Nothing exciting to mention today, so I'll just skip the niceties and jump straight into the comic reviews:
Astonish X-men #18 - In theory, this is supposed to be the final issue of the third storyline in this series. But, in reality, it read more like the middle of a twelve issue storyline. I mean, some stuff is explained and a few storylines reach some sort of conclusion. But a lot is left hanging and instead of a climax, we get all of the X-men and their various bad guys (Ord, Danger and Cassandra) beamed into outer space by SWORD. Which, along with Brubaker's X-men, means that two-thirds of the X-men are now in space.
All that said, this is a fun issue overall. Whedon seems to be having fun twisting various storylines and pieces of continuity together. And the storyline plays on Cassaday's strengths as an artist. In addition, there is some genuine drama and a few clever and funny moments in this issue. So, in all, it’s a good read. If I had one complaint, it’s that the dialogue is a little weird at times. There are a few moments were I found myself staring at a line and thinking "did Whedon forget a word in there?"
But, overall, a solid comic.
Civil War #5 - I have to admit that, while I am enjoying it, this title reads a little bizarre at times on its own. Basically, we have Millar painting in broad brush strokes, and leaving the little moments up to other writers to fill in with titles like Civil War: Frontline and the fifteen dozen other tie-in titles. As a result we get weird scenes like the one this issue, which deals with the fall-out of Spiderman splitting with the Pro-Registration side... without ever really showing him announce he's splitting with them. Still, the scene and title work overall, its just sort of like reading a summary or Cliff Notes version of a story, as opposed to reading the story itself.
But, I will say that one thing this issue made me "geek out": The introduction of the Punisher to Civil War.
I have known for a while that he was going to be part of this series; and actually I'd had a bit of hesitation about having him involved, since he seems to be stronger when he's on his own. That said, I was surprised how effective he is in the title. Basically, since Garth Ennis has sort of had him in the sidelines, over in his own series, it ends up showing how over exposed characters like Wolverine have become. In this issue Punisher manages to be everything Wolverine can no longer be because of his over-exposure: A wildcard. An enigma. Something dangerous. And its fun to see the other characters respond to that.
So, for Punisher's appearance alone, this title deserves:
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