Daredevil #33 (Marvel)
I've taken for granted for years that everyone loved Mark Waid's Flash as much as I did. I've learned recently that maybe this isn't the case. I know, however, that his Daredevil has been receiving a pretty good following. It's something I've commented on elsewhere, but for the most part I really hadn't read much of his Marvel work, at any point in his career, until recently. So I figured I'd finally give it a shot. This is as random an issue to choose as any. It seems to feature a bunch of characters Waid cobbled together from the old Universal monster days, a somewhat clever juxtaposition of Matt Murdock's superhero identity and something of what he's always evoked. You know, actual ghosts and goblins, as it were. Has anyone ever done that? He also makes clever work of Murdock's blindness. It's not a brilliant issue, and there's plenty of material (including the hapless Foggy Nelson's current predicament) that I simply won't be able to completely follow, but it's a decent read with some of that trademark concept work from Waid that others probably hadn't thought of before. Probably good enough to reconsider my opinions. Just a little.
Thunderbolts #18 (Marvel)
Here's Charles Soule doing work at Marvel, as opposed to DC. I figured I'm going to have to get used to the idea, because he's signed an exclusive contract there that'll take effect next year (the one exception is Letter 44, a creator-owned title he does over at Oni that I probably should also have a look at). Thunderbolts is a series that has somewhat dramatically changed course since it debuted under Kurt Busiek in the '90s. At that time it was a new superhero team that was secretly the villainous Masters of Evil. It's since become a sort of Marvel version of DC's Suicide Squad, a collection of hodgepodge characters who aren't necessarily bad guys but also not necessarily good guys. Soule's team includes Red Hulk (the "Thunderbolt" Ross revision introduced by Jeph Loeb), Elektra, Punisher, Deadpool, Venom (the "Flash" Thompson version), someone named Red Leader, and Mercy, who could be the most interesting one of the bunch. In this issue she presents the team a considerable problem, because she's a classic rogue element. She's also the closest tie to Soule's Red Lanterns work I can find. The tone is more flippant (which you would expect from a title featuring Deadpool) but otherwise it's not completely different from the Soule I've come to expect (his Deadpool is not as random; actually he seems to be somewhat holistic). It's not a bad issue. Enough to make me read more of the series? Maybe not. But maybe enough for me to not bitterly lament that Marvel contract he signed...
Trinity of Sin: Pandora #5 (DC)
Ray Fawkes won me over recently, and now it appears to be easier to admire his work overall. This is the second issue of Pandora I've read (the series recently ended, and I've just read the first issue of Trinity of Sin, the catch-all title that now carries Pandora and Phantom Stranger together, along with The Question), and now I'm wondering if I've been as unfair to the series as I once was to Fawkes. It's not that bad. This issue even features some of that character work I thought was absent from the series. It helps to juxtapose Pandora against someone like The Outsider, a character last seen in the alternate reality of Flashpoint (and originally conceived as an alias for Alfred Pennyworth!). Good stuff. Glad I stopped by!
The Wake #5 (Vertigo)
Another creator I've been unfair to is Scott Snyder, who is otherwise known as one of the current darlings of comic book fans in general thanks to his Batman and probably also American Vampire. I long wanted to have a look at Wake, though, because of artist Sean Murphy, who wowed me in his two previous projects Joe the Barbarian (with Grant Morrison) and Punk Rock Jesus (which he also wrote). But as it turns out, Snyder's storytelling is pretty compelling, too. It's not that this is a great revelation or anything, but it's a matter of degrees with this guy. On this project, he seems really keyed in. That's good to know. So now I probably want to read the rest of it.