Only two books this week, Buffy #10 and Ultimate Human #1. So let's get down to it shall we...
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #10 -- Uhm... Wow! Some pretty big twists come up in this book. Buffy leading the slayers to steal? Willow keeping Kennedy (and herself) away from Buffy because of Tara's death making Willow the prime suspect for betraying Buffy... Well, plus if Buffy does get rid of all magic from the world then where does that leave Willow? Dawn reveals her "little" lie to Xander. Like so many Whedon/Buffy stories, it kinda takes a little while to digest and fully consider it. I know there will be a bit of a backlash (I've seen some) to these twists but personally, even though I obviously don't approve of their actions, it's not beyond the realm of possibilities. But enough about that, what about the nitty-gritty details. Well, to start, I actually found the first few pages a little weird to read. I had a bit of an issue following parts of the dialogue and such. I don't know if it's just me or what but sometimes I feel Joss's dialogue needs to be heard to fully get it, not just read. As the book went on I felt it got a bit better. I felt the art was fairly solid even if the likenesses were maybe not spot on for some characters (which is weird given that Richards is probably best known for drawing the Buffy comic). Though the demon design seemed somewhat weak to me. So overall, this book continues to make my recommended reading list. This issue may not be the strongest in technical aspects but is a pivotal turning point in the story I believe.
Ultimate Human #1 -- I've actually been staying away from most Ultimate universe books (other than the Ultimates) but I figured this might be an interesting story. First off, this is definitely not the 616 universe Hulk. In fact, you might argue it's not even the Ultimates Hulk or the Hulk we saw (briefly) in the Ultimate Hulk/Wolverine series (hey, Lost writers are on strike so why can't he finally finish off that comic!). The character and the dialogue just seems different. Having said that, it's a very interesting take on the character. Peter David recently introduced the notion of the 616 Hulk adapting (breathing under water) and Ellis seems to be taking it even further. And given that this Hulk was brought about by the super soldier serum and not just gamma radiation, it almost makes sense. The super soldier serum may work to adapt the soldier to any environment. So let's get down to the details, the writing is good and the dialogue between Banner and Stark is great. It's really interesting to here them talk, not only about the science stuff but the personal stuff. The art has a very unique look to it but the dark mood set in the military bases is pretty impressive. And to be a total geek, the Hulk just looks really cool to me. I was a little disappointed at first that the Ultimate Leader is not Sam Sterns but I think this take on two 616 characters is pretty interesting and could lead to some good stuff. So yeah, this books my recommended reading list. I think it's worth checking out for Ultimate universe fans and people just looking for a story to read (as prior knowledge of both characters isn't really necessary I found).
I've also polished off a few more volumes of the Manga series "Monster", I'm done volume 12. I like how things are coming together here. I've been a little hesitant for a while now but it's picking up steam as we head in to the last 5 volumes.
And of course, there's "One More Day". I had been keeping my thoughts to myself until after Carl read it as I didn't want to spoil it for him but even now I find myself somewhat torn by it. On the one hand, I think it's a horrible story that was poorly executed. And in my mind, it's left the character and the story in a very messy, confusing state. On the other hand, I can understand how some characters are just becoming too bogged down with their back stories or not being accessible to new readers. So I can see some promise for the new creative teams but I also mourn the loss of the character as I knew him. To make a long story short, I have a lot of emotions going on right now and I may never really be able to properly express them. Overall though, I'm greatly disappointed with this story and this approach and I feel it's just another example of Marvel no longer having people like me as their target audience.