I’ve been sick for the last two weeks, so I’ve had a chance to catch up on some comic book reading this weekend and last. I finished Essential Avengers, Vol. 3 last weekend, and started Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., collecting Jim Steranko’s work on SHIELD. This weekend, I read the beginning of Mark Millar’s run on Fantastic Four and I’m starting into my backlog of Usagi Yojimbo comics.

I had bought the first few Essential Avengers books at half-price at a con several years ago, on a lark. I wanted to read the first couple of volumes just for the sake of reading some classic Lee/Kirby stuff and just general early Marvel oddball stuff. The first volume, indeed, had some classic Lee/Kirby stuff in it. In the second volume, though, the title settled into a pretty mediocre run, with Lee handing off to Roy Thomas, and with some pretty average and less-than-memorable art and stories. I wasn’t really expecting much from the third volume, but the series really picked up some steam here, with Thomas doing some goofy stuff at the beginning, but getting into some interesting stuff near the end. The earlier issues had some great John Buscema art, and later in the volume, we get a few issues each from Gene Colan and Barry Smith. So now, looking at what’s ahead in volumes 4 and 5, I think I’d like to pick them up and read them. I’m not going to buy them real soon, but they’re on my wish list, once I catch up on some of the other stuff in my backlog.

I stopped buying monthly books partway through Mark Millar’s FF run, so I don’t have the whole thing, but I enjoyed the first part of it enough to order a copy of the second trade, Fantastic Four: The Masters of Doom, so I can complete the run. I’m not quite sure If I’m going to like how it ends, since this trade has gotten some mixed reviews, to say the least. But I’ll give it a chance.

Well, I’ve got a whole Sunday to kill, drinking herbal tea and reading comics, so it’s back to Usagi for me!

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