This was a good week, containing an issue I was personally anticipating for quite a while. That would be...
DARK REIGN - THE LIST: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1: There's been A LOT of Norman Osborn in Marvel in the last year, but even with a couple of story arcs, it doesn't feel like there's been enough Spidey around to try and foil him. Spider-Man looks to steal incriminating technical type evidence that'll make the public aware of Osborn's nefariousness, but is caught by Osborn in his Iron Patriot suit. Chasing ensues with the total opposite of the Spider-Man movie occurring, in that New Yorkers side with Osborn and chuck rocks at Spidey. Spidey's able to escape by sabotaging the Iron Patriot unibeam and returns to the Front Line. Osborn enters, looking for Peter Parker where it should be noted again that Osborn has no idea that Parker's Spider-Man...and it should again be noted that there's been no official explanation for that. Parker e-mails out the evidence to all of his contacts and stands up to Osborn, the First Amendment, and God Bless America, etc. etc. etc. Osborn backs off, hoping for damage control from his crew. Issue ends with Parker feeling victorious. The fight with Iron Patriot felt way too brief. This feels like it should have gone a second issue. As it is, it's a decent read. Thumbs in the middle.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #612: This starts the official Gauntlet mini-series. First up is the return of Electro with some new scars, extra juice (which is making Electro's powers as a whole more difficult to control), and the dynamics shifted slightly. Max Dillon's broke and he's pissed off about the government bailouts and guys like him getting the shaft. So Electro's organizing protest marches and the like, naturally directing his fury towards one of the bailout recipients: The Daily Bugle. I have to say, the story looks good, but the art is AWFUL and actually became a distraction. Blech! Thumbs down, just for the art. High hopes for the story, though.
ADVENTURE COMICS #4: This had a lot of potential. No one's killed more people in the last decade than Superman-Prime, so naturally the Black Lanterns coming for revenge would be numerous and could turn into a good story. Instead, we get a cutesy tongue-in-cheek tale, where Black Lantern Alexander Luthor haunts Prime in his home universe, along with some of Prime's victims. Geoff Johns tried way too hard here and there were way too many inside jokes for my liking. This read like the anti-Ambush Bug. Thumbs down.
THE FLASH: REBIRTH #5: Holy crap, RETCON ALERT! We learn new ways in which the Reverse-Flash has been a thorn in Barry Allen's side. It seems that Thawne has gone across the timeline, manipulating events that would turn Barry's life into hell, including Thawne revealing himself as the man that killed Barry's mother. Other big revelations include little Iris West embracing her legacy and becoming the new Impulse and Wally helping everyone get new costumes. Issue ends with Reverse Flash racing across the timeline to kill Iris. Suspenseful, yes. The issue felt a bit "meh", though. Thumbs in the middle.
OUTSIDERS #24: I'm a sucker who managed to have this sold on me with the promise of a plastic blue ring. But luckily, I got a fairly compelling story. Black Lantern Terra comes back again, but this time, she comes across as remorseful and willing to help the Outsiders get to the bottom of the BL mystery. Meanwhile, Katana's escorting Killer Croc to prison when she's attacked by Black Lanterns of her dead family. The main story seems very interesting, as it could either add to the mystery (how would a BL feel remorse?) or it could add to Terra's legacy as a master manipulator. Thumbs up!
BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM #6: We last left Huntress and Man-Bat at the clutches of a priest hearing voices. But it turns out the voice is actually REAL, as it's one of Black Mask's lackeys in an invisibility suit. Man-Bat's able to track him down, but this all goes awry when Batman shows up and injects Man-Bat with an antidote serum. But it turns out the priest was lulling the voice into a false sense of security and wipes him out when he least expects it. Issue ends...rather abruptly. Again, though, the thing that puts this issue over the recommendation hump is the Manhunter backup, as Kate Spencer continues her crusade against Two-Face...and makes a date with Dick Grayson. Thumbs up for both stories.
More to come later (possibly), including Realm of Kings.
The Outsiders - Terra's definitely sucking them in. The memory download does say, "I'm going to look forward to eating it", referring to Geo-Force's heart. She's playing the victim to drive up his emotion more, making his heart more...tasty, I guess.
Adventure Comics - One thing I find peculiar: at the beginning, when it shows them all getting out of the JLA crypt, Black Lantern Maxwell Lord has a rope around his neck. What the hell? Was he buried (entombed) that way?
Maybe there's meaning to it that we'll explore with him further down the road. Just struck me kinda funny.
I'm not sure how I missed this one, but Dave Arneson, co-creator of D&D passed away (kotaku.com) earlier this week. I'm just old and geeky enough to remember Blackmoor and Arneson's much lighter approach to D&D.