Five comics this week, one of which I wasn't expecting to get. Batman #16 - This is a great issue, though I wish Two-Face, Riddler, and Penguin had a bigger role here. This arc has been great but I feel like it's lacking a bit in that we aren't seeing Joker's attempts on the Bat family in this title. I know that's happening in their own books but it would greatly help the core story if we saw that... or at least with Damian, as his actual son. While I liked Court of Owls better than this arc I think it's been a good one. This issue has Batman at Arkham Asylum, ultimately leading to Batman getting "fried" in an electrical chair. The after story is what has me curious though. Joker shows Riddler, Two Face, and Penguin a bloody covered tray, which gets some reaction from them, but we don't see what's for dinner. This was interesting because we see that same bloody tray being shown to other members of the bat family in their own titles leading toward the Death of the Family conclusion next issue. I'm pretty stoked about it and am eager to see what's under the cover. My initial thought is either Alfred or Gordon's head but I feel like that's too obvious... besides the fact that all fandom would be outraged. If it's not that though, I have no idea... and that's got me excited! Batman & Robin #16 - What this story looses in punch (as in we know nothing major will happen) it gains in beauty. Every issue Gleason draws just inches him closer and closer toward becoming one of my favorite artists. For as awesome as Capullo makes Joker look, Gleason blows him out of the water. My dream would be to see the man take a jump to Marvel and do some X-Men stories. As for the issue itself, Damian is faced with the dilema of killing his father or be killed by him. Batman has been infected with the Joker gas and is all smiley and psychopathic. Watching Damian's reaction made the issue good but if anyone's been paying attention to the main Batman book you can surmise very easily that this isn't Bruce, and that proves true. Still, the issue was entertaining and I think the moment when Damian opts to die rather than kill his father in self-defense was a great one. Of course, Joker can't have that and he torments Damian by killing Bruce himself, which freaks Damian out. And it ends with him presenting Damian with the mysterious, bloody platter. So curious! Daredevil #22 - My first official introduction to SpOck (as the hype has dubbed him) and I'm completely uninterested. The issue was good though and I really enjoyed seeing Stilt Man (a bit of a guilty pleasure). I'm not as hot on Samnee's art as some of the title's other artists but it does it's job. But WOW what an ending!!! Matt and Foggy's had a falling out, seemingly due to Foggy's frustrations with Matt's mental issues and all that, but in this issue we learn that there's more to it. He was angry because at the time when he needed Matt the most, Matt was keeping secrets from him. Why does Foggy need Matt? To cope with the fact that he likely has CANCER!!!! Freaking what?! I don't really see Waid killing Foggy off but there could be some seriously good stories coming out of this. I am so glad I came back onto this book after a year of passing it up. Fantastic! All New X-Men #6 - Immonen takes a break and is filled in by David Marquez, who does a decent job. Bendis does a decent job now that he's established the O5 staying in the present and is moving the story forward and I'm excited to see where it goes. It's funny, after Cyclops I never really felt anyone could fit the role of Xavier. Everyone knew that Marvel was going to push Wolverine into that role and it never felt organic. The next best for most was Beast but that doesn't really seem to fit. I personally liked the idea of Cannonball or Moonstar but knew they'd never go that route due to neither of them being that big these days. For some odd reason I had never even CONSIDERED Kitty as a replacement... and yet, Bendis makes it feel effortless. She's been a headmistress since Wolverine & the X-Men started, and yet, even then I didn't consider her the next Xavier. It was the cover that really got me excited about the idea (Kitty sitting in a chair with the silhouette of Charles behind her) and Bendis gives us a great scene of Kitty teaching Jean how to control her young telepathic powers. It was really well done and I loved it. Young Cyclops has an interesting little plot that leads into next issue with Mystique, which interests me, and we get the Young Warren/Angel meeting at last, which is simple but fun. All in all I really enjoyed this issue and it has me curious about this next issue. For all the questions and rants regarding Bendis' plan for this book, so far he's churning out gold. Maybe it's because I'm an X-Men fan first and foremost but I think this might be my favorite work that he's done to date. X-Men #40 - This is the book I wasn't planning on getting. I dropped the title after Gischler left but I knew Chamber was supposed to be in the last two issues so I thought I'd skim it. It seemed to focus quite heavily on him so I picked it up. The story wasn't anything to speak of really, just a group of X-Men going to help a new mutant... pretty typical right now... but the focus on Chamber made it better (for me) than it really was. He's always been one of my favorite characters and I like how he's gotten some focus lately between this and X-Men Legacy. My pet peave of the issue? Pixie talking to Chamber like she's more experience. He's got a good ten years more experience at being an X-Man and should be teaching HER a thing or two. I don't mind too much though because she's been used a LOT more lately and he's a bit rusty at the X-Men game, so I guess it works to an extent. While the story isnt anything to call home about it's only a two issue arc so I'll pick up next issue as well. With Chamber getting some scenes of late, Jubilee getting a staring gig in the upcoming X-Men book, Blink returning and getting quite a bit of focus prior to New Mutants getting canceled, and Monet having quite a following in X-Factor (which is nearing cancelation range) I'm hoping to hear about a Generation X reuinion in the next year or two. Best and Worst of the Week Best: All New X-Men #6 - There's just something about the Kitty/Jean scene that I absolutely loved in this book. Between that and Cyclops' joy ride leading into a confrontation with Mystique next issue, this issue just sucked me in. Loved it! Worst: X-Men #40 - As I said, the story was pretty generic. If it didn't have Chamber in it it'd be utterly forgetable. It wasn't bad though. I did get a little annoyed though at the cover. I thought we were past that whole 'cover has nothing to do with the interior thing'? X-Men on the cover: Storm, Pixie, Colossus, Domino, and Psylocke. X-Men in the interior: Storm, Pixie, Chamber, Angel, and Iceman. Three of them aren't even in the issue. Oh well.