This week's biggest issue was Amazing Spider-Man #698. With three issues before the series finale and Dan Slott hyping up the ending arc and still keeping a tight lid on who may be taking over Peter's role in Superior Spider-Man in January, I was really excited to be able to read the first part of the final Dying Wish arc.
Doctor Octopus is dying! But before he does he pulls a whammy on our favorite wall crawler. If you haven't been spoiled by the internet before you read it, the big reveal near the end of the issue comes as a shock and makes you go back and re-read the rest of the issue seeing it in a different light. How's Dan Slott going to write himself out of this one? Or does he really have to?
On the Marvel NOW! side, we have a few new series launching this week. The one I liked most was Waid and Yu's Indestructible Hulk #1, which brings us a Bruce Banner with a new approach to life with the Hulk and of course Yu's amazing artwork. Looking forward to where this book takes the gamma giant. Captain America is the other Marvel NOW! #1 this week and it looks a solid set-up to a big sci-fi arc by Rick Remender. I'm not a big fan of John Romita Jr's art (in fact I hated him during his AvX issues), but I can tolerate him to see what Remender does with Cap.
Journey into Mystery #646 didn't relaunch with a #1 but the series has a new focus - the Asgardian Sif. I'm not sure how popular it's going to be compared to Gillen's Loki-focused run as Sif is a much more niche character so they're taking a risk here similar to X-Men Legacy focusing on Legion. Still, Kathryn Immonen's initial story arc seems interesting, and there's some great interior art here by Valerio Schiti, check it out:
Other quick Marvel reviews: Hawkeye #4 is still pretty good although Javier Pulido is subbing for artist David Aja in this issue; he does a decent job but I think I'd still rather have Aja as a regular. Daredevil #20 gives us a supervillain that has a better plan for using his powers than just simply robbing banks and getting beat up by supers on a regular basis. Avengers #34 is the end of Bendis’ run and while the End Times story arc wasn't too spectacular, there's a lot of fan service in this issue with almost every active Avenger making an appearance, an artist jam session in the final pages (my favorite is the Oliver Copiel page!) and a long essay by Bendis at the end detailing how his Avengers/New Avengers run came about.
On the DC side, there's nothing I'm too excited for this week. Justice League #14 concludes the two-parter Cheetah story, but this feels a bit too much like filler for me; Geoff Johns need to up his game if Justice League is going to be one of DC's driving comics the way Avengers is for Marvel. Red Hood and the Outlaws #14 still has Rocafort doing the cover art, but the interior art is a bit more…mediocre. I reckon Rocafort can only handle one full-time gig and right now that's Superman, but it's too bad because the art was one of the biggest selling points for RHATO. Green Lantern New Guardians #14 is just an entire issue of Kyle training to become the rainbow lantern or something, let's see if this actually goes somewhere interesting. Nightwing #14 has the lead going toe to toe with Lady Shiva, but that's about the only thing exciting here; the rest of the book is set-ups with the Penguin and the Joker and Grayson's amusement park pet project. I'm a bit behind on the other DC books, hopefully I'll have more DC to rave about next week.
I try to read at least one book outside the big two each week, and this week it's Clone #1 which is released by Image Comics and part of Robert Kirkman's Skybound imprint. I'm not too familiar with the creative team, it seems the writer is doing his first book. The art isn't anything to write home about, but I guess it's servicable. The story is okay for a first issue and brings to mind the interesting question: what would you do if you found out you were a clone? I may read the next couple of issues to see where it goes.
And that's it for this week and my first post on this blog!