Amazing Spider-Man #663
We start off with the man who was formerly Venom and Formerly my favorite Venom, the current Anti-Venom, Eddie Brock. He plans to take down the criminal empire of Mr. Negative, who happens to be New York's greatest philanthropist, Martin Li. Anti-Venom starts by stopping an incoming Opium shipment of Mr. Negative's. The guards are scared crap-less but it turns out they aren't running from Anti-Venom, their running from a woman known only as The Wraith. Anti-Venom is shocked that the guards are more afraid of The Wraith than him, so he goes to find out who she is, she just happens to be unmasking to a very afraid lackey when Anti-Venom recognizes her as none other than Jean Dewolff, a character that was dead as far as I knew, and also the sister of the original Wraith. Anti-Venom is shocked to see her alive, but she disappears, leaving Eddie confused. We then jump over to see Peter Parker being mistakenly woken up by his girlfriend, Carlie Cooper, as she gets dressed for work. As Carlie commends Peter for putting in so much time at his new job, he thinks to himself how he's really tired because he's been pushing himself as Spidey so hard, especially patrolling New York and being apart of the FF and the Avengers. On her way out, Carlie mentions she's going to see a crime scene that had the Wraith, and Peter makes a mental note to look into that, but on the way out Carlie also congratulates Peter. For what you may ask? It turns out that besides using his Spidey suit designed for a bulletproof suit to make a safer motorcycle helmet and his stealth suit to make noise reduction headphones, and even making voice activated web-shooters, Peter Parker has been published in the American Science Journal, which definitely makes Peter's day, month, year and lifetime. Pete calls Aunt May to tell her but she's already passing them out over at the help center she volunteers at, when she runs into a bearded Eddie Brock, whom she doesn't recognize. Turns out Eddie is there to get more information on Mr. Li/Negative, and when Mr. Li steps out of his office and runs into Aunt May, she suddenly remembers seeing him murder a man, something he wiped from her memory. May passes out and Peter overhears it, still on the phone with Jay Jameson and heads that way. As May is taken away in an ambulance, Eddie thinks about how he should've stopped Li by now, and how one of the nicest people he's ever met may pay for it, which enrages him, so he unleashes his inner Anti-Venom and pursues Mr. Negative, and rips a hole in the top of his limo. Before he can get to him, Spidey shows up, and of course thinks Brock is going crazy. After a quick talk with Aunt May, she tells him if there's something he can do to help someone else instead of getting there, do so because that's how she and Ben raised him, to which Peter says he'll do. He dropkicks Eddie off of Mr. Li's limo, Spidey and Anti-Venom duke it out while Li escapes, but Spidey's forgotten that Anti-Venom's powers disrupt his, and as he loses both his speed and strength, he's easy picking for Eddie, who thinks Spidey is a villain for siding with Martin Li. The issue ends with Anti-Venom getting ready to "cure" Spidey of his powers for good. Man this was a good issue, I didn't really care for the whole Aunt May thing but it made Spidey and Anti-Venom collide so it works. Man, Spidey vs. Anti Venom in this, Spidey vs. Venom in Venom, if we get a three-way fight from these three with Eddie/Flash/Peter then that's getting a guaranteed 10/10, maybe even an 11. Anyway, I'll give this issue an 8.5/10.
Anti-Venom: "The Wraith?" And you're more scared of her...than me?! Idiot!
Batman Beyond #6
We start things off with a news report of the recent explosion at the Wayne-Powers building, an explosion which almost claimed the lives of both Paxton Powers and Batman. But our futuristic Dark Knight and Powers managed to hop into a vehicle before the explosion, which took the brunt of the blast. They find a vehicle to escape from the flaming building with, something that looks kinda like the cycle Bats had in Batman: The Dark Knight, as Bruce chimes in saying that Terry lost radio connection and then he heard about the explosion. Terry tells Paxton he's taking him to the police so he can get protective custody, as Bruce realizes Terry's saying that so Bruce knows he has company and can't answer him at the moment. Next we see the original Powers or Wayne-Powers, Derek Powers a.k.a. Blight, as he watches over the burning remains of Wayne-Powers. He recounts how he escaped death, as he was on a ship that sank, which he blames Batman for of course, and should have drowned, but due to his condition, he doesn't need to breathe. He then stayed pinned under the ship (ouch) for months and as the radiation and nerve gas ate away at his body, it also made him stronger, and after a few months he was able to move the tons of steel that pinned him to the underwater ground. Once he freed himself, Powers decided he wanted revenge on Wayne for taking his business and revenge on Batman for various things, so he went to his former business partner Dr. French, who built him an containment suit as Powers slowly exacted his revenge. So you can imagine the anger Derek experiences when a few seconds after recounting his return, he's told that both Batman and his son Paxton escaped from the blast. After taking Paxton to the cops, Terry heads back to Wayne Manor to talk to Bruce about their plans, as Bruce mentions whoever is trying to take the WP company is doing a good job scaring the investors, and if they sell their stock, whoever buys it could become majority owner and snatch the rug from under Bruce. Later we see Terry talking to his friend Max when she tells Terry that his Ex-Girlfriend Dana is being extra distant because he brother returned, and Terry was unaware she even had a brother. Max tells Terry he's gonna have to choose between telling Dana everything or telling her nothing about him being Batman and risk losing her forever. Back as Batman, Terry goes to cat the rat that's been after him and Paxton Powers Bruce sets the cheese, but things go crazy when Batman walks into a trap of his own, an attack by none other than the Blight! Now this was a fine issue, nothing bad but nothing amazing either, It didn't blow me away but it wasn't bad by any means, I'll give this issue a 6/10 only because the stuff with Dana, Max's little storyline, none of that interests me, plus we haven't heard anything about Grayson in like two or three issues.
Batman: Powers, you're an idiot, but you're not stupid... (Um... thanks for the compliment I guess...)
Static Shock Special
The Static Shock One-Shot Special starts off with Static Shock's alter-ego, Virgil Hawkins, with his family. The Hawkins family are waiting outside of prison for Virgil's formerly incarcerated uncle, Teshome Gabriel Hawkins, hereby referred to in this review as Gabriel. Virgil says how his uncle was wrongly accused and forced to serve ten years for a crime he didn't commit. As Gabriel is released from prison, the media is all over him asking how he feels about being free. We then see a flashback of Virgil's, to years ago, having Thanksgiving with his family. The police suddenly rushed in and arrested Gabriel for murders Virgil believes he didn't commit, Virgil admits his Uncle was a thief, but he was more of a cat burglar, and no one ever saw him or got hurt during his thefts. Virgil says he kept writing letters to people, from the Mayor to the police chief, but no one believed a kid, until he sent something to a law firm of McDuffie, Cowan, Davis and Dingle (clever...very clever) and they believed him, and it took seven years but they proved Virgil's uncle was innocent. Once Virgil's uncle is free, he joins them and Virgil and his uncle are spending time together when a bunch of gangsters pull up on them, as Gabriel tells Virgil to run, but Virgil stands by his uncle. The men take Virgil's uncle and throw him in their truck, as one of the men, a bang baby (super-powered being due to an explosion/big bang), deals with Virgil before driving away. It turns out the leader of the gangsters, a man with one eye named Blinder, was in prison with Gabriel, and once he got his release, he happened to become a bang baby and uses his force field powers to commit crimes and even put a new drug on the street called ZCE, which "makes ecstasy look like aspirin." It doesn't take long for Static Shock to find and easily rescue his uncle from a few two-bit thugs, considering it takes two pages for him to do it. As the issue goes on, Virgil's uncle and the rest of the Hawkins family have a party to celebrate, but during the party Gabriel has a heart attack. It turns out he'd been having heart problems for years but never took them seriously and they caught up with him, he died at the age of 39 before he even got his 10 million dollar settlement. Well damn, that's sad. Static thinks about his uncle and decides he's going to make it up to him by taking down Blinder, once and for all, so Virgil does some equations (seriously?) and figures out an electromagnetic blast will stop his force fields, he then hits him with one as Static, and beats the hell out of him before leaving him for the cops, and as the issue ends Static proclaims that he is the future. Man, this main story was bad. It jumped all around, there didn't seem to be any explanation of what happened to the ten mil Virgil's uncle was going to get before he died, or why Blinder wasn't at the base when Static was there although he was IN the car when Gabriel was being taken there. It was just bad, which is sad because I like Static. The back up story featured a few pages about Dwayne McDuffie being a legend and him being compared to M.L.K., I mean, come on, I'm a fan of Dwayne's but that's a bit much. Anyway, sadly I never really got into this comic, which sucks because I'm a big fan of Static and he's one of my favorite African-American heroes, which we could always use more of. Anyway I'll give this issue a 2/10.
Blinder: You responsible for taking out my operation?Static: I can't take all the credit. I'd like to thank God... My mom, my science teacher, my agent, my manager...
And just like that, we're all done for this week's edition of Ratings and Rantings. Feel free to comment and let me know what you guys think, whether you wanna ask questions, talk about comics I reviewed, or talk about the DC and Fear Itself news, feel free to bring it up. And before I get out of here I wanna remind you all of the Top Five 5! For those of you that don't know how it goes, you send me your top five picks for each category at KevinKavalier@gmail.com and I'll post the answers this Monday and compare everyone's results. Make sure ya send your picks in ASAP so you don't forget. The topics are below, and here's hoping you guys participate before the deadline of Sunday 2:00 pm EST. And lastly, be sure to vote on this week's newest poll and check out the last poll results below the Top Five 5 topics. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd. You stay classy, Todd Squad.
5 Characters you want rebooted by DC
5 Characters you don't want rebooted by DC
5 Characters you'd send from Marvel to DC
5 Characters you'd send from DC to Marvel
5 favorite Non-DC or Marvel Comic Series
Last week's poll asked "Which Venom do you like the most?
Last place with 0% - Peter Parker and N/A - Shocking... I figured Pete would get at least one vote.
Third place with 7.7% - Mac Gargan - Figured he wouldn't get a vote. If you voted for Mac please tell us!
Second place with 38.5% - Flash Thompson, Second best Venom after three issues, not bad at all!
Winner with 53.8% - Eddie Brock, the first man to be known as Venom!
Next Week on Ratings and Rantings
Batman and Robin #24, Batman: Arkham City #2, Red Robin #24, Superman/Batman #85, Morning Glories #10, and Deadpool #38