So I somehow managed to go almost a month without picking anything up.  Here’s what was in my box:

Avengers: Initiative 15:  I love this title.  We get a solidifying of Crusader’s status (although he royally fucked up by driving 3D off…) and some Gauntlet action.  Please don’t cancel this book Marvel.  I think I forgot what happened to Rhodey though…need to go back and read a few issues.

New Avengers 43: Another Skrull over-brainwashed a la Captain Marvel, but this one doesn’t end so well.  Or perhaps he wasn’t over-brainwashed, just over-killed before his un-programming kicked in.  Either way it was an interesting read that occupied all of 4 minutes of “Marvel Time” in between SI 3 & 4 or 4 & 5 (forgot to check).

Mighty Avengers 16: How I Became a Skrull, by Electra.  Moderately interesting, not horrible or great.  Even badasses can be taken out by multiple shapeshifters…although frankly it probably shouldn’t have taken that many.

Thunderbolts 122: I totally forgot what happened last month…I think it was the end of that whole mental jailbreak thing and Ellis’ arc.  This one picks up where the Captain Marvel mini ends, and starts off a new writer’s run.   It’s off to a good start, I guess.  If you like this new, super-bitchy version of the T-Bolts.  Which I don’t.  But I’m a zombie I know…just hoping for them to somehow get Fabian or Buseik back on it someday and remove the suckometer from its ass.

Captain Britain & MI13 3: You knew Cap B was coming back…so this is just the obvious, but it’s still good reading.  I can’t figure out what the hell the new girl’s powers are…some kind of wonky tk?  The new costume doesn’t look nearly as cool as it should with all those flags flying around either.  Storywise, good read and worth your money.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3: I’m really enjoying this series and dying to know what the deal with Vance & Starhawk is. I love the Vance-Cap/Guardians-Avengers parallel they set up with the whole ice bit.  Awesomesauce.  I really wish it wouldn’t get dragged into the Skrull thing, but we’ll just see how that goes, maybe it won’t suck.

Secret Invasion 4: Good stuff.  I forgot to buy 3 though.  Doh.

New Warriors 14: The inevitable, arbirtary Nu Warriors vs. New Warriors brawl begins.  Still, the Skrull going ons do make for a nice backdrop & excuse.

Astonishing X-Men 25: Much better story than the last book I read involving Wolverine & Bianchi.

Cable 5: I guess this arc’s over.  I still don’t care.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually like the premise of the story, but the whole Bishop-as-a-badguy thing still comes off as stupid to me.  I mean, it’s sort of believable in the sense of his backstory, but still stupid in the sense that he never once mentioned this child/person before?  I’m guessing it’s because that was retroactively inserted into his history when history was changed by the prof not dying?  Whatever, don’t care.  Although it has been a while since a good “hero gone bad” story so MAYBE this whole thread has wings.

New eXiles 8:  Stuff happens here I guess. I’ve been bored with Exiles lately; the new characters just aren’t interesting enough, and that last issue (or the one before??) had ABOMINABLE art. fug fug fugly.  This one looks nice at least, and the expected Psylocke plot is chugging along.   I hope we get some actual info on Mystiq…he’s moderately interesting.  New Gambit?  With Sue’s force bubbles?…almost interesting but nah.

Uncanny X-Men 500: God I hate Greg Land’s “art”.  If I wanted my comics to look like goddam cheesecake-Maxim-softcoreporn-bullshit I’d buy something else.  Storywise it’s…well, it’s a hell of a throwback with Mags retconning himself again and hanging out with the High Evolutionary.  Which may actually make a lot of sense considering what’s happened but STILL…we get a revamped Hellfire Cult, “SIster”hood of Evil Mutants AND you bring in a High Evolutionary + Magneto team up in the same issue that you claim is all about “moving forward”?  OK…the last time the title actually tried to move forward was, believe it or not, Claremont’s relaunch after that whole stupid 1 year later thing.  Which could have actually been cool if they let him run with it….but whatever.  Anyway, it’s not a bad story at all, just not what they are claiming.  Yet.

Also, I really hope ArcAngel isn’t back to Angel already. So. Lame.

X-Factor 33 & She Hulk 31: The art in X-F is fucking horrible and makes the issue hard to like.  It mucks with everything.  I don’t think I can make an unbiased judegement.  Although I will say that Darwin is being written like a talky moron…which doesn’t seem like how I remember him from Brubaker’s writing.  Surprisingly I prefer the old version.

X-Force 5: Kinda silly…and evidently Angel’s changes are somehow undone by Uncanny 500 (I’m guessing that’s what his sidebar reference was to???), so I really don’t care – that was the only thing I was really looking forward to from this arc was Arcangel’s return.  Pun intended.  Sort of.

X-Men Legacy 214: Evidently this is getting another title change after the next arc? Hmmmm.  Still, a good story and another old X-villain gets a very modern update this month.  I’m curious about the Wolverine crossover…not going to make me buy Origins again though.  Curious how they’ll package that trade.  Trade’s don’t always play well with crossovers.

Young X-Men 4:  Something about Cypher in issue 5? Umm…ok?  But seriously, FINISH THIS SHIT ALREADY. This arc is tired and stupid.  So is the tattoo guy.  Dumb dumb and probably too powerful by far.  Imagine if he hung out with that chic that popped up in X-Treme who could make tattoos….

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Final Crisis 2 – I’m sure there’s a reason one of the evil gods is the spitting image of Al Sharpton.  I like the writing in what Morrison is doing here, but much of the rest of the DC world feels “off”.  I think maybe he’s not meant to write mainstream books…everything he does has such an obivous “not mainstream” feel to it.  If that means anything.  Storywise…it’s interesting.

Not nearly as good as Secret Invasion has been so far though…

New Avengers 42 – Great read here, filling us in on how Jessica got swapped and *gasp* what did the Skrulls have to do with House of M??  Were they just caught up in it like everyone else…we don’t know that yet.  I guess we’ll have to wait until 43.  I’m still confused by the Skrulls being able to access their normal personalities, I thought somewhere they had said all that was subsumed in the host identity.

Hulk 04 – Stupid, stupid and more stupid.  They’re doing the standard “build the bad guy up to be soooo bad that the good guy can’t possibly win.  Until he does.” routine that it hurts me just to read it.  And now next month R-ulk gets to beat down Thor?  Mmmmm kay.  Jeff/ph Loeb, I can’t stand your writing.  Please stop.  Maybe go to work for Stuff or Redbook or something yes?

Fantastic Four 558 – A little better and more interesting than previous issues – but do we really need another Hulk?

Trinity 04 – Meh.

X-Factor 32 – EEeeennnteresting.  So we’re finally out of mutant town and on to the next thing.  Which is…?  I’m actually rather annoyed that he brought Val Cooper back in in the way he did on that last page – this is probably the first thing that has pissed me off about his run.  But it’s nothing serious.  Can’t wait to see where this is headed.

Mighty Avengers 15 – Not quite as cool as as the new “New”, but still interesting.  Here we find out when Hank Pym got swapped, and some of what he/she was up to.  It looks like the original is dead, but I’m calling TINY odds on that being the case.  I’m sure everyone is stored nicely in glass tubes somewhere to be released in the penultimate issue.

New Warriors 13 – This is all over the place.  I have no idea why they went after Machinesmith “for real”…but at least it looks like it’s building to something, and I do so enjoy plot that actually builds.  Hope it’s worth the wait.

Teen Titans 60 – I’m really sad about the ending to this one.  And I HATE the way Kid Devil was drawn in this issue.  He looked like a gaunt old hippy.  Sort of like kid clockking whatever.  All in all though, TT has been decent lately.  I hope Ravager completes her little heroic loop journey and makes her way back…the pining/drama/etc. from Kid D is killing me.

Superman 677 – Bad guys calls out good guy.  I get it.  I think I’ve seen it before.

Young Avengers/Runaways – Secret Invasion – The art was horrible, but the story fairly interesting.  I’d like it at least 3 times more if it wasn’t stupid anime crap looking.  I guess part of the Whedon Runaways arc is spoiled, or did it end and I just missed it?

Young Avengers Presents 6 – This was a cute story.  I never see how the Hawkeyes of the world get by in super-adaptoid & Skrull armada world…but they do.

X-Men – Divided We Stand 2: Wow, what a piece of shit these two one-shots turned out to be huh? The Beast story is the best written, and I like that it brought the disembodied brain (Martha?) back. Seeing as how it was written by Mike Carey though, it should at least be decent (although I really didn’t like the his Cannonball story in the last issue). The other stories…wow. Not so decent. Forge is crazy-brain damaged and obsessed with being a shut in and making weapons? Laaaame. Havok alone in a hole in space – boorrrrring. I do want to see the end of his arc though, so I hope it comes soon. Typical counselor session btw. Dani & Nori with ugly art. And an Illyana story. I guess she’s the “real” one now, somehow. Whatever. She worked better dead. Annoying. Don’t buy this, unless you are a big Beast fan.

Mighty Avengers 14: This issue introduces the first (of what will probably be many) glaring continuity contradiction error into the Secret Invasion thing. Well, or maybe it brings it more strongly into focus. Anyway, I thought we knew that in order for the Skrulls to be undetectable they had to completely subsume their Skrull personalities until the point of emergence…and yet here we see all the known Skrulls meeting in a warehouse. I’m really surprised Bendis did this…as he’s writing all the related issues. WTF? Other than that bit of silliness, they plot catches up to present day and we focus on the Sentry and have a very interesting ending that I’m hoping will be picked up in SI 2?

Oh, an aside – is anyone else amused by how easily these Uber-Skrulls are being beaten after the first two had to be nuked by Iron Man? Captain Britain punch one’s head clean off in CB&MI13.

I started reading Casanova recently after reading a review somewhere. Dammit if it didn’t have a HUGE spoiler though and the ending of the series is ruined for me…but I’m still enjoying the ride & will be picking up the trades soon. I suggest you check it out if you enjoy a good mind fuck and/or spy-on-spy action and/or mild Morrison-like weirdness.

Ultimate X-Men 94: Innnnnteresting. I won’t spoil the surprise here for you, as it’s actually pretty surprising and worth picking up if you like the title…not that it really makes much sense (or would have gone this long without being noticed). I’m not sure I like the eventual power-change this will probably lead to for one character, but the last page sure is interesting – Angel would actually be interesting if he was more like that! The inevitable mutant arms race this predicates looks to be somewhat silly though. Now any mutant bad guy can get super-super-charged with no apparent ill effects….so the plot point looks rather weak and half-thought out from another angle but it really depends on how they resolve it.

And don’t think I didn’t catch what they’re doing with Colossus and the needle.

Ultimate Fantastic Four 54: Not much going on here. The pencils looked all muddy and kind of threw me, making the rest of the presentation hard to enjoy. There’s not much of a clue where this is going yet so I’m not voting one way or the other on it.

Fantastic Four 557: I get tired of saying how overrated Mark Millar is, but I’ll say it until it doesn’t need to be said I guess. The giant robots thing is stupid. The fact that it is used as …I dunno what the technical word is but it is used to maneuver Reed & Sue into some interesting relationship questions…that part is serviceable. Reeds 1st gift to Sue is stupid and selfish – and reeks of something from Millar’s Authority run. His 2nd gift seems a bit out of character – since when is Reed into frivolous time travel (and how would Sue NOT HAVE NOTICED stepping through a time portal or whatever)? Oh right, since Millar’s first issue. I know it fits the general stereotype of “adventurer scientist” so I’m ok with it, really. That’s a character trait change I can handle, because I think it makes the series a lot more interesting. It’s just that this first arc was not very interesting. Johnny’s incredibly out of character (or maybe in-ultimate-character) behavior is also somewhat interesting BUT – he’s been a hero for a really long time, would he really hang out with someone who says stupid things like “I just robbed a bank, does this mean you have to arrest me?”.

Oh, and we have Doom again. Already. *sigh*

X-Factor 31: Nothing special, but a decent continuation of the ongoing collapse of X-Factor, their home turf, and their role. Looking forward to that Layla Miller one-shot….I’m guessing that’s how they get her aged up to marry Madrox.