Batman: The Dark Knight #4- The penultimate issue before the relaunch features Jason Fabok filling in for David Finch on the penciling duties. Overall, I'd say he does a pretty good job, and his style is close enough for it to all feel pretty seamless. I'd gladly see him fill in again, or even get work on another book. Anyway, this was another pretty good installment, and the subplot with the Demon is starting to tie into the main story. Hopefully Finch can tie it all together in the next one.
Secret Avengers #14 & 15 - I somehow missed last month's issue, but luckily the comic shop still had a copy of it when I bought the new one. Anyway, these are both basically fill-in issues from a fill-in writer that act as crossovers with the whole Fear Itself event. Number 14 focused on Valkyrie and her experiences with the cost of war (going back to medieval Scandinavia). The following issue focused on The Black Widow dealing with living in a world where people often die and then come back to life. For fill-ins, these were both pretty good, and they managed to get a decent artist for them. I don't know if I'd keep getting this series if it continued this way, but I know that I'm definitely going to get the short Warren Ellis run that follows these issues.
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #2 - How can I describe this series? Other volumes were pretty much straight-up crime/noir. This one still fits in that category, but there's so much going on beyond that to the point where that description doesn't really do it justice. Brubaker is dealing with a lot of familiar themes here but mixing them up in ways that I sure as heck haven't seen before.
Captain America & Bucky #620 - Instead of getting some fallout from Bucky's death, we get a "Bucky: Year One" treatment here. Luckily, it's a darned good story, and it's cool seeing this character fleshed out. Also, I'm going to say it here - I'm starting to wonder if this "death" of Bucky isn't going to be permanent. In other words, I have a feeling that he just might be coming back sooner rather than later. Hard to imagine considering the way he went out, but all sorts of crazy things can happen when it comes to comics.
Detective Comics #880 - Damn, but I'm glad that I gave Scott Snyder a try. These have been some of my favorite Batman comics, and considering how good they've been lately, that's really saying something. We get the Joker and we get more with Commissioner Gordon's psychotic son. Not only that, but there was a moment where I literally gasped when I turned the page to reveal something horrific that I didn't see coming. That sure as heck doesn't happen very often.
Olympians - Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory - This is the third of George O'Connor's tributes to the Greek Gods, and it just might be his best one yet. That's really saying something, especially considering that I never found Hera all that interesting. The one thing that he manages to do is to make sense of the fact that Heracles means "Hera's Glory". For those who know the original story of "Hercules", you know that she spent a lot of time making his life miserable. However, it was all those awful things she did to him that got him to strive for greatness. Basically, it was the best explanation for the whole "God works in mysterious ways" that I've ever heard, except this time they're actually talking about a real god(dess). Here's an excellent and more thorough review of this book.
Batman: Streets of Gotham - The House of Hush - Even though I loved this series, I stopped reading it and waited for this very trade paperback. Why? Because they were charging $4 a pop, and for some of those issues, the main storyline didn't even comprise the majority of the issue. Even though this reprints a couple of issues that I already have, after doing the math I figured that I was still saving money by getting it this way - and this is a hardcover edition. Anyway, Hush went from being a decent villain to a great villain under Paul Dini. Apparently this concludes his take on the character.