Joseph Self reviews the Spider-Man and Araña Special, as well as the compilation of J. Michael Straczynski’s revival of Squadron Supreme.
Spider-Man & Araña Special: The Hunter Revealed
Although this special is probably not a great starting point if you’re unfamiliar with Spider-Man’s young protégé, it does provide an important chapter in the advancement of that character’s story:
Caught, as usual, in the middle of the feud between the Wasp and Spider Clans, Araña discovers some previously unrevealed powers, and a major supporting character finally achieves their destiny. But tragically, a close companion also loses their life.
An unexpected manga interlude, though poorly transitioned, will provide a treat for fans of that media, and supply some much-needed backstory for Spidey fans not keeping up with Araña’s adventures. Unfortunately, the Webslinger himself is pretty much just along for the ride—and to give Araña some timely fatherly advice while showing off his latest costume design.
Saga of Squadron Supreme
The Squadron Supreme, originally portrayed as a misguided team of inter-dimensional Avengers foes, were an intentionally obvious copy of DC’s Justice League of America, with characters like Power Princess, Lady Lark, Golden Archer and others standing in for Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Green Arrow and the rest of the original JLA. And although the team continued to appear sporadically, including in their own limited series, they never achieved the popularity of Marvel’s other groups. But that all changed when author J. Michael Straczynski completely reinvented the characters and their world in Supreme Power, as part of Marvel’s “for mature readers” Max Comics line.
Featuring excerpts of material originally published in Supreme Power and it’s spin-offs, Hyperion and Nighthawk, this special is an in-depth summary and guide to the revamped characters and their still-developing story, and acts as an introduction to the new ongoing Squadron Supreme title.
From his secret Rocky Mountain refuge 9200 feet above the world, Joe indulges his passion for comics and other alternate realities, including his own. A long-time writer for ComicBase, his name is a veritable pun generator. You can e-mail your questions and suggestions to Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org.