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Thursday, January 19, 2012

DAMN Good Comics -- AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #678

Amazing Spider-Man was a bit wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey this week...and that's definitely a good thing.

In the cheerily-titled "I Killed Tomorrow Part 1 of 2: Schrödinger's Catastrophe," writer Dan Slott gives Peter Parker just three hours to prevent the destruction of New York City.  This isn't the typical "ticking clock" story, though, because Peter only learns about New York's destruction by stepping through a Doorway to Tomorrow (Morrow...Morrow...).

It seems Grady Scraps, his fellow creative engineer at think-tank Horizon Labs, has invented a gateway field of chronoton particles with a 24-hour window.  When Grady shows off his new invention, Peter steps through only to discover that tomorrow's events have suddenly been altered and all of New York City has been completely demolished.  Peter quickly finds an abandoned wristwatch frozen at the exact time of the destruction, while Grady uses a newspaper from before Peter's presence altered the timeline to help Spider-Man fix the timeline and stop the devastation before it happens.

Everybody got that?

Slott indulges his love of time-travel stories here, even revealing that Grady, like Slott himself, is a fan of Doctor Who, adding another Whovian to the Marvel Universe.  (Hmmm...I wonder if Grady ever hangs out with Mr. Fantastic and his daughter Valeria...)  And as the story's title suggests, the quantum mechanics paradox known as Schrödinger's cat comes into play, with New York City being simultaneously undamaged and completely destroyed.  The story's real heart though, is the pairing of Spider-Man and the unconventional Grady, making it feel as if Spidey traveled to Lost Island and spent an entire episode teamed up with Hugo "Hurley" Reyes.

As for the art, Humberto Ramos turns in a mostly-solid issue of his distinctive exaggerated style.  He puts a great deal of effort into giving his characters individual hairstyles and specific fashion choices, but rushes a bit through scenes involving buildings and the devastation.  However, if you're a fan of Ramos on Amazing Spider-Man, as I am, you're probably willing to overlook this and concentrate more on the story instead.

The cliffhanger works nicely, giving Spidey mere seconds to identify what needs to be done (or not done) to avoid catastrophe.  Something tells me he'll figure it out, but that wait for the next issue to see what happens...Duuuuude...

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