Friday, December 31, 2010

Dawson's Creek - series review

The past few months I have done a marathon viewing run of the entire series of Dawson's Creek (seasons 1 through 6). The show ran originally on the WB from January 1998 through May 2003, and I did watch it rather faithfully for the first couple seasons. Then some other show must of came up that lured me away, so I not seen all of the episodes including the series finale until recently.
Many would dismiss this show as teenaged, soap-opera fluff but I tend to disagree. Okay, not so much about the genre - it was a teenaged soap-opera that took the friends from Capeside through their high school years and into their early college years in Boston. I would disagree about calling this fluff. I found the show to be smartly written with well-developed characters put into interesting situations. The show addressed major issues like student-teacher affairs, gay romance, alcohol abuse (a number of times) as well as showing that growing up sometimes means making major mistakes.
The show also helped create a foundation for a number of actors' careers. It was James Van Der Beek's (Dawson Leery) and Kerr Smith's (Jack McPhee) first big roles since their starting days on the daytime soap As The World Turns. It allowed Joshua Jackson (Pacey Witter) to break out of the role he played in a number of the Might Ducks movies. It was also one of the earliest roles for Michelle Williams (Jen Lindley), Meredith Monroe (Andie McPhee), Busy Philipps (Audrey Liddell) and Katie Holmes (Joey Potter).
Some of the highlights of the show for me, season by season are:
Season 1: "the Pilot" (the establishment of the four main characters who are critical to the show until the very end - something rare for a show to keep the cast whole for the entire run), "Detention" (a homage to John Hughes' Breakfast Club and the big introduction to the character Abby Morgan, played by Monica Keena, whose short time on the show was a joy), and "Beauty Contest" (where Joey steps beyond that tom-boy image).
Season 2: "Crossroads" (the arrival of Andie and Jack McPhee to town), "the All-Nighter" (when a study session reveals many feelings among the friends), "Sex, She Wrote" (Abby's attempt to find out which couple has gone all the way), "...That Is the Question" (when Jack comes out of the closet), and "Rest In Peace" (Abby's funeral).
Season 3: "Escape From Witch Island" (a homage to the Blair Witch Project of sorts), "Weekend In the Country" (the opening of the Potter B&B), and "True Love" (when Joey and Pacey stop dancing around their mutual attraction and finally become a couple - yes, I am a "Team Pacey" supporter as I find he and Joey the better couple than the "soulmates couple" of Dawson and Joey).
Season 4: "A Winter's Tale" (the class ski trip where Joey and Pacey consumate their relationship) and "the Graduate" (graduation day, a keynote in all high school drama shows).
Season 5: "the Long Goodbye" (the aftermath of Mitch Leery's departure), and "Appetite For Destruction" (a dinner party among friends).
Season 6: "Merry Mayhem" (a holiday gone to Hell), "Castaways" (a perfect focus on Pacey and Joey together), "Joey Potter and Capeside Redemption" (what could easily have served as the series finale on its own) and then "All Good Things...Must Come To An End" (the double sized true series finale which jumps the cast ahead five years - a real tearjerker).
There are two other unsung "cast members" of the show. The first is the music. In the original run, this show did a lot to feature some amazing music - both new stuff by up-and-coming artists as well as some classic. The DVD sets don't keep all of that in place, sadly. The other is the locations. Most of the Capeside exteriors were filmed in and around Wilmington, NC. The Worthington University exteriors from seasons 5 and 6 were filmed at Duke University in Durham, NC, as well as some at nearby University of NC at Chapel Hill. A couple season 6 episodes were even filmed at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC. As a person who has lived in North Carolina since my post college days, watching this show has "home feeling" to it.
With all this praise from me, the show wasn't 100% perfect. A few things didn't work for me. Pacey serving as a big-brother to Buzz (Jonathan Lipncki) got annoying. I never understood why Jack Osbourne appeared as himself in a few episodes. Seth Rogen as "Bob" in one season episode was just weird. I never liked the relationship between Joey and Eddie (Oliver Hudson).

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The 2010 Gap

To all my blog followers, I apologize for the period of silence from June to December of 2010. Lots of things factored into my lack of motivation to writing.

In June, a very good friend of mine suddenly learned he had a very advanced case of cancer. By the time it was detected, there was very little that could be done to prevent things from spreading. He went through the whole chemotherapy thing, moved back home with his parents, yet sadly had only a couple months left to live (and those months had a lot of pain and discomfort for him). He passed away during the summer. KC was a wonderful amateur writer who shared his work with the web. He was a master storyteller, and he is greatly missed by all of his friends. Since then, I haven't felt very into working on my own fiction.

In the summer, my son started his sophomore year of high school and with that marching band. So, my wife and I became band-booster-parents, going to all the home games to help with parking and tickets sales and going to competitions on weekends. It was a good way to spend our time while supporting all the kids at Fred T. Foard high school. We enjoyed it a lot and look forward to next fall.

In the fall, my wife's aunt learned that she too had a form of cancer. Despite treatment, she spent her last weeks in the hospital. My wife was able to go up to be with her family during this very sad time. Still and especially during this holiday season, the absence of Aunt Jane in all our lives has left us somewhat sadder. She was a very unique person, always friendly and welcoming and encouraging. She too is greatly missed.

My hope for 2011 and beyond is to blog a bit more when I can. I'll try to keep the weekly comic reviews and well as comments about TV, music and more. This is a good outlet and a nice way to do some writing on a daily basis. I hope you all check in periodically. Thanks.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Comics of the Week (12/22/10)

DCU Legacies #8 (of 10) - this "recap" of the DC history through the eyes of a retired Metropolis police officer continues with the days following the death of and the return of Superman, plus the fall of Hal Jordan. I loved the artwork by Dan Jurgens who did much art originally relating to these events from years back. The backup story with the New Gods was sort of odd - funny time in the series to touch on them since this stuff originally appeared in Jack Kirby's run back in the 70's. Overall, this mini has been pretty good artwise even if the story has taken some liberties with the continuity of events.

Green Lantern Special: Larfreeze's Christmas - this one-shot features that greedy orange energy wielder Larfreeze and his quest for the utilimate holiday provider - Santa Claus. This was a fun issue, something that we used to have when I was a kid growing up - something that comes out just in time for the holidays to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling. It was like a Rankin-Bass Christmas special. Enjoyed it a lot.

Justice League: Generation Lost #16 (of 24) - this biweekly mini continues to move along, a little bit at a plodding pace. Unlike its brother mini Brightest Day, this one seems to be stuck in neutral. I guess though since I've invested as much time and money in it so far that I should see it through to the end.

Justice League of America #52 - this storyline also seems to be dragging. A battle with the Crime Syndicate and Omega Man should be a big thing, but I find it taking a long time to get to a satisfying conclusion. Maybe next issue? I do love Bagley's art though. Very clean and solid.

Legion of Super-Heroes #8 - LOVE THIS BOOK! Levitz continues to capture that classic feel of his run on the book in the 80's, and the artwork is perfect. This issue features the election results and it should prove interesting after the developments of the previous issue. If you loved old-school LSH, this is a must-buy book.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Comics of the Week (6/9/10)

Booster Gold #33 - I have to say that this second issue of Giffen's run wasn't so bad. The storyline was a little more toned down (humor-wise) and having Booster go back to his JLI days ties this nicely to what is going on in the next title below. So I think I'm willing to give this run a few more issues to really gel with me.

Justice League: Generation Lost #3 - the storyline involving the few JLI members who can remember who Maxwell Lord is continues to interest me. How will this rag-tag team convice others of what is going on? It should be a fun ride. And I do like how it tied in to Booster's title this month.

Secret Six #22 - the final chapter of the Catman arc, and it was a good one. Gail shows exactly why these villains dance across that line between good and evil, while keeping the violence clearly approaching that R-rated level. She really fleshed out the background of Catman well with this arc as well, adding new layers to an already intriguing character.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Comics of the Week (6/2/10)

Adventure Comics #12 (#515) - Paul Levitz takes on scripting the LSH feature in this book with a tale of Superboy (young Clark Kent) making one of his trips to the 31st Century to hang with his friends. It was nice to see classic LSH members from the early years, in classic costumes. Using the feature in this book along with the new LSH title, DC seems to be doing a nice push to re-establish the norm for the future continuity. I like that.

Brightest Day #3 (of 26) - another issue giving us a little bit more story on the various cast members. Deadman is outclassed by a major villain! Ronnie and Jason face the possibility of Firestorm no more! The mystery deepens for the Martian Manhunter! Power couples Aquaman and Mera, and Hawkman and Hawkwoman find they have to rely upon their spouses! I am glad this mini is biweekly as I want to know more and more of what is going on.

Justice Society of America #39 - could this future tale of Nazi domination be over soon, please? I am so getting tired of Willingham's story here. So glad it ends next issue, then we can get on to a summer JLA/JSA crossover story.

JSA All-Stars #7 - a pretty solid issue focusing on Damage and the aftermath of Blackest Night. I actually enjoyed the lead story quite a bit. The backup with Liberty Belle and Hourman is still plodding along at a rather boring pace. I'm not thrilled with it at all and look forward to it being over with soon (I hope).

Flashback fun: this week the first volume of Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... Omnibus came out from Dark Horse. This is basically a full color reproduction of the first 26 issues of the Marvel Comics run on Star Wars back from the 70's. It starts out with the first six issues adaption of Star Wars: A New Hope. These books take me back to my junior high school days, back when Star Wars was new, fun, exciting and wonderous. I had many of these issues but sold them back in the early 90's. It is nice to have them to read again. It looks like DH will be putting new volumes out every three or so months, so it will be fun to collect the whole original run again.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Comics of the Week (5/26/10)

the Brave and the Bold #34 - I liked the idea of this issue (the original LSH members teaming with the original Doom Patrol) and I loved the cover. What fell flat though was J. Michael Straczynski's dialogue and story pacing. It just felt "off" to me. I guess I am in a minority as I don't always get this writer. I am considering dropping the book from my pull list.

Green Lantern #54 - not a great issue but I expected some down time after Blackest Night. Some of the other colored Corps are still on Earth, and this one deals with Red Lantern.

Justice League: Generation Lost #2 - this biweekly continues to lay down an interesting premise: Max Lord is back but no but the four (Booster, Fire, Ice, Captain Atom) remember him. Not sure where this one will end up, but I was a fan of the JLI era team so I am digging this mini.

Justice League: Rise of Arsenal #3 (of 4) - Ugh. I hate what DC is doing to Roy Harper with this mini. I get the loss, I get the anguish. I don't get the character becoming truly unlikeable. I am hoping for a major redemption arc in the future but I don't expect it will be very soon. Sigh.

Teen Titans #83 - Double ugh. Felicia Henderson's dialogue, pacing and overall storytelling might work for TV and "Gossip Girl" but it does not work here. These characters are so unrecognizable it is not funny. And I had anticipated the Coven Of Three back-up, but that didn't thrill me either. This book is officially dropped until a new lead writer comes on board. Enough is enough.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Comics of the Week (5/19/10)

Batman: the Brave and the Bold #17 - a week in the life of Batman as he has many team-ups (running two to three pages each). This issue is sort of filled with the typical opening teasers of the book. Kind of fun to see lots of different heroes and villains in this animated style.

Brightest Day #2 (of 26) - first, great cover. Inside, we get a lot more in the stories of Firestorm and of Hawkman and Hawkwoman. And that works. Since this book is biweekly, rotating who gets the heavier focus each issue is fine by me as long as all the stories continue to move. That last double page spread - OH BOY! I don't wish to be in Boston Brand's shoes right now. ;)

DC Universe: Legacies #1 (of 10) - Len Wein is back with a ten-part mini looking at the various heroic ages of the DCU from the pre-WWII days to today. The art teams will rotate - this time we get the work of Andy and Joe Kubert. Good to see the classic creators involved. The backup this issue focuses on some of the mystic heroes of the golden age. This should be a neat read and definitely good for folks new to the DC history.

Justice League of America #45 - the prelude to a summer JLA/JSA team-up continues here as Jade returns to Earth, something is going on with GL Alan Scott and Supergirl slugs it out with Power Girl. I'm enjoying Robinson and Bagley's take on the line up. It is not a great comic but it is enjoyable.

Legion of Super-Heroes #1 - Paul Levitz is back scripting a title he helped make great in the 70's and 80's. This was an outstanding relaunch - building up elements and plots introduced by Geoff Johns in the Legion of 3 Worlds and his arc in Action Comics. The story has a lot of things for old fans to enjoy but it is pretty assessible for newer readers too. Highly recommended.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Comics of the Week (5/12/10)

Adventure Comics #11 (#514) - while this issue is still a part of the "Last Stand of New Krypton" arc, it also serves as a nice connection to the new LSH series beginning next week. Here we get the final mission of Mon-El, which really is sort of another reworking of the concepts from the old Valor series from the 90's. We also get some nice interplay between Brainiac 5 and his evil ancestor.

Birds of Prey #1 - Gail Simone and Ed Benes come home again, bring on a new era of the BOP team. All the favorites are still here: Oracle, Black Canary, Lady Blackhawk and Huntress, and being thrown into the mix are (the newly resurrected) Hawk and Dove (Dawn). With Hawk's involvement, it thus justifies the "Brightest Day" banner. The creative team packs a lot into this first issue, making it a good read.

Booster Gold #32 - with Dan Jurgens off the book to work on a new Time Masters mini, the creative reigns are given to Giffen & DeMatteis. This alone concerned me. Within the first page, the book's tone has changed dramatically from the issues that come before. Sure, Booster is still time jumping for Rip Hunter but the writers go whole-hog on the bwahahaha humor. It was a startling jolt, and I am not sure how much I am digging it. I'll give them a few issues before I decide about keeping it or dropping it.

The Flash #2 - continuing the momentum of the debut issue, Barry Allen has his hands full as he faces new enemies and a bizarre murder mystery. And tying into "Brightest Day", we've got more on the recently resurrected Captain Boomerang (Digger Harkness).

Justice League: Generation Lost #1 - a new mini series by Giffen and Winick reunites the old JLI gang (Booster, Fire, Ice, Captain Atom) as they attempt to figure out what the newly resurrected Max Lord is up to. And believe me, it is something really really big. The humor isn't as heavy here which I attribute to Winick's influence. This book could actually be enjoyable. I am willing to give it a few issues to get into its flow.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #16 - last issue Starfire joined the cast. This issue, we meet two new GLs for the Vega System. The cast continues to grow on this book and I worry that it will mean we won't get as much depth and spotlight on individuals. This book is on my conditional list for the time being - with the possibilty of dropping fairly soon.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Comics of the Week (5/5/10)

Brightest Day #1 (of 26) - the biweekly maxi-series officially starts right where issue #0 left off. The book ties directly into the mysterious white lantern and thus the regular Green Lantern title. We also get some excellent action with Aquaman and Mera, showing why they are clearly a super-couple that everyone should be watching. And what is up with Aquaman's powers? He's just as shocked as the readers. The story also continues with what is going on with Firestorm, and the Atom (Ray) is planning to help Professor Stein figure that out. Rounding out the cast, there is plenty going on with the Martian Manhunter and the Hawks as well. Any old school JLA fans (of which I am a huge one) should be picking this one up.

JSA All-Stars #6 - the first arc with Johnny Sorrow ends, and I'm kind of glad. A little too drawn out for my tastes. The new magic user in the book is kind of intersting, but this title really needs to pick up some for me to consider keeping it beyond its first year. The Liberty Belle and Hourman back-up is starting to bore me as well.

Secret Six #21 - the Catman centric arc continues in a violent fashion that is served up splendidly by Gail Simone and J. Calafiore. We get insights into Tom Blake's past plus we get to see who Bane and Jeannete recruited as back-up roster members (interesting indeed). This book continues to fascinate me and, at the same time, make me feel a little squimish at times too. A good combo.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Comics of the Week (4/28/10)

Batman: the Brave and the Bold #16 - a fun team-up with Batman and Wonder Woman, trying to figure out the diabolical scheme of Egg Head. Yes, you read that right. The classic 60's TV villain played so well by Vincent Price makes his animated comic debut - and it is a lot of fun. Great cover. If you enjoy the cartoon series, you should like this book. I know I do.

Justice League: the Rise of Arsenal #2 (of 4) - writer J.T. Krul continues to work out the emotions as Roy deals with the loss of his arm and his daughter. He is angry at his mentor, angry at his friends, angry at himself. My hope is the character really comes out of this crisis to start a more solid chapter. We'll see. I'm enjoying the ride.

Justice Society of America #38 - ugh. I am very tired of Willingham's plot here with the Nazis and a future-tale. I just don't get his entire run on this book. My hope is that he's going to be moving off of it soon. I know the upcoming JLA/JSA crossover is going to be written by Robinson. Maybe that'll be a sign of Willingham leaving the book. One can hope as I am seriously considering dropping the title from my pull-list if he stays.

Teen Titans #82 - and speaking of writers I don't get, Felicia Henderson does not get these characters at all. I know she's a big Hollywood writer with many teen shows under her belt, but that doesn't mean she knows how to write comics. Her dialogue is way off (often cringeworthy), the pacing is poor, and the characters often out of character. The Ravager feature hasn't been exciting me much either. I expect more from this book. I'm giving it another couple issues to shape up or I am going to definitely be dropping this one. With some other new books starting (like Birds of Prey with Gail Simone writing and Legion of Super-Heroes being written by Paul Levitz), I won't be missing this monthly mediocre mess.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Yes, I am proud to be a Gleek!

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past eight months, it is hard to miss that FOX's Glee has become the smash breakout new show of the 2009/2010 television season. Created by Ryan Murphy (the man behind such shows as Nip and Tuck and another classic teen dramedy Popular), this show is full of snarky goodness, quick paced plots, and plenty of teen drama. The show is about a high school teacher who relaunches the school's glee club, and how the club is made up of a variety of kids from all the recognizable teen circles we know and love. You've got the drama kids, the AV guy, the cheerleaders, the jocks.

And, of course, you've got the music. Lots of wonderful music spanning all genres, performed with polish, production and coreography.

Is the show over the top? Yup. Can it be cheesey at times? Sure. Is it a bright spot in a sea of crime scene spin-offs? Absolutely.

The show is about different people trying to be something. And it makes me feel good every Tuesday night.

Yes, I am a Gleek - and proud of it.

Comics of the Week (4/21/10)

Blackest Night: Director's Cut - this one-shot is a nice follow up to the mini series that just rocked the DCU. It features commentary by the book's creators, giving thoughts on key moments of the eight issues. Next up is a cover gallery of all the minis, including varient covers that probably never got seen in most comic shops (I wish some of the images were bigger though - still cool). Next, a neat feature - the actual script for issue 1. This really is insightful into the creative process between writer and artists on comics. A couple pages are then devoted to the figures based on the series. Last up, very cool character designs of the various Black Lanterns and such. All in all, a good special.

Brave and the Bold #33 - it is billed as a team-up of three heroines but it really is more about the women when not in costume. And though she gets third billing behind Wonder Woman and Zatnna, it is Batgirl's story mostly. Now, I didn't really like how J. Michael Straczynski basically shoe-horned this tale into continuity prior to the Killing Joke. I don't buy his premise that Zatanna knew something would happen and that she and Wonder Woman would let it. I get the emotion the writer was going for, but it just felt like it was a story trying to cash in. Not one of my favorites of his work on the book so far.

Green Lantern #53 - with Blackest Night done, it is on to Brightest Day. So, you know the GL books have to be a big part. This was a nice sequeway issue as we start "the New Guardians" story arc. It will be interesting to see how all the Corps follow-up after the last event. I am confident in Geoff Johns' writing ability to keep me entertained.

Justice League of America #44 - Robinson and Bagley deliver another solid issue. The tone of the book is definitely refreshing, and this issue sets up a JLA/JSA team-up in the grand tradition of the classic ones. And it ties into Brightest Day as one of the twelve reborn returns to Earth in a startling way. I like the use of other guest stars like the Demon and Faust as well.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #15 - she left the JLA book last month and we see where she ended up. Starfire heads back to the Vega System. This book has picked up a lot of familiar and favorite space heroes like Adam Strange and Captain Comet in recent months. My hope is that they along with Starfire are used to the best of their abilities. I do like the scenes with Despero and, as always, it is fun to figure out just what Vril Dox might do next.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Comics of the Week (4/14/10)

Adventure Comics #10/513 - once more a disjointed issue for me because it is tying into the Last Stand of New Krypton arc in the Superman titles. I'm still going to pick the book up because, as announced this week, the Atom (Ray Palmer) will be getting a feature in this book in three issues (#516). Looking forward to that as Ray had a major role in Blackest Night.

Booster Gold #31 - Dan Jurgens puts in his last issue on the title - but it nicely done. A good done-in-one kind of thing while being an epilogue to the last arc at the same time. That's kind of sad because I have loved this book under the guiding hand of Booster's creator. The good news, also announced this week, is that Dan is going to be the guiding force behind a Time Masters mini which will include Rip Hunter, Booster and other heroes searching for the missing Batman. Nice. Meanwhile next issue Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis take over this book. Not sure how I'll like that. It might mean the beginning of the end of Booster's run. We'll see.

Brightest Day #0 - the biweekly mini kicks off with a teaser issue of sorts, and count me as very happily teased. Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi do an outstanding job touching on all of the twelve resurrected from the end of Blackest Night. I'm very intrigued by what is going on with Deadman, and I love seeing Aquaman and Mera back together (and the same for the Hawks). The stuff with Firestorm as well as Hawk and Dove also have me wanting more. All in all, I am very pleased with who this mini will be focusing on over the coming years, and I am planning to pick up a number of other books that'll be falling under this banner. I love getting excited about a new title.

the Flash #1 - and speaking of, Barry Allen is finally back in his own title. Count me very excited for this one. Again, Geoff Johns does wonders and Francis Manapul's art fits this book nicely. It has a silver age feel with modern touches (like Barry and the CSI focus - very popular in modern TV dramas). So glad to have a good Flash book back in the pull-bag again.

Secret Six #20 - Gail Simone continues to rock this title, and J. Calafiore's art adds the creepy perfectly as always. Catman is between a rock and a hard place, and he makes a decision. Word of warning: don't cross Catman! This arc is going to get violent and messy, and this book serves that up so well. If you feel a little "unclean" and "disturbed" after reading this one (like I do), the creative team is doing their job properly. Oh, and Gail will be back doing the new Birds of Prey title - which I am so picking up. You know these books will cross over at some point, and I'll be loving that.

Friday, April 2, 2010

catching up on Comic Books

Hey, blog-readers! It has been awhile. My apologies. I thought I'd take a few minutes and give some summaries of titles I've been getting these past few months.

Blackest Night - issue 8 just came out this week, concluding this epic event. And, believe me, this has ended up pretty well. I loved how this whole mini pitted friends against friends, living against the dead (and in some cases newly dead), and made some uneasy allies among the various Corps. This series has brought some characters (like Mera) back into the forefront of the DCU, and those that have been brought back to life in this final issue will set a nice foundation for the coming year as well as the Brightest Day bi-weekly mini starting later this month. As for the tie-in minis, those focusing on Superman, the Titans, the Flash and the JSA were my favorites. I could have skipped the Batman and Wonder Woman ones and most of the one-shots and been fine. Also, tie in with that the regular Green Lantern title which ran a nice parallel to the main mini series quite nicely.

Flash: Rebirth - this one finally ended, with a little delay due to production, but the end result was well worth it. Barry Allen is back where he belongs, full throttle. This sets up very nicely for the first issue of his new series coming also this month.

Justice League: Cry For Justice - this mini ended with two big changes to the archers of the DCU - Red Arrow and Green Arrow. This changes are the primary focus of the Rise And Fall arcs that are running across the main Justice League title, an Arsenal mini series (yup, Roy is changing back to his old name) and on the Green Arrow title. This is some heavy stuff but a very cool new direction to take the characters.

Over on Justice League of America, James Robinson and Mark Bagley are taking the roster into a new direction. In the first few issues it started out being a Titans graduation party but the roster is settling it out a little bit. All of this is following on well from the "Cry For Justice" mini too.

I have not been so thrilled though with the direction the Justice Society of America main title has gone along with it's spin off JSA All-Stars. The creative teams are taking things off in weird directions that just doesn't do it for me.

Similary too, Teen Titans has lost a lot of its focus since the creative team changed a few months ago. Over on REBELS, I think the Starro story line dragged out a bit too long. I am hoping these books can pull it back in or they're close to the chopping block for me.

Meanwhile, both Booster Gold and Secret Six continue to shine in their own ways. These creative teams are perfect and that should help keep the books entertaining month after month. Gail Simone is also going back to a relaunch of Birds of Prey in May, so that's another I'll be adding to my pull list.

I'll give Adventure Comics some slack for being up and down. Loved the focus on Superboy Prime during Blackest Night and the Legion back up. Not so thrilled with the issues tying in to the Superman books but oh well. On the plus side, the Legion is getting its own title again in a few months with Paul Levitz as the writer. Very psyched for this!