Remember approximately a month ago, when all I got was Animal Man, Rachel Rising and Swamp Thing and I made my comment about how all I'd gotten was horror comics and it was a throwback to EC? Yeah, well, take that week and add Locke & Key and Invincible. Damn. This was fantastic. (Also, hilarious that last week I said Marvel was winning and this week, I have no Marvel books. I skipped on Winter Soldier and I haven't started buying singles of X-Force yet, even though I'm reading it.)
Animal Man 6 - Easily the worst issue of the week. The fill-in was obvious, the story was noneventful and the delay felt palpable. Really, really disappointed that we didn't see anything of consequence. Also, I might not have been (and I still might not be, to be honest) the world's biggest Travel Foreman fan, and certainly John Paul Leon's art felt more traditional, but it just didn't sit right on this book. It's got a definite feel by this point and Mr. Leon, talented though he may be, didn't hit it. Really bummed out by this one.
Invincible 88 - A damn good issue that actually played out significantly different than I thought it would. If Kirkman keeps up with this idea machine, he just might get his wish of the longest running, most kickass superhero series ever. The cooler heads will prevail train of thought almost came through on this one, which was the most impressive thing about it. The way that Allen, Mark, Oliver and Thragg all sat around and discussed things, even with all the veiled threats was incredible. More proof that Kirkman can write a variety of scenes extremely well.
Locke & Key 4 - This book is so unfair. A whole issue set in the past, where we learned so many good things, and still were left hanging at the end! Along with all the good things we learned, there were some messed up elements, too. Dodge turns out to have been a way better guy than Rendell, which is a sad realization, although I guess they spent the rest of their respective lives changing those facts. There's no doubt that Dodge is truly evil now, but...damn. I really don't think he was at this point. Also, this has got to be the scene that Duncan painted and it's just more evidence that Joe Hill is a great, great plotter. He's had these large beats down for quite a while, huh? The way that the shadows were interacting, the intermixed love interests and the reversal of fates here give this Locke & Key series a head above anything else that could be happening. Homerun.
Rachel Rising 5 - Terry Moore advised that we read this issue in an elevator, and by the end of the issue (although there's a hint on the cover), we know why. My only complaint is that as soon as I saw the foster parents, I knew the dad was gonna be a sick pervert. It's refreshing how well Moore writes women, but it's disappointing that he suffers just as much from the Virgin/Whore concept, just when it comes to guys. They're all either David, flawed (yet perfect) sinners or worthless predators who can do no right. The book is still good, though, especially on its core concept: a girl who's (kind of) come back from the dead. The introduction of her best friend, and the recurrence of a concept from SiP (Ma Malai) were the best things here.
Swamp Thing 6 - This book gets the silver medal this week. After the disappointment of Animal Man, I was worried that Lemire would have convinced Snyder to take a week off, too, so their stories could still align perfectly. No need to worry! Snyder just might be the best mainstream superhero books writer nowadays, huh? Here, Alec Holland gets tortured by watching his semi-girlfriend get eaten alive by the Rot, screwed over by her brother, abandoned by the Green (probably not really) and, just before the end, has to be momentarily saved by that same girlfriend, in an ultimate humiliation. Man, this is some really, really good stuff. The only troubling part? Another guest artist! Not a bad one, as opposed to the AM counterpart, but it was noticeable. I'm guessing that baby brother is going to have to die soon, as Abby's going to take over Big Bad duties, but I really wouldn't mind if both of them were alive to keep this tension going. Solid book.
Book of the week goes to Locke and Key. When this book comes out, it's open season on all other books. By the end of its run, I'd be shocked if it hasn't earned a place on my Top 10 (maybe even Top 5) books of all time list. Someone love me? Get me that limited run edition of the first book that just came out. Retails for a hundred bucks. But it'd be worth it.