I probably should be including the date the comics came out in my title. Oh well, that might look confusing since I don't post until 2 days after they come out. Anyhow, 3 books this week and I'll keep the spoilers for Astonishing X-Men to a minimum (just for you Carl, now get reading!).
Astonishing X-Men: I continue to love this series. Joss Whedon is a genius... yes, I said genius. In this issue we actually get a big reveal (I don't count the unmasking of the secret Hellfire Club member as their "reveal"... well, you'd have to read the book to understand). So the reveal is which mutant will supposedly be responsible for the destruction of Breakworld and it had a nice twist to it. There's just so much going on in this book that I don't have a clue where it's going to go and it's just an amazing ride, where ever it might be going. And the art continues to be stellar. I can't say enough about this series. I really lost interest in the X-universe when everyone and their dog became mutants but this book really gets to the core of the X-Men. The only downside, it only comes out every 2 months (but it's worth it).
Ultimates Annual #2: Isn't it funny when the "annuals" for a series comes out more frequently than the series itself? This one takes place after the current storyline (so we see some spoilers as to how it ends, but nothing major) but doesn't really bring anything new to the story and focusses on the issue of racism in America (and around the world). The story is nothing new, rather corny at times, and not really flushed out very well. Some stuff was thrown out there that left me a little lost (characters that I guess I was supposed to know more about before reading this book). I'm not a huge fan of Deodato's artwork and it didn't impress me here either. I generally find he's not a great storyteller. I don't find his panels flow very well and some of his panels end up being hard to figure out what's happening. When I have to stop in the middle of the action to try and figure out what's going on in one small panel it kills the momentum. One example is the part where a guy was looking down at a grenade that was thrown into his lap but the layouts don't really flow. The shot where he is looking down is a straight on shot of him from the waist up. From that distance and Deodato's "sloppy" style you can't really see his eyes well and he kinda looks like he just doesn't have any eyeballs. A close up shot of his face from below would have been better to show his emotion and what he's doing. Plus, the next panel (of the grenade) should be tied to this one (by being in close approximation) but it's back on the other side of the page. That's just one example of where Deodato loses me in the book. So it's an annual so you're probably wondering why I'm focussing on one story, well this annual only has the one story. So it's really just a Captain America/Falcon one shot. In the end, it was a highly disappointing book. But I can't wait to see the next issue of the Ultimates.
Elephantmen #2: I hate to say it but this issue kinda disappointed me. The overall story behind the series is interesting but this issue I felt was lacking. The one story with the crockman (it's kinda sad that I don't remember his name) being on a Howard Stern like show was an alright short story but it really doesn't fit in as one half of a regular issue. But then the second "story" doesn't really seem to work for me either. Maybe I've missed something but it's all just a fight between Hip Flask (the hippo) and the crock guy over a totem but you're just thrown into the fight. For someone new to the world of Elephantmen I found it a little lacking in story. So I just can't recommend this issue as much as the first Elephantmen book for the Hip Flask stuff I have read.
And to give an update on Divine Leap (for my one non-drunkduck reader... or the two drunkduck readers who may have found my blog), I'm still progressing on it. I have about 12 more pages to draw (so 20 are drawn), only about 10 of those are lettered, but I'm still posting them on drunkduck (Tuesdays and Thursdays). But I'm looking forward to finishing up the chapter (and finishing it with a bang). I'll admit it, the idea of doing chapter 2 is somewhat enticing (and I'm leaving the option out there with my ending to chapter 1) but it's just so much work for a book that continues to fail. Oh well.