Astonishing X-Men #19 (Joss Whedon/John Cassaday, Marvel)
After a sluggish end to the last storyline (or, really, segment of the overall storyline), Whedon returns with a vengeance, showing the interstellar adventure side of the X-Men as his definite storytelling strong suit. The opening, set on the Breakworld among its citizens, is probably the most effective part, and Whedon gives a real sense of the epic scope and urgency of the story (aided, as always, by Cassaday's phenomenal artwork). Even though the biggest strengths of this issue are not the X-Men character moments that Whedon has staked his work on, it still looks like an indication of a solid finish for his and Cassaday's run.
Nextwave #11 (Warren Ellis/Stuart Immonen, Marvel)
I just went over the many great things about this book in my year-end wrap-up, so I'll just say that all of that applies here, especially Immonen's stellar artwork. People who complain about Ellis' tendency toward decompression may hate this issue, which has six two-page spreads of the team fighting various bizarre creatures cooked up by the Beyond Corporation, but the creativity and detail that Immonen brings to the creations (which include evil clones of Stephen Hawking that shoot beams out of their eyes; MODOKs with Elvis heads; a giant ape Wolverine and little chimp Wolverines; and snakes on planes) meant that I spent as much time staring at those pages as I would have if they were filled with panels and dialogue.
Also out this week: Crossing Midnight #2 and Jack of Fables #6, both of which my local store missed because of shipping problems. I'll pick them up and maybe comment on them next week.