Sand Gets in your Eyes

The Amazing Spider-Man #684

The Sinister Six has put the smackdown on the Avengers, but Silver Sable manages to rescue Spidey and the Black Widow. The crew from Horizon Labs calls in to offer assistance — their labs in NYC are shut down, but they’ve got a yacht out in international waters where Mayor Jameson can’t stop them. Spidey and the other heroes travel to a secret satellite factory in the Sahara, armed with a little of Horizon Labs’ tech, but they soon find themselves ambushed by the Sandman — now empowered by all the sand in the world’s largest desert. Can three people stand against that much power?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wonderful writing and art, excellent twists and turns in the story, and outstanding dialogue and action. Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos are doing comics right.

Dark Horse Presents #11

This issue features the usual wide variety of stories and creators: Francesco Francavilla’s “The Black Beetle,” Evan Dorkin’s “House of Fun,” John Arcudi’s “The Creep,” a short story by Andrew Vachss with illustrations by Geof Darrow, Neal Adams’ “Blood,” Carla Speed McNeil’s “Finder: Third World,” and much more.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I hate to do this to a series that’s been awesome far, far more often than not, but other than McNeil’s “Finder” and Dorkin’s “Milk and Cheese” and various other funny mini-strips, very little of this was particularly good.

Wonder Woman #8

Preparing for her journey to Hell to rescue Zola from Hades, Wonder Woman gets kitted out by Hephaestus — swords, daggers, shields, and even Eros’ golden handguns. She and Hermes arrive in Hell to find it looks, at least for now, like London, seemingly deserted — but in fact, Hell is literally made of the souls trapped there, and they occasionally burst out of statues, bloody and dripping as freshly skinned corpses, to attack people at Hades’ whim. Soon enough, they locate Zola — and while it’s only been days since she was abducted, in Hell, months have passed, so it looks like she’s at least eight months along. But Hades isn’t about to let Zola go without a fight…

Verdict: Ehh, I wasn’t so fond of this one. Cliff Chiang’s art is as beautiful as ever, and the action and dialogue are pretty good. But I just found myself fairly bored with the whole issue. Sorry — they can’t all be winners.

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