SPIDER-MAN & THE NEW WARRIORS: THE HERO KILLERS (Marvel, 2012; Softcover)
Collects Amazing Spider-Man Annual No. 26, New Warriors Annual No. 2, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual No. 12, and Web of Spider-Man Annual No.8 (cover dates Annual 1992)
Writers: David Michelinie, Fabian Nicieza, Eric Fein, Tom Brevoort, Mike Kanterovich, Glenn Herdling, and G. Alan Barnum.
Artists: Pencilers- Scott McDaniel, Brandon Peterson, Aaron Lopresti, Vince Evans, Scott Kolins, Tod Smith, and Steve Buccellato; Inkers- Keith Williams, Mark Stegbauer, Al Milgrom, Jimmy Palmiotti, Bruce Jones, Don Hudson, Sam DeLarosa, and Aaron Lopresti.
This is one of those bizarre, somewhere out of left field collected editions. Collecting a four part crossover which spanned the Spider-Man summer Annuals, it co-starred The New Warriors, the '90s attempt at making a go of a new superhero team. They come off as also-rans. Nova was a '70s C-lister. Firestar was created for the Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends animated series in the early 1980s and found her way into comics a few years later. Namorita goes back to the '50s but never really caught on. Speedball's biggest claim to fame is the short-lived Steve Ditko-penciled series of the late '80s. Night Thrasher...I still don't know what his powers are after reading this book.
Silhouette is easily the worst of the bunch though. I am not making light of people with disabilities. My aunt suffered from, and ultimately died from, MS, so I know full well the horrors and hardships that people with disabilities can go through. But the notion of a superhero whose only power is blending in with shadows and has to use crutches to walk is just plain dumb. She uses them as weapons, too. I can't see how anyone would think that bringing someone with a disability like this into combat situations is a good idea. It seems irresponsible. People with disabilities can lead full and active lives, but fighting super villains seems unbelievable, and this is comic books for chrissakes!
|Handicapped characters, such as Handi Man, must have been perceived as THE NEXT BIG THING. Why else would Marvel have a character like Silhouette?|
Like many early '90s comics, this is high on action and low on story. Think of it as a more entertaining version of decompression. Rather than padding out a thin story with endless conversations, it is padded out with a seemingly endless array of battles. The main story is basically Speedball and other superheroes being kidnapped by Justin Hammer and (SPOILER) the Sphinx to steal their energy, and Spider-Man and The New Warriors fighting battle after battle after battle to rescue them. Throw in some overwriting and typically mediocre '90s art and there you have it.
You could do a lot worse than this book, but you could also do much better. This is for '90s children and completists only.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.25 out of 5.
The OCD zone- The back up stories and all pages not related to the main story are collected in the back of the book. This is done for the reading flow of the story and makes perfect sense when reading it. This practice would not fly in a Marvel Masterworks, for example, but in a self-contained collection like this it does.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: The fully rendered front and back covers of the book minus the trade dress. (2 pages)
Linework and Color restoration rating: 5 out of 5. This is the '90s. It looks like crap because a lot of it is. Cory Sedlemeir and Michael Kelleher couldn't spit shine these turds.
Paper rating: Nice dull matte finish coated stock, the same found in Classic lines and the softcover Marvel Masterworks.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. The usual high quality waxlike lamination found on all Marvel trade paperback releases.