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Mini Reviews: Minor Threats and Amazing Fantasy

Minor Threats #1

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling reviews of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full one for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.

Logan

Minor Threats #1 (Dark Horse) Minor Threats #1 is a “the Rogues/other B-list villains hunt down the Joker” with the serial numbers filed off comic from Patton Oswalt, Jordan Blum, Scott Hepburn, and Ian Herring. But it’s still delightful. The story is told from the POV of Frankie (Formerly Playtime), who used to be a supervillain, but now is a bartender that caters to bad guys. Through flashbacks and looks at her work and whatever passes as her home life, Oswalt and Blum paint a portrait of a woman who is desperate to move on from heists and gadgets and wants to be a mom to her daughter. However, that part of her life will always be seductive. Minor Threats‘ setting, style, and palette of the comic is very Bronze Age-meets-Dark Age with an inset panel-filled page showing the injuries that Insomniac has inflected on a villain a la the “This is an operating table” scene in Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. Hepburn and Herring add all kinds of fun background details in the art from the remnants of a kaiju battle in Frankie’s neighborhood to the Hoarders meets Silver Age supervillain decor of Frankie’s mom’s house. All in all, Minor Threats #1 has a hell of a hook and humanizes characters that are usually punching bags for the guys who get the toys and movies and Netflix shows and fills that Superior Foes-sized hole in my heart. Overall: 8.9 Verdict: Buy

Amazing Fantasy #1000 (Marvel) – Marvel celebrates one of their biggest cash cows with a homage featuring lots of creators who haven’t worked on the character. (And one who I wish never did.) Anthony Falcone and Michael Cho‘s first story follows Spider-Man’s annual arrest of a two-bit crook in a retro style with flat colors and references to past adventures. It has a slightly mean-spirited tone, but reminds readers of Spidey’s role as the ultimate neighborhood protector even when aliens/space gods are invading. In the second story, Dan Slott and Jim Cheung tell a heart-warming story of Spider-Man at age 60 while drawing some parallels to Uncle Ben and having him share some sweet moments with MJ and the rest of New York. Cheung’s visuals hit the right balance between dark and light, and I love how Slott writes the relationship between MJ and Peter.

The third story by Veep‘s Armando Iannucci and Ryan Stegman goes away from the legacy/homage stuff to introducing a farcical supervillain that uses hallucinogenic ink to have all Daily Bugle readers believe their favorite conspiracy theory, including the newspaper loving Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson winning an expose for his hit-pieces about Spider-Man. It ends up being very Scooby-Doo, but Iannucci gets in a few good jokes and kudos to him and Stegman for creating something new instead of coasting on older stories. After this, Rainbow Rowell and Olivier Coipel tell a simple story about Peter Parker taking pictures of non-Spider-Man things (Except for Spidey getting ice cream on his costume.) on the perfect New York day while inner monologuing about not having enough money to take Betty Brant on a date. Coipel brings some incredible composition work on the photos, and colorist Matthew Wilson gives everything a sunny feeling.

Amazing Fantasy #1000‘s fifth story is a horror yarn from Ho Che Anderson, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Klaus Janson, and Jordie Bellaire. It’s set around the death of Gwen Stacy and captures the darkness of that era from the POV of a mental hospital patient, who feels and sees spiders under her skin and suffers from unmentionable trauma. Spider-Man plays a smaller role in this story, but he listens to the patient and provides hope and healing, his reds and blues dancing against the flames. The sixth story from Kurt Busiek and the Dodsons wholeheartedly engages in nostalgia and creates a sequel to another story in Amazing Fantasy #15 with mixed result. The Dodsons’ art style is a good match for the pulpy battle between an early career Spider-Man and the Witch Queen, and Busiek finds some humor in an interdimensional conqueror experiencing 1960s New York, but this story is really just an exercise is knowing way more about old comics than you.

For the penultimate story, Jonathan Hickman and Marco Checchetto trot out one that is both intimate and multiversal in scope. Through the lens of a new Spider-Man, they parse out the suffering, love, and heroism that makes the friendly neighborhood web-slinger as well as the sense of humor. Having Spider-Men from different universes crack wise and swap war stories in a nine panel grid makes for entertaining, fulfilling reading. Plus it’s nice to see Jonathan Hickman doing something salt of the Earth and not high concept for once. Speaking of high concept, Amazing Fantasy #1000 wraps up with a semi-autobiographical story from Neil Gaiman and Steve McNiven about Gaiman reading Spider-Man as a boy in Sussex and then meeting Steve Ditko later in life. McNiven inks himself for this story and does a great job blurring reality and fantasy while Gaiman’s script conveys his love for, yet distance from Spider-Man. (This is his first time writing him.) All in all, the story captures the essence of what makes the character great because he has great power, yet relatable problems (“Rent!”), but still perseveres no matter the odds. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Preview: Amazing Fantasy #1000

Amazing Fantasy #1000

(W) Kurt Busiek, Various (A) Jim Cheung, Various (CA) John Romita Jr.
RATED T
In Shops: Aug 31, 2022
SRP: $7.99

The comic that brought you SPIDER-MAN hits issue #1000! We’re going big to celebrate in this, our thousandth issue of AMAZING FANTASY! An ALL-STAR roster of creators – Anthony Falcone, Dan Slott, Ho Che Anderson, Jonathan Hickman, Kurt Busiek, Michael Cho, Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jim Cheung, Marco Checchetto, Olivier Coipel, Ryan Stegman, Steve McNiven, Terry Dodson, Todd Nauck, and more – are coming together to celebrate Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s birthdays!

Amazing Fantasy #1000

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Fantastic Four: Full Circle

Wednesdays (and Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Agent of Worlde #2 (Scout Comics) – Fantastic art plus crazy concepts are a nice bow about this secret agent who just wants to relax with his secret family.

Amazing Fantasy #1000 (Marvel) – Celebrate 60 years of Spider-Man with a hell of a group of creators.

Fantastic Four: Full Circle (Abrams Comicarts) – Alex Ross does the Fantastic Four in an original graphic novel. Nuff said.

Forever Forward #1 (Scout Comics) – A group launches themselves forward in time. Will they find the technology to travel back in their adventure?

Neverlanders (Razorbill) – A new take on Peter Pan we got a taste of on Free Comic Book Day. That introduction was great and got us beyond excited to read the full graphic novel.

Power Rangers Unlimited: The Death Ranger #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A Death Ranger you say? You have our attention.

Star Trek: Pickard – Stargazer #1 (IDW Publishing) – We’ve enjoyed the television series and want to see what comics can bring to the beloved character and new setting.

Thunderbolts #1 (Marvel) – With a movie in the works and the property still having lots of love, we get a new take spinning out of Devil’s Reign focused on the fallout from Wilson Fisk’s time as Mayor.

Transformers: Shattered Glass II #1 (IDW Publishing) – The first volume was interesting and we want to see what new twisted takes on the characters we love are to come!

The Variants #3 (Marvel) – The series has kept us guessing as to what’s going on. Fans of Jessica Jones need to check this out.

Preview: Amazing Fantasy #1000

Amazing Fantasy #1000

(W) Kurt Busiek, Various (A) Jim Cheung, Various (CA) John Romita Jr.
RATED T
In Shops: Aug 31, 2022
SRP: $7.99

The comic that brought you SPIDER-MAN hits issue #1000! We’re going big to celebrate in this, our thousandth issue of AMAZING FANTASY! An ALL-STAR roster of creators – Anthony Falcone, Dan Slott, Ho Che Anderson, Jonathan Hickman, Kurt Busiek, Michael Cho, Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jim Cheung, Marco Checchetto, Olivier Coipel, Ryan Stegman, Steve McNiven, Terry Dodson, Todd Nauck, and more – are coming together to celebrate Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s birthdays!

Amazing Fantasy #1000

Creators Unite to Celebrate Spider-Man’s 60 Years in Amazing Fantasy #1000

Sixty years ago, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introduced the world to Spider-Man in the historic Amazing Fantasy #15! Over the course of six web-slinging decades, Peter Parker has inspired millions of fans and secured his spot as one of the most iconic fictional characters of all time. To celebrate this milestone anniversary, a lineup of incredible creators from throughout the comics industry will come together next month in Amazing Fantasy #1000, an outstanding collection of stories that explore the past, present and future of Amazing Spider-Man storytelling and showcase why Spidey is one of the most beloved heroes in history.

Here’s what fans can expect from this landmark issue:

  • Visionary writer Neil Gaiman’s and artist Steve McNiven tell a touching tale about how Spidey inspired a young fan
  • Emmy Award-winning creator behind Veep and Avenue 5 Armando Iannucci makes his Marvel Comics debut alongside Ryan Stegman in a story about a strange Spidey conspiracy!
  • Spider-Man mastermind Dan Slott and superstar artist Jim Cheung team up to explore the enduring love between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in a story set in the far future
  • Acclaimed artist Michael Cho and novelist Anthony Falcone craft a powerful story that explores the very root of Peter Parker’s heroism
  • Ho Che Anderson and Giuseppe Camuncoli deliver thrills and chills in a horror-fueled Spidey adventure that cuts to Peter Parker’s core
  • Kurt Busiek, Terry Dodson, and Rachel Dodson introduce a new Spidey villainess—the WITCH-QUEEN!
  • Rainbow Rowell and Olivier Coipel spotlight the average day of Peter Parker’s hectic job as a Daily Bugle photographer
  • Jonathan Hickman and Marco Checchetto take readers on an inter-dimensional journey across the Spider-Verse and beyond!

Check out brand-new interior artwork and don’t miss this profound chapter in the Spider-Man mythos when Amazing Fantasy #1000 arrives on August 31!

J. Scott Campbell Celebrates Spider-Man’s Anniversary in an Amazing Fantasy #1000 cover

This August, Marvel will proudly celebrate the 60th anniversary of Spider-Man in a new landmark issue, Amazing Fantasy #1000! The giant-sized one-shot will be a collection of stories exploring the past, present and future of Amazing Spider-Man storytelling brought to life by some of the industry’s top creators. And no Spidey celebration would be complete without the work of acclaimed Spider-Man artist, J. Scott Campbell! The top-selling artist behind some of the most iconic Amazing Spider-Man covers in Marvel history has crafted a gorgeous new variant cover that fans can check out now!

And Spidey isn’t the only Marvel hero celebrating a milestone! Campbell’s Amazing Fantasy #1000 variant cover will be the latest in his series of stunning Anniversary Variant Covers that mark the anniversary of some of Marvel’s greatest characters. Hitting stands this month will be Campbell’s Anniversary Variant Covers for both THOR and HULK, with many more to come! And all these stunning pieces will also be available as Virgin Variant Covers! 

Check out the cover below and stay tuned for the reveal of more of J. Scott Campbell’s Anniversary Covers in the coming months!

Amazing Fantasy #1000 J. Scott Campbell cover

Industry Legends Celebrate 60 Years of Spider-Man with Amazing Fantasy #1000

This year marks 60 years of one of comic books’ greatest icons—Spider-Man! In addition to an exciting relaunch of Amazing Spider-Man, a stunning variant cover program, and more, Marvel will also celebrate this milestone anniversary with a special issue honoring the comic that started it all, Amazing Fantasy. Arriving in August, Amazing Fantasy #1000 will be a giant-sized one-shot brought together by some of the industry’s most acclaimed creators. The collection of stories will explores the past and future of Amazing Spider-Man storytelling in tales that leave a profound impact on the Spider-Man mythos and showcase why Spidey is one of the most beloved heroes in history!

Here’s just some of what fans can expect from this landmark issue:

  •  Visionary writer Neil Gaiman’s grand return to the Marvel Universe
  •  Emmy Award winning creator behind “Veep” and “Avenue 5” Armando Ianucci’s Marvel Comics debut
  • Spider-Man mastermind Dan Slott and superstar artist Jim Cheung team up to explore the enduring love between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in a story set in the far future
  • Acclaimed artist Michael Cho and novelist Anthony Falcone introduce a new Spider-Man villain
  • Ho Che Anderson crafts a horror-fueled Spidey adventure that cuts to Peter Parker’s core
  • Plus stories by Rainbow Rowell, Kurt Busiek, Jonathan Hickman, and many more!
  • Also including art by Terry Dodson and more!
  • A main cover by John Romita Jr.!

Join the industry’s top talent in celebrating Spider-Man’s birthday when Amazing Fantasy #1000 arrives in August. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for variant cover reveals, creator announcements, and more! 

Amazing Fantasy #1000

Exclusive Preview: Amazing Fantasy #5 (of 5)

Amazing Fantasy #5 (of 5)

(W) Kaare Andrews (A/CA) Kaare Andrews
RATED T+
In Shops: Dec 08, 2021
SRP: $4.99

What if your life came down to one amazing moment, one fantastical choice to undo the thing you regret most? What would it cost to rescue the person you love? What would you be willing to pay? Find out in the final issue of AMAZING FANTASY! Starring WWII Cap, teenage Spidey and spy-school Black Widow in one last chance to save it all!

Amazing Fantasy #5 (of 5)
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