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I may end up hitting the size limit here because I've got a lot of Hauls here. Since this is primarily a list, a very, very, VERY long one, I'm putting it behind a cut. I have additional notes on some things, but I'm going to do separate larger entries on some of the most significant things.

And away we go...Collapse )
What I'm hearing: Ru Paul's Drag Race
Chaos War: Chaos King one-shot – Brandon Montclare + Michael Wm. Kaluta. (I wrote about this when it first came out, because it's that good, so you might remember this write-up.) The welcome return of Kaluta's art to a full comic book. He's best known for his work on Starstruck and The Shadow, as well as a lengthy run on House of Mystery in the late 70s/early 80s. The story centers on the Chaos King's travels through the universe destroying and absorbing the deity pantheons of various alien races. This begins with the gods of Zenn-La (the race the Silver Surfer came from) trying to stop him, then comes to an odd stop off with the Impossible Man, of all beings, and finally a fight with Satan and the hordes of Hell. It's like a comic book version of a Hieronymus Bosch painting. But on top of the great art is also some solid writing making this a worthwhile book if you're even just marginally curious about it, and doesn't require you to have read all of the Chaos War to enjoy it.
Chaos War: Chaos King one-shot

Chaos War: Dead Avengers #1 of 3 – Fred Van Lente + Tom Grummett. With the living all laid low by the destruction of the realm of dreams, it's up to the dead to help save the world. The team of dead Avengers is made up of ones from different Avengers eras, but they've all got something prove. The attention to history and continuity is impressive, but all is explained for those unfamiliar with some of the characters.

Deadpool MAX #2 – David Lapham + Kyle Baker. Deadpool is in an insane asylum and meets people even crazier than he is. Unfortunately they are on the staff. Hijinks ensue. Very funny and very disturbing all at the same time, just like any good Deadpool tale should be.

Hulk #27
– Jeff Parker + Gabriel Hardman/Mark Robinson. Red Hulk has to team-up with someone else that he's seriously pissed off already, this time it's Namor. Parker continues to give Big Red more and more depth, just like a good writer should.

Thor: First Thunder #3
of 5 – Bryan J. L. Glass + Tan Eng Huat. Still enjoyable, save for the reproduction quality of the art. Seriously annoying.

Thunderbolts #150
– Jeff Parker + Kev Walker. Some of the Thunderbolts try to make their escape, but come face-to-face with the primary Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, and Steve Rogers. In some cases, understanding are reached. In others, well, let's just say they've lost their chance.
Also contains a history of the team and a reprint of Thunderbolts #1 by Kurt Busiek + Mark Bagley.

X-Factor #211
– Peter David + Emanuela Lupacchino. X-Factor battles dead Asgardians in Las Vegas. Can Thor be far behind? I'm enjoying the series, but of late I've felt that it's been going slow. Not sure whether this is accurate, or just because it doesn't have any solid endings to anything and the heroes seem to just be stumbling along.

X-Men #5
– Victor Gischler + Paco Medina. Cyclops shows off the fact that he's the man with the plan and the X-Men turn the fight around in spectacular fashion, despite the vampires having Wolverine on their side. Because Cyclops knew that would be the case, he planned it that way. It's nice reading about heroes that can pull their shit together and get things accomplished.

Green Lantern #59 – Geoff Johns + Doug Mahnke. The Indigo Tribe show up and another avatar is given form on Earth, because everything significant happens on Earth, evidently. I'm seriously bored with this story, but know it will be important for the upcoming Green Lantern family crossover.

Green Lantern Corps #54
– Tony Bedard + Tyler Kirkham. Kyle fights Sinestro, trying to get him to go save his own daughter who has been kidnapped by the Weaponer of Quard, a guy with a major hate for Sinestro. Sinestro proves to be very unhelpful. Kirkham art still bugs me.

Hellblazer #273 – Peter Milligan + Giuseppe Camuncoli/Simon Bisley. The build up to the wedding continues across two time periods.

Power Girl #18
– Judd Winick + Sami Basri. PG fights a clone of herself. So when exactly did she jump the shark? I seemed to have missed it. Still entertaining even if disappointingly cliché.


G.I.Joe vs COBRA #3 – Greg Sepelak/S. Trent Troop/David S. Lane + Sheldon Goh. A reprint of the special edition comic made for the 2010 G.I.Joe Convention. Introduces some new characters... who probably had special edition figures available at the convention. Whatever. Nice to see the G.I.Joe organization expanded to international membership and operations. The art is uneven, ranging from decent to amateurish. The story and writing remind me of the original Marvel G.I.Joe series, and that I mean as a compliment.

Transformers Timelines vol.2 #5 – Greg Sepelak/S. Trent Troop + Robby Musso. A reprint of the special edition comic made for the 2010 Transformers Convention. Also used to show the convention exclusive figures in action. But in this case most of these figures are based on older characters. But because many of these guys are repaints of more recent figures, well, it left me kind of confused on who was who and what they did. I think it also ties into the ongoing comics in the collectors' club magazine, something I need to look into getting into at some point.

Hack/Slash: Trailers #2 – A bunch of Hack/Slash shorts (too many to list individually) done by a bunch of different creators. The creators were allowed to do whatever they wanted, so we've got things like the pair versus Norman Bates (of Psycho), a bunch of Cassie Hacks from throughout time attacking Jack the Ripper, a buffalo-headed monster, a show-tunes inspired murder spree (by Gail Simone, of course), and a van that rapes cars while teenagers are making out in them. Yes, I said a van that rapes cars. These work best when you don't take the plots too seriously. And they are (mostly) damn funny.

X-Files/30 Days of Night #5 of 6 – Steve Niles/Adam Jones + Tom Mandrake. Since the X-Files are involved, we've also got to have aliens, bizarre mutations, and government conspiracies on top of the problem with vampires. It does start to feel like a little much, but I've got to get my X-Files fix where I can get it, right?
Carnage #1 of 5 – Zeb Wells + Clayton Crain. The 90s return as Spider-Man and Iron Man become involved in a "Maximum Carnage" revival. Crain's art is still annoyingly dark, even in scenes of full daylight.

Chaos War #2 of 5 – Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente + Khoi Pham. The human heroes have all been immobilized, so Hercules has to recruit some more divine help to take on the Chaos King. It's the God Squad.

Deadpool #28 – Daniel Way + Carlo Barberi. Of course the idea of Deadpool joining the Secret Avengers was too incredible to believe. Featuring the return of Doctor Bong.

Halo: Fall of Reach – Boot Camp #2
of 4 – Brian Reed + Felix Ruiz. The children begin their military training, and John, the future Master Chief, quickly distinguishes himself as a skilled improvisor and natural leader.

Hulk #26 – Jeff Parker + Gabriel Hardman. Thor gets a measure of revenge upon the Red Hulk, and the big galoot just has to take it. With Parker taking over as writer, this series has quickly jumped to the top of my list.
A-Bomb back-up by Parker + Mark Robinson.

Loki #1 of 4 – Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa + Sebastian Fiumara. Which is the true history, the one told in Marvel comics or the one told in Norse myths? Loki is confusing the two, and is left feeling even more the outsider than usual. The first issue has already impressed the hell out of me, and I'm very interested to see where it goes. Loki is rarely handled in a fashion that is so engagingly complex.

New Mutants #18 – Zeb Wells + Leonard Kirk. And the New Mutants are down. They aren't calling the story “Fall of the New Mutants” for nothing.

Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: A-Z Update #4 of 5 – More files on folk.

Thor: First Thunder #2 of 5 – Bryan J. L. Glass + Tan Eng Huat. Thor's earliest Marvel stories retold. Pretty well written, very well illustrated, but poorly reproduced.

Ultimate New Ultimates #4 of 5 – Jeph Loeb + Frank Cho. There's nothing like a mad Thor. Gorgeous art.

X-Factor #210 – Peter David + Valentine De Landro. The Rahne and Rictor subplot continues, and unravels while something else, completely different, is introduced. I kind of hope it ends up going somewhere.

Muppet Show Comic Book #11 – Roger Langridge. How can you go wrong with a Bunsen and Beaker focused issue?

Green Lantern Corps #53 – Tony Bedard + Tyler Kirkham. Dammit, Kirkham is doing the art. His stuff looks like a 12 year old trying to mimic Marc Silvestri and Frank Turner. I give folks slack when they are amateur, but he's been at this a few years now and isn't getting any better. His work is as technically deficient now as it was the first time I saw it a couple of years ago. How he still gets work is beyond me.

Hellblazer #272 – Peter Milligan + Simon Bisley/Giuseppe Camuncoli. As if his fiance being in the past and getting to know his younger self wasn't bad enough, a group of demons have taken it upon themselves to try and ruin John's upcoming wedding. Pretty good stuff here.

Power Girl #17 – Judd Winick + Sami Basri. Batman!

Vertigo Resurrected one-shot
– Features a Warren Ellis + Phil Jimenez Hellblazer story about a school shooting that was shelved because it was too close to the Columbine shootings. Now it's been brought out, probably somewhat due to the just-completed run on Astonishing X-Men of Ellis+Jimenez. The rest of the stories are from various anthologies and include work by Brian Bolland, Brian Azzarello + Essad Ribic, Grant Morrison + Frank Quitely, Garth Ennis + Jim Lee, Steven T. Seagle + Tim Sale, Peter Milligan + Eduardo Risso, Bill Willingham, and Bruce Jones + Bernie Wrightson with Tim Bradstreet.

G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero #159 – Larry Hama + Agustin Padilla. Wall-to-wall action as the Joes take the fight straight to the heart of Cobra. Hama's taken four issue to tell a tale that probably would have lasted t least twelve in the regular series. Sometimes a lack of decompression can be refreshing.

Transformers: Drift #4 of 4 – Shane McCarthy + Alex Milne. Drift fully gives up his identity as a Decepticon... but he never seemed all that dedicated to it in the first place, making the gesture, and climax of the story, rather hollow.

X-Files/30 Days of Night #4 of 6 – Steve Niles/Adam Jones + Tom Mandrake. More X-Files style storytelling with vampires in Alaska.

½ trade paperbacks!
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2: War of Kings book 1 – Collects GotG #7-12 by Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning + Paul Pelletier/Brad Walker/Carlos Magno/Wesley Craig. Awesome!

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3: War of Kings book 2 – Collects GotG #13-19 by Abnett/Lanning + Walker/Craig. Also awesome!

Marvel 1602: New World/Fantastick Four – Collects Marvel 1602: New World #1-5 by Greg Pak + Greg Tocchini, and Marvel 1602: Fantastick Four #1-5 by Peter David + Pascal Alixe/Khoi Pham. The second and third of the Marvel 1602 miniseries are collected in a single volume. Pretty good, but neither captures the same grandeur that the original series held.

Sub-Mariner: Revolution – Collects the 6 issue Sub-Mariner miniseries by Matt Cherniss/Peter Johnson + Phil Briones. The fall of Atlantis and, because of it, a lead-in to his alliance with the X-Men.

Wisdom: Rudiments of Wisdom
– Collects the 6 issue Wisdom miniseries by Paul Cornell + Trevor Hairsine/Manuel Garcia. A fantastic series that gives Pete Wisdom more depth, adds some interesting characters to the Marvel Universe, and leads into the wonderful Captain Britain and MI:13.
Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet #2 of 4 – Brian Clevinger/Lee Black + Brian Churilla. It's a fun ride that bears little resemblance to the original outside. And while some may hold this up as how things aren't taken seriously when made all-ages, I dig it.

Deadpool #27
– Daniel Way + Carlo Barberi. Deadpool teams up with the Secret Avengers? That can't be right...

Halo: Fall of Reach – Boot Camp #1 of 4 – Brian Reed + Felix Ruiz. I've got to admit to feelings of trepidation when I heard Brian Reed was writing this. I have yet to be impressed by anything he's done. He's not bad, merely adequate. And only adequate. At least he's going off a good story, the origin of the Spartan II program, from the novel by Eric Nylund. This is actually only a small portion of the novel, and it's such a dense novel I'm glad they've chosen to sectionalize it into a couple of different miniseries. Anyway, so far, so good. The art screams Moon Knight era Bill Sienkiewicz, and that's not a bad thing by far.

Incredible Hulks #613 – Greg Pak/Scott Reed + Tom Raney/Brian Ching. Hulk learns he had a second son... and that the little bastard is on his way to Earth to destroy it.

Incredible Hulks: Enigma Force #1 of 3 – Scott Reed + Miguel Munera. The saga of the former Micronauts continues.

Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher #4 of 4 – Jonathan Maberry + Goran Parlov. How they got away without admitting it's I Am Legend is beyond me. The Punisher at his worst, which is also his best.

New Mutants #17 – Zeb Wells + Leonard Kirk. The New Mutants get their asses kicked. They aren't calling the story “The Fall of the New Mutants” for nothing.

Oz: The Marvelous Land of Oz hardcover – collects the 8 issue miniseries by Eric Shanower + Skottie Young. The adaptation of the second novel is very good. Not all the characters are as good as the ones from the first, but that's more the original novel's fault and not due to anything Shanower or Young have done.

Shadowland: Ghost Rider one-shot
– Rob Williams + Clayton Crain. Ghost Rider takes on the core of the Hand to break the hold that the Kingpin has over him. Thankfully stands on its own from the Shadowland crossover while adding to it.

Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #3 of 4 – Christos Gage + Mario Alberti. An untold tale of the New Fantastic Four taking place directly after their first adventure. Some very nice moments between Spidey and the Invisible Woman.

Spider-Woman #5-7 of 7 by Brian Michael Bendis + Alex Maleev. Finishes up the miniseries I started at the Champion City Comic Con.

Thor: First Thunder #1 of 5 – Bryan J. L. Glass + Tan Eng Huat. Marvel prepping for the Thor film continues with another miniseries that will be ready to be collected by the time the movie hits. This series is an expansion on his earliest tales from Journey Into Mystery, including Don Blake finding the walking stick and being transformed into Thor. Also includes a reprint of that issue. I'm a big fan of the artist's work, but the reproduction here leaves much to be desired. The lines are blurry and the coloring just slightly off, looks like a crappy photocopy.

Thor: For Asgard #2 of 6 – Robert Rodi + Simone Bianchi. Bloody, violent, sometimes confusing, but mostly damn good to look at.

Thunderbolts #148 – Jeff Parker + Declan Shalvey (previously on 28 Days Later). Shadowland tie-in. T-bolts versus ninja. Lots of ninja.

X-Factor #209 – Peter David + Emanuela Lupacchino. Having a couple of different simultaneous storylines going at the same time doesn't make up for the fact that they all feel like they are dragging. I'd prefer just concentrating on a single story or two and getting through them more quickly.

Muppet Sherlock Holmes #1 of 4 – Patrick Storck + Amy Mebberson. Gonzo as Sherlock Holmes!

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War #6 of 6 – Randy Stradley + Rick Leonardi. I'm going to have to read this series all together, because reading it monthly has been a confusing experience with too many conflicting agendas to track.

Dr. Horrible, and Other Horrible Stories
– Zack Whedon with Eric Canete, Farel Dalrymple, Jim Rugg, Joelle Jones, Scott Hepburn. Awesomely good stuff. Worthwhile for any fan of Dr. Horrible.

Empowered volume 6 – Adam Warren. Always brilliantly fantastic.

Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #2 – Peter J Tomasi + Fernando Pasarin. Guy Gardner's solo excursion into the unknown sectors gains some additional members, Arisa and Killowog. Continues the great work Tomasi did on Green Lantern Corps.

Hellblazer #271 – Peter Milligan + Giuseppe Camuncoli/Simon Bisley. Shade the Changing Man has kidnapped Epiphany, and John wants her back. She hasn't responded to his marriage proposal yet.

Transformers #11 – Mike Costa + Guido Guidi. The international incident, with robots, escalates.

Hack/Slash: My First Maniac #1-4 of 4 – Tim Seely + Daniel Leister. Yep, I'm kinda hooked. This miniseries actually goes back to the beginning and deals with Cassie's origin in more detail.

Science Dog one-shot
– Robert Kirkman + Cory Walker. Come on, how can you not love Science Dog?

X-Files/30 Days of Night #3 of 6 – Steve Niles/Adam Jones + Tom Mandrake. It works.
Age of Heroes #4 of 4 – Jonathan Maberry + Shawn Moll do a Black Panther tale bridging Doomwar and Klaws of the Black Panther. An ice-entombed Captain America is central to the story by Elliott Kalan + Brendan McCarthy. There's a useless 2-page Zodiac piece by Joe Casey + Nathan Fox that's supposed to be a teaser, but doesn't let you know where the character will show up next. Lastly is a single page Cloud 9 story by Dan Slott + Ty Templeton that's only good for people wondering what happened to her after Avengers: The Initiative ended. Overall, the short tales in this series made it really uneven because most lacked enough substance to be worthwhile.

Atlas #4 – Jeff Parker + Gabriel Hardman/Ramon Rosanas. The Atlas Foundation is invaded by inter-dimensional beings, but when the Agents try to take it to them they end up running into yet another world's Avengers.

Avengers Academy #3 – Christos Gage + Mike McKone. Tie-in with Thunderbolts #147. I only picked this up owing to the Thunderbolts crossover. It's not bad, a little melodramatic, but the new characters are interesting and the older characters are being handled with an eye towards their histories. The kids are being taken to the Raft as part of a Scared Straight effort, but a power outage means that things might get scarier.

Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet #1 of 4 – Brian Clevinger/Lee Black + Brian Churilla. I was thrown off a little bit by all the contradictions with the original Infinity Gauntlet story, but taken on its own it's pretty fun. Pretty damn fun indeed.

Deadpool #26 – Daniel Way + Carlo Barberi. Deadpool experiences Ghost Rider's Penance Stare and relives some significant pieces leading to his origin. Surprising how many of them had him flat on his back in a hospital. It opens him up to an honest piece of self-evaluation. too bad his insanity is going to keep it from sticking.

Deadpool Corps #5 – Victor Gischler + Rob Liefeld. The finale of the DPC's battle with the Awareness is a trippy affair full of pop-culture references, but doesn't really have the energy that it's pretending to possess.

Hulk #24 - Jeph Loeb + Ed McGuinness. World War Hulks finale as Red Hulk and the original Hulk duke it out across Washington DC. Features some of McGuinness' best art and Loeb turns in an issue that is genuinely enoyable, as long as you don't start trying to pull it apart.

Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher #2 of 4 – Jonathan Maberry + Goran Parlov. The Punisher's battle with heroes turned cannibalistic monsters is complicated when he runs across a couple of uninfected humans.

New Mutants #16 – Zeb Wells + Leonard Kirk. Most of the issue consists of a flashback detailing what the soldiers have been through, and more on the mutant kids.

Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: A-Z Update #3 of 5 – More character files, from updates to obscure characters that haven't had files before.

Official Index to the Marvel Universe: Avengers, Thor, Captain America #4 – Covers Avengers #117-146, Captain America Comics #14-17, Captain America #187-216, and Thor #192-237.

Thunderbolts #147 – Jeff Parker + Kev Walker. Tie-in to Avengers Academy #3 & 4. The team fights their way out of a rescue mission gone bad, then up trying to keep the Raft contained during the power outage.

Uncanny X-Men #527 – Matt Fraction + Whilce Portacio/Leonard Kirk. Hope finds the second of the Five Lights, while Emma's life gets more complicated. Damn, but Portacio's art is annoyingly crappy.

Wolverine: Weapon X #16 – Jason Aaron + David Gianfelice. A Second Coming epilogue dealing with Wolverine's reaction to Nightcrawler's death, and the religious arguments that they've had throughout their association. Final issue.

Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book #2 of 5 – Ian Boothby + John Delaney. Comic Book Guy is dead, and his shop is up fro grabs. Special appearance by Stan Lee.

Green Lantern Corps #51 – Tony Bedard + Ardian Syaf. Hank Henshaw, the cyborg Superman, forces Ganthet to turn Alpha Lanterns back into mortals. Meanwhile the free Lanterns try to mobilize the planet's mechanized inhabitants to help them.

Hellblazer #270 – Peter Milligan + Giuseppe Camuncoli. Constantine figures out the source of his recent bought of madness, but Shade, The Changing Man, is still around to complicate things.

Power Girl #15 – Judd Winick + Sami Basri. PG versus big purple robot. It's sidekick recruiting time.

G.I. Joe Origins #18 – Chuck Dixon + Alex Cal. The finale to Zartan's origin is exciting, and I'm really interested in seeing the character show up again soon. Interesting and fresh, it's hard to believe this is the same writer churning out the slow-paced regular series.

Authority volume 4 #12 of 12: The Lost Year – Keith Giffen (story by Grant Morrison and Giffen) + Jerry Ordway. The Authority are back on their Earth, and after some brief introspection it's back to business as usual. Weak.

X-Files/30 Days of Night #2 of 6 – Steve Niles/Adam Jones + Tom Mandrake. Continues to be better than I expected. The writing, the art, and the pacing are on well done. Has the feeling of the most suspenseful of the X-Files episodes.

back-issue buys, ½ off trade
Sub-Mariner: The Depths hardcover – Collects the Marvel Knights miniseries by Peter Milligan + Esad Ribic. It's a tale of obsession and madness in the depths of the ocean with Namor cast as the shadowed bug-a-boo that no-one has seen but every sailor fears.

Deadpool Corps #4 – Victor Gischler + Rob Liefeld. This series is a bit of a mess, and when I say that I'm not talking about Liefeld's art. Even with a goal of “go stop that guy” for the arc, it still seems to wander fairly aimlessly. This title is teetering on the edge of being dropped, the main thing saving it being my love of the character.

Girl Comics #3 of 3 – Marjorie Liu and Sara Pichelli give us a nice moment for Jubilee and Wolverine, before things go bad for her in X-Men #1. Original creators Louise Simonson and June Brigman do a brief but fun Power Pack tale that also has ties to Simonson's X-Factor run. Lea Hernandez does an amusing short with Magneto and Wolverine. Ann Nocenti returns to Typhoid Mary in a typically confusing tale illustrated by Molly Crabapple. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Adriana Melo do, well, I think it is a story about Satanna but I'm not 100% sure. I'm also not sure of the point they were trying to get across. The issue is capped off by Kitty Pryde's 21st birthday party which is written and drawn by Carla Speed McNeil. There's lots of drinking involved.

Gorilla-Man #1 of 3 – Jeff Parker + Giancarlo Caracuzzo. From the pages of Agents of Atlas, here's some solo Gorilla-Man action along with a look at his pre-Gorilla-Man life. Fun, drama, and depth of character make for the great start to an enjoyable miniseries.

Thanos Imperative #2
of 6 – Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning + Miguel Sepulveda. The Cosmic Abstracts join the fight against the Cancerverse. High octane action, surprises, and an all around heaping helping of awesome.

Uncanny X-Men: The Heroic Age one-shot
– Matt Fraction + Whilce Portacio/Jaime Mendoza/Jamie McKelvie. The X-Men are brought into the Heroic Age in a trio of interwoven stories. Cyclops thinks back to Beast's departure while battling dinosaurs in the Savage Land, the Beast meets Molly Hayes (of Runaways) in a prelude to already defunct S.W.O.R.D. series, and then Hope has a bonding moment with Franklin Richards while Reed Richards gives her a check up after the final installment of Second Coming (released this week). It ends with Cyclops receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a significant acceptance of mutants and the X-Men.

World War Hulks: Captain America vs. Wolverine #1
of 2 – Paul Tobin + Jacopo Camagni present a grudge match between a Hulked-Out Wolverine and a Hulked-Out Bucky Barnes Captain America. They've got some bad blood between the, and it comes out at gamma levels. Brian Clevinger + Guri-Huri give us a nice mix of Hulked-Out Heroes with War Machine versus Monica Rambeau (with flashbacks to Nextwave) and appearances by Ms. Marvel, Thing, and Human Torch.

World War Hulks: Spider-Man vs. Thor #1
of 2 – Kieron Gillen + Jorge Molina give us souped-up versions of Spider-Man and Thor playing out the age old battle of nerds vs. jocks. Chris Eliopoulos + Patrick Scherberger have Cyclops and Iceman duking it out in the classic tale of the type-A teacher's pet against the class clown.

X-Force: Sex and Violence #1 of 3 – Craig Kyle/Chris Yost + Gabriele Dell'Otto. A last hurrah for the previous incarnation of X-Force before the new one sets up shop, Kyle & Yost blood, talk of sex, and then more bloody violence. Some exploration of the relationship between Wolverine and Domino, but it's mostly an excuse for carnage.

X-Men: Hellbound #3 of 3 – Chris Yost + Harvey Tolibao/Tom Raney. Second Coming tie-in. The team is finding Limbo to suck even more than usual as they try to rescue Magik and deal with Gambit having been overwhelmed by his Apocalypse-created Death persona. Lots of flash that helps build Pixie's character a little bit and also, probably, ties in a little to the upcoming Fall of the New Mutants arc that will also deal heavily with Magik, Pixie, and Limbo.

X-Men Origins: Deadpool one-shot
– Duane Swierczynski + Leandro Fernandez. It's always difficult taking Deadpool at his word, but this may be the closest we'll ever get to the truth about Deadpool's beginnings. There's actually a surprising bit of emotional punch to the tale as we see Wade Wilson's parents for the first time.

X-Men: Second Coming #2 of 2 – Second Coming part 14 of 14. Zeb Wells + Ibraim Roberson. Mike Carey + Esad Ribic. Craig Kyle/Chris Yost + Greg Land. Matt Fraction + Terry Dodson. This is less a finale and more an epilogue as the climax of Second Coming occurred in X-Force #28. We have the healing, the grieving, the funeral, the disbanding, and new beginnings. Some of those injured or maimed are shown being treated, there is a funeral for Cable where Cyclops breaks down in tears, X-Force is disbanded as being something the X-Men cannot be associated with in the brave new Heroic Age, and five brand new mutants pop into existence across the globe at the same time that Hope manifests the Phoenix effect.

Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book #1 of 5 – Ian Boothby + John Delaney. That's right, the big yellow cliché gets his own miniseries. As amusing as the Simpsons comics typically are.


Predators Film Adaptation – Paul Tobin + Victor Drujiniu. I hadn't planned on buying this, but I'm glad I did. Tobin never disappoints, and this added a good serving of depth to the movie.

Booster Gold #34 – Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis + Chris Batista/Giffen. Booster is in the past again, both re-living his embarrassing “glory” days as well as trying to find something he can bring to the future that will prove Max Lord exists. A nice call back to the days of the fun JLI.

Brave and the Bold #35 – J. Michael Straczynski + Jesus Riaz. The Inferior Five and Legion of Substitute Heroes live the other side of the story told in the previous issue. I would have liked more introduction for the Legion characters since I'm unfamiliar with most of them, but it was pretty darn fun anyway,

Justice League: Generation Lost #5 – Judd Winick/Keith Giffen + Aaron Lopresti. Although I quickly lost interest in Brightest Day, I continue to enjoy every second of this series. I barely even notice the rotating artists because I'm so engrossed by the stories and characters. While having a good touch of the old JLI humor, it is appropriately dampened by the overwhelming feeling that they battle a foe that is consistently five steps ahead of them.

G.I.Joe Origins #17 – Chuck Dixon + Alex Cal. The origin of the IDW Zartan continues, and so far he's a character with a lot more potential than the original series Zartan ever had.

Transformers #9 – Mike Costa + Guido Guidi. Some of the Combaticons are working for North Korea. Yep, it's an international incident where Transformers are declared to be weapons of mass destruction. Duh-duh-DUHN!

Authority vol.3 #10 of 12: The Lost Year – Keith Giffen (based on Grant Morrison's plot) + Brandon Badeaux. Oh, gee, the Authority have found themselves on another Earth where their counterparts have proven to be total douche bags, have taken over the world, and are fighting each other over petty matters. Kind of glad this series is winding down at this point, at least the art is nice.

X-Files/30 Days of Night #1
of 6 – Steve Niles/Adam Jones + Tom Mandrake. Has the feel of one of the great, really creepy episodes of the X-Files. So far, I'm loving the hell out of this.

back-issue buys
also got some stuff online to fill in holes in my collection – Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #7, 9, 11-12 of 12, Secret Defenders #3, 6-8, and Terror, Inc. #3 and 5.
Halo: Uprising #4 of 4 - Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev. The former Daredevil team has finally completed the miniseries that began in October '07. Was it worth the wait? Well, unlike most things that take forever to get its ass out, this series is mostly worth it. The story is interesting, though light on plot. The dialog is great, not a surprise since that is where Bendis typically shines. The art is fantasticly beautiful, but with one complaint - the action sequences with Master Chief don't flow well and are often difficult to understand. On its surface, that comment would seem to doom this series, but the fact is that Master Chief, and heroic action in general, is mostly absent from this series. Instead we get a ground level view of the Covenant assault of Cleveland through the eyes of an everyday hotel concierge agent and a pop music starlet. It's a solid series that doesn't require in depth knowledge of Halo in order to enjoy it. Hell, I'm even going to try to get Becca to read it.

Punisher #4 - Rick Remender & Jerome Opena. Frank does an excellent job of pissing off the Hood.

Rampaging Wolverine one-shot - This collection of black and white Wolverine solo tales is pretty good.
The main story, by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Paco Diaz Luque, reminds me of the early issues of Wolvie's first ongoing title. In the story, Wolverine hunts don't someone from his past that did wrong and, well, this is Wolverine we're talking about. Flashbacks galore fill the tale with enough background to understand Logan's reasons.
The second story, by Chris Yost and Mateus Santalouca, is probably my favorite of the book. It's a short, sharply illustrated piece about a guard tower sniper that can't figure out how his target keeps getting up and coming towards him. His mounting confusion and fear is subtly portrayed, as befitting someone that is supposed to be as professional as this guy.
The third is a short narrative written by Robin Furth with accompanying illustrations by Nelson. Nicely, it continues off of the end of the previous tale. The surprise is unfortunatley ruined by one of the art pieces, but I still enjoyed it. It captured Wolverine's voice perfectly.
The final story is a bizarre one by Ted McKeever. Sure, McKeever is synonymous with bizarre, but I still couldn't really figure out if he was trying to say something or just playing around.

Secret Invasion Aftermath: Beta Ray Bill - The Green of Eden one-shot - Kieron Gillen & Dan Bereton. Damn, that's a long title. But it's a great story with a nice religious message to it. The art is very rough, though intentionally so, and I still haven't decided whether or not I like it. Final analysis is that it is essential reading for fans of Beta Ray Bill, and a good place to start for people wondering why people like this horse-faced alien with the powers of Thor.

Uncanny X-Men #508 - Matt Fraction & Greg Land. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed this series this much. Land's art may be over-the-top into pin-up land, but the writing is fan-freakin'-wonderful.

Wolverine Noir #1 of 4 - Stuart Moore & C. P. Smith. Because I didn't end up enjoying X-Men Noir that much I decided to continue or drop this series based on the first issue. And because of this issue, I'm not only going to pick up the rest but am also really looking forward to them. Wolverine fits into the noir sensibilities perfectly, the art is gorgeously fantastic, and the story even pulled in the Origin series by Paul Jenkins. Moore & Smith have yet again proven to be a winning pair.
Wolverine Noir #1 - alternate cover
Check out some of the sweet art at Marvel, then do yourself a favor and go buy it. Oh, OK, you can wait for the trade if you have to.

X-Factor #42 - Peter David & Valentine DeLandro/Marco Santucci. Pretty darn good.

X-Men: Legacy #223 - Mike Carey & Scot Eaton. Carey is losing his momentum with a story that probably should have been told in half the space. Still, I'm not regretting buying it.

Green Lantern Corps #35 - Tomasi & Gleason. I haven't actually read it yet since I somehow missed the previous issue. Once I pick that up next week I'll read this one. I'm confident I'll enjoy it.

Transformers: All Hail Megatron #10 of 12 - Shane McCarthy & Guido Guidi/Emiliano Santalucia. The art is back up to its previous levels of greatness and the story is full of awesomely kick ass moments. A couple of mysteries are opened up, and I really hope they are explained before the series ends.

Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #5 of 5 - Furman & Roche/Raiz. The art is still pretty uneven, but the story pulls together almost  everything left open from Furman's run of IDW comics.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Manga: Boukenshin - Four mangatastic tales of the crew of the NCC-1701D. On second thought, make that three mangatastic tales and one not-so-much.
Changeling by David Gerrold & E. J. Su. An amusingly written and illustrated story where Wesley Crusher gets taught some well needed lessons.
Sensation by Diane Duane and Chrissy Delk. Another strong tale with wonderfully amerimanga stylized art, this one focuses on another fan favorite, Deanna Troi.
The Picardian Knot by Christine Boylan and Don Hudson. The story is hurt a bit by art that tries far too hard for the likenesses of the cast. Still, it was nice to see a tale that acted as follow-up to an episode of the series.
Loyalty by F.J. Desanto and Bettina Kurkoski. This well written follow-up to Picard's famous assimilation by the Borg demonstrates well the hesitancy Starfleet Command had towards allowing him to take command after he was freed. The art is a little uneven, balancing precariously between caricature and representation, but the interesting layouts redeem it.   

X-Files #6 of 6 - Doug Moench & Brian Denham. The second part of Moench's story is as good or even better than the first. It would have worked quite well as an episode of the series. Overall, despite the weak spot that was Marv Wolfman's arc over issues 3 and 4, I hope that sales were strong enough that Wildstorm will produce more X-Files comics. I miss Mulder, Scully, and the monster of the week.

Dark Avengers #3 - Bendis & Deodato. This was the first issue of the series, and the first thing by Bendis in a while, that was actually good. The conversation between Osborn and the Sentry, wherein Osborn openly talks about his continuing struggle with his own madness to help the Sentry, was a fantastic piece of writing that not only dsiplayed its own skill but served to show how that bastard, Osborn, can seduce people into thinking he's a good guy. Hell, it had me starting to like the guy until I pulled back and realized the brilliant trick Bendis was pulling. Maybe Bendis could write this well more often if he wasn't doing so much.

Deadpool: Games of Death one-shot - Mike Benson and Shawn Crystal. A funny little bit of over-the-top brutality. Worth getting for fans of Deadpool, and for people wondering what the hubbub is about.

Eternals #9 - Charles&Daniel Knauf & Nguyen. A little bit of X-Men, a bit more Eternals, and a lot of Celestial action make up the finale of the series. At least I think it's the last issue. Maybe it's just going on a break. I don't know, the point is that this issue finally attained the epic scale that the Eternals are supposed to have, but at the same time lost the personal part that is equally as important.

Punisher #3 - Remender & Opena. Osborn sends the Hood after Frank, and it's all good.

Scourge of the Gods #3 of 3 - Manglin & Gajic. Many things come together and finally make sense, but other mysteries are left and new ones are opened. The problem I'm finding is that I don't know if this is the real end or not. Both of the other Soleil series that I've read so far were also sold in the US as three-issue miniseries (Sky Doll and Universal War One) even though there is more to them than that. So, closure, this is lacking it. Still, it's pretty good and worth a read for those of you that are either classically minded or science fiction minded.

Ultimate X-Men #100 - Coleite & Brooks. A well done issue that, even though it is the final issue, doesn't serve as a finale. (What's with this lack of closure lately?) It's continued in the crappy Ultimatum miniseries and then Ultimatum: X-Men Requiem which has yet to be solicited. Ultimate X-Men had its share of ups and downs but overall I enjoyed the series and am glad to have it in my collection.

Ultimatum #3 of 5 - Loeb & Finch. This is the sort of thing for which the term "melodramatic" was coined. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Uncanny X-Men #507 - Fraction & Dodson. A high energy rolling ball of overlapping plot lines. It's like the action comics version of a katamari.

Wolverine #71 - Millar & McNiven. Old Man Logan continues to plod along. Emma Frost was well used, but everything else has me rolling my eyes and asking, "Are we there yet?"

Wolverine: Origins #34 - Way & Braithwaite. It's Daken versus the X-Men, with Wolverine doing his best to keep anyone from dying. I'm not overly impressed with Way's portrayal of the X-Men as incompetent, I think he's too in love with his lame-ass Daken character.

X-Factor #41 - David & De Landro. Lots of good. Darwin is still not working for me, but the rest is all good.

X-Force #13 - Kyle/Yost & Crain. X-Force takes on the pathetic Leper Queen while Kyle & Yost display their bloodthirstiness by killing off yet another of my favorite characters and putting a couple other good characters on the chopping blocks.

X-Men: Legacy #222 - Carey & Eaton. Explanations are made and the story finally starts to come together in part four of this five part story.

Young X-Men #12 - Guggenheim & Sandoval/Acuna. It's the last issue, but I'm not going to miss it. None of the new characters worked for me or melded well with the older characters. The series never gelled and found an identity outside of being, well, a poor imitation of the X-Men.

Witchblade #125 - Ron Marz & Stjepan Sejic. Sejic's artwork is damn impressive. Even the scenes in the dark are completely clear, and should be used as an example to Clayton Crain on how things work much better when you can actually see them. The story is only OK to me, and not enough to pull me into the series.

IDW Press
Transformers Movie 2 Prequel: Defiance #3 of 4 - Mowry & Figueroa. OK, the Bayverse Megatron just became a total freaking loser. Not as bad as Darth Vader after seeing the Star Wars prequel movies, but close. Instead of rising up on his own and pulling together his legion of warriors as the Decepticons, he is instead inspired by and bows down to someone he calls "Master," a figure known as The Fallen. I've said it about Dr. Doom and it applies equally to Megatron, the real Megatron wouldn't call anyone "master" unless forced to, and even then he would sneer it like an insult.

X-Files #5 of 6 - Doug Moench & Denham.  A good issue that is developing itself into a strong X-Files tale.

Holy crap! I'm so far behind that I've got the next issue of many of these. Unfortunately, that can color my opinion of an issue. Then again, whatever.

Dark Avengers #2 - Bendis & Deodato. An issue so bland it left me undecided about getting the next. Unlikable characters with little or no development isn't really a winning formula.

Ghost Rider #32 - Aaron & Huat. Johnny and Danny engage in final combat while the war for heaven rages. It's a major climax of the storyline that's been building since issue one.

Guardians of the Galaxy #10 - Abnett/Lanning and Brad Walker. War of Kings tie-in. Still one of my favorite books. 

Ultimate Fantastic Four #60 - Joe Pokaski and Tyler Kirkham. Kirkham's art still sucks but the strong writing by Pokaski allowed me to see past it. Sadly this Ultimatum tie-in is the last issue of the series. It doesn't have any closer, though, as it promises to be continued in Ultimatum: Fantastic Four Requiem which has yet to be solicited.

Uncanny X-Men #506 - Fraction & Dodson. This series is starting to get the feeling of the best of Claremont's issues, and no higher praise than that can be given. Great art combined with numerous plotlines that keep you guessing. If you're not interested in one plot, well don't worry, turn the page and there's another one going on that you might like better.

X-Factor #40 - Peter David & DeLandro. PAD has pulled this series back to its previous heights with shocks, surprises, and depth that make it one of the strongest parts of the X-Universe.

X-Men: Kingbreaker #3 of 4 - Yost & Dustin Weaver with Paco Diaz. This prelude to War of Kings is a blast and a half. There are no pauses for characterization, just a lot of heavy duty space action.

X-Men: Legacy #221 - Carey & Eaton. A fairly weak middle of the storyline issue where nothing really happens. 

Young X-Men #11 - Guggenheim & Sandoval with Daniel Acuna. The issue combines both a present story and a future story, and though it's all pretty solid it's still not strong enough to make me feel bad that the next issue is the last one.

Tangent: Superman's Reign #12 of 12 - Jurgens and Carlos Magno. The action packed finale was, well, action packed. It's a decent end to the series, but feels like so many other heroes from reality A and heroes from reality B get together to fight a menace that's a threat to both and/or all realities kind of story. There's not anything more to it.

IDW Press
 G.I.Joe: Origins #1 - Larry Hama and Mike Hawthorne. Duke and Scarlet learn the hard way that there is a lot more to being  recruited into the Joes than just getting a funky fresh code-name. And can you guess the identity of the silent soldier covered in bandages? If you know Joes then I bet you can.

Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #3 of 5 - Furman & Roche. Furman ties up loose ends left from his previous storylines while packing each issue full of enough action to choke a Sharkticon. Unfortunately, my shop somehow missed getting issue two so I'm suffering from some gappage.

Transformers 2 Movie Prequel: Alliance #3 of 4 - Mowry & Milne. Really, I don't know why I'm still picking it up. It's an even more confusing and ugly mess than the Bay film itself. Still, now that I'm 75% through I can't conceive of not picking up the last issue. Sometimes I think I need help. 
Whatmen?! one-shot - Scott Lobdell and Alejandro Figueroa. A mostly amusing spoof of the Watchmen graphic novel that is worth reading for fans of Watchmen that are OK with laughing at it absurdities.

X-Files #4 of 6 - Wolfman & Denham. The finale to Marv Wolfman's two-part X-Files story is a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping for more from Marv, but what was delivered was a fairly mediocre story that wouldn't stand up to most of the television series episodes.  

 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