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 Legacy 209

I like this series.

And I like Mike Carey, so I like the series even more.

I’m not a big Prof. X fan, so that means Carey is doing a decent job.

I don’t know where it’s going – it must have an ending point right? Having the Prof just ramble through history forever would be kind of pointless, so I assume the goal is to get him to some point, then use that as the series’ reason for being type deal.

It’s been mentioned that the series would “look at the past from a different angle”, or something to that effect, but so far I don’t really see that. I just see flashback effects informing us of the reasons for people’s statements in the present. Which is actually a pretty decent device, and I can’t believe it’s not used for often. To use it as a focal point for a series is actually kind of interesting – I mean, I’m sure it would get annoying if it was used to this degree in a series with an actual plot trying to get somewhere – but using it as the plot is in itself kind of interesting.

Maybe that’s what the quote means?

Mighty Avengers 11

Spider-Woman does some Mighty un-spiderlike things. Then again, her powers have never really had anything to do with spiders have they? Flight and energy blasts?? Ooookkkkaaaay. Anyway, I suspect it’s a red herring because otherwise it’s way too obvious of a Skrull-clue.

Widow was my original guess for a Skrull, but there is some doubt cast on that here, but that could just be red herring doubt!

Anyway, Bendis said they had a pretty non-standard Doom ending here, and I think that is the case. He gets his ass handed to him and arrested. Wow, that hasn’t happened in a while (ever?). So, I guess the ending is non-standard at least. I have to wonder about the bit with Morgana though – was that just a throwaway, or will she be back in the future?

New Avengers 39

I put two images up because the one on the left is the one that has been in all the solicitations, and then the one on the right is the one that hit the stores.

I like the one on the right much better, so this is a good thing.

I think it was pointed out a week or two ago on LiTG that the left one is some kind of direct swipe, so I’m thinking that’s why it was swapped. (Edit: Ahh yes, here is the swipe from LiTG here). Anyway, random trivia. Onward!

Here we have an obvious Secret Invasion/Infiltration crossover in the way of being shown (for the first time) a Skrull attempting to replacing someone. Of course, it doesn’t go quite as well as the Skrull would have wished, but nor do our heroes kick ass.

Rumors floating around the naughty net are that Luke Cage is a Skrull, and we’ll soon have the 70s, funktified Cage back. Man, I hope not. I would think that Bendis has put too much work into him to just throw it away like that. But he has balls, so who knows. Someone in the team has to be a Skrull though, so it’s probably Cage…. Can’t be Hawkeye – he was just dead and we saw his resurrection. Can’t be Echo – she broke the whole Skrull thing open on accident and just had a replacement attempt. Can’t be Wolverine – that’s been done before and he just stopped the aforementioned replacement attempt. Can’t be Iron Fist – that would invalidate his entire new, badass series. Can’t be Doctor Strange – how would he know about that weird ass shit to do during WWH? (Although I suppose that one could be pulled off). Can’t be Spider-Man – because then the internet really would crack open. So, Cage it is then (?).

New Warriors 10

Man, people have no patience for anything anymore. No wonder Claremont can’t get a break anymore (although fingers crossed for Exiles) – that guy needs room to run!

Anyway, so I see a bunch of bitching about how this series is too slow paced. This amuses me. The thing about the pace here is that it is very, very obviously purposeful so I’m quite willing to wait and see where it goes.

The main problem I’m having with the series so far is I can’t remember who’s who out of the super-d gallery heroes. Heh. I need to wiki & memorize their asses.

Anyway, I’m still pleased with the way things are rolling out, and looking forward to how it unfolds. Although, is it just me, or was this the first issue “Control” was mentioned. It gave me Maxwell Smart flashbacks. If it’s not just a general reference, it was a pretty bad choice for a name, but we’ll see.

This issue in particular I have another semi-gripe about – wasn’t Jubes the one sticking up for Thrash thus far? Then all of a sudden she flips and is the one against him? I’m probably just remember wrong because I have the memory of a worm these days. I’ll re-read the series whenever it gets to where it’s going with this first meta-arc – I’m thinking around issue 13.

The Order 9

I left the image really big because I’m going to miss this series.

It looks like everyone may die here. Of course, comics look that way all the time – but there really is no future for these characters with their powers expired and their series canceled, so he might as well just kill them.

Not that that is the outcome I’m looking for, I’m just kind of sad that yet another -good- series is getting canceled while Wolverine has 3 solo books now and Iron Man is getting a second title.

Sure, that Iron Man title is being written by this series’ writer (Matt Fraction), and he has said he’ll pick up some of the plot points from this book – but all that really looks like it means is that this series serves as an intro to his new arch-nemesis, not that any of the cool new heroes will be around.

You’d think for a company that has come out with so little both new and good in the last several years they’d want to give these guys a chance…but hey I guess the series was never conceived of that way anyway (since the powers only last a year) . So whatever. *pours some cheap whiskey on the ground*