Okay, another round of reviews. Last time I did one of these, I couldn't seem to stop using the word "frankly". This time, it looks the word to watch is "appears". This is not intentional, and it remains to be seen if it's going to be an ongoing trait with my writing. Let's start with a review that's past due.
Captain America #25: A pretty good story, actually. I thought that Brubaker did a great job with the flashback sequences, really putting it in perspective what Cap meant to these people. That said, there's more going on here than just Cap dying. We see Cap get shot, and we see his corpse, but we do not see him die. That just seems weird to me. Cap's critically wounded, and the next thing you know some reporter's telling us that Cap was DOA at the hospital. The Red Skull also seems to be playing a bigger game than just what went down here. So I'm intrigued enough to stay on board - for now.
Cable & Deadpool #38: They should officially just rebrand this as a new Deadpool series. Cable's been absent for the last three or four issues, and is busy over in the X-Men. I've been following Deadpool since the first issue of his ongoing, so I certainly don't need soldier-boy to keep me around. Nicieza has mentioned that his basis for Deadpool mainly off of the runs of Joe Kelly and Gail Simone, and it really shows in this issue. Agent X, Simone's one-time replacement for Deadpool, is one of the main players in this issue. Deadpool bails him out, and gets rewarded with a contract from Agent X's merc agency, Agency X (see what they did there?). The end of the issue features the surprise return of an old Joe Kelly concept, which I won't ruin here. All in all, about a thousand times better than last issue. Also, fantastic cover.
X-Men #197: Speaking of Cable, he's over here, trying to get Rogue medical attention on his floating island/spaceship/country (it's complicated). Mystique, Iceman, and Sabretooth get a little bit of forward momentum on all of their various stories, and Lady Mastermind discovers she has a psychic parasite hitching a ride in her brain. The parasite then reveals the next actual threat for the team. Decent issue, but really just a placeholder until the next arc begins for real.
Thunderbolts #112: I'm finally starting to get into this revamp. The individual characters are finally starting to sound a bit more like themselves. Venom, Bullseye, and Green Goblin are all getting quite a bit crazier as time goes on, and Songbird actually vocalizes something that bothered me for the first two issues. This is not a team, not even a dysfunctional team. I'm glad to see that it's a plot point, not just sloppy writing and characterization. After the first two issues, this series just now starts to feel like it's going somewhere.
Zemo - Born Better #2: Zemo continues his travels through his family lineage, leaping from era to era, putting right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that the next leap will be the leap home. Wait, I think I got it confused with something else there. Not a whole lot happens in this issue until the last page, and I don't want to spoil the reveal here. I have a few theories about where this is going, but I'm willing to wait and find out.
Civil War - The Confession: A good book, but really short for your money. If you've been dying for someone to finally tell off Tony Stark, well here it is.
Moon Knight #8: I like the Moon Knight character, but I'm just not loving this series. In this issue, Moon Knight gets confronted by Captain America, goes to one of Midnight's crime scenes, and then beats up two rapists in suits and domino masks who are assaulting what appears to be the X-Men's Polaris. I stuck with it this far because I thought it would eventually find its bearings, but it hasn't. I'm done with it.
X-Factor #17: Some teasers about what's been going on with Madrox, the source of his powers, and why they've been acting so weird lately. We also get the introduction of a new threat. X-Cell is a group of depowered mutants who blame the government for what happened to them. Another good read from Peter David.
Birds of Prey #104: BoP vs. the Secret Six (five)! Some good banter among the teams, and Catman and Huntress appear to hit it off. And, in what appears to be a trend this week, we get another shock reveal on the last page. I'm a big fan of Birds and Secret Six, and pretty much anything Gail Simone writes, so I'm digging this.
BPRD - Garden of Souls #1: I do enjoy myself some Hellboy from time to time, and this seemed like an opportune time to get back with his friends at the Bureau. Ronald the homunculus seems to have passed away recently, which is a shame if you ask me. We get some info on Abe Sapien's life before he was Abe Sapien, and Captain Daimio, a character that I'm unfamiliar with, gets some backstory as well. The plot appears to involve odd animal hybrids. I'm going to reserve opinion until issue 2, I think.
Sam Noir - Ronin Holiday #2: If you like samurai stories, or detective stories, or heaven help you, if you're like me and you like them both, then you need to stop right now. Just stop reading. Go out, get Ronin Holiday and the previous Sam Noir series, Samurai Detective. It's exactly what it sounds like. This issue, we get the backstory on Edmund C. Grog, Island Detective, and Sam fights a rhino. If you need to know more than that to make a decision about this book, then I just can't help you.
Monthly comics are metaphorically more like cassette singles, whereas graphic novels are like LPs. I think there'll always be long-form trades or OGN's but I really think monthly comics are coming toward an end, at least from the big two.