Has JMS grounded himself to a new imprint, Doc Ock has really messed with the wrong Spider and to celebrate Iron Man 3 (we guess), Marvel takes us back to the Roaring ‘90s for a David Michelinie, Dave Ross and Bob Layton retread Armor Wars II with a flashback story arc starring Tony Stark in Iron Man #258.1.

WRITER: J. Michael Straczynski
ART: Ben Templesmith
Publication Date: May 2, 2013
Price: $2.99
Publisher: Image Comics
UPC: 70985301360000111
Buy it HERE

J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) is responsible for one of the best sci-fi shows on television, prior to the Battlestar Galactica reboot, Babylon 5.

He has also upset fans with controversial runs on Amazing Spider-Man and Superman. The latter got him summarily dismissed from DC Comics and he handed the Grounded storyline over to Chris Roberson. Not many people were happy with a Superman ‘walking the country’.

He stays on the character with his equally controversial series of original graphic novels for DC, a grittier two volume Superman: Earth One hardcovers with the Shane Davis on art. 

Not many books have graced the shelves since Superman: Earth One Volume Two written by JMS. This is likely because of his plan to revisit his Top Cow imprint Joe’s Comics with some creator owned series. 

The first of this rebooted imprint’s titles is Ten Grand written by JMS with art by horror spooksmith Ben Templesmith. The story is based on the noir trope of having a dame walk into a private dick’s office, with an insolvable case. Here in issue #1, at the start we realize that former mob enforcer Joe Fitzgerald has touches with an angel figure, summoned by necromancy and demonology. Joe spends most of his days awaiting freelance assignments from a neighboring watering hole.

Joe is also entered into a deal with the demons haunting his world. His woman was killed in front of him, and to reconnect with his Laura, he has become an enforcer for the dark spiritual world. 

This book is great, if a little heavy on the recurring themes. It is a successful matchup of noir, horror, gangster and necromantic genres. Though not a funny book, this draws similarities to Chew. This is also recommended for fans of Sandman, Lucifer and Death.

WRITER: Dan Slott
ART: Ryan Stegman
Publication Date: May 2, 2013
Price: $3.99
Publisher: Marvel Comics
UPC: 75960607912400911
Buy it HERE
Does anyone besides me remember the Prince album,Controversy?

The title track is the one to listen to on Spotify halfway through this book! Warning: this review (though not typical of me) contains spoilers! If you love Peter Parker, but have not read this book yet, please skip below to my benign Iron Man review. Seriously!

Dan Slott loves getting us all worked up, doesn’t he? The reason he does is because he likes Spider-Man more than anyone!

There is even a very obscure reference to a Spider-Man lettering blooper from Amazing Spider-Man #1, where Peter is called Peter Palmer for one panel! 

He’s killed Peter and Doc Ock has taken over Peter’s body, and making a Superior Spider-Man (hopefully you’ve caught up to that story, that’s not my spoiler). Old eight arms is swinging around, being rude to everyone, but sort of being a better — superior — Spider-Man, and one that uses lethal force. Fortunately for the 616, Doc’s intentions albeit with different motivations are in line with the whole ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ thing.

In this issue, Doc has discovered that an avatar of Peter’s memories (we’ve seen Peter as a blue ghost) exists in his head! Oh. Noes. Like a splinter, Octavius seeks to extract this menace from his brain, and has the right tools to do so. Uh-oh.

A psychic battle ensues as Peter (and an awesomely drawn by Ryan Stegman Amazing Spider-Man) happens in the brain space of Peter Parker’s memories. On Peter’s side we have J. Jonah Jameson, Captain Stacy, Gwen, Uncle Ben, you name it. Over on Ock’s side are visions of Uncle Ben’s killer, The Kingpin, The Sinister Six, Kraven and Chameleon. 

The constructs are knocked away by Superior, as his Neurolitic Scanner connected to a tablet is about to run the “Delete Peter Parker from My Brain” app. Peter’s memories fade. They fade, eventually to black. Slott has crushed everyone’s hopes that Peter will take back control of his body and be The Amazing Spider-Man once again.

Search twitter to see everyone’s mind blown after this issue. Haters are coming out of the woodwork. Thankfully, we think the death threats to Dan Slott have gone away.

Make mine Marvel NOW!, if this is what we can expect. How do you keep a 51 year old property fresh? Give it to Slott. He’ll kill it, extract it, build it up and then take your toys away. 

Is Peter still out there, somewhere? He’ll be back before Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits the theaters.

IRON MAN 258.1
WRITER: David Michelinie / Bob Layton
ART: David Ross / Bob Layton
Publication Date: May 2, 2013
Price: $3.99
Publisher: Marvel Comics
UPC: 75960607421100111
Buy it HERE

This is a shellhead scratcher if we ever saw one. We know our comics. We love our Armor Wars. We love our Marvel. We love our movies.

Marvel goes back 23 years on the Iron Man 3 box office debut weekend for a Point One initiative two-shot set in the time of Armor Wars II. We’d have loved to see M.D. Bright or John Romita Jr. on a cover but Bob Layton will do.

This is just weird enough for us to be in love with it a little bit.

Who doesn’t love a superhero with a mullet, or computers with 8-bit fonts and dial-up modem sounds?

Also, suitcase armor. The once forgotten about, impossibly heavy, but resurrected for Iron Man 2, suitcase armor. 

Tony is recovering from back surgery and paralysis. It turns out, that Justin Hammer is behind implanting him with nanites to control his body under the guise of recovery.

A drone attack on Stark Enterprises riles Rhody to the company helicopter, and Stark’s body guard, Iron Man takes flight. The autopilot takes over and is on a collision course. Iron Man saves James Rhodes from the crash and destroys the drones.

Back at his doctor’s office, Iron Man investigates the biomass removed from his spine, only to discover he is being played by a computer energy form. Will these bits and bytes spark the nextArmor Wars? Travel back in time or wait until next month to find out!

A detail that made me nostalgic for old comics was thought bubbles. Can’t have too many, in my opinion. And now in modern comics we have none! OK, back to playing Zelda 2 for me!