My fastest thoughts on whatever comics are in front of me.

*Comics, comics, comics of yesterday.

- 52 hasn't really been as fun since it turned into Black Adam 'n Pals Weekly; even the prospect of Black Adam going all Kid Miracleman on an entire nation doesn't really land well, since that sort of thing generally leans heavily on visual aplomb, and 52... doesn't really have any. Is the entire lead-in to WWIII going to be Black Adam flying around and kicking the other storylines' asses? Still, there's one really funny panel with the very nervous President of Bialya standing around in full military gear exclaiming "Why has death arrived our door, Mister Mannheim? Why does he hover over us in silence?" and sure enough, in the background, the evil horned robot version of Death is literally standing around lurking above some random important-looking people.

- You know, when I went over Punisher War Journal #4 the other week, and I said that Frank Castle is Captain America now, I was speaking metaphorically. But hey, why let a good notion go to waste - if this pans out for a nice summer storyline, you can't say Matt Fraction and the Civil War crew didn't set it up in detail. Anyway, this issue has some interesting themes to juggle -- 'heroic' men refusing to stand down past the point of wisdom or sanity, more good people stooped to working with bad folks, just like Cap in Civil War (Frank doesn't grasp the irony) -- but I don't think it particularly holds together as a story, especially not with events from another Marvel U book popping in to halt everything. It's almost like the real theme of this book is that a Marvel U Frank Castle just can't find time to have his own stories what with the continuity demands of a superhero universe, though I doubt that one was intentional. It will be funny if Frank also manages to take over the Captain America book proper, since that'll make it so the character is back to his 1993 golden age of three ongoing titles. I don't think Ennis, Fraction and Brubaker are a bad roster...

- I really do like Blade. I like that now that the title character has lost an arm, he's simply tied a stake to the stump for easier vampire-killing action. I like that the new big villain has been apparently stabbing himself with stakes just enough so that he doesn't die for the last 100 years in order to build up an immunity to... being stabbed in the heart. But I just wish the execution was a little smoother, so that the oddness of Marc Guggenheim's stories could go down a little easier - this issue, for example, wraps up with Blade apparently dying, but then rising from the dead because he accidently grabbed some sort of Amulet of Not Dying at the beginning of the issue. Thank heavens for random objects! Also, the past/present interplay is puttering along at about 40% success, though I'm more hesitant to let that go since Howard Chaykin draws the old clothes real pretty.

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