Brace for War in Sinister War #1

As we get closer to Ben Reilly’s huge return as the Amazing Spider-Man in Issue #75 as part of the Beyond era, I wanted to take a look at Nick Spencer’s last big event for Pete. Can this mishmash of various Sinister Six teams fighting leave a huge impact in the grand scheme of things? I’m betting no, but who’s to say.

For context, I originally hopped onto Spencer’s run around the #850 landmark and the Sins of Norman Osborn one-shot. I had a fun time with both of those but Last Remains quickly lost my interest, although I do love the Order of the Web’s involvement. That’s to say I’ve heard all the critiques with this run being too drawn out, not getting to the point with Kindred in time and not making any lasting resolutions to One More Day. 

If I’m being honest though, I think I liked this issue. Is it a top-tier Spider-Man story for the ages? No, and I wasn’t expecting it to be. Is the craft from a comic storytelling perspective really that good here? Also no. What it does do is have fun; it’s just teetering on that goofy 90’s Spider-Man animated series vibe. Mark Bagley and the colorist Brian Reber are able to pull off some impressive stuff here with the various teams crashing the film premiere. Everyone wanted to go all out here. 

Some other positives here include some of the interpersonal relationships. Pete gets to support MJ as she walks the red carpet and it’s a genuine feel good moment. Carlie Cooper & Harry get some interesting back-and-forth interrogating as they have their own mystery to figure out, then whatever is going on in Mysterio & Vulture’s feud. Now it’s time…to address the octopus in the room.

Technically the return was in Amazing Spider-Man #70, I get that, but this felt the most insulting. I am of course talking about Doc Ock, formerly known as the Superior Spider-Man. We get a brief moment of Pete reflecting on the events of Superior plus Mephisto actually being in the issue. Something more artistic could have been done here rather than starting with a punch to Vulture from one of his arms. He’s doing his whole spiel you’d expect. I hope the later issues of this event will have any ounce of reflection from him. 

The Kindred and Mephisto & Strange moments were just flat-out boring. You would want to see the various villains fighting because that’s the promise of the event; instead we get this mystery almost laid out to Pete but not quite just so it can be dragged out bit more. I am intrigued by what the second issue is going to bring with the smaller Sinister Six groups showing up at the end but again, I’m also dreading those pointless Kindred speeches and Mephisto/Strange talks. I’ve always felt Strange just gets tacked onto Spidey stories for no reason and this is no exception. If the meat of the event can just focus on the action and let Bagley do his thing, this can be a decent one.

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My Weird History with Captain Phasma

A character I’ll occasionally tout as the most underutilized in Star Wars, Captain Phasma is an odd beast to tackle considering how I got into reading about her. We’re just going to jump right into it while showing my Star Wars appreciation along the way. 

Part 1: Damn You, Kelly Thompson (Or Rian Johnson? Or whoever?)

Late-2017, what a time. Riding off the promise of Spider-Man: Homecoming excited as all hell for Avengers: Infinity War meanwhile slowly getting into DC with their various animated films and a certain Justice League cut we shall not name, I had not thought about a Star Wars in years! Precisely since The Phantom Menace briefly returned to theaters in 3D all the way back in 2011. Then a crush at my work at the time said The Last Jedi was her most anticipated film of the year. I knew I had to see it, I had to impress her with something to talk about. Quick disclaimer: Doing this did not work out at all and that is not how this story ends.

Any sane person would have started at The Force Awakens. Instead, I headed to my preferred LCS then and scoured the Star Wars section as I knew that was the only way I was gonna devour a bunch of information in a short time other than just going on Wookieepedia. Lucky for me, a series specifically titled Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi- Captain Phasma was coming out and I, not knowing a thing, grabbed it as soon as I saw it. I had fun with it at the time! For the life of me, I can’t remember a single plot point. The only reason it exists is to explain how Phasma goes from being dumped in some trash to fighting Finn. 

Come the premiere of the film and this character I had spent four issues falling in love with comes in 2/3rds of the way through to get beat almost immediately. I was an absolute wreck and couldn’t even focus on anything the rest of the film was trying to tell me. Days spent ranting to my friends how this film just ruined a side-character most people didn’t even know had a comic. 

Part 1.5: Another Star Wars Comic

Really quick, I need to gush just how perfectly Age of Resistance: Captain Phasma captures everything I thought this character could do. She is ruthless and bone-chilling. An absolute boss-bitch that could scare any Sith even. This issue makes you look at her couple minutes in Force Awakens and just laugh at what seems to be a totally different character. Read this if you can scout it down. Easily my favorite Tom Taylor work which is also a rarity. all hail supreme leader Phasma

Part 2: The Pandemic

Quite possibly the weirdest and most frightening thing most of us have experienced, right? A deadly airborne virus. Those first two months, especially the first two weeks were B-O-R-I-N-G. So fittingly, I decided to get absolutely addicted to Battlefront II with some friends and main as the one and only Captain Phasma. Genuinely some of the most fun I’ve had with gaming overall. Any mode I couldn’t be Phasma I would get upset. There was a strategy to it being in the support role with the droid she can drop, and that staff is the most fun weapon to use. all hail supreme leader Phasma

Apparently constantly playing as her wasn’t enough for a bored panoramic brain as I decided writing fan-fiction of Phasma entering the Marvel universe after her battle with Finn was worth it. I did not get far at all into it and have since deleted it but I for sure thought it was rad then. To conclude, Phasma is a ruthless boss that I feel deserved more time to show that off. Sadly, given the whole zeitgeist of even discussing that trilogy means we probably won’t see anything added to the era for a long while let alone something Phasma.