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Review of Spider-Man: Brand New Day – Extra!! (3.23 stars) August 1, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Overall rating: 3.23 out of 5 stars

First off, why the weird numbering for the stars? Well as you are about to see, each section got a different star rating, I then used what proportion of the issue each story was and how many stars it was worth to figure out the overall rating, hence the not very nice (and rounded off) number of 3.23.

Now, moving on:

Death of a Wise Guy – Rating: 3 stars

This is the main portion of the issue, which features highlights of Hammerhead’s life story (presumably the flashes of his life that he sees before he is about to die). This also serves to resolve what appeared to be his final story present in the Civil War: War Crimes one-shot (everyone read that, right? Which by the way, since they’ve gone all editorial foot-note happy, you’d think they’d let us know that he’d be shot in the head in the aforementioned one-shot. Luckily I’ve read it and know where this comes from, so as not to be confused). As his life “flashes before his eyes” doctors attempt to save him before he is taken away by a sinister looking man and taken to Mr. Negative. Eventually Mr. Negative and his doctor are able to revive him and he agrees to undergo a lifesaving procedure at the cost of serving Mr. Negative. Overall it gives us a fairly interesting insight into a less-than-amazing Spider-Man baddie but this really felt more like the filler story that it is. This could have easily been resolved by a “Mr. Negative saved my life and I now I work for him” side-note. And speaking of side-notes, the art wasn’t too bad; Chris Bachalo seemed to do a better job here than in his first BND arc.

Birthday Boy – Rating: 2.5 stars

This was a completely unnecessary insertion. If anyone else thinks Harry’s been nothing but a jerk since he’s come back from the dead, I agree with you. This shows more of the same until the very end where it appears that Wells tries to redeem him. Sure, he decides to go spend time with Peter instead of his high-class friends but this didn’t feel anything like a buddy-buddy tale. At least the art was quite good.

The Spartacus Gambit – Rating: 4 stars

Here’s what should have been the meat of this issue. I realize that this may seem like a pricey one-shot, but I personally think this short story was worth the $4 cover price. In it, we jump a few months into the future (not unlike last year’s Swing Shift) where Spider-Man is in trial for the Spider-Tracer murders (being represented by, who else, Matt Murdock) when they are interrupted by the hanging plot-thread of the man trying to sue Spider-Man (this comes from way back in February, I think). This thread is finally resolved in a great story of courtroom drama and is riddled with teasers of an upcoming storyline. When done right, I love me some courtroom drama, and this was more than appeasing. The only thing that could have made it better? Someone besides Marcos Martin on the art.

Well, there you have it. While the first two stories may not have been spectacular, the first and last one will surely have affect on Spidey’s world in the months to come. If you have $4 to spare, I’d highly recommend picking this up.

-LOTRKing

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