Amazing Spider-Man Annual #36 – A Ben Reilly story? Seems I’m not the only one who still has a little love for the character! Peter gets attacked by some schmuck calling himself the Raptor who mistakes him for the guy who burned down his home and killed his family (say it ain’t so Ben, say it ain’t so). For an annual, which are known to sometimes be horrifically bad, this one’s not too shabby (even if Peter is a tad too dickish in the early scenes). And, sadly, it’s probably the closest I’m likely to get to a Scarlet Spider story anytime soon… or is it?
Batman #888 – I’m really digging this new story arc by Judd Winick. It’s not that I dislike Morrison’s run on Batman and Robin, but so far I’m this title is giving me a little more of what I want. Again, some great play between Dick and Alfred regarding his dislike of the costume which seems like it has the possibility to become a running gag. Fun! In a Batman comic! Man, it’s been awhile. There’s also another good scene between our new Bats and Damian. You can see the beginnings of a very interesting dynamic that, if Bruce Wayne stays away long enough, might bear something pretty damn good. And we finally get some A-list villains with scenes with the Penguin and Two-Face, who alone seems to suspect the true identity of our new Batman.
Green Lantern #43 – So, um, yeah… Black Hand.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #26 – Okay, this one’s a week old but I didn’t get to it last week, and it seems the series is finally getting back on track as we inch closer to the finale of the season. Here we get a demon horde army, tanks, catapults, slayers, witches, the Scoobies, Buffy, Faith, Warren and Andrew, goat-men, a new secret base, and a submarine. And as cool as all that is, it’s not the real reason for picking this one up. Oz is back, baby! I always liked the character, but seeing him return makes me realize just how much I missed him. If you can still find a copy of this at your local comic shop make sure to pick it up.
Red Robin #2 – Okay, I came down a little hard on Batman and Robin #2 last week for giving us a transition story which did little more than set-up things to come. This issue does the exact same thing, but is still a good story in, and of, itself. And that makes a big difference. Lots going on here including the League of Assassins, a harsh flashback to Tim’s less than tearful goodbye to Spoiler, and an ominous ending which gives us a glimmer of some Bat-goodness yet to come. There’s also a clever moment describing Tim’s reaction to Bruce Wayne’s Bat-voice which, aside from being funny, tells you more about Batman in a couple sentences than many writers have been able to do in several issues. It wasn’t that long ago I was tired of Tim Drake (sorry, still can’t bring myself to call him Tim Wayne) as a character, and I sure didn’t like the whiny direction his character seemed to take after Damian showed up, but now DC has found a way to get me 100% on-board with his new direction. This one’s definitely worth a look.