The (Lack of) Shock of The New: Graeme finishes off 10/24

I'm still sick. Have mercy.

CASANOVA #10: The first Casanova issue that hasn't come together for me, and the problem is that it feels as if half of the story is missing - After a great set-up, the fall of Dr. Toppogrosso feels entirely unsatisfying; he's an evil man who specializes in playing mind games on unsuspecting victims, but he falls for Zephyr's pretty unsophisticated seduction remarkably easily. It's a shame, because the rest of the issue - including the set-up, but especially the subplots - crackles with the same wit and energy of the rest of the series, and I think my eyes are finally getting used to the bold blue coloring. Sadly, a low Okay. The cover is still a wonderful piece of design, though.

COUNTDOWN SPECIAL: THE FLASH: Even if you're not a Silver Age fan, this would be worth reading just for some of the crazy comic book science the Mirror Master uses at any given opportunity. It's been said before but worth saying again - we're really losing something when the comic world would rather give us dead superheroes than mind-controlling gorillas and parallel worlds used as plot devices rather than complete stories in and of themselves. Good examples of how great superhero comics can be when they're treated as kids' stories, really.

THE FLASH # 233: A massive letdown end to the current storyarc, as we get no resolution on the motives or origins of the bad guys, a fake-out conflict with the Justice League, the return (yet again!) of the "race against death" life for the speedster family, and the lack of Daniel Acuna's artwork. Yes, Freddie Williams is no slouch and the back-up story is kind of funny, but compared with the last couple of issues? I wanted more than Okay.

GOTHAM UNDERGROUND #1: Am I the only one who thinks that this book exists because the Batbooks-proper aren't crossing over with Countdown yet? Tying in with the Salvation Run storyline that's been running in the background of Countdown for awhile, and otherwise showing no other reason to be published, here's hoping that Grant Morrison has some master plan to make lemonade out've the Final Crisis lemons that are being set up for him. Eh.

SHE-HULK #22: Peter David's first issue seemingly takes Jennifer Walters in a grittier direction (complete with overwrought first-person narration), before disappearing down a detour of weird. It doesn't quite hold up, partially because there's something uninvolving about the whole thing - it feels as if David is detached throughout the book, for some reason, and that makes it hard for readers to get into it - and partially because of disappointingly lifeless art by Shawn Moll. Eh, and despite the "shock" ending, I'm not curious enough about the explanation to want to come back next issue.

X-MEN: DIE BY THE SWORD #2: My recent X-Men fetish got me to pick up this second issue of Chris Claremont unbound, and I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not. Yes, it's filled with Claremont at his most Claremont-esque, but on the other hand, it's filled with Claremont at his most Claremont-esque; everything here's been done before, and in some cases, even with the same characters. Add in Juan Santacruz's elastically-figured dull artwork, and you have the very definition of Eh.

Tomorrow: Everyone gets into silly outfits and does the monster mash. Me, I'm hoping to be healthy enough to go back to work.