Thunderbolts #111: I wonder how the interview for Norman Osborne's gig went. "What's this fifteen year gap between jobs?"
"Oh, I was... well, it turns out I wasn't dead. And I think I kidnapped Spider-Man's kid and then totally forgot about it."
"It says here you were briefly a theatrical agent?"
"Of a sort. I had to hire an actress to seamlessly take over the life of a geriatric woman from Queens."
"So as to trick my son's best friend into thinking she was dead, obviously."
"Oh. Of course. Under 'Computer Skills...' does this just say 'Peter Parker is a douche'?"
"It... yeah, probably. He totally is, though."
Anyway, Jack Flag actually gets put over as being a capable fighter, not that it makes an enormous difference, considering who he's fighting. This team's pretty well stacked - two flyers (three, if Swordsman still flies), a guy that used to be able to deflect Thor's hammer with Stan Lee's dubious understanding of radiation, Venom, Emo Speedball (who has gotten an epic two words of spoken dialog so far, thank God) and Bullseye.
There're still gigantic leaps one's suspension of disbelief has to take for this to make sense - Norman Osborn getting a government gig, the necessity of keeping the team all handcuffed and such while in transit (it makes sense for Bullseye and Venom, I suppose, but Songbird and Penance aren't going anywhere), the baffling level of establishment the team already has in a fairly short amount of time (they can't have been together all that long, but there are toys and a base inside of a mountain and a gigantic staff) - but it's an entertaining read. Even with Sadball in it.
Astonishing X-Men #20: has a very lime green cover. Things blow up in space, Beast's costume is still amazingly awful, whomever happens to be standing in front of Cyclops when his powers unexpectedly come back is screwed, Wolverine stabs a young Asian girl (a word of caution to Asian girls - if you are anywhere near Wolverine, you're in grave, grave danger. History teaches us such), a planet is in peril. There's a gigantic part of me - let's call a spade a spade and say "my entire being," really - that doesn't give a damn if some stupid alien planet is going to die. This is because it happens, oh, bimonthly. If you live on any planet other than Earth, your world is totally forfeit. Galactus is going to eat you. The Shi'ar are going to blow you up for vaguely defined reasons. The Kree and the Skrull are going to punch your house to death while swinging at each other. If you live on Tamaran, you've been blown up two or three times this month already. Face it, your world should be called "Plotdevice."
That John Cassaday, though; he is good.
Justice Society of America #3: How many people do you need to kill off to put Nazis over as villains? They're Nazis. By dint of existing, they are the bad guys. "Nazi" is shorthand for "villain." You don't need to have them, I don't know, graphically murder a family reunion for me to get that just because they're wearing brightly-colored spandex they aren't nice. Because they are Nazis.
Cyclone is wearing perhaps the most impractical (and hideous) costume I've seen on a female character not designed in the mid-nineties. Red Tornado doesn't wear a kilt. You know why? Because that would end in crotch shots. Because of the, you know, wind. Also, solid idea to throw her on a superteam like three weeks after she found out she had powers. No better way to train than to throw her at a pile of picnic-killing Nazis, I guess.
I have a terrifying suspicion that Geoff Johns' copy of Kingdom Come has pages stuck together.
52 #41: Being blind hasn't seemed to've done too much damage to Adam Strange. It's kind of weird, now that I think about it, that he's pretty much the only person suffering from any sort of consequences from that whole teleport screw-up thing at the end of Infinite Crisis. Sure, Alan Scott's out an eye - and I still don't understand that one - but everyone else looks to be more or less okay even though there hasn't been a single update as to their conditions since, like, week six or so. Cyborg was apparently down for the whole year, even though he was looking fairly conscious in one panel of the Christmas issue, but Hawkgirl's no longer gigantic and even Red Tornado got fixed.
But whatever. The best Green Lantern ever appears, so I can't complain. Even if the cover totally blew the surprise.
Oh, this seems as good a place as any to bring this up:
Here's Gabriel Ferry's first appearance, back in week 22.
There he is a few weeks later.
And ten weeks after that. Now, as near as I can tell, he went from a slightly overweight African-American to Sam Guthrie to Max Lord in the space of about three months. The whole Luthor story arc has been rife with really weird inconsistencies - the powers have an expiration date and can turn off on their own (as was the case with Johny Henry Irons, and I still don't fully understand why the Hell Luthor gave him powers in the first place), the powers can be shut down or modified at range (as was the case with the speedster in Infinity, Inc, the new Blockbuster, Natasha Irons two weeks ago and all the people Luthor offed for no readily apparent reason on New Year's), the powers can be shut down by way of an electromagnetic pulse (as was the case with Luthor himself), the powers apparently have dire side effects that have been mentioned in passing exactly once (Irons to Luthor, last week) - but the fact that a bit character's totally changed appearance three times is totally awesome to me, for some reason. I know the reason's probably closer to, say, "nobody made a model sheet for Gabe Ferry," but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the earth in 52 is still rotating through the multiverse, timelines and continuities merging and breaking constantly, and minor details are changing without anyone even noticing. Poof, black guy loses like eighty pounds and turns white. It's his Earth-S counterpart.
NextWave #12: is the best thing Marvel has ever published. Ever. Anyone telling you otherwise does not appreciate being alive. It's true.