Fattest stack in a while, I'm overbudget on comics already for this month, and I still have two weeks to buy! You won't find me complaining about it, though, cuz these were some damn good books.
Batwoman 7 - Without JH Williams pencilling, I was a bit disappointed in last issue. With this solid addition, that disappointment is gone. Reeder can more than adequately handle the pencilling duties and the story is still one of the best in the DCnU. The DEO, Director Bones, the interaction between Kate and her Police girlfriend, and the odd assembly of villains that have been created purely for this book make it one of the coolest new comics in a long, long time. The only confusing bit was the guy with the hook - have we seen him before? Batwoman seemed to recognize him (she called him Rush?) but I don't remember him or that name.
Buffy 7 - I don't know how much I can talk about this book without spoiling it. It was a great issue, but the ending was extremely strange and it cast doubt on the interactions between Spike and Buffy for the whole issue, not to mention for the whole series. I don't really know what's going on at this point, but I do feel like it's been good. I want to hold off on judging this one until I get next month's issue, though, so I think that's all I'll say about this.
Fantastic Four 604 - I know Hickman's not leaving the book with this issue, but it feels like the perfect conclusion, so I think I'll be leaving. This was my favorite run of Fantastic Four ever. I'm not a huge FF fan, but I've gone through a couple waves of it and this one just feels so epic. It feels like FF told the way it should be told. Here, we see the older versions of Franklin and Valerie come back, save the day against the Celestials and have an intriguing encounter with the dead Galactus. Despite the incredibly controversial lines that Val speaks to herself, the interaction between Franklin, Reed and Nathaniel Richards is really at the heart of this issue: "Every boy deserves a father." If you can read that line without tearing up then the beauty of the conclusion isn't for you, either. "For if we live, there is hope. And if we hope, then there is tomorrow. And if tomorrow...then...forever." Perfect.
Green Lantern 7 - While this was a good issue, I get pretty pissed off when the cover asks, "Can they survive the shocking secret of the Indigo Tribe?" and then we don't get any of the secrets of the Indigo Tribe inside the issue. Sinestro's back to slap Hal around, telling him what to do, but Indigo-1 shows up to take things over. Carol puts on her ring, for no real reason, and the Guardians have a conversation with Lyssa Drak. Not a lot more worth saying.
Locke and Key 5 - It is disturbing how good this comic is. We get to see the first half of the real origin of Dodge as bad guy here. The art is as good as any other comic book artist ever, but let's be real, the story is what we're here for. And the story excels in every area in this issue. The wit of Erin Voss, the guilt of Rendell Locke, the hopeless love of Ellie, all are put on display here. But front and center is the pure evil of the transformed Dodge. The most heartbreaking thing of the last few issues was seeing how truly good Luke used to be. But now...he's gone. The last issue of this arc (Clockworks) is going to be a killer, but it's also going to be truly disappointing, because I know that it'll be a longer than usual wait for the concluding arc.
Powers 9 - The God serial killer arc continues and we actually have 2 issues of Powers in this calendar year! I'm not sure which one is more impressive, since the story is just kind of so-so. It continues in the same manner as we've come to expect from Powers, which isn't bad, but is also a little less than we'd expect after such a drastic delay. If Bendis has other things going on, that's fine, but he shouldn't put out a just-par product. The best parts of the book are the interactions between Deena and Walker, so it seems clear that Sunrise, with her confession just narrowly averted, is not long for the book. That's fine with me, and I don't see it as a step back, especially with the role of the new Retro Girl echoing back to the first issues of this series. It's perpetually stuck in that loop, but it's a good loop, so let's just embrace it.
Resurrection Man 7 - This is my fun book. Here, we have a classic plot of a bad guy holed up in a building with powers, and the cops can't handle it. Mitch helps out, the cops mistake him for a bad guy, but everything works out in the end. I'm not sure if I want this book to have an overall arc or if it should just focus on small storytelling. But what they're doing now is working. The only other interesting note is that this issue was semi-narrated by Clark Kent. Nice plot device.
Saga 1 - Brian K. Vaughan can do no wrong. Plus, it was 44 pages with no ads for only 2.99! The art was cool, I hadn't heard of Fiona Staples before, but she's all right in my book now. The book is a space drama, with a little bit of Romeo and Juliet thrown into the mix. The world they're creating is interesting but I honestly didn't feel compelled. I'll keep up with this book because of BKV's promise, but I didn't immediately feel this was one of the best books I'd ever read. I love the fact that Hazel is narrating the whole thing, though, because that shows long-term promise.
Ultimate X-Men 9 - With every step forward for this book, there comes another step back. The Camp Angel aspect, the revisiting the news that the US government created the mutants, the complete abandoning of the plot threads in the present, the fact that Storm is unhappy with her role as a sellout...these are not good decisions. I know they're looking at a big picture of getting the whole band back together, but you've already started telling a story that was really, really, really good - and super interesting! To backtrack is death. Poor issue.
The Unwritten 35 - A completely unexpected issue. We have the full reveal of Pullman's origin, the death of a major character and, seemingly, the changing of Tom's quest. The War of the Words (apparently) isn't over yet, because there's still another half issue in two weeks. This does, however, feel like the conclusion. Given that they give the title of the next issue as "The Wound" I think we're going to be dealing with the aftermath of this issue for quite a while. Justifiably so, since it's so so so strong. The cover tells you everything you need to know, except for the Pullman bits, which seemed to come from out of left field, but totally make sense in the grand scheme of things. I was also very drawn in by Pullman's line that he had created "a million proxies" while Wilson Taylor had gotten it right with just the one. The substories with Mr. Bun seem like they're only going to get more and more important from here on out. It sucks when you dedicate your life to a quest and you accomplish that goal, only to discover you were chasing the wrong thing the whole time. But it's great for us because it means this book's second act is only going to get bigger.
Wolverine and the X-Men 7 - Bradshaw's art is as good as it's been for the last few issues, except for a few places where he gets carried away with the cartoony style and makes some of the characters (Wolvie in particular) too blocky. However, there are lost of long-term implications hidden in this issue: Warbird's feelings for Bobby, Broo's characterization, Kitty's kissing Bobby, and Wolverine's long-term health (my guess is this is solved off-panel between this issue and next, which is a shame). However, the biggest thing to me are the Bamfs. I have no idea where they came from, and Professor Xanto's words are clearly a clue. This book has waffled between total light-hearted fun and the serious nature of this issue's ending might throw off a few people, but it's still a great throwback book.
Book of the week has to go to Fantastic Four. I know an issue of Locke and Key came out this week, but FF was, literally, perfect. It had everything that every kid would ever expect from a comic and so much more for the grownups, too. Hickman is the new King.