Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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SPIDER-MAN #78: This is the fourth chapter of the almost-weekly Spider-Man, and I've already forgotten the details of the previous chapters. I still get the gist, though: Ben Reilly is Spider-Man, Peter Parker is in a coma. I wish they'd just write Peter out, if that's what they're going to do. Of course he'll be back sometime, but as long as he's onstage it's a distraction. 

This issue features Morbius. It was Ben Reilly who fought Morbius first, but I don't recall whether or not he fought him in the '90s. The Black Cat visits Peter in the hospital while Mary Jane's there. No big deal; she may be an ex-girlfriend, but Peter and MJ aren't married, so so what? The scene was handle believably and maturely. Misty Knight and Colleen Wing (who I still don't really know one from the other ofter all these years) are supporting characters now, as is Monica Rambeau (who may be calling herself Photon now?).

One scene is graphically violent (in which Morbius gets his arm sliced off by Ben's security system), but the most chilling scene (and you'll have to take my word for this because I'm not going to be able to do it justice) is when the Beyond Corporation is considering not treating the Morbius vampire virus with the antitoxin they have just to see what enhanced powers it might give Ben. 

there is another comics book numbered "78.BEY" but I think it is a one-shot. In any case, I won't be buying it. Arthur Adams is doing the covers of the entire "Beyond" arc. Waiting on deck is Kraven the Hunter (to fight Spider-Man, not do a cover).

EDGAR ALLAN POE'S SNIFTER OF DEATH #2: My favorite of the two comics stories was "Chess Player," in which Poe sets himself against the famed chess playing mechanical "Turk." My favorite of the short pieces (two short stories and one poem this time) was "Dinner Date," the first person narrative told from the point of view of the vampire. 

THE NEW LONE WOLF & CUB v9: I'm slowing down as I get to the end. It's very different in tome from the original saga. It's a little more difficult for me to follow, I think because there are so many proper names that remain untranslated to keep track of. There's also another little niggling detail I cannot get out of my mind: the endnotes don't match up with the page references. That's strictly editorial, but it have persisted throughout every volume of the sequel series and I cannot understand why Dark Horse cannot get it right. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

This issue features Morbius. It was Ben Reilly who fought Morbius first, but I don't recall whether or not he fought him in the '90s.

Actually, Morbius first fought Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man #101 (OCT71) long before Ben Reilly was thought of. He and Man-Wolf were created as (half-baked) scientific versions of vampires and werewolves to side-step the Code. When the Code was revised to allowed the real thing, Marvel published Tomb of Dracula and Werewolf by Night.

"Actually, Morbius first fought Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man #101"

What I meant was, within the conceit of the series, the "Peter Parker" who fought Morbius in Spider-Man #101 is the Spider-Man who now calls himself "Ben Reilly." For all intents and purposes, "Ben Reilly" was the Spider-Man who was featured from Amazing Fantasy #15 through Spider-Man #149. 

Sorry, I refuse to accept that.  Peter Parker was the only Spider-Man until Miles Morales came along.  I refuse to accept any "Ben Reilly". So saith the Baron.*

*For the little that's worth.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

For all intents and purposes, "Ben Reilly" was the Spider-Man who was featured from Amazing Fantasy #15 through Spider-Man #149. 

"For all intents and purposes, 'Ben Reilly' was the Spider-Man who was featured from Amazing Fantasy #15 through Spider-Man #149."

Actually, now that I've thought about it some more, that might not actually be "true." When Marvel killed off Ben Reilly, they also overturned the notion that he was actually the original Peter Parker. When they brought him back, I had assumed they overturned the overturn and restored him to his "original" status quo, but that may not be true; they may have overturned just the "he's dead" piece of it. To me, a clone who came on the scene in #149 then disappeared for several years is much less interesting than the guy who was Spider-Man for 150 issues and thought he was a clone coming back. In any case, both Spider-Men have the same memories through ASM #149. 

"Sorry, I refuse to accept that."

I am able to hold multiple iterations of a story in my head (as I know you are, too). For example: Star Wars. there is no way I accept that the three prequel movies occur in the same universe as the original trilogy. That doesn't stop me from enjoying them, though. (Jar-Jar Binks and young Anakin stop me from enjoying them, Just kidding.) Further example: Star Trek. There is no way that Discovery takes place the universe of TOS (and that's in addition to the off-shoot Abrams-verse). 

Similarly, I can hold one reality in my head in which Peter Parker is Spider-Man and always has been, alongside another reality in which Peter Parker became convinced he was a clone and started calling himself Ben Reilly. I guess now I'll have to entertain a third possibility in which Ben Reilly was the clone all along.

There are vast swathes of Spider-Man I simply don't care for all that much. I'm a big fan of the first 100 or so issues, say, but I don't really get into it again until the Stern era through the Michelienie/McFarlane era. Beyond that, it really didn't begin to attract my attention again until the clone era, issue #400 or so. When Marvel declared that issues #150 through #400 or whatever were really about a clone, I was there. Even though (or perhaps because) some of those stories were quite good, I'm not willing to dismiss them because the main character was (purportedly) a clone and not the "real" Peter Parker. 

It seems to me that, of all types of people, comic book fans would be most willing to embrace clones (as they have mutants, for example), but that has not proven to be the case. 

Friday Book One: The First Day of Christmas - Quick shout-out to Captain Comics, I wouldn't have known this existed without his weekly updates. My LCS has a copy for the store and I decided to pick it up. This is basically a story about what if the heroes of YA  novels (Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, etc) continued to grow up. Here we have Friday Fitzhugh playing Watson to Lancelot Jones' Holmes.

Friday has just returned home from her first semester of college and wants to talk to Lancelot, about what happened between them, the night before she left. He is just pulling her into his latest case.

There are a few flashback scenes, like Friday and Lancelot's first meeting and the "incident". A mixture of the supernatural and natural. If that doesn't sell you, then Ed Brubaker writing and Marcos Martin providing the art should. I thought this first volume was really good.

"This is basically a story about what if the heroes of YA novels continued to grow up."

Sounds like Alan Moore's Lost Girls.

(Maybe not.) 

I never read Lost Girls, but from what I know about it I would say no. A lot less sex in Friday, plus these are characters of their own creation.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"This is basically a story about what if the heroes of YA novels continued to grow up."

Sounds like Alan Moore's Lost Girls.

(Maybe not.) 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"For all intents and purposes, 'Ben Reilly' was the Spider-Man who was featured from Amazing Fantasy #15 through Spider-Man #149."

Actually, now that I've thought about it some more, that might not actually be "true." When Marvel killed off Ben Reilly, they also overturned the notion that he was actually the original Peter Parker. When they brought him back, I had assumed they overturned the overturn and restored him to his "original" status quo, but that may not be true; they may have overturned just the "he's dead" piece of it. To me, a clone who came on the scene in #149 then disappeared for several years is much less interesting than the guy who was Spider-Man for 150 issues and thought he was a clone coming back. In any case, both Spider-Men have the same memories through ASM #149. 

My head hurts.

I have read both of them, and not alike at all. Not even a little bit. Remember that Moore famously insisted on calling Lost Girls "pornography." Friday is definitely not that.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"This is basically a story about what if the heroes of YA novels continued to grow up."

Sounds like Alan Moore's Lost Girls.

(Maybe not.) 

[I was just kidding about Friday being similar to Lost Girls.]

THE NEW LONE WOLF AND CUB v10-11: I had anticipated the ending of the original Lone Wolf & Cub, but I had no idea what to expect of the sequel. I will admit the ending surprised me nevertheless. I had planned to move from LW&C to Prince Valiant (one epic to another), but I started that a few weeks ago and didn't stick to it. I now have something else in mind, similar to epic manga but not quite. 

I am also about halfway through Gødland.

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