The Buy Pile: May 2017

With Captain America whipping up on heck of a storm with his Secret Empire, my (currently) unrelated titles provided a much needed oasis from the chaos caused by Steve Rogers. That being said, not everyone is having the best of times…

 

Amazing Spider-man #27

  • After some harsh words from Spider-Man, Norman Osborn wants his old face back. However, numerous surgeries have left the muscles ruined. Despite his striking appearance, Countess Karkov and Norman celebrate their success in Symkaria.
  • Spider-Man and the Silver Sable arrive in Symkaria where they team up with the Wild Pack. Equipped with high-tech Parker Industries vehicles, the group launch an assault for Symkaria.
  • They tackle the Goblin forces with relative ease. This raises concerns with Silver Sable. Spider-Man discovers that the foot soldiers are more than just simple humans. They’ve been powered up as a result of Osborn’s new Goblin serum!
  • With a perfected Goblin Serum, Osborn prepares to turn the whole population of Symkaria into an army of invincible goblins!

Spider-Man just can’t seem to catch a break as of late. Osborn was already a formidable foe for Parker but with a goblin army behind him there is no telling what he could do. Despite all this, I’m glad Parker’s quips haven’t been suppressed (An aspect that I’ve felt has been neglected to some degree (Though it has been a rough few months)) and it does add some light-hearted fun to an otherwise dire situation. Slott definitely isn’t easing up on Spidey.

It was cool to see the Wild Pack make an appearance in this issue. I had had no previous encounters with the team and I always like having my character base expanded unexpectedly. I’ll be interested to see how their role unfolds in the next issue.

Immonen delivered some incredibly detailed pencilling this issue. Norman Osborn’s face is definitely nightmare fuel, so much so that one is left feeling just a tad sympathetic towards him. That being said, he seems okay with it bizarrely.

  • Story – 8/10
  • Art – 8/10
  • Accessibility – Unfriendly – Context is key for this issue. Much like Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme, a number of questions will be brought up as there is definitely some strange stuff in this issue.
  • Overall – 8/10

 

Champions #8

  • Ms Marvel is distraught. Everything the Champions have built has been undermined by the Freelancers in what can only be described as a right royal smack in the face. The people are disgusted and Ms Marvel is furious.
  • Back at Cho’s Olympus Compound, Cyclops is running some simulations regarding angry Avengers over what has happened. Viv and Cyclops’ session is cut short by Hulk who wants to talk to Viv about their kiss. Viv politely rejects him.
  • After Cyclops and Hulk take part in a much needed bonding session, the team meet up over a rally involving the burning of Champion merchandise. The team are left feeling awful, stunned that the people turned them on them so quickly.
  • But wait! Nova released a video calling for the burning of Champion merchandise, denying any ties to it in the process. With the Champions reputation restored, the team go off to celebrate but Viv returns home. Upon arrival, she becomes trapped in her room. Viv Vision has been grounded.

Much like Doctor Strange #20, I had become some what disconnected from the Champions. In many ways, I’m glad that that was the case. Seeing the team, Ms Marvel in particular, so impassioned about the mess that the Freelancers had dragged them into and the damage that could be done to all the fantastic work achieved since their formation summed exactly why I love this title. Waid has established a dynamite team of diverse, exceptional young heroes who evoke such enthusiasm for positive change it’s a struggle not to be inspired (Not that I resist it).

Alongside great story comes absolutely awesome art from Ramos, Olazaba, Delgado and Woodward. With all the emotions the team are going through, expressions were key. The creative team did a stellar job capturing the characters at arguably their lowest point this series.

  • Story – 10/10
  • Art – 10/10
  • Accessibility – Unfriendly – You do need some context for this issue. If I’m honest, I think this series is something everyone can engage with if they are looking for inspiration. We are all, truly, Champions!
  • Overall – 10/10

 

Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #8

  • Things have escalated very quickly. At the clinic, João has been possessed by a strange spirit. Meanwhile, the spirit’s master has emerged to confront the Sorcerers Supreme and Avengers. Things do not look good for our heroes.
  • However, the Mindful One comes to their aid. He gathers them all in one section and shields them from attack whilst they work out just how to tackle the beast. Meanwhile, João brings the group at the clinic up to speed on his master.
  • The groups unite and attack the monster. They have to keep it away from the Word of God at all costs but Newton has other plans. The Mindful One denies him access but Newton simply destroys him to get the book.
  • In attempt to contain it, Wiccan sucks all the magical beings into his cloak. The Avengers are left somewhat confused with one heck of a mess to clean up.

Having the team fight alongside the Avengers was a good call by Thompson. Not only does it bring the lesser known team members into the spotlight a bit more, it provides for some really fun story. The Mindful One is definitely one of my favourite characters, I do hope his destruction is temporary. All in all, another solid issue in this weird and wacky tale.

Rodriguez, López and Bellaire’s art continues to be awesome. Again, the Avengers and other heroes allowed for brighter colours to be used which I always appreciate after an extended period of slightly drab environments. Their style really exaggerates the weirder aspects of this issue of which there are many.

  • Story – 7/10
  • Art – 8/10
  • Accessibility – Unfriendly – This issue definitely needs context. Without it, I can imagine a whole lot questions arising from the offset, the first being why Howard the Duck is kicking around a Sorcerers Supreme title.
  • Overall – 7.5/10

 

Ms Marvel #18

  • Bruno feels very out of place in Wakanda. He feels like an idiot and he doesn’t have his best friend (Whether or not they still are is debatable) to hang out with. Kwezi, a slightly cruel boy, needs a favour from Bruno to impress a girl.
  • Kwezi and Bruno set off to “borrow” some Vibranium. That’s easier said than done. Kwezi tells Bruno to provide a distraction whilst he slips into the research centre. He goes for the ‘lost tourist’ approach until Kwezi sets off an explosion in his car.
  • Bruno and Kwezi slip into the research centre. They manage to get some Vibranium but they accidentally trigger an alarm in the process. On crutches, Bruno is in serious trouble. They manage to break through a window but nearly fall.
  • Black Panther grabs them both and interrogates Kwezi, his nephew. Kwezi needed the Vibranium to build a full body brace that would allow Bruno to walk a little better. Black Panther is impressed but advises them to ask next time.

Bruno! It was great to catch up with Mr Carrelli after his extended absence. Though self-inflicted, Bruno’s injuries do evoke strong feelings of sympathy on top the crippling academic pressure he currently faces. Wilson crafted a wonderful story of friendship this issue and it was touching to see Kwezi go to all that effort for Bruno.

The Wakanda setting made for a nice change from New Jersey (Not that I don’t like New Jersey, I just appreciate a change in scenery every once in a while) Seeing Wakandan education in action was really cool and the Black Panther cameo was awesome.

Gastón and Herring did a great job with the art this issue. The colours were more simplistic than past issues but I liked it. The facial expressions were conveyed very well and it really helped carry the final reveal.

  • Story – 8/10
  • Art – 8/10
  • Accessibility – Friendly – You might need a bit of context but this issue could probably stand rather well on its own.
  • Overall – 8/10

A solid month what with everything kicking off thanks to Captain America and Hydra. Apologies for the delay in posting this, I had a couple of problems with getting all the issues. If you have any thoughts or questions please feel free to leave them in them comments. Thank you.

 

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