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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OK, so I saw a blurb somewhere from one of the conventions that the Death of the New Gods did happen and “all will be revealed” about this giant new retcon. I’m curious at least, but not much more than that.

Rann-Thanagar Holy War 2 – This was surprisingly good – much like …Journey into Space? Whatever that last mini with Captain Comic & The Weird was, which it appears to be following. I enjoy both of those characters, as well as Animal Man.

Young X-Men 3 – Please make it stop. This is so obviously setting up a surprise twist reveal…and if it isn’t it’s even dumber than the Final Crisis retcon because now Cyclops is hiding TWO black ops teams? One of them massively under qualified compared to the other? Whatever. And the tattoo guy is still the stupidest new character to come out of the X-House in years. Combat-Blindfold is pretty annoying too, but that at least I can buy as a power progression and could possibly be interesting at some point. Wolfmutant #47 is also stupid. Die him please.

X-Force 4 – This is picking up. I’m not sure if they missed a page last issue that would make the Rahne plot clearer or what…I have to say I’m excited about the last page though. Really excited. I mean, sure, they 100% forgot about Angel’s new healing factor (the only remotely interesting thing about him since he got the feathers back)…but at least this angle has possibilities.

Trinity 1 – Whatever. PS. You can cancel Superman/Batman now. Superman/Batman/Wonderwoman is enough.

Avengers-Invader 2 – Some parts were quite good, including the usage of the “new” Bucky retro-origin stuff. Some were very silly, like the “New Avengers” deciding to randomly break the Invaders out even though they must know about the whole time paradox thing as well as anyone. I wonder what time period this is set in? Right after Civil War but before Skrull Invasion I guess? After Elektra was discovered? I don’t know, it doesn’t make much sense.

Cable 4 – I’ll always love Cannoball and I’m always sad when they kill him. Of course, explaining how every other mutant on the planet died would have been nice, but I guess that would have been too rational. All in all, not a bad issue, and it looks like things will be picking up pretty nicely though the rest of the year. Hopefully the Bishop thing will be resolved in an interesting manner (sadly I just want him dead now that he’s been destroyed and remade as a raving madman) and we can move on to….I dunno what. No idea where they would go with this thing once Cable stops being chased, so I have a feeling the chase will continue.

Nova 14 – A slightly different angle on a Galactus story so far and a decent read at that. I have to wonder at the inclusion of the weird possessing entity – I’m assuming it’s being done to set the thing up as a re-occurring villain, because if not it’s an awful lot of page time for filler.

Secret Invasion 3– Very good. Good stuff here. We all saw the suggestion posed at the end of the issue coming – the answer though will probably surprise either way. My money is on him not being a Skrull and this being another mindgame. PS. Bendis, you’re breaking the rules you just set for the Skrulls two months ago (and broke right after that with the Sentry issue & the Skrull meeting in the broom closet) again. I doubt any of the deaths in the fight will take, but if they do it’s some pretty serious stuff. Makes me wonder if there’s any point to reading any more issues of Initiative set before this.

Ultimate Origins 1 – Pretty decent. More interesting than the whole Galactus/Secret thing (sadly). They are finally showing how this universe fundamentally differs from 616, and doing it in a fairly clear-cut way so far.

Nothing had a cover cool enough to put up this week.

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.