Happy May Day! I hope everyone made it in to their local comic stores for Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, which is weird to write, since I'm doing so before it's happened, but this will post after it's passed. Also, go see Iron Man 3!
All New X-Men 11 - Delighted to have been proved wrong. It wasn't Jean Grey joining Slim's team. Really glad it was dealt with in the first two pages, too, and not in the oh-so over-hated Bendis-style of decompressed storytelling. Get it out of the way and move on. And move on they did. We get lots of great dialogue between Kitty and young Jean, which is turning out to be one of the great hallmarks of this book (another dialogue-driven one: Bobby's conversations with himself. Unfortunately, we didn't get any of that this time). We also get to see how shape-shifting really would be the best mutant gift ever, since everyone in the world is so stupid, they fall for Mystique every time, no matter how out of character it would be for Pepper Potts to just walk in, out of nowhere, and make a demand like that. And then...of course...the good guys show up to accuse the poor young kids of things they would never do. Here's to hoping we won't have to go through the tired old trope of superheroes fighting each other, because they avoided it so well at the end of last issue and the beginning of this one. I just don't think that Cap, Havok and Thor wouldn't listen respectfully to Wolvie as he explains that they were nowhere near there and that they all know about Mystique. Let's move on.
Animal Man 20 - A disclaimer: I didn't like the last movie issue. So I'm not going to pretend that I liked this one. I get that he's trying to continue the proud meta-tradition of Animal Man, but I'm just not into it. This book has been teetering on the edge for a while with me and if next issue doesn't truly blow me away, I'm going to have to drop it. Sad to see yet another one of the highlights of the New 52 fall so hard.
BPRD: Vampire 2 - Another lush issue, full of gorgeous pencils and, as requested, quite a bit of progress insofar as the story itself. We have a brutal leader who may or may not have become a vampire, returning throughout history and his evil bride. We have a town that's totally devoid of men and we have a tour guide who is probably a bit more than she seems. The standouts, though, are the ways that the artists play with the figures of the characters and the interaction of light & shadow and present & past. The scenes showing the past, the memories, if you will, are subtle enough that they stand out in just the right way. More than anything, I'm just delighted to have more work from Ba & Moon again.
Hawkeye 10 - All right, so I've got to admit: I'm not sure that I totally understood this issue. I mean, I get that Kate met the clown from hell at the party and she came home (after an awesome flirty interaction) and talked to Clint and the clown followed her and he was at the window...But when did the scene with Grills happen? Before all that? After all that? Who was he there for? What's going to happen with Kate? What's going to happen with Clint? How awesome was this issue, even though I didn't fully understand the timeline? God, Francavilla has been killing for so long and he's such a great fit on this issue. Hawkeye really is a gem amongst Marvel's generally pisspoor output these days. I love the relationship dynamic between Clint and Kate, but the scene of the issue isn't her calling him a clown, but rather flipping the tables on the clown himself. You don't get to do the cool guy walk away. I do! "Hawkeye out!" She's amazing. Poor Grills. Still.
Swamp Thing 20 - Yep, another one down the drain. Maybe some people will enjoy following Alec Holland on his latest quest where he eventually realizes he's not a monster, despite giving up his body to the Parliament of the Green. Maybe some people thought it was cool to have this young, new Superman advise him on how to do so. I'm not one of those people, and I'm not even going to give this book another issue. I don't care about the character and he's stopped being captivating. There's no reason to spend any more time on him.
Winter Soldier 18 - While the book overall is fantastic and the origin of the Electric Ghost is fascinating, I can't help but admit that two things overshadowed it, for me: First of all, was that Colonel Sanders in the background with Nick Fury? Secondly, why don't I keep up with comic book news so that I would have known this book has already been canceled? It's a damn shame, because this is a good one. One of only a few that Marvel's putting out right now. I've little doubt that it'll be back (and it'll probably be pretty good) before the movie, but... Anyway, I digress. The girl gets her revenge. The line of the book goes to the question of 'if' and the center of life and the recurring theme of nothingness that plagues her throughout her life. Her revenge obtained, the Ghost is fully in control of her newfound power and she's going to do some serious damage. I'm interested to see how they wrap everything up in just one more issue. It's not like there's that much already happening, but there's the potential for so much that it'll kind of seem like a cheat if something major doesn't happen.
Book of the week goes to Hawkeye. The rotating artists don't hurt on this book, proof that it can be done in a great manner.