Astonishing X-Men 26. Last month I said I was going to stick with this because of the art and Ellis being high profile, and the fact that I love the X-Men. But this issue just did not do it for me in a big way, and I think I am dropping this. Discussions take too long: Morrison had this scene in his X-Men annual where Emma downloaded Chinese into everyone's brain and I think it was like a single line where Emma is like "Chinese" and Scott goes "Ah." And of course Professor X used to do this all the time in the old days. But Ellis seems charmed by the idea -- and his idea of charming never lines up with mine -- so he spends the first full page discussing it. Ellis's fastball special lacks any kind of fun, and is weirdly repetitive of when it was first used in Whedon's run. Scott says I'm sure he's survived being thrown at a parked spaceship and 500 miles an hour before" and you realize Ellis needs the word parked to distinguish it slightly from the time a fastball special was used to throw Wolverine at a spaceship 20 issues ago. "The Ghost Box" looked awfully interesting, but the labored two and a half page discussion on the morality of killing was really boring, and they guy was not even dead. Plot wise, I just did not get enough. I am dropping this book.
Batman 679. This is maybe my favorite issue of Morrison's run so far. Someone on another blog mentioned how boring so many of these images would be if Batman were in his regular outfit. The crazy day-glow mess is really a lot of fun to watch, and the idea of a back-up personality is one of those really fun Morrison ideas. The Bat-Mite and the talking gargoyle's were my favorite and the crazy black and read roses were brilliant. And I like that Batman gets different speech balloons. Plus, in a stupid joke I am loving, the new Batman fights crime WITH A BAT. A BASEBALL BAT. Hilarious. My only problem is that I do not trust Tony Daniels, because of earlier errors: it is really unclear what "What's that thing behind you" refers to, or even if it is supposed to refer to anything. This causes serious problems in a book where the fun is supposed to be looking for clues. That thing on Bat-Mite's back -- I have no idea what that is, and surely I should not, but it looks different on the next page. And there are weird maybe editorial glitches, like when Batman says "Might!" when he seems to mean "Mite" (which could of course be a pun, but it is very strange to have Batman's speech Balloon contain a pun that is verbal but not written). Tim Callahan has pointed out how strange it is that we are unsure that Bucket-head's name is unclear, and I do not know what to do with that. And let me say that I love how the iconic Alex Ross cover is completely undercut by the iconoclastic writing inside. Name another instance of Ross being used ironically.