Okay, I read two of this week's books so far. Let's see how they stand up to my initial expectations:
Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #28: I predicted that this would be the BEST OF THE WEEK. In reality, it's too early to tell if it will remain best of the week until I read the other comics, but it's got a shot. I liked the intensity of the torture sequence, I liked the vast array of characters, and I have to admit (after rereading EVERY Legion story over the past six months--from Adventure #247 till the Waid/Kitson run), I've really grown to appreciate Kitson as an artist. I used to think that his art was to stiff. Everyone looked posed, but his attention to detail (especially on this series) has completely won me over. I'll be sorry to see him leave. This issue provides a good build-up for the final showdown with the Dominators, and as I pointed out over at the Legion World board, there's more than a little political allegory happening here with the invasion force. So we'll see if things go as smoothly as planned for the Legion. The only thing keeping this from getting a solid A is the clear transparency of the "trap" laid for the Dominators. But, it's a great issue otherwise. Predicted Grade: A / Actual Grade: A-
Justice League of America #7: This was an all-epilogue, all-the-time issue. It wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible. I liked the bit about Geo-Force (although there's perhaps too much of a Penance-feel to his current powers), and I love the introduction of the Hall of Justice / Watchtower headquarters. It's just perfect. And I like the Red Arrow bits, but the rest of it seemed a bit too thin. It's really only about 8-10 pages of quality story moments. And there's a weird fold-out that seems stapled in the wrong place. It doesn't read as part of the actual story. But the final page of the issue promises some exciting Legion cross-over action, so that bumps the potential of the next few issues a few notches. Val Armorr in the house! Predicted Grade: A- / Actual Grade: B+
So far, so good. Pretty close to my expectations in terms of overall quality, but the content was not exactly what I expected. I'll be back with more reviews soon.
UPDATE: I also read Sonic the Hedgehog #173 to my son at bedtime tonight. He bought this issue with his own money this week, and he wanted to read it right away (even before Power Pack and JLU). I don't know why he wanted it so badly, since he's only ever seen one Sonic X comic book in the past and that one was horrible, but I guess his passion for "Sonic Heroes" on PS2 compelled him to get this new issue. Anyway, it was better than Sonic X, but it was pretty bad. It confused me, as an experienced comic book reader, and it was shocking in how continuity-heavy it was. Every time a character appeared, he or she referred to some past event, most of which (according to the footnotes) happened 30 to 50 issues earlier! There were about half a dozen of these references, far more (and referring to the far more distant past) than any superhero comic book you're likely to read. Really strange. Within the onslaught of continuity, the story was relatively simple, with a marriage proposal as a subplot and a fake jewel heist as the main plot. I didn't like much about this issue, but my son said he loved it. I don't see the appeal, but I'm not 6 years old. I guess the cover is bright and colorful (especially when compared to the mean-looking superhero covers like Legion and JLA above). No Predicted Grade, because I didn't expect to be reading it. My Actual Grade: D- / My Son's Actual Grade: A+ (I asked him)