Phil Noto's art on this penultimate issue of Uncanny X-Force was perfect. And what a sad ending it was, too. Here's to one more issue.
Batwoman 14 - There are so many times during a JH Williams-pencilled issue that I just want to stand up and shout, "OK, Jesus! We get it, JH! You are the best! Ever!" Fuck. The backgrounds with the vultures pay off with the vulture eating the lizard, and the Pegasus bit at the beginning is just insanely great. The details that Batwoman sees show the kind of woman she is. The two masterpieces of this issue, though, are at the beginning and the end. The casualness with which Wonder Woman kills Pegasus will show up in her book if the writer over there is worth anything at all, but even if it doesn't Williams has already single-handedly upped the ante of the New 52. This WW is a cold killer. And the transformation of Killer Croc into the Hydra is a once-in-a-lifetime drop-your-jaw page. I mean, how many times are we going to get to see something that epic in scale in a book that doesn't have 100 variant, chromium covers? The casual brilliance of Williams is outstanding.
Fables 123 - Another great guest chapter with Gene Ha on the pencils finishes up the story of Bigby's fate with a great twist at the end. We already knew who was writing his story, but to see his wife... Well, that was perfect. The Oz back-up had another peak, which is always appreciated, but I pray to God that the tag at the end didn't mean that the entirety of the next issue is going to be dedicated to that story. Ugh. I'll be happy to get back to the main timeline and see what's happening with all the characters we've come up with, especially in light of all the new revelations about the Wolf kids. Very cool times ahead. And it was nice to see the fate reversal pencilled out so well in that battle by Ha. Seriously. Good stuff.
Spike 4 - The tone still hits a perfect pitch and Spike is definitely alive. He's most in-tune with his character as we saw it in the TV series out of all the characters in the Buffyverse. I know that they've said that things are wrapping up and that everything's going to tie together, but I'm not sure how this story is going to play into it, other than that they're still all stuck on a world without magic. All that being said, I don't mind. Spike's voice is a great one. The art and the story are worth spending time on, unlike the mainline Buffy book right now, and I'd rather read this fluff twice before reading worthlessness anyway. All the side characters right now are absolutely killing Buffy, here's to hoping the end of Season 9 will wrap them back together and give Buffy some of their mojo. Here, Spike gets to the other Hellmouth, the succubus is revealed for what she really is and we have a battle brewing for the last issue of this series. Good stuff. And the bugs are fun.
Unwritten 43 - There have been many points where I've said the following words about Unwritten, but once again, they bear repeating: This is a deep story, where the layers never stop building! What a great issue. Tom goes into Leviathan once again and finds all of the fictional characters he's met before and then some, fighting for their very survival. I'd already looked forward to the inevitable compendium that would be released when this story is done telling us who each character is and where they come from, but this issue only increases that desire. It's incredible what Mike Carey is doing with this story, and the fact that Tommy inadvertently finds his way to the Land of the Dead fits perfectly. The only bad note? (I originally wrote disturbing there, but there were so many disturbing things in this issue.) The death of the unicorn. Maybe this portends a return of the cat? Frankenstein is gone, I'm pretty sure, but Tommy needs some sort of magical helper with him, and as cool as Savoy is, I'm not sure he's the one.
Ultimate Spider-Man 17 - Cute little story, to see the battle from Miles' point of view, but the big part of this issue is the Spider-Woman connection. I don't remember what her deal is in the Ultimate Universe and I'm tempted not to look it up at all, so that I can enjoy the revelation with Mr. Morales. The side story with his dad didn't go the way I thought it would, but I'm still interested to see when they figure out, because they have to, right? I mean, they're smart... Here's to hoping.
Book of the week goes to Batwoman. All is right in the comic book world, once again. (Except for the 616 Spider-Man. Don't get me started.)