Since you people whined and griped, I went out of my way to pick up not one, but two new Marvel books this week, and one of them I'll even review! Onward...
JSA Kingdom Come Special: The Kingdom -- finally, one of these actually feels like part of the ongoing Gog storyline; Gog decides that he'll rest on the 6th day, and gives his followers the option to either pray or spread the word of Gog; Damage chooses to spread the word, holding a press conference, which gets on Stargirl's last nerve, she (with the help of Atom-Smasher) try to talk some sense into him; elsewhere, Dr. Mid-Nite and Sand learn their gifts from Gog carry steep costs, Citizen Steel still wishes for a gift of his own, E-22 Superman chats with Wonder Woman, and Starman takes a job as a Metropolis gravedigger; Atom-Smasher's talk with Damage doesn't go well, resulting in the destruction of Al Pratt's old home (which is Atom-Smasher's current one), and Sand feels the earth screaming under Gog's changes and tells Mr. Terrific that at the end of Gog's 7th day, there will be no more earth; in the end, the 7th day rises, Gog prepares to enter Khandaq, and Gog tells all his followers to bow and worship him (I can only imagine what Hawkman's response will be to that); the highlight of the issue was the Atom-Smasher/Damage scene, which was great all-around; nice art from Pasarin and a sweet 2-page pin-up of the Earth-2 JSA by Ordway; really liked it.
Batman #681 -- I'll be honest, I'm not sure what to think yet; equal parts awesome and horrible, cool and
weird, simple and confusing, finite and open-ended...a typical Morrison work I suppose; without poring over all the details, basically it breaks down as such...Joker makes a bet with the Black Glove and leaves, vowing to collect later; Batman escapes being buried alive; the Club of Heroes save Robin on the streets of Gotham; Nightwing saves himself and helps Batman take down the Black Glove members in Arkham; Bats confronts Jezebel ("Love? Thank Alfred for the acting lessons!"); Damien drives the Batmobile (with Alfred in it) through the Joker's getaway ambulance, running it off a bridge; and Bats confronts Dr. Hurt who sticks with his story that he's Dr. Thomas Wayne, and the two fight over the river as Hurt's helicopter explodes and nothing's left of Bats but the cape and cowl, found by Nightwing; afterwards, Talia vows retribution, and we see Jezebel's jet attacked by the League of Man-Bat Assassins (still cool, even though their first story sucked); in a "6 months later" deal, we see the dwarf guy stays in Gotham, and is interrupted from torturing a cop by the light of a new Bat-signal; and our epilogue is the famous scene of walking out of Zorro on Park Row. Pause for the cause here...
Daniel's art is nice in spots and completely unsuited to conveying the action in others (par for the course), the use of Bruce's Black casebook notes as a stand-in for internal monologue was well-done, and the first half or so of the book was great; it's just the end that gets cluttered, and I'm going to need some kind of epilogue story by a writer who uses linear storytelling rather than stream of consciousness to figure out who knows Bats is Bruce, where they are, and what it all means; I also have no idea what the purpose of using the Joker here at all was...he added nothing to the story for me; was the Batman of Zur-en-arrh ultimately caused by the Black Glove, or was it Bruce's means of escaping the Black Glove's plans? The story suggests both...; lastly, the whole Hurt-is-dad thing is one of those Morrison twists that, a year from now, will either look completely logical when Bruce returns to the suit and proves it ain't true, or so stupid as to be immediately retconned with nary a look in the rear-view, ala Xorneto; in the end, R.I.P. was fun, cluttered and far-from-perfect, but fun, and the seeds it has lain for future stories are manifold and rife with potential; I don't love it, I don't hate it, but I had a roller-coaster ride's worth of adrenaline and "can't-wait-to" while reading it...I guess that's as good as I can ask; liked it, but wary about where we go from here.
Guardians of the Galaxy #7 -- I was going to wait until I got all of Annihilation: Conquest and the first trade of this before jumping in, but the Pelletier art called to me, and that good ol' Marvel recap page got me up to speed; you guys were right...even jumping in blind and behind, this was fun; great art, quick-moving story, fun and diverse characters...just a damn fun book; Rocket, Groot, Mantis, Bug, and Major Victory continue guarding the galaxy, running into the Badoon, who we learn from the now-female Starhawk (who's talking to Cosmo the telepathic Russian dog...almost as awesome as Head from the now-defunct All-New Atom series) are gonna really REALLY mess things up starting now and into the future; Adam Warlock and Gamora are making moves on the Church of Universal Truth; Drax and she-Quasar are searching for Cammi and learn somebody named Heather (Moondragon? ooooooo....) may be out there instead; and Star-lord falls face first into the Negative Zone at the feet of King Blastaar; rollickin' good fun, I really liked it.