Sorry readers, my regular blogging schedule that should have brought you an 'Only a Mother Could Love' post has once again been derailed by something I just read and feel compelled to blog about instead. The something in this case is Amazing Spider-man #602 (yes, the one with the plastic Mary Jane auditioning for Quadrophenia on the cover).
First up I have to say that despite my icy feelings toward the editorially mandated devil-divorce that befell the Spidey books I have been enjoying the hell out of the new direction ever since. Dan Slott, Joe Kelly, Marc Guggenheim, Fred Van Lente and the rest of the rotating Spidey-team have been making this one of the most consistently fun and enjoyable books coming out the House Of Ideas, three times a month no less! I've been loving every minute of it. They've been introducing new villains, new supporting characters, giving old standards like Aunt May and Harry Osborn a new lick of paint and generally setting up a whole new status quo for Spidey and the readers to have a boatload of fun in.
This issue though, with Fred Van Lente at the helm (I shouldn't be surprised it's great with the guy who wrote The Weapon calling the shots), does something which when done well is one of my favorite comic book tricks:
To take an old lame villain and make him cool, menacing and threatening.
Hey, Fred already did it to The Spot a whole bunch of issues ago and now he's doing it to the Chameleon:Now if you thought it was tough making the Spot cool, just consider this guy. The most interesting thing about him is that he was the wimpy little friend of Kraven the Hunter. I mean dude resurrected Peter Parker's parents while simultaneously teaming up with a Vulture who was powered by a youth-stealing machine and still failed to be cool!
Luckily for us Mr. Van Lente knows his job. Making characters awesome is his bread and butter. More than that he makes it look so simple. After reading this issue every writer that has ever tried and failed to make Chameleon badass will be kicking themselves and saying:
"Dammit! All I needed to do was dress him in a bathrobe, give him an uzi that shoots flesh coloured slime and have him tie dudes to chairs and drop them in a big vats of acid!"That my loyal readers blew my mind, and it happens on page four before the story has even got rolling! Before we witness the long-awaited return of Slyde (anyone remember Slyde?)! Before Slyde loses a fight with a manhole cover! Before the mouthy return of Glory Grant! Before that scene where Mary Jane dances with a mop! Before we learn that evil Statues Of Liberty are not to be messed with!
"Hold on. What? Evil Statues of Liberty?"
Yes indeedy my friends you heard me right. Peter Parker does in fact get attacked by an evil Statue of Liberty in this issue:So next time you're at Liberty Island, watch your back!
Between me reading issue 602 and writing this post issue 603 has come out. It's every bit as good as this issue. I've been enjoying the hell out of everything the Spidey-guys have been dishing out recently. Marvel have definitely hit on a winning combination here and I hope these guys all stick around for a long time to come.
Devil-divorces or not - Spidey is back on top people.
Start picking up his book before they sic Mount Rushmore on your ass!