Tag Archives: spider-man

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #667

1956919-ams667Kick starting the Spider-Island storyline, Amazing Spider-Man #667 begins with a quick recap of Spider-man’s current situation including his lack of Spider Sense (nothing’s ever simple) and the Jackal’s villainous master-plan. As you read on it is clear that this story-line is something that Dan Slott has been building up to; a master-plan of his own.

Twisting and tearing into the true nature of Spider-man/ Peter Parker is something that many of Dan Slott’s plotlines attempt to achieve and I would say that this first issue reveals more of this to come with a particularity interesting story arc.

At the beginning of this issue we are introduced to New York as a living entity itself. This is clearly intentional, as throughout this story line New York itself is treated as a character. This is reflected in the depth of art by Ramos and is shown through the relationship between the city and the upcoming plot-line.

Variant Cover

Variant Cover

With a particularly humorous turn of events involving Peter Parker and current love interest, Carlie Cooper, an intelligent and independent New York Cop, Slott starts this issue with punch, while also hinting at what is to come during the rest of the issue. This situation is seriously laugh out loud funny and Parker’s (Slott’s) wit is on point, as always.

The following events lead to a wave of organized chaos sweeping across New York, with petty criminals and gangsters terrorizing residents and generally reaking havoc …with the Jackal’s supervision of course.  This pandemonium warrants the attention of some of the finest of Marvel’s heroes with epic artwork depicting the disorder; but things aren’t so simple for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

At this stage of the comic, Parker is about to learn that his current problems are about to become a whole lot more complicated (don’t they always) and during the ensuing discord, while old brush top Jonah Jameson rants on (some things never change), Peter Parker learns that perhaps being Spider-Man is not going to help him this time.

Story: Dan Slott Art: Humberto Ramos
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Michael Cho Launches some Marvel Variants! They’re Awesome.

This February, critically praised artist Michael Cho puts his own stamp on the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe. Marvel has announced a series of stunning variant covers, all illustrated by Cho, coming to your favorite new Marvel launches!

An illustrator and cartoonist, Cho’s unique style breathes life into some of Marvel’s most popular characters. Featuring Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Wolverine, the Inhumans, Daredevil and many more, you won’t want to miss these gorgeous covers, coming in the month of February.

Look for these eye-catching Michael Cho Variants to grace the covers of these Marvel Comics in February:

  • A-Force #3
  • All-New Wolverine #5
  • All-New, All-Different Avengers #5
  • Amazing Spider-Man #7
  • The Astonishing Ant-Man #5
  • Captain Marvel #2
  • Daredevil #4
  • Doctor Strange #5
  • Guardians of Infinity #3
  • All-New Hawkeye #4
  • Howard The Duck #4
  • Invincible Iron Man #6
  • The Mighty Thor #4
  • Ms. Marvel #4
  • Old Man Logan #2
  • Rocket Raccoon & Groot #2
  • Scarlet Witch #3
  • Spider-Gwen #5
  • Spider-Man #1
  • The Totally Awesome Hulk #3
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #5
  • Uncanny Inhumans #5
  • Venom: Space Knight #4
  • Vision #4

Check out the variants below!


The Weirdest Alternate Versions of Spider-Man

PureCostumes like their infographics, and they’ve put together a new one of the weirdest alternate versions of Spider-Man. There’s been a lot of them throughout the years, so do you agree or disagree with the choices?

Weirdest Alternate Versions of Spider-Man
Infographic Created by PureCostumes.com

Listen to Marvel’s Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt

GraphicAudio-Spider-Man-KLH-HeadphonesGraphicAudio and Marvel, present the audio adaptation of Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt.

Experience the classic, genre-defining Spider-Man shocker like never before in this new audio adaptation!  After years of crushing defeats at the hands of the web-slinger, Russian aristocrat, Kraven the Hunter decides to battle Spider-Man in one final showdown to determine who the superior warrior is.   Kraven usurps the mantle of Spider-Man, but must prove himself superior to his nemesis by defeating the one villain he was unable to defeat on his own, the cannibalistic Vermin.

Adapted from the Marvel Prose novel, this landmark Marvel story becomes more haunting than ever through this GraphicAudio production. Bone-chilling and gripping, Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt will envelop listeners with riveting performances by a full cast, rich cinematic music, and vivid sound effects.

Listen to a sample scene audio clip of SSpider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt now:

Or, check out the trailer!

GraphicAudio CD formats and Marvel Prose novel editions also available at comic shops and Spidey-loving bookstores near you!

Fan Expo Interviews: Robert Bailey

Fan Expo Toronto will be taking place this year between September 3rd and 6th, and Graphic Policy had the opportunity to talk with a few of their featured guests before the beginning of the convention.  Robert Bailey has had an amazing career in the art world, one which has taken him from oil paintings from the Second World War, to superheroes and Star Wars.  He joined us to talk about his career and what you can expect to see from his work.

Graphic Policy:  You have recently moved away from oil panting to pencil to do your art.  Do you find that it changes your approach to art, in what you choose to depict? Are there characters that better fit in one and not the other?
Robert Bailey:  I retired from oil painting about four years ago, due to a shift away from World War II subjects, and  because of market changes. I find pencil to be of course much faster and fluid. Large oil paintings can take up to a month, and a $25,000 painting is tough to sell. So the pencil drawings fit most budgets, being smaller and much quicker to do.
bailey004GP:  Are there any characters that after having worked on them, changed your appreciation of them?
RB:  The character I appreciate most from drawing her over and over again is Natalie Portman. I never tire of depicting her face in pencil. I would crawl ten miles over broken glass, just to kiss her feet.
GP:  Your favorite characters from Star Wars are C3P0 and Yoda.  What is it about these characters that are special for you?
RB:  C3PO and Yoda are opposites to depict. One being mechanical and the other living flesh. C3PO is very funny, and always amuses me when I am drawing him. Yoda is very quick and easy for me to draw, and he has many facial expressions. Fans love him, and he is the number one seller.
GP:  Do you have a favorite Star Wars movie?
bailey001RB:  My favorite Star Wars movie is The Empire Strikes Back. The Hoth battle scene really presses my buttons. Love it.
GP:  What is your impression of the next wave of Star Wars movies?
RB:  The next wave of Star Wars movies are very promising indeed, and I anticipate plenty of action. But of course this series is now fan driven, and they will decide if they are successful or not. But Disney appear to know what the fans want, and they will deliver.
GP:  The depiction of superheroes can be quite different from other art.  Does working with Marvel change your approach to the rest of your artwork?
bailey003RB:  Marvel….I don’t think that depicting their characters has changed my overall outlook on the other work I have done. Generally speaking, Avengers take longer to draw, because they are all human and faces and bodies slow me down, so three or four in one scene takes a while. Spiderman is the hardest to do….all that webbing. It can be discouraging.
GP:  The Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed both movies and comics.  Do you think that it is now as iconic for movie fans as Star Wars or Indiana Jones?
RB:  The Marvel Cinematic Universe…..well, there are enthusiastic fans of that, and many are Star Wars fans, too. But from what I have observed so far, both on the screen and with fans, is that Star Wars still rules. Of course, that could change. We will have to wait and see. Indiana Jones….well, it’s like Sean Connery is the original James Bond and Christopher Reeves is the original (well, almost original) Superman. I feel that subsequent actors playing an iconic character are battling uphill. Newer generations of fans are more accepting, but the old school prefer the original actors. That is what I have heard from fans.

Fashion Spotlight: Smugglers, Bacon Fantasy #15, and Adopt a SuperDog

Ript Apparel has three new designs! Smugglers, Bacon Fantasy #15, and Adopt a SuperDog, by manospd, Obvian, and NoemiFadda, are on sale today only! Get them before they’re gone!



Bacon Fantasy #15


Adopt a SuperDog





This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Review: Silk #6

silk006It is interesting to look across the wide swath of Secret Wars and to discover what has fit into the concept and what not.  While the creative minds behind the massive Crossover have given readers numerous versions of The Hulk, Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man and the X-Men, they have mostly left some other properties untouched.  Two of these are Miss Marvel and Silk, but when examined there is a common enough theme there to show that there might be some incompatibility.  Although DC gets the credit for the recent wave of girl-friendly books with the relaunch of Batgirl, the move really got underway a year before at Marvel with the new Ms. Marvel.  The wave of new female character unleashed by both DC and Marvel was impressive though and included Silk among their numbers, a new kind of Spider-Girl.

While Ms. Marvel has been dragged into the Secret Wars world a little bit, she has also been mostly left alone, just dealing with the evacuation of her city while dealing with her continuing ongoing problems.  The presentation of Silk has been different again, first of all that her monthly has come out sporadically since the release of the big crossover and secondly as it allows the series to mostly continue its story without any interference.  The story focuses on the continuing search for her family, while others are seeking her out for her connection to Spider-Man and spider related powers.  Although this has focused somewhat on Spider-Man and Black Cat, the emphasis has been on Silk, and her story continues here in the same manner, with some intervention from those other two, but allowing her own story to be told through her own actions.

It could be that the story telling which has revitalized and reshaped the presentation of female characters simply does not mesh with the kind of grand storytelling that is Secret Wars.  As this new wave has helped reshape the medium of comics, especially at the Big Two publishers, it is maybe evident that the massive crossovers are not the way forward for the future but rather a focus on characters over concepts.  Whatever the case, that approach has worked in this series and continues to work here, as one of the standout series from Marvel in the past year, and one which will hopefully be back at full strength following the end of Secret Wars.

Story: Robbie Thompson Art: Adam Stacey Lee 
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.9  Overall: 8.9  Recommendation: Buy

Review: Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #4

asmryv004Secret Wars has been one of the biggest crossovers in comic history but also one of the most confusing.  In the past of comic book crossovers leading into reboots, there have only essentially been two, and both of them at DC Comics.  The first was Crisis on Infinite Earths, a somewhat necessary crossover which was needed in order to propel DC Comics into the future by cleaning up its past of having purchased numerous other small companies and throwing them together in the same continuity.  It was also necessary in order to take a lot of the characters out of the silver age and into the modern superhero medium.  The following game changing crossover was Flashpoint, this time again heading for a reboot of DC, only this time focusing on a marketing campaign as its outcome.  Although it was a risk, it paid off and despite the successes of Marvel NOW! and other replies from Marvel, the other company seemed to be playing catch-up in order to reboot its own properties, at least until Secret Wars.  This mashup of different influences and different universes promises to put everything back together, and to fix what were the few discrepancies between its not-shared universes.

The problem with this crossover has been the scope of the story telling, in that it has been somewhat all over the place, focusing on versions of classic story arcs, but not necessarily explaining the underlying concepts behind the bigger world.  In this case, all of the different miniseries have spun off of the same idea, but it is increasingly difficult to put them together, especially as numerous versions of some characters exist in all of the different series.  Spider-Man is one such example, existing in several series at the moment, including Civil War, Spider-Verse and Spider-Island.  These have had their moments, but definitely the best of the series has been Renew Your Vows, focusing on Peter versus the world, the same kind of story which made him so popular to begin with.  The story continues here, with a bit of the always teased at idea of a Spider-Girl, which is sometimes realized and sometimes more of a suggestion.

The approach here works both as a series and as part of the overall crossover.  Although there are some attempts to tie this into Doom, one can also read this without too much understanding of the bigger series, and instead it focuses on the characters that have made Peter Parker and Spider-Man such an approachable characters since he first graced the pages of comics.  This has been and remains one of the best of the miniseries tying into Secret Wars, and it can stand with some of the other noteworthy story arcs focused on the character over the years, even if it is an alternate universe kind of story.  There is an honesty to the characters, even living in superhero world they seem real enough, and the imposing threat in this series is also a lot more personal than elsewhere in Secret Wars.  Many of this series will go away after Secret Wars and the original heroes will return, at least in part, but this is one series that seems like it has enough of a heart to deserve more of a look

Story: Dan Slott Art: Adam Kubert 
Story: 9.3 Art: 9.3  Overall: 9.3  Recommendation: Buy

Marvelkids.com gets Ultimate Spider-Man Digital Comics Section

Marvelkids_UltSpiderManComicsMarvel is expanding the ways its younger fans can dive into the Marvel Universe with its all-new and kid-friendly digital comic book section; all part of the expanded MarvelKids.com. Beginning with the refreshed Spider-Man destination on MarvelKids.com, younger fans can begin reading the adventures of Ultimate Spider-Man, featuring everyone’s favorite web-head as he teams up with his amazing friends to fight the forces of evil.

Designed to captivate readers of all ages, MarvelKids.com’s Ultimate Spider-Man offers fans a guided reading experience using Marvel’s digital Infinite Comics platform to help younger fans navigate the panels. Taking full advantage of the latest technology, Marvel Infinite Comics showcase the new storytelling possibilities of a digital canvas while still staying true to the medium’s greatest strengths and brings a cinematic experience designed to captivate the next generation of Marvel fans.

With new digital issues arriving every week, the Ultimate Spider-Man series begins with MarvelKids.com’s Ultimate Spider-Man #1: I Think I’m Paranoid. After a routine run-in with the villainous Jack O’Lantern, Spider-Man is convinced that his spider-sense is on the fritz, when it starts warning him of danger seemingly at random. Turns out, there’s a bigger threat than Jack O’Lantern to worry about, though.

In addition to the high-flying action within Ultimate Spider-Man, fans can take on the role of Spider-Man in a variety of interactive and amazing games and take part in an exciting web of activities including Spider-Man downloadable coloring pages, mazes, and word searches.

MarvelKids.com will be continually expanding even more in the future with new Marvel Comics’ series and more digital features exploring everyone’s favorite Marvel Super Heroes!

What Could Be Expected in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

After its initial success with Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and Thor, Marvel Studios quickly realized that it had a formula for success on its hands and seemed ready to take advantage of it.  To do so though required a plan, and studio head Kevin Feige soon had broken down the movies into various phases, with the most recent Ant-Man signaling the end of phase 2.  Aside from the developments inside the movies, there have been some developments outside the movies which have affected the universe as well, chief among those the partial reversion of the rights to Spider-Man back to Marvel, or at least the use of Spider-Man inside the shared universe in a collaboration with Sony.

At the moment, we kn ow the entire lineup for phase 3, starting with Captain America: Civil War and continuing through two new Avengers movies and the Inhumans.  What might be expected in the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?  The release of the newest Fantastic Four might signal some of the changes which we can anticipate ahead (there are some spoilers below).

Ant-Man and Wasp

waspMany expected Ant-Man to be one of the bigger disappointments thus far in the MCU, due to its ongoing problems with the direction, after it passed from Edgar Wright to Peyton Reed.  It seemed as though the studio was not going to take any risks with the character as they could not even confirm his role in any future movies.  This presumably will all change now that the movie has been released.  Although it can’t compare to the financial success of the year’s other Marvel movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, it also is noteworthy as being a better critical success, with a better rating at Rotten Tomatoes than Avengers.  With both financial and critical success it seems as though there will be more to come from these characters.  As was hinted at the end of the movie, there is still a lot of story left to tell as well, as the end hinted that Janet van Dyne might not be truly lost.  Furthermore Hope van Dyne was presented with a Wasp suit by her father.  There could be a lot of places to take the story of the two heroes, though one in particular might make the most sense …


micronautsThe Micronauts are a bit of an oddity in comics.  They started out as a line of toys, who were written into comics after in the 1970s after Marvel writer Bill Mantlo saw his son open a box of the toys.  The series started as somewhat of a standalone, but slowly was incorporated into the Marvel Universe, with appearances by some other mainstream characters.  While the rights for the characters do not presently rest with Marvel, there is a long publication history with the characters and as the rights rest with other smaller comic companies, it would likely not be too difficult to reacquire the rights.  Furthermore for the film studio that might try to replicate the runaway success of Guardians of the Galaxy, they might look smaller instead of bigger and find their next surprise hit there.  There would be some hurdles, but also there might be a few benefits, as Janet van Dyne disappeared into the smallest dimension, the Microverse.  This small universe is not in itself small, but the pathways to enter it are, and could give an explanation as to where the character disappeared.  They might find Janet in the Microverse, but they might also be able to find some other heroes there as well…

Fantastic Four

fantastic fourThe Fantastic Four is one of the best known Marvel properties that does not lie within the company’s grasp at the moment, instead being controlled by Fox.  While Fox has managed to control the X-Men franchise strongly enough with some decent movies, the Fantastic Four has mostly been a sequence of failures.  The first of the series was good enough to warrant a sequel, but this was before the wake of Marvel movies changed how fans expected superhero movies to turn out.  Marvel Studios was looking to be innovative, not just rehash generic action/sci-fi plots with superheroes thrown in.  The most recent attempt by Fox to revamp the Fantastic Four might have been an attempt to do the same, to get some new excitement into the mix, but it evidently did not turn out that way.  Critical response (and probably financial) will mean that the characters will have to be shelved for a while before the public has forgotten enough about them.  Using the Sony/Spider-Man approach, lending the characters back to Marvel Studios might be a wiser choice, one that would probably make more money for both, and one which would keep the fans happy.  By this point though, with two origin movies behind them, it might make sense to jump straight into the Fantastic Four with them already established as heroes.  They could exist in a similar sense to Hank Pym in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, unknown but still present.  More so, one of the places that is visited by the Fantastic Four is the Microverse, and if they were stuck there then it would be an easy bridge between Ant-Man and the return of Marvel’s first family.


namorIt is not entirely clear where the rights to Namor presently rest.  Kevin Feige has indicated that Marvel, if they desired, could make a Namor movie, but that there would be some “entanglements”.  Rights to the movie have rested with Universal, but seem to have at least partially lapsed.  What remains is speculated to be the same arrangement with 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, that Marvel creates but Universal distributes.  While it was not a problem when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was still nascent, it seems moving forward that Marvel likes to create and distribute, and to get rewarded financially at 100% for its efforts.  It might make exceptions for Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four but maybe less so for Namor.  Another factor to consider is what DC Comics will manage to do with its own movies.  The other of the big two comic companies is playing catchup, but also has the benefit of controlling the movie rights to nearly all of its characters.  They have already greenlit an Aquaman movie, but it remains to be seen just how well it will do.  Aquaman is after all a hero that is taken not so seriously in pop culture, but if DC can make it work, maybe it will give Marvel second thoughts about its own underwater hero.


thunderboltsThe fact that DC Comics is playing catchup in the movie game can also be to the advantage of Marvel.  Marvel has already taken its gambles and seen those pay off, as with Guardians of the Galaxy.  DC Comics, who are eager to catch up, are also taking their own gambles, and chief among those is the Suicide Squad.  Featuring a group of villains forced into a heroic role, it might catch on, or it might flop.  Fans certainly will not be very familiar with the concept, and the concept in itself is strange enough that it might not work.  On the other hand, it might work, and if yes then it could serve as a gamble that Marvel gets to witness the results of without gambling anything itself.  If popular it could use its own villain-turned-heroes team the Thunderbolts and catch the wave of people wanting more Suicide Squad before a sequel to the DC movie comes out.  If played right as well it could help quieten those that think that the MCU’s villains are the weakest part of the movies.


defendersMarvel is already a long way along in its development of the Doctor Strange movie, and holds the exclusive rights to the Hulk as long as he is not the featured character in a movie.  A Namor movie could be forthcoming depending on the success of Aquaman, and if Fox sees the benefits of doing so, a collaboration might be in the works to return the Fantastic Four and associated characters to the MCU, which would include the Silver Surfer.  Those four make up the original four members of the Defenders.  For those that are getting a bit tired of seeing the Avengers over and over again on the big screen, it might be an excuse to feature this other Marvel team (although Marvel is working on a street level Defenders television show as well.)  One interesting aspect about this team is that as opposed to the Avengers that the original team is made up of all non-street level characters, meaning that the stakes could be higher and that bigger things might happen as a result, such as …

World War Hulk

wwhThis has been a long rumored development in the MCU, but also not one that has not yet come to fruition.  Marvel has been careful to include in story arcs from the comics, and it has made for some great connections for fans of both mediums.  Although World War Hulk is not necessarily the best all time Hulk story, it is up there, and would be a better vehicle for putting a new spin on the Hulk stories, more so than what we are seeing at the movies, with both Hulk movies fitting the same general pattern of the Hulk being hunted by the government after smashing up a bunch of stuff.  It would also allow the character to move beyond the Avengers, which is a connection that is not as strong in the comics.  Also if all the pieces fell into place, it would mean that a lot of the major players from the crossover might be able to make it into the movie, save for the X-Men.


kateRumors abound that another major character will die in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War (especially that there are pictures from the set of a funeral sequence), and without any other way to verify this other than by seeing a movie that will not be released until 2016, it still seems likely that one of the characters that might be easiest to kill off would be Hawkeye.  He is among the less popular of the main characters in the MCU, and has been almost a footnote to the movies series, appearing to provide fans with another superhero, but also one that doesn’t really do much.  Even if he does not die in the movie, it is also worth noting that the character is one which is on the verge of retirement, being somewhat older than the other heroes and with responsibilities to his family.  This could leave open the possibility for a Hawkeye movie except not as we might expect.  As the movies expand in popularity it makes sense to be closer to four quadrant movies, and one way to do this is to introduce more female characters.  If Clint Barton were to retire on screen, it could open the door for Kate Bishop to step up, providing the MCU with another superheroine, and one with a lot more of an edge than Clint.

She-Hulk and Spider-Woman

shehulkOn that same note, if Marvel is looking to keep its female fans happy it might look to develop these characters as well.  Most of the main Marvel superheroines would be tied up elsewhere, with most of the major heroines being members of the X-Men, and other such as Sue Storm or Medusa mostly only operating as parts of teams.  Others such as Elektra and even Hellcat are tied to the television series, which mean that only a few major female characters would be left to get the big screen treatment.  She-Hulk and Spider-Woman could both be strong contenders to hold down their own movie, especially if Marvel did something unexpected and went off the script with the Spider-Gwen version of Spider-Woman.  It would also help to fill the ranks of the Avengers, a team which needs to be mixed up a bit from time to time to keep the roster fresh and the fans intrigued.


tigraKa-Zar is one of the longest running Marvel characters, but also one that has not had a very solid fanbase in modern years, although unquestionably popular among many.  Although Marvel is keen on taking risks, could it make the Savage Land work the same as it made Guardians of the Galaxy work?  The Savage Land is the source of many stories within the Marvel Universe, though most of them with the X-Men.  Why might the MCU be interested in the Savage Land?  It is a fantasy setting, and while it does not match up with other heroes, could still serve as an explanation for the re-appearance of some characters who also happen to be Avengers – Hercules, Tigra or even the Black Knight.  It might be a stretch, but Marvel will be looking for new blood for its Avengers as it moves forward, as is evident from the new roster after Age of Ultron.  Tigra especially might be interesting, as she not only is her own character, but is also indirectly responsible for the development of Hellcat, whose non-superpowered version is already set to be introduced in the Marvel television show Jessica Jones.

Iron Man 4

iron manThis is perhaps the biggest question to solve in phase 4.  A big part of what made the MCU so popular is that it based its hopes on the initial movie, Iron Man.  If this movie had failed so too would the plans for the shared universe.  Success would probably have still come the way of the studio, but it would have been a longer road.  Part of the runaway success of the original Iron Man was that Robert Downey Jr. was perfectly cast as Tony Stark, what some might say is not even really acting as he seems to be mostly playing himself.  That having been said, superheroes never really age but actors and actresses do.  While the studio can get a few more years out of Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson (all in their early to mid 30s), and even a lot more out of Paul Bettany (whose character the Vision wears so much makeup as to be ageless) and Elizabeth Olsen (who is in her mid 20s), it can probably expect less out of Robert Downey Jr, who is now 50.  They might push him for a couple more movies, but eventually he will need to be replaced, and the biggest question would then be by who, as the character is one that is of highest importance to the MCU.  There might be no bigger question heading forward in the MCU than who will fill this role.

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