Spinner Rack: Daredevil 26, Superior Spider-Man 10, Justice League 20

Daredevil #26

Daredevil #26 cover

by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
Marvel, $3.99

Because this is an oversized issue, there’s a backup story that really hit me hard and well. The main story does an excellent job showing what could truly frighten Daredevil and continues the pursuit by a mysterious villain, now revealed (unless that’s another fake-out).

Foggy is in the hospital for cancer, a well-chosen storyline that captures what a lot of middle-aged people have to deal with. By choosing a threat that Daredevil can’t do anything about, Waid puts him in a dramatic position that’s relatable but also reveals the essence of his character — the way he wants to be there for his friends but has difficulty with priorities and trust.

Anyway, the backup is just about Foggy. Since Foggy has met a number of the Marvel superheroes, he’s asked to visit a group of kids with cancer who are anticipating a visit from Iron Man. The kids are putting together their own comic book, showing all the heroes battling the villain they dreamed up.

It’s a marvelous piece, capturing all the things superheroes can (and can’t) do, and why they’re so important especially to motivate kids’ imaginations. It’s an amazing story that doesn’t talk down to the kids or the adults thinking “wait, but…” as Waid anticipated the concerns and twists most readers would come up with and addresses them all.

Plus, Samnee’s art makes conversations visually interesting, and he alternates between three drawing styles: his regular, one as kids would, and a blend that tells their story without too much primitivism. It’s a really great piece that belongs in a Best of the Year book. It’s inspiring while still acknowledging the concerns of the real world.

The Superior Spider-Man #10

Superior Spider-Man #10 cover

by Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, and Cam Smith
Marvel, $3.99

It’s a bit weird to be enjoying a Spider-Man story where the hero is really a villain. Am I supposed to be rooting for Peter to come back? Should I feel bad for liking Otto as a more vicious, more practical superhero, one better suited for our age than one created fifty years ago?

A bunch of characters are becoming suspicious of Spider-Man, thinking he’s not the hero they once knew. Either it’s because he killed someone — which I still think heroes shouldn’t do — or because he’s too cocky about his intelligence or because a cop thinks “he used to be a lot funnier” (an observation more insightful than he realizes).

The two scenes that stand out in this issue for me are the one where Peter, May, her husband, and he brother-in-law are having dinner. It’s entertaining to see the two Jameson brothers, miles apart politically, going at it, particularly now that J. Jonah is on Spider-Man’s side! For long-time readers, that’s a switch that makes sense in this context but is weirdly unusual to see. (That’s good. Fresh is good. So is recontextualizing.)

The second is one where Mary Jane’s nightclub has been targeted by firebombs. She’s saved, but in an unexpected way that either contradicts or sheds new light on Spider-Man’s motto of great responsibility. I’d say it’s a more grown-up way of looking at things, but that brings me back to the first set of questions about this book.

I kind of want to be reading this story after it all wraps up, which is kind of cheating, but that way I’d know where it went and could track how it got there.

Justice League #20

Justice League #20 cover

by Geoff Johns, Zander Cannon, Gene Ha, Andres Guinaldo, Joe Prado, and Rob Hunter
DC, $3.99

It’s the first issue of Justice League I’ve been able to make it through since the reboot, and I thought that was worth noting. The reason I read it was that it features three newish characters joining the long-running team. The League has always been better when not focusing on the “big guns”, because writers can do more with lesser-known characters. Particularly those no longer appearing in their own titles, as is the case with Firestorm.

The other two are a revamped Element Girl — nice to see, although there are a lot more bimbo girl characters in superhero comics than himbo boy characters, so while her dizziness is entertaining, it’s also a bit cliche’ — and a female Atom I’m not previously familiar with. The three are on the satellite for induction only to wind up battling Despero.

I admit, one big reason I stuck with this issue was how familiar much of it was. The idea of introducing new characters who wind up proving their mettle under fire, Batman’s plans to take down all of his “friends” if need be, winding up in a cave in Happy Harbor… it’s all stuff I’ve seen before. On the one hand, that means the issue doesn’t get a lot of points for originality; on the other, it gave me something to hang onto when compared to a Superman who doesn’t look or talk the way I think he should.

There wasn’t enough here for me to want to come back, since the team fighting with each other isn’t appealing, nor is it what I want in a superhero book. And like all of DC’s recent titles, too much of this book is just a big battle. But it was pleasant enough to take that short nostalgia journey.


7 Responses to “Spinner Rack: Daredevil 26, Superior Spider-Man 10, Justice League 20”

  1. James Schee Says:

    On DD, the main story is good but I expect no less from the creative team. The backup as you say was just wonderful though. I like stories that don’t think people(no matter the age) are stupid. Plus just perfectly captured the wonder of children’s imagination.

    It reminded me of when I worked for the postal service and saw the letters to Santa, just that amount of belief.

    Superor Spider-Man has been pretty spot on every ste so far. Just when I think I’m getting a hint as to how Peter will return, the rug gets pulled out. Otto is a likable, dislikable character, in sort of the same mold as tv’s House.

    I know eventually Peter will be back, but it has been a fun ride so far from a different perspective.(BTW that’s Jonah’s brother? for some reason I thought it was his father)

    Justice League issue I haven’ read yet. The Atom is a new character, who first really appeared in the last issue of Justice League.(though apparently she was in, but not seen during the Aquaman crossover, stopping a bomb from going off, but at a microscopic level so we couldn’t see her)

  2. Johanna Says:

    I think it’s Jonah’s brother. They don’t identify him, so I’m going by memory. I don’t recall his name.

    I’m looking forward to learning more about the Atom Rhonda. Just because of the name!

  3. Anthony Says:

    Aunt May married J. Jonah’s *father*, who’s apparently still alive despite J. Jonah not exactly a spring chicken himself. ;-)

    So I assume it’s father and son appearing in this story (not read the “Superior” stories), especially since they’re at odds (unsurprising for J. Jonah).

  4. Johanna Says:

    That’s not his brother? Oh my! Hunh, wonder where I got the brother from? I did look him up and turns out his name is John.

  5. James Schee Says:

    Because the artist drew them too close in age. I think he & Aunt May are 70s, JJ in late 40s/early 50s and Perter n early 20s.

  6. Person of Con Says:

    Not that this really matters in the slightest, since Marvel will age and de-age Peter however they see fit–and it’s further complicated at the moment since the 40-ish Doc Ock is inhabiting the body–but I place Peter’s age more around late 20s or early 30s these days. It’s mostly based on the idea that he’s currently supposed to be a little older than he would be if he had gotten his PhD the first time around.

    My opinion on the matter is probably colored by the fact *I’m* a late 20s student studying for a PhD.

  7. Pondering Previews for July 2013 (Shipping in September and Later) » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] was surprised, in contrast, at how many Marvels I was enjoying — Daredevil and Hawkeye, of course, for doing refreshing, creative things with the characters and genre, but […]




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