Thanks to Marvel's free Mondays program, I read the online versions of Iron Man: I am Iron Man (excellent), Wolverine #167 (just OK), Tomb of Dracula #21 (probably a lot better for Dracula fans), and Startling Stories: Thing - Night Falls on Yancy Street #1 (just plain lousy). The fifth issue is Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7 and I'm just not interested, even for free.
Started Air Vol. 3: Pure Land. Blythe is still learning hyperaxis piloting, and learning more about the mysterious Zayn. Knowing that the series has been canceled, I can't help but wonder when she's going to start wrapping up plot lines. Also read the first half of The Extremist by Peter Milligan & Ted McKeever, an early Vertigo miniseries which they're going to reprint as the second issue in the "Forgotten Vertigo" series. Seems like Milligan was going out of his way to push the sex/violence envelope; it remains to be seen how well the story supports it.
Pureland ends with Blythe & Zayn together, so that's one storyline tied up. Blythe is starting to really apply her hyperax ability consciously. So I'm expecting the concluding volume (7 more issues until #24) to have some interesting fireworks. In the end I thought that The Extremist was trying too hard to be outrageous, although it was an interesting experiment narratively (the narrative voice keeps shifting, and there's a surprise at the end for the character who had looked like the final narrator). It's certainly far more daring than anything Vertigo has published recently.
The new New Avengers #1-2 — I think there were some folks down on this book, but I liked it. (Though someone pointed out Spider-Man's irresponsibility leaving baby Cage in the mansion unattended, and...yeah, not going to argue that one.)
Action Comics #891 — Enjoyed this little trip into the mind of Lex Luthor. I like what Cornell is doing with this series so far (all of two issues in).
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Riley — The first new comic I've bought since I got laid off... This was a good story, exploring how Riley came to work for Buffy as a double agent in Twilight's camp, and also a bit more of Twilight's (do I still have to protect his identity from spoilers? Eh, better safe than sorry) motivations. Plus, an unexpected guest star. I don't know that this story particularly needed to be told, but insofar as it was told regardless of need, it was enjoyable enough.
Harlan Ellison's Phoenix Without Ashes #1 — The other new comic I've bought since I got laid off... I didn't know this one existed before I saw it in the comic shop yesterday, and I was just commenting to someone the other day that I hadn't read anything by Ellison in years, so I decided I could afford two comics just this once. Interesting premise; I may go back for the rest of this mini-series...
Mysterius the Unfathomable TPB — I had gotten issue one of this when it came out, and decided it could wait for the trade to be read. All in all, not a bad little mini, but there was something that never quite grabbed me about Tom Fowler's art, and that something kept me from enjoying the series as much as I might've otherwise.
Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer TPB — A dark, yet cute, story of the living puppet that wanted to be a real boy, and how he came to be the only one to stop the vampires. Tautly told, with solid (if a little anachronistically modern) characterization, and charming art.
The Marvels Project hardcover — Brubaker's love note to and solidifying of Marvel's golden age for today's Marvel Universe. This was a strong story, told well enough that it doesn't feel like a Cliff's Notes, even though it kind of is. And of course, Steve Epting's art is beautiful. An excellent package, too, with slightly oversized pages to let the art shine, and a binding that, with the dust jacket off, gives it a very dossier-style look.
Tell the truth. Have you been Byrne-stealing again?
A mix of that and borrowing from the library, yeah. :) Fortunately, the Borders and Barnes & Nobles of the world don't mind people reading stuff off the shelf... (though Marvel and DC seem to, what with their wrapping-hardcovers-in-plastic thing. :P )
I've just been reading the online preview sections of The Rainbow Orchid, an adventure story set in the 1920s by British creator Garen Ewing, which is being published in three volumes by Egmont UK. The art, in the "clear line" style associated with Belgian creators Hergé and E.P. Jacobs, is very good. The characters mostly aren't as charming as Hergé's, but I did like Sir Alfred Catesby-Grey, a brilliant, gruff historian/archeologist. The preview sections (extensive sections of the first volume, and smaller sections from the second) can be read for free here.
Started DMZ Vol. 8: Hearts And Minds. The first arc ("No Future") is a bleak little side trip into the life of an ex-NYPD officer who lost his family during the evacuation. Sad, but effective. Nice to get back to Matty and the main story in the title arc.