Changing up the post schedule a bit for 2012. Haven’t written an official Best Book of the Week post for the past month. Won’t be writing a separate Best Book of the Week post any more. But unlike the past month I will be making an official pick each and every week. Just on Thursdays instead of Fridays. Poll will remain on Fridays. Vote it up! And Shawn’s reviews will also now be posted on Friday afternoons instead of Saturdays. My pick today for Best Book of the Week? UNCANNY X-MEN #4. And it featured the Phalanx! Shuddered on the first page and then was stunned at how good it was.
ACTION COMICS #5 – That’s what I’m talking about, Grant! I never get tired of seeing Kal-el rocket to Earth as a baby and I loved the Grant Morrison spin on a timeless story. Krypto gets sucked into the Phantom Zone. A sentient spaceship. A six-legged cow in a spacesuit. The first half of the book was awesome! Throw in some crazy tri-colored Kryptonians and a bizarre blooming ice space flower and it was vintage Grant Morrison. Thought the ending with the Anti-Superman army was good and the back-up story was great. Ma and Pa Kent get married and it’s all about them trying to have a baby. Probably covered 10 or 20 years of them trying to conceive in eight pages and ended with a picture of Kal-el’s ship about to land. It was all good!
ANIMAL MAN #5 – Over SWAMP THING #5! Which is a first for me I believe. Although both were good once again. I was a little harsh on Animal Man on the last Cosmic Comix Conversations. My apologies. Swamp Thing and Animal Man will be forever linked in the New 52. Not only do they both ship on the same week. They both feature the same villain, the Rot and/or the Red. Not sure what we’re calling it officially. But whatever you call it, it’s winning and it will take the combined might of both Animal Man and Swamp Thing to stop it!
FATALE #1 – Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ newest crime noir jaunt. Andy hooked you up with a highlight. Felt like Criminal. Felt like Incognito. Obviously different characters and premise, but just as good. Sure we will be talking about it for many months to come. Read it up!
GI JOE VOL 2 ONGOING #9 – They are sucking me in to reading GI Joe! Cobra Command Part One! And I had to see what the new Cobra Commander was up to. And he’s not messing around! He’s invading, and conquering, the nation of Nanzhad! Nanzhad is/was a totalitarian dictatorship so nobody’s shedding a tear but Cobra is out of the closet and front and center on the world stage. Go get ‘em, Krake! Did have lots of foreshadowing for Snake Eyes #9 which is part two. Didn’t really see how the Cobra title is gonna fit into the crossover. I’m sure it will be awesome regardless.
PENGUIN PAIN AND PREJUDICE #4 (OF 5) – Was excellent once again. Heavy Batman this time around. He was trying to warn off Penguin’s new girlfriend. Course he kinda kidnapped her so that didn’t go over very well. And was that a sweet arsenal of flying penguins or what! I need me some of those! And I would be remiss not to mention DETECTIVE COMICS #5. The front story was mostly about Batman and a mob of people rooting for the Joker but Penguin was on the cover and the last page. The back up story was done by Penguin P&P (and Spawn) artist Simon Kudranski and had a very Penguin P&P feel to it. A young man goes to pawn off some stolen goods to the mob. His dad has connections and he wants in on the action. Catwoman shows up. The deal goes sour. Thought it would be Penguin’s kid. I know, what kid? Hey. It’s the New 52, anything can happen. Turned out to be Hugo Strange’s kid. Didn’t really matter. It was still great.
PUNISHER #7 – Over GOON #37, SWEET TOOTH #29, THE LONE RANGER #1, WOLVERINE AND X-MEN ALPHA AND OMEGA #1, and UNCANNY X-FORCE #19.1, for the #10 nominee. It ain’t no Punishermax but I did like it. Maybe ’cause the Punisher wasn’t even in the issue. I do like those missing main character issues. Detective Ozzy Clemens has been investigating Frank’s various murder sprees throughout the series and he took center stage this time around. Been a solid series. Greg Rucka is a good writer. Can certainly write a cop story; he wrote Batman Gotham Central (with Ed Brubaker) for years. This issue slowed the pace. Recapped. It was good. Nice switchblade, Ozzy!
RACHEL RISING #4 – The little green book that could… had a red cover! What’s up with that?! Never fear. It was still excellent. Corpse gas. The little girl wrecked her car. And did that dead girl eat a snake?!
RED LANTERNS #5 – Krona is alive! As are Zox, Ratchet and Skallox who have all managed to survive their trip into the blood ocean. Really just finished the story that started last issue. Although we did get a new Red Lantern. John Moore of Earth. Welcome to the Red Lantern Corps! Belccccch!
STORMWATCH #5 – Was the best issue of the series yet. Killed head honcho Adam on the second page! Adios. Sayonara. Arrivederci. Au Revoir. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! Projectionist is now the new leader and the Shadow Cabinet flunkie going through the selection process was great. As was the ending. Harry Tanner, another newbie and door hitting candidate, turns traitor and blows up Stormwatch HQ! Been hearing about the explosion that will rock DC’s world. And the last page said —- 2012 The End of the World Starts Here. For the global consequences of this page, check out: Stormwatch #6, Superman #6 and Grifter #7. And I assume that’s only the beginning. Have to see what happens.
UNCANNY X-MEN #4 – Was fantastic. Writer Keiron Gillen also writes Journey into Mystery. Been giving lots of props to Journey into Mystery for never knowing what each issue will bring and being able to tell an interesting story no matter who/what the issue focuses is on. This was about the Phalanx! Plus, like JIM, it fit right into continuity. Was wondering where Mr. Sinister teleported off to at the end of issue #3. Looked like page five of issue #4 to me! But the story really centered around a member of the Phalanx that Mr. Sinister abducted many, many years ago. After much experimentation and dissection Sinister gives up on his research and disposes of said Phalanx member as medical waste. But unbeknownst to Sinister, he/she/it survives! And that was the main crux of the story, how he/she/it manages to reconstruct his body and his efforts to rejoin his brothers in the Phalanx. And I loved how it ended. The Phalanx has now grown to gargantuan size and engulfed a small town. Cyclops and his team rush to stop him. They fight. The X-Men win. But not because of the reason you might suspect. It was excellent. And my Best Book of the Week!