The Book of Lost Souls #2 (J. Michael Straczynski/Colleen Doran, Marvel/Icon)
I wasn't sure what to expect after reading the first issue, but it seemed like there was an interesting enough premise to stick around for. This issue, however, is awful, and I doubt I'll bother to pick up the next one. Doran's art is still beautifully detailed and expressive, but the story is heavy-handed and wildly overwritten, with the kind of tired battered woman cliches that would be appropriate for a Lifetime TV movie. The fantasy aspects of the story only serve to make it more obvious and insipid. If this is where Straczynski's going with this book, I won't be following him.
Cable & Deadpool #22 (Fabian Nicieza/Patrick Zircher, Marvel)
In the third part of this arc, the plot finally starts to make some sense, but it's still not particularly compelling, especially since I don't know the supposedly obvious (or so the next issue blurb claims) identity of the villain. In the meantime, all the usual compliments apply, but I'm looking forward to a new storyline to recapture my interest in the plot.
DMZ #1 (Brian Wood/Riccardo Burchielli, DC/Vertigo)
I thought Wood's Couscous Express was vastly overrated, but I liked the concept of this series (a near future in which a U.S. civil war has transformed Manhattan into a no man's land) enough to give it a try. And...it's okay. It's pretty much all set up, so it'll take another issue to see where things start to go. I still think the concept has promise, but Wood's writing remains sort of awkward, and the political allegory stuff is not all that interesting yet.
New Warriors #5 (Zeb Wells/Skottie Young, Marvel)
It's odd that this wraps up the two-part story only for there to be one issue left in the series. This really is paced much more like an old-school ongoing than a mini-series, and it might read strangely in the inevitable trade. This issue even ends with a little twist that would serve perfectly as a building subplot, but I don't think it'll be touched on before the series ends. Once again, a very fun read that I'd love to see continue beyond six issues.
The Pulse #12 (Brian Michael Bendis/Michael Gaydos, Marvel)
After last issue's excellent return to form, this is a little disappointing. The half with Jessica's baby being born feels like a subplot from New Avengers, but Ben Urich's investigation into the D-Man mystery is still exactly the kind of thing that Bendis used to do so well in Alias. I'll be glad when the baby's born and we don't have to see the Avengers in every issue; I really wish this book stood on its own more, again like Alias used to do.
Y the Last Man #39 (Brian K. Vaughan/Pia Guerra & Goran Sudzuka, DC/Vertigo)
Double crosses! Cliffhangers! And an interesting solution to the problem of Yorick being exposed in the press. Once again, Vaughan uses his shock endings as jumping off points to take the book into unexpected territory and never backs down from the drastic changes he makes on the last pages of most issues. This doesn't really feel like the conclusion to a story arc, but other than that it's another fabulous issue. Sudzuka steps in and pencils half the issue for Guerra, but their styles are so similar (and both inked by Jose Marzan Jr.) that I couldn't even tell the difference.