Thursday, July 17, 2014

Batman and Robin #31 (DC)

writer: Peter J. Tomasi
artist: Doug Mahnke
via Reddit
The penultimate chapter in "The Hunt for Robin" sees Batman come up against Frankenstein for the first time since #19.  As suggested in the above sample from this issue, Frankenstein hasn't forgotten what the grief-stricken Batman did to him previously.

It's a perfect issue.  One of my big regrets from the early New 52 was not reading Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., which stars the character originally introduced in Grant Morrison's ambitious Seven Soldiers of Victory project and also featured in Flashpoint: Frankenstein & the Creatures of the Unknown.  Hopefully these latest appearances will cause more fans than just me to remember how awesome Frankenstein is.

The artist with Peter Tomasi this time around, rather than regular collaborator Patrick Gleason, is the always excellent Doug Mahnke, who it might need reminding helped create The Mask (I'm continually surprised that no effort has been made to relaunch this character).  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Quarter Bin #52 "Grant Morrison, Cosmic Odyssey"

Comics featured in this column were not necessary bought in in a quarter bin.  This is a back issues feature.

Animal Man #24 (DC)
From June 1990.
Animal Man #25
From July 1990.

Recently Zimmie's (my local comics shop these days) actually had a selection of bargain back issues.  I love poring through boxes of this stuff.  Fortunately, wherever this selection came from had a keen interest in Grant Morrison.  I've read both these issues already (collected in Animal Man: Deus Ex Machina, the most memorable and iconic volume of his run).  The first issue features Superhero Limbo, which rereading the complete Final Crisis made me realize is a concept Morrison actually revisited.  The second has Buddy Baker on the verge of finally breaking the fourth wall, meeting Morrison himself, on his way to realizing he really is a character in a comic book.  The more recent Animal Man comics (recently concluded) from Jeff Lemire has been the closest to this era the character has come in years, although without all the existential awareness.

Cosmic Odyssey #4 (DC)
From 1988.

One of several DC crossover events (including Legends, Genesis, and the aforementioned Final Crisis) to feature Jack Kirby's New Gods as the primary context, this is the event that became best known for Green Lantern John Stewart's from-that-point defining moment of losing an entire planet on his watch.  In this issue he grapples with suicidal grief, with Martian Manhunter helping him get over the hump.  The writer is Jim Starlin, which is hugely appropriate, given that this is a Darkseid story, and Starlin is best known for his Darkseid pastiche, Thanos (coming soon to Marvel movies everywhere!) in such crossover events as The Infinity Gauntlet.  The artist is Mike Mignola in perhaps his best-known work prior to creating Hellboy.  Aside from John Stewart, it's always been Mignola's work that I wanted to experience from this event.  If I were DC, I would keep all of these New Gods crossover events in print.

Doom Patrol #22 (DC)
From May 1989.
Doom Patrol #29
From January 1990.
via Simon Bisley Gallery

I didn't buy all of the Grant Morrisons in the selection, but picked and chose.  The first of these two Doom Patrol issues is the finale to his opening arc, "Crawling from the Wreckage," which I hadn't read before (it would help, I assume, to read the complete story).  The second is the finale to "The Painting That Ate Paris," a story I have read in its entirety.  Aside from the narration from a poorly educated man (amply reflected in his poor spelling), this issue may perhaps best be known for Morrison's first handling of DC's icons (aside from, I guess, Arkham Asylum).  Doom Patrol has recently resurfaced in Forever Evil and Justice League.  This team is the original X-Men, just as the Challengers of the Unknown are the original Fantastic Four.  Morrison tended to take an extremely surreal approach to the team, the first version of his Invisibles, as it were.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The New 52: Futures End #1 (DC)

writer: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, Keith Giffen
artist: Patrick Zircher
via DC Wikia
Futures End is the latest weekly series from DC, launched on Free Comic Book Day earlier this year.  There's been a lot of speculation on just how important it really is, whether it's leading to a significant event next year (how much the concurrent Batman Eternal is involved remains to be seen, but the upcoming Earth 2: World's End, which begins in October, will definitely be part of the loop).  The New 52 trend of September being an event month continues with a full-blown Futures End tie-in across every ongoing series.

So what about Futures End itself?  Well, Batman Beyond, Terry McGinnis, has now joined official canon, sent from the future to slightly earlier in our future to prevent the end of the world.  Conveniently, everyone involved seems to be characters DC tried to feature in their own New 52 series (although no sign of Static, so far as I know, so far).  This is bad news for Stormwatch (as always; although in this new context I think maybe someone could finally help them find their DC groove) but good news for Grifter (mixed bag for WildStorm overall).

Also involved in this issue is Firestorm.  For whatever reason, I seemed to skip the whole New 52 experience, but I loved what was being done with the character previous to the relaunch, after the third host, Jason Rusch, was introduced post-Infinite Crisis.  With the brain (Martin Stein) and the brawn (Ronnie Raymond) thrown into the mix, there evolved full-blown potential for a Firestorm franchise, if the character ever became, y'know, popular.

Mostly, though, the biggest winner I foresee at this point is Grifter.  The best thing about 52, the brilliant weekly that began this modern trend at DC, was how it took characters who had been overlooked and made them relevant, and Grifter's the one who most closely matches what I loved so much in those pages.  If there was a true problem with Countdown, it was a lack of that kind of character.  Trinity didn't have one either, but I think there were a lot of things calculated incorrectly with that one.

No, I haven't been reading Futures End regularly.  In fact, this remains the most recent issue I've read.  But I suspect it will be a pretty good weekly.  I trust Brian Azzarello and Jeff Lemire, two of the key writers in the current DC fold, and they have a few guiding voices in Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen to keep things not only interesting but grounded in the kind of work that has always been exemplary of this company, which is about as much as you can expect from a DC weekly.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Reading Comics #127 "Antony Johnston"

Antony Johnston is the genius writer of Wasteland, one of the best comics I've ever read, counting down to its sixtieth and last issue later this year (#56 just released!).  Thankfully he's being afforded an expanded presence in the comics landscape thanks to a pair of new Image series, which happen to feature art from his best Wasteland collaborators.

The more recent The Fuse features Justin Greenwood (I first experienced him on Marc Guggenheim's Resurrection).  I have the first issue waiting in my comiXology queue, but the more recent #3 now stands as my first real experience with it.
via Image
Fuse is a detective comic set in the future.  The genius of it is that it allows Johnston to work on his signature world-building in less daunting context than readers have typically been able to experience from him.  And it's not even the far future, more like one of those near-future worlds that look completely familiar to what you already know.  You don't even have to worry about the future at all to enjoy Fuse, at least not with this issue.

(It's the kind of trick that has allowed Jonathan Nolan and J.J. Abrams' Person of Interest to be a reliable hit, whereas so many of Abrams' other shows have been stuck with the genre tag and therefore had limited appeal.  Frame it as something that looks conventional and you can get away with so much more!)

I like what I read in the issue, although of course for me, it's Johnston's world-building that's the real draw, so I will have to read more (another dirty trick!) to truly get Fuse in my blood.

Of more immediate appeal for me is Umbral, which Johnston launched slightly earlier with original Wasteland collaborator Christopher Mitten.  I've talked about this series already, how it's kind of like Wasteland if it had been set entirely in the city of Newbegin (and soaked, soaked! in purple).  Since I haven't been reading it regularly (I hardly read any comics regularly, so this is not a knock against the series), I'm still prone to getting lost.  I make a poor champion in that regard.  I do, however, highly recommend it.
via Image
Coincidentally, the next issue is being released next week (there was a small break between issues, which is worth it to keep Mitten energized and involved in the project).  The first trade, Out of the Shadows, was released at the end of May.

Umbral is pretty much the opposite of Fuse.  It wears its genre (magic fantasy) thickly on its sleeve.  It's also a quest story, like Wasteland, although the approach is far more deliberate.  Again, Johnston seems to have handled this expanded platform brilliantly.  

(This is not to say I think any less of Wasteland.  I applaud worthwhile ambition.  And Wasteland has always been a peak example of that.)

I was happy to come across Umbral #6.  Not keeping track of the series closely (because, again, my trips to comic book stores and/or digital purchases are erratic these days), I didn't really know how fortuitous this one was.  It feels nice to be a part of the experience.  Part of that experience is definitely the letters column, which Umbral features vibrantly.  Since these things are no longer a given experience in comics, it's almost as much a statement as a reader's platform on how the creators approach their fans, and comics in general, when they have them and how they approach them.  Saga's letters column is the best around.  There's just no question.  Brian Michael Bendis tends to use them to talk about his many projects.  The Walking Dead is one extended, interactive forum, probably moreso than any other I've seen.  As of this issue, Umbral has entered the big leagues.  Good stuff.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Batman and Robin #29 (DC)

writer: Peter J. Tomasi
artist: Patrick Gleason
via comiXology
For the past year, Batman and Robin has been missing Robin, since Damian's death in Batman Incorporated #8, and so this has become a team-up book.  Unlike other team-up books you could think of, however, Peter Tomasi's version has remained committed to advancing a storyline.  As such, "The Hunt for Robin," which next week hits a new peak with the Robin Rises one-shot and subsequent arc in the ongoing saga.

It's the first time real attention has been called to the series.  I've been saying all along that this is arguably the best Batman book in the New 52 and I hope other readers are taking the opportunity to find out for themselves.

Long story short, Ra's al Ghul has stolen the bodies of Damian and Talia, son and mother, part of a screwed up family shared with Batman himself, and Batman is none too pleased.  He wants Damian to sleep in peace.  Al Ghul wants what he always wants: eternal life.  In years past he would've easily had it with all the plentiful Lazarus Pits that've kept him alive and/or resurrected over the years, but their numbers have dwindled, forcing him on a worldwide search, with Batman hot on his tail.

The guest star this issue is Aquaman.  Since Brightest Day there's been a concerted effort to rehabilitate his image.  You may have heard that he's a joke.  In the comics, these days, he's become completely legitimate.  (And in the movies, he's become Jason Momoa!)  In previous attempts to accomplish this, Aquaman was relegated to his own world, which is fine, but that always has the effect of isolating him and therefore preventing anyone from seeing him interact, outside of Grant Morrison's JLA, with the rest of the DC universe.

Typically, it's an excellent appearance, not just because the character has been on a hot streak, but because Tomasi is clearly in his element.  The issue that follows (because I read them out of order and therefore have written about them out of order) features Wonder Woman, and I guess Tomasi wasn't as comfortable.  This is not because Wonder Woman is, well, a woman.  Tomasi does monsters well, and his ideal collaborator, Patrick Gleason, does them well, too.

Batman and the grotesque.  Kelley Jones knew that twenty years ago!

"The grotesque" in this context means, of course, al Ghul's latest attempt to resurrect Damian.  He had clones incubated in whales, and...just very messy business, really.  So, grotesque.  But beautifully grotesque, thanks to Gleason!

And at one point, Batman shouts at Ra's, "Give me back my son!"  Now, I apologize in advance for those who don't like Mel Gibson anymore, but I can't help but think of his movie Ransom when I hear that.  Good stuff.

And I now want an Aquaman series from Tomasi and Gleason, should they unfortunately be forced to leave Batman and Robin at some point.  One hundred issues and a movie!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reading Comics #126 "Bull Moose Grab Bag III"

Ten comics for a steal.  Even when the contents go wrong, you can't go wrong.  These happened to all be bagged and boarded.  Always a plus.  I used to do that with all my comics.  Became less of a priority after the first break in reading at the start of the millennium, and then I sold that collection, and sold the next one.  What're you gonna do?

Uncanny Avengers #16 (Marvel)
Here's Rick Remender again, our new friend from the pages of Captain America, apparently in the thick of some gigantic crisis that will likely have been rebooted, given all the characters who are killed off during it.  The big threat constitutes the Apocalypse Twins (this series is part of the X-Men/Avengers mash-up that has persisted since the end of, well, AvX, so the referenced Apocalypse is the one and same Apocalypse you may or may not have recognized as teased at the end of X-Men: Days of the Future Past).  This story kind of wraps up next issue, but carries over into the next storyline.  Well, whatever.  The big development in this particular installment involves Thor and Captain America being all climactic, in typical Avengers fashion.  The artist is Steve McNiven, whom I remember most fondly from the "Old Man Logan" arc in Wolverine.  Good reliable talent right there, makes this looks sufficiently impressive.  As usual, I don't really understand what Remender is up to.  Like Jonathan Hickman, Remender for me is what Grant Morrison seems to be for a lot of other readers.

Batwing #28 (DC)
For a while, Batwing was the African representative of Batman Incorporated.  I enjoyed what I read of that from the start of the New 52 era.  Recently the armor has gone to Lucius Fox's son.  Based on this issue I don't see this as an improvement.  Writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti have plenty of good credentials behind them (various Jonah Hex and Uncle Sam & the Freedom Fighters comics chief among them), but they're felled by the typical trap of trying to fake their way through the stereotype urban scene (ready to write Milestone adventures they are not).

The Flash #27 (DC)
At one time I read The Flash regularly without exception, thanks in large part to the remarkable Mark Waid run that began a little over twenty years ago.  I haven't really done much of that lately, not really at all since the New 52 launch, perhaps out of disappointment that Geoff Johns cut short his second run with the latest relaunch.  This issue, from recently departed (co-)writer Brian Buccellato, who along with Francis Manapul has shifted over to Detective Comics, is actually pretty good, mixing Rogues with history, playing with the revised Barry Allen story of having the death of his mother hanging over him thanks in part to fact that her murder was pinned on his father (made for truly excellent material in Flashpoint).  I still have to wonder if this increasingly revolving game of musical chairs will lead to resolution on that.  Or simply hope Johns will return to the thread he left behind...

Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. #4 of 6 (DC)
I remember Martin Gray over at Too Dangerous for a Girl calling this perhaps the best part of the Forever Evil crossover event.  A.R.G.U.S. is the we're-not-S.H.I.E.L.D.? group from DC (which is funny, because Checkmate is a perfectly viable and distinctive alternative).  The main draw for me is the presence of Steve Trevor, who in a previous incarnation was the, ah, Lois Lane to Wonder Woman's Superman.  Since the New 52, he's best been defined by his inability to retain that relationship, and thus his efforts to find a surrogate.  I thought he'd found it in Justice League of America, but things might've changed when I wasn't looking.  Another sometimes-supporting cast member for Wonder Woman, Etta Candy, is present in the issue.  Wonder Woman herself isn't in the issue (mostly), but curiously she is on the cover, and her frequent enemy Cheetah shows up both on the cover and on the last page (it's actually artist Neil Edwards' weakest moment the whole issue, besides mouthless Psi).  One has the sense that the whole point of the mini-series was to further establish the Wonder Woman brand in the New 52.  This is overall a good thing.

Green Lantern #28/Red Lanterns #28 (DC)
via Hit Fix

via Green Lantern Wikia
This is another another comic I was glad to have gotten randomly in one of these grab bags, especially based on my increased appreciation for Red Lanterns from other grab bags.  This was the flip book saga featuring the debut of Supergirl as a Red Lantern.  This is a saga that completely capitalizes on the New 52 version of Supergirl, who isn't the well-known superhero she was in previous incarnations.  In fact, no one knows who she is when she pops up as a Red Lantern.  They in fact think she is just a random Red Lantern.  This occurs in the midst of other things that've been developing in the Green Lantern franchise, likely by the lead of Robert Venditti, who was given the unenviable task of following Geoff Johns in that regard (unless people were just looking for a fresh start, which Green Lantern itself didn't really get at the start of the New 52).  One of his ideas has been to restrict the use of all those rings floating around, with the idea that unrestricted usage drains the universe of essential energy.  Something like that.  Star Trek: The Next Generation toyed with that idea concerning warp drives.  Venditti also seems to have reconfigured a few semi-familiar faces from days past, including Evil Star (totally reinvented and it seems quite interestingly), Kanjar Ro, and Bolphunga the Unrelenting (famously debuted in the same Alan Moore as Mogo, "Mogo Doesn't Socialize").  Each time I sample Venditti's Green Lantern I like it.  Certainly the same goes for Red Lanterns these days.  The writer on the flipside is Charles Soule, who's always impressing me.  The man running the Red Lanterns in the comics is Guy Gardner, who is actually less of a hothead than ever before.  He's also got Ice by his side once again (more fond memories from two decades ago), although it's as contentious a relationship as ever.  (By the way, Guy looks awesome these days.  About the first time ever that can be said.)  The main thrust of the flip book actually has far more to do with Green and Red Lanterns not getting along (but for different reasons than before, more like a professional rivalry these days).  When they realize this mysterious girl is Kryptonian, they of course realize she has something to do with Superman.  If you're not reading either (or I guess any of these, including Supergirl), this would be a good sampling occasion.

The Superior Spider-Man #26 (Marvel)
I recently talked a little bit about how the Doctor Spider-Man era ended, but on its way to that ending there was (seemingly as always) Green Goblin to deal with.  But in this particular issue Goblin is dealing with the Hobgoblin, trying to figure out who's behind the latest incarnation.  He thinks he knows.  He's wrong.  There are a number of stories in the issue with a number of artists drawing them.  One is Peter Parker inside the so-called mindscape figuring out how he'll find his way back.  Another is the Avengers finally rejecting Doctor Spider-Man (I won't explain that again).  The final is the Goblin/Hobgoblin one, which amounts to the most significant one (it does rate the cover), and feature the work of Humberto Ramos.  I was a huge fan of Ramos for years thanks in large part to, ah, his collaboration with Mark Waid (I just can't avoid mentioning that guy!) on Impulse.  I'm glad he's remained relevant, and that he's become one of Dan Slott's chief collaborators on whatever version of Spider-Man he's writing.  His Goblins are fantastic.  Who knew?  Plays completely against type (as far as I knew), but it's a huge reason why that's the best thing about this issue.

Superman #27 (DC)
One of the major developments of the New 52 was the sudden end of the romance between Lois & Clark.  (Guess she didn't want to become a desperate housewife.  Ha!)  But thankfully, Lois Lane has stuck around.  And even gained powers.  But I guess with this issue she lost them, which as far as current logic goes is a good thing.  Superman risks a giant gamble in allowing Parasite to siphon them from her.  Scott Lobdell is at the helm.  Apparently his run wasn't very popular.  I still have no idea why fans find him so hard to love.  (But, ah, the next issue promises Starfire.  There you go.)

Swamp Thing #28 (DC)
Swamp Thing, with about a decade lead time, was a poster child for the early Vertigo, thanks to Alan Moore's psychological approach.  In the New 52 the character has returned to his own mythology, which Charles Soule goes about exploring in this issue.  The character of Capucine, featured and named on the cover, is fascinating, a long-lived woman with an incredible story all her own.  This is good stuff.  Another series I've never really thought to buy deliberately, but am infinitely glad each time I've found it in a grab bag.

Talon #15 (DC)
A spin-off from Scott Snyder's Batman...not hugely compelling a concept on its own.

Teen Titans #27 (DC)
Remember Impulse, which I mentioned earlier.  That was Bart Allen's earliest incarnation.  Geoff Johns turned him into Kid Flash.  And the New 52, thanks to Scott Lobdell and a new backstory, or I guess forestory, is a freedom fighter from the future.  I've long been interested in reading some of this for myself, and I think it's pretty interesting.  The only curious element is the strange looks Kid Flash keeps giving people, as if he really is the villain fans have been interpreting this new version of the character to have suddenly become.  One of Lobdell's original Titans, Solstice, has her story explained in the issue, too, while the Superboy situation is explore, too.  (From what I've read about it, I think that's pretty interesting, too.)  Besides all that, I also found it interesting that Scott McDaniel provided breakdowns.  I found this particular image to make that most obvious:
via Up Roxx
If you know McDaniel's work at all, you can see it most clearly in the shoulder.  He's another talent I wish would get a better break these days.  He's long been a favorite of mine (how long? twenty years of course!).  The last significant work he's done was the short-lived Static Shock at the start of the New 52, which to say it was received poorly would be an understatement.  This is unfortunate, since McDaniel started out that one as both artist and writer (his first real effort in that regard), which was a statement of confidence from DC.  I don't know what's happened, but it certainly seems like he lost it, apparently in both regards.  I wish him luck digging his way back to where he belongs.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Reading Comics #125 "Bull Moose Grab Bag II"

Ten comics packaged together with a remarkable bargain price!  These are all from last year, but that's okay...

Angel & Faith #23 (Dark Horse)
I don't particularly care for Buffy and/or related franchises, so I don't have anything to say about this one.  Sometimes you get comics you just don't care about in these things.  It's a risk!

Secret Avengers #5 (Marvel)
Even more blatantly than the other time I read an issue from this series (and hopefully this is the last time, but again: brag bags) this is so blatantly a S.H.I.E.L.D. comic, I have no idea why it's called anything but.  Are people really assumed not to know that term better than "Avengers" of some extrapolation?  Really?

Batman: The Dark Knight #21 (DC)
The New 52 Batman launch that was meant to be a vehicle for David Finch (and, incidentally, has since ceased publication), one that until now I hadn't read (there was a Bane issue early on that...looked like the kind of Bane story I try very hard to avoid).  This particular issue was written by Gregg Hurwitz with art from Ethan Van Sciver, who I'm still surprised has been reduced to relative obscurity after being a huge deal not so long ago.  Notable people get lost in the shuffle no matter the context.  It happens.  It's still sad to see happen.  Dark Knight was always more of a visceral experience than other Batman comics, and this one's no exception.  It features Mad Hatter, but Batman is still in pretty dramatic mode (perhaps only in the pages of Dark Knight would this have happened).  It's funny, because within the context of Dark Knight this is kind of the story Scott Snyder has been telling within the pages of Batman proper, whether in the Court of Owls stories or "Death of the Family," what have you.  (I noticed as I was making the Ethan Van Sciver label that I was, in fact, making that label.  Just goes to show.  I've been blogging here since 2011.  That's a long trip in obscurity, alas.)

Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #4 (DC)
I'm on record as supporting the whole Before Watchmen project.  As it was being published I eventually had to back off reading the whole thing, and so eventually boiled my experience down to the excellent Comedian, but I enjoyed what I'd read of Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner's Silk Spectre when it began, so it's nice to have randomly come across its final issue.  This was a story that was thoroughly about Laurie's journey out from the shadow of her mother, the original Silk Spectre.  Famously in Alan Moore's Watchmen, Laurie's arc was much more about her relationship with Doctor Manhattan and Nite-Owl as well as reconciling the fact that Comedian was her father.  In this comic it was much more about mother and daughter, and so that's how things conclude, a different and perhaps more important reconciliation.  That's the whole thing about Before Watchmen, that it was able to explore significant aspects of the Watchmen canon that benefited from being brought to the forefront in ways that were not possible during the original story.  If it had been a matter of exploitation for exploitation's sake, I think that would have been obvious.  To call Watchmen a finite work and say there were no other stories possible is to miss the point of storytelling entirely, and to limit the impact of the original story, to say these characters who became instantly iconic ultimately had no potential, which is also to say Moore created something that didn't inspire anything.  I think we all agree he inspired a lot of what comics became after Watchmen.  What about before?  In a new context, superheroes mean something else.  Not just allegory.  A place where superheroes and their own narratives can be taken seriously.  Such as this tale of mother and daughter.

Captain America #8 (Marvel)
via IGN
I'm drawing special distinction to this one because my whole perception of the issue changed remarkably while I was reading it.  I don't, or perhaps didn't would be more accurate at this point, have a high estimation of Rick Remender.  I figured, based on my experience with his work, that Remender is a goofy sensationalist (perhaps typified by the whole Zombie Punisher run known as "FrankenCastle").  Long story short, when I heard he was the guy replacing Ed Brubaker as writer of Captain America, I couldn't understand it at all.  I mean, Remender is pretty much the opposite of Brubaker's gritty realism.  And when I heard that he'd definitely gone in that opposite direction, I thought, Well that's all you need to know.  So when I found this in the grab bag, I figured it would be just another one in this particular selection that I didn't particularly have to care about.  Then I read it.  And then the moment happened.  Captain America has basically been in a Superman-in-space-exile, "Planet Hulk" moment, and there's this boy he's formed a relationship with, and right away I'm completely lost.  But then the relationship between Steve Rogers (that's Captain America, naturally) and the boy crystallizes.  And I think Remender totally gets Steve, in a way Brubaker never did.  He understands that Steve's journey is a matter of deliberate choices, not random chance (as it can sometimes seem post-thaw).  The art is from John Romita, Jr., who has just begun his first-ever DC run, with Geoff Johns, Superman #32.  Romita has a distinctive style I've always enjoyed (among many other projects, he's the guy who helped Mark Millar bring Kick-Ass to life), which is perfect for Remender's Captain America, certainly this particular issue.  The criticism I always leveled against Brubaker was that he didn't really know what to do with Steve Rogers himself (his most famous contribution was the creation of the Winter Soldier, which audiences everywhere got to see in the movies earlier this year).  On that score, I shouldn't have been so critical of Remender, or Marvel's decision.  It was just surprising.  As of now, I might actually argue that Remender's run has a chance of being better.  Start with this issue for yourself if you want to see.  

Deadpool #12 (Marvel)
This is part of the Brian Posehn/Gerry Duggan run that I've previously written as making me as close to a believer in this goofy character as I've ever come.  I don't have much to say about this issue.

The Malevolent Mr. Burns #1 (Bongo)
With stories from Gail Simone (yes, that Gail Simone) and others.  Mr. Burns, of course, from The Simpsons.  Reliably entertaining whether in cartoon or comic book form.

Star Trek #22 (IDW)
"Amok Time" as reinterpreted post-Abrams reboot.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #23 (IDW)
Hey, so for what it's worth, reading this issue, which is also part of the "City Fall" arc from the other grab bag-instilled issue I read previously, is a less painful experience.  So there's that.

Ultimate Comics X-Men #28 (Marvel)
Basically, I'm really of the opinion that Marvel ought to scrap the whole Ultimate line at this point, other than Brian Michael Bendis's Spider-Man.  
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