Weekly Hit (and Miss) List: 10/31/2011

by Ben Peirce

The Weekly Hit (and Miss) List is a rundown of the best and worst things I read this week regardless of their original publication date. It doesn’t have to be new – just new to me.

THE HITS

Amazing Spider-Man #672 | Marvel | D. Slott (w), H. Ramos (a)

We sung it’s praises on our last podcast episode, but the greatness of Spider Island can not be overstated. This had everything a great Spidey story should – great action, unlikely heroics, the best supporting cast in comics and just the right amount of yucks.  Dan Slott dug into the longbox and mined the web of way-back continuity to come up with a fresh story with deep roots. Top that off with art from the Amazingly-talented Humberto Ramos – who captures funny, dramatic, sexy and kinetic, with one epic pencil-stroke – and you have one of the best Spider-Man stories, not just since Brand New Day, but of ALL TIME.  Coming on the lackluster heels of Flashpoint and Fear Itself, Spider Island is an “event” book done right.  Everything you needed was in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man and the tie-ins were not only meaningful, but matched the continuity of the other books right down to dialogue and choreography in overlapping scenes.  We put some heat on Spider-editor, Steve Wacker recently, but I have to hand it to him.  He absolutely crushed it on this one! BUY IT

The Walking Dead #80 | Image | R. Kirkman (w), C. Adlard (a)

[SPOILER-FREE]

Wait a minute there’s a comic book of The Walking Dead?!  If you’re reading this, chances are you’re reading The Walking Dead but if you’re not, what’s wrong with you?  We don’t get to talk about it very much because the many trade waiters are so spoiler-sensitive and I won’t go into any detail here, but Robert Kirkman’s zombie epic keeps shambling along with one great issue after the next and this week reached the 90-issue mark. Folks’ve been a little critical of late about the lack of dental dismemberment but the tension has been plenty high and the character-building that’s been going on will only with increase the impact when the next round of biting starts. Plus, Kirkman has promised us that all hell will break loose by issue #100 so buckle your seat belts and hold onto your blunt objects.

THE MISSES

The Cape #2 (of 4) | IDW | J. Ciaramella (w), Z. Howard (a)

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some retched tales of reprehensible people. And for all I know, this could all be a setup for a rope-a-dope of redemption and heartwarming. But after 2 issues, I wonder if The Cape won’t be a little too off-putting for some people to finish out this mini-series. Based on a short story by Joe Hill, The Cape is basically the story of the worst person you know getting super powers and using them to be absolutely awful to everyone. It’s an entertaining read, but not exactly a “fun ride”. It’s not often I’ll criticize an artist’s technique, but Zack Howard’s use of halftone-screen shading is more than a little distracting. The dot pattern he uses is a little too large and it shows up everywhere, obscuring Howard’s otherwise fantastic artwork. All-in-all, I’m still on board with this series, but if someone were to check out at this point, I wouldn’t hold it against them.

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