Matt Fraction and Barry Kitson's The Order #2. Barry Kitson draws sixteen same size panels of a girl sitting in a chair talking, five more of her sitting in bed talking, and four more in the same vein as the first sixteen. I would not have believed that that could be done without boring me to death, but this guy is good -- the little variations in each panel are thoroughly entertaining. The shots of her at other times in her past have a great rhythm as well. It all works wonderfully to make us care about her before the little bombshell on the last page, which has me intrigued. Also loony Russians go nuts and a bear with a jetpack gets punched in the face, if you want to be so crass as to talk about the meat of the story.
Grant Morrison and J.H. Williams III's Batman #668. I am starting to feel that Morrison's Batman run is gaining on his X-Men run in terms of how is a normally great storyteller screwing up this badly moments. With the exception of some hauntingly designed tableau's -- the black and red autopsy, the bat shaped and claw shaped panels, the painted palm and sunset -- I really want nothing to do with this. The Agatha Christie murder mystery in New X-Men was the worst thing Morrison has ever done. You would think he would not go near it again, but here we are. Meta-comments on "classic" book-case doors and team ups are getting on my nerves. Morrison is not Joss Whedon, and should never try -- he has his own strengths. Idiotic, poorly "re-imagined" secondary characters from a generation long past, like the French and Argentinian Batmen are pissing me off even more, especially in such a serious atmosphere -- not one of these guys has been recreated anywhere near as thoughtfully as the least of the Seven Soldiers. The Indian, as someone here pointed out, is just a stereotype. The Knight and Squire are maybe an exception here, but that is because I liked them so much in my favorite Morrison story, JLA: Classified. In fact most of the Batmen are barely "re-imagined" at all -- they are to stand in, for no reason that I can see (and I am kind of an expert on this), for various moments in comic book history; they are carefully and skillfully rendered to invoke art styles from those periods, but the result is an annoying mishmash on the page. Coupled with the "retro"-style opening, this book is reminding less of Planetary's first fourteen issues, with their careful synthesis of comic book history, and more of a dark age version (oh the irony that Morrison has fallen into the mode he helped work us out of) of Alan Moore's irritatingly "post-modern" Supreme run that had "Superman" analogues from various ages, skillfully rendered, interacting in a bad story.
Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker and David Aja's The Immortal Iron Fist #8. I used up a lot of my energy just now bitching about Morrison, but don't let brevity stop you from knowing -- KNOWING -- that this is a great book. Character names like Dog Brother #1 and the Prince of Orphans, a story broken up into "round 1" and "round 2" rather than "part 1" and "part 2" (aren't all great comics basically fights anyway) and a to be continued panel that looks like a Mortal Kombat menu are only a few of the reasons to get this book.
Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men #22. I will save this for my issue by issue analysis, except to say, it turns out Whedon had a reason Danger does not kill (sorry Joss...), and, for reasons I cannot quite put my finger on just yet (but may have to do with shipping delays) this issue was a bit of a letdown. Maybe. I have to think about it. And you can be assured I will. That's kinda my thing.
Nothing in comics news hit me, but the DC and Marvel solicits for November are out. I did not find anything worth a mention, but if there is something I need to be paying attention to, please let me know.