On the list this week, or last week as I suppose it is now...
Thunderbolts #114, Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #2, Tales of the Unexpected #8, Guy Ritchie's Gamekeeper #2, Marvel Zombies Dead Days one shot, Comics gone Ape and 2000AD #1536
I swerved Countdown #51 and remain determined not to get hooked into World War Hulk either.
So, where to start. Well I guess Marvel Zombies Dead Days is as good a place as any. I loved the original mini series and the Millar scripted Ultimate Fan 4 crossover arc but this prequel isn't great chiefly because it seems that Robert Kirkman's heart isn't really in it.
The great thing about the original was the vein of dark humour that ran through every page. That sick sense of fun is missing from this one shot which is a wholly pessimistic affair and less enjoyable as a result.
Sean Phillips' art is still nice to look at and we get another pretty Arthur Suydam cover to savour (this one's based on Jim Lee's X-Men #1) , but overall this is a bit of a let down. It'll still sell bucketloads and no doubt we haven't heard the last of Marvel Zombies, but super-hero zombies need to be fun to work and sadly there isn't a great deal of fun to be had in Dead Days.
Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four is much better. I wish Jeff Parker was doing The Ultimate Fantastic Four, because this book is everything that the Ultimate title should be but isn't. It zips along at a nice pace, doesn't get bogged down in unnecessary dialogue and most of all it's fun.
I've said it before, but I think Parker really gets Spidey. Reading this it's clear that he also understands the FF too. An excellent writer whose stuff I must make it a mission to read more of.
Gamekeeper #2 continues to read like the comics version of an X-Box shooter. Didn't feel that the second issue quite matched up to the promise of the first and there were several moments of clunky dialogue this time out, but it's still an enjoyable read and is different enough to some of the other stuff out there to keep me on board for the duration.
Tales of the Unexpected #8 winds up a mini-series which I was only buying out of a misguided sense of nostalgia for I Vampire who features in the Doctor 13 back-up story. I stopped reading the main Spectre story after issue 1, but Dr 13 was a smart piece of DC weirdness which read more like a Grant Morrison story than Brian Azarello's normal stuff.
I guess the main problem with Thunderbolts is that as fun as it is watching a team of bad guys being sponsored by the US government to take down good guys, we're never going to be allowed to see them tackling any A listers. I don't mind that too much, and #114 is another enjoyable beat-em-up featuring a selection of heroes direct from the Appendix of the Handbook of the Marvel Universe. But for this book to really deliver the goods we need to see the Thunderbolts messing up one of the big boys. Bring on Spidey v Norman Osborn I say.