This Week in Comics: May 12

Back when I would blog on, I would occasionally do this thing called "This Week in Comics", where I gave brief mini-reviews of the comics I bought that week. I kind of miss doing that, so I'm bringing it back on, and what better week to do it than Marvel's biggest shipment week of the year.

Let's get right to the merchandise.

Amazing Spider-Man #631
This second part of the "Shed" storyline gets to the actual re-emergence of The Lizard, who is one of Spider-Man's oldest and coolest villains. I loved the internal battle between the psyches of Connors and The Lizard. Also the first few pages -- and the last page -- did a nice job tying this book and storyline into the long-in-the-making "Gauntlet" story. 

Black Widow #2
This series launched last month, likely to capitalize on the "Iron Man 2" hype because the character appears in that movie. The book is actually well written, but definitely requires a lot of pre-existing knowledge of Natasha/Black Widow. Also, after reading the first two issues a month apart, I feel like this is one of those books that will read better as a collected trade. Still, the title has a lot of promise, and Daniel Acuña's art is pretty nice.

Iron Man Legacy #2
This was the only book I bought this week that fell flat for me. This was another title launched last month, again likely to cash in on the "Iron Man 2" money train. At this point, Iron Man is probably a character that can carry two monthly titles, but this book is so far removed from the story and quality of "Invincible Iron Man" that it pales in comparison. Plus, the whole storyline reeks of "been there, done that". I still have hopes for this book, but so far it's not looking too good.

Iron Man 2: Public Identity #3
This book is actually an official tie in to the movie, telling a story set in that "six months later" period between the "I am Iron Man" press conference and the Stark Expo scene. I really liked the artwork, though Rhodes could have probably looked a little more like Don Cheadle and a little less like a traditional James Rhodes. The best part of this 3-part series was how it told a decent non-continuity-wrecking story while also tying in the Avengers crossover stuff.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #10
This ongoing series is definitely pushing "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" as my possible favorite regular title. Brian Michael Bendis continues to do wonders telling stories in this universe, which is still recovering from the aftershocks of last year's Ultimatum event. In this issue, things come to a head with Kitty Pryde, and her scene with Kenny in the sewer after their escape from the government agents was really touching. I love how Bendis is able to write a story that doesn't center around Spider-Man or one of his typical villains and still make it engaging. Plus, the twist at the end was pretty cool too, and could have incredible implications for issues to come.

In addition to those books, released this week, I picked up three books that had been previously released but I missed in earlier weeks. Amazing Spider-Man #630 was the start of the Lizard story, and also featured some really cool Black Cat stuff early in the book. I couldn't have been happier with The Many Loves of The Amazing Spider-Man, especially since Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy were the reason I started reading Spidey. Anything involving them -- even a young Gwen Stacy in a flashback -- is quality in my books. Plus, again, the Black Cat story in the book was perfect in tone. The Guild #2 came out a few weeks ago but sold out quickly at my local shop, so I didn't get it until this week. In this issue we finally get to see the seeds of how the guild came together, but my favorite part of the book is still the stuff that goes on in Cyd's life that pushes her more toward the game. It really makes you feel for the character.

Until next time... which may not actually be next week, since I looked at that list, and I might be able to skip the week entirely.