Cable & Deadpool #35 (Fabian Nicieza/Reilly Brown, Marvel)
This is a decent stand-alone story with Cable once again acting all holier-than-thou, this time by forcing Deadpool to confront hallucinations of all the obscure characters he's killed off, which probably has more resonance if you are intimately familiar with Deadpool's continuity (I certainly am not). I wonder if Nicieza intends for readers to find Cable an increasingly sanctimonious jackass, because that's definitely what's happening with me. This appears to be the lead-in to a story in which Deadpool tries to find himself and questions his morality, which is okay as long as it still features all of the humor that serves as this issue's strongest element and keeps it from being sappy and manipulative (like Cable). Brown's art is serviceable but still a little too cartoony and broad, and the excellent Tom Raney cover just reminds me that someone better could be drawing this book.
Criminal #3 (Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips. Marvel/Icon)
Still not quite as taken as most people with this book, but it's a solid crime story and this issue raises some predictable complications while remaining a bit unexpected as well. Nothing earth-shattering going on here, but the characters are interesting and the scenario has enough suspense that I'm willing to read the rest of the arc to see where it leads.
Fables #56 (Bill Willingham/Mark Buckingham, DC/Vertigo)
A cute little story about Santa Claus made more interesting by Santa providing some ominous foreshadowing about the coming battle with the Adversary, and restoring Flycatcher to his human state. It was also nice to see that Snow and Bigby didn't just ride off into the sunset never to be heard from again, and that more than just having a cute Christmas, they'll be participating in some potential intrigue by heading off to visit Bigby's father. Some requisite "miracle of Christmas" stuff, but Santa seems like an interesting character with secrets of his own, and it'd be kind of cool for Willingham to integrate him into the larger story. Who knows, that just might happen.
She-Hulk #14 (Dan Slott/Rick Burchett, Marvel)
A so-so stand-alone issue about Awesome Andy, with lots of references to silly Silver Age continuity. He does seem to have done about all he can do, so writing him out at this point is probably wise. Meanwhile, She-Hulk and John break up, and S.H.I.E.L.D. shows up to recruit her for the next storyline. With half the supporting cast gone and Jen whisked away from the law firm, this is starting to look like an entirely different book, and I'm not yet sure if that's a good thing.
Walk In #1 (Jeff Parker/Ashish Padlekar, Virgin)
I've been sort of ignoring Virgin since picking up the first issue of Snakewoman and finding it mediocre (I intended to pick up the second issue, but missed it and never bothered going back). So this seemed like a good chance to give them another look: It's a mini-series; it was created by Dave Stewart of the Eurhythmics (which is sort of random); it's written by Jeff Parker, whose work I've mostly enjoyed on Agents of Atlas; and it's got an interesting premise not based on bringing Indian mythology to the West. This turns out to be a promising if not outstanding first issue, mostly setting up the protagonist, who sees a strange alternate world just behind our own. Parker's writing is breezy and the hero, Ian, is amusing, and the story shows promise even if it's hard to tell where it's going. The art is sometimes shaky but mostly effective, and tells the story well. I will make sure to make more of an effort to track down this second issue than I did with Snakewoman.
Y the Last Man #52 (Brian K. Vaughan/Pia Guerra, DC/Vertigo)
Vaughan seems to be putting a button on the explanation of the plague here and focusing the remaining issues on reuniting Yorick with his girlfriend. That's fine with me, as the whole explanation storyline has been sort of anti-climactic, and the eventual reunion with Beth should be more emotionally satisfying. This actually reads like a final issue in many ways, with heartfelt goodbyes and a wrapping-up of storylines, and there aren't many loose ends to tie up before the book comes to a close.