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Jeff is the lone guy in the swamps of Babeland. He's also a writer, filmmaker, and educator in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on twitter @thejeffhersh

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The Superior Spider-Man #17


They always told me never judge a book by its cover.  As usual I didn’t listen, because this new issue of The Superior Spider-Man’s cover was comic book love at first sight.  Anytime Marvel and it’s creative powers find a way to bring Spider-Man 2099 into a story line I’m in.  On this cover, he sits perched high an above a futuristic city with the modern Superior Spider-Man below, crouching upside down and imbued in shadows.  A showdown between the Otto Octavius Spider-Man and the cult classic Spider-Man 2099 is just what we need in these strange times of our former friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.   Part one’s story does the cover justice.

The book opens with us in Nueva York, 2099.  Spider-Man is taking on a tear in the timestream, allowing us a reason for how these two Spider-Man’s will meet.  Dan Slott tips the hat to former Marvel storylines that have occurred during our “Heroic Age” in which our “incursions into the fabric of space-time” have broken all of time.  It’s up to the future Spider-Man to stop an event from happening in 2013 that will end in the eradication of his own existence.  The stakes are set.

The rest of the book brings us up to speed on both politics of Peter’s boss Max Modell and how this may plants seeds for the problems in 2099’s world as well.  There are also more glimpses of the plans of the Green Goblin and his team in The Goblin Underworld.

We get a fun character scene where Otto revels in his newly donned abilities from the body of Peter Parker by showboating in a friendly charity softball game amongst athletically challenged co-workers.  He may not be a super villain anymore, but he’s still a jerk.

I can’t say enough about how awesome Ryan Stegman’s art continues to be.  The splash page of Spider-Man 2099’s entrance shows right away how badass he’ll look in this storyline.

Slott continues to wind us through this controversial time of Spidey’s continuity.  Again, it’s hard to know how long Octavius will be Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but until it comes to a head, it’s sure to remain interesting.  After all, we are set up for a battle between Otto’s Spider-Man and the future’s Spider-Man…

8 out of 10


DC Comics’ The Flash #23 Review


The Flash #23 finally brings us the face off that’s been building for some time in the New 52 universe: When The Flash crosses path with Reverse Flash.

Reverse Flash is a revered antagonist of Flash and was at the center of the wildly entertaining recent DC/Warner Bros. animated movie release of Flashpoint. Check it out, then go back a read the comics it was based on. Or vice versa… Hey, it’s your life!

The Flash #23 issue is part 4 in a storyline in which Wally has been trying to track down the culprit who is murdering anyone with access and powers through The Speed Force. What works in this issue is we finally get to the exciting reveal of who the Speed Force Killer– The Reverse Flash and who his true identity is.

Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato continue their well balanced writing of both superhero business with Wally’s personal life as we get a glimpse of how his girlfriend Patty is handling Wally’s busy extracurricular running schedule in a nice character moment between her and her father. She’s at her parent’s anniversary party alone, as Wally is too tied up saving time itself to be able to attend. Coupled with some exquisite frame work and continued exciting artwork, Flash maintains itself to be one of my favorite current DC books.

I won’t spoil the ending of this issue, but I will say this, it leads up directly into September’s Villains month at DC, where all the titles will be taken over by the character’s major villain. The next Flash issue will actually be Reverse Flash’s comic.

The ending is dramatic in some big ways and worth the cliffhanger it sets up. The storyline concludes in four weeks, after the Villain’s month issue.

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