance of the new Spider-Man.  The promo art was released with a simple tagline:

‘Watch as history is made’

As for the Spider-Man costume, its not the same as the one teased on the cover of the upcoming new Spider-Man series, but it is a step in the right direction.  Many people are saying that this costume takes its inspiration from the costume in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man movie.  Aside from both costumes being belt-less I don’t see it.  The comic version of Spidey doesn’t look like a basketball.  As for the new ultimate costume I can handle it, though the knee pads and elbow pads look a little weird.

Marvel’s Ultimate Relaunch

Marvel’s Ultimate line of books were designed to bring in newer readers by basically restarting everything from scratch.  This was intended to make everything easily accessible to new readers.  Within the first few years of the Ultimate comics launch it gained the reputation that anything could happen.  To be honest I have enjoyed the Ultimate version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man more than the 616 version for the last few years.  But, that’s another a topic best saved for another time.

It came as kind of a shock a couple of years back when Marvel basically decided to kill off a good deal of characters in the Ultimate Universe with Ultimatum.   From that point many of the books relaunched from issue 1 and dealt with the fallout from the Ultimatum Wave.  The Spidey books were especially interesting to me at this time.  Needless to say, it came as a surprise when Marvel announced the Ultimate books were relaunching yet again at the conclusion of the Death of Spider-Man storyline.

Marvel has set the creative team for the relaunch of the Ultimate line, but I think the coolest part is they have chosen artist Kaare Andrews to draw the cover art for all the first issues of the relaunched books.  I’ve always enjoyed the style he presents so I was excited to see the artwork.  Marvel Senior Editor Mark Paniccia provided the following in regards to the relaunch and the artwork:

“Kaare is doing the best work of his career with these covers. With Ultimate Comics Universe Reborn, all of the titles will be tighter than ever, so when it came time to think up ideas and concepts for the covers – we wanted a sense of unity to tie the books together. At the same time we wanted striking covers that jump out at you on the stands. Kaare’s bold design sense made him a natural choice.”

I have to agree, the covers do look fantastic, especially for the Hawkeye and Spidey books.  Ultimate Comics Ultimates #1 and Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1 both go on sale in August.  The remaining books, Spidey and X-Men, will be available later in the Fall.  I think we will be in for some surprises with these new books.  The first one I’ve noticed is that it appears the Human Torch is a member of the X-Men with Kitty Pryde and Ice Man.  I’m glad to see that friendship carried over from the Ultimate Spider-Man books, and hopefully its portrayed just as well in the new X-Men books.

I’ve very curious to see how the relaunch works out, and hopefully it works out well so that I can keep getting more cover art by Kaare Andrews.  The cover art is below so take a look, it’s quite good!

Marvel Comics Presents Spider-Island

Marvel has been trying to do large ‘epic’ events in many of the their comics lately.  This summer they continue that trend with a story entitled Spider-Island in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man.  The storyline sounds like it could be interesting, but I have my doubts.  According to Marvel, here’s what we have to look forward to during Spider-Island.

Marvel is proud to announce Spider-Island, the comic book event of the summer from the creative team of Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos. Kicking off this August in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #667 with a special prelude in #666, the citizens of Manhattan—including some of Spidey’s closest allies and deadliest foes—begin exhibiting the web-slinger’s very own powers! But as Spider-Man must stop a seemingly insurmountable super powered crime wave, he must also find out just who’s responsible for mutating Manhattan…and the truth will irrevocably alter his world. Fans will get their first full-length lead in to Spider-Island in Marvel’s special issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, available for free at all participating comic shops on May 7, Free Comic Book Day.

The prospect of both Spidey’s allies and enemies having his powers is fairly intriguing.  I wonder if they will have a spider sense too?  Since Peter lost his spider-sense it could lead to an interesting dynamic where the newly spider powered folks have a leg up on Peter as they can avoid his attacks.  It will make Peter have to rely more on his instinct and past experience to overcome the odds.

I really do hope this turns out being a good story arc but I have prepared myself to be disappointed.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I haven’t enjoyed the Spidey books nearly as much as I have in the past.  A great deal of this is due to the fiasco that is One More Day/Brand New Day.  I haven’t really been happy with ASM since Brand New Day but I have stayed faithful and kept reading the Spidey books.  To be honest if this story goes badly it might be enough to make me rotate Spidey out of my must read list.  It really does pain me to say that as I have been a Spider-Man fan ever since I was a little kid.

The New Ultimate Spider-Man

Marvel has been hyping The Death of Spider-Man in nearly all of their books in the Ultimate line.  As the title would suggest its expected that Spider-Man will die at the end of this arc.  In fact, in USM 157 he was recently shot by the Punisher while trying to protect Captain America.  This is all in an effort to lead up to the supposed death of Spider-Man/Peter Parker.  Marvel has also teased that the new Spidey will wear a brand new costume.  The costume is pictured below.

Marvel issued the following press release to hype the event:

New York, NY—April 18, 2011—Marvel has announced that after the shocking events of Death of Spider-Man, the sold out storyline currently running through Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and Ultimate Comics Avengers Vs Ultimates, there will be a new Spider-Man and a new character under the mask. Something’s happened to Peter Parker and here comes an all-new Spider-Man…in an all-new costume!

“We called this story Death of Spider-Man for a reason,” said Axel Alonso, Marvel Editor In Chief. “This is a huge story that’ll have fans around the world talking for a long time as we set the stage for the debut of our new Spider-Man.”

The Ultimate Universe is irrevocably changed with the conclusion to Death of Spider-Man in June’s polybagged Ultimate Spider-Man #160, but right now you can get in on the red-hot story that leads to the birth of an all-new Spider-Man, including new printings of the sold out issues:

And now for the opinion piece of this news article.  I have very strong doubts that Peter Parker will actually die at the end of this story-arc.  He’s really the mainstay of Ultimate Universe, and losing him would incite some fan outrage.  I know I would be upset since I enjoy the Ultimate books a lot more than Amazing Spider-Man lately.

The problem is that Bendis has almost written himself into a corner.  In the Ultimate comics Peter has been pretty careless about protecting his secret identity.  It seems as though all of Peter’s friends know he’s Spidey.  Also, most of his enemies and allies seem to be in the know.  Obviously this a problem.

So here’s my conspiracy theory about the death of Spider-Man.  Spidey is shot and obviously looking like he’s in rough shape.  The battle between the Ultimates and Avengers is being televised and covered by the news channels.  Norman Osborn and his cronies will see that Spidey is injured and take this as the opportunity to finally eliminate him.  They will enter the battle targeting solely Spider-Man and get quite a few licks in before the Avengers and Ultimates set aside their differences to try to save Spider-Man.  It’s quite possible Spidey will be unmasked during the fight and his identity revealed to the world at large.

After a savage beating on TV it will appear that Spider-man is dead.  In reality he will be badly injured and brought back to safety amongst his allies.  In an effort to allow Peter to have a life, it will be announced that Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, died as a result of his injuries.  In turn Peter and his family will be given new identities to allow them to live their lives without being constantly targeted.

Since Peter still believes that ‘with great power, comes great responsibility’ he will not be able to quit being Spider-Man.  This leads to him making a new costume that looks quite different from his original.  The hope is this will make people think there is a different man under the suit.

This is just my crazy idea though.  I have no idea what Bendis is going to do.  I really hope that Peter Parker is not killed off, as I think it’s really hard to do a Spidey series without Peter.  The Spidey reboots in the early 2000’s didn’t do very well without Peter behind the mask.  Stay tuned for Ultimate Spider-Man 160 to see how this all pans out.  I’m assuming we’ll see the new Spidey (pictured below) in issue 161.

Amazing Fantasy #15 Sells for Big Bucks

If you read the site, you are bound to have realized that I am a huge fan of Spider-Man.  I have been since I was a little kid.  To be honest one of my dreams is to own an actual copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, better known as the Spider-Man’s debut.  I don’t even care about the condition the book is in, I just want to own it.

In 1962 Amazing Fantasy #15 sold for 12 cents.  If only I had a time machine I would go back and buy two copies.  One to lock away forever, and one to drool over.  Recently a near-mint copy of the book was put up for sale and sold for $1.1 million.  It turns out the book was CGC rated a 9.6!   The Associated Press even picked up this story and added:

A comic collector has been caught in Spider-Man’s web, paying $1.1 million for a near-mint copy of “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15 that features the wall-crawler’s debut. chief executive Stephen Fishler told The Associated Press Tuesday that the Silver Age issue, first published in 1962, was sold Monday by a private seller to a private buyer.

It’s not the highest price ever paid for a comic book. That honor goes to Action Comics No. 1 with Superman on the cover, which went for $1.5 million. But Fishler says the price paid is the most for a Silver Age era book.

The cover shows Spider-Man clutching a villain in one arm and swinging from his web with the other. It originally sold for 12 cents.

All I can say is its awesome to see a Spider-Man book go for that much money.  It definitely proves that other people love the character as much as I do.  I have to say that I’m shocked this book was rated a CGC 9.6.  I wonder why its been stored or hidden since 1962.  To be in that good of shape it had to be hidden away or read once or twice.  If you don’t believe me about the 9.6 rating, here’s the picture provided by the AP.  Looks legit to me.

Now I just need to find a way to get my hands on a copy of Amazing Fantasy 15.  Hopefully it doesn’t cost me $1.1 million.  If I had that much money laying around though I think I might have paid that much for this book.


The Amazing Spider-Man

Marc Webb’s Spider-Man reboot has been given a title.  The film, set to release July 3, 2012, will be called The Amazing Spider-Man.  As a fan of the comics I can honestly say that I like this for a movie title.

In addition to announcing the movie title Sony has released a high-res promo picture of Spider-Man in costume.  I’m still not a fan of the overall look of the costume, but the mask looks really good.  This is the best picture we’ve seen of Spidey where he isn’t wearing a stunt costume and the costume does look better.   Maybe this will grow on me.

Check out the picture below and if you want to see in in all its 2104×3120 glory feel free to click on it.