Quick comic reviews!
Ultimate Fantastic Four #10 Warren Ellis' slowly paced "decompression" storytelling is starting to wear a little thin now, in part four of six of the "Doctor Doom" story arc. Last issue, the Fantastic Four began getting ready to leave for Denmark to battle Doom. This issue... they continue getting ready, they borrow a plane and we see a little more of the deformed and creepily alien Doom. It's all done with skill, but it's a poster child for a story told in 6 parts that could've been done in three, easily. It shouldn't take four issues to build up to the battle that (I hope) finally starts next issue. Still has me interested to see the fireworks, but I'm unsure about following it past the end of this arc. Grade: B-
Astonishing X-Men #4
On the other hand, this book just keeps getting better and better. It's X-Men stripped down to the basics, without the crippling continuity and cast of thousands of most of the other X-books. "Buffy" creator Joss Whedon is telling a fairly basic story but with such style and wit it comes close to giving me the same charge those vintage Claremont issues I read back in 1983 or so did. The X-Men continue their investigation into the mysterious "cure" for mutantism, breaking into the headquarters of Benetech, the company creating it, only to find captive mutants are being used to create the "cure." Meanwhile, spooky villain Ord makes a visit to the X-Mansion. This series keeps building in craft and skill to me, with John Cassaday's utterly gorgeous art and Whedon's snappy writing. Best of all, this issue features the rare "twist" that actually surprised me (I studiously avoided Internet spoilers), and the return of one of my favorite X-characters. This is pretty close to superhero comics at the top of their game, and by far the best "X-Men" comic going these days. Grade: A