You know, I have to give Marvel the icon this week, just because I find it incredibly funny that they'd put out the aftermath to a series that isn't finished yet. But there you go. We start with...
CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHO WILL WIELD THE SHIELD?: With Steve Rogers now back in the fold, Bucky is willingly ready to hand back the shield. But Steve refuses it, citing that he isn't ready yet and citing that Bucky's kicked a lot of ass with it. We get a demonstration of said ass-kicking, as Bucky and Black Widow take down the runaway Hyde. Steve vows to lay low, still saying he's not ready, until the scene shifts to the White House. As the President signs a pardon for Steve's actions in Civil War, Steve him that he'll stay out of the suit, unless formally requested by him. The President mentions that something big is coming. End issue. This was a good issue, but man STAY AWAY from that recap page, as it spoils the ending for Reborn. Unbelievable. I can't believe this special wasn't also delayed. Thumbs up, but a Wag of the Finger (tm Stephen Colbert) to Marvel Editorial.
GREEN LANTERN #49: Outside of John Stewart blowing up the damn planet again, there wasn't much they could do with the blowoff for the agonizingly long wait for his story. The population of Xanshi is rising in the thousands and that apparently includes Katma Tui. The confrontation here isn't as interesting as one would think. Issue ends with John fleeing the planet and finding out that it's quickly approaching Earth. Or DOES IT end? A backup piece is also included, focusing on Ray Palmer and Mera's battle with BL Jean Loring. Loring implies that Nekron's misunderstood and is actually an agent of peace. Loring foretells impending death and doom, but the issue ends with the arrival of...Deadman? Ooh, that's interesting. Not enough to give high marks to this one, though. Thumbs in the middle.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #616: The fight against Sandman (er...Sandmen) continues. Spidey tries to get the little girl out of harm's way, but Sandy uses his army of himself to block Spidey's way out. Spidey calls him out again for the murders he committed, but while Sandman denies it, a couple of other Sandmen confess to it. Apparently, Sandy can split up his body, but not his mind, as the other Sandmen act out Marko's subconscious. Spidey escapes through the vent, taking Sandman out with the fans and hands back the little girl. Unfortunately, her grandmother is deemed unfit and she's put in a foster home. Uh...happy ending? Man, that's a downer right before the holidays. Thumbs in the middle.
GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #7: The Sirens celebrate the holidays separately. While Poison Ivy takes out drug lords in the lush South American jungles, Harley Quinn goes home. We meet her mortified and shamed mother, her good-for-nothing brother, and later we meet her imprisoned father. Harley's father is apparently a grifter, cheating women out of their money. A disgusted Harley heads back to Gotham and to a renovated hideaway. Thumbs in the middle, but this issue is a must-read for fans of Harley Quinn, as we get to see where she came from for the first time.
DETECTIVE COMICS #860: One of the best issues of the Batwoman era. Hell, this entire arc's been great. We get more of a look into Kate Kane's past, as we see her don the cowl for the first time. She's not a part of the Bat-family, but sees the mantle of the Bat as a call to arms. Her arsenal is supplied by her father, who picked it all up from the military. The black and red motif are selected because they are the colors of war. Issue ends in the present day with Kate confronting her father about Alice's true identity. The backup feature with The Question is also great stuff, as Huntress learns of what led to Vic Sage's demise, touching on their former relationship (from a Rucka-penned piece a LOOOOONG time ago). Backup piece ends with the bad guys following Question and Huntress to Tot's pad. Thumbs up! This entire arc is fantastic and I recommend the trade when it comes out.
Next week: Blackest Night #6, Fall of the Hulks: Gamma, and...well...that it, actually, from the Big 2. Until next time!
Well... For those of you who are enjoying HOUSE OF M, there's a follow-up series called SON OF M that carries the story out even longer. The sadly underread PLASTIC MAN, which recently won an Eisner Award, is being cancelled with issue #20. DAMN YOU DC!...