Happy Monday! It’s the start of a new week so what better way to start off then with some reviews of this past week of comic book releases. This week I’ll be checking out how Amazing Spider-Man #91 and Detective Comics #1055 turned out. With Amazing Spider-Man #91 this issue is leading us one step closer to the end of the Beyond era for the series before it is relaunched next month. As for Detective Comics #1055 the issue is the first chapter in the final act of the Shadows of the Bat weekly event.
Beyond Board: Kelly Thompson, Cody Ziglar, Saldin Ahmed, Patrick Gleason, Zeb Wells
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artists: Sara Pichelli and Fran Galan
Colorist: Brian Reber
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10
From a technical perspective Kelly Thompson makes great use of how everything about Ben Reilly’s character during Amazing Spider-Man’s Beyond era has been manufactured. That manufactured status extended to how he worked within this Spider-Man team-up with Peter Parker. Recognizing that and how Peter responds to how off Ben was the entire time in Amazing Spider-Man #91 worked to make the action, especially when Colleen Wing and Misty Knight joined, standout.
But as you do see Colleen Wing and Misty Knight join the fight you are reminded of how many plot elements, including Ben’s own character arc, has been underdeveloped. The Beyond Board had plenty of time to make Ben Reilly, Colleen Wing, and Misty Knight characters you care about beyond their names. Just like everything else the Beyond Board has done you are reminded of how manufactured the emotion behind these characters is.
The biggest problem with all of this is how rushed the villain manufacturing factory that Beyond Corporation has become is. There was clearly more to this story than what we’ve gotten in the last few issues. And Thompson is just not able to avoid the feeling that this angle of the Beyond era has been rushed. There is not much nuance to the story because of the rapid nature behind the turn.
The art team of Sara Pichelli and Fran Galan just does not work. You immediately recognize when the change in artist happens. This makes the difference in style even more apparent as even the pacing of the action feels like it changes. Pichelli’s art is much smoother in this aspect as she works well with putting over both the action and how Ben Reilly is not in a good frame of mind. The same can’t be said about Galan’s half of the issue as has its rough edges.
Overall, Amazing Spider-Man #91 had the elements to be a great comic book. Unfortunately it is weighed down by how rushed Ben Reill’s character arc and Beyond Corporation’s full heel turn has turned out. Hopefully the final few issues of this whole Beyond era can turn things around to give us a satisfying ending.
Writers: Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg
Artists: Amancay Nahuelpan and Fernando Blanco
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Now that we are past all of the events that took place before the Shadows of the Bat event is able to hit that next gear. That is exactly what Mariko Tamaki does with Detective Comics #1055. Not knowing what will happen next or where everything is leading to did wonders for the pacing of this story. The chaos created by the actions of Ana Vulsion, Nero XIX, and the other Arkham Tower patients added to the increase sense of danger you feel throughout this issue.
That is best seen with Nightwing and Huntress involvement in all of the chaos going on in Arkham Tower. Just as it looked like Nightwing was able to make some progress as he overcame and captured Psycho Pirate he unexpectedly leaped into a fight between Huntress and Mr. Freeze. The developments with this increased how concerned you are about the Batman Family in this story. Especially with the unexpected tie back into how Fear State caused all this as Scarecrow made his big return at the end of Detective Comics #1055.
Amancay Nahuelpan does not miss a beat with the artwork he provides for Detective Comics #1055. Nahuelpan looks a lot like Ivan Reis’ style, which is great for cohesion of the overall story look. Everything was smooth making how the chaos in Arkham Tower increased with each passing page stand out even more. You got a good idea where everyone’s headspace is at right now, making you wonder even more how everything is going to end.
All of this great writing by Tamaki and artwork by Nahuelpan made Detective Comics #1055 one of the better issues of this weekly Batman event. I am genuinely invested in all the characters in this story. Which all creates greater excitement for discovering how The Shadows of the Bat event will end.