I'm up for it this week, although my list is short...
COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #08: This issue has talking. And talking. And MORE talking! I realize they had a lot of action lately, but this issue is literally all talk and none of it interested me. And for anyone who cares, the reason behind Jimmy Olsen's malfunctions are explained. Still, thumbs down.
CABLE #1: I could dig this. It's about what you'd expect from a Cable series, so there's plenty to love here. I'll definitely be back next time for the confrontation with Bishop, who now sports a METAL PROSTHETIC ARM OF DOOM! Thumbs up!
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #12: If you're a long-time Buffy fan like I am, there's one part at the start of the issue that'll make your jaw drop. Trust me, you'll know it when you see it. Even better than that, though, is the hilarious aftermath. This is a solid first outing for former Buffy writer Drew Goddard...and probably the funniest issue to date. Unlike Angel, Buffy's having no trouble holding my interest, especially the ending that should make the show's fans happy. Hooray for continuity! Thumbs up!
SECRET INVASION SAGA: If you have ANY interest at all in following Marvel's Skrull nonsense, then it's a good idea to pick this one up. First off, you can't complain about the price since it's free. Second, it's a nice refresher on Earth/Skrull relations to date. It gets a thumbs up by default, but it gets bonus points for potentially hinting on the return of the Skrull Kill Krew for Secret Invasion.
Penance: Relentless #5 - Really, quite a satisfying conclusion to the mini. I know a lot of people - both in the realm of fandom and many other comic writers - totally hate on this character. And I did at first too, but Ellis has taken him in an interesting direction here.
The Twelve #3 - Not as good as the previous two issues, but this still comes with my highest recommendation.
Uncanny X-Men #496 - An improvement, I felt, over the last issue. Nothing really happens of note, but there's nothing offensive here either.
Countdown #8 - Personally, I didn't mind the talking so much as the fact that #9 left with Kyle Rayner passed out and the "WE HAVE COMPANY!" line delivered with dread by Donna Troy. Inexplicably, this issue starts and Kyle is completely conscious, and that company...doesn't show up I guess? Unless she was talking about Jimmy Olsen & Superman's crazy biker pals that live in the forest and followed Jimmy to Apokolips. I'm sure glad, too, that we had how many mini-series and tie-ins building up Monarch and his Army, and it was confirmed again in this issue that they're done with that angle. All that build for, what, two issues of Countdown that don't even matter in the grand scheme of things? This series has been enjoyable at points, but man, their build to this is really freaking strange.
DC Special: Raven #1 - The issue showed some promise, but more often than not was sort of painful and embarrassing to read. Uneven art as well. Thumbs WAY down.
Green Lantern #28 - As worried as I was about the creation of so many other Corps, the way Johns has been going about it is great.
Justice League: The New Frontier special - Man, this was so much damn fun. The solicits from DC were promising a Sgt. Rock short story that never came to be, but what's here is great. Particularly Rip Hunter's intro on the first page and reference to the Multiverse - BRILLIANT.
Read that my roommate picked up: Amazing Spider-Man #552 - Joe Q might as well just write this book himself, since his obsession over and insertion of himself in the creative direction is almost unbearable.
Cable #1 - Cable with a baby strapped to his chest - RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS VITAL ORGANS - is the most unintentionally ridiculous visual I've seen in comics in quite some time. If you're one of those that's super into artwork, though, it's worth thumbing through.
Logan #1 (OF 3) - It's BKV, so you know it's not going to be awful or anything. It's a decent story about Wolverine in Japan during WWII, and I'm sure the rest will be fine.
X-Force #2 - The first issue was a pleasant surprise for me. This issue...sorta dragged a bit, but I like where it's going.
Teen Titans: Year One #3 (OF 6) - For someone who had no interest in this when I first heard about it, they've completely sucked me in. Nothing Earth-shattering being done with this book, but it's OH so much fun.
All-New Atom #21 - I already like the new creative team more than I liked Simone on this book, and I liked Simone quite a bit.
I picked up the Secret Invasion Saga free handout, but haven't even had a chance to thumb through it yet. That being said, THE SKRULL KILL CREW'S COMING BACK? Sweeeeeet!
Quick note - I know at least a couple of you might be interested in checking out mine and my roommate's new "4 Color Commentary" podcast. Just two fans talking about the books they pick up, nothing fancy. Click here if you're interested in checking it out.
(edited by Deputy Marshall on 7.3.08 1447) KevinMarshallOnline.com - New Comics section, and there's a slightly better design too now I think!
* Living Under Marshall Law w/ BPD for 02/27/2008 - Michael McDonald, the Oscars, Politics, Wrestling, and another installment of BPD's Special Message for the Ladies (Direct link - Right Click/Save As...)
PENANCE: RELENTLESS was really good... EXCEPT for damn Wolverine. See what I'm talking about when I bitch about him popping up in books he has no reason to be in? Why the hell was he here? What possible reason did they need for him to be there? It makes no sense. Other then that, the continuity with with this series and the recent Sub-Mariner series is kinda screwy since Nitro supposedly died there in Atlantis, but I'm not complaining. Speedball went all midevil on his ass and it was quite entertaining. I especially liked him name checking those who died in Stamford while beating the shit outta Nitro. Nice touch.
I also don't mind the all talk issue of COUNTDOWN. I figure you need to have issues like this in a weekly series since you're stretching the sotry out so thin, you need an issue or two to keep the characters updated on what is happening around them. As for Donna Troy, a friend and I have this running joke about her and we've decided that since FINAL CRISIS is, according to Grant Morrisson, "Beginning with Anthro The First Boy and ending with Kamandi The Last Boy.", thethese two characters will only be on the first page of the first issue and the last page of the last issue with the rest of the series having to do with "WHO IS DONNA TROY!"
Rob Leifelds alternate cover to CABLE #1 is shockingly good. I was surprised that it didn't suck... same goes for the issue. It dragged me in and I wanna know more, like what's up with Bishops robot arm? If Bishop in the future has a robot arm, and the Bishop now is from the future... is the one we have now a Skrull? ...my mind hurts!
I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of the new creative team on Atom. I planned on giving them a shot, but I figured I'd probably wind up dropping the book. Now it looks like I'll be hanging on. The Secret Invasion freebie at least makes it look like they've done their homework, but we'll have to wait and see what the finished product looks like. There's no chance I'm picking up all the tie-ins though. And I don't know if anyone picked up the Thunderbolts one-shot that Christos Gage did, but it's a big improvement over the last one.
With the total relaunch of the Batman franchise, this is a good time to look back at the new and relaunched titles (and man, there seem to be a lot of them). For the benefit of those who have and haven't gotten on board the new Bat-train: