THIS WEEK’S STAFF PICKS

Amazing Spider-man #665Amazing Spider-Man #665
By Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman
Marvel

Chris says: Dan Slott does it again! Although issue 665 feels a little like the calm before the storm of “Spider-Island”, it still addresses some pretty weighty issues of its own. When Betty Brant is brutally attacked one evening while walking home alone, Peter is forced to choose between being there as a friend or chasing vengeance as Spider-Man. It’s a clever character piece that casts the spotlight on his friendship with Betty while taking in his past with MJ and future with Carlie. Carlie had left me feeling cold since her introduction as Peter’s new love interest, but under Slott’s deft hand she’s slowly become a compelling and unique part of the cast. The bonus story at the end may seem superfluous at first glance, but carries some pretty major surprises of its own. Bravo!

 American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #2 American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #2
By Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy
Vertigo

Simon says: I missed the boat on American Vampire early on, largely because I’m not that into Stephen King, but having read and loved Scott Snyder’s run on Detective Comics, I decided to give this five-part spin-off mini a shot, and it’s great! As a big fan of Hellboy, I’m always up for some occult Nazi business, and in Survival of the Fittest, Snyder pulls it off with Mignola-esque aplomb. Sean Murphy’s art is as brilliant as usual too, so if you haven’t been reading American Vampire, this mini is a great place to start. I eagerly anticipate the release of the paperback of the first volume of the main series in September.

 Journey Into Mystery #625 Journey Into Mystery #625
By Kieron Gillen and Doug Braithwaite
Marvel

Thomas says: Riffing on Neil Gaiman, Gillen tells a smart and concise story on a mythically epic scale. This young Loki joins Morrison’s Damian Wayne as one of my favourite adolescent boys in superhero comics. What? I can have favourite adolescent boys, right? No? Oh. As Loki would say, “Dire news!” Honestly the best title Marvel has on the shelves right now.

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