Sep 2, 2011

Spider-Mannotations: Amazing Spider-Man #668, Spider-Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1

It's that time again, web-heads - time for me to overanalyze this week's Spider-Island tie-ins!  This week, we've got part two of Spider-Island proper in Amazing Spider-Man #668, and a new tie-in launches with Spider-Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1!

Amazing Spider-Man #668

Blue hoodie, visible web-shooters...Scarlet Spider homage?
(art by Humberto Ramos)

Creative Team: Dan Slott (writer), Humberto Ramos (pencils), Victor Olazaba (inks)

Capsulized Review: Another good issue from Slott.  The scene where Peter Parker leads an army of New Yorkers into battle is a great moment. A lot of time devoted to tying-in the tie-ins this issue, but next issue promises to have some nice action with a trio of cool c-list villains.

Page 7: Remember this scene from Spider-Island: Deadly Foes?  Well, now you know what it's from.

Page 8: And hey, remember how the Spider-King puked up all those spiders in Venom #6?  Well, this is how they got there.

Page 16: The person in Lab 6 has been a mystery since the concept was introduced in ASM #649.  I kinda thought it was going to be the Jackal (which does fit with the "expert on Parker DNA" thing), but surely Reed Richards wouldn't be that nonchalant about it.

Peter was Reed's college intern in Spider-Man/Human Torch #3, a thoroughly awesome issue involving the Spider-Mobile, Super-Apes, and delicious fruit pies.  It's worth looking up.

A picture of Peter and Reed doing science from this issue would have been more informative, but goddammit, Super-Apes!
(Spider-Man/Human Torch #3, written by Dan Slott, art by Ty Templeton, Nelson, and Tom Palmer)

Page 18: So, this is Anti-Venom in a nutshell: Eddie Brock gave up his Venom symbiote, at which point the cancer he'd had for years, and which the symbiote had arrested, began to kill him. He tried to do good with his few remaining days, and began volunteering at the FEAST Project, a homeless shelter run by philanthropist Martin Li, who as we know from previous Mannotations is also crimelord Mr. Negative.  Li used his healing powers to cure Brock's cancer - and when the shelter was attacked by the Thunderbolts, Li's healing energy reacted with the symbiote tissue remnants in Brock's body, transforming Brock into Anti-Venom!  Swathed in a suit of mutated anti-bodies, Anti-Venom has the standard Venom abilities, plus the power he demonstrates here - the power to cure pretty much anything.

"And I am really cramped in this panel.  My back is killing me."
(ASM #569, written by Dan Slott, art by John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson) 

Page 19: Hey, remember that scene in Venom #6 where Venom fights the Spider-King?  Yeah, you know the drill by now...

Page 20: Seen in the superhuman evidence locker are the Rhino's cowl, pumpkin bombs, the Beetle's helmet and gloves, the Prowler's gauntlets, Mysterio's helmet and gloves, the Hobgoblin's glider, a jar of Sandman sand, the Scorpion's tail, Dr. Octopus' tentacles, and the Spider-Mobile.

Page 21: Carlie's boss, Captain Yuri Watanabe, used purloined Mysterio and Mr. Fear gear to become the vigilante Wraith in ASM #663.

Dr. Octopus tried to take over New York City with a zillion tiny Octobots in ASM #600.

Peter knows about organic web-shooters because he used to have them; he gained them after the villainous Queen transformed him into a giant spider, which then proceeded to die and give birth to Peter Parker - a Peter Parker with organic web-shooters (no, really).  He apparently lost them in the wake of One More Day; how, we don't know yet.

Yeah, not even gonna try and come up with something funny for this one.
(Spectacular Spider-Man #20, written by Paul Jenkins, art by Paco Medina and Juan Velasco)

Page 22: Who are the three villains watching Peter and Carlie from the shadows?  Well, bust out your OHotMUs, true believers.  The woman with bunny ears and a fluffy tail is, unsurprisingly, the White Rabbit.  Lorena Dodson was a bored and slightly nutty trophy wife who bumped off her husband (but believe me, he enjoyed it) and used his fortune to become a Lewis Carroll-themed supervillain.  Created by JM DeMatteis and Kerry Gammill in Marvel Team-Up #131, she's a fun character - comic relief and fanservice in one package. She recently made a couple appearances in the Spider-books as a member of the Hood's gang.

Getting machine-gunned by a Grace Slick wannabe: still more enjoyable than listening to We Built This City.
(Dark Reign: Mr. Negative #1, written by Fred Van Lente, art by  Gianluca  Gigliotta,  Andy Lanning, and  Kris Justice)

The guy with the big bubble-dome appears to be the Scorcher.  Steven Hudak was a scientist until a colleague framed him for embezzlement. Going on the run, he used his know-how to build himself a super-flamethrower suit and established himself as a mercenary for hire.  Created by Kurt Busiek and Pat Olliffe in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #1, he too has recently turned up in the Hood's gang.

Who knew corduroy was flameproof?
(Untold Tales of Spider-Man Annual #1, art by Pat Olliffe and Klaus Janson) 

And finally, the guy on the left is pretty hard to make out...but the tube coming out of his helmet and his distinctive blaster-gauntlets mark him as Chance.  Nicholas Powell is a high-tech mercenary with a twist; he's obsessed with gambling, so he'll turn his mercenary fee into a wager. Created by David Michelinie and Mike Harris in Web of Spider-Man #15, he was a favorite of Michelinie's, and showed up frequently during his run on Amazing Spider-Man; since then, however, his appearances have been few and far between, and he hasn't turned up since making a small appearance in a Thunderbolts one-shot in 2001.  He's a cool character, so it's nice to see him turn up.

If you change your mind, I'm the first in line.  Honey, I'm still free...
(ASM #298, written by David Michelinie, art by Todd McFarlane and  Bob McLeod)

Spider-Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1

You're not Sylvia!  You're one of the Deadly Hands of Kung Fu!
(art by Sebastian Fiamura)

Creative Team: Antony Johnston (writer), Sebastian Fiamura (pencils), John Lucas (inks)

Capsulized Review: Intriguing first issue, and I'm quite fond of the Immortal Weapons, although I've never had much interest in Shang-Chi.  Great art by Fiamura, too.

Cover: The title is an homage to Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, one of Marvel's black-and-white magazines from the '70s.

Page 2: Fat Cobra, introduced in Immortal Iron Fist, is one of the Immortal Weapons, the guardians of seven various mystical cities (for example, Iron Fist is the Immortal Weapon of K'un-Lun). Think Marvel's Hercules, but as a fat kung fu guy.  He's pretty awesome.

Pages 5-6: More Spider-Men - the one Shang-Chi is kicking in the foreground has the Spider-Man costume from the short-lived '70s Spider-Man TV show.  Here's its funktacular theme song.

Page 11: Bride of Nine Spiders is another Immortal Weapon, and the one about whom we know the least.  She's all creepy and gothy and can shoot a giant swarm of spiders out of her torso.  The "je je je je" thing is her distinctive creepy laugh. It's apparently how laughter is onomatopoeia-ized in Spanish; her co-creator, Spanish artist David Aja, put that in with his pencils, and writers Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker liked it so much they left it in.

And that's it!  Join us next time for two one-shots - anthology book Spider-Island: I Love New York City, and Frog-Man-tastic Spider-Island: Avengers!

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