There were some really interesting books out this week. So, let’s get right down to business.

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 – Iron Lad is back as Dr. Doom fights… well… whomever happens to be near by. The escape from the bad situation of the battle lands them in another sticky situation. But that situation leads to the possible return of two Avengers — Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man. I can’t wait to see where this all heads. We’ve just hit the middle of 9 issues so 4 more to go and anything can happen.

Brightest Day #23 – Well, now the deaths make sense. It’s a major interesting twist as the 4 killed heroes (Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter) along with newly dead Firestorm take on the forms of earths elements. The reason for this? To take one the former earth elemental, Swamp Thing revived by the black lantern power (somehow)! (The other three were Red Tornado, Naiad, and Professor Stein as a solo Firestorm.) Plus, Captain Boomerang, Hawk, and Dove are all lined up for the final 2 acts that need to be performed. Next issue should be real interesting.

Freedom Fighters #8 – Uncle Sam returns just in time to take down Jester and the team goes on to mourn the loss of Firebrand. (After the Ray, he was actually the character I probably liked the most so I’m sad to see him gone.) While this is all going on, King Bullet and his crew (I can do without the baby eating demon. Whoever thought to create him is just messed in the head!) crawl from the wreckage to start out on their own. And on top of everything else, the Freedom Fighters are cut from their government funding. (Supposedly, so are the Crusaders. Is that book still out? Going from the MLJ to the Impact update to this new revamp, I just didn’t get into it this time.)

Herc #1 – OK. I have no idea what happened during the whole battle with the Chaos King. (I’ll have to go back and check it out.) I also never picked up the books when Hercules took over the Hulk’s title. (And now Black Panther is taking over Daredevil’s too. UGH!) But I wanted to check out this new title when I saw it out. It appears Hercules has lost his powers, but thankfully had some ancient weapons with some real history to them to help him out instead. Going from just the lead up to events in the first issue, this book seems to have some real potential. And I’m not just saying that because of the scenes with the bearded, buff, and hairy Hercules in just a pair of tiny underwear. *drool* The writing is good so far an the appearance of the Hobgoblin leading ssue the next issue is something that makes me want to keep up with this.

Heroes For Hire #5 – It’s Misty vs. the Punisher with the second feature of Iron Fist vs. the rest of Heroes for Hire as the Puppet Master takes control of the team Misty pulled together (while in a coma, no less!). The good guys save the day and we find out that Misty may have another super-hero admirer other than Iron Fist. So, where does Heroes for Hire go from here? I guess we’ll get more info on that next issue. I’m looking forward to seeing where things go.

JSA All-Stars #17 – He’s really powerful. He’s got connections to one of DC Comics’ major super groups. For some reason, no one remembers him but he’s ready to change that. Let’s welcome Triumph… Oops! Wrong character with the same lame history. (That’s ok. Marvel had the Sentry too.) It’s the Prince. (Without the raspberry beret or odd symbol for his name. What? Oh, this is a different one? My mistake.) Yes, I’m having a hard time taking this comic seriously. The story is lame and contrives and… as I showed earlier… far from original. (If you’re going to steal a storyline, at least make it a good one!) You know, I used to really love the JSA…

Secret Six #32 – The Secret Six go to Hell… and find out Rag Doll has no soul so is a prince of Hell… and they blather on for page after page. *yawn* What’s happening to all the best groups over at DC? The scene with Catman and Etrigan (I thought he was going nuts over in Green Arrow…) was probably the best part of the whole issue. (And that’s only 4 pages out of the whole book.)

For the most part, a pretty good week. My top 3 this week are going to be Avengers: Children’s Crusade, Brightest Day, and Herc.

By the way, anyone else getting sick of these previews at the end of all the DC Comics? Yes, they put a price cap for normal issues at $2.99 but why do I have to pay that and have the last 6 pages of what could have been more story be a copy of what I’m seeing in all the other issues and not interested in anyway? A once in a while thing wouldn’t be an issue but it seems like they are doing that every month since their “Drawing the Line at $2.99” campaign. Very lame, DC. I’ve always been a big fan of DC and with the way a lot of Marvel’s stuff has been lately, I’ve really been pushing and defending them but I’m really starting to question how much I’m going to do that any more. I just hope they improve.