After a small week last week, back with an almost 20 book week.
Top of the Stack
1. Flashpoint #1- This book definitely lived up to it's advanced billing. Geoff Johns really is the best comic book writer alive today. Kubert's pencils look better than ever (and more thank a little Jim Lee-esque thanks to inking by Wildstorm's Sandra Hope). An alternate reality were Flash has no powers, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are ruthless dictators, Cyborg is the big hero on the planet, and Batman is actually Thomas Wayne... what???? Yep, you read right. Bruce and MArtha were killed by Joe Chill, leaving Thomas alive and wearing the Bat costume. He also serves as the narrator of the story. DC's big event has arrived and it definitely hit one out of the park in the first issue.
2. Batman Incorporated #6 - A bunch of tiny little vignettes tell the story of how grand Bruce's venture is becoming, and how powerful the villain actually is. Chris Burnham pencils were an absolute revelation. I can't remember any book by him ever, but I loved his work. Morrison continues to throw tons of new (or reimagined classics) characters into Batman's army, and it works. The title has been a little uneven lately, with Morrison almost trying to be too clever in his knowledge of the Silver Age, but this issue hits on all cylinders.
3. Black Panther #518 - Giss and Francavilla are quite possibly the best Marvel pairing not named Bendis/Maleev. The Panther has filled in admirably for Daredevil, and even has a Kingpin of his own in Vlad. Perfect blend of art and story, very similar to the tone and story that Francavilla illustrates for Scott Snyder. I almost don't want to see Matt return to Hell's Kitchen. Almost (not really).
4. Superman #711 - Supes encounters the always entertaining LiveWire on is walk across America. Finally, a little action takes place. Barrows pencils are very strong as usual, and I love the fact that she ended up in Supes old electric blue uni. Very cool use of an old plot thread. Here's to hoping they continue to amp up the action in this book as we near the end of the Grounded saga.
5. X-Men Legacy #248 - I loved the Age of X story line. I loved this little epilogue with individual characters getting their mind wiped of the experience, or choosing to keep their memories. Rampage's confrontation of Scott was the most emotional of the entire issue, as she simply doesn't want to forget their time together. Can an Emma ass-kicking be far behind. Also, what will happen with Legion. Do they think his wrist guard will stop him when he starts bugging out again... I doubt it.
Rest of the pull
6. Journey Into Mystery #623 - I'm loving that young Loki know has a title where he is the star. We can see his mischievous machinations unfold completely. This issue ties in closely to Fear Itself, but still finds a way to let Loki and plans shine. Excellent work by a book that I think will consistently find itself near the top of the stack.
7. Birds of Prey #12 - Simone's work has been stellar as usual, but this issue she was joined by Jesus Saiz which took quality of this book into the stratosphere. A regularly good book, became great for this issue. I hope Saiz stays on and continues his great work. The Question and Huntress' banter was great, the secondary story with Lady Blackhawk, Canary and Dove was just OK. Strong issue.
8. Flash #13 - This issue leads directly into Flashpoint #1. Kollins art no longer fits the title as seamlessly as it once did. Manapul has made the Flash his own, and any other artists work looks pedestrian (pun intended) in comparison. Zoom is a badass and out to show it. I also love Iris West, she belongs right up there for me with Lois and pre-Omit Mary Jane.
9. Daredevil Reborn #4 - I must admit I hated the 3rd issue, but loved this finale. It set Matt up at his fist flying best after getting an inspirational talk from the blind kid who took him in. As much as I didn't love the entirety of the Diggle run, I was very happy with this Reborn finale. It sets up Matt to seamlessly return to the Marvel Universe proper.
10. FF #3 - I love the gathering of the anti-Reed Richards squad, bought together at the behest of Valeria. Strong issue, but the whole kid-smarter-than-you act of Valeria is starting to get tiresome. Peter David did it better in X-Factor with Layla Miller, plus it makes her seam like a wholier than thou brat. The tone of Epting's pencils is great. You still feel like the squad is mourning for Johnny (although I still don't believe he's dead).
11. Punisher Max #13 - I don't love the direction of this arc. I simply don't see Frank being so distraught in his post-Nam life that he would allow his family to be killed to simply have another war to fight. I don't buy it, and it goes against everything this character has stood for. Oh, and Frank makes it out of the infirmary and into solitary confinement in jail. Dillon's pencils remain very good.
12. Red Robin #23 - The first part of a 7 part story starts out very nicely. Marcus To's pencils are very strong in hi return to the title. I like the Scarabs as RR foils, and love the faked attempt on Lucious Fox's life.
13. G.I. Joe #1 - This relaunched title, saw the world of Cobra turned upside down with the assassination of Cobra Comander. When the story focuses on the Cobra organization the book is strong, but isn't that what the Cobra specific book is for. The Joe's felt like an after-thought in their own title. The most bland parts of the story all involved the Joe's. Saltares pencils were stiff and unimaginitive. I want Robert Atkins back.
14. Spawn #207 - I'm digging this book right now, but fear it's only an issue or two away from falling back to crap. Hopefully that won't happen, and they can continue to keep on their monthly schedule. I like the look of the new artist, and love the way the book is reading. It's definitely building, hopefully there is a payoff.
15. Batgirl #21 - It was ice to see Dustin Nguyen back as well as a happy resolution for Wendy, but I'm sure she'll be back. Relatively flat issue from a generally strong title.
16. Spider-Man #660 - Peter and Carlie have strong moments, but the main story with the FF was a snoozer. LOVE the art.
17. New Avengers #12 - Mockingbird on deaths door. Didn't she just come back? The only good scene in the entire issue was the potential turning of Victoria Hand.
18. Astonishing X-Men #37 - Not feeling this arc right now. Monsters in Japan seem so cliche. Pearson's pencils aren't as crisp as they normally are.
19. X-Men #11 - A throw-away vampire story with Xavier trying to make Jubilee feel better. Yawn.