I honestly bought no comics last week. I know Fear Itself 1 came out, but I have no interest in it. At this point, I feel like my comic fandom is winding down but I'm not happy about it. I am, however, happy about saving some money. Of course, I made up for that by getting a large stack (for me) this week.
Batgirl 20 - Part 2 of the Slipstream story and it was gooooood. Batgirl has gotten better and better since I expressed doubt about it, just after the first year of books ended. The art fits the book, the storytelling is concise and fun, and the characters are developing nicely. I don't know what else someone could honestly want from a comic book. In this issue, Batgirl gets a rematch with the speedster from last issue, and shows some ingenuity in coming up with the solution. She's also getting along nicely with Proxy, which is good, because (apparently?) Barbara is out. (To know what's happening there would require me reading Birds of Prey, but I'm sure I can fill in some of the gaps.) The continuing relationship with Nick the cop is also nice. This book is fun.
Batman and Robin 22 - Every time I feel like I might be getting to the drop point with this book, something switches up. It's totally uneven and frustrating at times, but the good, to me, outweighs the bad. I love the trend in many of the Bat books right now to come up with fresh new villains instead of having year-long arcs using the oldies but goodies. The new writing and art team have done a good job, but it doesn't feel compelling. I love the relationship between Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne and I'm happy that's a focus of this book. But...other than those good elements, I'm not sure this is a must-read.
The Flash 10 - Flashpoint continues to disappoint. The alternate world Barry Allen was disappointing enough as the big reveal on the last page of the last issue but it got worse this issue. The relationship between Bart Allen and Barry is good, and the art of Francis Manapul continues to be one of the best things going in comics right now but I don't find much else in this book, or in Barry's story since return, to care about. The only compelling thing would be if Barry's squeaky clean image as shed, he left Iris for newly-returned Patty and we had some drama going in this book. That'd be compelling, but it would also be something that no one (including myself, who's writing about it) would want to see. I'm not sure what's going to save this book.
New Avengers 11 - I wonder if Bendis plotted this cover as a joke. Seriously, look at it. Maybe this is his middle finger to the older fans, by saying, 'Hahaha. These are the Avengers now!" I like the book, normally, but he does seem mean-spirited (and stubborn) enough to do something like that. The current story, though, is really testing my patience: while I care a little bit about saving Mockingbird, and a little more so about Victoria Hand's battle to be accepted by the New Avengers, I'm really loathe to accept the retcon of Nick Fury putting together a team of Avengers in the 50s including Sabretooth, Namora, Kraven, Bloodstone, Fortune and some other Silver Sable (her father? Really?). It's overly campy, I'm never a fan of Chaykin's art, I don't care how much of a legend he is, and I don't see the point. It doesn't always have to have a point, but if it's just a fun story, well, it's not much fun. They're badass, they don't like Nazis, I get it. And Cap appears at the end, and this is supposed to be some kind of cliffhanger? No.
Shield Infinity - Nice touch with the numbering, nice story. The Colossus of Rhodes going up against the Kree? Geek heaven. Newton's evil genius? Understandable. The hidden message? Not really clear to me. The book is good, and it shows tremendous promise, and the best news is that they seem to have a solid plan moving forward. I'd be interested in learning if this is planned as a finite series, or if they're just gonna roll with it as long as they can. I see a lot of LOST parallels here and they'd benefit from some overall-plotting type of thinking. Regardless, it's definitely one of the most exciting books on the market.
Superboy 6- I like it when huge crossovers, like the Reign of Doomsday, invade books I read and I don't have to worry about the overall plot. I don't care about the Reign of Doomsday and I don't want to have to care. Its run through this book didn't negatively impact me because I didn't need to know what was going on with that story to understand this story. And I like that it'll run into Action 900 so I'll get a little continuity. It was refreshing to see Connor get his ass kicked by Doomsday, because I hate it when a previously killer villain gets turned into a pale version of him (or her) self. I'd like to see Valentine be mentored by Ray Palmer as they're hinting at. The thing about Superboy's book is that it could use more supporting characters that can stand on their own, and all the Superman knockoffs are kind of worrying in that aspect. If they can't create someone(s) for Connor, I'm OK with using an established character in a (kind of) new way.
The Unwritten 24 - This issue was as good as I was hoping, which is a rare thing in any medium. The return of Pauly, some more of the best behind the scenes looks at what's really happening in this book, no mention of Tom, a lying, hypocritical leader, and it kicked the ass of everything else this week. The art was different, but it fit, and the way that Pauly relentlessly manipulated everyone and, eventually, abandoned them was heartbreaking and perfect at the same time. In a way, this issue alone could serve as a microcosm for so many other stories (and religions) - including the Unwritten itself. This issue will stay engraved on my brain for a long, long time. The journey up the stairs, the appearance of Pauly, the takeover, the betrayal of the free people, and the battle and climax were all pitch perfect.
Book of the week should be obvious, but it's definitely the Unwritten. I don't know how a book could be much better than this book has been for two years straight. I know I sound like a broken record by now regarding this one, but if you're not picking it up, you are denying yourself in a wicked way.