You should know to watch out for spoilers by now.
Dr. Strange: The Oath #4 - Well, this cover isn't quite as nice as the previous three, but that's amde up for, with yet another clever recap page. Who gets the credit for that? Does Martin come up with the design, or is Vaughn making the suggestion, and leaving Marcos to execute? Either way, bravo.
Strange confronts the creature that has destroyed Night Nurse's headquarters, with less than stellar results initially. But Strange is a resourceul fellow, and defeats the Marrakant Hellguard in about the last way I would have suspected. He comes face to face with Nicodemus West, and learns that this man who opposed him, originally wanted to aid him.
All in all, it's an interesting issue, as Vaughn does a good job highlighting Stephen's different qualities. His devotion to friends, his stubborness, his arrogance - both as doctor and sorcerer - and even a little bit of the playboy I bet he was back in his egotistical surgeon days. Not as many nifty moments for Wong and Night Nurse as before, but I'm betting they come up big in the conclusion. 4.8 out of 5.
X-Factor #15 - Now that's a nice cover. Ah, HYDRA, if one diabolical scheme fails, two more less than brilliant ones shall take its place. This week's "scheme of the moment" involves turning Jamie-Prime (which the believe to be SHIELD Agent Jamie) into a HYDRA agent through brainwashing. As Carla noted, brainwashing really does seem to be in at Marvel these days.
Meanwhile, Monet and Siryn seem to be bonding over drinks in Paris, only to see the peace ruined by anti-mutant riots in France. It's like Mutant Town in NYC all over again! The ladies save the day (temporarily), and get arrested for it. Monet displays a ruthless streak I hadn't expected. Has that always been the case?
Still, the main gist of the issue is HYDRA considering the potential uses for a loyal Madrox, and raising a very interesting point about Jamie's power, probably tying back in to that "not quite Homo superior" idea that PAD is picking up and running with. In typical HYDRA fashion, the plan backfires forribly, and we're left with a Jamie simultaneously more together, and yet more messed up than he was before this story began. I got to admit, I thought the "Jamie Madrox: Agent of HYDRA" would go a few issues, but I'm not hugely sad it didn't. It worked out - in a fairly unnerving manner - and now Jamie moves on in his quest to get his stuff together. 3.7 out of 5.
So yeah, slow week. I did look through that Civil War: The Return, and man, that was - how can I put this politely? - not interesting. Sigh, I really wish they would hurry up and get Civil War over with.