Mind Capsules – Amazing Spider-Man #17 and Captain America: Steve Rogers #4

Amazing Spider-Man #17
Amazing Spider-Man #17

Writer – Dan Slott
Artist – R.B. Silva
Inker – Adriano Di Benedetto
Colours – Marte Gracia
Letters – VC’s Joe Caramagna

Peter Parker wants to help save Aunt May’s husband and to do so means using an experimental new technology. The only thing about it all is that he needs to know all there is about it and as such, he sends the Prowler out to investigate as there are some files that he cannot access. Prowler agrees and what he finds is far more than he bargained for. Dan Slott continues the story of New U and the involvement of The Jackal and his team of villains with a little help from penciller R.B. Silva who comes on board this issue. As everybody may or may not know, The Jackal was was a part of all that clone stuff that went on back in the 90s and now he is back, cloning once again and of course, up to no good. As of this moment, he has recruited the Lizard and the Rhino by bringing their loved ones back from the dead and while he tries to give Electro his powers back, as evidenced by the cover of this book, things do not exactly turn out the way he had hoped for. Despite the setback, things actually turn around and it looks like The Jackal’s plan, whatever it may ultimately be, is back on course and that cannot be good for Peter. Once again, Slott lays off the funny for this issue and presents a tale filled with a little action and espionage courtesy of The Prowler who takes center stage. While the book is called The Amazing Spider-Man, it is nice to see some of the supporting characters get a chance to shine once in a while – this case being Hobie Brown. Other than Hobie dressing up like Spidey for a bit during the beginning of the story, there is no Spider-Man to be found and perhaps if there were, things would not have turned out like they did during the final act. Silva provides some truly slick pencils and with a little help from Adriano Di Benedetto and some colours from Marte Gracia, they really pop and lend to the events taking place on the page. What is most interesting is the fact that Slott has decided to revisit what is arguably, one of the worst eras in Spider-Man’s storied career. Some love it and most hate it, but Slott has never steered the ship wrong thus far on the book so you have to know that whatever is in store, is going to be good.

4 out of 5

Captain America Steve Rogers #4
Captain America: Steve Rogers #4

Writer – Nick Spencer
Artist – Javier Pina, Miguel Sepulveda
Colours – Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters – VC’s Joe Caramagna

Steve Rogers has big plans. Those plans happen to involve Dr. Selvig, a man he has saved from certain death and a death that was ordered by the Red Skull. While Steve serves the Red Skull, he only makes it seem like he does so as he has his own agenda which funny enough, runs right in line with that of the villain’s. Hydra has fallen on hard times of late and while the Red Skull has plans to restore it to greatness, Steve does not think the Skull has it in him to do so. Only Steve himself can raise Hydra up to be the force, the movement that it was always meant to be and with the help of Selvig and Kobik if he can ever find her, he will do just that. Nick Spencer’s tale of a corrupted Captain America rolls onwards with new developments and a particularly brutal scene that is very unlike the good Captain involving the Red Ghost and the procurement of his lab. Suffice it to say, the Ghost’s apes and the Ghost himself will no longer prove to be any trouble for anyone else in the Marvel Universe ever again. What that scene does prove is that Steve has been fundamentally changed and not for the better. The book also flashes back to the past to give us a bit more of his early history including the final fate of his mom and just what the beginning stages of Hydra looked like. What still remains to be seen is if it truly was Kobik that altered Steve to think the way he does now or if it was the events of his childhood. If it was the former, that means that something can be done to fix him – but if it was the latter, then that means that he has not been the man that many have come to know and love over the years and puts all of his accomplishments in a different kind of light. Naturally you have to think it was Kobik because anything else does not make any sense but only time will tell and Spencer, who has been killing it lately on the Cap books, is sure to reveal all in time. With a great story and some great artwork, the continuing adventure of Steve Rogers remains a very exciting and gripping must-read.

4 out of 5

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