Astonishing X-Men #18 (Joss Whedon/John Cassaday, Marvel)
Theoretically this is the end of the latest arc, but nothing is really resolved, and it's more just a set-up for the climax of Whedon's 24-issue story that he's been telling since the beginning. We do figure out what's behind the whole Hellfire Club, attack, though, and it's sort of disappointing - it's another mind control story, with Cassandra Nova pulling the strings, and Emma of course has not really turned evil. Which is good, but it's lame that there isn't really a new Hellfire Club, and even lamer that it's taken this long to get to this rather tame reveal. Plus, there's the whole "she showed us our greatest fears and we defeated them" bit, which is such a horribly overused cliche. Still, wonderful art as always, some nice character moments, and an effective merging of the Ord and Danger storyline with what's going on at the mansion, which sets up (hopefully) an interesting final arc as the characters are whisked off to the Breakworld to answer for what Colossus may do in the future.
Astro City: The Dark Age Book Two #1 (Kurt Busiek/Brent Anderson, DC/Wildstorm)
Although this is a perfectly good issue that returns us to the story of brothers Charles and Royal Williams, I'm already a little fatigued at the idea of spending 12 more issues following them and not any of the myriad interesting heroes in the AC world (although they end up as significant supporting players). Busiek's epic about the gritty times in the superhero world is a little dour and downbeat to go on for so long, especially in a series that thrives on its sense of wonder, but it's a good story and this issue sets up some new circumstances that should provide for another intriguing tale.
Cable & Deadpool #34 (Fabian Nicieza/Reilly Brown, Marvel)
Cable is a little too omniscient in this issue, going from impressively capable to annoyingly perfect, although his smug condescension is probably meant to be a character trait. Nicieza wraps up this brief story with Cable's "I knew what you were doing all along, and it was all part of my plan," which is kind of a cop-out storytelling device. But it brings Domino into the supporting cast as a love interest for Cable, which is a development with some potential. I'm still not crazy about Brown's art, which is too cartoony, but I suppose it tells the story well enough.