This issue was pretty good; much better than the last issue of Ends of the Earth. It starts off with Spider-Man fighting the lizard in the sewers, but we don’t know why yet. Through flashbacks, we learn why the two of them are fighting, and it’s probably not what you expect.
The issue does a great job at explaining exactly what the lizard is for new readers. It also brings in a bunch of minor plot threads that have been raised over the course of Dan Slott’s Spider-Man run, although you don’t need to read his entire run to understand it. Pretty much everything you need to know is explained in the issue or on the recap page. There’s also a good “party” scene with a nice moment between Peter Parker and Mary Jane where she points out a flaw in one of Spider-Man’s newer policies.
The art is fairly good throughout. The sewers are a little dark, yet everything is visibly distinct. The day shots and party scene throw variety and colour into the mix. While the ending almost feels complete, you know this isn’t the last issue in the story arc.
This is an easy recommendation. After the disappointing Ends of the Earth event, this brings Spider-Man back to the quality level it usually enjoys under Slott’s writing. It’s easy to understand and works as a decent explanation of who the lizard is (the villain in the upcoming Spider-Man movie).
Other comics I read this week include FF 19, Aquaman 10, Ninja Turtles 11, Justice League 10 and Batman Incorporated 2.
FF 19 is a fun side issue that stands on its own. While the Fantastic Four are helping Black Panther, the kids spend time exploring Wakanda and defending its main water reservoir. The art is better than the series has often had lately. This is an easy recommendation for FF fans.
Aquaman 10 was good. It expands on the plot twist at the end of Aquaman 9 and the personal war between Aquaman and Manta. I didn’t like it quite as much as I’ve enjoyed this series so far, but it’s still among the better of the New DC Universe books. While it won’t be confusing because of the exposition, it is the middle of a story arc and probably won’t be the greatest starting point.
Ninja Turtles 11 was pretty good. Splinter fights more of the foot clan while the Ninja Turtles continue their search for their master. It also does a decent job at explaining things for new readers, although it will probably be confusing for people who know nothing about the turtles.
Justice League 10 was alright to read but kind of forgettable. Even last week, when I bought 16 comics, I could still remember all of them. I had to glance through this one to remember anything that happened in it. The backup story about Shazam is far more memorable, but I don’t think I can recommend this. I think this is my last issue for this series, unless I decide to drop something that’s worse in the next month.
Batman Incorporated 2 was fairly good. In the last issue, Robin (Talia Al Ghul’s son) was killed. This issue is mostly about Talia and her relationship with her father, Batman, and Robin. It seems like she’ll be a regular villain in this series. This one’s definitely worth checking out.