Amazing Spider-Man #627: The Juggernaut returns!! Although he doesn't do much except lay there, the mystery surrounding his incapacity keeps the issue afloat. Of all the issues in The Gauntlet, this seems like a step back. It's more expository, more paced to set up the events that are to come rather than providing fans with continuous entertainment. Roger Stern relies a little too heavily on convenience in this issue. I couldn't help but notice that three separate times, extras supply the information we as readers need to know, just in earshot of Spider-Man. I would have preferred if Peter made the discoveries himself because the explanations cheapen the seriousness that's been established by the Amazing Spider-Man staff. I was looking forward to seeing some real head smashing action. Instead, I got a lot of internal thought and declarative statements. It felt like the extras were there to keep us informed of any small details that we needed to know, but that weren't directly visible. Alas, one bad apple can't spoil the bunch. I look forward to seeing how the final page (which is a "dun Dun DUN!!" type moment) plays into the arc, but I hope the writers give us more next time around.
Blackest Night #8: I lost count of how many times my jaw dropped while I read this. Ivan Reis deserves an award for his work on this series. He's intricate and precise, but not afraid to be expansive and sprawling. Plus, we see what everyone knew was coming: the introduction of the White Lantern Corps. I'm not going to say too much about this because Johns makes some amazing changes to the DCU. Heroes -- and villains -- are resurrected. Without giving too much away, I'll just say that I don't think we've seen the end of the "Crisis." This may have wrapped up Johns spectacular work on Green Lantern -- and I think Blackest Night can be viewed as an ending to Volume 1 of the new Hal Jordan -- but what I loved most was that he's introduced several new directions for DC to persue. And with Johns at the helm of the creative department, I'm sure we'll see all of this again in a few years. If you've followed Blackest Night, you can see where it all started. Let the speculating begin!!