House of M: Avengers #2 The first issue was okay, and I was leaning towards not continuing, but, on a lark, I bought it. And this one is better; more characters, more action, and the plot really gets underway. While the previous issue was narrated by Luke Cage, this one is narrated by police officer Misty Knight as she attempts to infiltrate Cages "Avengers" (theyre the mafia, but theyve been so-dubbed by the Sapiens they help). Meanwhile, we get the debut of the Punisher (who manages to save his family from a gang of mutant killers in this reality, and is the token Sapien on an anti-Cage FBI task force led by John Proudstar/Thunderbird). Things move pretty quick here, as Misty starts to admire Cages defiance of the mutant rulers, even as shes pressed to find enough information to bust him. Things come to a head at the issues end, when Misty is ordered by Thunderbird to kill Cage with a gun loaded with adamantium bullets; she fires...(this seems familiar) Oh, and Tigra continues to have a rough ride even in alternate realities. She was rescued by Cage last issue, and has become his sex kitten, but then takes an adamantium bullet meant for Cage right through the chest! Ouch. Justice League of America #15 The arc comes to an end pretty banally, honestly. Firestorm shows up to free the team, triggering a massive brawl, and the capture of most of the Injustice League, who are promptly handed over to Amanda Waller and Task Force X for transport to Salvation Run. Hal stops by to help too. Theres some decent witty banter in combat, and McDuffie actually depicts Black Canary as the leader of the team, rather than just telling us how great she is at it like Meltzer did. I was looking forward to McDuffies run, but so far it hasnt been very interesting; ah, well. Justice Society of America #11 The "Thy Kingdom Come" story continues, with some more character interaction, but so far theres still not much in the way of a plot. The Justice League arrived last issue to meet with this new supposed Superman, and Wonder Womans lasso and Hal and Johns rings both say hes the real deal, so the question turns to how to send him home, before KC-Supes tells them that his world has been destroyed, so theres nothing for him to go home to. This could just be his perception from the bomb going off, or a metaphor for the destruction of superhumanity, or hes possibly just lying because hed rather stay here than go back. I have to say that this story just feels too crowded, and honestly better suited to a JLA book, since most of the characters Id most like to see him interact with are on that team. Re: overcrowding, thats only looking to get worse, as another recruiting drive is underway, starting with the new Judomaster. She was originally introduced in Gail Simones Birds of Prey, but shes nothing like how Simone depicted her (for starters, here were told she barely speaks English, when communication wasnt a problem). It may just be high expectations, but I think this story could be a lot better. Ms. Marvel #22 The Monster Island arc continues, amidst the news that Aaron Lopresti will soon be leaving for DC, which is a blow to the book, because his art has been pretty much perfect since #13 (minus one fill-in for #20). Hopefully whomever is assigned to the title next will be capable. Ill be interested to see what Lopresti does at DC. Anyway, this story involves Ms. Marvel working with Cru, whose backstory is revealed in this issue, and she (its a she) is a woman from another world who volunteered for experiments to create anti-Brood warriors, and thus became what she is now. Cru hijacks Ms. Marvels body to get revenge, sticking Carol inside her head for the time being, where she interacts with various old versions of herself, including Binary (a parallel is drawn between the experiments that made Cru and the Brood experiments that made Carol Binary). She also gets a lecture from Cru about spending so much time worrying about her issues and whether people like her instead of just taking action and dominating her planet. Another good installment, which ends by revealing that the Brood Queen Carol killed years earlier is apparently still alive, and delighted to have both Cru and Carol in her clutches. Reed is great with Carol, and her whole cast (the Lightning Storm guys make a brief appearance here, on their way to the Island to help; Sleepwalker has taken to calling Aaron "Machine Manwoman"). Uncanny X-Men #493 - Pick of the Week The "Messiah CompleX" crossover hits its sixth issue, and it just keeps getting better. This is the best X-Men story Ive read in a good while, and Im counting Whedons stuff, which, even if it wasnt so terminally delayed, cant match the great scope of this story. In just six issues so far, weve got every X-team, Mister Sinister, Mystique, and the Marauders, the Acolytes, the Purifiers, Lady Deathstrike, and the Reavers, plus the wildcard of Cable. The only notable X-players absent so far are Magneto and Apocalypse; I expect the former to show up in good time, although not the latter. Anyway, as last issue revealed, Cable has the baby (and hes got a nifty baby-carrier with an X on it and everything!), and is slowly making is way through the woods, apparently in fear of pursuit (Sinister thinks that hes "damaged" somehow, although that isnt apparent from the art). Meanwhile, the X-Mansion gets trashed again by the Sentinels, hijacked by nano-Sentinels that turned their pilots into robot-type things that look remarkably like Danger (I thought it was her at first); theres something of a free-for-all battle before the X-Men manage to take them down, although one of the robot-pilots flies away. Brubakers gotten a lot better at doing superpower fights, as this issue amply shows. Theres a minor continuity flub here involving the New X-Men and Iceman, but whatever. Cyclops thinks that Cable might have done this, which seems rather unlikely, but given how desperate the situation is and how weird Cables actions seem, he might jump to that conclusion; regardless, finding Cable is first priority, and so Cyclops deploys...X-Force: Wolverine, Warpath, X-23, Wolfsbane, Hepzibah, and Caliban. And theyre off! (watch out, Hepzibah and Caliban, because you arent in any of the X-Force preview art, although Yost mentions that wasnt the entire team) Next issue promises Lady Deathstrike vs. Cable, X-Force on the hunt, and Layla and Jamie getting captured in the future. I cant wait. I have to say, this weekly schedule is great for keeping the pace up.