Cheese and Quackers

The Amazing Spider-Man: Back in Quack

Yay! Howard the Duck!

Spider-Man runs across Mayor J. Jonah Jameson holding a press conference to promote some group called S.O.O.Ph.I., which is a very obvious evil brainwashing organization that makes all its members wear oversized smiley-face masks. And they’ve kidnapped and brainwashed Howard the Duck and his kinda-sorta-maybe girlfriend Beverly Switzer! Can Spidey break them free of the mind control? And can he use reverse psychology to stop S.O.O.Ph.I.?

Verdict: Thumbs up. What I love about this is writer Stuart Moore is almost channeling Howard’s creator, Steve Gerber, with this goofy, byzantine, gonzo plot. It’s a fun story with a lot of personality.

Avengers Academy #5

Our focus is on Striker, the electrically-powered glory how. His mom was a fame hound and has done everything she can to train him to believe that he’s nothing if he’s not famous. After he gets his powers, he falls into Norman Osborn’s clutches — but unlike his classmates, he gets coddled by Osborn. In the present day, while the Academy members are on a night on the town with Hank Pym, they all get attacked by Whirlwind. Can they stop the supervillain? And can Striker use all this to get himself some much-needed attention?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good story, excellent characterization, fairly good artwork.

Chaos War #1

The Japanese god of chaos and darkness, Amatsu-Mikaboshi, now calling himself the Chaos King, has already killed plenty of gods on Earth and on alien worlds, but now he’s decided to wipe out all reality so he can be the only thing left in existence. He starts out by attacking Nightmare and tearing him to pieces. Meanwhile, Hercules returns to life and returns to Earth, with enough new power to make him the most powerful being on the planet — and that’s a bit more power than even he can handle, so Amadeus Cho shows up (just before the Avengers start pounding on him) and talks Herc down. After that, uses his new power to summon all of Marvel’s heroes to Central Park, rallies them, despite their doubts about Herc’s stability, to join the fight against the Chaos King, grants them all a fraction of his power so they can follow him, and leads them into Nightmare’s realm. But is the Chaos King stronger than all of them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Greg Pak and Fred van Lente writing Hercules is guaranteed gold, every time.

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