A couple of site notes: new Intimates post will go up tomorrow, so I'll conclude my look at that book with two straight days of exciting analysis (exciting seems like the wrong word, I know).
Astonishing X-Men #27
It's rather impressive how Warren Ellis can take a concept and push it a little further out. Mutants from alternate earths? The Chinese X-Men who devoted themselves to thought and research instead of superheroics? Simple ideas that add a lot of possibilities to the X-Men--and also don't stray too far beyond the limitations of the book. Ellis provides a few good laughs in this issue with Cyclops saying "fucking" and everyone freaking out--also works as commentary on the new direction for the character. Wolverine's reactions to Scott in this issue are rather good. Simone Bianchi's art still doesn't do it for me, but it's less muddled here than in previous issues. Some Ellisisms that will no doubt annoy some, but fuck them, who cares what they think, I sure don't.
Captain Britain and MI:13 #6
Something doesn't feel right... The threat isn't threatening... A deal with the devil is mundane... the Spitfire/Blade stuff is quite good and makes this issue worthwhile. I am expecting an all-out battle with an army of Mindless Ones in future issues, although, it seems almost stupid to do that so soon after Nextwave did it (and, yes, two years ago is still too soon when it comes to Nextwave). The last page provides a good cliffhanger... and a logical one at that. Paul Cornell's tying Captain Britain's powers to his confidence still looks like it will hold a lot of potential.
Charlatan Ball #4
The problem: this wants to be a light-hearted action/comedy type of book with hints of mind-bending bits... when it doesn't do that. It's still a fun, light-hearted book, it's just that nothing really makes me laugh when that seems to be a goal. It also can't quite get out from the under the shadow cast by Gødland, which has a similar art style (both very Kirby-influenced) and similar characters... I mean, the Gang of Four Gods from this issue look like they jumped out of an issue of Gødland! This book seems like it should be looking to Ditko instead of Kirby, which would then make it complement Gødland rather than seem like it's baby brother who just isn't as great. I know, I know, Kirby did do The Demon, which is an obvious influence, but Ditko's Strange Tales work seems a more logical place to look. But, that's not what Casey and Andy Suriano are going for, sadly.
Ghost Rider #28
Hey, look, my comic book is a whole dollar more because Marvel decided to include the entire backstory for the characters! Thanks a whole fucking bunch! What, they can put out FREE books that do the same thing as give-aways, but they charge a buck for it when it's in the fucking comic? Christ. I know, I know, I know, I know, some people (including me) don't know the whole history of these characters, but, you know what, Jason Aaron has been doing a good job of giving us the information we need to know. And why wait until now to provide this backstory? Ugh. The issue itself is decent, although the addition of other Spirits of Vengeance seems a little obvious in that it seems every superhero in the past few years has realised that he/she isn't not alone and there is a bigger world out there with legions of others just like him/her. Maybe if the other Spirits of Vengeance had different powers or something, it might be interesting, but I just kind of shrugged at it here. Do look forward to next issue's fight, though.
Mighty Avengers #19
I dropped this and New Avengers from my pull list today (along with Iron Fist). While I've been enjoying Secret Invasion well enough, these little tie-in issues have ranged only from waste-of-my-fucking-money to passable. This one was a waste of my fucking money. What did we learn here that we haven't learned in the main book? No--really. What else did we learn? Not a goddamn thing. There was one positive, though: at no point in this issue was Noh-Varr called Marvel Boy. Other than that, these books get flipped through at the shop from now on and if they look like they're worth $3.50, I will buy them. I should have did this months ago.
I really need to reread the first two issues. I followed along just fine, but it's been a while and I'd like to see how it's all tying together right now. I love love love alternate realities and how the story itself here seems really simple, although is presented in a more obtuse, complicated manner because of those involved. Also, the implicit questions raised about different versions of people on alternate earths and such. Smith's art is still growing on me.
That does it for this week.