ALL STAR WESTERN #18: Holy shit, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen Jonah Hex hanging around Cool Shit, mostly because that book has been sucking pretty badly of late. Finally! Good times are upon us! DC has granted me my greatest wish and brought back the Hex I love! THEY’RE FINALLY GETTING HIM OUT OF GOTHAM! AND THEY’RE GETTING RID OF HIS SIDEKICK DR. ARKHAM! Thank you, DC. I’m very pleased with this, and I’m also happy to see that Hex has a new nemesis in the form of Vandal Savage. (It’s also pretty funny to see how Hex dealt with him. Read it and see for yourself, it’s that good.) (Also, DC’s attempts at creating a new character in the back-up stories are still continuing to fail. I haven’t liked a single one of them. Maybe get Bat Lash, El Diablo, or even Scalphunter a few stories back there, eh?)
BATTLEFIELDS #5: This is the first of FOUR Garth Ennis books that came out yesterday (and they all appear in this column). It’s good to see that Anna Kharkova got out of being executed as a traitor to the Soviets, and it’s pretty interesting to see that she now works for Mouse, who has become a famous patriot. But some things never change; Kharkova steals a MIG just for shits and giggles (and to take down a US fighter plane, because, why not?), and this gets her in a bit of trouble. A lot of trouble, actually. I’m starting to wonder if this is going to be the last Night Witch story. Is Ennis closing out all of his BATTLEFIELDS series?
THE TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #15: While MTMTE is busy killing off major characters, RID doesn’t want to be left behind. A few major characters get killed in this issue, and it isn’t pretty. This issue is just brutal. Not only has Bumblebee given up and is ready for death, it would also seem that Megatron’s plans are so Machiavellian that he’s tricking Optimus Prime into working for him. But my favorite part is this: the Autobots must save Starscream no matter the cost. Next issue should be utterly insane!
RED TEAM #2: Very interesting. Ennis tells us the next part of the story from Trudy’s point of view. I wonder if maybe that’s his way of inoculating us into his tale. He starts with the regular guy, the one we’re all supposed to identify with, and then he ups the ante with each new issue until we’re getting the story from Duke. Unless Duke is dead. Who knows? One thing is for certain: this book kicks ass.
FATALE #13: I’m almost certain this issue was inspired by Lansdale’s second Jonah Hex series for Vertigo. The book the characters seek in this issue? It’s never officially named. A part of me hopes it’s the Book of ‘Doches. There is so much weird western goodness here, it’s hard to remember this is actually a noir book. Not only that, but we get to learn a few more things about the rules of the FATALE world. I’m glad for these peeks into the past, as they are very informative, but I am kind of missing the modern story.
FURY #10: Nick Fury and Barracuda working side by side. ‘Nuff said.
THE LAST ZOMBIE: BEFORE THE AFTER #5: Brian Keene promised us a hell of a cliffhanger ending to this story arc, and holy fuck, did he deliver! You will not believe the sheer lunacy of the last few pages. Beloved characters die, secrets are revealed, and the end is at hand. And of course, it all happens near Joliet. From what I hear, the next and final story arc is going to be a battle between our heroes and a warlord who has taken over the city of Chicago. I can’t fucking wait!
CROSSED: BADLANDS #26: This is possibly one of the most brutal, most beautiful things Garth Ennis has ever written. You can see all the sadness in the world in Harry’s eyes as he leads his troop of soldiers to their final destination, where they intend to set loose all of Britain’s biological weapons on the world in their attempt to rid the planet of the Crossed. A suicide run, in short. His plan is actually not as crazy as it sounds. As brilliant as Ennis’s writing is here, artist Raulo Caceres deserves equal credit. He’s doing amazing things with his layouts, stuff that might even change the look of comics forever. This is my absolute favorite Crossed story so far.