First Impressions – AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #6: THE OMEGA EFFECT

A team up I really should have seen coming a mile away, given these characters’ long history together. What happens when the Webbed Wall-crawler, the Man Without Fear, and the man waging a personal war against crime (and who doesn’t seem to have an epitaph), join forces to take on the largest crime syndicates in the Marvel universe? It’s the first part of “The Omega Effect” three issue crossover event.

The thing that irks me most about Marvel’s occasional (or frequent) multiple part, trans-ongoing storylines, is simply that it means I have to purchase an issue of a series I might not normally follow. And yes, this is exactly the point behind the practice, and I’m under no obligation to keep reading a series after that one issue. But it’s just kind of inconvenient, especially since it makes me ask how I should go about filing them.

I break up and file my comics based on ongoing series most of the time. So my collections of The Punisher and Daredevil (which house the second and third parts of this storyline, respectably) stay in their own little plastic bags. For simplicity’s sake. But how am I going to file AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #6? I don’t have a section for that series, although I do have bags for general Spiderman tie-ins. And what if I want to go back and read this story months (or years) from now, and yet I can’t remember where I filed all the pieces?

On the upside, so far I’m pretty sure I’d me more than happy going back to read this story again, because I loved this issue.

For those not following Daredevil for the last few issues, the Man Without Fear came into possession of a hard drive containing data on the five biggest criminal organizations in the world, pertaining to nearly every level of illegal operations. And, impatient at their endless stalling to find an agreement on how they can work together to retrieve it, Daredevil leaked the data on Black Spectre to the authorities. Black Spectre is now no more, and Daredevil made it clear he wants the other gangs to bring it on already so the matter can be settled.

Apparently The Hand accepted the challenge, as this issue begins with a hoard of Hand ninjas descending on the law offices of Matt Murdock. Just as Spiderman and The Punisher swing by, both intent on getting Daredevil to part with it. Needless to say, the three crime fighting men (and the Punisher’s new female partner, Sergeant Cole-Alves; or “Punisherette” as Spidy calls her) end making a reluctant alliance to make sure the Omega Drive is put to good use.

What “good use” means, though, is something the three (plus one) disagree heavily on. Daredevil wants to use it as insurance to protect his loved ones (since his secret identity was blown long ago), Spiderman wants the drive taken to the Avengers, and Punisher naturally wants it to punish people in his own, murder-centric manner.

I think what helped me like this issue is that Greg Rucka wrote it and Marco Checchetto did the art. These two also work on The Punisher, which I liked both story-wise and artistically. I don’t follow Avenging Spider-man, so I can’t say if they’re the normal writer/artist pair on the ongoing. But it certainly helps keep this team-up tonally consistent. I also enjoyed the nods to the female Punisher subplot from the Punisher’s title, especially from Spiderman’s perspective.

The second part of The Omega Effect comes out this week in THE PUNISHER #10, followed by the conclusion next week with DAREDEVIL #11. If only this had been the ninth issue in Avenging Spiderman, and we could have had a nice trend going. Oh well. Anyway, since the aforementioned issues are already in my rotation, and because they continue a story, I’ll cover how those fare in the Weekly Pulls for those weeks.

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