Oct 5, 2011

Spider-Mannotations: Amazing Spider-Man #669, Herc #7, Spider-Island: The Amazing Spider-Girl #2

After a lengthy hiatus, it's time for more Spider-Island Spider-Mannotations!

Amazing Spider-Man #669

Doppel Shock, is that you?
(art by Humberto Ramos and Carlos Cuevas)

Creative Team - Dan Slott (writer), Humberto Ramos (pencils), Carlos Cuevas (inks)

Capsulized Review - Still a fun book, but the events of the last few pages add an unexpected element of body-horror to it.  Kudos to Slott and editor Stephen Wacker for making it abundantly clear when and where everything in the crossover takes place.  Humberto Ramos continues to produce some of the best work of his career.

Page 1: Hey, I totally guessed Chance.  Go me.

Page 3: Spider-Man added a voice-activation feature to his web-shooters in ASM #663.

"Go web go!"
(Spider-Man: Free Comic Book Day 2011, written by Dan Slott, art by Humberto Ramos, Carlos Cuevas, and Victor Olazaba)

Page 8: Tiberius Stone and Uatu Jones are both employees of Horizon Labs - and Tiberius is also an agent of the Kingpin.  Tiberius Stone may or may not be the same Tiberius Stone who grew up with Tony Stark and later became his deadly enemy.  Now, the tattooed, black-haired, bespectacled Stone here doesn't much look like the blond exec from Iron Man.  Maybe it's just a cool name.

Page 10: Reed dubbing the Spider-Men Homo arachnis is probably not a reference to Homo Arachnis, alias Carlton Drake, head of the villainous Life Foundation, who mutated himself into a man-spider to cure himself of terminal cancer.  However, I read the incredibly terrible Spider-Man: The Arachnis Project miniseries where this all goes down, so I will bring it up as I damn well please.

Yes, yes.  Homo Arachnis.  Get it out of your systems.
(Spider-Man: The Arachnis Project #4, written by Mike Lackey, art by Andrew Wildman and Stephen Baskerville)

Page 13: That's Sajani Jeffrey, another of Peter's Horizon co-workers.

Page 16: The psychic blindspot Peter refers to was hinted at almost immediately after One More Day, but the full ramifications of it weren't revealed until One Moment In Time, in ASM #641.

Page 18: The Shocker should need no introduction, but here goes anyway.  Herman Schultz was a small-time safecracker who hit it big when he built a pair of "vibro-shock" gauntlets for himself.  Since his first appearance in ASM #46, he's been a persistent thorn in Spider-Man's side - interestingly, he's largely avoided the whole "revenge on Spider-Man" thing, and generally just wants to steal things and/or make money.  It's kind of refreshing, which is why I like the Shocker so much, despite his ridiculous costume and unintentionally amusing name.

Also, this cover is so badass.
(Amazing Spider-Man #72, art by John Romita Sr.)

Page 20: The Mad Thinker is a longtime Fantastic Four foe - his shtick is that he's really smart.  He most recently came into Spider-Man's orbit in ASM #612-14, when he tried to tamp down Electro's out-of-control powers and instead supercharged him.

Page 22: The true mastermind of Spider-Island revealed!  So, you're probably asking...uh, who is this?  Well, meet Adriana "Ana" Soria, alias the Queen, who first appeared in 2004's Spectacular Spider-Man #15.  A member of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps during WWII, she was later drafted into the Marines. She briefly dated Steve Rogers, and was a test subject in an offshoot of the Super-Soldier program.  She was exposed to a nuclear bomb test, which activated her "insect gene", giving her telepathy and control over the third of humanity that also possesses that gene.  As I mentioned last time, she briefly transformed Spider-Man into a giant spider...thus, her involvement in this plot makes sense.  She seemingly perished in an explosion in Spectacular #20, but nobody ever dies in an explosion in comics!  The story in which she debuted is not exactly well-regarded, however - Slott's got some huge spider-cojones bringing her back.

What can I even say about that dress?
(Spectacular Spider-Man #19, written by Paul Jenkins, art by Paco Medina and Juan Vlasco)

Herc #7

Note homage to Amazing Spider-Man #100.
(art by Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz)

Creative Team - Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente (writers), June Brigman (pencils), Roy Richardson (inker)

Capsulized Review - The X-Men appearance is a little gratuitous, but as always, Pak and Van Lente produce a fun book, with some clever skewering of Peter Parker's amazing Spider-angst.  June Brigman's art gives the book a nice old-school Marvel feel.

Page 1: Should probably discuss Herc's current status quo here - after the events of Chaos War, Hercules was stripped of his godly power and became a normal human - albeit a normal human in great shape and with milennia of combat experience.  So, after stealing a bunch of godly weapons from Olympus, he became a vigilante in Brooklyn, New York.

Page 7: Rhea is the barmaid at the Athena Bar and Grill, where Hercules works.  She's an attractive woman, and this book stars Hercules, so yeah, they banged.  The bar is owned by Georgios Panayiotou; his daughter Helene betrayed her father and Herc to join the service of monstrous demigod Kyknos during the Fear Itself event, in Herc #3-6.  That's presumably why they went back to Greece.

Page 15: Amadeus Cho, the self-proclaimed seventh-smartest person in the world, was Hercules' long-running sidekick, starting in Incredible Hercules #116.

Page 17: Arachne, of course, was a weaver who challenged goddess of wisdom Athena to a weave-off; when Arachne lost, Athena turned her into a spider.  She turned up in this drider form in Incredible Hercules' Assault on New Olympus storyline in the service of Hera.

I like big abdomens and I cannot lie.
(Incredible Hercules #138, written by Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak, art by  Rodney Buchemi and Reilly Brown)

Page 18: Mount Olympus has been relocated to Long Island Sound as of Chaos War.  Hercules' father is of course Zeus, and Herc's wife (who stayed married to him even after centuries of philandering and drunkenness) is Hebe.  Herc fought the Hobgoblin in Herc #2.

Spider-Island: The Amazing Spider Girl #2

Man, that webbing is strong.
(art by Patrick Zircher and Andy Troy)

Creative Team - Paul Tobin (writer), Pepe Larraz (artist)

Capsulized Review - This is the one Spider-Island tie-in that isn't quite grabbing me as much as I'd hoped.  Tobin's writing is still strong, but I would like to know what the deal is with these wasp guys.  Larraz' art, however, remains fantastic.

Page 1: As mentioned earlier, Anya's father was killed by the shadowy RAVEN organization, while her mother was murdered by Mexican crimelord Jade (pronounced "ha-day", not like the stone) after Anya's father, a journalist, refused to stop covering his crimes.

Page 4: Back when Tony Stark was Director of SHIELD and ran the Initiative, Anya served as Ms. Marvel's sidekick for a time, starting in Ms. Marvel #7.  Carol's dismissal of her here seems kind of bitchy, but it's in-character, as she spent most of their partnership telling Anya to wait in the Helicarrier.

This pretty much encapsulates their relationship in a single panel.
(Ms. Marvel #20, written by Brian Reed, art by Greg Tocchini and  Roland Paris)
And that's it until next time, so join me soon for Spider-Island: Cloak and Dagger #2 and Spider-Island: Spider-Woman #1!

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