Singles, my friends. Did you know my opponent wants to read these singles with no predonditions? No preconditions, my friends. My friends, that's not the kind of change we can believe in.
Action Comics #870. Geoff Johns brings a decent but not overwhelming Brainiac story to what seems to me like a rushed conclusion. I've been enjoying it so far, but the last issue was unimpressive. We'll see if Johns can stick the landing.
Detective Comics #849. This is by far the best Batman RIP tie-in, by virtue of not being complete crap; Dini also pulls off the best Hush story ever written by managing to not be Jeph Loeb. This isn't to say it's great, or even particularly good, but there's a high-melodrama pulpiness that Dini can employ particularly well at times and it's on display here. Zombie hobo nurses! Catwoman's missing heart! Batman fighting a little boy hopped up on Venom! Okay, that last one was ridiculous in a bad way, and Dini's Zatanna fetish is still irritatingly obvious, but I'm having fun here despite myself. Dustin Nguyen's gorgeous art helps too.
Final Crisis: Revelations #3. The third issue in Greg Rucka's surprisingly unsurprising Final Crisis tie-in, in which we learn more about the Magic Nun of Happiness and the Question and Batwoman throw down kung fu style. And some other stuff happens, presumably, unless the book is the first five pages printed over and over again. WE WILL SEE, AND READ, AND JUDGE.
Green Lantern #35. Huzzah! "Secret Origin" is finally fucking over! It's been as competently executed as any of Johns' recent work, but was it really worth taking half a year out of a flagship title to let us know that Black Hand diddles corpses? Okay, yes, there's the retconned Darkest Night stuff, but I'm not really convinced that was necessary- surely all the references in Sinestro Corps War provided enough context. And if they didn't, just carve some space out of the back of one of the GL titles (*cough*Corps*cough*) and reprint Alan Moore's "Tygers," bang, problem solved. Oh, and don't get me started on that line from last issue about "tell the other four Inversions that they can kiss my ass," or whatever the fuck, where Johns takes what Moore clearly meant to be a vaguely mystical title ("of the Five Inversions") and literalizes it in the most painful way. Urgh.
...so yeah, I like this book and am looking forward to this issue.
Green Lantern Corps #29. This one, on the other hand? Not so much. GLC was never less than fine during the Sinestro Corps War event, but lately it's been feeling a bit rudderless, with the rushed and unsatisfactory Mongul/Mother Mercy storyline (YES DC YOU MISS ALAN MOORE, WE GET IT, THIS WILL NOT MAKE HIM COME BACK) and the almost pointless story of the last two issues with the Eyeball Kids or whatever the hell they were called. This month's issue allegedly starts the lead-up to Darkest Night- oh goody, they're ramping up to the stuff I actually want to read!- and features the Star Sapphires. They will be the Corps of Luuuv. Righto then.
Invincible Iron Man #6. Matt Fraction wraps up his first plot arc, in which Microsoft, in the persona of Warren Ellis's Tony Stark, fights Evil Linus Torvalds, only things are settled with punchin' and force beams instead of IP law and market share. I'm going to go out on a limb here and wager that we did not in fact see Tony get his head blown off on the last page of issue 5. Call it a hunch. Also featuring a variant cover that isn't ugly and pointless! Seriously, that is a fine, fine cover. I APPROVE.
Secret Six #2. Gail Simone seems like she's having a blast writing these characters again. Presumably this issue we get more of the deeply discomfiting villain-in-a-box and more supervillains makin' catty comments durin' Six Feet Under. I can live with that!
Young Liars #8. I was going to drop this after issue 6 for being an annoying, shallow Gregg Araki script transferred to the comics page. Then issue 7 came out, I read it anyway, and now I think Lapham might have a plan for this, and that the Natural Born Killersiness of the first six issues might have been intentional. I mean, obviously it was intentional, he sat down and wrote it and drew it, I mean intentionally irritating. We'll see. But man, that last issue was bugfuck crazy. Literally.
My friends, there is a surge of trades. It's a surge that my opponent, my opponent said wouldn't work, would- would never work, can't even admit today that it has worked. Teddy Roosevelt, my hero, once said- walk, talk softly and carry a big stick. My friends, these trades talk loudly.
Batman: Black and White vol. 2. Now in an all-new, smaller edition for your convenience! But as a compromise it costs...the same? Wait what
DC Comics Goes Ape. Yes, DC is again cynically exploiting a silly Marvel event with a cheap reprint of older material. But this book contains the Mod Gorilla Boss's fight with Animal Man and you know what? That is keen.
Hellboy Library Edition vol. 2. If you like yer Hellboy big 'n' sturdy, here's another giant backbreakin' chunk o' Mignola. Cain't say as it's my thing, but some folks go fer it.
The Immortal Iron Fist vol. 3: The Book of Iron Fist. The final volume of Brubaker and Fraction's run on the title, also collecting the two one-shots. Good stuff, but if you hold off for a couple months it'll be in paperback.
Punisher MAX vol. 10: Valley Forge, Valley Forge. Or "Valley Forge, Valley Forge: The Slaughter of a US Marine Garrison and the Birth of the Punisher" if you're a stickler for detail. The last of Ennis's MAX stories, and allegedly a damn fine one. I'll be waiting on the final hardcover to read this.
Black Jack vol. 1. Also available through Diamond as a hardcover with an extra Black Jack story Tezuka apparently didn't see fit to print in the Japanese "perfect collection" these Vertical reprints are based on. Good stuff, and highly recommended. See Christopher Butcher's review for more.
Edited for a truly astounding number of typos and errors gramattical, factual and stylistic. Most amusingly "Batgirl" instead of "Batwoman;" apparently my subconscious can't believe they're finally trying to get some use out of the character either