This (Past) Week in Comics: Aug. 11 (Spider-Man, Iron-Man, X-Men)

So exactly one month ago, I did a "This Week in Comics" entry that focused on Invincible Iron Man, Ultimate Spider-Man and X-Men. And today, I finally get around to this week's TWIC, which focuses on... hey, look at that, it's the same set of books! Aren't monthly release schedules amazing?

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #13
As I mentioned in that post a month ago, sometimes when certain characters show up, you expect certain things to happen, and the Chameleon plot progresses somewhat predictably. He finds out that Peter Parker, the person whose identity he's stolen, is Spider-Man, so he pretends to be Spider-Man and commits crimes, ruining Spider-Man's reputation. Normally this would be the part of the story where J. Jonah Jameson sees what's happening and yells something like "I told you! I told you he was a criminal! A menace!", but in this book, Jameson is tied up with Peter Parker, being watched over by a second, female chameleon. A female chameleon who SHOOTS J. JONAH JAMESON IN THE HEAD! Look, in comics, a character isn't actually dead until you see a body in a coffin and then see that coffin get buried, and even then half the time it turns out to be a clone or a body double or the person is magically resurrected anyway, so I refuse to believe Jameson is dead. But just in case, let me make it clear that J. Jonah Jameson is one of the few characters who should be off limits for killing. Oh, and the last page, with Aunt May playing the Nick Fury role and telling her team of in-house superheroes to suit up, was just awesome.
Grade: A-

Invincible Iron Man #29
See the second and third words in that title? "Iron Man". This book is called "The Invincible Iron Man", not "The Relatively Defeated Tony Stark". Sure, we get Pepper back in the Rescue suit in this issue, but her only action is flying off, which isn't exactly satisfying. This arc seems to be unraveling slower than most, and could really use an Iron Man-Hammer showdown pretty soon. Also, these issues that are dialogue and story heavy really don't make use of the artist's talents, as Salvador Larroca does great stuff with the action, but his talking heads look strangely distant and lifeless.
Grade: C-

X-Men #2
This is a book that has the right balance of action and story, and the story, while convoluted, is enough to keep me interested. It totally makes sense for Blade to show up in this story, and I'm glad they didn't wait until issue #5 or 6 to bring him in. I also like that they kept Blade true to his character, even though this isn't HIS book -- he was the only one that truly objected to the X-Men's plan -- resurrect Dracula to take on Xarus, the new king of the vampires -- and his objection was the right level of inappropriate. I still don't care about Jubilee, and I'm not sure why she's so important to the vampires, but it least it makes it easier to hate her for being so stupid (and she was pretty stupid in this issue).
Grade: B

I also bought Spectacular Spider-Girl, which I'm once again not going to even give a mini-review. I got it because I like the character, and I want to support her since Marvel seems to be doing everything it can to eliminate her from continuity entirely. The story wrapped up neatly enough in the last part of this four-part mini-series, while leaving enough unresolved so Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz can resurrect the character in the future.

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