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Comic Book Rants & Raves This Week: 12/07/12

We speak our mind on Hawkeye's leap of faith, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN'S twist, Darth Vader's latest appearance, and SHADOWMAN's gruesomely good artwork.

Welcome and thanks for checking out this week's edition of Rants & Raves. Every week I'll point out specific things that I loved and loathed in my new stack of comics. Usually, it'll be divided into 2 rants and 2 raves. However, I'm feeling the holiday spirit, so this week we have 3 raves and only 1 rant.

Once you're all set with reading this, please feel free to chime in with your thoughts on this week's picks. And if you're feeling extra productive, share 4 rants or raves of your own!


Rant: Hawkeye's leap of faith

You're doing it wrong, Hawkeye!
You're doing it wrong, Hawkeye!

Clint, what are you doing, bro?! Aren't you the Avenger that was trained by Captain America? Aren't you the man who rocked the Ronin outfit? I know you're by no means one of the smoothest martial artists around, but you're still better than these fools! Where'd those skills go, man?

Look, Clint, I kinda get it. You're facing a bunch of ninjas armed with blades and you're tied to a chair. That's quite a disadvantage, but these dudes are fodder! Remember that time you and your buddies effortlessly took down a bunch of Hand ninjas? Or what about the time you had the brass to take on Daken? I certainly remember. Is this situation you're stuck in a tough one? Absolutely. But your legs are no longer taped together and I have faith you can take these goons down. You might get a cut or two along the way, but you'll live. At the very least, you can now smash the chair against a wall and break free from it. Come on, man, Glenn did it... you can too! Or... you can jump through the window of an insanely high skyscraper and face certain death. Easy choice, right? Wait! No! Don't pick the window! Ugh.

Luckily for Clint, a comic book character's best friend was on his side that day (no, not pizza dog): plot! Maria Hill randomly shows up on a vehicle and catches up. Let's be real, though... our hysterical archer had no idea she'd be there to save the day. So, Clint essentially chose to jump to his death. Yeah... a bit bleak, eh?

== TEASER ==

Rave: Doc Ock's "magic trick"

You have my attention, Mr. Slott.
You have my attention, Mr. Slott.

It's safe to say at this point you're either on-board with writer Dan Slott's twist or you're pulling your hair out. I understand how some people can be livid that Peter Parker's final story in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is a brain swap tale. But for me, it's got so much more appeal than that! I want to know what Ock is doing now that he not only has a clean bill of health, but also has Spider-Man's power and knowledge! Is he sticking to his bitter ways... or is he trying to build a new life for himself and he'll end up being our protagonist in the upcoming SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN? Or, will this be Otto's swan song? Will Peter get back into his brain and Otto, after living for a bit as Spider-Man, be able to die a remotely happy man? And if so, who will then be the new clawed and more brutal version of Spider-Man?




I'm just grateful this title's bi-monthly because it really helps deal with the suspense.

Rave: Darth Vader being a boss

Like a Bossk (credit to MC Chris for that one)
Like a Bossk (credit to MC Chris for that one)

In the right writer's hands, there can never be enough Darth Vader. Never. The most recent Vader title (GHOST PRISON) was brilliant and badass. Now we have PURGE: THE TYRANT'S FIST and I'm hoping it proves to be equally awesome.

At the very least, we already have a nice serving of Vader doing what he does best: being completely intimidating and killing things in his way. Insurgents about to throw a grenade at him? He uses the force to make his enemy hold onto the explosive and the blast destroys that guy and the allies surrounding him. Clone Trooper remotely questioning his orders? Vader smashes him into some rocks. I'm sure many of you will check this out primarily for Vader, so I'll spare you anymore spoilers!


It's okay, Lorenzo, I'd be crying as well.
It's okay, Lorenzo, I'd be crying as well.

Not only is Patrick Zircher co-writing the title, but he's also illustrating it. Someone give that man a medal. Or at least a cookie. SHADOWMAN dives into some murky territory and it's illustrated with so much disturbing detail. The biggest challenge has got to be Mr. Twist. Your immediate reaction might be to laugh at that name, but your opinion will soon change.

This evil dude struts around stripping people of their body parts to further his own body structure. He's a gory mess of guts, veins and teeth... and it looks awesome. But enough of me babbling about it. Instead, I'll just give you a taste of the comic below.

Eat your heart out, Kingpin.
Eat your heart out, Kingpin.

The book looks fantastic and the writing is every bit as impressive. The whole fantasy and magic genre is generally off-putting to me, but I'm sold on this one and I highly recommend giving it a chance.

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine & IGN Entertainment. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for early updates every week on this on-going feature and his other feature, Best Battles.