The DCnU still continues to frustrate, but this week illustrates some of the best points of it: a new logo from DC has been unveiled, giving haters something else to focus on, and Batman comes out, which is always a net positive.
Batman 5 - I feel like Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are taking huge direction from JH Williams (and to a lesser degree Yanick Paquette, Jeff Lemire & Travel Foreman). If the rest of the DCnU could reach the heights of Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Batwoman (above all) and now, with this arc, Batman, comics would be in better shape. Suffice to say, Snyder is killing here. The backstory of the Court of the Owls is taken to the next level in this issue, where it appears that the Joker himself might even be overtaken, in terms of pure insanity. The art, obviously, is what everyone is going to be talking about, and justifiably so, but I can't help but wonder how much of that was at Snyder's behest and direction, as opposed to Capullo's initiative. (Not trying to hate, it's just that I've followed Capullo for some years now, and he's never struck me as that nervy of a guy. A talented artist, sure, but not border-pushing.) At the end of the day, though, after all the buzz has died down on this issue, I was disappointed that it didn't finish the arc (guess I was wrong about them all being 5 issues) and it felt more like a thought experiment (a great one, I'm not saying it was bad!) than a true advancing of the story. I'll look back when the story's done and feel differently, but for now, I wanted some resolution.
Fables 113 - Interesting. A filler issue that might turn out not to be one, in that most Fables of ways. I feel like this has the same potential as we now obviously see in the tales of the Boxers, when they were first introduced. Also, I loved how self-referential it was, as well as the nods to different theologies. All that being said, though, it can't help but feel like a simple filler issue. The experiment with different artists was a good (and successful) one, I'd love to see more in this style. It'd be great if the regulars didn't need fillers, but hell, they do a pretty damn good job all the time; they deserve a break.
Ultimate Spider-Man 6 - Samnee's art was not good, the story was lackluster. This was, easily, my least favorite issue of the entire Ultimate Universe, since its reinception. I'm not partial to the bad uncle character enough to follow his misadventures in Mexico, and I was disappointed with the lack of forward movement in Miles' storyline. His best friend is still one of the best parts of the book, and I love the interaction with his mother, but this, overall, felt like a swing and a miss.
Book of the week goes to Batman for innovation. I can't believe that I'm about to say this, but the first arc of Batman, when it finally finishes (please next month!), might rank up there with the first arc of Batwoman. Incredible stuff.