I'm still not going to talk about the Superior Spider-Man. I thought maybe I'd write up something on its own dealing with my feelings about it, but I think it's best that I just leave it behind.
Animal Man 16 - Yup. More good stuff. Buddy Baker grabs a Green Lantern, adds to his army to take on Arcane, but loses some good soldiers toward the end with the revelation of the Gate Keepers. I was semi-worried about this Green Lantern, but he seems legit and a great little nod would be to see him in the regular DCU when this arc is over, assuming that things get tossed back to a normal present. In fact, that's always one of my favorite aspects of time-travel stories is the ways in which those who have come back get to treat the people they've seen a bit differently. This is obviously going to be biggest when it comes to Maxine, whom we'll definitely see in the finale next month. Buddy should be pissed when he hears about the deal she made, but I'm sure he won't be. The art was better this time, I'm not sure if it just depends on how I'm feeling when I read or what, but it didn't strike me as so off-putting. Excited for the conclusion.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer 17 - This book is finally getting there. Despite the presence of Billy, whom I still think is a bit of a waste, but he's mentioned in the letter columns as having a purpose, so I'm willing to bite my tongue for a while longer on that, we really get to see some core-Buffy action: the Siphon is back, he's being taken on by a Council of Magic, Dawn and Xander have some serious troubles and Illyria is taking no guff about her Fred impersonation: it didn't work and it wasn't good for anyone. Well said. Other than that, we get to see some more of the mainlined nature of vampires (or zompires, whatever you want to call them) in this world, which is a good thing. It's nice when there's some continuity between the actions and the consequences. Spike's mentioned a lot in this book and he's supposed to be wrapping up his own adventures soon (what a delay!) so hopefully he'll make his way back over to the core books, no matter how awkward Buffy thinks it will be. Things are always more fun when he's around. His surrogate (in behavior only, maybe I'm projecting a little bit) makes his return here, too, and we see he, Buffy and Illyria walk into a super-obvious trap. Cliffhanger.
Swamp Thing 16 - All right! This is more like it! Yanick is back, the arc is nearing the conclusion and Abbie's head has been torn from her body. Whoah. There's some serious turns that this arc has taken and even though I wobbled on Swamp Thing for a while, thinking it was the weaker of the two, I'm obviously going to stick with it. This has bee na great ride and I'll be interested to see how they get us back to the present, so to speak. I still don't believe Abbie's dead, but if she is then it's even more clear than ever that they've got to go back. Maybe we're going to see a turn like this is Animal Man, too, which I haven't read when I wrote this review. Regardless, Snyder's back on his game and things are going well. Loved seeing Barbara Gordon and, of course, Bruce Wayne had a plan. No surprise there at all. Loved the army of Robins, too. Good stuff.
Wolverine and the X-Men 23 - Good enough conclusion to a bad arc. Not Aaron's fault necessarily, you can't knock all of them out of the park, but I don't really see what the point was. I like that we're (maybe) figuring out the Bamfs, but I still don't like the kiddie Hellfire Club, so there's no bonus to any of the Frankenstein revelations for me. Kitty's obsession with her being dressed up as a cowgirl was annoying, but the art was gorgeous, as usual. Wolverine's quick triggers with the death penalty over in X-Force really stood out in this issue, and I hope that's something that all the X book authors have been told to really play with; the dynamic of his being a school teacher while still having these terrible impulses is one of the great quirks of this book. Eye Boy came along, Shark Girl is kind of funny, but the real focus here is still in Idie and Quintin, which isn't a bad thing. I can't believe Idie went back to Pastor Hail, and I'm disappointed that we still haven't seen much more of Broo. Here's to hoping we'll move forward after this offbeat.
Book of the week goes to Swamp Thing. Love when Yanick can hit an issue like this and hope he's around for next month's conclusion.