Jack Cross #1 (Warren Ellis/Gary Erskine, DC)
First of all, I have no idea why DC is releasing this under their regular banner rather than Vertigo or Wildstorm. It's not a superhero comic, it's creator-owned and it's not set in the DC universe. Like Hard Time and Fallen Angel, it's an anomaly that I think may get lost in the shuffle. Mainstream DC universe readers may pass it up because it's not in continuity, and readers of more mature, creator-owned fare may pass it up because it's got the DC logo on it and they'll assume it's another superhero book. I hope I'm wrong about that, because this is an interesting book, probably a little better than Ellis' other recent ongoing series launch, Desolation Jones. Once again it starts with what seems like a stock Ellis protagonist and takes it in another direction. Ellis has set up a character with two very different sides, and it'll be interesting how he reconciles the left-wing activist with the government torturer. I'm glad he's doing books like this alongside his Marvel superhero work, because it gives me a place to still enjoy reading his stuff.
Spike: Old Times (Peter David/Fernando Goni, IDW)
I tend to stay away from licensed comics, because they often lose a lot in translation and/or are put together shoddily. Although I'm a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I've only picked up a handful of related comics, only those written by people directly involved with the show (especially Joss Whedon himself). Despite that reservation, and the ridiculous $7.49 price tag, I picked this up thanks to the combination of Buffyverse characters and Peter David. It's an entertaining enough read, with good continuity touches for fans and some sharp dialogue, but it comes off as a pretty inconsequential story and probably isn't worth the money. Goni's art is a bit dodgy and rough at times, but David writes a nice little story.
Also out this week: The Middle Man #2, which I've ordered at my local comic shop thanks to my enjoyment of the first issue that I picked up in San Diego, but hasn't come in yet. I know you are all waiting with bated breath to hear what I think of it.