Dark Avengers #8

Creative team: Story by Matt Fraction; Art by Luke Rozz

Villain to Watch: Norman Osborn

They say: Norman’s X-Men, as led by Emma and Namor, are the face of mutant law and order! The X-Men look played out of position as Osborn’s dark reign falls over California– but Scott Summers isn’t done yet. The X-Men strike at Norman, at H.A.M.M.E.R., at his fraud X-Men and his sham Avengers all at once! This is the book where, at long last, the Marvel Universe starts to fight back– and it sets the stage for next month’s unbelievable conclusion in Uncanny X-Men/dark Avengers – Exodus!

I say: Sorry, folks. I tried. I really tried. I read Blackest Night Batman and Blackest Night Superman… still looking for Blackest Night Metamorpho, though… and I’m just underwhelmed. I’ll continue to follow the Green Lantern books that I’ve followed for years, but I’m avoiding most of the DC Universe for the next few months. And that means we’re going to be seeing a lot of the Big, Red M.

Wake me when all the dead people are dead again and Batman, Aquaman and a couple stragglers are reinstated.

So thank goodness, I have Dark Reign to turn to in these turbulent times. Besides, the Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men crossover has been pretty great storytelling. I’m looking for some real surprises out of Cyclops in this issues.

And no walking dead people.

Sinister Spider-Man #3

Creative team: Story by Brian Reed; Art by Chris bachalo

Villains to Watch: Redeemer

They say: As the ‘partnership’ between Spider-Man and Mayor J. Jonah Jameson gets worse by the day, learn a few of Mac Gargan’s Spider-Man life lessons: if you bite someone’s arm off, they will come back with a robot arm and try to kill you, as the Redeemer makes his move.

I say: Once again, we have a nerdy, frail scientist who gets shunned by the powers that be (in this case, Mayor J. Jonah Jameson) who turns to a life of mask-wearing super-villainy. In other words, a classic Spider-Man villain. The Redeemer is the scene-stealer in Sinister Spider-man, gathering a group of D-listers like General Wolkfram, The Hippo, Doctor Everything, Dementoid and Eleven for a group therapy session from Hell. Nothing good can come of this — which is just fine by me.

Fantastic Four #570

Creative team: Story by Jonathon Hickman; Art by Dale Eaglesham

Villain to Watch: Whomever decided to put Reed Richards in short sleeves

They say: Brand new creative team – Brave new comics experience! Be there as Marvel’s newest exciting creator, Jonathan Hickman, teams up with superstar artist, Dale Eaglesham, to give you the Fantastic Four experience you’ve been waiting for! It’s adventure, it’s family, it’s tough questions in dark times…See what happens when Reed Richards tries to solve everything.

I say: This Pull gets an asterisk. The FF has been awfull good this summer, so I’m on a real FF high. But, judging by the cover, I’m a little hesitant to stick around with the new creative team. It’s Reed’s short sleeves. I’m telling you. Anyone who puts Mister Fantastic in short sleeves has no idea who that guy is. Also, where the hell did his chest muscles come from?! The more I type, the more I think this might be a Pass.

Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink #4

Creative team: Story by Eric Wallace; Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

Villain to Watch: Unknown

They say: In the past few days the Tattooed Man has lost control of his powers, made enemies out of a group of corrupt cops and been attacked by Super-Villains. Now he’s going to get even – but how far can he go while still remaining true to his vow to remain Liberty Hill’s protector?

I say: Although we’ve all tuned out of these Final Crisis stories, I’ve never really gotten around to telling my comic shop to stop pulling them for me. So, I’m ashamed to admit, I actually know what’s going on with this series.

However, this actually has a nice silver lining. Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink has actually been a pretty decent read. As you know, The Tattooed Man’s super-power is that the tattoos on his body come to life. He can use them as weapons, accomplices, etc.

He has tattoos of knives, and bat-winged skull creatures, and dragons, and… and…

And an incredibly hot demon babe…. with whom he achieved a high degree of intimacy in the previous issue.

Now that’s a story.

Green Lantern #45

Creative team: Story by Geoff Johns; Art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy

Villain to Watch: Sinestro

They say: The Black Lanterns descend on all the Corps throughout the universe! Sinestro’s assault on the Star Sapphires’ homeworld of Zamaron is interrupted by another Sinestro Corps – one made up of those who died during the Sinestro Corps War! And while the War of Light flickers, deep in the darkness of space, John Stewart comes face-to-face with his deceased wife – and longtime Green Lantern – Katma Tui.

I say: One of the two Blackest Night titles I’m going to consistently follow this Fall. It makes it easier that Sinestro is going to take on the Star Sapphires in this one — which promises to make for good stories and good visuals. The only thing that’s going to bring this issue down would be spending too much time in deep space with John Stewart and his dead wife.

…And One To Pass…

Gotham City Sirens #3

Creative team: Story by Scott Lobdell; Art by Guillem March

Villain to Watch: Hush. (Not the villain… just “Hush” as in “Don’t ask.”)

They say: With their uneasy alliance in place, the sirens encounter trouble in the form of the mysteriously returned Bruce Wayne. He’s dazzling, he’s dangerous and he’s got his sights set on Harley Quinn! Has romance sparked between these two long-time enemies – or is Wayne playing a more sinister game?

I say: Both Marvel and DC launched female ensemble titles this summer — Marvel’s “Marvel Divas” and this one by DC. Both have been flat. Go ahead. make your own joke.