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 Weekly Haul quick-shots continues...

Avengers: The Initiative #26 - With most of the original cast gone, I may not be too far behind them. A series about villains being trained on how to pass as heroes isn't exactly, you know, inspiring. Especially since most of the villains are pretty damn lame.

Captain Britain and MI:13 #15 - Fuck you. Yes, you. If you bought some fucking piece of shit Dark Reign or Final Crisis tie-in [1] instead of this series, or any of the soulless crap that Frank Miller, Jeph Loeb, and Mark Millar are pissing out these days, then fuck you indeed. This series, the only good thing to come out of Secret Invasion, as well as being one of the best fucking things ever, has been canceled. This is the last issue. And if you're a Doctor Who fan and didn't buy this, then fuck you sideways. Paul Cornell deserved better from you. Good taste deserved better of you. Ah, fuck it all...

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5 - It's pretty much Hickman's prologue to his upcoming run on Fantastic Four itself.

Dark Wolverine #76 - The Fantastic Four are the only redeeming thing about this. Once they're gone, so am I.

Deadpool: Suicide Kings #4 of 5 - Spider-Man and Daredevil team-up to save Deadpool from the Punisher. Crazy! But still amusing.

Guardians of the Galaxy #16 - An appearance by the original Guardians of the Galaxy!!! I just geekgasmed all over my apartment.

Halo: Helljumper #1 of 5 - I'm not totally digging Nguyen's art, but Peter David's story shows that he's done his homework, and that makes me very happy indeed.

Immortal Weapons #1 of 5 - Fat Cobra is awesome.

Incredible Hercules #131 - When bros break up.... it's a sad day but makes for good stories.

Incredible Hulk #600 - Wait, what, wasn't something supposed to be, you know, actually revealed? Someone please take Jeph Loeb's typewriter away from him. He has abused it for far too long.

Nova #27 - Non-stop awesome.

Savage She-Hulk #4 of 4 - Next stop, Incredible Hulk #600. 

Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica - A bizarre blend of actual myths and Marvel history.

Wolverine: First Class #17 - Patch!

Wolverine: Origins #38 - For crap's sake, Wolvie, you wouldn't get into situations like this if you just cut more people's heads off.

X-Force #17 - They're back in the present and trying to save lives by ending them. Business as usual.

Aliens #2 of 4 - Freaking good.

Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2 of 3 - More tales on various Corps members.

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5 of 5 - The only good thing about Final Crisis comes to a close, and Superboy Prime finally gets what he had coming.

Gotham City Sirens #2 - Still hasn't totally grabbed me... or turned me away.

Green Lantern #44 - Hal Jordan and Barry Allen fights for their second lives against a zombified Martian Manhunter. And you thought you had bad days.

Power Girl #3 - Actiony.

Wednesday Comics #3 of 12 - Still worthwhile.

G.I.Joe #7 - Seriously, can we get to the whole "fighting COBRA" thing yet?

Transformers: All Hail Megatron #13 of 12 - Yep, the miniseries was so effing awesome that they let it have a couple more issues. And it's a good thing.

Back Issue Buys
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 - First appearance and origin of the Monica Rambeau Captain Marvel.

Amazing Spider-Man #282 - Spidey versus the original, mutant "hunting" version of X-Factor.

Amazing Spider-Man #20 - It's twentytastic as Spidey battles Iron Man 2020.

Patsy Walker: Hellcat tpb - Hellcat becomes the official hero of Alaska. Because it's funny to put someone with "hell" in their name somewhere that's cold. Despite the initial impetus of the premise, it's a very good read.

[1] Not all Dark Reign or Final Crisis tie-ins are pieces of shit. Just most of them. I also forgive the buying of the pieces of shit if Captain Britain, Agents of Atlas, and anything by Abnett & Lanning was also purchased.
Did you notice the time difference between entries 626 and this one? Yeah, these take that long to write sometimes. And now this one. Yeesh, it's no wonder I get behind and have no time to do any other writing.

Avengers/Invaders #8 of 12 - Alex Ross/Jim Krueger and Steve Sadowski/Patrick Berkenkotter. The story continues to be a solid mix-up that brings in  unsuspecting elements and characters, but the quality of the art leaves a little something to be desired. They are going with a very realistic style, but with enough detail to really carry it of. Additionally, a lot of the poses and expressions are rather stiff. Still, the writing is keeping me interested enough to overlook the flaws

Captain Britain and MI:13 #10 - Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk. Dracula sets his sights on England in an issue that is primarily character explorations of the team members.

Eternals #8 - Charles & Daniel Knauf and Eric Nguyen. The X-Men guest star to take on the bad Eternals, meanwhile another end of the world approaches. I'm enjoying the series, but it's not at the top of my list. The characters just aren't gelling for me.

Marvel TV: Galactus - The Real Story one-shot - Frank Tieri and Juan Santacruz. An amusing look at Galactus from the viewpoint of the conspiracy theorists within the Marvel Universe. It's a hoot and a half. Also includes a reprint of Fantastic Four #50 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the third chapter in the original Galactus trilogy.

Thor #600 - J.Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel with Marko Djurdjevic. No, you aren't missing anything, the previous issue was number twelve, they just decided to go back to the original numbering just to confuse the fuck out of people. DC has shit like Final Crisis to confuse the fans, so I guess Marvel felt they had to hold up their end of the confusing equation with dumb-ass numbering. Whatever. The main story is solid with brutal action and a good amount of tension, a fine pay-off for a series that has at times dragged interminably slowly to this confrontation. The back-up by Stan Lee and David Aja is decent, but the Welcome Back Thor" story by Chris Giarrusso is worth the price of the entire comic. Also includes some old Tales of Asgard back-ups by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby from some ancient Journey Into Mystery comics.

X-Infernus #3 of 4 - C.B.Cebulski and Giuseppe Camuncoli. Lots of great X-Men versus demons action as the daughter of Belasco makes her move. Features some nice continuity tie-ins to classic tales from the eighties like Uncanny X-Men #160 and the original Magik miniseries.

X-Men Origins: Sabretooth one-shot - Kieron Gillen and Dan Panosian. A straightforward chronicling of Sabretooth's beginnings. Skips over his non-X-universe tales to focus on his relationship with Wolverine, but that was probably a good call for a one-shot. Props to Dan Panosian who has turned in the best art I've ever seen him do.

Batman #686 - Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert. The death of Batman in Final Crisis may have been one of the lamest things I have ever had the misfortune to read, but this unreal story does a fine job of making the death more palpable. Gaiman does as he is prone to do and crafts a story about stories, and I am anxious to see how it resolves itself. Andy Kubert meanwhile turns in some of the strongest artwork of his career.

Booster Gold #17 - Dan Jurgens. As solid and fun a read as always.

Green Lantern Corps #33 - Peter J Tomasi + Patrick Gleason. Another awesome issue. GLC all the way, baby!

G.I.Joe #2 - Chuck Dixon and Robert Atkins. If the art and writing stay this strong this series will quickly shape up into being a solid heavy hitter.

What I'm hearing: the wind outside
Age of the Sentry #5 of 6 - Paul Tobin/Jeff Parker and Bill Galvan/Nick Dragotta. Excuse me while I squee uncontrollably - Whoo-hooo, it's the classic Guardians of the Galaxy! Vance Astro!! Martinex!!! Charlie 27!!!! Yondu!!!!! Starhawk!!!!!! Nikki!!!!!!!! Destroyer? Sun Girl?? Teen Beat??? Boy Blob???? Immortal One (aka Wolverine)?????? OK, so the version of the Guardians depicted here swipes quite unapologetically from the Silver Age Legion of Super-Heroes, but I'm not minding. It's an immensely fun tale that had me giggling out loud. The second tale, featuring some Sentry fans trying to improve his image and life, was also fun, and includes some super-hero lovin' shenanigans. 

Agents of Atlas #1 - Jeff Parker + Carlos Pagulayan. The brilliant Agents of Atlas miniseries gets the ongoing treatment. It's probably good to have read the miniseries before delving into this, and I highly recommend picking up the trade or hardcover of it since they include reprints of the first  the appearances of these pre-Silver Age characters. Anyway, once you read the original series you'll be jonesing for this harder than a smoker going for the first cigarette of the day. And trust me, this is just as refreshing.

Astonishing Tales #1 of 4 - Another anthology in the vein of last year's Marvel Comics Presents, but this one is already shaping up to be a stronger piece. C.B. Cebulski and Kenneth Rocafort (channeling a cross between Pat Lee and Leinil Franis Yu) do fine start to an action-packed Wolverine and Punisher tale. Daniel Merlin Godberry and Lou Kang start up an interesting mystery with Iron Man 2020. Christopher Sequira and W. Chew Chan do a fine Iron Man one-part tale. Finally, Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra begin a story I'm looking forward to seeing played out with Sunspot and Cannonball mixing it up with Mojo. Fun stuff.

Cable #11 - Duane Swierczynski + Ariel Olivetti/Jamie McKelvie. Cable and Hope, alone and quite quickly falling into Bishop's trap. My main problem with the issue is the jarring jump from one artist to the next, especially since Jamie seems to draw Hope much older than Ariel draws her.

Captain America: Truth hardcover - Robert Morales and Kyle Baker. Collects the Truth: Red, White, and Black miniseries with an interesting appendix. In case you missed the hype, it's the story of the black soldiers that were experimented on to perfect the super-soldier serum later used on Steve Rogers. The racism is frightening, but not unbelievable considering what else happened at the time. It's got fantastic art and a good story,even if it is one that moves a bit too fast over some points. Highly recommended.

Deadpool #7 - Daniel Way + Paco Medina. Deadpool does a fantastic job of pissing of Norman Osborn. Isn't his timing brilliant? Acts as a lead-in to the Deadpool vs. Thunderbolts crossover.

Franklin Richards: Dark Reigning Cats and Dogs - Chris Eliopoulos. Like all of the Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius specials, some of the stories are better than others. Still, just like the rest of them, it's a fun, worthwhile read. 

Immortal Iron Fist #22 - Duane Swierczynski + Travel Foreman. Iron Fist and the other Immortal Weapons have found themselves in the Eight City, and it's a living hell. The art is a little rough, but the writing is still solid.

Official Index to the Marvel Universe #2 - Lots more sixties Iron Man, Spider-Man, and X-Men tales are covered.

Punisher #2 - Rick Remender and Jerome Opena. Frank's new tech-buddy allows him to expose some of the lies of Norman Osborn. And Normie takes notice.

War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2 - C.B.Cebulski + Harvey Tolibao/Bong Dazo. Carrying on from Cebulski's Loners miniseries, Darkhawk continues to have problems with his life, the universe, and his sanity. Sounds like a perfect time to get dragged into a cosmic crossover. Also includes a reprint of his first appearance in Darkhawk #1.

X-Men: First Class Finals #1 of 4 - Jeff Parker and Roger Cruz. Not a lot happens in this issue, but it's still a fun issue that ties into both original X-Men continuity (taking place shortly after (Uncanny) X-Men 66, the last original story until the immortal Giant-Size X-Men #1/X-Men #94) as well as the previous X-Men: First Class comics. Also includes the first part of a Parker and Colleen Coover back-up. I'm always glad to see Colleen.

X-Men: Magneto Testament #5 of 5 - Greg Pak and Carmine Di Giandomenico. The finale of the official Magneto origin ends without any powers being used, just a lot of strength of character. Frankly, without the title and the name of the girl he loved, I wouldn't have known this was anything more than a historical tale, it can easily be read without consideration of Magneto. Frankly, at this point it is difficult to see Max Eisenhardt developing into the Master of Magnetism. There almost needs to be a second miniseries detailing his adoption of the Magneto persona. Enough of that, though. The issue also includes a story written by Rafael Medoff and illustrated by Neal Adams with Joe Kubert that is about the artist Dina Babbitt, what she went through during the Holocaust as well as how the Polish museum is refusing her requests for the return of the art she was forced to create during her internment. Follow this link to a pdf of that tale.

X-Men: Noir #3 of 4 - Fred Van Lente and Dennis Calero. Without the Golden Age Angel tying this together I might have given up on this. The old private dick thing isn't up my alley, and the rampant pessimism gets a little old after a while. I hope this things find their audience, but I'm not sure it's me. We'll see how it shapes up in the finale for my final say on the series.

X-Men: The Times & Life of Lucas Bishop #1 of 3 - Duane Swierczynski and Larry Stroman. Bishop used to be a favorite of mine, and I've felt that the writers have really fucked with him over the last few years. His siding with O.N.E. during the Civil War was off base enough, but what I really had trouble accepting was when he turned traitor without explanation in the Messiah Complex crossover. Since then he's been portrayed as a soulless fanatic and I don't like it. Hopefully this series will explain his recent action and show how they tie into who he has always been. It starts shortly before his birth and shows his childhood in the mutant camps, but we still haven't heard exactly what Hope did to cause things to go so badly.

X-Men versus Hulk one-shot - Chris Claremont and Jeremy Raapack. It's another one of those "teach Colossus a lesson by making him fight an opponent that outclasses him" stories, and not much more. Still, it's decently fun, which is to say I don't regret buying even if I don't think it was great. Also reprints the X-Men versus Hulk story (Uncanny) X-Men #66 by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema, the final original tale of the first series until it's reinvention in Giant-Size X-Men #1/X-Men #94.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #22 - Steven S. DeKnight + Georges Jeanty. Slayers versus little stuffed vampire kitties.

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #3 of 5 - Geoff Johns and George Perez. The only decent part Final Crisis.

Transformers: All Hail Megatron #7 of 12 - Shane McCarthy and Guido Guidi. Explanations and flashbacks abound in the issue that finally shows how things went down. Solid characterization with some hardcore action.

Authority vol.5 #7 - Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning and Simon Coleby. The Authority continues to be the best it has ever been thanks to Abnett and Lanning.
What I'm hearing: A Perfect Circle
Avengers: The Initiative #21 - Christos N. Gage + Humberto Ramos. The Avengers-in-training face their own Disassembled smack down, courtesy of the Thor Clone, and it's a great time.

Daredevil #115 - Ed Brubaker + Michael Lark. Lady Bullseye comes to a close, and it wasn't as awful as I feared. Still, I think Brubaker is losing interest because this story-line was only OK, as opposed to the typically wonderful.

Fantastic Four #583 - Mark Millar + Bryan Hitch. The best issue of Millar's run, mainly because nothing much happens. Still not digging this "Doom's masters" BS.

Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch #4 of 6 - Simon Spurrier + Javier Saltares. So, the theme of this series is that Danny is a loser?

Incredible Hercules #125 - Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente + Salva Espin. The Amazons have remade the world into a fascistic femtopia, and it's up to Herc to save the day. Uh-oh. But brilliant.

Marvels: Eye of the Camera #3 of 6 - Kurt Busiek/Roger Stern + Jay Anacleto. The story becomes to come together as Phil tries to find the good in the mid-seventies heroes.

New Avengers #49 - Brian Michael Bendis + Billy Tan. New Avengers is starting to pull itself together again, and the fight with the Dark Avengers next issue promises to be good, but it's going to have to work hard to avoid being cut from my pull list.

Nova #21 - Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning + Wellington Alves. Brilliant as always. Top notch with highest recommendations.

Punisher: War Zone #6 of 6 - Garth Ennis + Steve Dillon. So over-the-top it moves towards the surreal. Still, it's fun.

Scourge of the Gods #1 of 3 - Valerie Mangin + Aleksa Gajic. Another Soleil release, this one featuring the story of Attila the Hun set against a stellar backdrop of interplanetary war.

She-Hulk #37 - Peter David + Steve Scott. The wrapping-up-and-tying-a-bow-on-it for next issue's series conclusion begins.

Skaar: Son of Hulk #7 - Greg Pak + Butch Guice. Even with a Silver Surfer versus Skaar fight, my interest is waning. Skaar just isn't an interesting character.

Wolverine: First Class #11 - Fred Van Lente + Hugo Petrus. The second half of the Wolvie and werewolves story is only so-so.

X-Force #11 - Craig Kyle/Christopher Yost + Alina Urusov/Clayton Crain. Just a lot of background for the next storyline, but it's actually a pretty good piece on its own.

X-Men: World's Apart #4 of 4 - Christopher Yost + Diogenes Neves. Storm takes on the Shadow King with a satisfying conclusion. Not the greatest mini-series ever, but good for fans of Storm.

Young X-Men #10 - Marc Guggenheim + Ben Oliver. The entire issue revolves around deus-ex-machina girl Cipher while not really explaining anything or even attempting to make her at all interesting. Yeah, I'm not going to miss this series when it ends in a few issues.

Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #54 - Jim Balent. Sorry, no haunted vaginas this time around. Raven Hex finds herself moving through a fairy-tale world and leaving her mark on it. While she sluts-up the heroines (and some of the villainesses) she also spreads the message of self-reliance, sexual freedom, and personal confidence. My personal favorite is Cinderella's glass corset. Yep, as expected, this issue is as jam-packed with contradictory ideas and images as every other.

Final Crisis #7 of 7 -  Grant Morrison + Doug Mahnke. What? Sorry, I mean, what the fuck? Seriously. Not only is this chock full of enough unexplained pseudo-science to shame a Silver-Age Superman story, and not only does it feature unexplained shots of events that must have occurred in Final Crisis ties-ins, but it is written in a non-linear order pathetically narrated by Lois Lane. This whole Final Crisis mess was awful enough to make Secret Wars II look like Shakespeare. Look, people, I followed Morrison's surrealistic Doom Patrol, and was never once confused reading Sandman, Shade the Changing Man, or Kid Eternity, but this was just awful. Even with a crossover roadmap, which has unfortunately gone out of style for DC, the main miniseries would still have been piece of crap too ill constructed to be called a story. People got paid to put this together? Really? I'm glad I don't care deeply about DC because if I did this thing would be making me homicidal instead of just nauseated. 
What I'm hearing: "Sealab 2021" in the other room
 All righty then, let's make this quick. Not only did I just finish downloading a demo of Resident Evil 5 to my Xbox 360 but the computer corner is damn freakin' cold and the space heater is in the other room, near the TV, 'natch.

Astonishing X-Men #28 - Warren Ellis + Simone Bianchi. Lots of talking and posing, a few very, very brief fights, and only one step of plot movement. Looks great but isn't very filling.

Dark Avengers #1 - Brian Michael Bendis + Mike Deodato. Seriously? Dark Avengers? Look, the idea of Osborn's own personal Avengers made up of villains dressed up Avengers is an OK idea stemming from Osborn's take-over, but isn't an idea worth its own title. This should have been handled in the already established series. I'm not planning on picking it up for more than a few issues. Hell, the next issue might be my last.

Dr. Doom and the Masters of Evil #1 - Paul Tobin + Patrick Scherberger/Jacopo Camagni. This issue is fun with a capital F, as well as a capital U and N. Brilliantly written from start to finish with well-paced art.

Ghost Rider #31 - Jason Aaron + Tan Eng Huat/Roland Boschi. "The Last Stand of the Spirits of Vengeance" rolls towards its big bang conclusion, and I'm still digging it.

Guardians of the Galaxy #9 - Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning + Brad Walker/Carlos Magno. War of Kings tie-in. Another great issue. The art is a bit weaker, but the story is still top-notch.

Mighty Avengers 21 - Dan Slott + Khoi Pham. With Slott taking over this series has secured itself on my pull list for a while longer, until Slott leaves or the series is canceled, whichever comes first. The story itself, part one of a three parter, is a bit confusing with the reality shuffling and whatnot going on, but I trust Slott to pull it all together nicely by the end.

Uncanny X-Men Annual #2 - Matt Fraction + Mitch Breitweiser/Daniel Acuna. Emma's history with Namor is revealed, and her new direction as part of the Cabal is hinted at.

Weapon X: First Class #3 of 3 - Marc Sumerak + Mark Robinson/Tim Seeley. The end of Wolverine's story ended up being a bit of a let down, with nothing new revealed, but the young Gambit back-up was a real treat.

Wolverine: Origins #32 - Daniel Way + Yanick Paquette. OK, Daken officially sucks.

X-Factor #39 - Peter David + Valentine De Landro. Wow, uhm, well, that was really unexpected. And disturbing. And got this series back on its feet. Excellent stuff.

X-Men: Kingbreaker #2 of 4 - Chris Yost + Dustin Weaver. War of Kings tie-in. Things, finally, start to go right for the good guys.

X-Men: Legacy #220 - Mike Carey + Scot Eaton. Not much plot movement, but there is a lot of nice quality dialog. Xavier and Gambit have a good chat while Rogue finds herself stalked by someone that is not what they appear. Carey is best with a small cast so I hope he continues to keep it that way.

X-Men: Manifest Destiny #5 of 5 - The Iceman tale by Mike Carey + Michael Richards is, as it has been for the previous four issues, a big load of dookie. Most of that is due to the fact that Mystique is a crazy-ass mad dog, and Wolverine should have put her down at the end of the "Get Mystique" story in his series. The fact that he didn't has soured me on Jason Aaron writing Wolverine because, remember, just a few issues earlier Wolvie had chopped off Sabretooth's head because he'd finally had enough of the bastard. The whole "Get Mystique" story had the same vibe, but ended with him just walking away. Stupid. And now every appearance she will have since then is going to be tarnished by the fact that the woman should, by all rights of logic and good storytelling, be dead. Plus, she's uninterestingly way off her rocker. Maybe a writer will come along someday and return her to being the intelligent ruthless manipulator she used to be instead of the pathetically unstable incompetent she has become. OK, enough of that, "Nick's" by Frank Tieri and Ben Oliver and "Dazzler: Solo" by Kieron Gillen and Sara Pichelli were both well written and illustrated. Good enough to outweigh the Iceman tale.

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3D #2 of 2 - Grant Morrison + Doug Mahnke. Another poorly explained mess masquerading about as thought provoking action.

Green Lantern #37 - Geoff Johns + Ivan Reis. Continues to rock.

Tangent: Superman's Reign #11 of 12 - Dan Jurgens/Ron Marz + Carlos Magno/Andie Tong. Big action building towards the finale.

Spooks: Omega Team #4 of 4 - Larry Hama + Adam Archer. The military versus supernatural action continues. It's good, and I don't know if this is the last issue or not (haven't seen any more solicited) but it's my last one for now. I'm continuing to trim and it didn't make the cut. It's good, don't get me wrong, but not sparking for me.

Doctor Who: The Forgotten #6 of 6 - Tony Lee + Kelly Yates. A decently Who-like ending to the tale that featured appearances by all of the previous incarnations of the Doctor.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movie prequel, Defiance #1 of 4 - Chris Mowry + Dan Khanna. A look back to the origins of the Transformers' civil war in the movieverse.

X-Files #3 of 6 - Marv Wolfman + Brian Denham. The story wasn't as well constructed as I expected with Marv writing it, and Brian's art isn't as good as it had been on the previous issues. Add to this things that contradict continuity (like saying it takes place in 2009) and this issue is more than a bit of a disappointment.

What I'm hearing: "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" in the other room
Captain Britain and MI:13 #9 - Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk. Still the best thing to come out of Secret Invasion. I'd say it was the only good thing, but the next title is pretty nice, too.

Deadpool #6 - Daniel Way + Paco Medina. Deadpool has never been crazier, and so far it's still pretty damn amusing.

House of M: Civil War #5 of 5 - Christos N. Gage + Andrea DiVito. Don't let the crappy cover by Mike Perkins fool you, the art inside is pretty good. Mike Perkins is usually good, too, so I don't know what happened. I guess everyone figured it was the final issue of a mini-series and it didn't matter what the cover looked like. Anyway, Magneto takes over, surprise, surprise, but, thankfully, he isn't blind to the fact that thinks aren't perfect. Too bad Bendis didn't have any of that in the original House of M mini-series.

Nova: The Origin of Richard Rider - Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning and Geraldo Borges provide a framing sequence around Nova #1 by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema, and Nova #4 by Wolfman + Sal Buscema. The classic stories don't inspire me to run out and pick up The Essential Nova because, well, they are full of the cheese-tastic seventies, but it is nice to see how far the character has come.

Punisher: War Zone #5 of 6 - Garth Ennis + Steve Dillon. A little bit o' violence and a lot of talking, but still tons of fun.

X-Infernus #2 of 4 - C.B. Cebulski + Giuseppe Camuncoli. Old-school style X-Men versus Hell action, and I like it.

X-Men and Spider-Man #3 of 4 - Christos N. Gage + Mario Alberti. The 90s X-Men meet the Ben Reilly Spider-Man and Carnage. Fighting commences.

Booster Gold #16 - Dan Jurgens. Booster finds himself in World War One, in the sights of Enemy Ace. The series is still going strong.

Final Crisis #6 of 7 - Grant Morrison + JG Jones/Marco Rudy/Carlos Pacheco/Jesus Merino/etc. One word: sucktastic. Seriously, this whole Final Crisis thing is a mess and the death of Batman was just FREAKIN' STUPID. I had a passing thought about putting my feelings all together in a piece once Final Crisis was over, but then I realized that I am full of not caring.

Green Lantern Corps #32 - Peter J Tomasi + Patrick Gleason. Another fantastic issue.

G.I.Joe #1 - Chuck Dixon + Robert Atkins. A very promising start to the G.I.Joe reboot.

Transformers (Revenge of the Fallen Movie Prequel): Alliance #2 of 4 - Chris Mowry + Alex Milne. Like most of the movie related stuff, it's so-so. Really, really average with little that stands out. Hell, the most memorable thing about the issue is the subtle nod to G.I.Joe.

Back-issue buy
Batman and Captain America - John Byrne. It was one of the few Marvel and DC crossovers that I didn't have, so I picker it up. It's a light and silly tale... set during World War II. It's really weird when things harken back to the Golden Age, eh?

I'll come back and add reviews at a later date. Illness has put me far behind. That, and a new Xbox 360.

Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes #2 of 2 - Warren Ellis + Clayton Crain/Kaare Andrews. Still not seeing the point, other than for Ellis to find ways to destroy the X-Men.

Captain Britain and MI:13 #8 - Paul Cornell + Leonard Kirk.

House of M: Civil War #4 of 5 - Christos Gage + Andrea DiVito.

Marvels: Eye of the Camera #1 Variant Edition - The pre-colored, advertisement-free copy that includes the script.

Punisher: War Zone #1 of 6 - Garth Ennis + Steve Dillon. A sequel to the brilliantly hilarious "Welcome Back, Frank" story.

Secret Invasion: Dark Invasion one-shot - Brian Michael Bendis + Alex Maleev. Pointless. An entire comic dedicated to something better hinted at than actually shown - a secret gathering of six individuals, most of whom don't say much of anything. And don't get me started on Maleev's criminally bad rendition of Namor because I'm still wondering where the last issue of the Halo mini-series is. These two should have been working on that instead of this piece of crap.

What If? Fallen Son - Marc Sumerak + Trevor Goring. Iron Man dies as a result of Civil War instead of Captain America, but all-in-all it's a fairly forgettable tale.

Wolverine: Flies to a Spider - Gregg Hurwitz + Jerome Opena. Wolvie brutally takes down some bad bikers. Very brutally.

X-Men and Spider-Man #2 of 4 - Christos Gage + Mario Alberti. While Spider-Man is recovering from "Kraven's Last Hunt" the X-Men are licking their wounds from "The Mutant Massacre" - a perfect time to take on the Marauders!

Booster Gold #15 - Dan Jurgens. Still great.

Final Crisis #5 of 7 - Grant Morrison + JG Jones/Carlos Pacheco/Jesus Merino. Still kind of lame.

Green Lantern Corps 31 - Peter J. Tomasi + Patrick Gleason. Still fantastic!

Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #1 of 5 - Simon Furman + Nick Roche. Bridging some of the gap between Revelations and All Hail Megatron.

back-issue buy
Barman: Snow - Dan Curtis Johnson/J.H. Williams III + Seth Fisher. Collects Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight 192-196. I'm a big fan of Seth Fisher's artwork, the short list of professional work includes such delightfully surreal pieces and Green Lantern: Willworld and Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big In Japan. I didn't even know about this piece, a retelling of Mr. Freeze's origin, until I happened upon it on the shelf.

Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes #1 of 2 - Warren Ellis and Alan Davis, Adi Granov. I'm not sure yet what the point of this series is. It contains two stories, one of an alternate reality and one that is either an alternate timeline or a blatant line on the part of the character telling the tale. So, yeah, I'm not sure how important this is to the current storyline yet but the art is simply fantastic.

Avengers: The Initiative #18 - Dan Slott/Christos Gage and Steve Kurth. Secret Invasion. 3-D Man recruits more non-Skrul members of the Initiative to help him and the Skrull Kill Krew take out more damn, dirty Skrulls. Hell, yeah, it's violent.

Immortal Iron Fist #19 - Duane Swierczynski and Travel Foreman/Russ Heath. When the heroes and villains both use intelligence instead of just straightforward fisticuffs, you know it's resting above move others.

Incredible Hercules #122 - Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry. Bad-ass amazons put Hercules and Namor against the ropes.

Nova #18 - Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning and Wellington Alves/Geraldo Borges. If the return of Quasar last issue was a surprise, then the return at the end of this issue is a completely unexpected shock.

Secret Invasion: Thor #3 of 3 - Matt Fraction and Doug Braithwaite. Volstagg gets some of the best lines, and characterization, that he's received in decades. Just about every panel with him made me laugh and realize that he truly does deserve his membership in The Warriors Three. Meanwhile, Thor kicks ass. Do I need to start a petition to have Straczynski replaced by Fraction on the regular Thor title?

Secret Invasion: X-Men #3 of 4 - Mike Carey and Ma Sepulveda. If the coloring hadn't remained the same the shock of the change of artists would have been unbearable. Ma is skilled and shows promise for greater work in the future, but he's no Cary Nord. The story is still interesting with the X-Men finally acting like the mutant militia they have always been accused of being.

Skaar: Son of Hulk #4 - Greg Pak and Ron Garney/Butch Guice. More brutal barbarian action on a far-off world.

Thor #11 - J.M. Straczynski and Olivier Coipel. All the Asgard stuff leaves me feeling flat, which is the opposite of how I usually enjoy Thor. The high point of this issue is Thor speaking with the spirit of Steve Rogers on the anniversary of his death, and how he chooses to honor him.

Ultimate Captain America Annual #1 - Jeph Loeb and Marko Djurfjevic/Rafa Sandoval. The origin of the Black Panther, illustrated by Marko, is a visually beautiful tale that that is finished far too soon. Most of the issue is dedicated to telling the tale of how Captain America met the Black Panther and started dressing up as him. As expected, that part of the issue is weak and mostly stupid. 

Wolverine: First Class #8 - Fred Van Lente and Steven Cummings. Just because it's all ages doesn't mean Wolverine can't go berserker on some Soviet Super Soldiers. Another fun tale from Van Lente. The art is a little too kid-ified amerimanga for a Wolverine story, in my opinion, but moves the narrative well. The extra specail squee highlight was the back-up illustrated by Colleen Coover detailing Kitty's first meeting with the Mole Man.  Her Wolverine is the best, when are they going to let her do a full issue?

Wolverine: Origins #29 - Daniel Way and Mike Deodato. Original Sin part 3 of 5. An OK part of the story, but I haven't decided my opinion on the crossover yet.

X-Force #8 - Craig Kyle/Chris Yost and Mike Choi. Lots of flash and little substance - just like the original X-Force! Still, I'm mostly enjoying the work of the X-Men Black-Ops team.

X-Men: First Class Giant-Sized Special #1 - Meh. I've been trumpeting X-Men: First Class for a while, but this issue isn't an example of the series at its best. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but this is more a monster-a-thon that pays homage to classic sci-fi movies than it is anything having much to do with the X-Men or Marvel comics. Jeff Parker is joined by artists Kevin Nowlan, Dean Haspiel, Nick Kilislian and Michael Cho in creating brief send-ups of The Thing From Another World, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and The Day The Earth Stood Still. The most inventive and amusing story in the book was Roger Langridge's "Vigil of the Mad" about creepy Li'l Charlie Xavier. Topping off the issue is a reprint of Uncanny X-Men, by Roy Thomas and Don Heck, which feature the kids meeting Frankenstein's monster.

Empowered volume 4 - Adam Warren. The most hilarious, energetically over-the-top satire of super-hero comics continues. It features an everything-including-the-kitchen-sink-slammed-into-your-face style that leaves nothing sacred, mixing the vulgarly juvenile with obscure nerd references and up-to-the minute scientific ideas. 

Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns - Geoff Johns and Shane Davis. It's a damn solid beginning to the next big thing in the Green Lantern comics, that at the same time is just steadily building upon all that has come before. Great art, great writing, and great threats. This issue is made of win.

Green Lantern: In Brightest Day - various. Geoff Johns picks out various Green Lantern tales from 1961 through 1994 that either exemplify what he finds interesting about the GL mythology, or that tie directly into the events currently unfolding in the series he's writing. As I expected, it wasn't until the stories reached the eighties that they stopped making my brain hurt. Still, lots of good stuff that' I've wanted to read, like the first appearances of both Sinestro and Guy Gardner. 

Kick Drum Comix #2 of 2 - Jim Mahfood. More crazy Mahfood fun... in color! Same as with the previous issue, the story I found more interesting of the two was the one that was the more down-to-earth, everday sort of tale, while the wild space vixen just left me cold. Still, Jim's art is always fun to look at so it was worth it for me.

Nemi volume 2 - Lise Myrhre. The second volume of the comic strips starring Norway's coolest goth is a consistently funny work. Unfortunately poor editing resulted at least six comics being duplicated (that's like two pages, folks) making it sometimes interrupted with annoyance. Still, Nemi is highly amusing and worth the purchase, even for non-goths.
Captain America #43 - Ed Brubaker and Luke Ross. The action/espionage thriller keeps its standards high. It's nice to see that Bucky still isn't settled into being Cap, but is working on it.

Daredevil #112 - Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark. Part 2 of the Lady Bullseye story, and it is exceedingly better than I thought it was going to be. I should have had more faith in Ed.

Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch #1 of 5 - Simon Spurrier and Javier Saltares. It's a straightforward recounting of what happened to Danny since his 90s GR series ended, and so far I'm very intrigued.

Hulk #7 - Jeph Loeb and Arthur Adams/Frank Cho. This issue is divided into two tales, one illustrated by the awesome Arthur Adams featuring Mr. Fixit battling a pack of Wendigos in Las Vegas while pin-up artist Frank Cho handles the groaningly lame Lady Liberators versus Rulk, aka the Red Hulk, tale. It looks like the next couple of issues will be set up like this. Lady Liberators? At least Peter David makes fun of that in She-Hulk #34, it doesn't seem that anyone else gets how awful, and disgustingly sexist, the name is. Also, Rulk? I've heard that being used online, but now Marvel is officially using that? Really? "Rulk" is ow, it hurts my brain to even think it. Can someone please slap Loeb upside the head to get this name, and character, sorted out soon? He was annoying enough before being called Rulk.

New Avengers #46 - Brian Michael Bendis and Billy Tan. Secret Invasion. This issue focuses on the Hood and his crew, and serves yet again to demonstrate the coolness of the character.

Runaways #3 - Terry Moore and Humberto Ramos. I don't know, something just isn't clicking with me so far. I'll give Terry a little more time to settle into the characters since I know he has skills, but I certainly wouldn't hand these issues to someone when trying to show them why Runaways is cool.

Secret Invasion #7 of 8 - Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Yu. Is it done yet? Sure, there is a good bit of nice stuff here, snappy dialog, fast action, Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor fighting alongside each other, and don't forget Noh-Varr, but plot advancement was nearly non-existent.

She-Hulk #34 - Peter David and Vincenzo Cucca. For the record, this has one craptacular Mike Deodato cover. Ugh. So glad it's not doing the art inside. Back to the story, She-Hulk gathers the Lady Liberators to provide humanitarian aid in a country where the corrupt government isn't doing anything to help earthquake victims within its borders. It's a good opening for some complex issue exploration, but my favorite bits include someone asking "Why 'Lady' Liberators instead of just Liberators? Think people can't tell your gender on sight? And what are you liberating, exactly?" Oh, and Thundra being disappointed that She-Hulk isn't a lesbian. Amusing stuff.

Thor: The Truth of History - Alan Davis writes and draws a Thor tale set in ancient Egypt. Don't expect historical accuracy, just a whole lot of beautiful art.
Thor: Truth of History

X-Factor #36 - Peter David and Larry Stroman. It's good, but running too slowly. Snap it up, Peter.

X-Men: Legacy #217 - Mike Carey and Scot Eaton. Original Sin part 2 of 5. Sebastian Shaw and Miss Sinister work their claws into Daken while Wolverine reminds Xavier what he did to him upon joining the X-Men.

Final Crisis #4 of 7 - Grant Morrison and JG Jones/Carlos Pacheco/Jesus Merino. You know what's missing from this crossover? Me giving a rats ass about anyone. Grant seems to be working under the impression that anyone reading this is already starting off from a point of investment with the characters so he doesn't need to worry about it. He's wrong, and that's why, as a stand alone story, this will fall flat.

Tangent: Superman's Reign #8 of 12 - Dan Jurgens and Wes Craig. It's Superman versus Superman, and I feel for both of them. That's called quality writing.

G.I.Joe #0 - It's a special preview issue with three stories with a price of a measly dollar. Chuck Dixon and Robert Atkins do a nice action piece as a prelude to the new series beginning in January. Larry Hama and Tom Feister get in close with Duke as a teaser for the G.I.Joe Origins series beginning in February. And finally, Chris Gage, Mike Costa and Antonio Fuso give a brief intro of Chuckles before he goes undercover in G.I.Joe: Cobra which begins in March. Great art in each with solid writing for such short tales has me excited about all three series, unfortunately for my pocketbook.

Transformers: All Hail Megatron #4 - Shane McCarthy and Guido Guidi. More details on what is going on with the Autobots are revealed, but all they do is bring up more questions. Good stuff. Longer review to follow.
The Age of The Sentry #2 - Jeff Parker and Nick Dragotta serve up another amusing retro-style tale of Silver-Age Sentry shenanigans, but Paul Tobin and Michael Cho's story, though predominantly in the same vein, does have a hint of the psychological issues of the current character.

Astonishing X-Men #27 - Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi have improved upon the previous issue. Full review to follow.

Avengers/Invaders #5 of 12 - Continues to be a solid read, and even takes an interestingly unexpected twist with the original Human Torch.

Captain Britain and MI:13 #6 - Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk. I continue to love this series. Cornell handles everybody well and doesn't hesitate to come up with ways to endanger the cast. Meanwhile, the art has a quick and immediate quality that communicates action and emotion well.
Captain Britain and MI:13 #6 standard coverCaptain Britain and MI:13 #6 variant zombie cover

Ghost Rider #28 - Jason Aaron and Tan Eng Huat. The revelations continue with the introduction of yet another Ghost Rider while the action builds inevitably towards a brutal brother battle between Johnny Blaze and Daniel Ketch. Nicely included in this issue is a quick history of Daniel Ketch for the readers that are unfamiliar with the Ghost Rider of the 90s.

Guardians of the Galaxy #6 - Secret Invasion. Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning and Paul Pelletier. Full review to follow, suffice it to say that this is at the top of my favorites this week.

Hulk Monster-Size Special - A worthwhile read. Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman re-introduce the Frankenstein Monster to the Marvel Universe in an enjoyably gothic horror fashion. The prose story by Peter David, with art pieces by Hardman, is an amusing meeting between the Hulk and the one-and-only Dracula. Meanwhile, Goom's Fairy Tales by Paul Tobin and Dave Williams is a short piece that had me laughing out loud. The Hulk and Werewolf By Night story by Steve Niles and Lucio Parrillo is the weakest piece with a simple story and art that is skillfully painted but too dark for its own good.

Mighty Avengers #19 - Secret Invasion. Brian Michael Bendis and Khoi Pham. "Captain Marvel"'s final adventure, leading into his fateful meeting with Noh Var at the beginning of Secret Invasion #6. Meh, should have been better.

Ultimate Origins #5 of 5 - Brian Michael Bendis and Butch Guice. Humanity's guilt and Magneto's madness are both formally displayed as the revelation of the Watcher's Herald is played out.

Uncanny X-Men #503 - Matt Fraction/Ed Brubaker and Greg Land. The Red Queen continues to recruit and seduce while the X-Men attempt to take down her last pawn, the powered-up Empath.

X-Men: Magneto Testament #2 of 5 - Greg Pak and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Excellent. Can't wait to see where this goes.

X-Men: Worlds Apart #1 of 4 - Christopher Yost and Diogenes Neves. It's as heavy-handed as one would expect from Yost, but the revelation of the villain of the piece at the end makes some of what came before it more acceptable.

Young X-Men #7 - Marc Guggenheim and Ben Oliver. Some team building, and a nice twist, but over-all the story is only so-so.

Booster Gold #13 - Rick Remender and Patrick Olliffe with Jerry Ordway. A time traveling Starro may prove too much for Booster Gold to handle, especially with a Starro spore firmly attached to Rip's face. Still brilliant.

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #2 of 5 - Geoff Johns and George Perez continue to juggle an insane number of characters, three versions of many of them, in a life-threateningly enjoyable manner.

Green Lantern #35 - Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. Part Seven finally brings Secret Origin to a close. It's not a bad story for those who have never read an origin tale for Hal Jordan, but for those of us that have it contained only a few new pieces of expansion and a great deal of unnecessary rehashment.

Green Lantern Corps #29 - Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. Guy and Ice finally have their date, and it goes perfectly in character. Meanwhile the Star Sapphire Corps gets its start. Full review to follow.

Spooks: Omega Team #2 - Larry Hama and Adam Archer. The team fights vampires in Istanbul. And it gets messy.

Doctor Who: The Forgotten #2 of 6 - Tony Lee and Pia Guerra explore more of what makes The Doctor The Doctor. This issue features flashbacks to the second and third Doctors. Woo-hoo!!

Galaxy Quest: Global Warning! #3 of 6 - Scott Lobdel and Ilias Kyriazis. Just as much fun as the previous issues.

back-issue buys
Secret History of the Authority: Hawksmoor #1-6 of 6 - Mike Costa and Fiona Staples. With "Secret History" in the title I expected more of an origin story, instead it is simply a solo story. But I shouldn't let that color my view. It's a pretty interesting story with good art that does relate to Jack's origin, but the individual issues only work in the context of the whole series as the entire six issues make up only a single story.