Batman #9: Batman assembles his own Suicide Squad in this issue with the goal of breaking into Santa Prisca, and I have to admit I'm excited. King does the right thing by starting off things slowly. Some authors would've leaped into the action, showing Bruce punching his way through Santa Prisca while assembling the team in flashbacks. But, jumping into the action would've failed to build the tension that King so deftly creates here. As the issue progresses, Dr. Arkham objects to the criminals Bruce wants to release and Bruce ignores his complaints. It all builds to the revelation at the end of issue of the worst offender: Selena Kyle. She's shown at first with a mask, and we're clearly supposed to believe her to be the Joker (even though he currently doesn't exist) because she's apparently in jail for 200+ counts of murder. I assume those charges are related to her mob-boss days, though King doesn't make that clear. Hopefully at some point he'll flesh out those details. But, for the time being, I'm happy to live with the mystery and see where we go from here.
Captain America: Sam Wilson #14: I don't really have much to say here, mostly because Steve has executed his plan perfectly. He stage-manages an attack on the Senator orchestrating the #takebacktheshield movement so Sam is unable to save him. As Steve says, it not only removes a loose end (since the Senator can't tell anyone Steve asked John to go after Sam), but it also throws more logs onto the fire when it comes to Sam's continued possession of the shield dividing the country. Spencer reminds us here why Steve is such a formidable enemy.
Death of X #2: This issue is marginally better than the first one, but it still relies on you believing: a) Emma and the Cuckoos can reach every mind on the planet, and b) Scott is desperate enough (or dumb enough) to incite a city-wide riot by informing the world that the Terrigen Mists approaching Madrid are deadly to mutants. I don't really believe either proposition, so I still found myself rolling my eyes at times. I get Lemire and Soule are trying to show that Cyclops is erratic at this point, but we're not given any reason why he's been pushed to this point. After all, he's faced the destruction of Earth and mutantkind on numerous occasions; it seems unreasonable to think he'd lose his shit over the Terrigen Mists in the way he does here.
Nightwing #7: Seeley hopefully isn't setting up the revelation that Raptor is Dick's father. But, Raptor does seem to think of himself that way, and (again, so long as Seeley doesn't actually go there) it's what gives this issue the tension that keeps you turning the page. Raptor was clearly in love with Nightwing's mother, though it's unclear if the feeling was reciprocated. We learn he's been following Nightwing for years, and his comment the first time we met him about being a better mentor than Batman now make sense. He views himself as a more appropriate father for Dick, one in tune with the circus way of life the Graysons lived. (I wouldn't be surprised if we learn that Raptor filed for custody at some point.) Raptor kidnaps Bruce from a public event in this issue, and suddenly we're looking at a battle royale between Dick's father figures. Earlier, Bruce noted how tense things have been between him and Dick, and Seeley seems to be setting up a chance for Bruce to make it right. Are they actually going to hug at the end of this issue? The mind boggles.
Pathfinder: Worldscape #1: Mona throws us right into the action in this issue, and it's as disorienting for us as it is for the characters. First, we begin with Kyra, Merisiel, Seoni, and Valeros fighting Thulgroon, their "old enemy." This part is disorienting not only because Ezren and Harsk are nowhere to be found, but because I don't remember Thulrgroon at all, making me raise an eye at the description of him as an "old enemy." Given Kyra is a recent addition to the band (and thus unlikely to share an "old enemy" with it), it raises the possibility the action that opens the issue happens somewhere in the significant future. But, before we can explore that, the band is whisked to the "Worldscape," where Valeros awakens alone. He's eventually imprisoned by an evil empress and forced to fight in her arena, where he confronts a similarly displaced Red Sonja. Sonja confirms what another prisoner told Valeros earlier, that they need to win the games to become the Queen's Champion, getting close enough to assassinate her. By then, we've also learned the characters have been plucked from their homes seemingly at random, and the queen appears to have something to do with that. Before we can explore how she benefits from these kidnappings (beyond amusement in the arena), Merisiel is revealed to be one of the queen's advisers, shocking Valeros during his fight with Sonja and allowing her to stab him through the chest. It's not exactly the ending I was expecting.
Also Read: Amazing Spider-Man #20; Black Panther #7