Blackest Night #5

Creative team: Story by Geoff Johns; Art by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert

Villain to Watch: Nekron

They say: The moment you’ve hungered for finally arrives! Who controls death in the DC Universe? Nekron – Lord of the Undead! The dark being behind the undead Black Lanterns makes his presence and purpose known, and our heroes discover they’re not only fighting for their lives, but their after-lives as well.

I say: This is the issue we’ve been waiting for since the whole Black Lantern arc launched this summer. I’ve been lukewarm on the DC sales-driver, but I’ve been there for it — which is, I guess, everything a sales-driver is supposed to do. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what the Big Reveal is going to be. And how it’s going to be used to retcon the DC Universe once more.

Fantastic Four #573

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

Villain to Watch: Johnny Storm’s libido

They say: Adventures on Nu Earth! Ben and Johnny have big plans for a much needed vacation in the company of refugees from the future – booze, ladies, misadventures…and two stowaways named Franklin and Val.

I say: This title has been in good hands since this new team took over. The Hickman/Easglesham helmsmanship has been well-paced on the good ship FF. So even though the plot hook — a Torch/Thing vacation on Nu World (where they will be incommunicado) with two Richards rugrats stowaways — screams “hijinx!”… I’m hanging in there to see what these guys are going to bring to the concept that’s gonna make it soar.

Green Lantern #48

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

Villain to Watch: Agent Orange and Sinestro

They say: Agent Orange and his Orange Lanterns face off against the Black Lantern Corps, and Larfleeze finds himself wanting something he never has before: Help. Meanwhile, Saint Walker comes face-to-face with the one being in the universe he has no patience for – Sinestro!

I say: This has been a consistently good title, but I gotta tell you, I have absolutely zero interest in the Blue Lanterns. I’m pulling this out of sheer habit alone. I have yet to see Sinestro truly step up the plate the way I know he’s capable of with this storyline. (He came pretty close in nullifying Mongul a few weeks back, but I wanna see this guy cut loose and save the DC Universe from the Black Lanterns… then turn his back on everybody like the hardcase his it.)

Hulk #17

Creative team: Story by Jeph Loeb; Art by Ian Churchill

Villain to Watch: Red She-Hulk

They say: Superstars Jeph Loeb and Ian Churchill bring you the final chapter of Code Red. Is Red Hulk strong enough to throw down with Wolverine, Punisher, Deadpool, the all-new Red She-Hulk , and more? Find out, as new secrets are revealed as the stage is set for World War Hulks.

I say: I’ll admit, I was brought into this title by the cheesecakey goodness of Red She-Hulk. But the art has been strangely captivating, and I’m pretty interested in seeing where the plot goes. I’m not a Hulk fan, but this story has me pulling Hulk again. That’s the mark of an excellent storytelling team.

Justice League of America #39

Creative team: Story by James Robinson; Art by Mark Bagley

Villain to Watch: Black Lantern Dr. Light

They say: The Blackest Night darkens the skies over the Justice League in this important tie-in issue! Can the team get it together in time to survive the return of the undead Dr. Light? Or will his now-shadowy evil strangle everybody where they stand?

I say: All I’m saying is that I’m still holding out hope that Plastic Man is going to continue to play a part in the JLA. Even half-melted he’s twice the hero as half of the current JLA Line-up. Plas should be the Deadpool of the DC Universe. And just take a look at all the great Deadpool stuff on the other side of the comic shop. Something to think about.

Honorable mentions: Arkham Reborn #2, Batman: The Brave and the Bold #11, Guardians of the Galaxy #20, Justice League; Cry for Justice.

…And One To Pass

Gotham City Sirens #6

Creative team: Story by Paul Dini; Art by Guillem March

Villain to Watch: Poison Ivy

They say: Now that Mr. J’s secret is out in the open, will the girls’ reaction take them to the point of no return? And will Harley Quinn ever be the same?

I say: My on-again / off-again relationship with Gotham City Sirens is officially off-again. And it’s going to take more than a cheesecakey Poison Ivy on the cover to bring me back.

But that is a heckuva cover.

Call me…?