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First off: be sure to check in this weekend for big Big BIG news. I'm excited, and I think you will be too...

Here's some stuff I really liked this week:

THOR #600: now this is how all anniversary issues should be done! A meaty lead story that changes up the status quo (not that that status is all that quo, really, being that this is effectively issue #13), and ending on a pretty reasonable cliffhnager that not only makes me begin to think that "Dark Reign" could be potentially interesting and go some where, but that also seems rational and chilling. I might have even liked the lead story enough to praise this comic, but then it adds a gorgeous David Aja-drawn, Stan Lee-written story that DIDN'T suffer from Crazy Stan Overwriting; a lengthy "Mini-Marvels" story that condensing the last 3-ish years of Thor continuity into total hilarity; and five (!) Kirby reprints (all short ones, but still!). All that plus all 600 covers of THOR (and JiM, natch). Dang, what a sweet package, and worth every single penny of the $5 they're asking! VERY GOOD.

BATMAN #686: The first part of Neil Gaiman's imaginary story (but aren't they all?) about the Death of Batman. Not that this one has anything to do with the other couple of Death's of Batman running around lately, but that's hardly the point. Obviously this was pitched to Neil as being a similar ending to an era of BATMAN as Alan Moore's "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" was in SUPERMAN and ACTION, but Neil very wisely went the completely opposite direction with this one. I mean, not only did Frank Miller write as definitive "ending" to Batman as could be had, but I don't think Neil knew what Morrison's plans were when he scripted this.

Instead, Neil goes the other way, and makes this a series of "What Ifs" (more or less) about how the original Batman could have gone sideways, and I thought it was incredibly effective. The only thing that's going to mar this at all is that Andy Kubert's art has delayed the 2nd part back yet another month -- to, as of today, 3/18 -- which is horrifically sad when you think about it. Having the Kubert's exclusive to DC really didn't work out very well, did it? Anyway, this is completely out of continuity, and even more effective because of that. I liked it a lot: VERY GOOD.

INCOGNITO #2: There were some pretty meh reviews of issue #1, but I thought this one completely hit it out of the ballpark. To the point that, maybe, this should have been issue #1. Crisp and lean, and everything you'd want from a super villain driven comic book, including some nice backstory stuff. VERY GOOD.

WALKING DEAD #58: There has been, I think, a little wheel spinning going on in this book lately, but this issue really grabbed me by the balls, mostly by returning to a plot point from issue #1 (or was it #2?), and being COMPLETELY FUCKING CHILLING while doing so. Wow, on top of wow -- this is one of those issues that I think is not going to read as well in the middle of a collection, it's a very stand-alone thought and meditation on the premise of the series. Gotta go with EXCELLENT.

What did YOU think?