Saturday, September 10, 2011

Spider-Man: The Gauntlet TPB v2

Now that I’m two trades into the Gauntlet, I can see a bit more of what the Spider-team is trying to do. It’s not so much that the Kraven family is organizing everything, but they are certainly hanging around the edges as Spidey’s main villains start getting power-ups.

The trade opens with a nice recap of the Rhino’s origin, and then we get to see how soft and fluffy he’s gotten since he last got out of prison. It’s a cool twist, Rhino is one of those villains who consistently gets shown somewhat sympathetically (in Marvel Adventures Super-Heroes, Tangled Web, and best in Death’s Head II). It totally makes sense that the guy could mellow out a bit and try for the good life. By adding a new Rhino, Spidey’s rogues gallery doesn’t even take a hit, and seeing Rhino go back with his wife really was a nice win for the web-head.

The second story was actually a bit stronger. Dan Slott resurrects Quentin Beck, the original Mysterio, to make life difficult for Peter Parker and Spider-Man. I love the throwaway line that “Beck” delivers about his return. After stating that he’s back, he admits that he might be lying (and could be someone else playing a role). I wasn’t so happy that Silvermane is dead, but seeing him used as a motivational puppet was pretty awesome.

I hear that Carlie Cooper is Peter Parker’s ladyfriend in the current issues of Spidey, but she hasn’t won me over yet. She’s too sad-sack to take over MJ’s place as Peter’s best gal.

The art is strong throughout, with Marcos Martin’s Mysterio pages standing out particularly well. The transparent-mask pages when Spidey holds his breath were tremendous.


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