Spider-Man: Fever #1

It’s been quite a while since Brendan McCarthy had a new comic out, so this one has gotten quite a bit of interest. We start off with the Vulture attacking Spider-Man at the same time as Dr. Strange discovers that the new grimoire he just ordered was sabotaged with a magic signal from one of the more rotten corners of the magical multiverse. The trap creates a spectral spider that moves through New York City, snags Spidey, and actually steals his soul before Dr. Strange can stop it. The demon drags Spidey back through a hallucinatory fever-dream into the depths of the netherverse as an offering to its king, a horrific spider-monster who plans to enjoy a Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Snack…

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nicely weird book, somewhere between Steve Ditko, Vertigo Comics, and Richard Corben. The art and writing are simultaneously Silver-Age classic and acid-trip freaky. So far, it’s really interesting — go give it a look.

JSA All-Stars #5

While the JSA fights off the King of Tears with the timely assistance of a mysterious magic user named Anna Fortune, Stargirl and Atom-Smasher are stuck, powerless, in a magical sub-dimension called the Subtle Realms, trying to fight their way to freedom. Can they survive on their own? And if the rest of the JSA can follow them to the Subtle Realms, are they going to be any better off?

Verdict: Thumbs down. Still the worst art on any DC book. Just relentlessly distracting. It’s hard to focus on the story at all. I’m not real fond of the story either, but I really can’t tell if that’s because it’s not well done, or if it’s just absorbing some of the stink from the artwork. The second feature with Hourman and Liberty Belle is better illustrated, but it’s pretty spectacularly boring.

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