A huge week last week means no surprise that this week was a bit of a lighter hit on the ol’ wallet. That doesn’t mean we didn’t have some quality comics though for us to deliver in this week’s Pullbox!

Marvel – Wolverine and the X-Men #12 – Wolverine and the Avengers continue to keep Hope away from the Phoenix Five as a massive fight breaks out in one of Wolverine’s favorite dive bars. Hope escapes though after Wolverine and Rachel Grey have an impassioned speech explaining both their cases and Rachel must return to Cyclops empty-handed.

So, I’ve been avoiding the whole Avengers vs X-Men event, but with the slim pickings this week, it was an inevitability. There were a lot of great things about this issue. The two-page spread of the Avengers amping up for battle was the first ‘Oh wow’ moment I’ve had in a while from a comic book in terms of art and with the cheap shots that Wolverine throws at Rachel like saying it’s great her mother wasn’t here to see this was just wonderful writing. It shows how personal this fight has really gotten. The only thing better was the ending where you see that Rachel starts to remember who she really is and Gladiator finally reaches Earth, setting up an epic fight for the next issue!

Marvel – X-Men Legacy #269 – Rogue starts coming into her own as she sees the real good that the Phoenix Five are doing and borrows Iceman’s powers for a short while to assist some folks down in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately for her, Ms. Marvel crashes the party (looking as hot as ever) looking to talk. Rogue isn’t really in a talking mood though.

Again, this issue shows how personal things are starting to get for a lot of these characters as Rogue tries to absorb Ms. Marvel’s powers again and Ms. Marvel freaks out as these two had a long and sordid history caused by Rogue absorbing too much for a long time and putting Ms. Marvel into a coma. The fight though between Rogue with a hint of Ms. Marvel’s power and a hint of Iceman’s versus a fully powered Ms. Marvel was epic to see play out, but I admit I was a little disappointed in how brash Rogue acted as it didn’t offer up a chance for the quality dialog like what we saw in Wolverine and the X-Men. The twist ending though with Magik helps us see where this whole event is going though as it looks like a lot of the X-Men not touched by the Phoenix may start rebelling soon.

DC – Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #1 (of 4) – The Nite Owl we know from Watchmen is actually a legacy hero, carrying on the mantle for the original when he grew too old. This book explores his origins, his relationship with Rorschach, and his first encounter with Dr. Manhattan and Silk Spectre, also a legacy hero at that point inheriting it from her mother.

Honestly, this Before Watchmen event has been hit or miss with me so far and DC is only batting .500. The Comedian book was stellar, Minutemen and Silk Spectre were both disappointing, but Nite Owl falls on the side of awesome. Seeing how young Daniel was inspired by robotics and designed a lot of his tech from an early age was something we never really saw from the character. Or the crush he instantly developed for Silk Spectre. His rapport with Rorschach was also comical and so this book lays an interesting foundation of action, humor, and romance in only its first couple dozen pages in this first of four mini-series.

DC – Green Lantern: New Guardians #10 – The Reach are on the verge of claiming the Hope Lanterns’ Power Battery, but Kyle, Arkillo, and Fatality arrive on the scene to provide aid and allow the Hope Lanterns to reach their full offensive potential. But is the battle already lost and what will happen should the Hope Power Battery fall into the wrong hands?

It’s rare to see the bad guys win in comics, but Kyle’s uncharacteristic lack of hope is the downfall for the group here. Saint Walker is not pleased with abandoning the homeworld of Hope and you may start to see some other lanterns exercise other emotions…like rage. I admit, this new Green Lantern monthly has slowed down some in the past few issues and it doesn’t seem to know what direction it wants to take. The characters are definitely dynamic enough if properly written, but aside from Arkillo and Saint Walker, no one has really stood out since the first couple of issues. If this trend continues, this monthly may no longer have a place in my box.

IDW – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #11 – The TMNT are still without Master Splinter, but a lucky break may point them in the direction they need to finally track down the Foot headquarters and bring home their father. Meanwhile, Splinter is trapped in a life or death battle against the entirety of the Foot Clan as the Shredder watches on!

Kevin Eastman’s return to comics with a re-launched TMNT has been glorious and this issue continues that trend. It’s build up to the battle we’ve longed to see between Splinter and Shredder is terrific and Splinter’s inner dialogue is something of pure beauty, only eclipsed by the banter the two ninja masters have with each other as Splinter takes down lackey after lackey. It will be interesting to see where the turtles themselves go from here though as the spotlight really hasn’t been on them for a couple of issues and if they can get to Splinter in time before exhaustion allows one of the Shredder’s deadly blades to hit a critical blow and just what will happen when they take on Shredder for the first time.