Comic Book Reviews: 03/19/2014 Superior Foes of Spider-Man #10 Marvel | James Asmus | Nuno Plati | Siya Oum | Pepe Larrax & Andres Mossa Filler, anthology, flashback typically these terms carry a negative connotation but fortunately Asmus and his amazing artists are able to avoid this trend. The issue is three of the Sinister Six, they recognize there are only five members, recount tales of how they almost won. It plays out like a similar themed episode from Batman: The Animated Series but contains the humor and style expected from this series. Each story is a long-form punch line but they each tell a different joke. My favorite is when Speed Demon is recounting his accomplishments but the images don’t exactly match up with his descriptions. The second story is the weakest of the group but still a serviceable tale. The art team does an excellent job having a different style and feel for each section, typically rotating artists are jarring but here they move from one to the next in perfect transition. The end reveal plays out perfectly from a previous tale in this issue. Foes #10 proves that a monthly issue can doesn’t always need to be written for the inevitable trade. Score: 9.0 /10 Superior Spider-Man Annual #2 Marvel | Christos Gage | Javier Rodriguez | Philippe Briones | Alvaro Lopez Annuals typically fall into two camps, a standalone story which tries something new or an issue that is filler to provide unnecessary background. This annual falls into the second camp. The first story centers on Ben Urich, reporter for the Daily Bugle, and his nephew Phil, murderous psychopath in the Goblin nation. Ben beats himself up for not seeing Phil’s descent into madness and seeks to redeem himself and his fallen family member. Ben comes across like a bumbling reporter throughout this issue and not the brilliant detective who discovered Daredevil’s identity. Ultimately, no true progress is made regarding either Urich’s destiny. Rodriguez utilizes an…interesting approach to frame the action. Multiple shots of the same character will appear within the same panel to depict movement. Typically this style includes the character’s shading being lighter than darker. The first time this effect is used is jarring, as there are two images of the Goblin Knight fighting one image of Spidey, but I got used to it. The second story involves Wraith searching for Peter Parker and finding Carlie Cooper. I could see fans who are only reading the main series surprised as some of the plot threads are resolved in the Annual, expecting them to conclude in Superior proper. Score: 5.0 /10 Uncanny X-Men #19 Marvel | Brian Michael Bendis | Chris Bachalo | Tim Townsend There are a lot of talking head scenes in this issue, which works out because Bachalo’s art decisions come across confusing and jarring at times. There are three distinct plot threads within this issue, all related to SHIELD and Cyclops’s team heading towards war, but don’t tie together in this installment. The first picks up on Maria Hill (who I only recognized because she introduced herself) talking to Hijack, a former student of the Xavier School. Not much happens except for Hill threatening and Hijack stammering that he doesn’t know anything. The next sequence was the strongest of the book; Mystique reveals Dazzler’s location and let’s Sabertooth know about her plan. Bendis is able to write Mystique as a crafty cutthroat, striving for her own end goals without making her come across as a “Bwa-ha-ha” villain. She ultimately believes that what she is doing right, a criticism lobbied against Magneto and even Cyclops. The main action occurs in the third storyline as Cyclops and team investigate a new mutant sighting. They are attacked by Sentinels and their powers go haywire, or don’t work or are stolen….it is kind of confusing. A mysterious villain is revealed to have setup the trap in a classic “Who’s under the mask” type ending that fans enjoy to speculate about. For all the good character work that Bendis completes, I find it frustrating that no one, besides a single Cuckoo Sister, comments on the fact that Tempus has aged and gone through an ordeal from the last mission, hopefully this will be resolved sooner rather than later. Score: 7.5 /10 Level Up, Friends!