Starting with DC we have Brightest Day: The Atom Special One-Shot. Overall it was a descent comic. The art was well drawn, particularly shining through well framed panels, and the story was useful retelling of the Atom's origins, something I never knew. My one complaint with the comic is that it is a lead in prologue a second feature soon starting in Adventure Comics. Its bad enough when one-shots are lead in for mini-series but making one for a second feature seems even worse to me. While I have become a fan of the Atom since Identity Crisis, I don't think I will be picking up another book every month just to read a second feature story starring him.
Continuing with Brightest Day, we have issue #5 of the main book. The art is awesome! The Aquaman and Hawkman portions (with the respective significant others) are worth the price of admission themselves. On the story side it finally seemed to pick up a little this issue. While only focusing on three of the plot lines they all seemed to pick up my interest in one way or another especially the reveal at the end of the issue. Looks like I will be sticking around for at least a little while longer.
Up next we have JSA All-Stars #8, a book I have really been on the edge of dropping. Think this issue finally turned it around for me in that Freddie Williams III art fells right drawing these characters now, much like it did when I enjoyed his work on Robin. The new arc kicking off has got me interested as well. Add all that in with a lot of my favorite JSAers being in the regular cast and I think I will continue picking up for quite a while. The second feature still isn't doing to much for me but you win some, you lose some.
Over in Gotham City we have Batman And Robin #13 and Red Robin #14. Dick and Damien are starting a new chapter with artist Frazer Irving. I for one am really torn over his art work, there are some panels that I find stunning but others I cringe at. For now the gorgeous outweighs the grotesque (accompanied by Quietly's cover and Morrison's Script) so I will be staying on. Got to love Robin taking a crowbar to the Joker, nice little parallel to A Death In The Family. Over in Red Robin Tim is advancing on his hit list, apprehending a few more super criminals but the list has more than just villains on it. The evolution of Tim Drake/Wayne (both from former writer Christopher Yost and the current one Fabian Nicieza) keeps me coming back for more every month along with Marcus To's pencils which really fit the book. I know most people are passing on this for the higher profile bat-family titles but in my opinion this gives all of them a run for their money.
Moving over to marvel we Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1 of 9. In one word, Awesome! Haven't read too much of the Younger Avengers since the series was cancelled but this reminds me of everything I loved about that book. Teen hero angst, great art (such as the opening page team shot), and characters I can relate to more than Cap, Thor, or Iron Man. Really looking forward to where this book is going and seeing how the Scarlet Witch issue resolves.
On the west coast our merry mutants are nearing the end of one chapter and beginning another. X-Men #1 starts off with a most interesting bang! The art is solid, story of Vampires vs. Mutants is a nice draw, and who knows this book might finally make my least favorite X-men of all time (Jubilee) interesting. If you have are a fan of where the Marvel-U has been going with mutants you probably already picked this up, but if not I recommend giving it a try. X-Force #28 (Second Coming Chapter #13) brings us one step closer to end of this epic crossover concluding next week. Can't say enough about this event, I LOVE IT! Any X-fan who passed really needs to pick up the trades when they start coming out and even if you not an X-fan give it a try, you might just end up liking it. In this issue another hero falls and Bastion engages our battle weary mutants one last time. Also, I might have mentioned it before but Mike Choi's art has such a slick, cinematic feel that compliments the X-Force chapters immensely.
Moving on to the non-super hero stories we have two books from last week that a few of my favorite comic podcasters could not gush about enough. First up is The Royal Historian of Oz #1. Thanks to boys over at The Pull List Podcast I picked up this gem and loved it. Our protagonist (Frank) is the son of a man obsessed with Oz lore, L. Frank Baum, and becoming the next "Royal Historian of Oz" (the appointed person who to write stories in Baum's world). Frank's dad stumbles on to some slippers that lets him actually visit Oz and things look to be spiralling out of control from there. I highly recommend checking out this first issue and if you need even more incentive it retails for the low price of $1!
Next, coming with high praise from the guys over at Burnt Wieners (in addition to praise from The Pull List guys) is Unknown Soldier #21. While I have never read an issue of Unknown Soldier I had to pick up this more stand alone tale after I heard it is told from the perspective of a single AK-47. A great read and while the art didn't strike me as anything to spectacular it fit well with the story. Probably won't be checking out the rest of the book to soon as it is getting cancelled but I am dumbfounded on why if most issues are this good. A must read out for any mature comic fan!
Lastly is my pick of the week, Casanova: Luxuria #1. Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon created a terrific over the top spy story here that I was hooked on from the first few pages. I believe this is a reprint of the first issue of the series but I am still looking into as I heard nothing about it before picking it off the shelf. Features all the super spy staples in spades (beautiful women, gadgets galore, and a staring contest with with a trio of mutated monks) in glorious art work. Even had a bonus interview with Matt Fraction on some of his inspirations for the book. Definitely either going to pick up this series in reprints or track down the trade.
That is it for this week. I did pick up Hawkeye and Mockingbird #2 but my issue was missing several pages so I am leaving it off for now. Feel free to leave and comments, thoughts, or suggestions below. Also, the podcasts I mentioned are link at the top of the page so be sure to check out those guys, listening to them is a lot more interesting than reading my reviews. See you in a few days with this weeks books since I am posting this so late.