Adventure Comics #1 - I've been excited about this book for a while now and it was definitely worth the wait. Written by Geoff Johns and penciled by excellent new talent Francis Manapul, Adventure Comics tells the story of Connor Kent's return to the DCU. As ignorant as I am of Connor (I was a Marvel guy as a kid and have thus been fairly underexposed to the Teen Titans), I had no trouble following this book at all. Johns's script offers a great jump on point for the character and doesn't get bogged down in pages of exposition attempting to explain Superboy. He hits the high points and gets on with it. The gist of the story is this; Connor Kent, back from the dead, has returned to Smallville to live with Ma Kent and to walk in the footsteps of his forebear, Clark Kal-El Superman Kent. The tone of this issue is light-hearted while also being introspective. Johns really manages to get at the heart of what it must feel like to be a super-powered young man torn between two very distinct paths. Connor Kent is a young man going through changes and facing a lot of very tough decisions in his very near future. In a word, teenager. In true Johns fashion, the script highlights the human in superhuman. The script is accompanied by the wonderful art of Francis Manapul, a relative newcomer and Top Cow contributor that we'll be hearing a lot more from in the very near future. His style plays up the youthful exuberance of Connor Kent and offers a perfect compliment for what Johns is doing on the book. Top notch work all around. This is the best book I've read in three weeks. Still not sold? Well, there's an excellent Legion of Superheroes back-up feature as well. Lots of bang for the buck here!
Superman: World of New Krypton #6 - Things get crazy on New Krypton after (SPOILER ALERT) an attempted assassination on General Zod. Kal-El and his fellow commanders Gor and Ursa take control of the Kryptonian military in the absence of their beloved (by some) general. You have to hand it to Greg Rucka, the man is good at building suspence. He and James Robinson have spent the first five issues of this story establishing New Krypton, giving us glimpses of it's environment, fashion and socio-economic structure. All of which was intended to lay the ground work to a slow burn mystery worthy of some of Rucka's best work in the darker recesses of Gotham City. This week, the two finally press down on the accelarator. Is Earth responsible for the attack on New Krypton, can Kal-El solve this mystery in time to avert an all-out galactic war and will Superman return? World of New Krypton is one of the most rewarding and consistent books in the DCU right now. If you aren't reading it, then it's time to start.
Blackest Night #2 - Fights! And then some more fights! Blood! Shark attacks! More blood! Fights! Still loving it, but it was more action and less fright this month. There is a genuinely awesome and heartfelt exchange between Commissioner and Barbara Gordon that is interrupted by an amazing title page involving a busted up Hal Jordan and a Bat-signal. Fun issue, but mostly fights and establishing exposition. I expect things to heat up next month. Or cool down, rather. I mean, they're all dead, so they probably don't generate a lot of heat.
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #3 (of 3) - Green Lantern Kenny Loggins trains his daughter to deal with the Danger Zone and Killowog gets a brief Year One treatment. I smiled a lot while I read this. Good stuff.
Wednesday Comics #5 & #6 - The good is still good, the bad is still bad and the Paul Pope is still the excellent. Wonder Woman takes a turn for the better, Superman takes a turn for the worse and Catwoman continues to refuse to appear in the strip that shares her name. I'm still enjoying it each week, but I do agree with certain of my peers when they wish for more innovation in these pages. Hey, at least it all looks great, right? I mean, even Metal Men is a nice looking page.
Justice League of America: Cry For Justice #2 - I'm a pretty big James Robinson fan, but this book is sort of baffling to me. Hal Jordan is having threesomes, some guy in Reeboks with Mystique-skin is fighting the only intelligent gorilla in the DCU I don't give a damn about, and Ray Palmer is feeling really, really sorry for himself. The only saving grace so far has been the interaction between Green Lantern and Green Arrow, which recalls the Hard Traveling Heroes stuff by Neal Adams and (my personal favorite) Denny O'Neil. While Robinson doesn't quite nail O'Neil's voice for the characters, he does offer an entertaining approximation. I think I'd enjoy this book a lot more if it were just GL/GA, not a JLA lead-in.
Did I even read a Marvel book? Oh yeah!
Captain America: Reborn #2 - Captain America (Steve Rogers) takes a leisurely stroll through his own history and wonders if he could do anything to change the course of that history but ultimately decides against it on, well...on almost every single page. Go ahead Cap, kill Hitler, let's see what happens. So yeah, Rogers basically goes on a search for Daniel Farraday, Osborn kills Sharon Carter in the court of public opinion and Bucky and Natasha do their level best to beat the snot out of the worst Avengers line-up ever. Why is this even happening, again?