Nextwave #5 (Warren Ellis/Stuart Immonen, Marvel)
After last issue's mild disappointment, I was glad to see Dirk Anger back and ridiculous as always, and coming right after the Nextwave squad with all manner of insane, absurdist weapons. Ellis offers more concisely hilarious flashbacks, effectively skewering goofy Avengers villains and the '90s excesses of X-Force in one panel each. Plus, koala bears of death. You can't beat that.
Powers #18 (Brian Michael Bendis/Michael Avon Oeming, Marvel/Icon)
This epic storyline finally comes to a close, and this was a good issue and a satisfying ending, but man did it drag on about three issues too long. We get no satisfying answer as to the point of the random monologues, although at least this issue's monologue comes from the bystander to Millennium's death, and it relates to the main story and sets her up as a love interest for Walker, which is a nice bright spot to all the dark turns in this issue. It seems remarkably easy for them to finally solve the murder after all this time, although the solution makes sense and is an interesting new approach for the book. Whatever Bendis's faults, he always comes up with new and revealing realistic approaches to having superpowers. Deena hits rock bottom at the end of the issue, and it looks like the next arc will be all about dealing with her and Walker having acquired (or re-acquired) powers, which is long overdue.
She-Hulk #8 (Dan Slott/Paul Smith, Marvel)
With all the attention the New Warriors are getting as a result of Civil War, it really seems to me like Marvel is preparing for a new series for them, which would make me very happy. Slott once again proves his encyclopedic knowledge of obscure Marvel continuity, trotting out some of the least-known Warriors for this issue exploring the ramifications of the Stamford disaster for the team's myriad members who weren't on the scene. He also advances his ongoing subplot about She-Hulk and John Jameson being unnaturally attached to each other, and gets in a general response to Civil War as well. Smith is a welcome change on art, his classic style a perfect fit for this book. With Slott's ability to turn Hindsight Lad into a credible villain and his usage of Warriors Ultragirl (who I had never heard of) and Slapstick (come on, any comic with Slapstick has to be awesome), he just jumped to the top of my list of ideal writers to relaunch the Warriors.
Spike vs. Dracula #3 (Peter David/Joe Corroney, IDW)
I don't know what was up with the art in this issue, half of which was sketchy and rough, the other half of which was clean and soft, like the art in the previous two issues. At first I thought it was because Corroney shared the inking duties with someone else, but looking back at the last two issues, they're both credited as inkers for the whole series. So I have no idea, but the rough art is distracting, and Spike doesn't even look like Spike, especially with his dark hair. Otherwise, this is another solid issue, a little more serious than the last two, and it looks to be the first that isn't completely self-contained.
X-Factor #7 (Peter David/Ariel Olivetti, Marvel)
This is an improvement over the last couple of issues, thanks in large part to the absence of Dennis Calero on art. Olivetti is a much better replacement for Ryan Sook, even if it doesn't look like he's sticking around. The X-Factor versus Singularity storyline is still advancing at a snail's pace, but David does a nice riff on death being a temporary thing in the Marvel universe, with Siryn laughing off her father's death because she's certain he'll be back. He hints that it might all be an elaborate excuse to avoid dealing with the emotions, but at the same time, she's probably not wrong. It's a good example of a writer using continuity muddles and editorial fuck-ups to fashion a good story with some genuine emotion, and I'm impressed with David for his deft use of something that happened in another book.