Quick- and maybe SPOILERY - reactions to comics what was recently read.
Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes TPB - Now where the hell has this Geoff Johns been hiding all this time? No graphic disembowelments, no over-reliance on super obscure continuity for fanwank purposes (impressive, considering the infamy of the many Legion histories), just an exciting sci-fi/superhero adventure romp, the best mainline story for both Superman and the Legion in a long, long time. More like this! I remain a little creeped out by Gary Frank's artwork, though, particularly the terrifying rictus grins he gives everyone.
Punisher #s 11 & 12 - I've only ever read a handful of Punisher comics in my life. I'm just not a fan. But a story where Morbius the Living Vampire turns the dead body of the Punisher into a Frankenstein* in order to help the Legion of Monsters fight off an army of Japanese monster hunters led by who I'm fairly certain is the disembodied skull of Ulysses Bloodstone? Oh, Rick Remender and Tony Moore... and I didn't get you anything!
X-Men Forever #s 1 & 2 - Super late to the party, I know, but I finally checked these out after a fifty cent box find. And as I sort of suspected, I'm not really the audience for this. It's not bad, really... with art by Tom Grummett and lettering by Tom Orzechowski, it's certainly a gorgeous looking X-Men book. And some of Chris Claremont's usual, later-career writing tics are fairly restrained here, though he's oddly repetitious in spots - three different characters remind us that "Fabian Cortez took down Magneto on his own," and Kitty Pryde checks on Wolverine's well-being by asking him "How's by you?" twice in four pages, when once was annoying enough, thanks. But I just don't have the nostalgia needed to wonder "what could have been" had Claremont stayed with the X-Men when I didn't even read what went on without him in the first place. Hell, I've only started reading his 70s and 80s X-Men comics in the last 5 or 6 years.
Sherlock Ninja #1 - I had very low expectations with this. I just wanted to be carried along by the goofy premise, but the book was hampered by bad, muddled art and poorly realized writing that didn't go nearly wild enough. Missed opportunities and untapped potential abound.
Fantastic Four #574 - Jonthan Hickman! What are you doing?!? I loved the FF: Dark Reign mini and the opening arc with all the cross-dimensional Reeds, but after two boring, back-to-back placeholder / setting-the-ducks-in-a-row issues, my interest in this book is nose-diving. No way in hell would Franklin Richards ever have a birthday party this mundane. The godawful artwork doesn't help, either. This is the friggin' Fantastic Four, Marvel. Get someone on this book who can draw. Gah. Disappointing in every conceivable way.
Empowered One-Shot - A quick dose of Adam Warren's sweet, sexy, and more than a little accident-prone superheroine. A pretty light story, but it gives you a good idea of the characters and the world they inhabit if you're new to the series, and gives fans a little something to tide themselves over until the next volume. So it pretty much did everything Dark Horse wanted it to do. Nice.
Spider-Man and the Secret Wars #1 - If you're familiar with the original Secret Wars mini-series, you probably already know if you need this or not going into it, and nothing I say is going to sway you one way or another. But, Paul Tobin's Marvel Adventures work has been good pretty much across the board, and the trend continues here as he does manage to find a few new inroads to some pretty well-traveled territory. Patrick Scherberger's art continues to improve and impress, too. So if you don't feel like you need to revisit Battleworld, that's up to you, I suppose, but you are missing out.
*Yes, I know, but keep it to yourself. Pedantry kills.