OK. I’ve been trying to get a week caught up ever day or two around the holidays. Let’s see if I can get stuff even more caught up today.

All-New X-Men #2 – We started with Scott vs. the Ghosts of Cyclops. Toss in the rest of the young X-Men in the middle of a library and you have a big mess. Most of the Ghosts escape with Angel and Wolverine in pursuit but the cops show up to catch the rest and toss Cyclops and the lead Ghost (Thirst? That was the best name they could come up with?) in jail. While Warren and Laura chase after the rest of the renegades, the rest of the team head out for food to refuel Pickles the bamf. It turns out that Picles has a total lack of control around pizza tho. Oops. The renegades though are pretty good and hold their own against two X-Men and end up staging an escape attempt at the jail. The two newbies seem to just stand at the sidelines for the most part. I’m not sure when we’ll actually see them take part in stuff.

Harley Quinn #23 – Just as Harley is ready to head off and save Morgan, she finds out that Zena Bendemova has kidnapped Sy so she takes Sy’s granddaughter to rescue him. Of course, when they get there they catch the two old enemies having sex. It seems things changed in the meantime. So, after grabbing some grub with the new couple Harley and Harvey head off to prison to rescue Morgan. It’s interesting to see Harvey as his normal self. When they get there, the guards assume they are there to off Morgan since they use the mayor’s office as a cover. Looks like the mayor is behind it all as revenge. They save Morgan and try to get him transferred to somewhere safer but that place ends up being Arkham. Harley’s plans never seem to go totally right. I guess that’s one reason I like this book. The book has just the right balance of heart, humor, and action.

Justice League #46 – It’s “act 2 chapter 2” of the Darkseid War storyline. How many acts and chapters will there be? It’s Wonder Woman and the heroes that are left versus the big names on Darkseid’s side. In the middle of it, Barda shows up to assist the good guys. After the bad guys escape, the team decides to check with the Crime Syndicate about the Anti-Monitor. While a team does that, Superman attacks Steve and Diana while Grail starts playing with the Anti-Life Equation. There is so much going on here and everyone is becoming gods it seems. I’m not sure which of the 2 extended storylines are annoying me more, this one or the Rao one in the JLA title. I miss brief story arcs or at least cross overs that were done in a short period of time.

Justice League United #16 – It’s the last issue so we finally find out how Adam got caught in the zeta beam. The story takes place in the House of Mystery with Abel. You have to love the cliche Heroes:”Have any of you seen anything different?”; Crowd: “No.”; Single voice in the crowd:”What about that great big house that’s right next to us that was never there before?”; Crowd:”Oh, yeah. There’s that. Is that what you meant?” *headdesk* I hope you noted my sarcasm in the “love” comment. Now that we know what happened, they solve the problem of getting him back easily while also revealing that Sardath is Alanna’s father. (He always was in other iterations too, but she usually isn’t portrayed as human in those.) This title could have been good when it started out but when they let a lot of the characters go and made it a rotational book, the writing and plot concept dug it a quick grave. This was a mercy killing.

Lucifer #1 – I never read the original series but when I saw this was listed in the Vertigo relaunch list, I figured I’d check it out. Lucifer is back in town (Not sure where he was.) and he has a wound in his side (Not sure what it’s from.). The angels are out to recruit back Gabriel who lost his grace. (OK, I’m assuming that all this has some backstory in the first series.) It turns out God is missing so the angels send Gabriel after Lucifer to find out what’s up. Lucifer gets Gabriel to work with him in finding out what happens. This keys in people in Hell who warn some woman who is now on the throne there. Yeah, I’m pretty much totally lost. Even though this is a first issue, it is definitely not new reader friendly.

Red Thorn #2 – The issue jumps back and forth in the story since last issue. We start off with Isla checking out a castle in search of clues about her missing sister. While there, she gets jumped by red caps who drag her into the castle. This is where she meets Thorn, the guy she’d found herself drawing. Then we jump back to her and Alec on Halloween which she refers to as the last night with the first man she ever loved. Given the build up of the relationship last issue, it’s disappointing for them to just throw it away already. Back to the present, Thorn uses Isla’s drawing abilities to make someone who kills the head red cap and then he takes over. He was already a demigod and now he rules over the red caps. I’m really not sure where this is going. It’s a Vertigo title so I don’t expect it to be “normal”. I’m just not sure how these are going to connect or how Isla’s going to be connected to this for the long term.

Secret Six #9 – The whole Black Alice storyline continues with Catman fighting Aquaman while the rest of the team takes down the column. They then go and take down another one before the issue is over. Meanwhile, things are getting bad for the magic based characters back in the House of Strangers. The unconscious Black Alice isn’t making this easy for Scandal and Ragdoll either when she summons a couple winged lions in her sleep. When she comes to though, she decided she needs to die to solve the problems that are going on and wants Scandal to kill her. Personally, I think everyone involved here needs to sit down and talk and figure out what the hell is really going on. No new signs of the Children of Arion though. This whole thing is a little too all over the place for me right now tho.

Squadron Supreme #1 – I’m not sure why they decided to destroy the worlds of all the Squadron Supreme teams. Hell, somehow, the universe of the New Universe’s Earth was destroyed and it was moved into the same universe that Earth 616 is in. Not only is that annoying but it shows Marvel can’t track it’s continuity. (I know, big surprise there.) I really didn’t have much of a connection to the MAX Supreme team, but I liked the one that had the 12 issue mini-series and I was a big fan of the New Universe. I also want to know how these people found each other. I mean, was there a “Last people of your Earth” group on Meet-Up? And how do they know for sure they are the last ones? Did someone pick them from their Earth saying they were the only one and make them watch the rest die or did they actually poll every other person on Earth as to which reality they were from. It’s interesting that these realities died but all the realities that the various incarnations of Spider-Man are from are still around. This whole things has more holes in it than Zatanna’s fishnet stockings. But enough of my rant and onto the actual book…

Supposedly, Namor had something to do with Doctor Spectrum’s world being destroyed so the team attacks him. When did this happen? Will it be in the last issue of Secret Wars that still isn’t out yet or left undocumented other than he somehow had the power to do this? (Add one more to the hole count.) While the rest of the team fight Namor and his army, Hyperion goes underwater and raises Atlantis to destroy the city and kill some of the citizens that don’t make it back into the sea. Yeah, this sounds like a real hero to me. After destroying the city, Hyperion uses his laser vision to cut Namor’s head off. For all he’s been through, Namor sure was easy to kill. I’m surprised they killed the character off like that too. At the end, they show a little bit of Thundra who is supposed to be joining the team too. If this is another sign of what Marvel is doing with new titles, I really need to stick with DC even after New 52.

Starbrand and Nightmask #1 – We start off with the guys taking on Blizzard who apparently is now an Inhuman too. (SERIOUSLY??????? Let’s just make EVERYONE an Inhuman and get it over with, ok?) Somehow, he happens to have the same powers that his suit used to give him too. After taking him down without barely blinking, Sunspot shows up to offer them a place in his Avengers. I’m sorry but with the artwork in this book, they look more like they should be in Power Pack. Well, it seems that Nightmask has went behind Kevin’s back and enrolled them in college to learn how to build relationships. And he goes along with it. Even in Marvel terms, this is not making any sense so far. To make it worse, they show up at school and you find out that they are in the same dorm with Squirrel Girl. (Well, that really sets the standard of the book right there.) In an alley outside their dorm, Adam and Kevin happen to run across Graviton and Nitro who are babbling like they’ve lost their brains. So, they decide to take them on and Nitro explodes. I guess the New Warriors won’t feel quite as bad now that full Avengers did this too. Please let the school be destroyed and this be the last issue. Somehow, I don’t think I’m that lucky.

Webwarriors #2 – We finally find out how the “Electroverse” started too. The Electro of one reality caught a reality hopping Morbius (Is there a Morbiusverse too with alternate versions of him?) kill his Spider-Man and followed him through a portal to another world. There, he got that world’s Doctor Octopus to help him create a devise to travel between dimensions and used that until he found a world with a really smart version of himself and then the whole thing snowballed. We find this out when Electro monologued to the captured Spider-Gwen. Maybe the guy should have watched the Incredibles. He would have known better than to monologue. While Gwen gets her history lesson, Spider-Girl goes and gets reinforcements. The team takes on a team of Electros until they are tricked into escaping. (And, yes, there is an anthropomorphic Electro too. He’s a horse.) Back at the home back, Gwen convinces Electro to team up and take down the smart Electro who is leading the group, but once they get there, she turns on him and takes him down. Of course, this leaves her alone at the mercy of a much more powerful Electro. Not very bright of her. I’m really not sure what to make of this title. Yes, the different spider variations have their own personalities but they are still essentially the same character. The lack of variety is what really leaves this title kinda lacking for me in the long run.

OK. Finally got that batch. The titles this week really ran the whole range of quality but they sadly balanced towards the bad side. There were a few decent titles and the top spots for those go to All-New X-Men, Harley Quinn, and Red Thorn. Hopefully things will look up in future weeks.