For a pretty exciting time for comics right now, with plenty of mini-events going on for both major companies, you would think last week's malaise would be quickly rectified. Not quite.
Don't get me wrong, the pace picks up a bit from last week. It's just... well... you can see for yourself at THIS LINK.
It's a close race this week as to which issue owns the grand spotlight, but I have to give it to New Avengers #51, which will begin to answer the question of who will takeover Doctor Strange's mantle as "Sorcerer Supreme." Frankly, given Marvel's devotion to the status quo, I doubt Stephen Strange will be out of the funny books for very long. Which means, this is likely a short-term-event driven move to bring a character to the fore in a hurry... say, a character like Wanda Maximoff? (And yes, I agree, it would be a poorly-conceived move to have her take over for the good doctor, and yes, I agree, if she becomes a good guy again, then why wouldn't she just undo "M-Day?" regardless, she's my guess.)
Speaking of "Dark Reign," you also may want to pickup Thunderbolts #130, the second of a four-part story featuring Deadpool (after Ryan Reynolds lost his face) hunting everyone's favorite group of "reformed" villains. When is Deadpool better than when hunting similarly conscienceless prey?
Over in the X-Men family of books, X-Force/Cable: Messiah War Prologue #1 is out this week, an event I've been eagerly awaiting, if only because I've been avidly reading both titles. Now, the problem with this event is that we already have been hinted to the fact that not much of the status quo will change in the aftermath. However, what I'm looking forward to is both the reveal of what Hope Summers can do (which, I am guessing, will be revealed here) and the opinions of the other X-Men when they finally get a chance to meet this "savior" they've all made top priority. Will we see dissension in Cyclops' ranks? Keep reading, true believer!
No idea why I felt the need to impersonate Stan Lee.
There are also a pair of X-Men mini-series conclusions this week, X-Infernus #4, the falsely labeled "Inferno" sequel, and X-Men: Kingbreaker #4. Both conclusions are only really interesting in that we'll get to see who survives. We already know Vulcan will survive Havok's attack, as Gabriel Summers has already appeared in "War of Kings," but will Alex, Lorna and Rachel make it out alive? My guess is Lilandra bites the dust. In X-Infernus, will Illyana come back to the land of the living?
Also of note from Marvel this week is the great Captain America #48, Immortal Iron Fist #24 and Daredevil #117, featuring a pact between Daredevil and Kingpin. Whaaa?
DC has similarly middle of the road offerings this week, headlined by Superman #686, the first issue under the "World Without Superman" banner ... you know, since the last time DC used it. I don't know about the rest of you, I am curious as hell as to how Mon-El's story in Metropolis will play out, if only because I cannot wait until the Magic-based Atlas comes back looking for a rematch, only to find Mon, a Daxamite without a weakness to Magic, waiting. Just, please James Robinson, no more giving Krypto so much screentime, please.
I am also eager to read Justice League of America #31, if only because I have a feeling it will be the next installment of the post-"Final Crisis" trainwreck. This is to be the issue that ties together with the recently-ended DC event, and yet, I don't quite get the feeling Dwayne McDuffie was properly briefed on how "Final Crisis" would play out before writing this issue. If you think about how the event went, the League, and the rest of the Earth, should be devastated... but I have a feeling we're not so much going to see that here, and hilarity will ensue. I guess we'll see.
That's it folks, I'm off to continue playing "X-Blades" for the Xbox 360. I'll have a progress report here very soon.