Ok, I'm feeling a little under the weather at the moment, I have a cold and my head is in a fog, so the reviews will probably be a little short this week. We have 4 books to review, Astonishing X-Men #23, Buffy #8, Freddy VS Jason VS Ash #1, and New Avengers: Illuminati #5.
Astonishing X-Men #23 -- Instead of going with the slow moving penultimate issue to a storyline, Joss switches gears about half way through this issue to create an explosive buildup to what I can only hope to be a grand finale. This issue really had me cheering on each and every member of the X-Men. It just made them so cool. Cyclops' plan and the flashback was great. The art was spot on. I'm going to be sorry to see this end. I don't think any team of writer and artist will be able to follow this up, at least for me. This issue and the series in general definitely makes my recommended reading list. I'm absolutely loving it.
Buffy #8 -- Two Joss Whedon books in one week? It's even better than being my birthday. We continue along with the Faith storyline (with a little bit more Buffy woven in with this issue) and Vaughan continues to hit it out of the park. The characters, the dialogue, the story, it's all great. The art was a bit of an issue with me. Sometimes I felt Faith and the other slayer weren't quite as recognizable as they could have been. His rendition of Faith still seems to be somewhat hit or miss with me. But that's part of the problem of trying to do a real life person's likeness continually in comics. I guess I should be happy he's not doing the Greg Land approach. :) So overall, this comic still ranks very high on my recommended reading list.
Freddy VS Jason VS Ash #1 -- I didn't have very high hopes for this series. I figured that it would be pretty brainless and a simple mash up. Which I was prepared to regret because the idea of Freddy VS Jason by themselves I find interesting. One of the few things I did like about the movie was they touched on Jason's nightmares and Freddy's exploitation of them. And this book seems to be continuing that. Though I'm not quite sure how much of it is Freddy and how much is the Necronomicon. The scene between Freddy and Jason's mother alone was also enough to give me nightmares. :) The art was decent enough but there were a few points where I thought it could have been stronger. Overall it tells the story well and they do a good job on the three main characters but there were a few points where it wasn't as clear what was happening as it could have been. It made some panels almost wasted as you had to wait for a few more to see what was happening (such as Freddy's face coming out of a door, a scene extended over a few panels). Issue 1 tentatively makes my recommended reading list with a special note that it really is intended for gore audiences with some level of sex and violence involved. I just hope that the story is strong enough to carry the series.
New Avengers: Illuminati #5 -- And the poop hits the fan, the Skrull invasion is officially on. I was slightly confused by the start of this book when Namor asks if it's Captain America's body in the bag since he was there when that body was lowered into the Arctic. Unless he believed Tony deceived them or went and got it again. But I didn't see Black Bolt being a Skrull until that moment he spoke. My first thought was "Crap! That means the Hulk beat up a Skrull???" But then again, if the Skrull had replaced Black Bolt a while back then perhaps it just makes sense for the Hulk to beat him up. But that leaves the obvious question, how long has Black Bolt been a Skrull and where is he? So I have to give Bendis props for that, it was quite the twist. I'm left wondering though what that means for stories such as Silent War or other books Black Bolt appeared in. If I had written those stories and now been told that I wasn't writing Black Bolt but a Skrull I'd be a little bit irked by it. I wasn't a big fan of how this issue ended though. It seems they just ran out of pages and said "Oops, that's it. We don't trust one another." It just seemed too abrupt. But I have to say that despite my dislike of pushing the Illuminati into Marvel history this one issue by itself got me at least a little bit interested in the Skrull storylines. And the art was pretty solid. So going on this issue alone, it makes my recommended reading list. I'm cuious to see where this goes yet somewhat concerned as well.
So that's it for this week. See you all next week when I'll hopefully be cold free.