Saturday, October 22, 2011


TINY TITANS #45—Batgirls! Just in time for Halloween. So apparent that Baltazar/Franco are of our generation, once again, as clearly they had no idea what the hell Pantha was supposed to be there as the 80s were blooming into the 90s and Batmania ruled the streets. This one seemed a little denser than usual, I kept thinking it was going to be over and it opened up into another scene. As always, highly recommended, particularly if you want to read your daughter a new comic book that includes Starfire.

FEAR ITSELF #7—Seems to me like a reading order should have been published. I wasn’t sure, so just led with this because I didn’t want IRON MAN or something to spoil it for me, but then IM was total anticlimax. But let’s talk about this beast. It was billed as 64 pages of thunder, but in a pretty garbage move, the back 27 of those turn out to be four “epilogues” that are nothing more than previews of the first issues of new series that quite loosely spin out of this latest event. Which was kind of fucked, I kept reading thinking, Wait, is THIS one gonna be, no no, that’s just Aaron Hulk, well cool, is THIS gonna be, then especially the last one, I mean it was totally Fraction, but got me again, just another preview to DEFENDERS, which I was already sold on from the announcement. So, I came out the end of this comic even a bit more jaded than if it had just ended with the last page of the story that it set out to tell. What did I think about the conclusion to FEAR ITSELF? I think the art was fandamntastic. I mean, gorgeous top to bottom, everything you could hope for from Laura Martin on an event book and Immonen/Von Grawbadger raised their game to another level. To think how I was championing these folks on that Little New Avengers Book That Could not two years ago. Looked great. Storywise, I respect how Fraction dug deep and tried to come up with a threat on a scale greater than Bendis and Millar events of the past decade, but I really believed that he was going to swerve at the end and give us something different than the death that’s been, not telegraphed, but explicitly prophesied since the beginning. I mean, at this point, how hard is that supposed to hit us? We know he’ll just be back when the sequel to his movie hits. And, what’s that? Phoenix is rising again, you say? Maybe I’m just at that inevitable point that Corporate Comics are starting to get to me. I’ll always have Hickman FF. Yes? Always? Twice a month? With a spinoff, couldja do?

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #509—So, yeah. I even checked all the FI first pages to see if there were instructions provided, but reading this right after the monster was all kinds of anticlimax, though I have to say that the premise of Tony rolling with Splitlip in the aftermath and teaching him about sobriety sounds like a pretty cool dynamic. Fraction just keeps recovering all over this place, man, I tell you what, Banner or Strange is going to be hitting the sauce pretty good by #12 of DEFENDERS, just see if it doesn’t happen.

JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #629—And then this beautiful thing fell out of the pile. Portacio’s art worked much better for me on this one, though it was of course a taunt to get three last pages of Braithwaite/Arreola. Gillen’s work here is Strong. Really makes a glorious actual epilogue for the main title. Folks who did not check this out got short shrift. Interested to see where this title’s headed. If anywhere, it would be something just to drop the curtain, too. But if Gillen’s back for more tales of Kid Loki, sign me up. Much much better than it had any right to be.

AVENGERS #18—Bendis gets a lot of mileage out of a pretty simple idea. Excellent, believable everyman dialogue throughout. I do wish he had reached all the way back to the wreckage of the mansion, the very first arc of the Bendis Age, that would have closed up the circle just real nicely, there, but I guess he only had twenty pages to earn my four dollahs! Good-looking work from Acuña, he’s really come a long way. Just had no idea who was going to be on the last page, there, though. Really.

UNCANNY X-MEN #544—They really have a lot of nerve putting THE FINAL ISSUE all big on the cover there when a new #1 is hitting in like three weeks. At this point in my Merry Marvel Wednesday night experience, I was feeling quite cynical about the old cyclical. But Gillen had just crushed it a minute ago and I’ve made no secret of improbably coming around on Land’s work, so I opened my heart. And we get the original first page from Kirby for our THE FINAL ISSUE first page! That is about as promising of a start as we could have been granted, True Believers. And the updated dialogue/status updates are killing. A few great little character bits sprinkled throughout here, by which this sort of endeavor lives or dies. Mostly from Bobby. That snowball made me laugh out loud. I will say, though, real shame they couldn’t just like bring Jim Lee back for that one double-page spread. Or, really, Quesada, some big boy should have handled that. As for the final scene, I can’t really convey how it would have hit me, because the ad of Cyclops and Storm hit me for the third or fourth time of the evening and just made me curse the empty room, Damn, how about a moment of SILENCE, you know? Always peddling the next damn thing.

X-FACTOR #226—Best recap page yet. This book just keeps happening, how many years has it been, now? The very definition of solid work. Digging Kirk on pencils (though, it must be periodically restated, missing him on MI-13). PAD is a long-game beast.

BUTCHER BAKER CANDLESTICKMAKER #4—Goddamn. Ennis. That is fucking brutal and heartbreaking. I mean, man. The combination of this + the end of THE BOYS #59 hemorrhaged a Facebook post out of me at 1-something in the morning, just because I was bleeding, and I bummed out this sweet girl in California I knew in elementary school who had zero Ennis experience and next to no idea what I was talking about. Because it was so sad! Powerful storytelling.

FABLES #110—That is one off-putting motherfucking ad for THE BIG BANG THEORY. I mean, I studied it. I actively hate these people. The actors or the characters, I have no idea. Which is another way of saying, Oh shit, it’s FABLES again and I have no idea what to write about. It’s still wonderful. No sign of quality dipping. It’s kind of starting to freak me out, how long I’m going to be buying this thing. I mean, can Willingham drop a “And some of them lived happily ever after . . .” from his deathbed like five minutes before kicking off? Because that’s kind of how I’m seeing it at this point. Rest in peace, big fella. You earned it.

WONDER WOMAN #2—As turns out to be the trend tonight, all three of the #2s I picked up are improvements on the first issues. And there wasn’t much room for this one. Azzarello drops another razor-sharp script not quite as in love with wordplay as he usually does but just enough to remind us who’s delivering the goods. And Cliff Chiang/Matthew Wilson are blowing the art up. Great to see the man who rescued PHONOGRAM from black & white/David Kohl doing so well for himself. And what an ending. DUN DUN DUNNNNN!

JUSTICE LEAGUE #2—Johns hits his, sorry, stride quite a bit better with this one, bringing everyone into the fold a bit and firing off more zingers than groaners in the dialogue this time out (my favorite being Batman’s superpower: “I can keep us on point.” Damn right you can, young Master Wayne). So, we’re just really going to straight up fight Darkseid for the first arc? What the hell do you have on deck for Round Two? Jim Lee is scary scary good, in top form twenty years after blowing the industry away in the first place. That Wildstorm purchase, that might have turned out to be a pretty good get for ol’ Detective Comics Comics, there.

****BEST OF WEEK: BATMAN #2—And the hits keep on coming. Snyder/Capullo/Glapion show us that the first issue was no fluke but merely harbinger of the greatness to come. Again, everything about this is perfect. I haven’t really gone looking, but I can’t imagine someone claiming to be a Batman fan and not getting their socks knocked off over this. Snyder nails the voice, both of the all-important and post-Miller obligatory Bruce Wayne narrative captions, as well as dialogue between characters, Bruce/Dick and Batman/Gordon being the standout examples. And Capullo/Glapion can’t stop turning in beautiful pages, hyperdetailed cityscape shots, dynamic action scenes, excellent acting from the characters. This one really worked for me on every level. Again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


S.H.I.E.L.D. vol. 2 #3—BEST OF WEEK, no problem. Hickman hits the bench and Weaver/Oback open up nothing less than a six-pack of whupass on the unsuspecting reader. Eighteen pages* of no-dialogue gotime Star Child absolutely amok in the Immortal City beneath Rome with all hands on deck to try to stop him. This includes chrononaut Leonardo da Vinci, SuperMichelangelo, Nostradumus, Electro-Tesla, Tesla’s kid, Howard Stark, and Nathaniel Richards. This book is better than anything has a right to be and not only my favorite thing that Marvel publishes but, with the exception of the title immediately following, for my money the best thing they’ve put out since the halcyon days of Miller DAREDEVIL, Simonson THOR, Byrne FF. Really, really, really good.

FF #10—Kitson is A-list. Reading this, it makes you wonder if he’s on deck for some huge thing. You think he’d have to be. Though we would certainly love to have him aboard here as regular fill-in artist for as long as he cares to stay. Hickman decides not to go all L O S T with last issue’s potentially monumental cliffhanger and instead just shows us what happened next. Huh. I’m so used to disjunctive non-linear storytelling that it was almost jarring. Wait, that’s when/where each one of them just straight up went? Where’s the fun in THAT? As spectacular as the art is, this one’s pretty much a moving-pieces-around-on-the-board sort of issue, still highly entertaining, but in no way stepping to the nonsense that just went down in the Immortal City.

X-MEN: REGENESIS #1—Gillen's work here is crisp, not quite as sharp as it has been in recent works on the flagship, but solid enough. I did find that cavemen fighting by the campfire thing a bit strained and kind of a waste of space. Though I guess Marvel could have cut all of that, only dropped 20 pgs, and still charged $3.99, so I should just be grateful. Tan is hit and miss with me. He seems capable of good-looking work when he puts the time in. The original X-23 mini was gorgeous. He did not put the time in on these pages. After the five great artists in SCHISM, it would have been nice to have the follow-up epilogue not drop the ball. Not a terrible comic, but it could have been much better.

GENERATION HOPE #12—Mm, the cover’s a bit disingenuous. Sorry to see Gillen bail out of this title, as he’s probably taking me with him, but he works in some nice character work on his way out the door and a last scene, last page really, that completely flattened me. Way to drop the mic, Gillen out!


NEW AVENGERS #17—Bendis really has it down at this point. It’s not like the weightiest entertainment, but if you want to see your Marvel superheroes taking down a giant robot while rat-a-tat-tating dialogue back and forth, it really isn’t going to get any better than this. Deodato continues to make it happen.

MORNING GLORIES #13—Was this a season finale? It sure seemed like one, as the business went down and one of the kids makes it off the island in a fashion that will not disturb the crowd of folks reading this who are still pining for Evangeline Lilly**. But yeah, the events are moving faster than the characters can keep up with them, and there’s no telling where or when we’ll wind up next. Safest guess I can make is that safari guidance counselor had better start reading pilot scripts for next year, she do not seem long for any of this right here.

THE UNWRITTEN #30—And that is how you end an arc. This is going to #50, maybe? These longer Vertigo series that have the chance to run their natural course are almost my favorite thing, just because you still get that serial sequential thrill but, if everyone’s doing their job right, it never thins out and then you get finale closure. Lump THE BOYS in there, too, it might should go without saying. And I guess The Monster, or here, Creature, has just joined the cast? That’s fantastic. Guy’s popping up all over the place.

AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST #5—Another strong finish. Completely different from a trade read, because you won’t be going from nothing to just laying all the way down on the accelerator from the first page this time out. Murphy and Stewart are of course without peer and, with only 13 issues under their collective belt, one of my very favorite art teams in all of comics, but it’s so wonderful to have them working with writers who are also delivering such strong work. This was a hell of a ride.

FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E #2—This one’s just great fun. Lemire and crew do a good job staying out of the way and letting the concept of supersecret agent Frankenstein’s Monster sell itself (just Frankenstein here, but same difference). Of course there’s an ant farm within the ant farm. Fantastic. How did child sacrifices get to be the thing? Who floated that one, and what other options were tried first? Lots of fun, though I gobbled through this thing in under five minutes on the first time, 20 pages starting to feel a bit slight with this one.

DEMON KNIGHTS #2—All right, I’ve made no bones about my assessment of Tony Daniel’s writing abilities, but that right thur is a pretty cover. And old Diogenes Neves does fine work inside. I love that people are still naming their kids Diogenes. Or that one set of parents is, anyway. This is all interesting enough, but I’m not sure it’s engaging enough to keep me on the hook for the long haul. The double-edged sword about this relaunch is that they’re also rebooting our investment. I have no problem just completely bailing out of a series that seemed like it had a good enough hook only last month. We’ll see how #3 goes.

GREEN LANTERN #2—This is such a great idea, Hal and Sinestro buddy-copping around. Mahnke is a machine. Already enjoying this more than the majority of the previous volume.

BATWOMAN #2—More gorgeous work from Williams. When is Amy Reeder Hadley going to start subbing in? Williams is setting the bar pretty damn high, these pages are not to be believed. Just the x-ray punches alone in the first scene. Also, funny to see him drawing himself and Desolation Jones and probably other folks I don’t recognize into the crowd scene at the bar. Only misstep in this one is the last panel. She just, what falls down? That’s not really imbuing our heroine with a lot of prowess.

BATMAN & ROBIN #2—This one is a bit more of a simmer than the tour de force that we got last month, but it’s almost more effective, a well crafted tale of Bruce Wayne suddenly on damage control for his assassin-trained son. The cover really says it all, just hilarious. Less so, Damian killing the bat, that was a pretty screwed up moment, right there. Am a big fan of what Tomasi and company are doing, here.

*well, all right, page 15 has an exchange of word balloons between Michelangelo and the Star Child, but they’re straight up speaking algebra, so call the first 18 pages English-free, at any rate.

**It does seem, all these years later, that Matthew Sweet was prescient.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


ACTION COMICS #2—Mm, dirty pool charging four books for a twenty-page story followed by eight pages of Morrison and Morales being impressed with one another. This is an intriguing beginning but it’s certainly not murdering me in my heart like I was expecting. That last page will hopefully lead toward greater shenanigans, and it certainly won’t be a bad thing to have Gene Ha showing up for Krypton sequences. Also, just heard that Kubert’s coming on board for #s 5 and 6, very good news. Ready for Morrison to start blowing me away, though.

O.M.A.C. #2—So Kirbytastic. Really. I can’t believe the level that Giffen is performing at. Dude is ripping up the pages. Also, I loved the footnote telling us that the protagonist had called his girl in between issues. Too funny. I do have to call Didio out for flagrant misusage of “y’all,” though at least he got the apostrophe right, which you can’t say about even most folks in Texas. But the term should never be applied to a singular person, it’s always collective. Regional slang aside, I really enjoyed this issue and can’t believe it’s the lowest selling of the entire line. Bow down before the King, True Believers!

ANIMAL MAN #2—Lemire/Foreman continue with another installment that’s even creepier than the first issue while delving a bit into the Animal Man mythos. It’s really bizarre to me that DC made such a deal of incorporating this book into the main universe and then these guys show up with like the most Vertigo book since Dream was trying to decide between Change or Die and Jesse Custer got a mad-on for the Almighty. I mean, I picked this thing up and it said, Fookin’ ell. I would have thought that Foreman’s art style might alienate some readers, but folks seem to be pretty much into it. This remains one of the relaunch’s better offerings.

SWAMP THING #2—Paquette is dropping some business, here. He’s always been the man, but if you go back and look at that first BATMAN INC. arc all the way up to these pages, what a serious run in such a short time. And getting a little more adventurous with the layouts, kind of a creeping effect from Williams over on BATWOMAN. Snyder’s job here is pretty thankless and he does fine with it, though the last page was pretty telegraphed. Still on board with this one. Seems like I heard maybe Francavilla was no longer subbing in on arcs?

STORMWATCH #2—The banter between Apollo and Midnighter really does nothing more than reinforce for me how this is Ellis-lite. But the bit about Harry versus the Moon is pretty serious and makes up for it quite a bit. Interested to see what Cornell’s got in the hopper for this one. But really wish Ellis would either take some drugs and wade in to slay this last dragon before forever retiring from superhero comics or that the next crackling mad bastard I’ve never heard of would just get thrown in the deep end, here.

THE BOYS #59—Brutal. That last scene is haunting, going to stay with me longer than most of the horrah that this series has already brought us. Butcher is untethered, off the chain, and we are two arcs to go. It’s going to be quite a year. I can’t believe I didn’t read PREACHER monthly, this is too much fun.

X-MEN: SCHISM #5—And so it all came to that. Fantastic characterization and dialogue throughout, but the resolution doesn’t wash. They just, what, ganged up and beat the unstoppable suitcase Sentinel off-panel? That’s a pretty non-schismatic anti-climax. Still on-board with the X-relaunch, but enthusiasm more than a bit quashed.

CASANOVA: AVARITIA #2—This book is, yeah, still a psychotic fucking maniac. But, a hypergenius as well. So so much to parse in this thing, I've read it like five times and feel like I'm just barely scratching the surface. I mean, the cover really says it all, completely conveys the wild-eyed madness glory, and then is just a total lie and doesn't even happen on the interior. The retasking of Cass's mission in between issues is interesting, the effect it has on him. You would think that it would be better to only have to kill one guy over and over instead of snuffing out entire timelines, but I guess it's just the look in his eye? Is the Luther at the con supposed to be Fraction? It seems like a pretty clear analogue. Or maybe Ba just dressed him up as Fraction to be cheeky. And you’ve got to love the <> dialogue in 9.924. This thing is so much too clever for its own good, anyone who doesn't find it brilliant just isn't applying themselves. Only two issues of this arc to go? This 32 pages at a time gig is messing me up pretty good. Casanova Quinn is the reason why. And when.

BEST OF WEEK: HOUSE OF MYSTERY #42—Now the best part might have been that even though I do too well of a job keeping up with the tiniest fragments of news as they burst out over the Internet, I had no idea that this was the final issue. I mean, wait well, that’s not quite it, obviously Sturges has been turning out the lights for the past few months here, and maybe earlier some time I was hoping that this would be the last issue just because of numbers, and you know, Willingham’s name on the cover should really have been more of a clue, but it wasn’t until I hit that last panel that it seriously dawned on me that I was reading the very last issue of this consistently rewarding and exceptionally crafted monthly comic book. Really, it’s testament to how much ridiculous goodness is erupting throughout the industry that this title wasn’t championed by far more, heralded to the skies. You know, I dig the hell out of FABLES, but looking back on it now, seems like this one gave me more thrill per month. Which Old Bill can’t feel too bad about because he’s of course a big part of what makes this such a success, not only from a conceptual level, but right here on the bookends, his first and last stories for this series, just such top drawer stuff. STORies, right? The finest kind, that get you all thrilled up because for all the words in your live you jam through, there have to be a few, a series of them every now and again that you run across that just do it for you like few things do. This series was one of those, because you never knew where it was going and almost couldn’t remember where it was coming from because it kept surprising you, molding itself into surprising permutations when you least expected. And you never knew who was going to be drawing these gorgeous pages, but they were guaranteed to melt your face. Jaime came and did it just a couple months after I finally started in on LOCAS, so that hit me harder than most, felt like. So so many great names came through and turned in gorgeous work, really almost no one better than Inaki Miranda and Eva de la Cruz barreling up out of nowhere for the last one, but for all that, it never stopped being Rossi’s house. What a force. And Sturges. Hard not to gush about what he did here. Will just hold it down to I thought “Fig Keele, Teen Detective” in #31 was just an eensy bit better than “The Hollows” in #1, and he might have gotten him again here in the last issue, both of them just crushing work. And it meant so much to me that he really couldn’t stop telling until they pried the computer out of his hands, was still weaving tangential beauties with the last words of his afterword, wait, wait, always just one more thing. Really great series that I’m even more choked about ending than I would have been, because aw, the way it managed to sneak out on me, leave me needing so much more. That last panel, man.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


FF #9—This story just keeps happening. Bentley is emerging from a crowded ensemble as one of my favorite characters, particularly if Hickman continues to play up the dynamic between him and Val. I swear there have to be four or five very addictive premises that could spin off from this thing. As ever, So many great little bits sprinkled throughout. Doom’s response to last month’s cliffhanger, Nathanial Richards in Attilan one thousand years from now, Parker again saying just the wrongest thing possible, The Mole Man’s exit, Black Bolt backing Reed down of course without saying a word, alternate Reed vs. Doom in five panels and what a thread that’s going to spin, and then just out of nowhere that last page. I mean, the possibilities are infinite. Much to imagine in the four weeks between here and the next slice. A couple of other contenders make a run at it, but the left field cliffhanger makes this one easily BEST OF WEEK.

ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #2—Now that is how you introduce a force to be reckoned with. The capsule origin montage that Hickman drops on the first two pages are easily the most compressed and some of the most entertaining material of the week. It would normally seem implausible for some new guys, even Ultimatized Mike Carey villains to just show up out of nowhere and kill Asgard, but that’s actually totally believable thanks to the weight of this issue’s opening. Otherwise, it’s just a wonderful mad ride. Tonally in line with my fonder recollections of the original Millar/Hitch run without all of that winking at the reader Millar can’t ever seem to keep in check. And such a powerful last image, all the gods falling, Tony zooming in from Tokyo to catch Thor in the nick of time. Really strong.

SECRET AVENGERS #17—Man, you can cut your eyes on this Ellis script. Just razor sharp. Ellis Explodo, thank you for coming back and for all yours shrapnels in my eyes. Though I keep expecting the cast of N.E.X.T.W.A.V.E. to drop in and just say, Seriously?

THE MIGHTY THOR #6—Fine work, Fraction and friends bring this series’ first and possibly only arc starring Thor home to a strong finish. The only thing that threw me off was the three inkers, someone on those last few pages was not as smoking as the others. That last shot of Thor and Sif walking out, Thor looking over his shoulder, it’s like Morales came back just for that panel and one of the other guys was crapping all over the rest of that page and the one before it. In spite of this slight fumble on the one-yard line, Laura Martin continues to earn her spot as one of, if not the, very best she is as what she does. I guess #7 will be out really really soon?

THE NEW AVENGERS #16.1—Great fun to see Adams amok back in the 616, but there was a stylistic clash between his style and our usual Bendis everybody a’talkin panels. Enjoyed him with single characters, though, the standout being that one shot of Ms. Marvel soaring, you could really see the kinetic motion of her flight path. Taking Norman off the bench this soon feels like a real misfire, though, Kelly Sue and Miz Rios just got done with him five minutes ago, and I never wanted to see him again before that little bit of resuscitation. We couldn’t have gone with some other terrible old bad guy or, I don’t know, made one up? Maybe revealed Victoria Hand to be even worse than Norman?

CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY #622—Art was still gorgeous, but this is starting to feel disposable. About to cull the old pull list in light of the DC relaunch and all these damn $4 Marvel singles and not sure this one’s going to make it. It just kind of feels like a garbage move to have invested so much character development in Bucky’s resurrection, having him taken off the board like that, and then expecting us to turn around and invest in his monthly WWII adventures.

JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #628—This one really drew the short straw coming out the same day that Fraction and crew got done with the Galactus Seed. Let’s just leave it at that.

KICK-ASS 2 #4—Oh, Millar. Always the deft touch with you.

AMERICAN VAMPIRE #19—Jordi Bernet steps in and gives Albuquerque a much needed breather for this origin arc. Very interesting stuff, it looks like Snyder is really just getting started here. Such a solid book.

ALL-STAR WESTERN #1—Was expecting greatness from this one and not disappointed in the slightest. Of course, Gray/Palmiotti have been knocking it out with Hex for years now, but the new premise behind this relaunch has them smashing it to bits even more so than usual. And this Moritat fellow, just unreal what’s going on with him. Thinking surely he’ll only be on for like an arc, can’t imagine this level of detail sustained, month in, month out. The really interesting thing about this one is how it casts Hex as kind of an ur-Batman, but I can’t decide if that speaks to innate similarities between the two characters or Gotham’s tendency to shape and mold the lives of those who find themselves within her borders. Seamless work by these guys picking up on the dynasties Snyder and company set up over in GATES OF GOTHAM along with the nod. Really top-shelf work, all around. Hope this one finds the attention it deserves this time out.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1—This one’s all right, gorgeous art from Mikel Janin and Ulises Arreola (the latter late of JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, hope her presence on this side of the street doesn’t mean that she and Braithwaite just aren’t coming back), but not a terribly lot happens. Though I guess we do get to see the first few pages of the new Justice League in action, a distinctly odd place to find such a thing. This one’s right on the line for me, will definitely pick up next issue, but am not too flattened.

SUPERMAN #1—With ACTION taking place five years in the past, this is our first chance to be privy to the new status quo, which is I guess about what you’d expect from a 21st century reboot. They dynamite the Daily Planet building on page 2 and go multi-media global, spearheaded by Morgan Edge, who will now be played by Samuel L. Jackson, a strange little swipe there. Just realizing there wasn’t so much as a mention of Luthor. is a pretty solid first outing, Perez does a fine job setting up the new dynamic. And poor Jesus Merino shows up for what’s got to be one of the most intimidating gigs of a lifetime (finishing Perez layouts in a SUPERMAN #1? Come on) and imbues every page with weight and grace. Really digging on these guys. So, of course they’re already gone with #7. The world, the world.

FLASH #1—Manapul crushes it, here. That third page alone is perfection, but taken with the following double-page splash is really quite an eyeful, fantastic kinetic energy so so necessary in order to make a book starring this character succeed. Hope these two guys are in it for the long haul, I’ll stick around as long as they do.

AQUAMAN #1—And Johns is 0 for 2 with me on the relaunch. Reis/Prado/Reis (wife? sister?) crush it on the art, really beautiful work, but the trick of having everyone else make fun of Aquaman to defuse the reader doing same really isn’t working for me. And not nearly enough went on in this issue, it would be one thing if they hadn’t made such a thing ahead of time that they were going to knock out decompression and writing for the trade. I defy you to show me two issues by Geoff Johns that better epitomize both of those trends than this and JUSTICE LEAGUE. Now, you know, they are what they are, but I can’t believe he was making the rounds three months ago going on about the potency of done-in-ones. Not terrible by any means, but already endangered in terms of my pull list.