A whole bunch of comics, in alphabetical order.
Astro City 14
Astro City is a special pleasure when it comes to comic books. The cast is only limited by Kurt Busiek, which allows for a wide variety of stories that never seem to get stale. In "Ellie's Friends," we meet an older woman, Ellie, who has been salvaging and repairing killer 'bots destroyed in battles with the world's superheroes. And by repair, she does more than put them back together; she fixes their programming so they become innocuous. She sets them up in a little roadside museum where by day, they stand around like statues, and by night, they interact with her the way friends do. And all is well until her nephew comes to stay, a man with trouble written all over him, a man with plans that end up getting Ellie into trouble. The "relative getting the protagonist into trouble" is not an original plot, but in Busiek's hands, it becomes a moving story, thanks in part to Ellie's strong voice in the narration. The art by Brent Eric Anderson has just the right amount of realism. I can't wait for part 2.
This superhero romp through the labor movement -- and what a perfect book to review on the US Labor Day holiday! -- in Chicago during the early-'60s blends history and fiction together in a very plausible way. With the heroes now on strike for a better contract, things get heated and out of control. And there's still the matter of a possible enemy within, but politics get in the way of the investigation. A very different kind of superhero book and one that is very enjoyable. Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel deserve many kudos for this book, as do Rod Reis and Stephane Perger for the art.
Dream Police 4
Dream cop Joe Thursday can no longer deny that something is amiss in the dream realm, not when messages from a partner he can't recall keep intruding. He decides to pursue answers no matter the cost as the story moves into the next stage. An interesting fantasy story from the mind of J. Michael Straczynski that's keeping me wanting more.
A compromise is found for the demand for Glamours and Reynard, after meeting rejection from Snow, ends up in a barn where a sexy young woman in a bad home situation finds him. The foxy fox gets lucky in the sack, but then comes trouble. And Fairest is back on track.
Harley Quinn 10
Harley learns a hard lesson about Skate Club: there are no rules, except for the rules. The usual nuttiness we love about Harley.
Red Sonja 0
I really like the cover by Gabriel Hardman. A decent one-off by Gail Simone that has a lout telling a tale about Red Sonja being dead and how they'd been married and how much they loved each other. Except Sonja shows up. Not bad.
Red Sonja 11
Sonja continues her quest to gather up the artisans required to arrange the release of a thousand slaves. In this chapter, her quest brings her to a church, where, as expected, she meets resistance. This arc isn't as good as the first one was, but it's a decent tale.
I don't think Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples can do any wrong. As with every other issue in this book, the writing is pitch perfect and the art a perfect complement. A lot of things go on in this chapter, but the main thing is that Marko finds out Alana is doing drugs and they fight and she tells him to "LEAVE!" All relationships have their ups and downs, but I didn't want any downs to this one, damnit!
Terminal Hero 1
An experimental and illicit treatment for a young man's deadly brain tumor gives him hallucinations and dangerous powers that feed off his emotions. An intriguing start to this story written by Peter Milligan and illustrated by Piotr Kowalski.