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Avengers vs. Atlas #1 of 4 – Jeff Parker + Gabriel Hardman/Takeshi Miyazawa. It's written by Jeff Parker and co-starring the Agents of Atlas. It's pretty much a given that it's an excellent read. Parker's writing of the New Avengers is smoothly spot on, displaying as great a skill with the top tier, mainstream heroes as he has with the Atlas heroes. Consistently well illustrated by Hardman, complemented by a Namora back-up feature drawn by Miyazawa.

Black Widow & The Marvel Girls #3 of 4 – Paul Tobin + Salva Espin. The issue is a nice character treatment on the Black Widow as she investigates the new hero, Ms. Marvel, for Nick Fury. Continuity again doesn't mesh with the regular Marvel Universe, but it's a well done one-off the balances action and characterization.

Dark Avengers #13 – Brian Michael Bendis + Mike Deodato. This Siege tie-in lays out the full, true origin of the Sentry. And it's not reassuring. Issues like this are proof that Bendis can still write solid comics, so let's hope that once Siege is done he'll be able to concentrate on fewer titles and will be able to produce more comics like this.

Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth #7 – Victor Gischler + Bong Dazo/Kyle Baker/Rob Liefeld/Das Pastoras. Deadpool takes a quick jaunt through a number of different realities, meeting a number of different Deadpools, all in prep for an upcoming Deadpool Corps miniseries. Thankfully it doesn't feel like it's nothing but prep for a future tale, and is a fun read on its own. Except for one of the artists. I bet you're expecting me to bash Liefled, but the worst art here is from Kyle Baker. Baker is using a new style that appears to be completely done in the computer, but he's not really good enough at it yet for it to be getting into published work. It's bad enough that either him or the editors really should have stopped it somewhere along the way.
Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #7

Deathlok #3 of 7 – Charlie Huston + Lan Medina. The miniseries continues with a great deal of political commentary and psychological horror blended into its science fiction.

Hulk #19 – Jeph Loeb + Ed McGuinness. The Red Hulk and the Thing mix it up as the Intelligencia take on the rest of the Fantastic Four. So far, Fall of the Hulks is actually turning out better than I expected.

Incredible Hercules #140 – Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente + Rodney Buchemi. It's Herc and members of the New and Mighty Avengers against the Greek Pantheon. Amadeus is doing his best to keep Herc alive, but it may all be pointless if Hera has her way. Plans are enacted that herald the recreation of reality.
The Agents of Atlas back-up by Jeff Parker + Gabriel Hardman. not only continues the overall AoA story, but also ties into the primary tale.

Incredible Hulk #606 – Greg Pak + Paul Pelletier. The Intelligencia's plans against Dr. Doom go into effect, and Banner uses them to his own advantage. Banner is increasingly becoming less sympathetic and more deviously manipulative as his time being unable to turn into the Hulk goes on.
The Red She-Hulk back-up by Harrison Wilcox + Ryan Stegman doesn't offer too much insight into her character beyond the fact that she is very unstable.

Mighty Avengers #33 – Dan Slott + Khoi Pham. The Mighty Avengers/Dark Avengers mash up continues. The series is decent, but it's not really keeping me entralled. I'm kind of relieved that the series is coming to a close after Siege.

Nova #33 – Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning + Andrea DiVito. As great as every other comic by Abnett & anning has been.

Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5 – Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning + Wellinton Alves. Ditto, with the addition of some sweetly well played strengthening of the relationship between Ronan and Crystal.

Thunderbolts #140 – Jeff Parker + Miguel Sepulveda/Sergio Arino. Parker is quickly getting me interested in these characters. For me, it certainly helped to have them play against his Agents of Atlas in these first few issues of his run. I'm already familiar with them so I, and he, can concentrate on the Thunderbolts.

Uncanny X-Men #520 – Matt Fraction + Greg Land. It's refreshing to read comics that have so much story going on that I can't really condense it easily.

Wolverine: Weapon X #9 – Jason Aaron + Yanick Paquette. Wolvie gets out of the asylum without any help from guest stars Nightcrawler and Psylocke, but Dr. Rottwell may have the last laugh. I've got to say, this storyline has really pushed what is depicted in mainstream comics, and this one really, really shocked me.

Green Lantern Corps #44 – Peter Tomasi + Patrick Gleason. Guy has both a Green ring and a Red Ring. His all consuming rage is almost as unstoppable as he is right now. But everything pales before the might of Mogo.

Phantom Stranger #42 – Peter Tomasi + Ardian Syaf. Resurrected from cancelation, the previous issue of this series was dated February/March 1976 (it was bimonthly at the time, and I've actually got the last ten or so issues of that series). This Blackest Night tie-in sees the Phantom Stranger and the Blue Devil battling first the Black Lantern possessed Spectre and then Black Lantern Deadman.

Power Girl #8 – Jimmy Palmiotti/Justin Gray + Amanda Conner. Another really fantastic issue that had me laughing from beginning to end.

Starman #81 – James Robinson + Fernando Dagnino (inking by Bill Sienkiewicz). Another series resurrected by Blackest Night, the previous issue was published in 2001. Though this comic follows up on the critically acclaimed 90s series, and is even written by the original writer, it is not about the 90s Starman, Jack Knight. Instead it focuses on his Black Lantern resurrected older brother, David Knight, who was Starman for what seemed like five minutes. I haven't read as much of Robinson's Starman as I should have, and this well done comic really stressed that for me.

G.I.Joe #14 – Chuck Dixon + Robert Atkins. Building up well.

G.I.Joe Origins #11 – J.T. Krul + Klaus Scherwinski. As a sort of follow-up to last month's G.I.Joe #13, here we get Beach Head's origin story. I'm really surprised Beach Head hasn't been more prominently featured, he's the type of no-nonsense bad-ass that should exemplify a realistic Joe story.

Transformers: Bumblebee #2 of 4 – Zander Cannon + Chee. Since this is supposed to be taking place alongside the current Transformers ongoing series it would be nice if the character models matched up better. And that the various series came out in the order that they are supposed to occur. Despite that, it's continuing to do a good job of weaving together a complex story that moves logically from the various characters' motivations.

Authority volume 4 #5 of 12: The Lost Year – Keith Giffen (based on Grant Morrison's plot) + Jonathan Wayshak. I'm not too impressed by the art on this issue. It's not really that the art is bad, it's just a little more exaggerated in a cartoony fashion than the story should have had. The horror and desperation of the situation lost a lot of its effect.

back-issue ½ off sale buys
Captain Britain and MI13 volume 2: Hell Comes to Birmingham – Reprints issues 5 through 9 of the series, by Paul Cornell + Leonard Kirk. A Duke of Hell has set up a Faustian bargain shop in a Birmingham apartment complex, and it's no surprise that the heroes take exception to it. Despite already having these issues, I couldn't pass up buying a collection of them. This is the type of quality storytelling that is well worth reading over and over again, and lending out for friends to experience it.

Captain Marvel volume 4: Odyssey – Reprints issues 19-25 of Peter David's second Captain Marvel series, by David + Aaron Lopresti/Keith Giffen. These closing issues feature Marv doing a fair job of keeping his madness close to the vest as he travels further and further into the future to save Rick Jones' exwife, Marlo, and to thwart the plans of the Magus. It's also notable as being the beginning of Moondragon and Phyla's relationship. I've been wanting to check these out for quite a while since I've got the previous issues of the series, and was pleasantly surprised to find the various tie-ins to Abnett & Lanning's Guardians of the Galaxy.

Marvel Zombies: Dead Days trade paperback – Collects a lot of stories that don't fit anywhere else.
Marvel Zombies: Dead Days one-shot – Robert Kirkman + Sean Phillips. This special takes place between the pages of the Marvel Zombies prequel miniseries, Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness, depicting the infections of various heroes, and the last ditch efforts of the uninfected.
Ultimate Fantastic Four #21-23, 30-32 – Mark Millar + Greg Land/Mitch Breitweiser. Issues 21-23 are the first appearance of the Marvel Zombies, and lead directly into the first miniseries. The second batch follows up on the Zombie Fantastic Four, a.k.a. the Frightful Four, and their fate in the Ultimate Universe.
Black Panther #28-30 – Reginald Hudlin + Francis Portela. These stories of the most recent New Fantastic Four (Black Panther, Storm, the Thing, and the Human Torch) found the dimension hopping team run afoul of the Galactus empowered Marvel Zombies between the first and second miniseries.
What I'm hearing: the writer commentary on Planet Hulk