NEW AVENGERS #28: Those missing pages from Civil War: The Initiative pay off here as the New Avengers try to get Cap's body and find themselves confronted by, uh, the Newer Avengers. Only problem is, Bendis wraps this as a flashback which he ends on a cliffhanger so he can go back to the present time and bring that to a cliffhanger which, to give Bendis the benefit of the doubt, I'll chalk up as experimentation instead of plain ol' bad storytelling. Like the other Bendis book this week, nice art saves it from being worse than Eh. PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL #5: Ooooh, no. Would've been perfectly fine as, say, a follow-up to a big Punisher-centric multi-issue story arc, but on the heels of another issue where Frank barely appeared? This book feels to me like it's been mired in crossovers and spinning its wheels since the first issue, and unless the "Cap's mask" storyline brings Castle back to the forefront of the book, I could see readers leaving it in droves. Mind you, I actually liked the cop-who-wasn't-a-cop (and how it might provide some counterpoint to the upcoming "Cap-who-isn't-a-Cap" storyline) and found myself involved in his story, but I also found myself flipping through it impatiently, annoyed that I was having to play "Spot the Title Character" again. Eh.
SPIDER-MAN REIGN #4: The Sandman and daughter stuff, which came more-or-less out of left field worked surprisingly well, and gives me hope that after Andrews has moved on from this (decent selling, widely noticed) fiasco, there'll be place to develop all the promising stuff and put the overly-influential influences aside. I thought the rest of it was still relatively awful, though, but that's just playing out the hand that's been dealt. Let's call it a Eh wrap-up to an Awful miniseries.
SUPERMAN #660: A very nice, almost Astro-City approach to a Superman story. I don't necessarily care much for the Prankster, but there's a bunch of neat touches here that made this highly OK. If everyone could do done-in-one fill-in style stories as well as Busiek, DC would have a lot less annoyed fans on its hands. (And, it probably goes without saying, the rest of the non-event superhero market would be in a much better place.)