Saturday, March 30, 2013

News & Notes for Saturday, March 3rd, 2013

I have about decided to sign up for the full century at this year's Tour de Cure NYC.  My company is one of the big corporate sponsors, and a guy I really like is in charge of the event for the Company Team, and more to the point, given that I can't seem to shake a sore left knee, I think focusing on an event that doesn't involve running, at least for the early part of the season, is probably a good idea.

I mention this because I am kind of procrastinating right now.  I need to get up and start getting ready for this week's ride with the YMCA Tri Club.  But it's cold, and I really don't want to get up just yet.

So anyway, as I was saying, I finally got around to reading the last two issues of Dan Slott's Superior Spider-Man yesterday, and I gotta say, Slott now has the series firing on all cylinders.

Superior Spider-Man #5 kicks the new
series into high gear.
Like a lot of fans, I was seriously annoyed with Amazing Spider-Man #700.  That's the one where Peter Parker dies, and Dr. Octopus takes over his body.  It's a typical brain switcheroo-type story, but it was annoying because they used it to end one of the most successful comics series of all time,  really building it up  this particular issue as the end of the Peter Parker era in Spider-Man's life.  

Not that most fans thought that Parker was disappearing forever.  Comic characters are killed and ressurected at such an astounding pace these days that it's hard to take the whole idea seriously.  But.  The Parker vs. Octopus story arc had been going off and on for over one hundred issues, so for Slott to blow it off with Peter Parker losing was freakin' unbelievable!

But he did, and now we have a new series, and judging from the letters column, I felt about  it just about like everybody else did.  Which is to say that  I wasn't a fan of the way Peter Parker's life ended, but at the same time, I've learned to trust Dan Slott as a writer.

And finally, with issue #5 we can begin to see why that was a good idea.

With Otto Octavius driving Parker's body, we begin to see the mad scientist that Peter always could've been but was too nice and too goofy ever to become.  Otto has become something of an all-seeing Big Brother for the people of Manhattan, with a combination of super-science, his borrowed body's native spider powers, and a real mean streak on behalf of those who're bullied by others.  Truly, it's a life that Peter Parker could've lived if his origin story were written as a super-villain's origin.

It seems clear that Peter Parker is coming back, and sooner rather than later.  I'm looking forward to it as much as anybody, but for the time being, I'm enjoying the ride, too.

Finally, I also read R.A. Salvatore's new book this week, The Last Threshold, and it was a hot mess.  It should've been called "The Dark Elf and the Random Journey".  Or maybe, "In Which Drizzt Fails to Break Up With His CrazyAss Girlfriend, Finally Driving Her To Kill Him."

Cover art for The Last Threshold.
It's really too bad that the book isn't as exciting as this image.
I won't say that I didn't enjoy the book per se, but it didn't have a central plot, and although Drizzt is definitely the protagonist, he isn't in many of the interesting scenes, nor does he resolve any of the plotlines.

Honestly, this book reminded me of the first of the Laurel K. Hamilton Anita Blake novels that was all sex.  Those drove her fans away, and I think this one will drive Drizzt's fans away too.  I mean, I got this thing from the library, and I still feel cheated.  The book was a waste of time.  More like this are just gonna open up the doors to new authors in the Forgotten Realms, though at this point, I think I'd welcome that.

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