Carnage #3 (of 5) - I guess The Sentry can tear you in half just above Earth's orbit and still survive after all. I've mentioned before that while Carnage is not one of my favorite villains, this story by Zeb Wells is interesting enough on its own, as it involves more than just a crazy super-powered serial killer. There's also the whole bit with the rich guy who decided to bring him back in the first place. I'm also hoping that we can get some character interaction between Iron Man and Spider-Man here, as the two definitely have some history that needs addressing. Even if it doesn't, the story's still good, and the art by Clayton Crain is pretty good, if not a little too dark in spots.
Wolverine #5.1 - This is the first of Marvel's ".1" issues, and I guess it does the job that it's supposed to do by offering a good jumping-on point for new readers. Essentially, this issue has all of Wolverine's pals getting together for a surprise birthday party, only to have him miss it due to a couple of crazy cannibals. Just as I appreciate how the Spider-Man books are addressing how much Spidey interacts with the rest of the Marvel Universe, it's good to see that the same thing is happening to Wolverine.
The Amazing Spider-Man #654 - This was a decent issue, with probably the highlights being the bit where Phil "Hobgoblin" Urich tries to kill Randy Robertson and J. Jonah Jameson reluctantly admitting that the major tragedy at the end of the issue was in fact, NOT Spider-Man's fault. I think that I even enjoyed the backup story even more, as it introduces the new Venom. I suppose it's not a secret anymore that Flash Thompson is going to merge with the symbiote this time, only he's doing it as part of a military program that will strictly limit his connection with it. I hated the idea of Venom being a hero, but with this new scenario, I just might check out the new Venom series when it comes out.
Batman and Robin #20 - I passed on the few fill-in issues before the creative team took over, but I wanted to give Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason a shot before I gave up on this book all together. Basically, I couldn't get into their work on Green Lantern Corps, but I suspected that it had more to do with the fact that I didn't care enough about those characters than the talents of the creative team. I also enjoyed Tomasi's Blackest Night: Batman storyline even though it had to work within the confines of a larger crossover. So far, I think that this was a fairly solid first part, and I'll stick around for the next issue. This just might be the right fit for these two guys.
The New Avengers #9 - Hmmm...Nick Fury subplot, artwork by Mike Deodato, did I make a mistake and this is actually an issue of Secret Avengers? Nope, the Luke Cage-led team takes the forefront by the middle of the issue. Still, it feels like Bendis is horning in on Brubaker's territory a bit here. Anyway, this was another fun issue, and I'm curious as to how this Nick Fury subplot fits in with this particular group of Avengers. (It ends in the late 1950s with discussions about an "Avengers initiative". Are they also horning in on the territory of the upcoming movie? We'll see, I guess.