The Sunday Pages #71

23rd August 2009 | by | No Comments

It’s one review each in this remarkably uninteresting week, as the team presents capsule reviews of Amazing Spider-Man #603, Ex Machina #44 and X-Men Legacy #227

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #503
Although last issue’s cliffhanger gets only the barest of attention (and boy, I can’t wait to hear the explanation for how Peter survived a dunk in an acid-bath largely unscathed…) this issue actually works quite well, throwing a spanner into Peter’s life from the opposite end to usual as the Chameleon sets about impersonating Peter Parker, wreaking havoc with the supporting cast as he does. It’s good to see inside the Chameleon’s head and learn exactly how deep his impersonations go, and it makes him a surprisingly credible threat for a change. Likewise, the threat of Peter’s dual-identity being revealed hangs over the issue – though it’d work better if the rather ill-conceived “magical protection” wasn’t in place. Alongside the second fairly eye-rolling cliffhanger of the arc (Did the Chameleon manage to kill Harry Osborn?! No. No he didn’t.) it’s actually a rather memorable issue – if only because, for the Chameleon’s powers of analysis, he ultimately comes to exactly the wrong conclusion about Peter’s life. [JHu]

Review: Ex Machina #44
Whooooaaargh, yes. In any long-form narrative worth its salt, there comes “that moment” – where you step out of the smaller, inconsequential arcs in which you’d temporarily been bogged, and suddenly get to watch the pieces being slammed into place for the anticipated climax. And while the nature and source of Hundred’s powers are hardly unexpected, it doesn’t make it any less thrilling to finally, finally have the story told – nor leave any less wondering just what further revelations might be in store. The twist involving hizzoner’s “use” of the white box, meanwhile, further ensures that all the layers of intrigue that characterised this book in its first year or two are back with a vengeance – and at just the right time, it’s back to being a rather excellent and unputdownable merging of technology-based sci-fi and political machinations. It’s hard to believe we’ve only got one more arc to come, but all indications are that after some ups and downs over its run, the series is going to finish on a high. [SP]

Review: X-Men Legacy #227
You can’t fault Mike Carey’s characterisation, but it’s impossible to avoid the feeling that he’s just splashing around in the shallow end at the moment, waiting for permission from Matt Fraction to launch his third version of the ‘adjectiveless’ title. The writer is left working with leftovers here, deploying his characters to clean up some of the fringe elements from the Utopia crossover, but some parts of the story are a little too niche, with only the most underdeveloped members of the Academy X team being available to bump up the cast numbers. There’s some extremely capable art from Dustin Weaver, but if you’re not a fan of Rogue, there’s little reason to pick up the book. [JHa]