Friday, July 31, 2009

Legen-wait-for it-dary Comic Book Highlights of the Week 7/29/09

Cover of the Week: X-Men Forever #4 (30s Variant Cover)
As always Skottie Young's cover here for X-Men Forever #4 is incredible. Young does a fantastic job placing the X-Men into the Wonderful Wizard of Oz setting.

Teen Titans #73 Highlights
You go girl! Aquagirl official has become my favorite member from this new version of the Teen Titans group. Gotta love that feisty Hispanic attitude.

Who knew that Abraham Lincoln loved Leprechaun Malts.

This spread actually has me looking forward to the next issue of Teen Titans. Something I have not said about this title in a long time.

Ultimatum #5 Highlights
Say what you will about the story in Ultimatum but at least we got some stellar artwork from David Finch. And I like this splash page to open up this issue with Wolverine and his claws having the reflection of Magneto on them.

Haven't they learn, even as a bag of bones Wolverine will not stop fighting just because he has no skin left unless..... all the adimantium of his bone and you fry off all his bones to dust as Magneto does here.

The truth hurts does it Magneto.

Another useless death that does nothing to expand on the plot other than give the reader some more senseless gore.

Am I suppose to be surprised by this death?

Dude, somebody go out and buy Quicksilver some In-n-Out burgers and some pizza.

Ultimatum: Spider-Man Requiem #2 Highlights
Hulk vs. Spider-Man drawn by Mark Bagley is just great.

"Hulk save school bus."

It's tough being a spider(-man), no one ever pays attention to you.

I hope that we see the Ultimate Lizard in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man get a story arc because he is one of the villains I wanted to see get an arc in Ultimate Spider-Man.

Hero among Heroes.

A few broken windows isn't bad. Nothing a good spit and shine can't fix up.

He's alive!! He's alive!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Teen Titans #73 Review

Just as a quick plug, if you haven't already be sure to read and comment on my monster of a review for Amazing Spider-Man #600 now posted at Rokk's Comic Book Revolution.

Creative Team
Writer: Bryan Q. Miller (main story) and Sean McKeever (Ravager back-up)
Artist: Joe Bennett (main story) and Yildiray Cinar (Ravager back-up)
Inker: Jack Jadson (main story) and Julio Ferreira (Ravager back-up)
Colorist: Rod Reis (both main and Ravager back-up)

Story – Child's Play Part 2: Upstairs, Downstairs…

After going through an endless amount of turnover with the team it is finally looking like Teen Titans is getting back on track. Bryan Q. Miller has really done a great job with these two issues bringing back this title to the prominence it once had. Though two issues isn't enough to ensure that this title will continue to be a quality read it is a good start.

While Teen Titans #73 didn't have any action Miller was able to make up for it by being able to do plenty of character work for the new team of Teen Titans. While I still do not like Bombshell, as I still find her to be a second rate Ravager, I like the new dynamic that Miller has given the new team. Miller gives each character a distinct voice which is usually the thing most writers of team books have.

Even though the new team of Titans has yet to go on a mission together yet it was fun seeing how Static, Blue Beetle, Eddie, Aquagirl, and Miss Martian act with one another without their leader, Wonder Girl, around. Unlike the previous dozen issues this new team actually acts not like just another team but a group of friends. And when it comes to Teen Titans that is how the team should act.

It was especially fun seeing how without Wonder Girl that everyone on the team turned to Blue Beetle to be the leader even though he has not shown to be a leader yet. It was funny seeing his reaction to everyone turning to him to lead and his nervousness to do so and then having Aquagirl stand up and put everyone in place. In just a few short issues I gotta say Aquagirl is probably my favorite member on the team right now.

The addition of Traci 13 into this story arc is a good use of a guest star in this story arc. In the last issue we saw that Aquagirl and Traci 13 had some animosity between the two, mostly from Aquagirl's part, because of Aquagirl showing attraction to Blue Beetle. And it is was cool seeing the two girls working together in this issue in order to save Wonder Girl.

Also I liked how Miller developed the latest version of the Fearsome Five. Miller does a good job making the Fearsome Five into a viable threat for the Teen Titans to face and makes it almost even as both teams have plenty of heavy hitters on each side. And the addition of the Calculator telling the Fearsome Five what to do makes the fight between the two teams more unpredictable.

Now I will say there were a couple weaknesses with this issue. The first being the Calculator's involvement in this story. The last time we saw him he was being taken away by the authorities in Oracle: The Cure mini-series. It would have been nice to see how he escaped just so that we have some continuity with what has recently happened to the character.

The other problem I had with this issue was with the Ravager back-up story we got in this issue. Back during Sean McKeever's run on Teen Titans the one of thing that he was able to do right with this title was how he handled Rose's character. Which is it is surprising that he is writing such an underwhelming story with the Rose back-up story. There really isn't much to the Rose story in this issue as the story involving Rose feels one-dimensional. What would be best for McKeever's back-up story is if he adds one of the current or former teammates of Rose from the Teen Titans to her story as she is a much better character when she is able to bounce of another character with her dialogue.

Issue Rating
Story: 7.8/10 – Millar does an excellent job building the team dynamic for the new group of Teen Titans and the story with the Fearsome Five return and Calculator's revenge was well done in this issue. Though I wish I could say the same thing for McKeever's story but sadly his story was the only real disappointment in the issue.
Art: 8/10 – Joe Bennett's artwork for the main story and Yildiray Cinar provide plenty of good artwork throughout the issue for both stories.
Overall: 7.9/10 – The problems with the back-up story aside, Teen Titans #73 was another solid issue. Millar and Bennett are doing a great job with the main story in this title. And I can't wait to see how the battle with the Fearsome Five ends up in the next issue, which is something I have not said about Teen Titans in a while.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Previewing the Weeks Releases: 7/27/09 - 8/2/09

While I haven't done a preview for the week in a while I have decided to start previewing the week ahead but with an added wrinkle of adding any DVD/Blu-rays, manga, movies, and video games I get, watch, or rent that are released that week along with the comics. I will also put a hyperlink to the preview of the things I get that week that I am able to find on the internet.

Teen Titans #73
– The last issue of Teen Titans was a surprisingly good read. Hopefully Bryan Q. Miller can continue that momentum into this issue and get this title back on track.

Ultimatum #5 – After going through the horror that has been Ultimatum the final issue of one of the worst events in comic book history is almost over. The only real reason I have bother to pick up this mini-series is because I actually am looking forward to Ultimate Comics launching next month and I just want to see how this event affects the Ultimate Universe.

Ultimatum: Spider-Man Requiem #2 – The first issue of the "final" days of Ultimate Spider-Man was an excellent beginning to this two part story. I really liked the mix of Immonen and Bagley's artwork though I hope for this second issue that Immonen gets a chance to draw more of the aftermath of the Ultimatum wave and not just leave this issue to be another flashback story.

Dragonball: Evolution – Even though I have heard only negative reviews on this movie as a Dragonball fan I am still going to go out and rent it to see if the live-action adaption to one of my favorite mangas is as bad as people say it is

Green Lantern: First Flight – DC has done a great job with their straight to DVD animated movies so far and from the trailer I am looking forward to the adaption of Hal Jordan's origin story.

The Spectacular Spider-Man: The Complete First Season – With the Spectacular Spider-Man now into its second season we are finally getting a full collection of the first season of this great show on DVD. If you still have not given The Spectacular Spider-Man a shot than do yourself a favor and pick-up this season DVD as it is one of the most faithful and best comic book cartoon adaption we have had.

Funny People – Though I probably won't get a chance to go to the movie theater this week I am still undecided if I should watch this movie or wait until it comes out in DVD. Still the trailer looks good and a typical Judd Apatow movie.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekly Comic Book Reviews for 7/22/09

Green Lantern #44

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Doug Manhke
Inker: Christian Alamy, Doug Manhke, Tom Nguyen, & Rooney Ramos
Color: Randy Mayor

Story – Only the good Die Young

Now this may not be the popular opinion of but I am was very disappointed by Green Lantern #44. This issue was a very thin read that as Johns continues to disappoint me with his storytelling abilities. While I did give a good score to Blackest Night #1 last week it was mostly because it was a first issue and I understood that Johns had to make it new reader friendly so I wave off most of the negatives of the issue. But now with how big this event is I am not willing to read through more of Johns stalling tactics as he waste the whole issue on things that we already knew about Blackest Night and we are never really learn more about the event and the Black Lanterns.

Now before I continue my rant I will say there was something good to take out of this issue as Johns does an excellent job making J'onn a complete badass. With the way Johns is writing Black Lantern Martian Mahunter it makes me wonder why the character has been so poorly handled when he was alive. I really liked that the Black Lantern version of the character reminds not
only Hal and Barry but the reader as well that he is one of the characters that is just as powerful as Superman.

Also I have to give much props to Doug Manhke for kicking ass on the art. As always Manhke does an excellent job capturing the epic feel of Blackest Night and does a great job with the fight scene between Hal and Barry vs. Black Lantern Martian Manhunter.

As I said before the problem with this issue that takes away from the good of the issue is that it reads very thin as Johns moves the story in a very slow pace. While I like Hal and Barry as characters I have really become less and less interested in scenes with just the two characters alone with one another. Right now Johns just seems to be wasting time as all the scenes between the two characters read the same as their scenes in Flash: Rebirth and Blackest Night #1. I might have like their interaction as well as their fight with Martian Manhunter if Johns did not dedicate 2/3's of the issue to them and their fight.

The real problem I have with this issue is that Johns is dealing with such a huge story that is not just about a few characters like most events DC and Marvel have done but it is a galaxy spanning event that stars a huge cast. In many instances Blackest Night is a event that is 20x bigger than War of Kings with the amount of characters Johns has to handle. And with how big the event is Johns should not be wasting time with slow pondering issue were he continues to focus on Hal and Barry. With all the build-up I want to see more development with Larfleeze sending his Orange Lanterns to attack the Blue Lanterns, the Green Lanterns vs. the Red Lanterns, the Sinestro Corps vs. the Violet Lanterns, reactions to the Black Lanterns rising across the universe, and other storylines that have been developing since the end of Sinestro Corps War and even before that Green Lantern: Rebirth Johns should not be wasting time with these type
of issues.

Johns even teases some these things yet again with a spread of these developments that was similar to the one we got in Blackest Night #1. So with the size of this event and how many interesting characters that are involved in the War of Lights Johns need to share the love across the universe and not to just two of his pet characters.

Issue Rating
Story: 4.1/10 – Johns continues his way of stalling tactics of storytelling that I have become tired of after a year and half of the same thing.
Art: 9.4/10 – Doug Manhke does a great job with the art and is one of the only saving graces of this issue.
Overall: 6.75/10 – Green Lantern #44 was yet another disappointing issue of this series. With how big Blackest Night is that it is not just an event involves the Earth and its heroes but the entire universe and the different Lantern Corps we cannot keep getting issues like this one.

Nova #27

Creative Team
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Andrea Divito
Colorist: Bruno Hang

Story - Shock & Awe

Picking up were the last issue left off Nova #27 we see that Richard and his two fellow Nova Corp members racing off to save his brother. Even though this issue is suppose to be a War of Kings tie-in DnA make this issue read more of an extension of the direction of this comic book has been on since the first issue and not just a senseless tie-in. And this is where DnA have really been excelling in with the tie-ins that we have had in both Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy. If anything else War of Kings has served as an excellent backdrop to further develop the Marvel cosmic characters that DnA have made me to become a big fan of.

Another thing they continue to do well is the dialogue of all the various characters in this book. While DnA have not really made me like Richard's brother Robbie they have done a good job with rebuilding the Nova Corps and introducing some very good characters like Morrow and Irani who are his partners in this issue. It is great seeing Richard become more of a leader of the Nova Corps as he has that confident aura around him that takes to be a good leader.

Even in the situation of desperation were he has to save his brother and has to get through all the Negative Zone prisoners that are on the planet his brother is in Richard is able to stay calm and assess the situation even trying to make peace with Blastaar. And it is a nice parallel to how Morrow, Irani, and Robbie do things as rookie Nova Corp members as they rush into situations without thinking things through.

And while I was hoping to see more of a fight between Nova and Blastaar the interaction between the characters made up for it. I like how Nova and Blastaar have an underlying respect for one another and Blastaar is still able to maintain menacing figure he is as the reader knows that he will betray Richard as soon as he gets the opportunity.

I am really looking forward to seeing how Blastaar will figure into War of Kings and how his new escape from the Negative Zone will affect this title as it seems he could become a primary foe Nova will face in the future.

Issue Rating
Story: 8.5/10 – DnA continue to do an excellent job with all of the character work developing the new Nova Corps and Richard's return to being Nova Prime again.
Art: 8.2/10 – Andrea Divito provides some very good artwork and he does a good job with the cosmic look of Nova.
Overall: 8.35/10 – Nova #27 was another good read as DnA, along with Divito, continue to work their magic in making the Marvel cosmic side one of the most interesting aspect of the Marvel Universe.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Legen-wait-for it-dary Comic Book Highlights of the Week 7/22/09

Cover of the Week: Amazing Spider-Man #600 (John Romita Jr. Variant)
Honestly when I went to my LCS I was looking to get this cover with Amazing Spider-Man #600 but sadly my LCS didn't get any of John Romita Jr.'s variant cover and I wasn't willing to pay $20 for the cover at my other local LCS. Still this cover is just great and Romita Jr. just knocks it out of the park. This cover takes me think back to when I was a kid and hunted down every Amazing Spider-Man issues I could find.

Amazing Spider-Man #600 Highlights
See kids it does not pay to be a supervillain. A lot of head trauma happens in that line of villains.

Even though Peter has been re-revealed his identity to the New Avengers and Fantastic Four I was surprised that Daredevil wasn't the first one he re-revealed his identity to. And even though I thought Daredevil would find out here his reaction and advice to Spider-Man was very in character with all the crap Matt has dealt with over the past few years.

Okay I know I should not have laughed at Wolverine threating Spider-Man to stick his claws up Spider-Man's you-know-what if he did not shut-up I did laugh.

Doc Ock's new look. While it looks a bit lame I just love Romita Jr.'s design as it looks creepy and sad at the same time.

Woman are all arms. But honestly I put this in here because I really like how Romita Jr. drew Human Torch in this issue and would love to see him draw a Human Torch mini-series.

Spider-Man is lucky that Human Torch is a good shot as it would have ruined his whole weekend if Human Torch wasn't.

Just as Peter was going to finally get a date with Carlie Johnny steps in and gets asked by Carlie to be her plus one. That is some serious cock-blocking by Johnny.

I think all us guys would all love to do what Johnny suggested he would do if Carlie caught the bouquet.

While it does seem obvious that MJ would appear for the cliffhanger ending I was surprised when I first read the issue. Though MJ in this image looks a bit "used up."

This is from Stan Lee's and Marcos Martin short story and as always I will say Martin needs to get another story arc on Spider-Man as his art is just plain amazing.

This is a nice ending from Waid's and Doran's Uncle Ben and Peter story as we see more of the relationship between the two when Peter was a kid.

Anytime I get to see the Spider-Mobile in an story it is a win in my book.

Okay seriously preview splash page to the things that will happen in the next year's worth of Spider-Man stories really has me excited for Amazing Spider-Man. If you have not picked up Amazing Spider-Man yet I strongly recommend starting with ASM #600 as it looks like we are in store for some great stories.

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #5 Highlights
I did not pick up LO3W as I was waiting for the TPB but I thought this image I saw from Kirk's review of this issue was both funny and an awful ending to a series that has taken a year to finish that I had to include it in this weeks Highlights of the Week.

Green Lantern #44 Highlights
Maritian Manhunter has never looked more badass than he does now with his Black Lantern look.

Re-living old memories is great well unless they are the ones were you did horrible things that you have tried to forget/repress.

I just wish this fight between Hal and Barry would have gone on longer as it would have been fun to see the Speed Force vs. the Green Lantern ring.

Things don't look good for John as he witnesses all of the Black Lantern rings flying across space. I continue to get the feeling that John will die during Blackest Night and this image feels it will happen.

Guardians of the Galaxy #16 Highlights
Nothing like seeing the old school team back together. To bad I do not recognize any of them other than Major Victory since my first experience with the GOTG is this new incarnation.

This Celestial Engine reminds me of the Source Wall.

Nova #27 Highlights
This just got me excited to see a Nova vs. Blastaar fight. I thought the fight was way to short.

Just an awesome poster image of Nova going out to save his brother. The next issue of Nova should be great.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Naruto Volume 45 Review

As many know I am a fan of anime but I am also a big fan manga. My love for manga almost rivals my love for comic books. So I decided to start reviewing manga's here at the Legacy. My manga reviews will follow the same rating format as my comic book reviews. To start things off I thought I would start by reviewing the latest volume of Naruto.

Writer and Artist: Masashi Kishimoto

Story – Battlefield, Konoha!!!

Chapters Collected – Ch. 413–422

While time jumps in mangas isn't a new story idea the 2-3 year time jump that Masashi Kishimoto gave Naruto was the best decision he could have made. The time jump has made Naruto a hundred times better than the pre-time skip Naruto. While I like the first part of Naruto overall I thought this was an average, and sometimes boring, read before the time skip. But now that Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke, and the rest of the cast have mature and become better ninja's the series has really stepped up its game with both the characters evolutions and the stories being told.

Now as for this volume of Naruto it starts off with Sasuke and his Team Hawk continue their battle with the Eight-Tailed Beast host Killer Bee. For a while now Sasuke has really become the star of this series as for the past few volumes have placed more of a focus on Sasuke while having Naruto, Sakura, and the others playing secondary roles as Sasuke takes focus of the series. And from Sasuke's battles with Team Kakashi, Orochimaru, Itachi, and now Killer Bee Kishimoto has really built Sasuke up to be one of the strongest characters in the Naruto Universe.

Now I will admit I am not a very big fan of Sasuke's character as I find his personality, even with some of the conflict, to be very dull and his dialogue sometimes comes fall flat. And his power upgrade during the time skip with Orochimaru's training and then obtaining the Mangekyo Sharigan has felt like I am reading Dragonball again.

With that said I got to admit I like the relationship that Kishimoto has given Sasuke with his new team made up of some interesting characters in Suigentsu, Karin, and Jugo. All these characters share a nice chemistry as they all have some animosity towards at least one member in the group while also being able to work well together as a team. And I like how in this volume were they begin to get dominated by Killer Bee in his full transformation into his Eight-Tailed Beast form, that looks like a big bull, and we get to see that even with all the animosity on the team each member tried to protect the others. This battle with Killer Bee was really the first test for Team Hawk to see how well they would work well together

And even though I don't really like Sasuske I still like seeing him bust out his Mangekyo Sharigan and using the Amaterasu. This black flame jutsu is always cool to look at and I like how Sasuke showed concern for his teammates being attacked by the wild nature of the Amaterasu. It was good to see that Sasuke actually in some way cared for his teammates as he saved Karen, who was set on fire do to the Amaterasu, by using his Mangekyo Sharigan to put out the flame. What will be interesting to see from this point forward is how bad Sasuke's vision is going to get as this volume showed that the use of the Mangekyo Sharigan is affecting his vision.

Also I liked that Killer Bee, the Eight-Tailed Beast, was not captured and just used one of his tails to create a clone to make Team Hawk and his village he was captured. Killer Bee has turned out to be a very entertaining character and while he has some stereotypical lines with his rapping and saying Muhammad Ali lines. It would have been to repetitive if the Akatsuki captured yet another Tailed-Beast as they already have 7 out the 9 Tailed-Beast and if they captured yet another Tailed-Beast it would really bring into question just how powerful the Tailed-Beast are if all but Naruto have been captured.

Also I do wonder why Killer Bee did not return to his village since his brother is the Raikage as he seemed to have a good relationship with his village. But I guess everyone needs a vacation, even Tailed-Beast hosts.

Now while Sasuke, his team and Killer Bee dominated the first half of the volume we finally get to see Naruto and the rest of Konoha back on the spotlight for the last few chapters of the volume. It was good to see Kishimoto return his attention to Naruto and the gang who have been lacking some panel time.

Naruto's training to master being a Sage has been entertaining to see. The best part this training that Naruto is going through is that we are finally getting to see Naruto develop more skills other than his Rasengan and Shadow Clones, which have been all the jutsus he has relied on. Also his relationship with the different Toad summons is nice and I like seeing his relationship with Fukasaku grow into a similar relationship that Naruto had with Jiraya. And it seems that he is developing his own jutsu when he is not training with Fukasaku that none of the Toads know about which may be "that jutsu" that Jiraya talked about before Naruto went off on his first mission post-time skip.

Also I liked that we got to hear some of the story from the book that Jiraya wrote about, "The Legend of the Gutsy Ninja," that was mentioned in Jiraya's flashback to one of his conversations with the Fourth Hokage and the Fourth's pregnant wife. From the few parts of the story we saw it draws a nice comparison with Naruto and good motivation for Naruto to become the ninja Jiraya had in his book.

I got to say that I was surprised to see Pain finally take action against Konoha as I was expecting it to be a bit later. Before Madara showed himself I thought Pain would be the end boss for this series and even when Madara showed up I thought he was going to be one of the final villains be defeated before Naruto, Sasuke, and others faced Madara. But now that Pain has attacked Konoha I am not sure.

In any case I did enjoy seeing how powerful Pain is. We already saw some of Pain's powers back when he fought against Jiraya. But even though we got a sample of his powers it looks like we are going to get to learn more about Pain's powers as there are a lot of powerful ninjas in Konoha like Tsunade, Kakashi, Guy, Shikamaru, Hinata's, and Choiji's fathers and others. Even if Pain is a super powerful ninja he should still have to show off most of his powers.

I hope that this new arc with Pain attacking Konoha that we get to see more of the older ninjas like Kakashi and Guy take up some of the spotlight as Naruto's generation has been dominated most of the major fights we have had post-time skip. From the looks of it that is the way things are going as Kakashi already started fighting one of the Pain's and showed off some impressive skills as he went toe-to-toe with two of the Pain bodies. And with how the last chapters went down it looks like we are going to get more action from the older generations of Konoha.

Also it was interesting to see Tsunade stand up to her two advisors. Those two elders have needed someone to speak up and call them out on their bullshit. The only thing that would have been better was if she would have actually knocked one or both of them out. Though Tsunade standing up to the two of them may mean they will join Danzo who has been looking to become Hokage. I will be interested to see what role Danzo plays in this invasion arc.

Volume Rating
Story: 9.2/10 – The ending of Team Hawk vs Killer Bee and the beginning of Pain's invasion of Konoha were great. Kishimoto does a great job with all of the dialogue with the further evolution of the characters.
Art: 8.6/10 – Kishimoto continues to impress with his art as all the characters and their jutsu are very well drawn. I can't wait to see him show off all the different jutsus of Pain, Kakashi and others in the next volume that will continue this invasion arc.
Overall: 8.9/10 – Kishimoto continues to tell great stories post-time skip. Each volume of Naruto just continues to get better than the last and volume 45 was no different. I can't wait to see how this invasion arc turns out as there are a lot of story possibilities in this arc with all of the characters involved.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #599 Review

As you all know I have been writing reviews for Rokk's Comic Book Revolution. And I decided that since I do not post reviews for the comics that I review for the Revolution here on my blog during my weekly reviews I decided to re-post my reviews I do for the Revolution here as well. Now just as a warning these reviews are done in the style at the Revolution so they contain a lot more spoilers than my typical reviews.

Joe Kelly has been money so far with this "American Son" arc. He has done a very good job having "American Son" feel like it is the Spider-Man event this series has been building towards since Brand New Day started. I can't remember the last time I was this excited to read an issue of Amazing Spider-Man. And I am sure Kelly has a great ending in store for American Son before Amazing Spider-Man reaches issue #600.

Creative Team
Joe Kelly
Artists: Stephen Segovia, Marco Checchetto, Paulo Siqueira and Amilton Santos
Colorist: Chris Chckry and Jeromy Cox

Story: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue begins with Harry, in his American Son armor, fighting with his father, who is in his Iron Patriot armor. Harry is getting his ass whooped as Peter is crawling on the ground trying to get up.

As Peter watches Harry and Norman fight, he starts flashing back to his and Harry's time in college when they were kicked out of a frat party. In the flashback, we see that Harry just had a meeting with his dad and that he was angered after his dad told him he was useless and that Harry should be more like Peter. After the meeting with his dad, Harry felt like punching someone and he did not want to punch Peter so that is why he punched a guy at the frat party. Upon hearing his story, Peter tells Harry that from this moment on that they are brothers.

Back to the present, Harry and Norman continue their fight. Norman tells his son that he offered Harry everything. Even the chance to kill Spider-Man. Harry says that he did want Spider-Man to die but that after learning that Norman impregnated Lily that Harry now wants Norman dead. Norman cracks a smile and says "You have to admit, it is funny as hell." (Man, that's cold Norman. Though, I can't say I'm surprised he finds that funny.)

Harry uses the shield on his armor as a battering ram and sends Norman flying out of the Avengers Tower and into a nearby park. Lily/Menace sees Norman being knocked out of the Tower and goes after him to see if he is safe.

As that is going on, Harry spots Spider-Man without his mask on and hiding in the shadows. Peter, with tears in his eyes, tells Harry he is sorry for leaving him alone to face Norman. After staring at a maskless Spider-Man for a moment Harry speaks up and tells Peter that his helmet shut of the vision so he does not know Spider-Man's identity. Harry tells Spider-Man to stay out of his business.

In another part of Avengers Tower the security guards are trying to help everyone to evacuate the building. Norah is running down the stairs. Norah gives a kiss goodbye to the guy who helped her get the information on Norman. Norah leaves the building thinking to herself that she has a hell of a story to write.

The scene switches to the park were Norman landed. Norman tells his H.A.M.M.E.R agents to inform the media this is all a training exercise and that the (Dark) Avengers are on crowd control.

Lily/Menace finally arrives to were Norman is and ask if he is okay. Before they can get into a serious conversation, Harry attacks Norman and they resume their fight. Norman and Harry start to brawl with Norman gaining a clear advantage. Norman punches Harry hard enough to break Harry's helmet. Suddenly, Spider-Man, with a makeshift mask/cloth, attacks Norman from behind. (Did anyone else hope that Peter would become the Amazing Bag-Man again?)

Spider-Man uses his webs to toss Norman to the ground. Spider-Man is then attacked by Menace and her glider. Even though Spider-Man thinks to himself that he does not have any more energy he is still able to make sure Menace does not interfere in Harry and Norman's fight by making her crash her glider into the ground.

Harry and Norman continue their fight. Harry has the advantage this time around. Harry is able to destroy the Norman's helmet. Harry goes for the finishing blow. Suddenly, Spider-Man, after remembering what Wolverine told him, stops Harry.

Spider-Man repeats Wolverine's words to Harry and tells him if he really does want to finish Norman off to aim for the neck and not the head. Harry ask what exactly Spider-Man is trying to do. Spider-Man says that if Harry really does to kill Norman he would only become the son Norman wanted.

Harry thinks it over and as it looks like Harry will actual go through with it he takes off all of the American Son armor off and says his goodbye's to Norman. (He does not call him father. He actually does call him Norman.)

A couple hours later at Columbia University Medical Center Peter is in bed all bandaged up,. Peter makes an excuse of having been involved in a hit and run. Peter is visited by Aunt May and Jay. After some nice banter between Peter and Aunt May, were we find out Aunt May has both a Facebook and Twitter, she leaves with Jay. Peter then looks at some flowers that Harry sent him.

The scene switches over to a doctor's office where Harry ask his doctor if she can prescribe him something to deal with a "medical trial" drug he received. (The supersoldier drug his dad gave him in Amazing Spider-Man #596.) The doctor asks Harry what he took. Harry does not responds. The doctor then prescribes Harry some Oxycontin.

The scene switches to Norah's apartment were Norah is talking to Ben Ulrich over the phone saying she got the story. As she talks to Ben she is watching the video she got with footage the guy she stole the keycard from. The video also shows Norah using the keycard. This freaks Norah out and she tells Ben that maybe she does not have a story and that she will talk to him later.

Back at Avengers Tower, Norman is hugging Lily's pregnant belly talking to their soon to be born son. After shutting Lily up, Norman tells his unborn son that he will be his heir. Norman tells Lily that the baby kicked which gives Lily a frighten look. End of issue.

The Good: Amazing Spider-Man #599 was a good ending to "American Son." During my first read through of this issue I did not like how Joe Kelly ended "American Son." But after going back and re-reading this issue again the light came on in my pathetic brain and I realized what Kelly was doing with this final issue and this story arc in general.

The "American Son" arc was a character study about the friendship between Peter and Harry and how Harry finally stepped up from being known as Norman Osborn's kid into being his own man. And even though this title is called Amazing Spider-Man the star of this issue was Harry while Peter played more of a secondary role.

Even though Peter has had his failures in his personal and professional life it can be argued that Harry is an even a bigger failure. All Harry wanted was to get approval from his dad, even though Harry did not want to admit it. Even when he became the Green Goblin, Harry was still seen as second to Norman.

No matter what Harry did it was never good enough. All of this caused his life to go into a downward spiral into drugs and alcohol, failed marriages, and other problems. We even find out that the one business venture that Harry has gone into, the coffee shop that he and his friends hang out in, is failing. All in all, Harry is a failure because he has never let himself step out of Norman's shadow. That Harry still lived off his father's money just like every other spoiled rich kid.

Joe Kelly really nailed this part of Harry's character. Finally, after everything that has happened to Harry, he stepped up and confronted his father after finding out Norman impregnated Lily. It was good to see Harry stand up to his father. Even though Norman reminded Harry of all his failures throughout the fight Harry was able to push through all the insults and finally defeated his father.

This is what made the fight between father and son feel like it was different from other fights as there was a true emotional aspect to the fight the has been built up for decades, not just over a few issues or a year. We were reminded just how long Harry has held in his hatred for his father with the flashback to Harry and Peter's college life that went along with the first few pages of the fight. Even though Harry could have finished Norman off at the end he chose not to because he knew that was just what his father wanted. Harry showed that he was finally able to step out of his father shadow and become his own man.

It will be interesting to see how the Amazing Spider-Man writers handle Harry's character from this point forward. From the last scene with Harry it looks like he may fall back into his drug habit due to the lingering effects of the super soldier type serum Norman gave him a few issues back.

Another thing that Kelly did very well in this issue was to emphasize how important Harry is to Peter's life. No matter the problems they have had in the past both of these characters see each other as brothers. These two characters have always had each other's back even when the other person does not want help.

This fact made having Peter basically as spectator to the Norman vs. Harry for the first half of the issue have some more emotional weight to it as he could do nothing but watch. And it was cool to see even with all of Peter's injuries and not having a mask that Peter was still able to help his best friend out by fighting off Menace.

I liked how Peter stopped Harry from killing Norman by repeating the same words that Wolverine gave him back in the first issue of this story arc. Then Peter let Harry make his own decision. Kelly did a nice job referencing how Norman would come back from almost any blow and that if Harry does want to finish Norman then he should make sure it is permanent by chopping off Norman's his head. But even though Peter repeated Wolverine's words he did throw in how he knew what Harry was about to do was exactly what Norman wanted and that Peter needed to remind Harry he was the better man.

What will be interesting to see is if Harry did actually find out Peter is Spider-Man. The scene between the two gave a hint that Harry did see Spider-Man's unmasked face, but it was a bit ambiguous with if he does know or not.

Also, I thought Norman was portrayed perfectly in this story. This is the type of Norman that I remember. All of Norman's dialogue to Harry was something not said by a person in control, but by a man with no remorse for what he was doing or saying would affect the other person. Only Norman could get away with what he did in stealing Lily, impregnating her, and then having her tell Harry it was his kid and still be in character. It is warped things like those that Norman does that made Harry finally defeating his dad feel more satisfying. Norman's warped tendencies that we see in this story arc have been missing with some of his portrayal in Dark Reign.

I especially liked Lily's reaction at the end of the issue as Norman talked to their son in her belly. She really looked horrified as she seemed to realize that as soon as their son is born that Norman will kill her in order for no one to get in the way of raising his heir. This is something as a reader I expect to happen and hope that is actually carried onto some of the Dark Reign titles, like Dark Avengers, as it would be interesting to see this relationship between Norman and Lily developed more.

That brings me to my favorite part of this story. Kelly did an excellent job using the current Dark Reign story going in the Marvel Universe and seamlessly integrating it into Amazing Spider-Man without making it feel like another forced Dark Reign tie-in.

In the end, "American Son" was not a Dark Reign story but a story that has been built on all of the events that have happened since Brand New Day started. It is rare to find stories like this in ongoing series anymore as something like "American Son" could have been a mini-series event or tied into another book like the current Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men crossover.

Story arcs like "American Son" is something that I wish Marvel and DC do more of. This is the right way to build a story organically out off smaller story arcs within a title rather than just building up a story for a year and having an mini-series event happen.

Now, while Peter, Harry, and Norman were the stars of the issue, I did like the small character moments that Kelly injected into this issue. Through this story Kelly has done a fine job making me like Norah's character more as she showed off her investigative journalism skills. I liked the horrified look in Norah's eyes after viewing the video that she was excited to get earlier in the story. It is something as a rookie reporter she still doesn't know how to handle and I am interested to see how the Spider-Man writers handle her character with what she saw on the video.

Also, I liked the short one page scene with Peter being visited in the hospital by Aunt May and Jay. The scene gave this issue a light and comedic moment that was missing for most of the issue.

As for the art in this issue, I thought while it had an artist by committee format with three separate artists that the art was still well done. I really did not notice that this issue had three artists working on the issue until I looked over at the credits after reading the issue. I thought that all the artists maintained a good consistent look to the issue as they made the fight scene between Norman and Harry was well done.

The Bad: While Kelly did a good job with this issue I did have a few problems with the issue. The first being that I just hate the Lily/Menace character. It is not even because she is not evil but that she is just not an interesting character. Even Kelly, who I see as the best writer out of the Spider-Man Brain Trust, couldn't get me to like the character.

Throughout the story, Menace was not really portrayed as a powerful character. Instead, Menace came across more as a nuisance to both the characters in the story and to the reader. I was really hoping she would die by the end of the story. But in the end. Menace is still around which means we will probably be subject to yet another Menace story which is a bit irritating.

The other problem I had with this issue, and this story arc in general, is that we did not get one artist working on the story and instead had a artist by committee work on it. Even though it did not turn out to be a bad thing overall there were a few minor inconsistencies with the art that were noticeable, especially in the middle of the issue.

It seems as though, other than John Romita Jr., that it is hard to find an artist that can keep up the three times a month story schedule Amazing Spider-Man has, even with lead time. Hopefully this is something that is corrected and we get more consistent art with only one artist working on each story.

Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #599 was a great ending to "American Son." Kelly really set the bar high for Amazing Spider-Man #600 that comes out on Wednesday. I cannot remember the last time I was this excited about reading Amazing Spider-Man and much of the credit goes to what Kelly and the other Spider-Man Brain Trust members have done to build stories organically.

If you have not read Amazing Spider-Man in a while for whatever reason then I definitely recommend reading "American Son" either before issue #600 or when it comes out in trade as it is a great Spider-Man story.