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411’s Comic Reviews: What if? Flash Thompson Became Spider-Man #1, More

October 11, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
What If? Spider-Man

Hello and welcome to 411mania’s weekly Comic Book Review Roundtable! Each week we’ll be serving up a warm dish of reviews from Marvel, DC, and anything else that captures our interest. What did you pick up this week? Let us know in the comments.

Want to write a review? If you can write at least one review a week, consistently, email me at [email protected]!

Yesterday we discussed The Scariest Comic Book Characters!

Now on with the show!

Out of the Blue HC

Preview by Stephen Gustafson


The Second World War is almost over, but no one seems to have told the Germans- as Royal Air Force pilot Jamie McKenzie finds out when he’s assigned to deadly shipping strikes along the enemy coast. Flying the Mosquito fighter-bomber against heavily armed targets is dangerous enough at the best of times, but after incurring the wrath of his vengeful commanding officer, Jamie is assigned the most unpopular navigator in the unit- not to mention the least reliable aircraft. Worse still, the commander’s sights are firmly set on Jamie’s beautiful young wife, Beth.

Writer Garth Ennis (Jimmy’s Bastards, A Walk Through Hell, Preacher, The Boys) and artist Keith Burns (War Stories) re-unite after the success of their series Johnny Red, presenting another tale of World War Two aerial combat- featuring skies black with flak and enemy fighters, nail-biting low-level action, and the dark humor of men whose lives can be snatched away at any second… Out of the Blue.

Shades Of Magic: The Steel Prince #1

Preview by Stephen Gustafson

October 10 sees the hotly-anticipated release of Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince #1 – a brand-new prequel comic series expanding the Shades of Magic Universe created by award-winning New York Times bestseller V.E. Schwab. Shades of Magic is one of the most successful fantasy novel series in recent years and Sony recently won a bidding war for the rights to adapt it for the big screen.

What if? Flash Thompson Became Spider-Man #1

Review by RobF

There was a time when ‘What If’ was part of Marvel’s regular rotation. Several different series and one-shots presented characters from the Marvel u with a twist. What If Spider-Man joined the FF, etc. Here, Spidey veteran Gerry Conway with artist Diego Olortegui present Flash Thompson, noted bully, possessing the power of Spider-Man.

FYI this exact concept was covered in the original series #7.

This story takes the Spider-Man and What If mythos and turns it on its head. The Watcher has been replaced by the Unseen (Nick Fury for those playing at home). And here Flash’s arrogance is kicked up tenfold because of his spider powers and JJJ is his biggest fan. Peter Parker, meanwhile, is still an awkward teen and Uncle Ben is still alive.

Overall, I was not impressed by this story at all. Flash seems like an afterthought here. We don’t know anything about him, how he got his powers. Parker and his family are the focus, and only his death moves the story forward.

Diego Olortegui art is pedestrian at best. Nothing spectacular here. The colors are bland and muted where some vibrancy was needed.

I have fond memories of the What If series. There were some hits or misses. This, in my opinion, was a miss. The emphasis is on the wrong character whichmakes for an uneven story. I think Conway could have done better.

Rating: 4.0 out of 10

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