Honestly, I have no idea how I fell so far behind, nor what came out when, so I'm just gonna run down everything I've read in the last few weeks and, holy moly, it's a doozy.
Angel and Faith 19 - Angel's crew might actually be better than Buffy's at this point, but only because Koh kicks so much ass, and in spite of the Watcher's sisters, because they're essentially worthless. Fred's holding her own, though, and we didn't even see the Detective this issue. (Was he a red herring? It seemed like they were prepping him for a bait and switch, but now we haven't seen him doing anything meaningful in a LONG time. Maybe he just faded out of the plans?) Anyway, it's weird to see Angel getting dropped like such a punk, and even weirder to see him pull a sword out of his jacket eventually, but when he crashed through the window, Dru was waiting for him, with the mob, so that's weird times three. Nadira knew they were taking her, though, and let herself be taken, so I'm not necessarily worried about that. But it's al building to something and it's coming up soon. Good stuff. The art in this is so good. The dialogue, though, felt crazy overused, especially on page 1 panel 2. Regardless, it's great that both Buffy books are of high quality again. Looking forward to the grand finale.
Avengers 0 - This was fun and all of the new Marvel books look cool, but NOTHING beats the moment when we knew it was the Maker, before he revealed himself. Holy shit, they're bringing young, evil Reed into the new MU. This is the best possible world. The final page recap, though, reaffirmed a couple impressions: I won't care about A-Force. If people love it, I'm happy for them. Ramos on New Avengers will be a lot of fun. Mainline Avengers is going to be wacky and amazing. The Ultimates might be the perfect place for America Chavez. I hope this book kills, but it's got 2 characters with whom I'm totally unfamiliar. I still don't care about Squadron Supreme. And, lastly, and most unfortunate, between the line-up and the terrible art on Uncanny Avengers, I can't think it'll even be decent. Yuck. But 5 out of 6 is a great start for the new 'Verse.
Buffy 19 - This came out surprisingly touching, but only if you ignore the cover. The Buffy/Giles relationship has always been one of the stronger aspects of the series, at least for me. And while seeing Giles rush out to see Olivia and test-driving a car (looking like himself again!) and having a drink and losing his magical abilities due to aging and atrophy were all cool and funny and cute and neat touches, it was the scene at the end, with his simple conversation with Buffy that really hit home. He looked like Giles, he talked like Giles, Buffy said all the right things and they were...perfect. It was a really, really good filler issue and it felt like it was appropriate, too.
Doctor Strange 1 - Jason Aaron writes good stories. And Chris Bachelo draws good stories. And Doctor Strange is a cool, probably underused character. So all of this should add up to greatness. And there are great moments in this book. But overall...? I'm just not sure that I think Strange needs a solo book or what it would even really be if it ever was a successful one. The beginning was cool, but that'll wear off. The idea of random fighting on the street won't work. His club of magicians is a cool thing to introduce that could pay long term dividends. But Monako's presence felt forced,
Fight Club 5 - This book really is not good. At this point, I think Palahniuk is just fucking with all of us? Or maybe he's always been and it's only now that I'm old enough to think it's shit? Either way, there's too much going on here to care about either way. I'll finish buying and reading, but I'm not sure if there's a point.
Iron Man 1 - Huh. Well. There might be a spoiler in here for Secret Wars, eh? But I certainly don't know how we're getting here, so that's kind of OK? Regardless, Iron Man's a fun character and there's a lot that can and should be done with all aspects of him, but the one I'm least interested in is his dating life. Bendis brings his Bendis-y dialogue to the book, and Marquez brings the beautiful art, but unless we redirect to Doom, Madame Masque and the new suit, I'm just not going to be able to bring myself to care about this book in any meaningful way. I could give a shit less about Tony and his plethora of women.
Old Man Logan 5 - Well, the whole run was worth it to bring Old Man Logan into the new MU, and for the page with the memories spilling out of his head. Damn. That was awesome. I'm not sure if Jimmy will make it into the new Universe, but if he doesn't, at least Logan had a moment with him. And really, after the over-accelerated action of the last 2 issues, this one, with all its blank space and its exposition and its open ending, it felt perfect. I like what they're doing here, bringing in the disparate elements. I'm not sure how it's going to actually work, but I like that they're trying. It's going to be a fun experiment, and Logan will be an excellent addition to it.
Paper Girls 1 - An awesome start to yet another awesome BKV book. The preview didn't give too much away, the ending was a great hook, the art from Cliff Chiang is back to the level I expect from him... Everything was great. I like that we've got something in the past that will still have a contemporary edge to it, and I like the different ideas we're already exploring: AIDS, women's rights, stereotypes, cops, and so much more. There's a lot to digest in this issue, but this is obviously a keeper.
Plutona 1 & 2 - Geez, this book is a lot of fun. Thanks to Mikee for the recommendation! It's a bit like Powers, sure, meets...a kids book (not Lumberjanes, although the art is obviously a stylistic similarity) insofar as story and art. But there's depth, too. It's fun, it's got potential, and I'm in for the ride. I already care about all four of the main characters, and the back up stories, fleshing out the world, are pretty cool, too. Good ideas all the way around. Makes me think I need to go back and give Lemire's Descender another chance.
Powers 5 - Still good, still nothing new, still nothing real compared to the saga of Christian Walker that we've already seen. How many times has he probably already gone through this? But I love the changing character of Sunrise and how he's impressed by her just like we were (well, I definitely was...) in regards to the complaint they talk about. The trio also makes a good team, with the different dynamics. It's fun.
Sandman: Overture 6 - This was it. The swing, connect, and homerun of the series. He really saved it all for the end and what a perfect one it was. We see the whole thing, how Morpheus could end up so weak, how his family works together, and how the Universe might constantly be shifting underneath our feet. The artwork is the obvious appeal, but Gaimain's got a thing for the Endless. The way he involved all of them in this story (and Mom and Dad) was a great, unexpected aspect. And the last page was exquisite.
Secret Wars 6 - Jesus, it's a thing of beauty. From the cover on, the art is exquisite. (With the one exception being Peter Parker, Spider-Man, looking a little chunky. Does Ribic think that he has to accentuate that to make Miles look even smaller? Weird.) Anyway, the art is not the main story. The main story is Doom and the Black Swan and Val and the Reeds. And the Prophet. Because I've not been keeping up with all the tie-ins, I have no idea if I'm supposed to know who that is, but it's an interesting proposition. We thought the crews (the Cabal and the Life Raft Gang) were gonna be the X Factors, but it's clear they've got defined roles. Now whether the Prophet is one of bad Reed's toys or an independent actor, it's clear he's going to shake shit up. The only beef I have with this issue, and the series as a whole is that it's taking so long. I get that the art is great and it takes time, but they're rolling out All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe titles already because the war's not over - that's a problem.
Spider-Man 1 - Bought it for the Midnight Marauders cover. Stayed for the nostalgia. I won't be continuing to buy the book, though, because as fun as it was, it's not my Spidey any more. And that's fine. I hope the people who enjoy the book love it as much as I did for as long as I did, if not longer. The last-page reveal made me feel better about the time I thought I'd wasted with Renew Your Vows, though. So that's a cool thing.
Book of the week or month or whatever goes to Sandman. While Paper Girls was solid, it was only a start. It's much harder to stick the landing.