Justice Society of America #12 -- I'm not sure why exactly Geoff Johns feels the need to introduce EVEN MORE characters into this title, but a new trio of heroes make their debut this time out anyway, while Wildcat puts Judomaster through her paces and Jakeem Thunder makes his return. It's enjoyable to see the interactions between heroes new and old, but considering that this is part of the ongoing "Thy Kingdom Come" storyline, there's precious little having actually to do with that plot. There's an interesting development of a sort of "Boys' Club" in the JSA this issue as well, with Wildcat, Wildcat Jr, Citizen Steel, Starman, and Damage all hanging around being dudes. Also of note is not one, but two old school Outsiders references, including the wholesale slaughter of one of Barr's villain teams (the New Olympians).
Annihilation Conquest #4 -- While reading this issue, I started thinking about the major differences between this title and its predecessor from last year. And the biggest change is of course the fact that in Annihilation, it was all-out war, where here in Conquest, it's about resistance. What that means is that this entire series seems a little smaller in scope, because we don't have vast cosmic armadas duking it out, but instead focus on smaller conflicts and groups. If nothing else, it helps to make this a wholly different experience from the first story, while still being a recognizeable part of the same over-reaching corner of the universe. Things look bleaker and bleaker by the minute for our heroes, but it looks like Ronan has the tools to break the occupation -- but what about the cost? Really fun science-fictiony stuff.
Futurama Comics #35 -- Go Go Go New Justice Team! The new (old) adventures of Captain Yesterday, Clobberella, and (the greatest one of them all!) Super King take center stage here as our intrepid heroes battle the fiendish Son Of The Human Sun! Great, goofy fun with sight gags a-plenty as lots of Silver Age tropes are sent up in riotous fashion. Also, be sure not to miss the Professor's venomous hatred of the 1980's musical scene. Considering that this title is published bi-monthly, I don't think you have much of an excuse not to buy it, really.
Transformers: Beast Wars Sourcebook #4 -- Foreword: My review of this title shall consist of only two words. As such, some opening remarks. Namely, if you enjoy sourcebooks and Beast Wars Transformers, you should have already bought this series. This issue contains a few more major characters, including Tigatron and Waspinator, and otherwise continues with the same quality as the previous installments. Thank you.
Review: SKY SHADOW!
The Phantom #21 -- After the breather last issue with the flashback story, we're back in the present-day for the Ghost-Who-Walks, and kicking off a big new storyline to boot. When groups of armed soldiers begin using a small Bangalan village as a battleground, the Phantom puts a swift end to it. But in the process he catches wind that one of his past enemies is making a comeback, and the wife of recently defeated dictator, child-kidnapper, and all-around piece of crap Him has begun to make waves as well. And then everything comes off the tracks, and the fight turns personal. Bullock's script and Szilagyi's pencils are in sync, and this comic really looks great (especially on the newly glossy paper). And the story itself builds up vrey nicely -- slowly at first, but then taking a harsh and nasty twist which redefines the Phantom (at least in the context of this series) in a way which both intrigues me and angers me. Hopefully it will be played for what it is and not just used as a plot device. But given the history interent to the title, I have a lot of hopes that it's not going to go the typical route. In any event, this series rarely disappoints, and it doesn't here.
The Pick Of The Pile this week goes to Futurama Comics, which despite being light and silly, was super-enjoyable (pun intended). All of my purchases were enjoyable, and quality comics, but after the grim stuff going on in most of them, Futurama was a really nice change of pace.