January 2, 2009

Dave's Unspoilt Capsules and Awards

The Week's Picks and Pans, plus Awards of Dubious Merit

Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups.  Recommendation does
not factor in price.  Not all books will have arrived in your area this week.
Last year of the Naughty Aughties?  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 
             homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants 

"Other Media" Capsules:

     Things that are comics-related but not necessarily comics
(i.e. comics-based movies like Iron Man or Hulk), or that aren't going to be
available via comic shops (like comic pack-ins with DVDs) will go in this
section when I have any to mention.  They may not be as timely as comic
reviews, especially if I decide to review novels that take me a week or two
(or ten) to get around to.

     Nothing this week.

Comics Capsules:
     Short, relatively spoiler-free reviews of books I actually bring home
(as opposed to reading in preview form in the shop or online).  If I get a
book late due to distributor foulups or whatever, I'll put it in the Missing

     Books of Note (Strongly Recommended or otherwise worthy): Love and Capes
TPB vol 1

     Transformers: All Hail Megatron #6: IDW - Ah, some verging on SNAD-ness
here, and plenty of Decepti-angst.  Echoes of the Big Broadcast of 2006
continue, of course, and the new Autobot continues to have a big "Hi, I'm The
Traitor" sign hanging over his head.  Cute bit with Perceptor, though.
Recommended, mainly for Starscream being clever and Perceptor being badass.
     Galaxy Quest #5: IDW - Final issue.  A decent use of the "break out of
the mind traps" cliche, but the deus ex machina is rather rushed.  Mildly
recommended.  $3.99
     Doktor Sleepless #10: Avatar - Another Doktor-less issue, and this one
is mostly a police procedural drama introducing a few more new characters and
shedding light on others.  Nurse gets a very short scene, otherwise it's all
cop drama.  Moderately interesting, but not a genre I really go in for.
Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Justice Society of America #22: DC - And Johns and Ross wrap up the
Kingdom Come epilogue they really wanted, tossing in yet another version of
the Legion of Super-Heroes at the very end (I've heard this called the
Levitz-era Legion, but there's sufficient clues in the brief appearance to
confirm it's not).  The Gog thing is wrapped up fairly anti-climactically,
mostly a pile of small stories (i.e. Steel has a Moment, Damage does, etc).
Ross comes in to draw the Earth-22 scenes, a somewhat jarring disconnect with
Eaglesham's art.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99
     Justice League of America #28: DC - An issue-long fight scene between
the JLA and the Shadow Cabinet, with only a few hints of plot.  But Jose Luis
is a big step up from Ed Benes on the art, so I'm okay with the relatively
plotless issue.  Recommended.  $2.99
     Legion of Super-Heroes #49: DC - Penultimate issue.  And, you know...
Shooter's gonna have to pull off one whopper of a Silver Age style compressed
story to even come close to resolving things next issue.  Oh, I suppose we
could get a "one big threat neutralizes the other" resolution, but even that
involves a lot of threads that'll need to be woven together pretty quickly.
In fact, it's almost a lock that we'll see something along those lines.  But
there's a lot of interesting subplots that are gonna get short shrift, which
is a pity.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99  [Later note: I'm told the final issue
is #52, so Shooter has a little more time to wrap things up.]
     Blue Beetle #34: DC - SCIENCE!  More or less, anyway.  :)  Both the
Polaris plot and the immigration plot get wrapped up, although I expect the
latter will continue to simmer in the background for the brief time this
series has left.  And one of the book's longest running subplots finally gets
some solid resolution, with next issue apparently devoted to tying it off.
Recommended.  $2.99
     Avengers/Invaders #7 (of 12): Marvel - Well, two big names are revealed
as being behind parts of this, but the way in which it comes about strongly
suggests that neither is the prime mover, merely taking advantage of
opportunities.  Even if there weren't five more issues to go, this all has
the feeling of penultimate boss battles, and once these guys are vanguished
around #10 we'll see the real villain.  In other words...a wee bit padded,
really.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99
     Avengers the Initiative #20: Marvel - Dark Reign tie-in.  Various bits
of fallout for the regulars, including a very creepy but makes-sense-in-a-
Marvel-Universe way method of Hank Pym dealing with things.  Too bad Ant-Man
is being shuffled off to Thunderbolts, though, but at least he gets one last
snark.  Recommended.  $2.99
     Incredible Hercules #124: Marvel - Big battle full of snarky sound
effects with the nature of reality at stake.  Okay, so it leads into an
alternate reality story and it's not like we've been short of those in Marvel
lately, but Van Lente's definitely having fun with this one.  Not sure what's
up with the cover, though...Ares isn't around other than a reference to his
recent miniseries.  Recommended.  $2.99
     Love and Capes TPB vol 1: IDW - This is a title I've been picking up as
Free Comic Book Day issues (#4 and #7, for reference), and after the last one
I decided I liked it enough I'd get the first TPB when it came out.  Which
happened last month, although my order got messed up, hence my getting it
only now.  IDW didn't publish those individual issues, those came out under
Maerkle Press.  This TPB covers #1-6, but while I was waiting #8 came out, I
guess I'll get to track that down.  :)  Anyway, Love and Capes is set in an
"homage" superhero universe, full of obvious versions of mainly DC
characters, but a few Marvel (i.e. Arachnerd).  Like Invincible, though, it's
more about what happens between the big fights.  Specifically, the romance of
Crusader (sorta-Superman) and his girlfriend/fiancee.  It pretty much starts
with him revealing his secret ID and goes from there.  An excellent romantic
comedy that just happens to involve superpowers.  Strongly recommended.
$19.99 (168 pages, full color)

Gone Missing:

     Stuff that came out some places this week and that I wanted to buy, but
couldn't find for whatever reason, so people don't have to email me asking
"Why didn't you review X?"  (If it's neither here nor in the section above,
though, feel free to ask, I might have forgotten about it!) 

     Current list as of 1/2/09: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe
#22, Transformers Maximum Dinobots #1, Transformers Return of the Fallen
Prequel #1.


"Exactly When Was A Guy Who Can Shoot Things In Orbit NOT Scary?" Award 
     to Transformers: All Hail Megatron #6

"You Stand No Chance Against Us, Unless You Exploit Our Only Weakness,
     Which I Will Now Allude To" Award to Galaxy Quest #5

"NYPD Extremely Blue" Award to Doktor Sleepless #10

"Guess He Didn't See Global Warming Coming" Award to Justice Society of
     America #22

"Stimpy, Give The Man His Five Dollars Back" Award to Justice League of
     America #28

"Presidental Perkiness" Award to Legion of Super-Heroes #49

"Side Effects Include Mild Tingling, Nausea And Insomnia" Award to Blue
     Beetle #34

"Extremely Shiny Vampires?" Award to Avengers/Invaders #7 (of 12)

"Thank You, Try The Veal" Award to Avengers the Initiative #20

"If You Want to Win Her Heart, You'll Need To Find It First" Award to
     The Incredible Hercules #124

"At Least She's Not Wonderella" Award to Love and Capes TPB vol 1

     Dave Van Domelen, "Don't you people EVER stay dead?"  "No traditionally,
no." - Doctor Polaris, Blue Beetle
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