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Spider-Man: Flying Blind (Amazing Spider-Man (Paperback)) Paperback – 7 Nov 2012
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Unlike Spider-Island, which collected a fairly large saga focusing on a single event and across two series, Flying Blind is more like the volumes that preceded that book, comprising smaller one- and two-issue stories focusing on The Vulture, the Sinister Six and a crossover with Daredevil that also involves the Black Cat. While Slott's and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli's Vulture is a sinewy mean old coot, the real highlight of that first two-parter is the dynamic between Spidey and Carlie Cooper, his recently ex'd girlfriend and cop. Oddly enough, the usually loathsome Carlie is actually quite likeable while verbally sparring with her reluctant investigative partner, even if appearance her appearance is at the whim of the latest in an apparently uncommunicative line of artists. For the record, she's a blonde in this book. The story's pretty good, anyway, and a bunch of particularly annoying teen crims get swift comeuppance before they've a chance to REALLY get on your nerves.
The third story features no appearance from Spidey at all, instead taking a look at the Sinister Six's invasion of The Intelligencia's headquarters. For those not in the know (so, everybody), The Intelligencia is a rival supergroup of clever-clogs villains, including Modok and my old favourite, super-ape commander The Red Ghost. While the issue is amusing because it details Doc Ock's apparent pettiness (as well as introducing his latest and last new look), it also works as another instalment in the ongoing prelude to Ends Of The Earth, and balances the comedy of warring bad guys with the sense that something real real bad is coming effortlessly.
The last two, which are also collected in Daredevil By Mark Waid Volume 2, are more a part of that series than this. Neither of their selection of artists (Kano, sadly not the monocular Mortal Kombat nasty, and Emma Rios) are regulars on Amazing Spider-Man, nor is Waid. Is that a bad thing? Heck no. These two are probably the best of the lot (sorry, Dan), with great Spidey/Black Cat recent-rebound interaction and the inevitable Daredevil/Black Cat...interaction. It was a given. It's not so much that DD can't help himself, and more that these things are fated, is all. Great art from the pair mentioned and a great script, too, these issues are a blast and sure to make you want to pick up the other available Waid Daredevil volumes, which short of reviewing them (and I'm a quarter of the way there!) I'll just say are fab, the bee's knees if you will (and you should).
Camuncoli and Humberto Ramos are the artists on the ASM issues. Great work from both as always. You don't really get a job illustrating Marvel's flagship title if you aren't (unless it's 1997 and you're Steve Skroce). There's a few pages of sketches from both and a pair of GORGEOUS Lee Bermejo variant covers to round out the book.
The five previous books from Slott's run are Big Time,Matters of Life and Death,The Fantastic Spider-Man,The Return of Anti-Venom and Spider-Island. The next is Trouble On The Horizon, followed by Ends Of The Earth,No Turning Back,Danger Zone and Dying Wish, which'll take you right the way up to the recent relaunch as Superior Spider-Man. I'll be reviewing each volume over the next few weeks if you care to have a look.
***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
"Flying Blind" takes place immediately after the epic Spider Island. You get 2 issues that feature the Vulture, 1 AMAZING issue where the Sinister Six take on MODOK and The Intelligencia (Humberto Ramos art in this issue alone deserves 5 stars), and then 2 issues with a crossover from Mark Waid's Daredevil book. Although it's not crucial to following this story I would suggest reading the first volume of Mark Waid's Daredevil first. The art and writing is great and it's a refreshingly new take on Daredevil, highly recommended.
There's no reason to go further into the plot of this volume, it's simply a lot of fun. Personally I'm thrilled to have a Marvel title that doesn't require me to buy 10 tie in books as well to see the whole story. Well done Mr. Slott and Mr. Waid keep these books coming!
Writer: Dan Slott, Mark Waid
Artists: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Humberto Ramos, Emma Rios, Kano (pencils), Klaus Janson, Victor Olazaba, Emma Rios, Kano (inks), Frank D'Armata, Edgar Delgado, Javier Rodriguez (colors), Guiseppe Camuncoli, Humberto Ramos, Klaus Janson, Frank D'Armata, Paolo Rivera (covers)
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man #674-677, Daredevil #8
This book is another very strong offering from Slott & company. Marvel's House of Ideas continues the trend of upgrading Spidey's villains. This time around it's The Vulture who gets a make-over. Changes include outfitting him in black instead of green (huge improvement!), making him a bit more creepy, and giving him his own "flock" of thugs who wear suits similar to his original. By recruiting teen outcasts from the streets, The Vulture can sit back in his rooftop nightclub and let the young kids take the risks for him. It's a great idea that seems to make a lot of sense, especially since he is pretty old.
One issue of the book forwards the story of Doc Ock and his new Sinister Six, as they take on the Intelligencia. It seems the entire conflict takes place simply for the sake of pride, and the outcome is a bit surprising. This story is one of the building blocks of Doc Ock's master plan - a plan that will be revealed in the upcoming Spider-Man: Ends of the Earth book. This should be a great story, and I'm enjoying the build-up.
The latter half of the book is a story about Spider-Man, Black Cat, and Daredevil. The three team-up to solve a mystery, and the story ends with a humorous romantic tryst between Matt and Felicia. To my knowledge, these two have never been a couple before, and seem to be like oil and water. Still, it was funny to read and I look forward to seeing whether this romantic affair will be further developed or dropped.
By and large, this book was very well done. The story is engaging, cool, and fun to read, and the artwork is above average, though inconsistent through the book, as a whole, due to so many artists being involved with the project. I prefer more consistent visuals, though I can't knock it too much when it is of this level of quality.
Though this review is for the hardcover edition, you're going to get the same material in the soft cover edition and spend less. I'd recommend picking up that edition over this one. Either way, you'll be sure to enjoy the story.
Cool Factor: 8/10
In the aftermath of Spider Island tourists flock to New York looking for a taste of super powers they think might still be theirs for the taking. While the spider infection is done, one of Spidey's old foes is happy to step in and give some thrillseekers what they want... for a price. As if that wasn't enough Peter Parker will has to deal with a new, hostile police chief, and several complications in his increasingly distressing personal life.
Issues #674 and 675 are a two part story introducing the new status quo after Spider Island and featuring the old foe I mentioned above. It's an interesting adventure that establishes a new character, redefines a recently absent threat, and gives a glimpse at how Peter and Carlie will coexist from here. I'm still not thrilled with Peter's characterization in terms of his attitude towards the relationship, but it was better in general here.
Next is a stand alone tale starring the Sinister Six targeting another group of villains as part of Dr. Octopus' long term plan. Lots of intriguing character moments with the various members of both teams. Really liked this.
We end with a two part crossover with Daredevil also involving a certain ex of Peter's with less than legal tendencies and a propensity for causing bad luck. This was decent, with some nice banter and a solid enough plot, but it is geared more towards setting up things in future Daredevil issues than on Spider-Man.
Overall a very good installment of Spidey's adventure that continues to add dimensions to the ongoing mythos Slott has been building.