I'm really annoyed by my local comic store. Aside from the typical Marvel and DC titles, anything's a gamble at (I'll illustrate some restraint from using their actual name and just say a local store near my apartment, in Milwaukee). I often miss Image and Dark Horse titles, manga trades, and now, I've missed out on one of my most-anticipated titles: Mouse Guard. I was seething when I left the store. The arrogant staff has been overheard speaking of how they deserve an Eisner for being the best store in Milwaukee (as laughable as the stores of the area are) and how well they use their space (half the store could easily be taken up by more books - they have two nearly empty shelves of alternative comic material, and there's no excuse for the small selection of trades when there is so much extra space in the store and the demand for that format is rising so substantially) and the store manager actually made a comment to someone asking about The Comics Journal about how they only review the most obscure figures in comics lately (Uh, hello! If you actually read it, they've done Will Eisner, Eddie Campbell, Craig Thompson, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, and fricking Shojo manga! How mainstream can you get!!!? He needs to actually read the material before he comments on it) Ugh! I seriously want to boycott the store, but then I would have nothing. I really, really wish I had the financing to open my own store in the area. I'm serious; I've looked into it and it's a goal of mine that I want to see happen in the next few years. But anyway...for now, I've ordered Mouse Guard #1, Robotika #2 and The Flying Friar #1 on-line and I'll review them as soon as I can...
Polly and the Pirates #4 (of 6) - Thank god there's been some major buzz around Ted Naifeh's book or I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to get this one either (not that Mouse Guard's press is anything to sneeze at). Polly and the Pirates has consistently been a fun book to pick up. I love his new character for the series, Polly Pringle, as she's thrown into these wild situations and forced to examine her actions and what is really important to her. 9/10
The Book of Lost Souls #5 - I know that this book hasn't been doing exactly stellar on the sales charts, but I was a little surprised to see "The End" on the last page of the book. Has it been cancelled? I certainly wouldn't be surprised, but I hadn't really heard anything... It's not a great loss either way. It was trying too hard to be Marvel's Sandman and it was just a watered-down book that wasn't even in the same ballpark. 4.5/10
Astonishing X-Men #13 - Yay! The great book returns with a crisp Joss Whedon story full of intrigue, and John Cassaday doing what he does best. It's cool to see Cassandra Nova being used in this book, probably released from the prison Grant Morrison put her in in some other X-Men book, not that it matters much as long as she's there. I'm not sure who some of the ranks of the Hellfire Club are, but I'm assuming they're new aside from Sebastian Shaw and Cassandra. Great Emma and Kitty stuff, great first issue back! 9.1/10
Ultimate Spider-man #90 - The finale of the "Silver Sable" arc as Spidey battles the Vulture over the skyscrapers of New York. This issue's pretty much one big battle with Silver Sable and SHIELD both, for the most part, just watching from sidelines. Silver Sable was treated a little too lightly through the storyarc, portraying her as more an amateur than anything, but I get the feeling that that was Bendis' intention. She did sort of redeem herself and was quite resourceful throughout the story, but in the end, she was just kind of...there, unable to do much to help Spider-man and not leaving much of a mark behind. It would be cool to see her return in the futurea little more seasoned, but for now, we got a chracter with more ambition than skill. 8.8/10 for the issue. 9.3/10 for the arc.