Tag Archives: Black Cat

Amazing Spider-Man #700 Predictions, Speculation, and Crackpot Theories

With the 700th issue of Amazing Spider-Man coming up this December, it’s only right that I, the Comic Vault’s resident diehard Spider-Man fan, weigh in on what may or may not happen in this momentous issue.  There are a lot of crazy theories floating around right now, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Current scribe (and the best writer on the book since Roger Stern or David Michelinie in my opinion) Dan Slott stated via cell phone at Comic Con a few weeks ago that this is going to be the biggest thing he’s ever done in comics, which is saying a lot coming from the guy who penned the phenomenal Amazing Spider-Man #600 just three years ago.  It’s even been said that what he’s doing in #700 will be so controversial among fans that he’ll have to go into hiding after the issue hits stands, or that this might possibly be his final arc on the book. (Damn you, “Marvel NOW!”)

With the ’90s Clone Saga and J. Michael Straczynski’s “Sins Past” and “One More Day” story arcs, Spider-Man fans have a high threshold for controversy.  At this point, what could possibly be more controversial at this point than Peter Parker’s clone Ben Reilly being revealed as the real Peter Parker and taking his place, Norman Osborn knocking up Gwen Stacy prior to her death, or Peter and Mary Jane trading their marriage to Mephisto (the “devil”) in exchange for Aunt May’s life?

Really, Marvel?  What were you thinking?  That “o” face in the bottom left corner is the stuff of nightmares. And Gwen… You desecrated poor, sweet Gwen!

Maybe resurrecting Gwen Stacy could top the scenarios above, but Slott has already said he (thankfully) has no interest in doing that, as Gwen is much more meaningful dead.

Over at the CBR boards, members have been posting a plethora of crackpot theories regarding what will happen in the issue.  Some have taken a statement that Slott made at Comic Con regarding the future not looking good for Madame Web as a hint that the new Madame Web, Julia Carpenter, will be kicking the bucket soon.  Personally, I think they’re reading a bit much into this and Slott was just being Slott.  Madame Web is a clairvoyant and only has visions when something terrible is about to happen–of course the future doesn’t look good for her.

“The future…always…looks…TERRIBLE…to MEEEEEEEEEE!!!”

Regardless, below is a list of my favorite theories from that thread:

  • Black Cat shows up with a baby.
  • Norman Osborn is Peter’s father.
  • Peter pulls the plug on Doctor Octopus and then goes crazy.
  • Peter gets flung back in time, is stuck, and in a nod to his clone brother, names himself Ben Parker.  He then meets a lovely girl named May Reilly.
  • Peter gives up being Spider-Man to be with Mary Jane or Peter ends up getting killed, with either scenario leading to new sidekick Alpha taking his place.
  • Peter moves to Japan and gets a giant robot.
  • Peter goes crazy and becomes the new Green Goblin.
  • Kaine is the real Peter Parker.
  • Batman subcontracts Peter to become his new gadget man in Batman, Inc. as part of a cross-promotional deal between Marvel and DC.
  • J. Jonah Jameson is actually a 1940s reporter covering the war in Europe.  He is wounded by a grenade blast, which kills his soldier body guard Steve Rogers.  For two months, Jameson has been in a coma, and it’s revealed that the whole Marvel Universe is taking place in his mind.
  • Black Widow becomes Spider-Man’s new crime-fighting partner and Spider-Man has a clone baby from an alternate reality with Mystique.

That’s a lot of outlandishness to digest, huh?  As promised in the first paragraph, though, I also have my own predictions as to what might happen in #700.

The cover for Amazing Spider-Man #700 is a preexisting collage by a French artist named Pascal Garcin.  You could say that this makes the presence of certain characters on the cover arbitrary, but I like to think that Marvel chose to use this cover for that issue for specific reasons.  If you look closely near the bottom, to the left of the center, there’s a Carnage hidden among all of the Spider-Mans.

Hey, look…It’s a schooner!

This leads me to believe that Carnage has some involvement in this issue, perhaps killing a beloved character like Mary Jane Watson.  Despite wreaking havoc in Spider-Man’s world in two mini-series over the last two years and continuing to do so in an upcoming Venom/Scarlet Spider crossover, it’s been years since Carnage has committed mass murder in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man.  This site’s owner, Matt Sardo, even claimed to me in an e-mail that during Comic Con’s Spider-Man panel, “[The panelists] were asked what character they wanted to work with or draw. [Humberto Ramos] mentioned Carnage and then said, ‘Oh, wait.  I’ve drawn Carnage,’ and then he got dirty looks.”  What better time for Carnage to show up and do something chaotic than the book’s 700th issue, 24 years after the character’s “father,” Venom, debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #300?

Speaking of Venom, the border of the eyes on that collage is composed of the character.  I’m going to go ahead and also predict that if Peter doesn’t find out by then that Flash is the guy wearing the Venom symbiote by #700, he’ll probably find out there.

If I’m wrong about Carnage, then the next likely scenario is that the Roderick Kingsley Hobgoblin, rumored to return in the upcoming “Danger Zone” arc, shows up and kills someone.  Either way, I think someone is dying in #700.  Mary Jane is a likely choice, though I’d rather not see that happen.  Sardo wants Aunt May to die, and I have yet to figure out what he has against sweet, little old ladies.  Her husband, J. Jonah Jameson, Sr. may be a more likely candidate for the grave, or possibly other characters that have grown on fans in recent years–like NYPD forensic detective/most recent Peter Parker ex Carlie Cooper or Daily Bugle reporter Norah Winters.

Or maybe in their infinite wisdom, Marvel, seeing that it worked so well in Ultimate Spider-Man, actually do decide to kill off mainstream (Earth-616 for you nerds out there) Peter and replace him with his new sidekick Alpha, at which point they’ll lose me as a reader.  Just because something worked in one universe doesn’t mean it should be spread to the others.

But seriously… Keep any sweet, elderly women you hold dear away from this man.

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #685 – Versus the World

Amazing Spider-Man #685
Writer:  Dan Slott
Art:  Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba [Inks], Edgar Delgado [Colors]

With the promise of a permanent solution to global warming, Doctor Octopus has swayed the world and its peace-keeping forces against Spider-Man, who knows better than to trust Octavius’ word.  Meanwhile, Spidey, Silver Sable, and Black Widow are making runs to shut down all of Doc Ock’s factories in a last-ditch effort to prevent him from launching his satellites.

Meanwhile, the remaining members of Ock’s latest Sinister Six–Mysterio, Chameleon, and Rhino–are beginning to have second thoughts about seeing Octavius’ scheme through now that they have $2 billion each in their offshore accounts.  As a safety measure, Ock secretly contacts several more villains around the globe–one of whom isn’t the villain that Octavius thinks he is, and informs Spider-Man.  In turn, Spider-Man organizes global countermeasures of his own with fellow heroes Union Jack, Sabra, Kangaroo, Big Hero 6, and the aforementioned not-quite-a-villain-after-all.

Whether or not these efforts are enough to prevent Ock’s true motives from coming to light is another question entirely.

With another solid issue in his “Ends of the Earth” storyline, Dan Slott shows just how high the deck is stacked against Spider-Man–and even how far the hero is willing to go to prevent global catastrophe in a Sandman interrogation scene.  Slott also throws in another segment where the Silver Sable shows a romantic interest in Spider-Man (Anyone remember that old What If? issue where Spider-Man married Sable instead of Mary Jane?) and more hinting at the potential rekindling of the Peter Parker/Mary Jane Watson relationship.

Humberto Ramos keeps the story moving at a brisk pace and the panels transitioning smoothly.  It can be easy to get lost between panels when there’s this much action going on, but Ramos avoids that pitfall for the reader entirely.

Now quit reading the reviews and go pick up the actual story!

RATING: EXCELSIOR! 

Review: Daredevil #8, The Marvel Universe’s latest love triangle begins here!

Daredevil #8
Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Kano and Javier Rodriquez [colors]

Mark Waid’s two-part Spider-Man/Daredevil team-up/crossover story wraps up in issue #8 of his acclaimed Daredevil series.

If you missed part one in Amazing Spider-Man #677, here’s what happened:  Spider-Man, looking to rebound from his recent break-up with Carlie Cooper, tried to sleep with former friend-with-benefits and known thief Black Cat again.  Black Cat rejected him and was arrested shortly after returning home, with evidence planted to make it look as though Spider-Man was behind the arrest.  Meanwhile, an advanced hologram projector was stolen from Horizon Labs with security footage altered to make it look as though Black Cat stole the device.  Spider-Man, knowing that the Black Cat was with him at the time stamped on the security vid, sought the help of Daredevil (aka attorney Matt Murdock) to help him get to the bottom of things and clear the Cat’s name.  Black Cat, however, escaped custody and, at the end of the issue, looked to have gone totally bad as she attacked Spider-Man and Daredevil.

See what happens when you miss part of a story?  Shame on you.

Anyways, Waid shifts seemlessly from Spidey’s perspective to Daredevil’s for part two of “Devil and the Details,” which really adds an extra layer of depth.  Stories with multiple main characters are a dime a dozen, but stories told through multiple character’s perspectives are few and far between — and always welcome, as far as I’m concerned.

As Daredevil #8 begins, Spidey and Daredevil work out their differences with the Black Cat which leads to all three teaming up to solve the mystery of who’s behind the frame-up job, as well as the creation of Marvel’s latest love triangle.  This being my first issue of Daredevil, I can see why Waid’s work on the book has been so highly praised.  There’s not one action sequence where something doesn’t happen to remind you that Matt Murdock is, in fact, a blind man.  Waid plays off of that characteristic extremely well in the dialogue between Daredevil and Black Cat, as well as the scene’s involving Spider-Man.  Remember, Daredevil “sees” through his enhanced senses like hearing, and Spidey talks constantly.

The art by Kano (who I was surprised to learn has a career outside of shooting laser beams out of a metal plate over his eye in death matches) is beautiful and strikes a nice balance between traditional comic art and modern fine details.

“Devil in the Details” is a solid story overall, leaving me highly tempted to add Daredevil to my already-overloaded pull list.

STORY: 9/10
ART: 9/10

[amazon_link id=”B006XZ7ZJU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]BUY Daredevil #8 on Amazon[/amazon_link] 

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #677, What Was That Saying About Cats and Bad Luck Again?

Amazing Spider-Man #677
Writer:  Mark Waid
Art:  Emma Rios & Javier Rodriguez [Colors]

Though I enjoyed the vast majority of “Brand New Day,” there were always three writers during that era of Amazing Spider-Man that I hoped would get the permanent gig when the book inevitably became a one-writer publication again.  The obvious first choice was Dan Slott.  The other two were current Avenging Spider-Man scribe Zeb Wells and acclaimed Daredevil writer Mark Waid.

That said, it’s a pleasure to see Waid handling this two-part Daredevil crossover story, “The Devil and the Details,” while Slott catches up on the scripting for (I assume) his big Doc Ock event story that kicks off in a few months.

At the beginning of Amazing Spider-Man #677, Spidey (who is still lamenting his break-up with forensic investigator uber-babe Carlie Cooper) runs into Black Cat and — awkwardly — goes about trying to score a rebound with his old friend-with-benefits.  Unfortunately, smelling of desperation and Axe body spray (which are one and the same) doesn’t get you very far, and Pete is left to sulk alone on New York’s rooftops while Black Cat returns home to…Be arrested?

It turns out that Felicia (or someone imitating her) was caught on video burgling a prototype “H-Phone” from Horizon Labs, and there’s only one thing that can clear her name — a terrific team-up in the mighty Marvel manner!

Sensing that something is amiss, Spidey consults his old pal, legal counsel, and New Avengers teammate Daredevil to help him get to the bottom of it.  Unfortunately, for all their investigating, cracking wise and constantly trying to one-up each other, things might not be as they seem with the theft-prone Ms. Hardy.

Overall, Waid delivers a fantastic first part to this story, providing a nice reminder of what made his previous work on the book great and exemplifying why his run on Daredevil appeared on so many “best of” lists for 2011.  The dialogue is clever and well-written, and interactions between characters are sold even more by the body language conveyed in Emma Rios’ art.  Not to mention that this issue had a cliffhanger ending that I didn’t see coming from a mile away for a change.

I can’t wait to see how this ends next week in Daredevil #8, although I’m worried I’ll end up adding yet another book to my pull list before this is over with.

Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10 

[amazon_link id=”B006UG5N7I” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]BUY Amazing Spider-Man #677 on Amazon![/amazon_link]