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The Amazing Spider-Man – The Gauntlet: Morbius – It Is The Life (Review)

This April, to celebrate the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we are taking a look at some classic and modern comics featuring Spider-Man (and friends). Check back daily for the latest review.

At a scant fourteen pages (sharing a single issue with a larger Flash Thompson story), It is the Life feels like something of an interlude in the large scheme of The Gauntlet. While most of the stories in the cycle are relatively short and contained (with nothing running over four issues), this is an exceptionally brief encounter between Spider-Man and one his older foes-turned-allies.

At the same time, writer Fred Van Lente manages to pile a lot into the fourteen pages of It is the Life, maintaining a wonderful thematic consistency across the line. Editor Stephen Wacker has done a wonderful job managing his team of “web-heads” and making sure that The Gauntlet remains internally consistent and on-point. Despite the diversity in talent working on the sprawling Spider-Man epic, it never feels like the larger threads get away from any of the writers.

Even a short fourteen-page interlude manages to hit on many of the event’s core themes.

What's at stake?

What’s at stake?

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Doctor Who: The Brain of Morbius (Review)

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, I’ll be taking weekly looks at some of my own personal favourite stories and arcs, from the old and new series, with a view to encapsulating the sublime, the clever and the fiendishly odd of the BBC’s Doctor Who.

The Brain of Morbius originally aired in 1976.

How did you get her here, by the way?

The power of the Sisterhood.

Really? What, you mean you still practise teleportation? How quaint. Now, if you got yourself a decent forklift truck–

Doctor, you have but a little time left. Will you waste it prattling nonsense or confess your guilt.

What do you mean, I have but a little time left?

Before you die.

But I’m only seven hundred and forty nine. Life doesn’t begin until seven hundred and —

At the next sun. That is agreed.

Not by me, it isn’t. I haven’t even been consulted.

– The Doctor, Ohica and Maren are clear on a few things

The Brain of Morbius continues the trend of phenomenally strong episodes in Baker’s sophomore season. Barring The Android Invasion, it’s a fairly stellar run of adventures, and I think that it’s these stories that a lot of people (casual follower and hardened fanatic alike) think of when they remember Tom Baker’s celebrated tenure in the role. Producer Philip Hinchcliffe continues his “gothic adventures… in space!” trend from Planet of Evil, this time offering a futuristic take on a Hammer-Horror-style Frankenstein. And the results are as fun, as wonderful and as grotesque as you might have imagined.

They did the monster mash…

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Ultimate Spider-Man – Vol. 7-9 (Hardcover)

Five years in and the Ultimate Universe is starting to look a little cluttered. In fairness, it was a little bit inevitable, with so many classic storylines to play out and so many classic characters to reimagine in a relatively short space of time. Bendis tries to keep the toys from cluttering up the pram through various means, and none of these new characters seem forced (though some do feel gratuitous). I suppose that if the Ultimate line is supposed to offer a mirror to the mainstream history of Marvel, it’s only natural it should become cluttered. Still, like playing with your favourite toys, it’s only natural to make a bit of a mess…

No claws for alarm...

No claws for alarm...

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