Amazing Spider-Man Annual 2008 - I was ready to not like this. It started out with an extreme overload of the little reference boxes saying what issue everything happened in previously. It also had a first page with lot's of those campy dialog boxes telling us about the characters being introduced, etc. The goofiness of those things just didn't fit with the story that has a fairly serious message to it, and includes the death of a recurring character. The nice part I guess is that it is a decent story. It makes an interesting point, opens a door or two, as well as closing one, and isn't too 'wallowy'. On the downside, if this isn't picked up on in the main title, it will be a waste of killing someone. I am a bit tired of how often and cheaply people die in super-hero comics these days, but at least it wasn't grisly, right? It also may give us another character, so it at least could have a point to it.
Amazing Spider-Man #575 - I am not a fan of the sort of 'grotesque' art that is used a good bit in this issue. There is a bit too much of a focus on bad teeth and dental issues than I care for. I also think the art is a bit inconsistent. It picks up some as the issue goes on. I don't love how Peter and Aunt May are drawn, but other characters are great. I may be overly sensitive for no good reason here, but I don't think the opening 5 or six pages really needed to be Spider-Man making fun of the homeless woman he is saving because she smells bad, culminating with his throwing up in his mask. Ha Ha homeless are funny because they aren't people... If they were real people, they'd have homes... right?... Fortunately, this issue gets better, and it goes on to bring us Spidey's first encounter with the new 'nigh invulnerable' Hammerhead. I ended up enjoying the issue, but it was in doubt for a while.
Incredible Hercules #122 - What's not fun about Hercules vs Namor? Nothing, that's what! It's classic Hercules, when he extends their fight even after it is made fully clear that they have nothing to fight about and are really on the same side. Namora is in this issue and gets to kick some butt too. It's good stuff. I say this with every issue, just hoping that it will continue to extend it's streak of being one of Marvel's best titles these days. It's fun and funny. It is smart, it has action and interesting plots. The art is good and the writing is great.
Madame Xanadu #5 - Madame X is in revolutionary France. . I didn't think this issue was quite as good as the previous issues. Hopefully it is setting up better things to come from a story standpoint. I am also not certain how quickly we are moving through history with her and where we plan to spend the most time. If we are just racing our way to the present, then I guess we are getting important character development and background. Mostly it just feels like a little history lesson with our main character dropped in like Sherman and Peabody only prettier and less funny. The art was also a little less spectacular this time out, and there is a run of pages in it where Madame X is startled or shocked or horrified, eyes wide on every page. It just could have been better, I think. This is a title I am sticking with for a while, so I'll let you know how it goes.
Astonishing X-Men - Ghost Boxes #1 - Am I the only person who saw this Andy Samberg / Justin Timberlake SNL short? I am sure I'm not. I have been cackling like crazy since I first saw the cover art for this issue. Unfortunately... Imagining Wolverine singing 'dick in a box' is really the best thing about this issue. I really didn't understand a bit about this comic. I don't get what was happening or why, or what it's relevance to anything is. I canceled all things Astonishing today. It just isn't what I wanted in an X-title anymore.