MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER reviews AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #676! “Tomorrow, The World!”

COMIC REVIEW

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #676: “Tomorrow, The World!”

STORY: Dan Slott

ART: Humberto Ramos

REVIEW: Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner

Hola, Arachno-philes! Tis I, Poptards’ resident Spider-Man scholar and local indie horror maestro MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER with a review of the latest issue of ASM!

This is the most fun I’ve had reading a comic in quite a while. And I had a ball reading that RODAN comic I reviewed last week. But this… this is on a whole other level. Dan Slott has delivered a tremendous Christmas present to all of us who love super VILLAINS! If you love the bad guys as much as I do, this issue will bring about mass amounts of euphoric glee.

Spider-Man? NOT EVEN IN THIS ISSUE. The whole issue chronicles an epic battle between THE SINISTER SIX and THE INTELLIGENCIA. With this ish, I’m very close to forgiving Slott for killing off the original HOBGOBLIN. Seriously, this is a villain lover’s DREAM.

Just look at how it begins… “A Secret Underwater Location”. Classic villain setting. Then, the title of the story… TOMORROW, THE WORLD! That really is the perfect title for this story. I LOVE that title so much! I want to steal it and use it for my autobiography. There’s even an exclamation point at the end. You know how much I love putting exclamation points at the end of titles. Best title for a story in ages.

Next point, the new look of DR. OCTOPUS. My take? Well, quoth Obi Wan Kenobi, he’s “more machine now than man, twisted and evil”. But he’s even more machine than Vader. His new “suit” is basically a mobile iron lung with tentacles. He looks more like an Iron Man villain now, or something. Or a Spider Slayer, maybe. My favorite look for Otto is still the spiffy white business suit from the 90’s, but he’s dying of a terminal illness now, so logically, this makes sense. He may not LOOK like the Otto we grew up with, but Slott handles his dialogue so brilliantly, he SOUNDS better than ever.

What do I think of this new Sinister Six line-up? I like it! I’m glad RHINO is on the team, as he’s one of my favorite villains. I love his new “fuck all” attitude. “Since my wife died, there is nothing I want”, he says. And later, when battling the MAD THINKER’s android, “This machine values life more than I do. More than I value my own! And this is why I win, because I do not care…” Awesome. Remember back in the day, when Rhino would go toe to toe with the HULK? I think we’re getting back to that level of villainy with Rhino, and I love that.

So Rhino doesn’t care if he lives or dies, and then there’s Otto again, regarding his new suit, “It’s not a new look, Electro. It’s my last. This is the suit where I will spend my remaining days. It is what I will have on when I die.” And what’s SANDMAN’s attitude these days? “I’m sick a’ losin’ all the time!” Yes, this is a different Sinister Six than we’ve seen in past iterations. With Otto’s deteriorating condition at the foreground, there’s a sense of impending doom, but also a touch of existentialism that gives a weight to these characters that we don’t always get.

With the issue of Otto’s mortality hanging overhead, there’s a sense of urgency now. This is a team with no time to lose. This is a team with something to prove to the world.

They’ve already proven themselves in recent months, with Otto outsmarting TONY STARK over in “The Invincible Iron Man”, the Six’s defeat of the AVENGERS ACADEMY over in that title, and setting a trap for THE FUTURE FOUNDATION while they pillaged the Baxter Building. And in this new story, they look to prove themselves superior to THE INTELLIGENCIA, another team of super villains. Those of the super smart variety: MODOK, RED GHOST (Plus his SUPER APES!), THE WIZARD, MAD THINKER, and KLAW (Or, as MYSTERIO puts it, “Think ‘Big Bang Theory’. But evil”). Otto is offended that he was not invited into this group, and does he ever make them pay!

Interestingly enough, the once dramatic and theatrical Mysterio emerges as “the funny one” in the Six. He’s got lots of great lines in here, which I’m all for. He’s my favorite Spidey villain.

Here’s a random thought… I’ve always loved Red Ghost. Such a wild and creative idea for a villain. A communist genius who can become transparent, and hangs out with super-intelligent apes? That’s awesome. Before his recent resurgence in Hulk as one of the Intelligencia, the last I remember seeing him was in BLACK PANTHER, during Reggie Hudlin’s run. I’m glad to see him back again and involved in such cool stories.

Slott could teach a course on how to write megalomaniacal super villains. I love how the Intelligencia raise their champagne glasses to toast MODOK’s super weapon, “The Zero Cannon!” And MODOK snarling at Otto, “Octavius, you sniveling cephalopod!” This is all classic super villain speak and behavior. This book has at least two great quotes per page, and so many brilliant moments… Electro vs. Mad Thinker, Mysterio vs. Red Ghost (The ending of that was HILARIOUS!), and the surprisingly touching moment between Sandman and the Wizard. They square off as adversaries, but then they express their reluctance to fight each other, “When all’s said and done, we’re half of the Frightful Four. We’re practically family”, says Wizard. That was a really unexpected and interesting moment.

I could rave on and on about this issue, but you get it. I ADORE this issue. It’s an instant classic. THIS is how super villains should be portrayed. Action, humor, drama, this one’s got it all! GO GET IT!!!!!

And THAT is THE WORD, so sayeth THE MASTER!

Mark Mackner is the Mastermind of Monstros Madre, the Philly-based production company responsible for such experimental short films as “bored.dumb” and “Skee-titzin”. He is the writer/director of the forthcoming feature “Daisy Derkins vs. the Bloodthirsty Beast of Barren Pines”, starring Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman and Poptards founder Johnny Destructo. He is also developing EMBALMO!, a new web series based on his 2010 short film of the same name, as well as SILAS KILLINGTON’S CAVALCADE OF CARNAGE, a late-night horror hosting show. Check out a bunch of his short films, as well as updates on all his projects in the works, at monstrosmadre.com.

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