Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis (DC): I was a huge fan of the current Aquaman storyline, which found him the protector of Sub Diego, a city created when a portion of San Diego sunk beneath the sea. All of that now seems to have been for naught, as part of their One Year Later storyline, DC dropped it, and instead handed the book over to a new creative team (writer Kurt Busiek and artist Butch Guice), and refocused it as a sword and sorcery book. After hearing of this, I dropped the book, but decided to pick this initial issue up anyway. You know what? I'm glad I dropped it. The story itself wasn't bad, and presented an intriguing mystery-what happened to the original Aquaman? Yet, I really wish they had tied up loose ends from the previous run. Maybe they will one day, and I'll come back if they do, but for now, no.
War of the Worlds: Second Wave (BOOM! Studios): The great thing about HG Wells' The War of the Worlds is how it can be re-interpreted in various contexts. Last year, Steven Spielberg attempted to frame the story in a post-911 enviroment, at the expense of a credible story. Now BOOM! Studios, along with writer Michael Alan Nelson and artist Chee, make another stab at it with this book. It is the year 2005 and the Martians launch an attack on Earth, which quickly devastates the planet. The book follows the adventures of an Everyman narrator who is witness to the attack. The armies of Earth put up a valiant fight, and manage to keep them at bay. Then, a week later, a second wave of Martians lands. Spielberg should have looked to these folks if we wanted to do a modern take on the story. This is only the first issue of the title, and I hope to get more as I really want to see where this story goes.
Ultimate Spider-man (Marvel): I haven't read Ultimate Spider-man since it debuted over five years ago. No particular reason why, it's just...that I haven't been interested. Yet hearing about some of the recent storylines, I decided to give the book another shot. This current story-arc is introducing the Ultimate version of Deadpool. In case you didn't know, the Ultimate version of Spider-man is dating the Ultimate version of Kitty Pryde, and this issue deals with their relationship. I liked how Brian Michael Bendis explored what it's like when two super-powered people date, and some of the baggage they have to deal with. Will I be back next month? Perhaps, as some of the plot lines interested me.
JSA Classified (DC): Yet another One Year Later book, this one focusing on the immortal villain Vandal Savage. Vandal has been through hell during the "Lost Year" and is now seeking to put his affairs in order. I mainly picked this book up for two reasons: one, it features the Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott (he’s one of my favorite characters) and it's written by Stuart Moore, who I'm eternally grateful to for saving Firestorm from the brink of suck (see last column). I predict that once this storyline concludes, I'll drop it.
X-men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula (Marvel): Dracula has been a pain in the arse to several Marvel characters over the years, the X-men among them. This mini-series chronicles Dracula's battles with X-villain Apocalypse. The concept sounds incredibly stupid, but the creative team manages to make it work. It goes like this: Apocalypse, before he became Apocalypse, fought in the Crusades, and squared off with Dracula, before he became a vampire. Now, in 1897 London, someone is killing Apocalypse's descendants, draining them of their blood. His surviving children make the decision to resurrect him, in order to get to the bottom of the affair. After fighting off his vampirized progeny, Apocalypse teams up with Van Helsing and declares war on Dracula. This issue was great, and I will most certainly pick up the rest (or the trade when it comes out).
Don't tell Shaun Corley what he can't do!