In keeping with my new sports column, I'm going to be a bit looser in these reviews.
Fables 104 - The cover kicks ass, the concept kicks ass, the execution kicks ass. You can't ask for much more from a comic book. I love how Pinocchio is one of the leaders of this team of Super Fables despite not really bringing anything to the table. Then we switch back to Castle Dark and we see Mister Dark interacting with the formerly fat lady. Their duo is going to be trouble, as if it's not already. The loss of Flycatcher from the team didn't come as a complete shock to me, but I will be shocked in a great way if Boy Blue does make a return during these next three or four issues. That seems like it could be an interesting thread to pursue. Obviously, though, we'll be distracted from the main fight with Dark during next issue's tussle between Bigby and his father - this is going to be a big, bad one. (No pun intended.) And, repeating what I've said earlier, from the way the North Wind spoke to him, I honestly think that Wolf Sr. is hoping to die here, as opposed to having to kill his grandson. Wow. God stuff.
Green Lantern 65 - The issue starts with Kilowog being a badass. It gets better from there. For Krona being such a smart, old dude, it sure took him a lot longer than Guy, John, Kyle and Hal to figure out the Parallax thing. And there's a curious line on page 2 when Krona says, "No. It can't simply be emotional. It has to be scientific." For a guy whose whole beef seems to stem from the Guardians refusing to acknowledge the importance of emotion, this is interesting. The Green House concept is a good one, if an obvious (necessary) retcon and the relationship between Guy and Hal while Hal's flying is something that I can't believe hasn't been explored yet. The four remaining GLs meeting up and the page (from Mahnke!) of Hal holding out the other rings is pure gold. I love the fact that they all choose rings that seem to make sense to us, and yet, when they meet up with Ganthet (in the next issue) he speaks (in that wise manner that Johns uses to convey that he knows something we don't) of how they all chose poorly. Loved the last page. Not everything has to be a cliffhanger. Some things can survive on just being awesome.
Green Lantern Corps 59 - The art of Kirkham is significantly worse than Mahnke's, which makes for a bummer of a start to this issue, but the writing made up for it, and I like that the once-separate groups are now much closer, so the story feels like it's actually flowing as one entity, as opposed to three different threads. The inability of all four 2814 GLs to control their new rings is also something that moves this issue along in a great way. It would have been way too easy for the guys just to slip on the rings and charge to the rescue. I love the fact that they're not actually in control. When they finally get to Ganthet, as I mentioned, I think his words are clues as to how this is going to end up: Kyle will definitely end up a Blue Lantern, which is what most of us had been predicting, but John will not be an Indigo Tribe member. This, to me, is a shock. I think we'd all felt pretty confident that John was headed that way. Johns loves to throw out these little future hints and I think these are pretty clear. John's "ill-suited" but Kyle's simply "not prepared" - those are key differences. As for Guy's "red ring" being "likely a death sentence" well, that's got to be a red herring. Johns is a hell of a writer and if you don't think he's slipping some hints to Bedard, you're out of your mind. And, of course, for the ending here, we pull in Mogo for another one of those semi-cliffhangers.
Invincible 79 - Dropping the bomb on us, Kirkman gets subtle with the timespan and then, promptly afterwards, makes himself an enemy list of most of the Religious Right. Invincible switches his costume back to an older design, falls back into some nice habits on Earth and is getting along well in his relationship with Eve. On the other hand, most other people in the book are struggling. Eve and Debbie are friends, which is weird for Mark, and every single person that Nolan crosses paths with at the Pentagon trembles in fear of him. Cecil admits that perhaps it's not a great idea to have him around. Dinosaurus makes a brief return, which promises to turn into a larger event. But the real meat of the issue arises when Mark and Eve go to dinner with Kate and the Immortal, who appear to be the very picture of wedded bliss. They've got kids, and everyone's happy, except Eve. She breaks down and gives Mark the news that I refuse to spoil here. But let me voice my genuine shock. I mean, no one else knew this was coming, did they? We were all supposed to think the opposite? Cuz, man, that caught me off guard. Great issue, great handling of real emotions. The page of both of them crying almost got me to join in. And, of course, in Kirkman style, we can't have all that genuine emotion, so we got one panel of Kate playing comic relief, which felt perfect.
Book of the week goes to Invincible for being willing to push boundaries even while it remains the same book. It doesn't need to change to be great, but it constantly finds a way to move forward without compromising its core values. Fantastic stuff.