- Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #47 (DC)
- Fables #56 (DC/Vertigo)
- 52 #33 of 52 (DC)
- Red Menace #2 of 6 (DC/Wildstorm)
- Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes TPB vol 3: Strange Visitor From Another Century (DC)
- Fantastic Four #541 (Marvel)
- Ms. Marvel #10 (Marvel)
- Athena Voltaire: The Collected WebComics (Ape Entertainment)
Writer Kurt Busiek and artist Butch Guice will be leaving Aquaman after #49, replaced by fantasy writer Tad Williams and artist Shawn McManus. This probably means that Busiek’s ongoing mysteries will either not be revealed, or will be revealed abruptly and rather lamely, which is a pity, since this storyline has really been all about the payoff. That said, I’ve been a fan of McManus’ art since his terrific work on Todd Klein’s Omega Men about 20 years ago, so his presence here may keep me reading the title after Busiek leaves.
Fables is a nifty little Christmas story. Willingham always seems to have a surprise up his sleeve. How does he do it?
Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes is the third collection in Mark Waid and Barry Kitson’s reboot of the Legion title (you can also buy volumes one and two). The conceit in this volume is that Supergirl has somehow ended up in the 31st century, but has no memory of how she got there, and also believes that she’s dreaming it all. This makes her a little reckless, but she’s also powerful enough that it doesn’t really matter, although it does really annoy Light Lass. This is an enjoyable series with pretty good characterization, although the roster is so big that some characters get lost in the shuffle. Plus I really hate Supergirl’s bare-midriff costume, but that’s not Waid and Kitson’s fault, as it was foisted on them when the character was most recently relaunched.
I’m an old-old school Legion fan, and feel it went steadily downhill following the long-ago Ultra Boy/Reflecto story from the late 70s. And especially since Crisis on Infinite Earths it hasn’t had that special feeling that the original Legion had. But – much like Aquaman – DC keeps trying and many of their tries are worth reading, for a while, anyway. This is one of them. My biggest criticism is that I still find Kitson’s characters’ poses and expressions to be rather stiff.
Fantastic Four #541 is J. Michael Straczynski’s last as writer. It hasn’t been a distinguished run, but then he did have the handicap of having to write around the Civil War debacle. Straczynski’s basic problem in his Marvel work has been that he focuses so much on character that there’s not a whole lot of story, and it gets pretty boring. (His Squadron Supreme series is about two years old now and very little has happened.) Anyway, he finishes his run with a standalone story about the Thing leaving the US to avoid taking sides in the Civil War, and he ends up joining a French superhero team. It’s funny, which is a suitable departure for JMS, who seemed happiest on this title when he was writing about Ben Grimm.
I haven’t yet read the Athena Voltaire collection, but will probably get to it before Christmas.