Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1: I had high hopes for this issue, but I'm not sure if Conway actually delivers. Part of the joy of the first iteration of this series was the close relationships the Parkers had with each other. However, those relationships seem frayed here. Peter and Mary Jane spend most of the issue fighting with Annie as she's eager to use her powers, he feels emasculated now that Mary Jane is helping him fight crime (apparently using a suit based on Regent's technology to do so), and Mary Jane might have an eating disorder she's hiding from her family. Conway makes it worse in trying to lighten the mood by pushing a gag where Peter tries to remember his grocery list. (This list appears so often it boggles the mind that Peter could ever forget it.) In other words, it's a rough start for a series many of us saw as correcting the original sin of the current "Amazing Spider-Man" run.
Captain America:. Steve Rogers #7: As I think I said last issue, it's getting old watching Steve march to the inevitable conclusion of this story. We all know he's not going to be a HYDRA agent until the end of time, and I'm losing my patience waiting for that moment. But, the good news is that Spencer seems to be starting us down that road. Steve steps up his plans for HYDRA at the same time as the Red Skull has stepped up his own plans. The Skull invades Sokovia as a way to draw S.H.I.E.L.D.'s attention, planning to spring an as-yet-unrevealed trap on them. Meanwhile, Steve is going to use Baron Zemo in his as-yet-unrevealed plan to take down the Skull, with Spencer revealing they went to HYDRA Academy (or whatever we're calling it) together. It's all a little spy novel-y at this point, but at least it seems like we're making progress.
Clone Conspiracy #2: The only good part of this issue is the return of Kaine, though his return raises more questions than it answers. How is he alive? Is it through New U technology? How did he become a dimension-hopping superhero? Aren't there fewer dimensions now? How did he meet Spider-Gwen? Unfortunately, these questions don't distract from the fact this issue is dreadful. Slott reduces everyone to sounding like a Golden Age villain: Otto spends a full two-page splash page explaining how he's alive to Peter. I get Otto falls into the category of villains who psychologically need to explain their actions, but Otto doesn't even really brag about his superiority until the end of his spiel. I half expected him to refer Peter to certain issues. Then, Peter devolves into a similar stereotype, randomly threatening the Jackal with either clichés or uncharacteristic threats to rip off his head. In the hands of someone like Jason Aaron, we'd be seeing a script more emotionally connected to the plot. Peter would be close to a nervous breakdown, faced not only with resurrected allies and loved ones but with deceased villain he's previously defeated. Instead, he just seems mildly confused. Moreover, I mentioned in my previous review that Slott has a tendency to recycle his own plots. Well, here, Slott has decided to add the (already confusing) "Spider-Verse" to the (notoriously incoherent) "Clone Saga." This sort of event may have worked in the 1990s, but it doesn't work now, where people like Jason Aaron, Kieron Gillen, and Nick Spencer are telling very emotionally grounded stories. God, if only one of them could write Spider-Man...
Star Wars: Poe Dameron #8: This series hasn't reached the heights of "Star Wars" or "Darth Vader," but I've been happy to read it, since it gives us insights into the current state of play in that galaxy far, far away. However, I'm now worried it's actually starting to drop in quality precipitously. This issue focuses on Poe's attempt to find the spy in Black Squadron, and Soule does a good job of showing Poe's distress at just the thought of such a betrayal. But, he conveniently renders Poe unable to see that it's the tech, Oddy, that's the spy. It seems someone looking for a leak would've talked to the other members of the Squadron to see who they told about the plans to free Grakkus; Oddy would've obviously been on that list. Instead, Dameron not only considers Oddy beyond suspicion for no reason (he tells Threepio he's actually the only person he trusts), but he brings Oddy on a dangerous and sensitive mission with him. I get that he can't fully trust the other members of Black Squadron, but taking a newbie on the Resistance's most sensitive mission to a planet where scores of other agents have died is beyond reckless. It's all obviously meant to conveniently strand Poe without an ally when Oddy eventually reveals he's the mole, but it's just too convenient to believe.
Uncanny Avengers #16: This issue is as fun as you'd expect it to be,
with the team fighting a zombie Hulk. But, it's worth the price of
admission just for Deadpool's lament about Siri. I mean, totally, Wade.
Also Read: All-New X-Men #14-#15; All-Star Batman #4; Avengers #1.1; Detective Comics #944; Solo #2