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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.