Now in it's fifth month, Avengers vs. X-Men is beginning to become a little tiresome, and the evidence doesn't come quite as perfectly as in Avengers #29, an issue that focuses on Rachel Grey and the Avengers' attempt to sway her loyalties in efforts to retain a powerful psychic soldier of their own. If that sentence wasn't enough evidence that writers are now grasping for straws when it comes to AvX side-stories, I don't know what will. Seriously, Avengers #29 is so bland and full of unnecessary plot that even the die-hard event readers will have a tough time justifying this issue's existence; I understand this event is supposed to be affecting the Marvel universe on a grand scale, but where are the random bar brawls, or the anonymous vandalism directed at each team? Marvel could have made this whole crossover far more visceral and impactful, and Avengers #29 is the exact opposite of these ideals: it's long, boring, and useless.
Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1 of 4
Captain Marvel #2
Green Lantern Corps #12
Red Hood and The Outlaws #12
(Lobdell, Green II)
Focusing all of his plotting efforts on Superboy and Teen Titans has made Red Hood and The Outlaws Scott Lobdell's best current series by far, where instead of worrying about cryptic, grand enemies, Jason Todd, Roy Harper and Starfire are involved in more character-driven stories that have built them up as people instead of a group of faceless masks. We're right in the middle of the current arc - where Starfire drags the boys into outer space to answer the call of duty from her home world of Tamaran - as the gang prepares for an assault on the surface of the planet to confront the Blithe, the alien species responsible for Tamaran's enslavement. The story itself is minimalistic and fun, but Jason Todd is starting to lose his personality; while the first eight issues highlighted Jason's fractured mental state and how he interacted with the rest of the world, he's becoming just another Batman ally, one who talks about "innocents" and "duty" a bit too much for my taste, especially after being a fan of his more dour behavior for the past year. Fortunately, Blackfire - Starfire's sister - is introduced in these pages, showing that the Tamaranian sisters have a solid relationship unhindered by past transgressions or rumors from across the galaxy.
(Green, Johnson, Asrar)
The initial six issues of Supergirl threw a lot of plot at readers - Michael Green and Mike Johnson did a adequate job mixing the Worldkillers story in with Kara Zor-El's personal conflict against herself and the alien world she finds herself in. Now- after beating the Worldkillers at their own game, finding a new Irish friend, and warding off the evil presence of Black Banshee - Supergirl takes some time to revisit Kal-El, who approached her and was rebuffed way back in issue two. In extended scenes fleshing out Kara's trip to Supes' new 'ice fortress', then down into the depths of the oceans, Green and Johnson do an incredible job with inner monologue, something many creative teams for the 'New 52' have tried and failed at producing effectively. Simon Tycho makes his second appearance (his first was back in Supergirl #3, when he attempted to convince Kara to be a lab rat) as someone doing anything and everything in his power to get to Kara, and it's amazingly creepy.