Lots of reading to do this past week. So, let’s just get down to this.

Archer & Armstrong #13 – It’s finally time for the big battle in the Faraway. Archer and crew find some planes that came through from the Bermuda Triangle and piece them together to make 3 good ones. That’s one for Archer and one for Ivar, but they need a third pilot so they go to get Armstrong. And this is where it gets uncomfortable. Archer finds Armstrong… in bed with Mary Maria. To say things become strained puts it lightly. They do find a third pilot in the obvious person to find — Amelia Earhart. They take down Redacted’s aliens but Archer is still not ready to forgive Armstrong for sleeping with someone he had been in love with. This causes him to steal Ivar’s map of the time wholes and take off alone. This can’t lead to anything good.

Avengers Arena #15 – Last issue, Bloodstone removed his ring to save his friends from X-23. This caused him to become a giant beast which is a tad bit out of control. Technically, he’s trapped in the back of the beast which Anachronism knows about. Just as he’s about to take out Bloodstone to save everyone, Nara appears with the ring and saves the day. Sadly, the beast kills her while she does this. (After showing us her history and finding some good in herself, of course.) One more person down.

Aquaman #23.1 (Black Manta #1) – Unlike a lot of the villain issues, this one is about the present. Amanda Waller is talking to Manta and trying to convince him to join the Suicide Squad. She says that he needs more of a purpose than killing Aquaman. Then, everything goes to hell at Belle Reve. When Black Manta shows up for the big meeting, he gets thrown Awuaman’s trident. With the sea king dead, his purpose is gone so he goes to his father’s grave. While there, we see Ultraman move the moon (this happened in Forever Evil #1) which changes the tides and washes out the grave. Well, Manta has someone new to take out now — the Crime Syndicate. This should keep things interesting.

Detective #23.2 (Harley Quinn #1) – The first half of the book is the Harley’s origin. Most of it is all expected but there is a cute part about how she got the costume by stealing bits and pieces from different people. After that, we see the current time while she creates chaos and psychoanalyzes herself. In the end, she still ends up bored and is approached by Deadshot to rejoin the Suicide Squad. The part that really disturbed me in the book was seeing her sitting on an outjutting at the top of a building. That makes the acrophobe in my cringe. I’m looking forward to see what role the Squad plays in all this mess coming up.

Earth 2 #15.2 (Solomon Grundy #1) – The story tells of the coming of Solomon Grundy… twice. Grundy returns to Earth and starts absorbing the lives of people to energize himself while he looks for Green Lantern. Interspersed through this is the story of him as a human where his recites the poem as he sees his wife kill herself. He then kills himself after killing the man who caused her to do that. You see his eyes open after his baby cries. No clue what’s up with the baby and if it will resurface in a later storyline. The fact that he’s back can’t be a good thing, especially with everything going on with Steppenwolf already.

Eternal Warrior #1 – Most of the story takes place in ancient Mesopotamia where Gillad is with his tribe which includes his son and daughter. They are going to war and his daughter is even more ready to fight than even he is. She saves their army from the attackers but proves to be way too bloodthirsty. So much so that she even kills her brother for disagreeing with her and (temporarily) killing her father when he tries to save his son. Back in the future, Gillad is trying to live on his own in peace. (This seems odd after the way he was in Archer & Armstrong. Shouldn’t he be with the Geomancer?) Who should come by but his daughter whom he thought to be long dead. Guess she fared better in the immortal gene pool than her brother did. Gillad is an interesting character. It’s just a matter of seeing how the writing of this book goes.

Flash #23.2 (Reverse Flash #1) – It seems that in this universe, the Reverse Flash is Daniel West, Iris’ brother. We get a look at how he got his powers and look, falling into a speed source power battery and absorbing mental from a train. (Ummm…. yeah….) We also get to see his hatred for his father and some of the history explaining why. Daniel’s solution to all this and to get back on Iris’ good side is to go back in time to kill his father before things went wrong. The only problem is that the young siblings walk in on it. (Oops!!) I might actually have to pick up Flash to see how this goes. (The 3D cover for this really rocks too.)

Green Lantern #23.2 (Mongul #1) – We get to see a Mongul on War World as his makes people fight to the death. Then we see be was an sadistic and power hungry asshole even as a kid. And…. umm… Oh, yeah, that was about it. *yawn* Now he’s headed off to Earth and I find him less interesting than ever. (Don’t waste your time with this issue.)

Justice League #23.2 (Lobo #1) – This issue confused the Hell out of me at first. Lobo narrates the issue and talks about how people think they know him and don’t. When you first see him, he’s a skinny pale guy who is a mercenary with these cool holographic blue markings. Nothing like what we’re used to seeing. It got me thinking… Didn’t we see Lobo’s origin over in Stormwatch? The story is interesting and this Lobo is still an arrogant beyotch. What is with all these changes though? Then we get the answer when he gets his payment from a delivery he makes. A globe showing him the Lobo we know which he reveals to actually be an imposter posing as him. Interesting. I really want to see how this all pans out. I think I like this Lobo better than the original.

Justice League of America #7.2 (Killer Frost #1) – It’s the origin and a little history on Killer Frost. Believe it or not, her last name is Snow. (The sad thing is that she says it’s a common Irish name. Irish? Really?? I looked it up and it’s an old English name. It doesn’t even sound Irish.) Well, she starts at a S.T.A.R. base in the Arctic where she’s working on some perpetual motion machine. Since some people don’t want it to happen, when she figures it out, they try to kill her. As usual, they screw up and it gives her powers. The only way she can seem to warm up is to take life energy. (She’s an ice shooting vitae vampire?) Though it seems Firestorm can somehow temporarily cure her. Oops! Firestorm is supposedly dead now so what’s she supposed to do?

King’s Watch #1 – It seems some immense evil is coming that could be the end of the world. The saviors of this? It’s Mandrake the Magician, the Phantom, and Flash Gordon. Doesn’t seem like the most powerful team. They haven’t even assembled yet as this issue is all about introduction. This may be a Dynamite comic but these are old King Features characters. (Ergo, the title.) I like old school characters but we will see how this does.

Mighty Avengers #1 – Another Avengers title? Really??? We start out with the new Heroes for Hire (Luke Cage, White Tiger, and the new Powerman) taking on a mission. Along comes Spider-Man being his usual arrogant and rude Doc Ock self. (Still, no one thinks the total personality change is weird even though everyone hates it.) When a minion of Thanos’ (who seems can boss and influence Thanos a little too much) attacks New York, Luke and Spider-Man are joined by Spectrum (formerly Pulsar formerly Photon formerly Captain Marvel *whew* Can’t she just pick a code name?) and someone who stayed in the shadows but joins the team wielding nunchuks and wearing a cheesy pink and green “Spider Hero” costume because he can’t be seen in America. No clue who it is though. (Daredevil?) Doctor Strange makes a cameo but I’m not sure if he’s joining or what. I’m just not sure how his team is going to work out.

Teen Titans #23.2 (Trigon #1) – Well, it seems Trigon wasn’t always so powerful. It ends up he was a more minor demon who caused just enough trouble to get some attention from some “benevolent entities”. He uses this to gain the power of all the evil they have collected which seem to be like super steroids to him. What does he do with this power? He run around trying to impregnate women on tons of words in tons of dimensions. Ar first, only 3 make it — his 3 demonic sons. Then, a worshiper of his lets him impregnate her (which is a switch from the pre-New 52 story) which leads to Raven being born. The book had it’s interesting points, but it could have been better.

X-Men #5 – Battle of the Atom chapter 3 – Well, somehow, Storm and Jubilee are around all of a sudden. The team, less the younger Iceman and Beast as well as Rachel, Kitty, and Jubilee (babysitters), go after Scott and Jean in the new Blackbird called the Dove. When they find the pair, Rachel and Kitty intervene and help them escape where they run off to join Angel with Scott’s team. Honestly, I’d think Scott of all people would want the young team heading back now after he almost disappeared from reality. We’re only about 1/3 of the way through so I guess there’s still time to see where things go.

Interesting mix of books here. Especially with the villains month, there’s some good and some bad with a lot of standalone issues. The top 3 for the month are going to be Archer & Armstrong, Flash, and Justice League. For a change, none of the actual first issues made the top 3 this time around.

One thing I need to discuss is the appearance of yet another Avengers title. What is there now? Avengers, New Avengers, Young Avengers, Secret Avengers, Avengers A.I., Avengers Arena, Uncanny Avengers, Avengers Assemble, A+X, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes… If I haven’t missed any, that bring it to 11 with the Mighty Avengers title. This is betting a bit much. It’s as bad as the X titles. When they have more issues per month than Batman or Superman, you know things are out of control. A friend at the local comic shop were joking on how we were waiting to see the Incredible Avengers, the Spectacular Avengers and the Superior Avengers (both mostly starting the Doc Ock Spider-Man acting especially evil but with still no one questioning it), the Invincible Avengers, the Incredible Avengers, and the like. (Please, no one send this list to Marvel! They might take it seriously.) I think this needs to stop. You want new teams? Reform the New Warriors with the old cast. Bring back a decent version of the Defenders. Hell, even give Power Pack their title back. JUST NO MORE AVENGERS TITLES!!!!!