All-Star Batman #6: Some people love Scott Snyder, and I am happy for them. I am. Unfortunately, I'm just not one of those people. Snyder plays with too many techniques here, using two different omniscient narrators to tell his story of Batman's confrontation with Mr. Freeze in Alaska. It's moody, to be sure. But, unfortunately, all these narrators don't manage to explain the plot at all. I was left scratching my head at the revelation that Bruce had brought some sort of hot virus with him to combat Freeze's cold virus. The science, as presented, behind these viruses is...iffy at best. Moreover, there are times when Snyder seems to forget his own brilliant ret-con of Freeze's origin, as the casual reader would have no idea that Nora was never actually Fries' wife in the DCnU. It all supports my decision to drop this title. I'm glad other people are thrilled with this series, but I think I can find somewhere else to spend my money,
Detective Comics #948: Tynion and Bennett throw a lot at us here, and it's difficult to keep all the strands separate. First, we are introduced to someone calling herself Dr. Victoria October who appears to have been dead at some point. She comments how she knew Batman in her "pupal" phase and refers to her previous name as her "deadname." It implies she may be someone we know, but it's unclear how we know her or how she's still alive. Separately, we have the return of the Colony. They've stolen samples from one of the dead monsters (from "The Night of the Monster Men") presumably in the hopes of turning it into a biological weapon. (October reminds us that terrorist groups would spend a fortune to get their hands on the samples, given its raw destructive power.) But, it's unclear what the Colony would want to do with such a weapon. After all, I thought the Colony's mission was to defeat the League of Shadows. Why would they want the ability to transform people into monsters to do so? It's not like they're trying to invade Tokyo. Then, we have the introduction of Colony Prime, a one-man army sent to free Jacob. Tynion and Bennett don't tell us how the Colony learned Batman was keeping Jacob in the Belfry. I guess it's not all that difficult to figure, given the Colony already knew the Belfry existed. But, with all these various mysteries coming online simultaneously, it would've been nice to know at least that much. That said, both Tynion and Bennett are excellent writers, so I'm confident all these questions will be answered at some point. In fact, re-reading issues #939-#940 and #942, I'm impressed by the dedication to continuity. The authors are picking up loose threads from both the "Rise of the Batmen" and "Night of the Monster Men" here, and it's fun to watch them weave them into a new story.
IvX #2: Now that the fight has begun, this series improves considerably. With a focus on implementing the X-Men's plan, Lemire and Soule stay in a comfortable lane. In fact, the X-Men are so dominant in this outing that I'm almost worried it's all going to resolve itself too easily, because it's hard to imagine how the Inhumans are going to strike back successfully. I assume they will, however.
Occupy Avengers #3: Nightwing and his "sidekick," Deadly Nightshade, are solid additions to the team (if they are actually additions), though their debut in this issue is a little rocky. First, Nightwing is furious at Hawkeye based on a previous encounter, but it's unclear if this encounter happened in a different series or if we're eventually going to see it as a flashback. (This situation is why we used to have editors' notes, people!) Walker also relies heavily on flashbacks to set up the premise of this arc (that a L.M.D. army of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents is recruiting new members.) It leaves the reader (or, at least, me) feeling like he's missing a few issues, even though we're only on the third issue. This problem is compounded by the characters engaging in a lot of expository dialogue they wouldn't otherwise know, like when Red Wolf apparently knew what L.M.D.s are. That said, once we get into the action, everything runs more smoothly.
Spider-Man #12: There's a moment when I read an issue like this one where I wonder how Bendis can write this series so well but "Avengers" was a fucking disaster. Here, he manages to script several involved conversations with the most natural-feeling flow of any comic book I've probably ever read. Moreover, he uses one of those conversations as a framing device for the entire arc, as Miles recounts the story to Ganke and Goldballs. But, since they're teenage boys, we start said story with Miles telling them about making out with Gwen Stacy rather than the fact he was in Gwen's dimension in the first place looking for his father who disappeared on a mission for Maria Hill. Honestly, though? I also care the most about the Gwen part, too. Color me excited!
Star Wars: Poe Dameron #9: I'm pretty sure I'm canceling this series after this arc ends. I want to like it, but I just feel like Soule isn't finding a groove. At first, this series seemed to be about Black Squadron, but everything was so chaotic it was hard to get to know them. Now, it seems to be about Terex's beef with Poe. But, honestly, I still don't understand why Terex decided to leave the First Order now to become a criminal or why he even stopped being a criminal in the first place. So, it's hard to focus on said beef. I just feel like we've never gotten a clear sense of anyone's motivations and, when we come close to getting one, they don't even make sense.
Titans #7: Titans Together! I could say more, but I don't think I really have to do so. This issue pulls the team together into an actual team -- nervous lawyer, iconic HQ, and all. I couldn't be more excited.
Also Read: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #3; Dungeons & Dragons: Frost Giant's Fury #1; Mighty Thor #15; Ms. Marvel #14; Uncanny Avengers #19