Ultimate Comics Spider-Man 7-8: Before reading these, I reread the first six issues in the new hardcover, and I really admire what Bendis has accomplished here. The series opens six months after “Ultimatum”, when enough of New York has been rebuilt for it to be officially open for business again. At first, it seems like Bendis has used the distance from the tragedy to essentially do the same book, but as the relaunch unfolds there’s an underlying sadness to all the characters (who after all, have all been through a trauma.) I especially like Aunt May’s taking in kids like Johnny Storm and Bobby Drake – instead of being a sitcom gimmick, it fills a deep need in May just like being Spider-Man does for Peter. That said, it also allows Bendis to do the Ultimate version of “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends”, so the humor is still there too. I miss David Lafuente in these most recent two issues, but otherwise they’re a fun diversion following up on a thread from the “Ultimate Power” miniseries.
Adventure Comics 8-9: There’s so much going on at the moment that the three stories per issue format is a good idea. It gives us a chance to follow the Legionnaires both in the present and the future, and I especially like the focus on Brainiac 5 and the history of the Brainiac line. Eric Trautmann’s Quex-Ul story is good, but seems like it should have taken place earlier in the Earth/New Krypton conflict.
Stumptown 1-2: It’s been a while since Greg Rucka’s done a straight crime story (though I guess “The Question” is close), and I’m really happy to see it. It’s a PI story, which is my favorite form of the genre, and Rucka’s does a great job at letting us know a lot about his main character (and like her) in just a couple of issues. Matthew Southworth’s art reminds me a lot of Sean Phillips’ in “Criminal”, not in a derivative way but just as similar interpretations of what a noir story should look like. Well worth your time.
Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal 1: Really? Drug addiction was the only place they could think of to go with this? I hear good things about what’s planned for Star City in the next year, but taking the most obvious path here doesn’t fill me with confidence.