Happy Monday morning! As November comes to a close there were several comic books I didn’t get a chance to do full reviews with synopsis for. Now to start off a new week it is time to correct that with reviews for Amazing Spider-Man #79 and Catwoman #37
Writer: Cody Ziglar
Artist: Michael Dowling
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: With how much of a focus Beyond Corporation funding Ben Reilly’s Spider-Man adventures is it is important to remind the reader that Ben is doing this to be a superhero. Which is exactly where Amazing Spider-Man #79 is at its best. The quick seen of Ben as Spider-Man stopping a robbery and saving a kid from being run over was more of what the Beyond direction needs to get over. Without these scenes Ben’s Spider-Man is nothing more than a pawn to the Beyond Corporations schemes.
Amazing Spider-Man #79 also works with how Kraven is integrated into the story. This is another reminder of how while Ben has the memories of Peter Parker he lacks the same superhero experience. Kraven is the perfect villain to show this and we already saw that with the way he attacked Spider-Man in this issue. Best of all, Kraven was established as a big threat in quick fashion.
When it comes to the Spider-Man portions of this issue Michael Dowling’s artwork is at its best. He does a very good job drawing Spider-Man in motion, similar to his work over in Black Cat. The big splash page of Spider-Man saving the day was excellent, made better by how there was no dialogue which allowed the artwork to tell the story.
The Bad: Not sure what it is but everything Ben Reilly says when he is not Spider-Man all just comes across as incredibly forced. The way Ziglar wrote the character during his scene at the hospital just came across as wanting to get sympathy for the character. It just did not work as intended and it came down to the writing of Ben’s character not coming across as a person but a robot trying to show he can cry.
The artwork didn’t help in this aspect as Dowling draws Ben to be just a blonde version of Peter Parker. Doing some different things with the character design as Sara Pichelli did in previous issues needs to be the norm. Because the more Ben is drawn to look just like Peter the more he is going to continue to be seen as a temporary replacement.
Overall: When focused on the superhero aspect Amazing Spider-Man #79 is at its best. There is still a lot of work to get Ben Reilly over without the mask but at least he is starting to get comfortable as Spider-Man. The set-up for this Kraven storyline has all the makings for a fun arc that will challenge Ben to prove himself as Spider-Man.
Writer: Ram V
Artists: Nina Vakeuva, Laura Braga, and Geraldo Borges
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: The Catwoman tie-in issues to Fear State are a great example of how tie-ins can enhance the reading experience of a big event. Catwoman #37 does that by further showcasing how big of a threat the Magistrate were before their downfall at the end of Fear State. They really did take over Gotham City completely and turned it to a police state.
The police state setting made everything that Catwoman and her makeshift team of villains work so well. You understood why they would all unite to help each other because the Magistrate were that big of a threat. Which enhanced the greater conflict of everyone protecting Poison Ivy so she could get back to Eden to merge with her other half.
This story also further pushed the fact that Catwoman is indeed a superhero even if she doesn’t view herself as that. Whether she knows it or not she inspired Gardner, Harley Quinn, and the others to fight along side her. Which made her coming out on top when all was said and done even more satisfying to see Catwoman accomplish.
While I’m not normally a fan of art-by-committee I do have to compliment Nina Vakeuva, Laura Braga, and Geraldo Borges for working so well together as a team. They all were able to make adjustments to their styles so Catwoman #37 had a consistent look. Even as things got more and more chaotic the style established in the first page is present in the entire issue. Which is also credit to Jordie Bellaire’s talents as a colorist to help maintain a similar palette to help the consistency be present throughout.
The Bad: The only thing that hurt Catwoman #37 is that it came out a week after Fear State concluded in Batman #117. The timing did not help this story that is supposed to largely take place during the events of the final issue of Fear State. Like it’s Nightwing counterpart, Catwoman #37 should’ve been released on the same week as Batman #117 so its impact was had.
Overall: Catwoman #37 concludes a strong tie-in story that complimented Fear State extremely well. The journey that Catwoman and her crew went on put over how big of a threat the Magistrate became before their downfall. The ending of this story also sets up Catwoman to continue to be a major player in Gotham City.
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