February saw the end of arcs, the start of new ones and the continuation of existing ones (Not unexpected, I know, but it is the case here). The Clone Conspiracy tie-ins come to a close (Finally), things in the world of magic have gone a bit pear shaped, the Justice League face new foes and Ms Marvel’s battle against a dangerously powerful virus continues! Let’s get to it:
Amazing Spider-man #24
Things are escalating quickly, the dissolving clones causing mass panic and Doc Ock attacking Ben Reilly. The real Miles Warren awakes from his state of confusion when he realises he is not a clone and he takes up his mantle as the Jackal once more. Spider-man releases a signal from the Webware devices to help stabilise the cells of any clones out in the open but not without painful side effects both physically and financially for Parker Industries. After being forced away from the proto-clone (A super clone that avoids the issue of decay) by Doc Ock, Reilly goes a little off the rails. He returns to his family home after stabilising his body to find Miles Warren waiting for him. He defeats the Jackal and leaves him to burn. He then runs as fast as he can, unsure of what he is going to be now…
More than anything, I’m just glad to see these tie-ins finally conclude. I imagine they would have been more enjoyable had I been following the main event but these past few issues have felt like a bit of a drag to be honest. Moaning aside, seeing Reilly go a little mad provided for an interesting story and it does leave some questions as to what he is going to do now (Cough cough Scarlet Spider cough cough). Next Super-sized Issue: The Osborn Identity!
The Champions are at the scene of an arson attack on a mosque in Daly County. They come to heated debate with the sheriff, a man with terribly concerning ideas about other people for a man of his profession. Nova rockets suddenly rockets off to find Gwenpool blowing up police cars. Ms Marvel orders a quick chexit, Gwenpool included. Gwenpool begins to explain her theories that something sinster is a work in Daly County but the Champions tell her that the real evil at work is racism. Viv steps in to say that Gwenpool’s suggestion of an airborne issue is in fact at play, but in a metaphoraical sense. The people have been intoxicated by hate as a result of the example set by their sherriff. The Champions go to the far more level headed deputy and try to reason with him to take a stand but are told that the situation is more complex than it seems. The Champions lament over their failures whilst the deputy gets a hefty talking to from the sherif, who uses some rather ugly vocabulary in reference to other people. The deputy decides enough is enough and tells the people just what sort of man Sheriff Studdard is. The Champions go to defend him. inspired by his bravery. Next issue: the Freelancers!
This series has given me a great deal of food for thought. This issue is no different with the Champions tackling the huge issue of discrimination. The issue reflects the challenges presented by the senseless discrimination that our global community does face on a daily basis. However, it is far from absent from hope. The Deputy taking a stand truly embodied the power just one voice can have in the fight against any and all forms of inequality. I had considered letting this title go but I honestly don’t think I can anymore. They fill me with a truely wonderful sense of hope that I really don’t want to miss where these heroes are going.
Doctor Strange #17
Doctor Strange is witnessing the slow return of magic following the Empirikul’s purge. Whilst enjoying, if you can call getting yourself targetted by two warring nations enjoyable, a return to his normality, the Doctor is wracked with concern over his friend, Wong, who has been taken by Mr Misery. The Sanctum Sanctorium is in a bad way with Wong no longer around to sort out the mess. Meanwhile, Wong is being slowly tortured by Mr Misery who uncovers a great suffering he could inflict on Doctor Strange: undo his good medical work. Doctor Strange goes with Man-Thing to fight some Nazi Vampires whilst Mr Misery inflicts a terrible evil on Doctor Strange’s former patients. He recieves a call from Zelma where he is taken to the hospital to see the extent of Mr Misery’s handiwork,. Naturally, he is in no fit state to operate with his hands still a wreck so he has called in a helping hand: The Mighty Thor!
Doctor Strange has been dragged through the mud for the past issues and it doesn’t really end here. Mr Misery has really upped his evil game by re-inflicting Doctor Strange’s former patients with more severe brain conditions which is interesting for his character but plain awful for those affected. Seeing magic return is a great site, to be honest, as it is what originally made me fall in love with this title.
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #5
What exactly drove Newton to betray his teammates? From an early age, it’s made apparent that Netwon has had a troubled childhood, physically abused by his father and bullied by his classmates. He discovered magic and, with it, became the Sorcerer Supreme for a time, whilst the Ancient One was supposedly dead. His many adventures lead to a team-up with Dr Strange and Clea, fighting against Doctor Doom who has Jowath imprisoned so he can glean the word of God from him. They defeat Doom but Jowath passes away before he can reveal his secrets, leaving Newton infuriated. Later, he is rescued from imprisonment by Merlin where he realises the prisons he believes he is trapped in are of his own creation. Back to the present, Nina’s brother Joao frees the Sorcerers Supreme with some pretty serious wizardy. However, the Not-so Ancient one triggers a trap, throwing the Sorcerers into a weird, topsy-turvy dimension.
This issue provided a fascinating look at what drove Newton to betray his team. His frankly rubbish childhood did evoke some sympathy from me but his obession with trying to achieve God-like power did diminish this sympathy a fair bit. Seeing a sort of throwback to the team up with Dr Strange and Clea was really interesting (Fun wouldn’t be the right word, what with Jowath’s treatment at the hands of doom). The next issue is going to be a really weird one to review in that it doesn’t have a set story in the fact that you have to help the Sorcerers escape. More on that soon…
Justice League #14
The League find themselves in a bit of a tricky situation, buried under several miles of earth as a result of a large energy blast. The weapon in question is too powerful for even the League to overcome, especially in their current situation, and the attempts of humanity fall short. The League, waiting for Baz to recover, begin to talk about some of the issues amongst the team including the mystery concerning Superman, the Lanterns’ self-doubt and Batman’s fail safes to take out his fellow team mates if ever he needs to. The primary problem is the lack of trust that appears to run through the team. After lengthy discussion, a greater sense of family is built up and the League work as one to destroy the mega weapon. Next issue: Timeless!
Right from the start of this series, their have been some issues that had been left to stew and grow with individuals. This issue helped address them in a way that felt satisfying. The League have been through a fair bit recently and it was great to see them take a bit of time to just talk about stuff that was bothering them. All in all, a solid filler issue.
Justice League #15
Something very strange is going on. A huge wave of white energy is making people disappear, throwing the League into different points in time. What had been an oridnary day, visiting the UN to reassure the world that they are safe in the hands of the Justice League, gets turned upside down. Creatures called the Timeless attack, overpowering the League. A girl, Molly, who also goes by the name of the Keeper, gives Flash a bit of background on what is going, handing him watch-like devices to quickly give to the League before Aquaman is thrown back to when Atlantis was above ground, Wonder Woman to when Cronus was causing havoc on Olympus, Cyborg to the highly-technological 31st Century, The Lanterns to the apocalyptic 26th Century, Flash to the the time where he became the Flash and the Speed force was born and Batman and Superman remain in the present, amongst people who know a bit about what is going on thanks to some weird stones.
An awful lot happened this issue. Another alien species invade and attack the League but this time, the League are dispersed across time, almost all alone. The Timeless pose a clear threat which is definitely intriguing . The extent of what they want is not made clear so we shall just have to wait and see what happens next. An incredibly busy issue to say the least.
Ms Marvel #15
Kamala has hit a bit of rough patch as of late, with the virus threatening all she holds dear. The plot thickens when Clara, a girl suffering as a result of her boyfriend apparently giving personal information out to others, is invited to join Kamala’s table by Kamala who says that a weird troll was on her lock screen. Kamala, riled up further by the suffering the virus is now causing others, takes action and traces the ISP address of the doc.x file back to a women called Tess Beckford. She confronts her and, after a fair bit of difficult fighting, overcomes Beckford. The police turn up and Beckford appears confused about what everyone is talking about. Kamala goes home, not sure whether she has really won. Her concerns are confirmed when the weird troll calls her phone. It didn’t create the virus. It is the virus
The ante has been well and truly upped. The Doc.X virus’ ability to “hack” people’s brain adds a super evil twist to its tail which is simply brilliant. It’s inability to get inside Kamala’s head is also interesting as the reasoning is not made clear.
We are edging ever closer to the start of Secret Empire people. I appreciate that probably means nothing to many amongst you but I will hopefully write something about it soon as possible to give a bit of context. I am beyond excited for this year’s summer event, just to let you know. This month saw some solid comics, as always, and I’m relieved that Spider-man is returning to a degree of normality. If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them in the comments. Thank you.
(The images used are property of Marvel Comics and DC comics. I, in no way, lay claim to them.)