It's Wednesday, and that means it's New Comic-book Night. Once again, one of the comics that normally comes out this week (JLA) did not (I'm not clear on why that is), and Katana is still delayed (it's coming out next week apparently). But two of the three titles that I actually have on my comic-shop's pull list did come out today: Supergirl 19 and Justice League 19. I picked them up late this afternoon, and I've already read both.
These two latest installments have been a definite improvement over the recent issues of these titles.
Supergirl 19 - The Supergirl series has been in the absolute toilet since #13, first with the cringe-worthy H'el on Earth crossover into the other S-family books (#14-17), and then with the highly questionable "aftermath" issue, written in obvious haste (and without any coherence) by a fill-in writer. It's truly a shame that Mike Johnson is leaving Supergirl after this issue, and that he wasn't allowed to write the stories he wanted to for the last half-year. This issue is the best since #13, and shows just how good this book could have been if it hadn't been for the H'el crossover. It's a shame after starting up this new story-line that Mike will not finish it. Also, the way the book ends, leaves no doubt in my mind that Mike was basically forced off the book. If he was leaving voluntarily, surely he would have planned an "ending" to wrap things up instead of starting a new story arc and then leaving one issue into it. That said, Supergirl 19 is well worth a read. This series, despite being about Supergirl, was hovering on the brink of being yanked from my pull list (an event that should be unthinkable -- heck it should violate the laws of nature). That's how bad it had gotten. Issue 19 redeemed it (and convinced me that all the "bad" in the last few issues happened because people other than Mike Johnson were calling the shots). I'll be around for a few more months at least, to see what the new writer does with it.
Justice League 19 - JL has had its ups and downs. The first story arc was incredibly strong for five issues and then fizzled at the end (with a very disappointing treatment of Darkseid). This then started to become a pattern, with each story arc building up well and then coming to an abrupt, unsatisfying conclusion without a real climax. The most recent of these was the Throne of Atlantis crossover with Aquaman. Then we were treated to an issue 18 story that was all over the place, and honestly between that and Throne, I was starting to question Geoff Johns' writing (which had, up until JL #14, been quite strong with the exception of those pesky climaxes). Issue 19 redeemed Johns as well here. He did a good job with the story. This issue is probably a lead-in to yet another crossover (Trinity War), which is set to consume the Justice League family of titles this summer. I can only sigh. Enough with the crossovers. This one seems like it may be interesting at least (much more so than Throne). However, Johns needs to work on his conclusions/climaxes or this is going to be just one more disappointment.
Overall, I was fairly happy with both books. Although neither is a 10 out of 10, we've at least been able to move up out of the 6s and 7s (or worse) that these titles have been hovering in over the last few months.