The Pull List – March 9th

I’ve re-read all of Transmetropolitan since Friday evening. Damn, if that isn’t a great book!

Batman and Robin #21: This issue is better than the last, with the characterization of Damian less grating this time and an interesting story shaping up. The idea of a guy who goes around killing the families of Arkham inmates as some form of reparations for their own horrible actions is interesting, and Tomasi’s script works well. Gleason’s art is growing on me a bit, but his characters still feel way too bulky and blocky for my tastes.

Doom Patrol #20: With this book building towards its conclusion, Giffen seems like he’s just decided to pull out all the stops and go nuts with it. The Doom Patrol spend most of the issue visiting different corners of the DCU trying to find a new place to live after Oolong Island evicted them at the end of the previous issue. Of course, it doesn’t go well, ’cause the easy way is not the Doom Patrol way. The last third or so of the book, with the visit and offer from an old villain, is clever and an interesting way to set up the last few issues we’ve got left of the book. I am sad this book is ending soon, but it looks like Giffen’s going out with a bang.

Justice League: Generation Lost #21: Speaking of books nearing their end, this issue is the calm before the storm of the final confrontation between Maxwell Lord and the JLI. There’s a lot of self-doubt running around in this issue, a lot of frustration and people on the verge of giving up. There’s also (spoilers!) the reveal that the big happening from a couple of issues ago was just a dodge. I’m sure it’ll be made clearer next issue. I am curious to see how this series is going to resolve, but I guess we’ll know that in about a month or so, right?

Booster Gold #42: This issue is an example of why I absolutely love Giffen and DeMatties working together: usually, this pair is all “Bwa ha ha” and more jokes and dialogue packed into a panel than you’d think possible. But they also do drama and tragedy really well. They can switch gears at the drop of a hat, and they can pull it off like no others. This is a darker, more sinister issue than we’ve seen in awhile, but it’s carried off with aplomb and heart. I really do hope they’re just taking a brief break from the book for the Flashpoint event this summer and will be back after that’s all done, because I love what they’ve been doing on the title since they took it over almost a year ago.

Wonder Woman #608: I do like that, since Hester has taken over on scripting duties, characters actually have individual, distinct voices and motivations for what they’re doing (and hell, they’re actually doing something!). This book is actually interesting again, and while it’s maybe not as good as the Gail Simone run, it’s a damn-sight better than when JMS was running the show all on his lonesome.

Batman Incorporated #3: Well, this finally came out. And it’s…well, there are bits that are truly clever (it’s Grant Morrison, there’s always gonna be something that’s clever), there’s some fun silver-agey stuff (exploding scorpions!), but for some reason it all just feels kinda…flat. Like there should’ve been something more to it if we were gonna have to wait three months for a new issue. There is the hint that this isn’t just a series of disconnected issues of Bruce Wayne traveling around the world to wherever Grant Morrison saw a travel poster for that month, but not enough build up yet for us to really know what to make of it. I’m gonna keep reading it, ’cause I trust Grant Morrison to do something interesting with the book, but I’m more than a little frustrated.

Birds of Prey #10: This book, however, is never a disappointment. Simone draws her “Death of Oracle” story to a close by…well, basically killing the idea of Oracle. By letting the criminal element think she’s dead, she can operate more effectively; or, as Barbara herself puts it, “If I’m out in the open, then criminals get cautious. And we can’t have that. Because my goal is that they never see me coming.” It’s brilliant, and there’s a nice metaphor (unspoken, but one I’m kind of assigning to the story anyway) of a mother bird pushing the babies out of the nest to fly on their own (the few pages of heroes calling in to Oracle and getting stony silence, then winning their own battles anyway). Plus, we’re promised the Huntress/Catman date next issue! How is that not going to be awesome?

I also grabbed the second trade of Thor: The Mighty Avenger, which was just as awesome as the first collection. I’m really upset now that Marvel decided not to let them finish this book. It’s sad that great books like this don’t get picked up on by more readers ’cause they “don’t matter” to the larger continuity. I am coming to hate continuity. This is, hands down, the best Thor book since Walt Simonson was writing Thor.

The Pull List – January 5th

Kind of a slim start to the new year, but here we go nonetheless!

Weird Worlds #1: This is an odd little anthology title, and while it has some promise (art by Jerry Ordway, Aaron Lopresti, and Kevin Magiure? It’s like Christmas again!), the writing and the characters feel a bit flat to me. The Lobo story feels like it’s something we’ve seen before, Garbage Man feels rather like Swamp Thing, and…well, actually, I quite liked Maguire’s offering, Tanga, probably because it feels like the sort of thing I could see Maguire doing with his old JLI buddies, Giffen and DeMatties.

Doom Patrol #18: This issue is mostly fighting, but it’s fun and energetic fighting. We get to see the Patrol run up against the Bostwick family, a group of people with “mandatory immortality.” The Patrol hold their own against the group, and Rita’s pounding of the Bostwick son is pretty classic. Also, the recap pages continue to be hysterical, up there with anything Pak and Van Lente did on Incredible Hercules in terms of combining effective summary and smart humor. Good stuff.

I also grabbed a couple of trades: the fourth volume of Fraction and Larroca’s Invincible Iron Man, which finds Tony Stark trying to reboot his brain, and the first volume of Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four run, which I’ve heard good things about.

The Pull List – December 1st

Late, but not forgotten! Here’s last week’s comics:

Action Comics Annual #13: A couple of short stories from regular series writer Paul Cornell featuring a young Lex Luthor. They’re not quite as good as the stuff he’s been doing in the book, but we do get some neat insight into young Lex’s thought process, what drives him, and we get a couple of neat interactions with Darkseid and Ra’s Al Ghul.

Doom Patrol #17: I am absolutely loving the recap pages Giffen’s been doing in each issue of this book lately. They’ve got a lot in common with the recap pages we were getting in Incredible Hercules (in that they do a decent job of reminding you what’s come before and are funny and clever). This book has only gotten better as it’s gone along, though this particular issue felt disjointed at times. It moves a few plot points along (the nationalization of the Doom Patrol, for instance) and gives us some great character moments, plus it sets up one of the oldest jokes in comedy (but in a good way). Good stuff.

Secret Six #28: The conclusion to the “Reptile Brain” storyline hits here, and it creates some serious changes for the team. There’s plenty of violence here, some great lines from Ragdoll and Shark (God, I’m glad it looks like he’s gonna be around at least for a little while), and a change in the status quo for the group. Plus, we get a couple of nice character bits (the bit between Giganta and Dwarfstar felt like comeuppance for the dismal treatment of poor Ryan Choi). It’ll be interesting to see what Simone does with this next, though it looks like we have the chance of a rotating cast of awesome characters for her to play with. Good stuff.

I also grabbed the final trade of Planetary. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of this series here.

The Pull List – November 3rd

There weren’t a whole lot of comics this week, but quantity was offset by some really high quality! It’s comics time!

Doom Patrol #16: This was the weakest book of the week, and even it was pretty damn awesome. Keith Giffen stepped in and drew this issue as well as co-writing it with Brian Keene, and his art is simple, clean, and as solid as ever. The Saturday afternoon horror movie intro is pitch-perfect, and the story itself draws on Patrol history once again to good effect. This title has only gotten better as it’s gone along, and this issue shows just how good it can be.

Chaos War #3: I’m confused. On the cover, it says #3 of 4, but the checklist inside shows there will be an issue 5. Color me confused. Anyway, the art here is better than last issue, losing some of the plastic look to the figures from issue 2, but there’s not a whole lot going on in this issue. The God Squad go head to head against the resurrected gods of earth and the Chaos King himself, but things don’t go well (as you could well surmise on your own, I bet). Fewer great moments than last issue, but still pretty solid if just rather pedestrian.

Batman and Robin #16: The finale to Grant Morrison’s run on this book is so full of important resolutions and great character moments, it’s kind of a lot to take in. The art duties are split between Cameron Stewart, Chris Burnham (whom I’ve never heard of but who does a great Frank Quitely impression while still maintaining a distinctive style of his own), and Frazer Irving, who each get a set piece to draw (Stewart on the stuff happening in the 1700s, Burnham on the fight between Batman and Dr. Hurt, and Irving on the Professor Pyg and Joker stuff and the bit at the end). The issue ties up a lot of loose ends while still leaving enough plot points open for future writers to play around with stuff, and of course it sets up (as you’d know if you get on the internet at all) the new status quo for the Batman Family (or should I say Batman, Incorporated?). Definitely a solid finale, though it would’ve been nice if Quitely had been able to come on board to draw a few pages. It does feature a shot of Commissioner Gordon in a dress, so there’s that.

Secret Six #27: The cover to this issue – Bane riding a dinosaur – really says it all. Gail Simone takes what could be a confusing mess and makes it an awesome ride full of double-crosses and Amanda Waller being downright badass. King Shark also manages to out-creepy Ragdoll, and that is not an easy accomplishment.

I also grabbed the latest volume of BPRD, King of Fear. Haven’t had a chance to crack it open yet, but I do love me some BPRD and Guy Davis art.

The Pull List – October 5th

Let’s see what the first week of October had to offer, shall we?

Batman: Odyssey #4: Batman wigs out when he thinks a little girl’s been killed and goes to town on the guy who did it. How many times have we seen the “Batman snaps and nearly kills a guy only to be talked down” thing? Also, since when do EMTs and the police and the freakin’ Batman all just assume a person’s dead without checking for vital signs? Kind of an epic fail here, Neal Adams.

Chaos War #1: The Lion of Olympus is back, but all is not well. There’s danger a-comin’, in the form of the Chaos King (our good buddy Mikaboshi, who just happened to not return to Earth with the rest of the God Squad at the end of Sacred Invasion). Herc has to convince everyone he’s not crazy and that there is danger, which is no easy task. Good thing he’s got Amadeus Cho on his side.

Doom Patrol #15: It’s the Patrol versus the Chief! And the Chief is increasingly unbalanced, it seems, ’cause trying to graft Kryptonian DNA onto your own just isn’t a good idea. Plus, there’s that fantastic intro with Ambush Bug. I kinda want all comics to recap the plot like that.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #4: Things are getting even crazier, what with da Vinci birthing something in the heart of the sun (and let’s not even get into how he’s surviving being in the sun), Leonid getting a deeper look at his own role in things, and a not-quite-a-confrontation between da Vinci and Newton. Also, Nostradamus, who has some serious emotional problems after letting himself be locked up for several centuries. Interesting stuff and fantastic art as always.

Secret Six #26: Bane is not someone you mess with. At all. Skartaris doesn’t stand a chance, unless Scandal Savage’s Six can stop him. This comic, month in and month out, is one of my favorite reads. Simone delivers again!

In terms of trades, I grabbed the third Secret Six trade, Danse Macabre, which was quite solid (especially for a Blackest Night tie-in). Definitely some good stuff this week.

The Pull List – September 2010

Man, getting through September without getting to read comics was tough! I did it, though, and ended up picking up all my September stuff the first week of October, so that wasn’t so bad. Let’s see what we missed, shall we?

Hercules: Twilight of a God #4: The finale to this miniseries gives the Prince of Power a right proper sendoff, letting him go head to head with a blackhole and, well, winning (even if he does give his life for it). Great art, solid if not particularly original story, and just a fun little ride all around.

Secret Six #25: Holy crap, Gail Simone is just downright evil. Catman attempting suicide by lion is pretty awesome, though, and the promise of Six vs. Six from this issue is gonna rule.

Batman and Robin #14: This issue was downright creepy. I kinda knew what to expect going in, what with having seen the preview and read reviews and such, but it was still a damn well done issue. I’m not a huge fan of Frazer Irving’s art, but Grant Morrison’s story is dead on. In the hands of a lesser team, Professor Pyg would just be ridiculous, but Morrison (and Irving, I have to admit) have me downright terrified of the guy. He ain’t right in the head.

Batman: Odyssey #3: I just…I don’t really know how to feel about this title. Sure, it’s Neal Adams and it’s Batman, but…it just doesn’t feel right. Everything is very over the top, everything is very exaggerated, and that’s fine and all, but…I dunno. The story’s a mess, the art’s not up to his usual high standard, and everyone…talks…like this!

Booster Gold #36: This title continues to be awesome. The cover is frankly fantastic, and the continued antics of Booster in the JLI days is hysterical. Also, I realize now I miss Ted Kord, even though I wasn’t really reading comics when he was still alive. Sad, really.

Doom Patrol #14: So the Chief just decided to keep a Kryptonian around to do experiments on? And now he’s all superpowered and crazy? Okay, sounds like a wild ride. I’m in. Giffen continues to make this a hell of a book.

Green Hornet: Year One #5: I don’t think I’d really realized it before now, but apparently this title isn’t a miniseries, it’s an ongoing. Which is awesome. Matt Wagner does period stories better than just about anyone, and seeing the young Britt Reid coming to terms with his place in the world and realizing the limits of working within the law to bring evil to justice…it’s great.

Invincible Iron Man #30: Tony Stark has a confrontation, a couple of cars blow up, and Pepper Potts comes to the rescue. Is there anything about this book that isn’t great? Well, I could probably do with a different artist, though Larroca’s art is far from terrible (just not terribly interesting to me).

Justice League: Generation Lost #9: I was skeptical when I saw that Judd Winick was running the show solo now, but it’s going pretty well, I think. We get more infighting among our heroes, Maxwell Lord hints at his plans and goals, and it’s just an interesting book still.

Welcome to Tranquility: One Foot in the Grave #4: I have mentioned Gail Simone is evil, right? ‘Cause she ups the ante here, pitting the villain of the piece against everyone’s favorite aviatrix, and that fork featured on the cover? It ain’t there just to look cool.

Avengers & the Infinity Gauntlet #2: So we’re already halfway through this miniseries and they’ve only just left Earth and filled up their space rig with gas. They’ve got two issues to defeat Thanos and save the universe. Sure, I think that they’ll do it, and I’d be willing to read an ongoing series by Clevinger about Spider-Man and Doom bantering back and forth, but I fear the ending of this is gonna be kinda rushed. We’ll see.

Birds of Prey #5: Black Canary is in deep trouble. So deep, that her friends are probably gonna regret trying to help her out of it. Things get worse for the Birds in the aftermath of the first arc, and Simone keeps things moving so quickly here that it’s almost disjointed and scattered (which I kinda think she did on purpose to leave the reader feeling off-balance, just as the characters feel). I find it interesting that Ed Benes already needs a fill-in artist. Let’s just go ahead and put Nicola Scott on this book and be done with it.

Deadpool #27: Steve Rogers sucker punches Deadpool. ‘Nuff said.

Joe the Barbarian #7: Joe’s grasp of what is and isn’t real is as tenuous as ever, though that may be because what is and isn’t real isn’t staying the same. This book is still pure, distilled awesome, from Morrison’s writing to Sean Murphy’s art to Dave Stewart’s colors and Todd Klein’s letters. This is like a comics dream team here, folks.

Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #3: A face-off between the X-Men and a ruler who will do what it takes to protect his country, the use of a decades-old plot device from Excalibur, and the usual no-good-choices scenario that Warren Ellis writes so well…it’s a decent comic, and I’m kinda glad I’ve stuck with the series.

The Flash #5: The plot thickens as we discover that villains turned allies probably aren’t as friendly as we thought. Things go from bad to worse for the Flash, and look like they’re not going to improve anytime soon. Love the art in this book, too, even if Barry Allen is still something of a cipher.

Justice League: Generation Lost #10: Can I just say that Cliff Chiang’s cover for this book is absolutely perfect? Admittedly, all of his covers for the series have been great, but there’s just something about this cover in particular that really grabs me (it’s probably Batman).

Thor #615: Matt Fraction comes on board to write with this issue, and it’s pretty great. I love the basic concept – that if you leave a space empty, something else will just fill it up – and the art is great. There’s a cartoony feeling to it that I love and much prefer to the hyper-realistic art that seems to be more of Marvel’s house style lately.

Action Comics #893: Lex Luthor vs. Gorilla Grodd. Lexbots. This book continues to be pure awesome. And the Jimmy Olsen co-feature is perfect. I would read the hell out of a Nick Spencer Jimmy Olsen ongoing. Get on that, DC!

Atlas #5: I’m really sad that this is the last issue of Atlas. I was digging the title. I do like that it’s open-ended enough for the team to return down the road, maybe, but it still annoys me that this book basically gets killed off right as it’s finding its momentum each time. That said, it’s a pretty great sendoff for the team; everyone gets their moment to shine, the good guys win (of course), and there’s a nice little moment between Jimmy Woo and the spirit of his former enemy/mentor, Master Plan, that’s pretty great. Also, we should totally get a Ken Hale ongoing, because he is the single greatest monkey ever.

Casanova #3: Things get real funky here with an island of superintelligent cavemen and Casanova starting to realize he needs to grow up and grow a pair. Why have I not read this book before now?

Detective Comics #869: This story continues to irritate me. It’s implied that this is the Bruce Wayne Batman, but if so, he’s the most ineffectual we’ve ever seen him. Batman basically sits around shrugging the whole time, saying, “Well, what the hell can I do about all these impostor Jokers and impostor Batmen running around?” Then he kicks his feet up on the Bat Computer and eats a bag of chips. Lazy, useless Batman is not Batman. The art is still pretty great, though.

Wonder Woman #603: JMS’s take on Wonder Woman continues to do a whole lot of nothin’ for me. I mean, I’m still not even sure what the point of it all was. Why change her history? Why change her situation the way he has? It hasn’t really added anything to the story. This could’ve been done with the star-spangled shorts and tiara just as easily as the useless jacket and stretch pants. We’ve really gained nothing with these changes except for some publicity (which was probably the point) and some exasperation. Mostly the latter.

The Pull List – August 18th

I mostly made mine Marvel this week, but they were some damn fine comics. Let’s get to it:

Deadpool #26: This issue was a surprisingly somber, almost poignant look at the early life of Wade Wilson courtesy of Ghost Rider’s Penance Stare. It’s interesting to see the formative events in Wilson’s life, and it’s kinda nice to see that there’s a person underneath all the gags and motormouthing.

Atlas #4: A revelation about the true nature of the 3-D Man, a glimpse at the real Bob, and some great action made this a damn fine comic. I really am sad that next issue is (apparently) the final issue of this version of the Agents. God willing, there’ll be more from them on down the road, but this issue was definitely a slam dunk.

The Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet #1: I’m a sucker for pretty much anything written by Brian Clevinger, and an all-ages retelling of one of the best Marvel cosmic stories sounds great to me. The actual issue turns out even better: Clevinger ignores most of the original details of the Infinity Gauntlet series, keeping only the barest essentials: Thanos gets the Infinity Gems, half the world’s population disappears, and a bunch of heroes band together to take on the big baddie. Clevinger pares it down to a small ensemble – Wolverine, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, and the Hulk – and changes up the tone of the story. Clevinger usually has a wry, humorous tone to his comics, and this one is no exception. Spider-Man quips his way through the entire issue, the Hulk ends up in a dress, and Dr. Doom shows up and monologues in a pretty classic style. Add to all this Brian Churilla’s cartoony, expressive art, and you’ve got a winning comic. This is a great set-up issue, and I’m really excited to see what the team comes up with next.

I also grabbed the second volume of the DC Comics Presents: Doom Patrol. I’m still working my way through the first volume, but it’s a lot of fun reading these old comics.

The Pull List – August 4th

It’s pouring down rain right now, but that won’t stop the comics (though it might delay the posting of this)!

Batman: Odyssey #2: Neal Adams is weaving a story of a young, inexperienced Batman that is downright weird. Anyone used to the prepared-for-everything Batman will find it rather jarring, but it’s an interesting alternate take on Bruce Wayne. Adams’ art is still kinda sketchy, but there’s solid storytelling and a shirtless, hairy-chested Bruce Wayne giving us a recap of the first issue. It’s still not clear exactly what Adams hopes to achieve with this miniseries, but I’m definitely willing to go along for the ride and see what he’s doing.

Doom Patrol #13: This issue focuses on Rita Farr, aka Elasti-Woman, as she discovers the secrets behind her resurrection and we just get further confirmation of what a bastard the Chief is. Giffen puts a good twist on the usual “superhero brought back from the dead” thing, and manages to make her character that much more tragic (and rather in line with the rest of the members of the Doom Patrol). We also get a confrontation between Rita and Mento, a fight that promises to be pretty awesome in the next issue. This title has gotten better as it’s gone along, finally finding its rhythm and a sense of what kind of stories will fit the characters best.

Hercules: Twilight of a God #3: Herc spends the whole issue in a coma, so his buddy Skyppi the Skrull takes center stage in an effort to help resolve the problem of the Galactus Black Hole that threatens the whole galaxy. There are some fun moments, snappy bits of dialogue, and good pacing: this is a solid comic from some of the most consistent, legendary creators in the business.

Deadpool #1000: An anthology of short Deadpool stories from a variety of creators, this is (as with most books of this type) a mixed bag at best. Some of the pieces are fun (“Canada, Man” is easily the best of the bunch, though “Luck be a Lady” is solid-if-mundane and “Silentest Night” is a fun little send-up of the distinguished competition’s recent event), and the art varies from typical superhero fare to indie comix style and a bunch of stuff in-between. The last quarter or so of the book is given over to more than two dozen Deadpool-centric variant covers that ran in different Marvel books over the course of the last year or so. All in all, not a bad book, but not necessarily worth the $4.99 price tag unless you’re really into Deadpool.

Casanova: Luxuria #2: Casanova goes on a mission (and counter-mission) to an island of sex robots. Yes, it’s as awesome as that sounds. There’s some weird sexual tension with his kinda-sister, some weirder sexual tension between a large Scotsman and a creepy mutant robot woman, and a naked man psychic fight. Good stuff.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #3: The antagonist is revealed, and we find out that he’s a man who will do whatever it takes to do his duty. Weaver’s art is fabulous throughout, and Hickman’s script gives us lots of information and details without feeling like a giant data dump. We don’t get to see much of Leonid and Da Vinci in this issue (they pop up in one panel on the last page), but next issue promises to be a knock-down, drag-out fight.

Secret Six #24: Our “heroes” are in the Wild West, and while everyone’s basic characteristics are the same, that’s pretty much the only similarity to the team of degenerates we know and love. The six end up banding together to protect a town from Ragdoll’s sister (who’s back along with her henchmen Aaron and Tig), so you know there’s gonna be carnage and blood. And man, is there. The roles everyone plays in this town in the past make sense: Deadshot’s a bounty hunter, Jeanette runs a bar/brothel (and the bathtub scene? Damn, Gail Simone’s a dirty woman), and Ragdoll does a Punch & Judy puppet show (which is just as wrong as it sounds). There’s also the fact that they team up to take down Slade Wilson, a gunslinger working for Ragdoll’s sister, which seems like a small nod to fans of Ryan Choi (a character written by Simone who was himself killed by Wilson in a recent issue of Titans). Definitely a good issue; can’t wait to see what Simone does next.

I also grabbed the ninth Fables trade, which so far has been setup for a final battle between the Fables in exile and the armies of the Adversary. Good stuff.

The Pull List – June 9th

Holy crap, did I have a pile of books waiting for me this week! Let’s get to it!

S.H.I.E.L.D. #2: Refusing to answer questions but raising plenty of new ones, this comic jumps right in and gives us a Leonardo da Vinci who is, as he mentions in the last line of the book, tired of how “these men have stood on my shoulders for far too long.” Hickman’s script is tight and fun (though the text page that pops up 2/3 of the way through? That was weird. Is that a thing of his?), and Dustin Weaver’s art is absolutely beautiful: detailed, sharp, and well-rendered. Definitely interested to see where this goes next.

Batman #700: A special anniversary issue featuring a series of interconnecting stories written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by the likes of Andy Kubert and Frank Quitely. In a story that spans many years and several Batmen, we essentially get a story that expresses Morrison’s recurring theme during his run on the various Batman titles: no matter what, there will always be a Batman. Most of the art is beautiful (Quitely’s fight scene against the Mutants gang is particularly awesome), though it’s jarring when Quitely’s stuff ends with several pages left to go in his section and he’s replaced by the talented-but-quite-different Scott Kolins.

Secret Six #22: Holy crap. If this comic wants you to come away with any sort of message, it’s simply this: do not mess with Catman. He will mess you up seriously, and possibly just cold throw your old ass through a stained-glass window. His search for his son and vengeance ends in a way that makes sense, and we get to see just how dedicated he is to his son. Meanwhile, there’s a great knock-down between Scandal Savage and an Etrigan-channeling Black Alice (which features the best genitalia-related rhyme I’ve ever heard, though there’s a pretty short field in that race) and a great moment for Ragdoll. If you aren’t reading this comic, there’s something wrong with you. Granted, if you are reading this comic, there’s still probably something wrong with you.

Justice League: Generation Lost #3: I keep really wanting to like this book, but something’s just not clicking. The art is fine, the plot of the book is interesting enough, and I’m invested in the characters and all. It’s just…I dunno, maybe it’s Winnick’s dialogue (though Giffen’s breakdowns are still great and keep the action moving briskly), maybe it’s that I keep expecting the plot to actually start going somewhere. I dunno. We’ll just have to see where all this goes.

Invincible Iron Man #27: There’s a whole lot of standing around and talking again. It kinda feels a bit too much like last issue. We do finally get some action in Japan between Detroit Steel and some nameless NBGWG (Nameless Bad Guys With Guns), and some nice character moments from the likes of Jim Rhodes and Pepper Potts, but I’m really hoping next issue kicks up the action a bit.

Prince of Power #2: Knock-down, drag-out fight between Amadeus Cho and Thor! So many hilarious sound effects (including a whole slew of IKEA-related ones during the fight with Thor), some great character moments (Cho telling Thor off is fantastic), and some clever plotting and dialogue…this is everything I want from a comic. Honestly, Pak and Van Lente are like the Giffen and DeMatties of the 2000s, finding that perfect balance between comedy and drama.

Booster Gold #33: Speaking of Giffen and DeMatties, this issue finds Booster trying to find evidence in the good ol’ JLI days to prove Max Lord exists, with less than ideal results. We do get a great exchange between Booster and Cyborg near the beginning of the issue, though, that perfectly sums up my feelings about the JLI and why treating the Leaguers from that period as has-beens and also-rans doesn’t do them…well, justice. Definitely a good read.

Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #2: I still wanna see the end of the Ellis/Jimenez story, but this one is picking up a bit from the rather lackluster first issue. It’s still not great, but there’s an element of fun to the story that wasn’t there in the first issue. The art’s kinda grown on me some, too, though I’d still prefer something more superhero-y. The biggest problem with the book is that it feels basically like a retread of every X-Men book Ellis has written since jumping onto Astonishing X-Men: the X-Men hear about the possibility that new mutants are surfacing, so they go to investigate even though they are skeptical. Turns out there aren’t really new mutants showing up/being born, something else is going on, so sad. Admittedly, though, this issue does draw a connection between the current miniseries and Ellis’s first story on the Astonishing title, Ghost Box, but I’m not sure it’s enough to really hold my interest. We’ll see what I think next issue.

Doom Patrol #11: Doom Patrol vs. the Front Men! There’s some fun things here, though less zaniness than I’d expect from a comic featuring Ambush Bug, and the idea of the Front Men is pretty interesting. I get the feeling I’m supposed to recognize the true enemy revealed at the end of the issue, but I’m not up enough on my Doom Patrol lore to really know for certain. There’s definitely plenty going on in this book.

As far as trades are concerned, I grabbed the latest Hellboy collection, The Crooked Man and Other Stories. It includes The Chapel of Moloch, the most recent Hellboy story drawn by Mignola himself. When you throw in stories drawn by Richard Corben and Duncan Fegredo as well, it’s too good to pass up.