A solid start to 2013 and a definite uptick versus last week's solitary book. I'm going to look into balancing my books out. But for now, enjoy some good old fashioned Spider-Man, even if his name's not Peter Parker.
Invincible 99 - Another solid issue from Kirkman and Co. The way the issue is laid out, with all the single page splashes, really helped with the double page spread, but even more, it helped with the flow of the conversation between Invincible and Dinosaurus. I love the fact that they both seem so certain. I was really thinking that Mark was going to cave on his side and join up with Dino, and that we'd have a new status quo with him as a semi-bad guy. Instead, it looks like someone will definitely be dying next issue, and I'm honestly not sure who it's going to be. Comic book precedence, as well as the basics of writing, would seem to indicate the bad guy gets it, but Kirkman has never been afraid to go out on that ledge, and he's got several apt replacements who are all but lined up. I'm not scared either way, I'm sure he's going to tell a good story. I also appreciated all the nods that were contained in this issue: Robot going over the various heroic groups, the Viltrumites gathering and being told to back off, and the intelligence of Rex back home, plotting everything out.
New Avengers 1 - Well, I have no idea how to review this. I tried it because it's Hickman and at this point, I think I would follow him anywhere, but this was...weird. I read all the Illuminati stuff while it was coming out and I'm well-versed in Marvel history, so it's not like any of it was unfamiliar but it was all...so...weird. Not normal Hickman-weird. But...seriously strange. I'm not a huge Black Panther fan, so that's a first of all, but in spite of all the curiosity and the angles that I didn't care for, it definitely had that epic Hickman feel. I can see that there's something happening here that's got a definitive plan, and that Hickman's been given pretty free reign, which is super comforting to know, but I'm not yet a believer in this title. I'll continue to roll with it, given my newfound love for the writer, but I'm not backing this book 100% just yet.
Ultimate Spider-Man 19 - Right off the bat, the first couple pages felt hilarious. This is what people used to love about Spider-Man: he's an ordinary kid, webbing along, running out of fluid, reacting like a normal person would. Then, we get the supporting cast, where Ganke is a superb addition and another small glance at that girl who clearly knows Miles' secret. I like that this has been a slow burn angle. Shows that there's some planning going on in this book, which is rare in the case of the Big Two. They say there are plans, but their writing rarely reflects that. Here, I feel like it's actually the case. The Jefferson versus Hydra angle is interesting, especially since there's so much that he's keeping secret and that's clearly why he's not interested in the news making a big deal of his story. The Venom last page cliffhanger is good, but I'm more interested in Maria Hill going to clean up the Spider-Man/Betty Brant mess. It's not like SHIELD doesn't know that Miles didn't do this, so why's she there talking to JJJ? She should be tracking Venom, who is in front of Miles' house! Good stuff.
Book of the week goes to Invincible. While Ultimate Spidey gets my anti-616 biased nod, it's not like I can sit here and realistically try to convince anyone that the Ultimate Universe Miles did a better job this week than Invincible. Plus, he's got his huge anniversary coming up next month. Congrats, Kirkman!