Superman: Secret Origin 1 (November 2009)

Geoff Johns’s point seems to be to do another Superman origin retelling, this time integrating parts of Superman (Johns used to work for director Richard Donner), the “Smallville” TV show (Johns occasionally writes episodes for the show) and some of the stuff John Byrne left out of his Man of Steel origin retelling back in the eighties. The result is about as jumbled as it sounds from that grocery list of intentions. Seeing Gary Frank essentially draw a young Christopher Reeve in a few panels is pretty neat and having Clark and Lana Lang have a budding romance is cute. Johns even…

Spider-Man: Fever 3 (August 2010)

What a nice finish. I’m not sure if Spider-Man and Dr. Strange have any real comics history between them–besides being New York heroes who traditionally weren’t members of the Avengers–but McCarthy makes it seem like they ought to. Even with the discrepancies in the colloquialisms–one panel Spidey’s using seventies slang, then sixties in the next (or vice versa), it’s a very nice finish. When I say nice, I don’t just mean well-executed. For all the sinister magic and the soul-devouring, the story’s upbeat and friendly. The series finishes well for Spidey and Dr. Strange, but McCarthy also introduces a solid supporting cast…

Spider-Man: Fever 2 (July 2010)

Well, the first issue was certainly no fluke. Here, set entirely in some magic dimension, McCarthy lets loose with both the art and the storytelling… almost immediately finding the humanity in it all. He sets Spider-Man on a quest to kill a fly. Kind of a human fly (its soul is human). The story itself might even be set in the Ditko period McCarthy is homaging, given the lack of further complications (girlfriends, marriage) in Peter’s life. But it’s stunningly modern in its storytelling; McCarthy could be an example of why psychedelic should never be used as a pejorative. The way he…