Slightly behind, but I consider them on time because it was a holiday weekend.
Angel and Faith 25 - Nice ending. That's about all I can muster. It didn't change anything, really, other than Faith departing, because I kind of knew that Giles was going to stay the way he is, right? Nadira has some potential for the future, as does Pearl, but the bit with Whistler was about the only way it could have gone down. He's always been an integral, but very minor, part of the Buffy mythos, so it's fitting that he'd go out this way. I'm happy to hear that Faith will be part of the series, but I'm worried about the balance next season if she's not around and Angel's got his own title. He's a great character, but I felt like they really shined when they worked together. Giles is up in the air, I'm not sure if he'll stick around Buffy's book next season (or even next issue, if that's a possible post-script) of if he'll be in the ether with Faith. Here's to hoping that these great characters, who've gone through incredible developments don't just disappear into the land of unused toys. This was clearly the stronger of the two books, aside from Buffy's incredible start so I hope we get to see some more of the growth next season from everyone involved - even the aunts.
Mind MGMT 14 - Another chapter in and I'm even more confused. I'm not sure that I believe Bill's on the side of angels anymore, but I'm not sure that I even know which side that is. Like Meru says, I'm sure there are things the Eraser will say that will help us to make sense of all this, but I'm not sure what's happening anymore. There was enough distrust sown this issue to make me doubt everything. I know that next issue we'll get to see some more of Lyme and then the one after that will focus on someone else, so I'm thinking that it'll be a long while before even this little thread gets to make sense. But I'm still loving what's happening and I love that Meru is figuring out her powers. I like that they're back in her home town and that she's got some memories this time around. Still one of the most gorgeous books on the market and definitely one of the most intriguing.
New Avengers 9 - It was better than the baseline Avengers book, but it's still too sprawling. I'm liking the implication from this book that literally all of the things done in both Avengers and New Avengers were merely setting the stage for Infinity, because that reinforces my view of Hickman as the master plotter. I'm disliking the fact that it might have all been setting the stage for a story that I don't care for. I've never liked Galactus or the Silver Surfer or the cosmic aspect of the Marvel Universe, so it's scant surprise that I'm not a fan of Thanos or the Kree-Skrull War or this new Black Order. I'm looking forward to the Illuminati being cast out by their friends and family when they find out what the sextet has done and I think Namor's at his best when he's not even pretending to get along with the rest of the world, like we see in his betrayal here. I don't think it's a red herring, what with the Black Panther's over-the-top reinforcement as the bad guys are leaving. I hope, honestly, that this is serving merely as prelude to a world without Iron Man, Reed and the rest of the Illuminati, because it'd be interesting to see how the rest of the Marvel U would step up without them. Bruce Banner would certainly have a shot and that's been pretty heavily hinted at as something that he wants, and Peter Parker would be wanted/needed - too bad he's not around. In this issue, though, Thanos' forces arrive and, for the most part, conquer and destroy. It's a little past the suspension of disbelief to me that T'Challa is the only one who can beat them, especially when he's pretty much always been seen (at least by me) as the weakest of the bunch, but the story needs some way to go forward. Namor's defeat is less an indictment of him as it is an indication of his weakened position - guess you shouldn't have messed with Wakanda, huh, Prince? And then, of course, he's gotta play like a spurned lover and sow some misdirection. Namor; always messing things up for the rest of the Marvel U.
The Unwritten 52 - This is beyond bizarre. There are so many alternate worlds being played around in at this point that I don't honestly know who's who. I 'm pretty sure that's our Pullman, but I've no idea if that's our Lizzie. I think the version of Tom that they saw inside of Tommy means that they're always one and the same? And I love how Tommy gets along with Pinocchio. That just seems to make perfect sense to me. Other than that, we knew that the Dark Man was coming for the Fables, regardless of the powers that Tommy and his gang brought to the party, but it was unexpected, even after seeing Pullman on the cover, the levels to which he'd understand the Multiverse , and how quickly. This is really going to take a turn, and I think now I can see how big this is going to get and why it's going to 'necessitate' a restart. I definitely do not know how it's going to end, but I can see that some serious shit is going to go down. And how sad that, at the end of the day, Pullman was right, Tommy couldn't help himself with Lizzie and he brought about the destruction that the Fables had put off for so long.
Thor: God of Thunder 12 - Continuing the journey but in a most unexpected way. After the epic conclusion of Godbomb, I didn't think that this issue could possibly be much good. It'd have to be a standalone issue, a jump on point, something kind of middling. Well, I was TOTALLY wrong. This is the kind of issue that makes you appreciate single issue comics. We get a glimpse of all three Thors and the art, while not Esad Ribic, stood up well in all three eras. I love the brief glimpses of old and young Thor and I love that we see so many different sides of Thor the Avenger. We transition between him drinking, him being a God, him being a flirt and a romantic and his trying to take a proactive stance in the world. All of this is what I expect from a God of Thunder and it's what we get in this issue. So grateful that the Jane Foster and Thor relationship has carried over in a relatively minor way and kind of shocked to see her moving out of the picture (although, of course, that can always be changed) in such a rapid fashion here. I'm hopeful that we'll still kind of get some kind of access to all three Thors as this title continues because it's been amazing. Marvel continues to win.
Ultimate Spider-Man 26 - The new Taskmaster is a badass, the Spider kids are stupid for ignoring their spider-senses, and David Marquez's art is incredible, with the SOLID exception of those flashback sequences. Gah, was that even him? It looked so bad. I get that he was going for something different and he definitely accomplished that aim, but God, it was bad. I like that we're getting some backstory on Bombshell (while getting a little current story on Cloak and Dagger) and I like that she references Peter Parker's Ultimate Spidey and I love the fact that Roxxon is being retconned into the new OsCorp Industries in the Ultimate Universe - how odd and interesting that the Ultimate U is now old enough that things are being retconned in. I loved the dialogue between Jessica and Miles in the beginning and I was shocked on the title page that they said Miles was a grade-schooler months before Peter was killed; is this the first time he's been pegged as sooooo young, or was it just the first time that I noticed? An issue without Ganke is rarely a great issue, but this one was good enough. I'm sure the trio will survive their encounter with Taskmaster, but I'm curious as to what they'll learn and what price they'll have to pay as he brings them into the Roxxon headquarters. Good stuff, as usual. Also, I hope the Ultimate Universe doesn't die. It's an interesting experiment that has thrived in the time it's been around, even if it's suffered through occasional droughts. I'd hate for the goodness of Marvel NOW! to interrupt this grand, long trial. Plus, Miles is amazing. Let him continue to be his own character. He doesn't need to be part of the 616 Universe. He's built up his own incredible little corner. Let him keep it.
Wolverine and the X-Men 35 - This was back to being the pure fun book that I loved when this title debuted. The art was cartoonish enough to be enjoyable but not over the top enough to be annoying. And the story's beats were on point. Kade didn't get his just desserts when we expected him to, but we knew better than to truly expect it then anyway. So it was great when the White Queen came from out of nowhere to take over the Siege Perilous. Mystique and Sabertooth still were out of place, Sauron was saved by the X-Men (?) and Dog finally seemed to make sense; he just cannot accept help from Wolverine, huh? But the big news here was the union of Quentin and Idie, as well as that ending. Man oh man, I'd be so psyched if he came back. I think Jason Aaron is just the guy to do it, too. And I love how the other four teachers are going to see Wolvie fearing the worst, but then get rebuffed by the new Headmaster. This is a fitting role for him, and I'm psyched to see where it goes next - aside from the stupid crossover in which I have no interest.
Young Avengers 9 - Delighted that I finished the Journey into Mystery run before reading this issue. It helped a lot. The art is still a draw, but honestly, as with most things (historically) Gillen/McKelvie, it's the combination that is the real winner. The dialogue is pure gold (and the letterer needs credit there too!), especially when it comes to the exchanges and how many different relationships we're presented with. The art shows emotions on faces in a way that few comics have ever done, and the backgrounds and panels - and the way they overlap, especially in Mother's dimension - is reminiscent of the way I went gaga for JH Williams III and his changing the game with his panel layouts. It's not so radical, but it is a novel use of something that not enough people have played with. Regardless, in this issue, we get to resume our chat with Leah, in more ways than one, and Teddy leaves Billy, at least to get some space. We get the ramifications of last issue's kiss and then a logical explanation that did more than enough to justify it to me. We see more and more of Miss America Chavez and we can see the cauldron bubbling underneath her entire existence. Young Loki pops back up and now I need to re-read the whole run thus far, with the post-JiM understanding under my belt. I loved the Game of Thrones and x is x memes that Gillen put in here. Every issue of this series that comes out just reaffirms my belief that this is the best book for comic fans of all ages that's currently coming out.
Book of the week goes to Young Avengers. Thor, Wolvie and even Ultimate Spider-Man were strong contenders, but I just have to go with something that so perfectly fills my childhood vision of what a comic can be. If I was a better adult, it'd go to Thor.