Avenging Spider-Man #6, the first issue of the Omega Effect cross-over, came out today and my overall impression is that it was a gorgeous and exciting start to the story with witty and engaging dialogue. Before getting to more of the good stuff however, I have a confession to make. I don’t completely understand all the different pieces to this puzzle. The issue starts off with Spidey dropping in on Reed Richards, responding to a call he got. Reed tells Peter that Daredevil stopped by (an encounter that was also eluded to in Daredevil #10.1) and that he helped him extract the info on the Black Spectre, but that Daredevil took the drive with him when he left and that Reed was unable to stop him due to being in the middle of a science experiment. This begs all kinds of questions:
- Was Reed able to interrupt his work to extract the data, but not long enough to prevent Daredevil from leaving?
- Did Reed really help Matt actually upload the data on Black Spectre to the Bugle’s server (as described in Daredevil #10.1)? Why would he do this, no questions asked?
- Did Matt get a copy of this on a USB drive or something? If not, how else can they use any of the information “overlapping” with the other criminal organizations (which is mentioned later in this issue) for anything at all? It’s not as if Matt would have had access to anything popping up on Reed’s screen during the extraction process.
- What happened to Reed’s science experiment – the critical one involving a parallel universe – while he was doing all this?
- Why didn’t Reed just do a back-up of the whole thing while he was at it?
I have to admit, questions like the ones above bother me, as does Matt’s overall approach to dealing with the situation, pitting the players against each other, and bringing down some (but not all) by publishing the data. Considering that this conflict is at the heart of the Omega Effect, and that I’m still not sure what exactly Daredevil, Spider-Man and the Punisher finally agreed to do, you might expect me to not like this issue very much. However, for the time being, I can overlook a lot of this for the simple reason that I really like how these characters are written and how they interact with one another. The dialogue is just that good. And, while many of the details have me just a little too confused for comfort, I do buy into the concept of these characters setting aside their differences and working together. You know, to do whatever it was that they decided to do. 😉
All the characters involved have clear and distinct voices and scenes like the one when Frank first shows up in Matt’s office feels like a perfect tribute to these characters and their past interactions. Matt comes across as smart, on top of his game and very funny in that understated, sarcastic Matt Murdock way. No one does his humor quite like Mark Waid (although, in this issue, he gets help from Greg Rucka as far as the overall plot goes, of course). The action scene with Spider-Man and the ninjas is great – even though I’m technically sick of ninjas – and having this run parallel to the flashback scene between Spider-Man and Reed Richards also works really well. The introduction of Rachel Cole-Alves to this particular mix adds a nice bit of spice and, like I said, if you just look at the character work, I have very few complaints. Hopefully, next issue (Punisher #10) will clarify some of what exactly is going on with the overall plot.
The art is gorgeous. It’s clearly very different from Rivera’s and Martín’s work on the title, but I really dug Marco Checchetto’s art during his last stint on Daredevil and it looks even nicer now. Both Matt and Frank look sexy as hell. I don’t even care if that’s a weird thing to say. 😉 The colors are by Daredevil veteran Matt Hollingsworth and the entire tone of the issue is reminiscent of another era in Daredevil’s life, which is definitely suitable for this particular story. Dark and moody works well here and the overall effect is absolutely beautiful.
Yes, this issue might have left me a little confused, but I’m still very satisfied that we’re going to get a story that – while there are no guarantees it will make perfect sense – at least delivers on the character work and dialogue. I’m glad Punisher #10 is just one week away!