When I grabbed my comics this week, I thought it was going to be a fantastic stack of books. After I got done reading them, though, I realized it was not that strong of a selection after all. Plus, none of these books could hope to compete with Mockingjay.
Batman 702 - Morrison pulls me in (once again) only to pull the rug out from underneath me (once again). After the relative strength of 701, I was psyched for this tale. 702 reminded me how bad RIP was, as well as Final Crisis. Honestly, this book didn't add much that we didn't know, the art was a bit uneven, and, worst of all, it read as nothing more than a simple ad for The Return of Bruce Wayne book, which I wasn't getting before and I'm sure as hell not getting now. Maybe it's my ambivalence about Bruce coming back (Grayson deserves to stay as Batman!) but I'm just not feeling any of this. Ever since Bruce died on one page and was revealed as alive a mere four (or so) pages later in Final Crisis, I've felt that Morrison has seriously lost his touch. Maybe he never had it to begin with, as some would argue, but I think he's a great writer - he's clearly not suited to mainstream heroes, though, and I should know better by this point.
Invincible 74 - On the other hand, Kirkman is writing a great superhero book, and has been for the entire run of Invincible. I will admit to being a little concerned with the pacing of the Viltrumite War up to this point, but with this issue, he showed that he knows what he's doing, he's known the whole time, and things are going according to plan. Mark wakes up, he and Nolan and Oliver re-join the battle against the Viltrumites. It appears that they're enough to turn the tide, as the Viltrumite force retreats for some secret back-up plan (next issue is 75!) and the good guys get a temporary respite. We get an interesting look at some kind of Voltrumite legend, in the form of a skull, the Tech Jacket guy gets some alien tail, and the betrayal that we saw at the end of 73 gets dealt with in a rather effective manner. All in all, another great issue from the Image boys.
New Avengers 3 - I'm not sure if this came out last week and I missed it, or if it was new this week, but it was new to me, so here it is. In this issue, the magic battle continues, and Danny Rand gets what seems like a major bump in his power levels. (Not to say that he's stronger, but the legacy just keeps getting extended. This is a good thing, I'm definitely not complaining.) The dialogue between Spider-Man and the Thing is pitch perfect, the ways in which the various sorcerers (Strange, Hellstorm, and Voodoo) are interacting is amazingly great, and Luke and Jessica's relationship continues to be developed realistically. The few bad things about this issue (and the book overall, thus far) are the presence of Victoria Hand (is that really her name??) and the way in which Ms. Marvel has seemingly been simultaneously underused and shoehorned in. I mean, if she's an important part, make her important. If she's just there to keep the women happy, well, that's not a very great decision. Victoria, on the other hand, is worthless. I don't get why she's even in the book. The reveal at the end of the issue is legit, I'm excited for this arc, and for the book as a whole.
Superman: Secret Origins 6 (of 6) - Geoff Johns kind of limped to the finish on this one. With the lateness, the story was going to have to be fantastic to keep me reeled in, and it just wasn't. The story wasn't bad by most accounts, but it was formulaic and lacked the extra oomph that I needed to keep up with the rest of the issues. There were no cool reveals in the finale, like there had been in the other issues, nor did it feel like there were super-important revelations (or even just conclusions!) from a last issue. The people saving Superman seemed like a cheesy moment, but Superman confronting Lex at the tower was a great moment, as was the lack of people outside, waiting for Lex after everything went down. I liked the interplay between Clark, Lois and Superman, but overall, the end fell flat for me, when I was looking for something a little larger. Not bad, but not what I was wanting or expecting.
The book of the week goes to Invincible. Robert Kirkman continues to kick out the jams, and the book really does remind me of a Spider-Man for the 21st century, which I think is probably the best compliment any comic (of this nature) could aim for.