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.

Secret Invasion 2 – It was ok, but nothing stellar.  It seemed like there was a lot more that could have been done here.  I’m thinking Mockingbird is a Skrull, just because the way Hawk accepted her back was way too easy/cheesy.  I’ve heard the rumors of the death toll starting out next issue with Young Avengers & Initiative folks (here’s hoping Slapstick dies!), which I find sad and annoying.  Of course they’re going to start chopping with the new “properties” that haven’t yet had the chance to grow.  I love both of those books, so I’ll be sad if any of them go.  How about killing some old characters with no real use/interest?  Wasp?  Check.  Hank Pym?  Check.  Those two strike me as great offing candidates that no one would really care about, and that would have an impact at the same time (if that makes sense).

recent Mighty Avengers & New Avengers – I still hate all the ugly Skrull covers.  They tell you NOTHING about what’s going on inside, so I just get them all confused when I look at them.  I think Mighty is documenting Fury’s stuff and New covering the Skrull angle.  All in all, they are interesting and decently written, but seem like kind of a waste of the main titles.  The topics contained inside would be perfect for some kind of ancilliary title (Secret Invasion: The Build-Up or something).   But, I guess all the main characters are tied up in SI, so it makes a good kind of sense too.  So, worth buying but don’t expect Avengers books.

Young X-Men – Seven levels of stupid, still.  I’m sure this is all going somewhere that can’t be as dumb as where it looks like it’s going.  Really.  There’s nothing redeeming to this yet.  So why do I buy it?  *sigh* I know, I’m an X-addict.  I’m waiting for it not to suck, and any screen-time for the old New Mutants is good…right?

X-Force – Ok, every anti-mutant bad guy ever is back and techno-whatsit-agized.  Ok.  You know…claws and knives aren’t going to do you much good against that kind of bad guy.  I wonder how they’re going to wrap this arc up.  And Warpath being all bent up about Caliban still doesn’t ring true.  Unless they were Secret Fuck Buddies.  But I doubt that.

The Order – Wrapped up quite well and I’m sad to see it go.  The villain has carried over into Invincible Iron Man (also by Fraction), which was kind of a decent first issue (but I still don’t care about Iron Man as a solo character), but alas no word on the order-ites yet.  I suspect some may die in Secret Invasion for “dramatic effect”, but who knows.

Where is the next Fables trade?  Man, I’m tired of waiting for that one.  This is the one book I actually wait for the trades on.

Looking forward to the new Guardians of the Galaxy next week as well.  Coming off the two excellent Annihilation series’ (so glad they didn’t call it Annihilation: Guardians of the Galaxy!) and bearing the same excellent writers, it has the potential to be the best regular book Marvel puts out this year.

X-Men 207

First off, let’s get that cover gallery out of the way! What cover gallery you ask? Why a recap of all 13 Messiah Complex covers of course! Yes, some (all?) had variants, but except for a few cases I couldn’t find all the variants within the time frame I’ve allotted myself, so one is good enough for now!

This space for rent.

OF COURSE THERE ARE SPOILERS

Soooo…from my forthcoming complaints it may sound like I disliked the series, or the finale, but that would be far from the truth. It was a fun ride, even if it didn’t make sense. I’m going to assume the reader has read this, since I’m not up for a giant recap. Check over at ComiX-Fan if you want that, they’ve been doing weekly recaps as an excuse for an article for the last 12, they should do one for the current issue soon.

Where are we left?

  • Professor X is crippled again, except worse – he’s got a hole in his brain! We know he’s not dead – the solicitations for X-Men Legacy at the end of the ish tell you this. So he’s just royally screwed again. How many times is this now? I think I’ve lost count. Pretty sure it’s at least three. He’s been shot/in a coma at least once before – that was enough to start off a whole crossover (EXecutioner’s Song, one of the last good ones) before, but now it’s just an endnote…or a new beginning! Du na na!
  • Bishop is bad. A lot of X-Men have found redemption over the years, like I’m sure Gambit is about to, but I don’t think there is any coming back from shooting Professor X in the head on accident. Mmm kay. This is really the worst/weakest part of the whole thing. Sure, they made it make sense with a modified version of his future – which I guess makes sense, the future he’s from (and hence his past) could have re-aligned itself to current events, while still allowing him to be born – that might bake sense in some crazy sci-fi logic. But still, it’s annoying. And seeing as how various folks (I think Tom Brevort may be one of them) have been re-iterating lately how much X-Men is about prejudice, I find it interesting that they have just reduced their minority population by what, 25%? But hey, who knows where this is going really. I was never that big on the whole guy-with-guns thing when Cable did it either. I liked the writers that had Bishop intelligently use his powers, but that wasn’t many.
  • I think Bishop is also short an arm now too.
  • Cyclops is a dick again, sort of. I’m guessing this badass-whatever characterization he’s currently running falls out of the Astonishing arc – which still has yet to finish. It does sort of make sense, following that at least. He’s also kind of stupid, because I don’t care how well trained against the X-Men the Marauders are – they are no match for 3 full teams, plus some kids. Instead he decides that the kids can get the job done? Sure, they did, but that was stupid. What about the random X-Factor members, and whoever else is hanging around. The future solicits look like he’s going into super-dick-overdrive. He’s got Wolvy’s team out killing people, THEN he enlists 3 of the x-babiekids to kill people??? MMMMM KAY.
  • Man, Storm did jack shit this crossover, she really should have just sat it out.
  • Actually, lots of people did jack shit. They probably should have just trimmed the teams down more before they started, so it wouldn’t look as haphazard and silly. So many people were AWOL…or maybe just background, when they would have probably had a bigger effect on things.
  • Cable took the baby to the future? OK…sure…whatever. Makes for an interesting new Cable series I guess.
  • Would MaliceSentinel really have monologued over Pixie or just snapped her neck? I vote #2.
  • Is Mystique dead too? Probably not, but that would be amusing. Rogue tried to kill her, I guess. Whatever, that made no sense either. The Mystique-Rogue arc did wrap up Claremont’s Destiny’s Diaries arc though…wow…when was the last time someone ELSE wrapped up one of his in a way that actually kind of made sense in the original context? OK. She’s not dead, she’s on the cover to next month’s Wolverine 62. Be nice to see that title in continuity again, at least for a little while. Not that I buy it anymore. Shelling out $$ for one Wolverine title (Origins) is enough.

OK, all that out of the way, the xover has done what it was intended to do I think – galvanize the audience and set-up the next set up to the new status-quo (post-Uncanny 500). Please, please, please do not restart the numbering after 500. That would be really annoying.

The battle scene felt like it actually needed a whole issue – this should have been a double sizer. Seriously, I’d pay money for an annual that just fleshed out this battle and made it more believable in the sense of how it would actually be with that many players on the field.

OK, so that’s done, what else was this week?

The Order 7

Yes, sadly this series is done on issue 10. 10!? They couldn’t even let it finish a year-arc? Lame! It’s incredibly well written, cohesive, and entertaining – and manages to be so while squarely in the middle of the post-CW Marvel U with a cast of 95% new characters. That’s crazy talk!

So yeah, another great issue here, not much action, but good dialog. I’m not sure the characterization here is square with Namor as of the end of his limited series (which is evidently where it is picking up), but that could just be because this is from an outside perspective, where the limited was clearly from his.

Pick the book up…hey maybe if numbers go up like crazy they won’t cancel it. Or they could do a volume 2 type thing who knows. This series would actually work quite well in a volume format (due to the year-long nature of their powers).

Young Avengers Presents #1: Patriot

I miss this series. It looks like this limited will be a nice stopgap though. I can’t quite square where in the world in falls in Cap continuity (maybe right between the last and next issue??), but it seems like it might squeak in. Not much to spoil here, just talking heads, but it’s a good read. Always nice to see the “other” Captain America mentioned too.

What else?

Stuff is picking up in Countdown. I guess it would be too much to ask for SuperTool & Monarch to kill each other, but I’ll request it anyway. I’m curious to see where the Red Robin bit goes.

She-Hulk 25 was pretty good, I just can’t get into the character. I feel horribly sad for that couple Peter David used for dramatic effect in this issue though.

Marvel Zombies 4 continues to march (or slog) onwards. I love Kirkman in general, but I’ve not been a big fan of this series at all so far. I mean, it’s well written and funny, but I just have LESS THAN ZERO desire to see Spider-Man kill his wife and aunt. And eat them. Really, who was asking for that? Foul. That being said, the ending of this issue brings up lots of interesting possibilities.