Remember how I said this week's crop of books was solid, without any heavy hitters? Well the solid books all seemed to take a step up this week.
Not the least of which was Justice League of America #18. Alan Burnett absolutely knocked his main story in this issue out of the park, making the issue the best one since Brad Meltzer left the book. Honestly, Burnett's first two stories as fill-in writer, dealing with the JLA's reaction to finding out about the 'Salvation Run' planet, have been a thrill and have felt like a seemless transition from Meltzer's great run.
Well, seem-less if you forget about the four horrific issues regular writer Dwayne McDuffie wrote in-between. Speaking of McDuffie, after Burnett's main story dealing with the JLA giving villains asylum and the Suicide Squad invading the JLA Watchtower, McDuffie wrote a short backup story that completely changes the Red Tornado's character forever.
In the space of eight pages, McDuffie makes it so Reddy will essentially be a super-powered robotic human, who can feel and touch just like anyone else, only repairs himself when he gets hurt. Umm... isn't the thing that makes Reddy unique the fact that he is a robot living as a man and NOT A MAN? Oh, and he also discusses the dangers in doing this with his wife for about 2 panels. Real heartfelt. It felt like the kind of fast-food level storytelling you would find on a cartoon. Oh wait, isn't that where McDuffie came from?
Honestly, DC, can you just fire McDuffie already and let us have Alan Burnett full time?
Even better than JLA, though, was Countdown to Final Crisis #10. YES, COUNTDOWN! There are just so many moments that will drop your jaw — from Mary Marvel's return, to Karate Kid's "death," to Granny Goodness' demise, to Brother Eye becoming Apocalypse! Now, I cannot stand Brother Eye, but seeing him become a planet is awfully neat.
To be perfectly honest, I am loving Countdown now. In fact, my only nitpick with it nowadays is that it's looking like this cast of characters from Countdown is not going to impact "Final Crisis" one bit — and really, what the hell was DC Counting down to with this cast in the first place if they are not involved with the finale?
Also hitting the ball out of the park this week is Death of the New Gods #6. The penultimate chapter features some awe-inspiring artwork to go with the titanic death of Orion (come on, you knew it was coming!) and the revelation (finally!) of who the killer is.
Next month's issue should be a satisfying conclusion — and the best part is that I really still have no idea how it will all wrap up. I know we've heard that only one New God will survive, and I know Darkseid has been our narrator for some time — but I just have the feeling that DC has something up their sleeves on this finale.
Finally, the only Marvel book I picked up this week was Ultimate X-Men #91, because Ultimate Apocalypse debuted. And the question was, would the coolness that is Apocalypse translate into an actually readable Ultimate X-Men story?
Well, X-Men fans, jump on board to this story now. It's not perfectly done, but Ultimate Apocalypse is pretty sweet. He has the ability to control mutants' minds and powers, and through controlling one mutant, he can control all other mutants that that mutant has come into contact with (Yeah, I know, it doesn't make much sense... still it's cool! ... oh, and doesn't that sound like those old AIDS adds?)
Next issue Professor X and Cable will be taking a swing at ole' A-Poc, so you may want to pick this book up, at least for the next few issues.