Avengers Prime #2 of 5 – Brian Michael Bendis + Alan Davis. Gorgeous but, with having separated the three main players, the point of this series is eluding me. I thought it was to reconcile them, but they are spending a fair amount of time apart. We'll have to see how it works out in the end. In the meantime, the open Asgardian plot threads were better handled in Thor by Gillen than they are here.
Daredevil Black & White one-shot – Peter Milligan + Jason Latour give us a fight with Bullseye where Dd i handicapped with a returned ability to see. Rick Spears + Mick Bertilorenzi follow the manipulations of one of the Kingpin's men. Lastly there is a text piece by classic DD writer Ann Nocenti with accompanying illustrations by David Aja.
Deadpool #1000 - Another super-sized collections of short stories. “Luck Be a Lady” by Adam Glass + Paco Medina. “The Maltese Bunny” by David Lapham was the longest piece, surprised me at how much enjoyed it, and got me excited about the upcoming Deadpool MAX series written by Lapham. “Appetite for Destruction” by Rick Remender + Jerome Opena. “Silentest Night” by Fred Van Lente + Denys Cowan pokes some well-deserved fun at Blackest Night. “A Day in the Life” by Peter Bagge. Yes, Peter Bagge. “Today I am da Man” by Howard Chaykin was probably the weakest in the book, but I've never been too impressed by Chaykin. “No Longer in a Relationship” by Tim Hamilton was a fun short Facebook inspired piece. “Canada, Man!” by Rob Williams + Phil Bond is probably the greatest bit of parodic fun. “Mouth of the Border” by Cullen Bunn + Matteao Scalera. “Too Many Deadpools” by Michael Kuppermann. And lastly “Nightmare on Elm-Tree” by Dean Haspiel. The whole thing is topped off by a collection of the Deadpool variant covers that graced a lot of the books earlier in the year. Unfortunately the joke of some is lost without the comparison to the original cover.
Deadpool: Wade Wilson's War #3 of 4 – Duane Swierczynski + Jason Pearson. Hilariously twisted and manically unpredictable.
Doomwar #6 of 6 – Jonathan Maberry + Scot Eaton. A great finale based upon depth of character and hard decisions, leaving a lasting change in Black Panther and the nation of Wakanda. It's unfortunate that this series was overshadowed by the other events going on, I'm hoping it won't completely disappear.
Gorilla-Man #2 of 3 – Jeff Parker + Giancarlo Caracuzzo. More details on Gorilla-Man back from before he was a gorilla, as well as some Agents of Atlas related action. Good stuff.
Hercules: Twilight of a God #3 of 4 – Bob Layton + Ron Lim. I can't tell if this is more irreverently campy than the old series because, even though I only read them last year I immediately contextualized them to when they were written. That said, there are serious, dramatic moments in this series, but it's also a whole hell of a lot of fun.
Marvelman Family's Finest #2 of 6 – Mick Anglo + Norman Light/George Parlett/Don Lawrence/Mick Anglo. Dropped. Somehow it's easier to take than Silver Age DC comics, but it just doesn't hold me. I just don't care. Give me the Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman stories.
Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher #1 of 4 – Jonathan Maberry + Goran Parlov. It's The Omega Man starring the Punisher. I went with Omega Man instead of I Am Legend or The Last Man on Earth because, well, Charlton Heston is more like the Punisher than either Will Smith or Vincent Price are. Despite the lack of originality, and despite some story telling failings, it's a nice creepy tale of violence that I enjoyed.
Shadowland: Bullseye one-shot – John Layman + Sean Chen. This special is the funeral for Bullseye, and it's pretty weak. Would have much preferred if Daniel Way and Stve Dillon could have done it owing to the strength of the pair of Bullseye miniseries done a few years back. Anyway, a bunch of personality free thugs will vague motivation gather a bunch of innocent people to throw a funeral for Bullseye. One of those gathered happens to be hallucinating Bullseye's ghost throughout the affair. And, of course, since he has to get dragged into every DD related thing, Ben Urich was also grabbed so that he could write up the funeral for the paper.
S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 – Jonathan Hickman + Dustin Weaver. Just because you've got Galileo saving the world from Galactus doesn't mean you've got the awesomest comic ever. You still need a narrative. Narrative, dammit!
Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #2 of 4 – Christos Gage + Mario Alberti. Spidey's alien costume has escaped and taken over Mr. Fantastic. That's just the start. The story could easily be slid between issues of John Byrne's FF run, but it also stands on its own.
Spitfire one-shot – Paul Cornell + Elena Casagrande. Follows up on some open elements from Captain Britain & MI:13, so that made me happy. The story sees Spitfire exploring her vampirism a little bit as she hunts other vampires alongside Blade. It's a complex relationship between the characters, and I hope it doesn't get lost.
Thor: The Rage of Thor one-shot – Peter Milligan + Mico Suayan. A tale from olden times highlighting Thor's feelings of alienation from his brethren. Also, dude's a Viking god, don't you forget it.
Batman: Odyssey #2 of 12 – Neal Adams. Too many narratives with the narrative. Geez, some books have too little, and some have too much.
Doom Patrol #13 – Keith Giffen + Matthew Clark/Ron Randall. The truth about Rita! Sort of. I'm still confused. Doom Patrol's history is a little... convoluted.
G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero #157 – Larry Hama + Agustin Padilla. Cobra has the US government thinking that they are the good guys, so that leaves the Joe's out in the cold. Or the fire, as the case may be. Exciting stuff that moves about 400 times faster than the regular series. I just wish they had a better artist doing this. It's most obvious when you compare the artist's version of the cover against the writer's sketch, Agustin has missed a lot of the dynamic energy that is inherent in Larry's original. If I was Larry I'd be seriously frustrated.
Transformers: Ironhide #4 of 4 – Mike Costa + Casey Coller. Delivers some loud, super-sized action that is totally freakin' awesome, but keeps in focus the heart that makes Ironhide such an endearing character.
Creature Tech graphic novel, new edition – Doug TenNapel. Probably one of the best graphic novels that I've read. Funny, creepy, quirky, and touching. We've got the Shroud of Turin, a mad scientist's ghost, cat demons, giant space eels, and an alien Jesus. That just barely scratches the surface. The main character is a scientist charged with examining the US's collection of mysterious artifacts. He's unfortunately based in the same small town he grew up with, leading to tension with both his ex-scientist, now preacher father as well as the redneck townsfolk. Then there's the burgeoning feelings that he's developing with the daughter of the local freaks and oddities show. But first he's got to stop that mad scientist's ghost's fiendish plans.
discounted back-issue buys
Black Panther: Secret Invasion trade paperback – Collects issues 39-41 by Jason Aaron + Jefte Palo. 40% off the cover price. A perfect example of why Wakanda has never been successfully invaded. Don't F with the Black Panther.
Namor: The Sub-Mariner #26 (May 1992) through 40 (July 1993). John Byrne (26-32)/Bob Harras(33-40) + Jae Lee(26-30)/Jimmy Palmiotti & Howard Rourke (39)/Scott Kolins(40). The whole pack for $7.95, a real bargain since I've been wanting to get Jae Lee's arc for years and, lo and behold, it's all here plus the conclusion of the storyline. It was really interesting watching Lee develop his style, sometimes with dramatic changes between issues as he experimented. It was also interesting seeing the dramatic story switch when the writer changed, Byrne had an amnesiac Namor battling ecoterrorists (he disagreed with their methods not their philosophies) while Harras quickly returned his memories but had him dealing with a coup led by a long exiled dark magic sect of Atlanteans.