Walkin’ Away Blues

The Amazing Spider-Man #673

Spider-Island is over, the Queen has been destroyed, and everyone in New York City has been de-spiderfied. That means a lot of people hanging around NYC without any clothes on, which brings us plenty of very funny episodes. Most of this issue is dedicated to wrapping up the previous storyarc — Aunt May finally gets to leave the city for Massachusetts, Kaine leaves town, Carlie has figured out that Peter is Spider-Man and breaks up with him, and Peter finds out from Dr. Strange that the spell that kept anyone from learning his secret identity is no longer in effect.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I think after that lengthy storyarc, it’s nice to get a little breather issue in. Love that cover, too, by the way…

American Vampire #20

We get a flashback within our flashback as the Indian woman in the cave tells Hole in the Sky, the renegade Apache leader, her story. She was formerly the wife — or maybe the slave — of a frontier trapper. She agreed to travel with a party exploring the country as a native guide. She enjoyed the journey, but became suspicious of the party’s captains, and soon discovered that they were vampires. When they caught her, she was turned into a new kind of American vampire — and her bloodlust was almost entirely uncontrollable. Desperate to find a way to keep herself from killing more and more people, she blocked herself inside a cave — until Hole in the Sky set her free. Even then, she doesn’t want to cause any more harm, and Hole in the Sky, disgusted with what he sees as her cowardice, kills her. But is that the end of the nightmare, or just the beginning?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice story, nice characterization, nice art, and a fun twist on vampires from a Native American perspective.

Swamp Thing #3

Much of our story focuses on a kid named William, who has to spend his life inside a plastic bubble because he has an extreme allergy to chlorophyll, and he’ll die if he ever leaves a sterile environment. His doctors want him to socialize as much as possible with other kids, but some of the other kids, even terminal cancer patients, are a bit psycho and are looking forward to ways to pierce his sterile bubble and expose him to the air that would kill him. Meanwhile, we get to know Alec Holland’s new benefactor — Abigail Arcane, who used to be the Swamp Thing’s lover, but who Alec can just barely remember. It turns out that, like Alec and his intrinsic connection to the Green that makes him a natural candidate to become a Swamp Thing, Abigail and all of the Arcane family have an intrinsic connection to the Black, the underworld of dead matter. Oh, and you know William, the kid in the plastic bubble? His last name is Arcane, too.

Verdict: Man, I do not know. The horror here is very good. The art is top-notch. And I think it was clever to name the doctor in this issue for Dick Durock, the actor who played Swamp Thing in the movies and TV series. But I think I’m starting to get really tired of Alec Holland not being Swamp Thing. I’m not going to be able to stomach more than one or two more issues where Holland isn’t mossy, noseless, and slow-speaking…

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