Amazing Spider-Man #13: I could enjoy what Slott was trying to do here. After all, Tony Stark is an asshole. It makes sense that Peter might have previously idolized Tony for achieving all that he has with his genius. But, with Peter now having done something similar, you could understand how he'd have a different perspective on Tony. That story would actually show some interesting character growth. But, Slott ruins my willingness to meet him halfway because he also makes Peter an asshole. In this issue, his misogyny is again front-and-center, as he screams at Tony for stealing "Parker's girl" during their obligatory superhero fight. Really? When your misogyny appalls Tony Stark, it's time to reassess your outlook. Moreover, Slott is using way too many shortcuts to get us from Point A to Point B. Harry tells Betty Brant that things are so bad between Mary Jane and Peter that the old gang can't have lunch together, even though we've never even remotely been presented with an explanation for why things are so bad. (If it's because she's working for Tony Stark, then Peter really is a misogynistic asshole.) I could continue, but I don't want to continue. I'm officially reading this series from a sense of obligation to the character. 'Nuff said.
Batman: Rebirth #1: Not a lot happens in this issue, to be honest. Lucius helps Bruce regain his fortune, miraculously removing the Wayne family funds from the government lien on...something. Wayne Enterprises? Honestly, I can't even remember how Batman went bankrupt. It almost seems like a sequel to the movie trilogy rather than the comics. I know that Geri Powers purchased the remains of Wayne Enterprises after the events of "Endgame," but I still have no idea why they had to be sold. Is it just because Bruce died? Why would that reduce the value of the company to the point where Powers could buy it for pennies? Moreover, why would that result in a lien? Wouldn't that be resolved with Powers buying the assets, presumably through some sort of bankruptcy proceeding? But, King and Snyder acknowledge this lack of clarity, with Bruce himself noting to Lucius how often he goes bankrupt and how often Lucius has to save him. By the way, this conversation happens as a shirtless and sweaty Bruce does gymnastics on top of Wayne Towers, so I won't complain all that much. Suffice it to say, it more reminds us that this aspect of the post-"Endgame" story was never really all that clear in the first place. But, now noted, we can move onto other matters. The only other development is Bruce recruiting Duke to work with him, though not as Robin. At this point, that difference seems mostly linguistic and sartorial: Bruce invites Duke to live in the mansion with him while they search for a cure for his parents, and Duke helps him ruin Calendar Man's plan to unleash deadly spores on Gotham. The costume might be black and yellow and he might not be called Robin, but, if it tweets like a Robin, it's probably a Robin. But, I like Duke, so, again, I'm not complaining. Just like "DC Universe Rebirth" #1, I feel like this issue is misnamed, since Batman isn't really reborn at all. But, we'll see where we go.
Civil War II #1: Bendis has always done a solid job in these events in moving us quickly through the story without sacrificing characterization, and he does so again here. The issue starts with a grand coalition of heroes defeating a dimensionally displaced Celestial Destroyer that the Inhumans had predicted posing a threat to the world. Tony throws a party at Avengers Tower to celebrate the win, though he questions how the Inhumans had the information about the Celestial that they did. (Also, doesn't Tony not own Avengers Tower anymore? I though that's why the Avengers are currently based in a hanger in New Jersey. Anyway...) Medusa reveals Ulysses to a core group of the heroes, and Tony brings in Jean Grey to help them understand how his powers work. It turns out Ulysses' mind can't be read, and Tony pretty much draws the line here. As Carol and Rhodey celebrate the possibility of ending threats before they happen, Tony recalls that Ulysses only sees potential futures: after all, his vision of the Celestial destroying the world didn't come to pass, because the heroes stopped it. The issue remains unresolved, but Bendis brings us to the breaking point several weeks later. Carol has lead a mission to stop Thanos from destroying Earth based on one of Ulysses' visions. However, Thanos killed Rhodey and left She-Hulk comatose. Tony arrives in the hospital room where Rhodey's body is held, and he blames Carol for Rhodey's death. Carol asserts that Rhodey would've done it again, since, in the end, they did actually stop Thanos. Jennifer awakens momentarily to tell Carol to fight for the future, though this position seems to contradict her sentiments from "Civil War II" #0. She then appears to die. Bendis does a great job of really conveying the rage and heartbreak that Tony feels, and you can tell that it's going to fuel this conflict. I'm not often Team Tony, but I am here. No one has rebutted his point that Ulysses only sees possible futures, and no one has even considered the fact that they might be creating a worse future by preventing a bad one. Tony has learned this lesson the hard way, but Carol hasn't. I get the sense that she will by the end of this event.
Spider-Man 2099 #11: The problem that I'm going to have for the duration of this arc is that David does too good of a job reimagining the previous run of "Spider-Man 2099:" it makes me wish that we could just stay here in this world and call the time-travel adventure complete. I realized that Father Jennifer was the Goblin from the start (given her response to Miguel saying "Holy...Goblin"), and it made me yearn for us just to have these characters return to our lives. When Kasey as Payback appears to save Miguel with the help of Gabe as Firelight, it was like my favorite band had reformed for a reunion tour. Tempest, Miguel's co-workers at Parker Industries, the Fist: they don't hold a candle to these old-school characters. This issue is the best of the series because you can feel David and Sliney's excitement in letting their imaginations go wild. Any one of the members of the Sinister Six would be an amazing villain; six of them -- particularly the six of them working together -- is too cool for school. David could get to issue #50 just writing about Miguel's conflict with each one of them, and I wouldn't get bored. (I loved Miguel complaining that this world wasn't the way it should be, and Venom sarcastically quipping that they should free him so he can fix it, bringing back "his" world. Peter David, sending up time-travel stories, even as he writes one. He's just too good.) In other words, it doesn't matter that this 2099 is different, that Nueva York is run by the Sinister Six and not Alchemax, etc. It only matters that these characters are back. I hope they stay that way.