Tuesday, June 10, 2008

And I thought BND was bad!

So I was reading Spider-Man Family and while that title is usually reviewed by my good buddy Chris on SpiderFan, I felt that I had to add my two cents into the mix. Seriously, what a badly-written story lead off this issue. I mean, it wouldn’t have been so bad if it had appeared in one of the Marvel Adventures titles (which are targeted for a younger audience), but this one is supposed to be a continuity implant or at the very least occur within the “normal” Marvel timeline.

The story has (for no apparent reason) Spider-Man and Marvel Girl literally babysitting Dr. Robert Bruce Banner (who is wandering through Mid-town Manhattan) so that he won’t get excited and turn into The Hulk (obviously this particular story is timed to coincide with the imminent release of The Incredible Hulk this June). Only, there really is no logical reason for this set up, (something about the SHIELD Helicarrier, and a UFO over Central Park), plus, the guy who is supposed to be Banner looks nothing like Banner, and makes a pass at Marvel Girl (I realize that they like to play fast and lose with the age of their characters, but Marvel Girl is in her early 20s while Banner is closer to late 30s early 40s).

So, the story itself has Marvel Girl and Spidey (both in costume) escorting Banner (in a suit) around Manhattan, and a pair of robberies being pulled off in full sight of the two heroes (the costumed crooks both explained that they saw Spidey, but didn’t think it was him). Seriously, nothing in the story hangs together as reasonable. It was as if some random fanboy thought it would be a cool idea to have these characters appear in the same story, and then simply wrote it up and (somehow) got it published. (Hey, you ever read fan fiction? Most of it blows chunks.)

By way of salvation, the second story reads much better (and should have been the Lead). This was followed up by an old Venom story, a Spidey Limited series tale, and Spider-Man J (the Japanese travesty that editorial insists on foisting on us). Ever since the start of BND I have been saying that virtually all of the other Spidey books read much better than what is going on in BND. Here is a most notable exception.


Tommy said...

I've seen some scans of the Spidey/Jean/Hulk story, but off the top of my head (and I can most certainly be off here), are the X-Men on good terms with SHIELD, much less with many people?

Isn't Bruce interested in Betty Ross, so why is he making a pass at Jean? That seems more like something Spidey would do (and did in Marvel Team-Up #4 w' Morbius, when he smooched Jean at the end) in the past.

Next up, who all knew that Bruce Banner was the Hulk in the 70's era of Marvel?

I suppose these are the things I'd want to figure out if this is supposed to be in-continuity, although if it's not, that'll make things a lot easier.

Robert J. Sodaro said...

Well, obviously if it is in Continuity (and that’s a pretty big if). So this is what we have when this story takes place:
1) Nick Fury is in charge of SHIELD.
2) Jean is in her Green Marvel Girl Costume (which she received in X-Men #39), and she is aboard the Helicarrier, so is in the good graces of SHIELD.
3) Spidey is in his Red-and-blues.
4) they keep referring to Banner as “The guy who turns into Hulk” (so it is possible that this was before everyone knew it was Banner — not sure when this happened
5) Someone is using a laptop wirelessly (but this could be meaningless)
6) Doc Ock is in the story also (and knows that this is the guy who turns into Hulk, but apparently not his name).

Hence it is entirely possible that the answer is

D)“It is magic, we don’t need to explain anything!”

Reggie White Jr. said...

I just picked this issue up today. That bad, huh? SMF should be able to go out on a higher note.

Robert J. Sodaro said...

This title is slated for ending? Why don’t I know this?

Tommy said...

The wireless laptop I wouldn't think too much over. It's likely a modern transplant due to the amorphous nature of when these stories took place.

Much like topical references involving the current president and so forth. Due to the 2099 storylines, it makes the most sense for the Marvel Universe to have been at some point before the turn of the century, but I wonder if even that will last.

Anyways, I'll eventually figure something out when I get the issue for myself. It probably will be a 'it's magic' sorta deal, but I'll probably do the research when the time comes anyways.

Reggie White Jr. said...

The book is being relaunched as Amazing Spider-Man Family. And it will feature stories with, get this, Bob... Brand New Day content. Say it with me, everyone "UGGGGGH!!!"

Robert J. Sodaro said...


I’d shoot myself, but the cops have taken all my guns.

Reggie White Jr. said...

There is good news for Amazing Spider-Man Family. A new series will start in that book titled Mr. and Ms. Spider-Man and it will feature stories for a married Peter and MJ and baby May. Written by Tom DeFalco to boot. I think I'll be able to stomach the BND crap for married Spidey goodness.

Tommy said...

Baby May stuff? That I gotta see!