Desolation Jones #4 (Warren Ellis/J.H. Williams III, DC/Wildstorm)
I am totally lost on the overall mystery going on here, but this is another entertaining issue that's easy enough to follow on its own. Jose Villarubia adds a lot to the story with his gray/red color scheme that breaks to great effect toward the end of the issue. I sort of wish this opening arc weren't six issues long, because that combined with the bimonthly shipping schedule means the book is taking a whole year just for one story. Plus the longer it goes on the more confused I get. At the same time, I'm finding it perfectly entertaining, and the trade will probably read really well.
House of M #8 (Brian Michael Bendis/Oilvier Coipel, Marvel)
Mostly I'm just glad it's over, but I have to admit that this issue gave me a sliver of hope that Marvel will do something interesting with the reduction of mutants idea. It doesn't seem like they're just going to sweep it under the rug and put it in the background to make things like they were 30 years ago. Of course, only one major X-Man has lost powers as of this issue, and Iceman isn't even that interesting anyway. Besides, given all the weird mutations they've done with him in recent years, losing his powers is sort of a logical step for the character anyway. The one revelation that I actually didn't see coming and think has the most potential for growth is Wolverine's recovery of all his memories, which seems like a step forward for the character rather than a step back like the "no more mutants" bit. I still think this was a ridiculously long and padded story to get to a foregone conclusion, but at this point I don't absolutely hate it, so that's an improvement over the first few issues, at least.
Powers #14 (Brian Michael Bendis/Michael Avon Oeming, Marvel/Icon)
I'm still wondering what the stand-up comedy rants have to do with the main story, but this issue does something that Bendis, with his mostly arc-based writing, doesn't normally do: It brings a long-running subplot to head while also advancing the main story. Add to that the weird rants, and there's a lot going on in this issue, but Bendis balances it well enough that you're left at the end wondering what's going to happen to Deena, how the arc's mystery will resolve, and who those people in the comedy club are. If everything comes together next time, that'll be a very impressive feat.
Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #1 (Grant Morrison/Yanick Paquette, DC)
DC has been sending out seemingly random first issues of these series to their publicity list. Some I've gotten, some I haven't. This one is pretty good, and if it were the first issue of an ongoing I'd definitely be picking it up again. Since it's part of the epic Seven Soldiers story, I'll probably wait to read it in trade with the rest of the pieces. Still, I like Morrison's take on superhero celebrity, and his portrayal of someone who's desperate to be validated and will do anything to become a superhero himself. Paquette's art is a little uneven, but I like his design for the main character, even if it is a little heavy on the cheesecake (that is, after all, sort of the point).