Comics : Amazing Fantasy (Vol. 2) #15

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Absolutely Amazing

This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

Amazing Fantasy (Vol. 2) started as a vehicle for Arana, the hip teen-female rework of Spider-Girl. It quickly became a guest title for featuring potential new Marvel characters, and issue #15 contained ten or so short tales. Spider-Man featured in a couple of those backup stories, but the main star of the lead story is a kid named "Cho".

In Detail...

"Mastermind Excello"
Amazing Fantasy (Vol. 2) #15 (Story 1)
Jan 2006 : SM Cover
Summary: Spider-Man on Cover
Editor:  Mark Paniccia
Writer:  Greg Pak
Artist:  Takeshi Miyazawa
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Review

After winning the "Mastermind Excello Brain Fight" Internet competition with a final score orders of magnitude higher than any other competitor, teenager Amadeus Cho is on the run from... well, it's not clear. But they appear to be a well-organized bunch of guys who travel around in helicopters, and who have burned down Cho's family's house (apparently killing Cho's parents).

Meanwhile, Agent Sexton (possibly an agent of SHIELD, though it's not clear) is attempting to track Cho down. That's difficult, because Cho is approximately the seventh smartest guy on the planet - with a kind of smarts which is very applied. Computation and data processing tasks are trivial to him. Phone and computer hacking, but also real-life, real-time dynamic physics processing problems involving time and motion.

Sitting in a New Mexico roadside diner, a local cop hassles him about the coyote pup that Cho has tucked into in his jacket. A shaven-head Bruce Banner is also sitting eating, not far away. Bruce tells Cho not to give up the pup and not be stupid. But Cho won't abandon the coyote, and is able to fight his way clear by instantly calculating how to use the tools and items at his fingertips as incredibly targeted weapons to facilitate his escape.

In the desert outside the restaurant, there's instantly a helicopter on Cho's trail. Again with the computational genius stuff, he manages to divert the first missile that they fire. But the second one is on target to blow our hero to smithereens... until the Hulk leaps into rescue him. Then they have a brief conversation:

Hulk: What did Banner tell you?

Cho: "Don't be stupid."

Hulk: Hmpf. He's weak. Not like us.

So presumably Cho met Banner already, and had a conversation with him. There's a lot of unrevealed aspects of this story, sitting below the surface.

Agent Sexton is back in communication. She swears that her organization had nothing to do with the attack. Though all the monitor screens behind her show scenes of the attack area, so she presumably has some cameras flying around, she's clearly involved in some way.

But Cho doesn't care, he's coming for Agent Sexton anyhow. And he's a very resourceful young kid.

In General...

Art is by Takeshi Miyazawa, who did the art on Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane and the preceding series featuring alterniverse MJ. His style is deliciously refreshing, admittedly heavily Manga-esque, but without the unpleasantly distorted proportions which that so often implies.

The character of Cho is instantly appealing, and I instinctively want to find out more about what's going on. With the "throw it at the wall and see what sticks" approach that seems to happen with new characters, I hope that Amadeus Cho is one of the ones who get some follow-up coverage. There's plenty of unresolved issues that I'd be happy to see pursued in a subsequent story.

Overall Rating...

This one gets my vote for future expansion. Four webs.