Paul O'Brien writes I usually like to start this column by running through the big events of the month. But this month, frankly, there's not much to point out. WORLD WAR HULK is still going, of course, and the X-Men have a little crossover of their own underway, with the "Endangered Species" back-up strip. But there are no new ongoing titles, and only a handful of miniseries. The biggest of those is HALO: UPRISING, and it's a big step down from there. Overall, it's one of the quietest months I can remember.

Even so, Marvel retain a comfortable lead over DC in the US direct market - 41% to 32% in dollar share, and by 46% to 35% in units. That's the smallest gap in some time, partly due to the mysterious chart jump of COUNTDOWN, which Marc discusses over in the DC column. But it's still a substantial margin.

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