A healthy stack this week, minus the obvious buy Brightest Day 0 because, honestly, I'm not going to even think about buying the whole series, so why should I waste money on this first issue? I'll read my friends' copies.
Batgirl 9 - Advertising the new arc on the cover is kind of a pet peeve of mine, but Batgirl gets a pass because the writing is solid, the art rocks, and the books is new; they're bound to slip up every once in a while. The story inside is all right, we're continuing the progression of Stephanie and Oracle and their relationship together, and so, of course, we need a nemesis. (Nemeses? What's the plural?) I'll continue buying this book as long as it treats all of its characters with the respect that it currently shows. Good work all around.
Batman 698 - On the other hand, all of the other Bat books continue to slip for me. This one's got the Riddler on the cover (uncool ever since they took away his deduction of Batman's identity) and there's a copycat killer of some sorts inside and it. just. doesn't. matter. None of the main Bat books are any good, and I'm only biding my time until issue 700, at which point I'll drop this book.
Booster Gold 31 - Booster is always a fun run, and I love the continuing complexity of the relationship between Booster and Rip Hunter. I love the fact that older Booster showed up a few issues ago (last issue?) to give it even more of a wrinkle. And I love that Dan Jurgens was on this book. As much as I love Giffen and DeMatteis, I'm just not sure that I'll keep on buying the book. This seems like a perfect time to leave, especially since, as the crises are over, Rip's chalkboard has become increasingly less important and enthralling. It still gives us clues, and the book's still fun, but we'll see.
Daredevil 506 - Let's start off with: what a cover! Man, this is gorgeous! Seriously. The story inside continues to impress me. This is two new writers now, since Bendis that I thought I would drop this book with, but they continue to reel me in. I love the story of Matt being in charge of the Hand, and I love the new directions that Diggle continues to take the entire cast in. The art is nowhere near the old Maleev levels, nor even the semi-Maleev-looking art of Lark, but it's great in that same style. I'm enthused that White Tiger has stuck around beyond her introduction, beyond even the period when it looked like she might be forgotten or just avoided, and I'm looking forward to Matt coming back to NYC and re-integrating into the Marvel Universe, proper.
Fables 94 - Fables is marching toward their 100th issue relentlessly! This book has never been anything other than fantastic. The Great Fables Crossover might have been a personal favorite of mine, but everything before, and everything since has impressed in a way that few books are able to do, much less maintain. Willingham and Buckingham have really got something right here, and I hope they continue to do it for as long as possible. In this issue, we get the expanding conflicts or the Dark Man, Gepetto, the Farm, and the 13th Floor Crew all congealing. There's no doubt that these things will come to a head, but there's also very little doubt that, even when a few (or all) of them get resolved, things will probably be worse than they were before. Rose Red is in some serious trouble and has been for a while. Here's hoping her Mom can help her out.
The Flash 1 - Never have I been so happy to be so wrong. It happens frequently enough, me being wrong, but rarely does it bring me so much joy. Last week I wrote about my disappointment in Flash 1 but that's because I'm a bad comic book fan! That wasn't Flash 1! And thank God for that! Last week we got Flash Secret Files and Origins and here's the normal book! And guess what? It's penciled by Francis Manapul! I have yet another book to spend money on every week! This book was everything I wanted from last week's Flash - I'm not that interested in Barry, I don't give a shit about Iris, and yet, Johns' writing and Manapul's pencils were more than enough to hook me into the story. Great job from a great team. I still wish they were working on Superboy and the Legion, instead, though.
The Unwritten 12 - Another freakishly good issue. They've done this once before, with the whale issue, but this one is even better. Dovetailing completely from the main story of Tom Taylor, instead we have an entire issue that is written in two distinct styles, where we get to see what the children's book is probably like, and the real life (lives?) contained within it as well. The premise is genius, and fits in beautifully with the larger arc that the Unwritten seems to be traveling toward, but the emotions that are infused into such a ridiculous image (the cute bunny cursing and threatening violence in a way that Bugs Bunny never dreamed of) really make this a must-read. If you haven't picked up any of the Unwritten, buy this issue! You don't even need to read the previous 11 books. But you should.
Book of the week has got to be tied between Fables and the Unwritten. Fables continues to kill, and the Unwritten is, put simply, the best new book of the last five plus years. Vertigo as a label has not faltered since the Sandman debuted, and, despite some of the love that it gets, I firmly believe that it's still underrated as a label and as a producer of some of the finest comics this generation has seen and will see. Keep up the good work!