There are even fewer books this week. All the Secret Wars tie-ins don’t help since I’m not reading most of them.

Ant-Man Annual #1 – The issue starts out with Scott and his misfit crew in a bar where they hear about what happened to Pym in Rage of Ultron. (Hank Pym get melded in with Ultron and went off into space.) This spurs on a flash back story to the last time Scott worked with Hank. The story is sort of a series of the two of them trying to cut each other down. Hank shows up to get something out of a laboratory that he left in the Ant-Man helmet. (And everything in there didn’t get just tossed around every time the helmet got flipped over how?) Scott then goes off with Hank to fight Egghead (who is the butt of a lot of Scott’s jokes.) It turns out that Egghead has called a tech company to get this guy (Raz Malhotra) who happens to be an expert in A.I. but lost his chances when Hank Pym put down A.I. Egghead wants him to get a bunch of robots that Hank Pym built called the A.I.-Vengers working. (The team consists of Cap, Thor, Ironman, Beast, Wonderman, Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel. It’s interesting that even without them functional, they seem to change position from frame to frame.) Raz doesn’t want to do this but Egghead uses some doohickey to make him. Hank and Scott show up just as the robots are reactivated and start fighting them. Then comes the really embarrassing part. Hank had made these during a lot self-esteem era of his life and the robots all are made to buff his ego and put themselves down. This really gave Scott a lot of ammo against Hank. Eventually, they win, capture Egghead, and save Raz. We then go back to the present where Janet shows up to Scott regarding his will. It turns out that Hank had left him a bunch of scientific stuff. This seems to have included his Giant Man stuff because we see later that Scott has sent it on to Raz to take over the identity. One interesting thing we learn about Raz in the last pages is that he is gay. We see his boyfriend/husband give him a kiss. I hope this isn’t something that is going to get wiped out post-Secret Wars. I’d be pissed if they introduced a new gay character and then wiped him out immediately.

Harley Quinn #18 – It’s the Harleys vs. the irradiated Popeye wanna-be. The sailor seems to know he shouldn’t eat the glowing seaweed but he does so anyway. Harley Quinn tries the seaweed too and ends up having a pirate delusion involving a whole lot of Gotham characters and ends with her kissing the Joker. By the end of the issue, all of the Harleys except the original have been captured and the sailor is ready to kill them all.

Justice League #42 – There is way too much going on in this issue. We start with Superman saving Luthor after his sister shot him. Then some Darksaeid stuff before moving on to the battle with the Anti-Monitor/Mobius. Things are going bad for the heroes til Metron steps in and things come to a halt. We also learn more about Myrina Black who is the mother of Grail, Darkseid’s daughter. In the end tho, Wonder Woman tries to get some answers from Metron and ends up pulling him out of the chair allowing Batman to take his place. Is the orld ready for a Batman with this much power? That was the one interesting thing about this issue. The reast was all too quick and short to really draw me in.

Secret Six #4 – This issue is full of surprises. We start out a couple days back with everyone getting their stuff before moving in. When they go to pick up Porcelain, a guy comes out. His explanation? “Some days I feel like a girl… Other days, not-so-much.” This character is getting more and more interesting. The team realizes they are being followed by 3 people in head to toe black outfits. They get to the house (for the first time) and go in. They get in costume in time to answer the door for the 3 people following them who come in bringing a tray of cookies. (ummm…. ok?) They have a cordial chat before going into the fight since the Six won’t give themselves up. Here are some of the interesting points of the battle. Strix keeps eating the cookies. One of the attackers allows Wells to save a vase mid-battle before continuing. Strix keeps up her misspelled notes even in battle. Best off all, we see Wells’ face hold the imprint of one of the punches making it seem more and more like this is actually Ralph Dibney finally showing up. And then we find out the identities of the 3 assailants. It’s Scandal, Ragdoll and Jeannette from the original team. What a MAJOR tease. I hope they stick around and most of the old team reforms. (We’ve already got Catman and Black Alice. I wouldn’t mind Porcelain or Strix as the 6th member.) Two other revelations are that Scandal was the one who gave Thomas the kitten and that, according to Jeannette the banshee, one of the team is going to die. The best part of the whole thing though is Scandal leaving a card for the team for an LGBTQ mixer. NICE! (The second best was Wells asking what an “LGBTQ mixer” was. LOL) This book had me going all the way through. Once of the best I’ve read in the series so far. It started out slow but is really picking up pace.

Only 4 books this week, so we’re going for a top 2. Those picks are pretty obvious: Ant-Man Annual and Secret Sex. Both had great stories and gave me a few laughs. And, yes, for one of the first times probably, Harley is in the bottom half.