Amazing Spider-Man #9: In this issue, we learn that Peter can not only survive a plunge to Earth from low orbit, but can also survive immediately getting a car dropped on him and later jumping off a high-speed train. No problem. Apparently he got Deadpool's healing factor at some point during the re-boot. [Sigh.] Also, the "Parker luck" seems to have changed: he survives his initial fight with Scorpio because Scorpio had to leave immediately, unable even to pull the trigger on his gun. Sure, Scorpio could've just shot Spidey in the head while he waited for the self-driven motorcycle that Gemini sent to whisk him to the train station. Instead, he complained to Gemini via their comm-link about not having the time to shoot Spidey. Unfortunately, the price for getting Deadpool's healing factor and Domino's luck is that he's apparently become an idiot: we learn that he's turned over all of Parker Industries' secrets to Scorpio's civilian identity, Vernon Jacobs, because he's the company's largest investor. I don't really think companies are run that way, where major share-holders can snap their fingers and get all the codes for everything. But, then again, I didn't think Spider-Man could leap from a satellite in low orbit and survive the fall, so what do I know? [Another sigh.] It may really be time for Slott to go.
Illuminati #6: I've been really enjoying "Avengers Standoff." It reminds me of "Acts of Vengeance" and some of the other really well done cross-over events of the '90s. It's just been fun. Sure, you get the ethical debate between Maria Hill and Steve Rogers in the background, but we've been dancing that dance for years. Until this issue, the only hint of emotion was the revelation that Maria Hill was planning on using Kobik on herself. But, here, Williamson does the impossible, turning Crusher Creel into a sympathetic character as he deals with the repercussions of his time in Pleasant Hill. Namely, Crusher has to confront the fact that it was the happiest that he's ever been, a happiness enjoyed in no small part due to his crush on "Eva," a.k.a. Elektra. Eventually, Elektra has to stop him from killing innocent bystanders as he rampages through Pleasant Hill, and Henderson does an amazing job contrasting their fight scene with the dance that "Harold" and "Eva" shared the previous evening. If you're reading this cross-over event, you have to read this issue, because it gives the event its heart. Who knew even Crusher Creel had depths?
Spidey #4: Um, I loved this issue. Seriously. Sure, it's jokey, but it's jokey because Peter's jokey. Underneath the quips, it actually walks us through the challenges that Peter faced as an adolescent hero, particularly the loneliness that he felt at the start of his career, when he alone carried his secret. Oddly, it's Doctor Doom and a boy wearing a Spidey mask named Owen that help him work through it. Doom insists people like them are always lonely, but Owen reminds him not only why he does what he does (because he's a good guy, unlike Doom), but that he's got people that support him (even if they're just kids with jelly sandwiches). It's a really touching story, and it makes me increasingly feel like Thomson really has something going here, continuity aside.
Also Read: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #4; All-New X-Men #8; All-New, All-Different Avengers #8; Darth Vader #18 and #19; Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #5; Spider-Gwen #7; Star Wars Special: C-3PO #1