Crackerjack Cracks


Astro City #21

Crackerjack has been taken captive by a high tech criminal organization known as the Black Lab, run by a computerized villain called Gormenghast. Quarrel, along with the rest of Honor Guard, invades their undersea base, only to discover that the Black Lab has cloned Crackerjack to create a small army of soldiers. Once they’re dispatched, they find Crackerjack in the facility’s garbage dump, gravely injured. They’re able to save his life, but while he’s recovering, Quarrel goes off to meet with her father, the first Quarrel, a long retired supervillain. She also gets to try out her newly designed powered armor, designed to let her continue fighting crime as she gets older. So what does the future hold for Quarrel and Crackerjack?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This has been a great story. It’s been hard to see some of our old favorites getting older — Crackerjack has been an important supporting character in this comic almost from the very beginning — so the stoy has been a little bittersweet. But it’s interesting to hear that Samaritan thinks he can do something to keep his friends from getting older…


Spider-Gwen #2

Spider-Woman managed to escape certain death via high-altitude plummeting, thanks to some clever spider-improvisation — but now she’s hallucinating Peter Porker, the Amazing Spider-Ham. Meanwhile, her father, Captain George Stacy, is trying to wrangle Captain Frank Castle and Detective Jean DeWolff, who are responsible to tracking down and arresting Spider-Woman. Their interview with the imprisoned Wilson Fisk goes nowhere, and his pet lawyer Matt Murdock orders the Vulture to find Spider-Woman or die.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun storytelling and art. It’s also great to see how all these supporting characters from the Spider-Man comics are re-imagined for this alternate universe. I also kinda like the Amazing Spider-Ham hanging out in Gwen’s subconscious. And there are some great details hidden in the background, too — did you know this world’s Felicia Hardy is leading a band called the Black Cats?


Ms. Marvel #13

Kamala’s family are having some visitors — some old friends who moved away years ago. Her parents would sorta like to set her up with their son, Kamran, who Kamala remembers as a nose-picking little twerp. But he’s grown into an extremly good-looking overachiever — who also shares most of Kamala’s geeky interests. Kamala quickly suggests they go shopping for Bollywood DVDs, with her big brother Aamir tagging along as a chaperone. And of course, once they’re out, a supervillain shows up — an electro-blasting anarchist who calls herself Kaboom. Will Kamala be able to defeat her? Will she learn anymore valuable lessons about superheroing? And what unexpected secrets are lurking around the corner?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic story — it’s always fun to see more about Kamala’s family life. Really, the Khans are just fantastically fun people to read about. Kamran is looking like a very interesting character, too. Gotta give props to guest artist Takeshi Miyazawa, whose style is a bit more cartoony than we’re used to on this book, but still really cool.


Ghosted #18

Jackson Winters, Oliver King, and Nina Bloodcrow have been betrayed by the ghostly Anderson, giving Markus Schrecken and the Maestro (along with the kidnapped Edzia Rusnak) enough control over the lot of them to dictate their future plans for the heist. Markus wants to enter the spirit plane and steal Death itself. But to do so, they all have to get through the ghost town Markus created — eyes shut so the ghosts won’t attack them, all while being assaulted by their worst fears. Can they run the gauntlet without losing any members of their team?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Spooky and fun, with some nicely tense moments and well-done characterization.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Is there just something about actors who play superheroes in movies that makes them all incredibly awesome people?
  • This “Microscope” RPG — which lets players create thousands of years of history for any fictional reality — sounds very, very cool.
  • It’s a very long read, but I think you’ll be very, very interested in this true story about a luxury liner, its suspiciously dead captain, its suspicious inferno, and the secret madman who might’ve been behind it all.

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