Action Comics #903 (DC)
Flashpoint: Project Superman #2 (of 3) (DC)
Invincible #81 (Skybound/Image)
Fables #107 (Vertigo/DC)
John Byrne's Next Men #8 (IDW)
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 1969 (Top Shelf)
This was one of the best weeks for excellent comic books in a while. There were some pleasant surprises, even from a title that I haven't been as enthusiastic about lately.
Action Comics #903 (DC) * * * *
The cover for this issue pretty much sums up the main part of the story this issue, and the how provided the plot twist that raised my interest in this story. This is the best issue of the Reign Of The Doomsdays storyline. Superman as usual takes point against the Doomslayer, and the end of this issue sets up what I hope will be an exciting end to this story, before the September relaunch.
Flashpoint: Project Superman #2 (of 3) (DC) * * * *
This issue makes me glad I picked up this Flashpoint spin off mini-series. We learn what was in the rocket that crash landed in Metropolis during the meteor shower at the end of the first issue. Young Kal-El is subjected to the same tests as the first subject of the super weapon project. There are two conflicting philosophies among the staff of the project: treat Kal-El as a human being, or merely as an impersonal test subject. Familiar names such as General Lane, his daughter Lois, as well as Lex Luthor, are recast in different ways. It reads a lot like the classic imaginary stories that were a part of the silver age of comic books during my childhood in the 1960's. They were always fun reads for me, and this mini-series is no different. I can't wait to see how this story ends.
Invincible #81 (Skybound/Image) * * * * *
Invincible has to come to terms with the destruction of Las Vegas at the end of last issue. He also faces a villain who has found some familiar weapons. The main point of the issue which grabbed my attention was the dark side a superhero has to deal with, the emotional toll of collateral damage and the death and injuries of innocent victims. In real life it's something faced by police, firemen and emergency responders, as well as soldiers. Writer Robert Kirkman has done a great job of incorporating that to a superhero, which is one of the reasons he is one of my favorite comic book superhero writers.
Fables #107 (Vertigo/DC) * * * * *
This issue, drawn by guest artist Terry Moore, is about a general who uses Sleeping Beauty as part of a plan to restart the old empire. There is a force working against him, however. This issue sets up the next storyline in Fables. It seems to take place in the past of the current Fables storyline, and I'm not sure how the story will develop from here. That's one reason I'm looking forward to the next issue. I'm glad I picked up Fables beginning with issue #101. I only wish I would have started reading the series sooner. At least there are the trade paperbacks of past volumes I can catch up on.
John Byrne's Next Men #8 (IDW) * * * * *
In this issue we learn the history of one of the characters, which is a very different life story than what I would normally expect. Then the story leads to a mission for the main Next Men characters. The conclusion of this issue reads like the story is leading to an ultimate end for the series, but I was under the impression that it was a continuing series. Regardless, this is a consistently excellent series. I did a quick search on the internet and learned that the next issue, #9, will be the final issue. Then, Next Men: Aftermath will begin, starting with issue #40, which will be the 40th issue in total of the Next Men series.
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 1969 (Top Shelf Productions) * * * * *
This is the second issue of the three issue Century mini-series, the latest story of the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen series. This issue occurs in 1969, as the title suggests. The three surviving League members, Mina, Allan and Orlando, are on the trail again of the occultists attempting to create the birth of a Moonchild. The story takes many twists and turns, and lives up to the psychedelic 1960's in Britain. Being the middle chapter of a three issue mini-series, it does have a dark ending. It was worth the wait of about a year. I can't wait to read the concluding issue. Hopefully it won't take a year for the last part of the story to be published.
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