Amazing Spider Man – Flying Blind
Writers – Dan Slott + Mark Waid
Artists – Humberto Ramos, Emma Rios, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Kano
Flying Blind is a collection of tales set right after Spider Island. Issues #674-677. Oddly enough, one of the shortest collections I have read in a while, but it’s definitely worthwhile reading. Although I may be catching up with the series out of order, it still covers plenty of catch up material that readers can dig into.
Great Heights – Writer – Dan Slott, Art – Giuseppe Camuncoli
Covers issues 674-675 – In a three part arc, the aftermath of Spider Island leaves Manhattan a bit more weary than its used to. With normal people becoming spiders and a herald queen snuffed out thanks to Spidey and the Avengers. The tricky part is repairing relationships, and getting back on their feet. For Peter it is a balancing act of being normal for a change. Plus he’s a single guy, with Carlie walking away, until later she submits to working with Spidey (not Peter) anymore. On another side of the island, an old villain rears his wings with a new set of allies, but all is not what it seems to be. And Peter learns a lesson that his life won’t be the same when Carlie has “the talk” with MJ.
I have to give props to Dan Slott for his writing style, in some of his past works it can be a mixed bag when it comes to action, and drama. Writing Spidey tales really opens up more of his imagination on where very few writers would dare go. Within the three part saga there is more drama than action, and it works in a way opening up opportunity for characters to heal some wounds, and not just deal with bruising one another. Plus I have noticed that the relationship spin with Carlie feels very similar to MJ. However its different because Carlie is a forensic cop, and she carries even more responsibility. Slott feels at home getting to show some of Peter’s weak sides, yet still being a witty character. Which is something readers can identify with the classic tales, it never took itself too seriously yet works when it needs to be.
Credit to Camuncoli (that is a tough name to type) There is some aggressive, yet engaging art here. What works with ASM is the diverse art team that comes together to deliver some fascinating art. With Klaus Janson (inker) and Frank D’Armata (colors) *I remember his designs from his Cap run! Oddly enough there are plenty of John Romita Sr. references in each page; it’s insane that these three were able to convey so much intrigue and drama. Even within scenes where there isn’t much going but chat at a coffee shop between Peter and Carlie, there is still a chill in the air. I really love this art team, and hopefully they’ll work together again soon on more ASM adventures.
Tomorrow the World – A Slott and Ramos production (starring the Sinister Six) #676
Taking a different course, this issue focuses on Spidey’s rouge gallery. On two fronts, the Sinister Six vs The Intelligencia, a humble set of characters that have been bent on challenging the world. With one exception, the other team constructed a Zero Cannon (this bad boy can disrupt an energy field, and dispersing it into anywhere they please) In this tales case, outer space, which doesn’t bode well for either side. When both sides clash, there can only be one team left standing.
Definitely a different tale, this pushes a lot of boundaries that fans have come to life about those timeless villains. Plus they even find themselves actually working together. Neither side actually wants to fight, but Slott delivers some heavy blows here. With two super brains clashing, Doc Ock (in a horrible state of health, he’s literally a corpse within a giant mecha octopus. Challenging the Intelligencia leader MODOK (that friendly giant head, and leader of AIM, or otherwise known as the bagmen from a way back Avengers tale). I have often wondered if these two would ever dish out their smarts, and this is that crazy battle that some may have hoped for. But the ending is one some would never expect. (Plus this tale is the doorway for Ends of the Earth out now in a collection format!
With sweet villainy, comes sweet art! Ramos, Olzaba, and Delgado are an insane team when it comes to action, and there is plenty here. Two teams with only one winner. One of the most interesting scenes is just how Doc Ock gets around, within a mecha Octopus, no longer able to express himself in a regular manner. Ock is now just a corpse with eight legs; it feels creepy and weird but also pretty cool. Assembling his crazy allies and transporting them in a gigantic robot is something to see. Plus the gang from either side is very expressive in their diabolical schemes, even while taking blows there is somehow a well-knit brotherhood that strives to survive any challenge they face.
Devil and the Details – Written by Mark Waid, Art by Emma Rios #676
Where there is trouble, or missing gems, there is a Black Cat. Except she might be the cause of her troubles, and this crime could end her life or behind bars. Spidey seeks the aid of his old buddy Daredevil, as they go on a quest to put the pieces together behind Felicia’s mess. Except along the way, a special moment happens, and it’s not with who you think.
This special two parter is just phenomenal, bringing together a fun dynamic duo. Putting it lightly, it’s a buddy comedy, and a love story rolled into one. Spidey and DD are a classic team like no other, sort of like a classic western pair up. Waid delivers some fun one liners, and segments that anyone has fun reading. But once Black Cat gets into the mix, everything changes, especially the romantic aspect. It just leaves so many possibilities open (even being a tie-in story with the regular Daredevil series). Plus the last page just may leave the reader wanting to find out what will happen the day after.
Details with Rio’s style is insane, it feels and breaths like a manga, yet still keeps the classic Marvel vibe. Which is unique with her art designs, they are open, expressive yet engaging and sexy. With Kano its darker, light on edges, and works great in comparison with Rios’s style, its more of a “night and day” design and its solid. Plus both artists express a bit of an old school design, it actually feels a bit Kirby-esque, full of detail, yet there is so much going on within each page. I really want to see them do more art within ASM!
Overall, Flying Blind is a fun read, although a bit on the short side. I wish there was another tale that covers “the day after” with a certain character and Felicia, it feels so open ended. Well that’s probably saved for the next book. On the plus side, each tale works like a great recipe, and you feel humbled after indulging.