What a week

Every once in awhile, things shape up so that a certain week brings a host of good books. Fittingly, the Wednesday before Christmas marked one of the strongest releases of comics this year.

I picked up (in the order I read them):
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Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #1
Damon Lindelof &Leinil Francis Yu
-I thought this might end up being one of the best of the pile, but it was actually a good appetizer. By that, I mean it was thin, light eating… er, reading. The story starts with Wolverine in half. He slowly recalls how this came to be, (a poorly written) Nick Fury sending him after a Hulk SHIELD recently realized was still alive, the fight beginning, and Hulk tearing Wolverine apart at the waist. But, we don’t see much else from the battle. Maybe it would’ve been more epic if I hadn’t seen a million previews of Logan halved.

Captain America #13
Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting
-The Winter Soldier saga continues. This is one of those gasp issues, where all the characters sort of take a second to prepare for the next big battle. Not that it’s bad, just not one of the memorable issues of Brubaker’s strong run.

Generation M #2
Paul Jenkins & Ramon Bachs
-This series may yet be great, but it hasn’t risen to that level yet. Maybe it’s that, as a newspaper writer, I know that world, but I struggle to buy Sally Floyd’s journalist character. The ending of mutantdom is a landmark event, and deserves to be marked with great writing. For that, see the new X-Factor.
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X-Men: Deadly Genesis #2
Brubaker & Trevor Hairsine
-Another “Decimation” storyline that’s plateaued at the “good but not great” altitude. OK, nobody’s too fooled about Krakoa as a villain, though there still may be some twist coming. Little things, like how poorly Beast is drawn, and how for some reason Nightcrawler knows exactly what plane Sean is on, detract as well. The bonus stories are interesting, though I’m still curious what they’re building to, if anything.

Adventures of Superman #647
Greg Rucka & Renato Guedes
-The Ruin storyline concludes. Strangely, the penultimate issue (in which Mr. Mxyptlk bites a kryptonite arrow) was far superior. This issue is fine, and ties up the last big pre-Crisis Supes tale. But it doesn’t feel that important. And the attachment of Ruin to the Crisis (he refers to his “employer” as bankrolling the anti-Superman effort) is not played up well enough.
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Infinite Crisis #3
Geoff Johns & Phil Jimenez
-I was rabidly converted to DC by the buildup to IC. It was marked by strong writing, smart plots and the ongoing intrigue of the Crisis placed subtly but well. So far, the series itself has been disappointing. This still is a good read, but it’s too busy and confusing (how did the Amazons disappear? What the hay is going on in Atlantis? Why are some heroes in space?), the chief culprits behind Crisis on Infinite Earths not living up to its potential. On the positive side, at least Jimenez didn’t draw Power Girl like a female bodybuilder this issue. And, I didn’t expect the Alexander Luthor heel turn, so that was a cool surprise. Is Darkseid still behind all this? Guess we’ll see.

Justice #3
Alex Ross & Jim Krueger
-There’s one line in this book that typifies this book’s quality. Brainiac has captured Aquaman and has him fastened to a table, a strap seeming to hold his head down, ready for surgery. Brainiac is wearing a blood-stained lab coat. Aquaman tries to stay strong, saying, “Shut up, Brainiac.”
Brainiac turns toward him, scalpel in hand, and says, “Come now, Aquaman, have an open mind.”

The Goon #15
Eric Powell
-I like how Powell can change the pace and put out an issue like this, more serious (but still ridiculous). His art is more somber, relying more on pencils, to accomodate that feel. It’s also almost worth the cover price for a very funny letters page.