The Amazing Spider-Man #573
It’s the end of the “New Ways to Die” storyarc, which really ought to get an award for both the dumbest storyarc title and for dumbest new villain — namely, Anti-Venom: former regular Venom Eddie Brock now wearing some kind of negative-colored Venom outfit and with a mad-on for the current Venom, Mac Gargan, the former Scorpion. Hey, I just felt some of my brain cells die just from describing that! Anyway, Spidey and (snicker) Anti-Venom beat up Norman Osborne and Venom and various people and then everything goes back to the regular status quo.
Oh, but what everyone really cares about is the backup story, which stars Stephen Colbert, host of “The Colbert Report.” Most of y’all may remember that Colbert briefly threw his hat into the presidential race earlier this year — well, in Marvel’s continuity, Colbert is (A) exactly like his rightwing blowhard character on “The Colbert Report” and (B) is an actual candidate for the presidency. Well, Colbert’s candidacy ain’t goin’ so well. His most recent contribution is from Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson, and it’s for a measly $100. His rallies are marked by an awful lot of apathy and not many people. In frustration, he gives up his campaign, until he runs into Spider-Man fighting a supervillain called (GASP!) the Grizzly! He helps Spidey beat the bad guy and gets to go web-slinging with the Wall-Crawler.
Verdict: Thumbs down for the main story. Dull, dull, dull, and stupid, stupid, stupid. However, a big thumbs up for the Colbert backup story. Much fun, very goofy, and still fairly action-packed. Ya know what’d be cool? If Colbert ends up becoming president of Marvel’s version of the USA. That’d rock soooo hard.
Atomic Robo: Dogs of War #3
Robo has managed to put most of the Nazis’ walking tanks out of commission, but now he’s on the trail of the Nazibots’ designer, Otto Skorzeny. But there’s another Allied agent tracking Skorzeny, a British agent called the Sparrow, and they end up getting in each others’ way and on each others’ nerves while they’re doing their Nazi-bashing. And complicating things even more are some more Nazi experimental monsters closing in on everyone.
Verdict: Thumbs up. More over-the-top action and Nazi bashing. All the action here takes place in and on top of a speeding train, which keeps things nicely focused and intense.
Captain America #43
Several different things going on here. We get World War II flashbacks with Cap, Bucky, and the Human Torch. We get Bucky smoochin’ with the Black Widow. And best of all, we get the return of Batroc the Leaper! Batroc’s French may be the most accurate it’s ever been (as far as I can tell — it’s not like I can read French anyway), and he actually manages to uncover Bucky’s secret identity as both the new Captain America and as the former Winter Soldier.
Verdict: Thumbs up. Hey, it’s Batroc the Leaper! BATROC ZE LEAPAIR!