Marvel’s July 14th comics had a common theme, as Spider-Man took center stage in a great deal of them. Considering the web-slinger is Marvel’s flagship character, that’s a big deal. In addition to the debut of Sinister War, which sees Spidey battling against a literal army of villains, the week also saw the release of the penultimate issue of Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow. The symbiotic serial killer Carnage also took center stage with two titles, and Avengers Iron Man and Thor got a chance to shine with new story arcs. Without further ado, here are the Marvel July 14th titles you all should check out!
Creative Team: Nick Spencer, Mark Bagley, John Dell, Andy Owens, Andrew Hennessy, Brian Reber, VC’s Joe Caramagna
Sinister War will serve as Nick Spencer’s final storyline for Amazing Spider-Man, and Spencer clearly intends to go out on a high note if this issue is any indication. Several plot points from his run are brought to a head, as Vulture’s Savage Six and Doctor Octopus’ Sinister Six clash over Mysterio-with Spider-Man and his girlfriend Mary Jane Watson caught in the middle! Joining Spencer is veteran Spider-Man artist Bagley, who delivers some of the most dynamic images in his career. Simply put, this is everything I love about a Spider-Man story.
Sinister War #1 can be found on ComiXology and wherever comics are sold.
Creative Team: Chip Zdarsky, Pasqual Ferry, Matt Hollingsworth, VC’s Joe Caramagna
Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow has explored an alternate universe where Peter Parker never chose to give up the symbiote suit, leading to fatal consequences for his villains. However, this issue explores a new question-what if the symbiote possessed another hero, namely the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards? The creators pack the issue with plenty of horror-including a symbiote-possessed Richards and Ben Grimm-but balance it out with notes of hope, including Peter and Mary Jane Watson sharing a tender moment before confronting the symbiote. All in all, this is shaping up to be one of Marvel’s best What If? stories.
Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow can be found on ComiXology and wherever comics are sold.
Creative Team: Clay McLeod Chapman, Chris Mooneyman, Marcio Menyz, VC’s Travis Lanham
The Extreme Carnage storyline continues, as the symbiotic serial killer targets Andi Benton-aka Scream. Not only is this issue soaked with 90s era goodness-including the appearance of Maximum Carnage mainstay Doppleganger-it also serves as a tragic encounter for Andi as she’s forced to make a difficult choice to stop Carnage from infesting her mind. Chapman and Mooneyman have served as the creative force behind other Scream stories, so it’s only fitting that they return for this one as it paints an uncertain future for Andi.
Extreme Carnage: Scream #1 can be found on ComiXology and wherever comics are sold.
Creative Team: Ryan Stegman, Joe Bennett, Mattia Iacono, Declan Shalvey, Stephen Mooney, Ed Brisson, Scott Hepburn, Andres Mossa, VC’s Joe Sabino
Marvel’s Black, White & Blood series spotlight their most vicious characters and true to their mind feature plenty of blood-soaked pages from a variety of creators. What makes the Carnage edition special is that it falls on the sinister symbiote’s 30th anniversary, and the final issue explores Cletus Kasady’s past, present, and future. From a story involving an alternate universe written by Venom artist Ryan Stegman to a tale set years in the future on a ruined Earth, there is only one constant-Carnage will rise and wreak chaos.
Carnage: Black, White & Blood #4 can be found on ComiXology and wherever comics are sold.
Creative Team: Donny Cates, Michele Bandini, Elisabetta D’Amico, Matt Wilson, Joe Sabino
Though he has wrapped up his epic run on Venom and is gearing up to tackle the Incredible Hulk, Donny Cates is only getting started with his Thor run. Amazing Spider-Man artist Michele Bandini joins Cates for the new story arc “Revelations,” which sees Thor attempting to learn why his hammer Mjlonir is growing heavier every day. Thus far, Cates has upended Thor’s life by forcing him to confront his own mortality and his father’s sins; this issue is no different. Bandini proves to be more than up to the task of drawing a god’s exploits, especially with a sequence that features Thor aiding the Avengers against an alien race. And the fact that Thor confides in Captain America above all else leads to one of the issue’s most emotional moments.
Thor #15 can be found on ComiXology and wherever comics are sold.
Iron Man #10
Creative Team: Christopher Cantwell, CAFU, Frank D’Amarta, VC’s Joe Caramagna
Iron Man has had many adventures and faced impossible odds…but the creative team of Christopher Cantwell and CAFU seem determined to up the ante for the Armored Avenger. Stranded on an alien planet, Iron Man soon learns that its inhabitants are relatively peaceful including other Marvel heroes and villains. He struggles with a broken neck, as well as the dangers of morphine addiction. And he even has time to think about what kind of person he wants to be. This issue is rare in that it serves as both a standalone tale and a solid jumping-on point, which serves as two reasons why audiences should give it a read.
Iron Man #10 can be found on ComiXology and wherever comics are sold.
The Marvel July 14th titles definitely leaned in favor of Spider-Man and Carnage, although two of the Avengers’ “Big Three” also got meaty character pieces. I’m a firm believer in the philosophy that any comic book character can work with the right creator behind them, and these characters are lucky to have some of the best creators in the business handling their tales. Next week should hopefully bring even more character-driven stories from the House of Ideas.
Pick up all of the Marvel July 14th titles and more at ComiXology.com.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.