January 30, 2022

Dave's Comicbook Capsules Et Cetera

Intermittent Picks and Pans of Comics and Related Media Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this month. An archive can be found on my homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants I have finally bought boots above the $20 Walmart level. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): The Way of the Househusband vol 7 In this installment: Adventure Finders Book 3 Chapter 7, The Way of the Househusband vol 7, Shang-Chi #7, Moon Knight #7, Vampirella Dracula Unholy #2, Arrowsmith Behind Enemy Lines #1, My Little Pony Generations #4 (of 5), Transformers Wreckers: Tread & Circuits #4 (of 4), Transformers Beast Wars #12, Transformers #39. Current Wait List (books either Diamond didn't ship or my store failed to order): Nothing this month. Just a slow month, I guess. (Well, the ownership change at my store threw their orders into chaos, but the only thing I didn't get was G-Fan, which I don't review anyway.) "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 month. Digital Content: Unless I find a really compelling reason to do so (such as a lack of regular comics), I won't be turning this into a webcomic review column. Rather, stuff in this section will generally be full books available for reading online or for download, usually for pay. Adventure Finders Book 3 Chapter 7: Patreon.com - Still cliffhangering poor Clari, the issue is split between two characters, each coming into possession/wardenship of significant resources. One is more useful in the long-term than the other. There's also parallel ethical choices...for one, is it right to be hurting so many in order to help others? For the other, is it right to take the loot and leave the humans to their petty conflicts? (Seriously, it seems like half the party has "get the goods and run" as their initial motivation.) Recommended. $1/month or more to read. Trades: Trade paperbacks, collections, graphic novels, pocket manga, whatever. If it's bigger than a "floppy" it goes here. The Way of the Househusband vol 7: Viz - More stories of regular domesticity (and a camping trip) told with an excess of intensity and involving (mostly) intense people. Plus the occasional reminder that Miku (the Immortal Dragon's wife) is a total amazon and possibly the scariest person in the book. Oono continues to fire on all cylinders, strongly recommended. $12.99/$17.99Cn Floppies: No, I don't have any particular disdain for the monthlies, but they *are* floppy, yes? (And not all of them come out monthly, or on a regular schedule in general, so I can't just call this section "Monthlies" or even "Periodicals" as that implies a regular period.) Shang-Chi #7: Marvel - The bulk of this issue involves Shang Chi's mother telling him about how she met his father, which is essentially the story from the recent movie with a few tweaks to let it fit in with the comics universe. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Moon Knight #7: Marvel - Despite being apparently new, Zodiac doesn't fit Marc's model of a fledgling supervillain, so it's off to beat up the D-listers and shake the bushes for information about who he might have been before he took on the Zodiac name. (While being dead wouldn't stop his old cyborg sidekick Midnight from bring Zodiac, it'd also be a bit repetitive since Midnight's last appearance was doing similar murdery stuff to what Zodiac is doing now.) Side note: one problem with using D-listers is that it's easy to lose track of which of them is supposed to be dead or replaced or whatever. The art for one of them in this issue suggests the original holder of the name, not the current one, for instance. The art in general is a bit scratchy and rushed-looking, but the story's good enough to put up with that. Recommended. $3.99 Vampirella Dracula Unholy #2: Dynamite - The book continues to play footsie with fantasy, with the most outrageous elements revealed to be smoke and mirrors despite the setting certainly supporting actual magic. However, the important parts of the story are the mundane emotional parts tied to the marriage, so that's okay. And they provide an overt metaphor for the illusions Vampi is under. Recommended. $3.99 Arrowsmith Behind Enemy Lines #1: Image - I don't quite have students who were born after the previous series ended, but it's a near thing. The end notes explain how doing more Arrowsmith was always second or third on the priority list for Busiek and Pacheco, and they could never quite find the time to both make it top priority in synch until now. When this series was announced, my first reaction was to wonder why I didn't bother keeping up with it...of course, the answer was that there wasn't anything up with which to keep. So, plenty of exposition in this issue in recognition that even returning readers have had a rather long time to forget the details. The premise is WWI in a world with more magic than technology, and the title character is the equivalent of a fighter pilot, using borrowed dragon magic to fly. The premise of this arc is that he has to go on an undercover mission behind enemy lines (hence the title) to make contact with intelligence assets, but since this is WWI the whole thing is pretty shoddily organized with plenty of opportunity for things to go wrong (serious military intelligence really didn't get going until WWII, and Pinkerton lied in his memoirs a LOT about getting it going earlier than that). A promising start. Recommended. $3.99 My Little Pony Generations #4 (of 5): IDW - Time for threads to start coming together for the finale. The Mane Six get the backstory on the G1 witches, the pony-Smoozes start to go off-mission a touch, and a plot device is hatched. Recommended. $3.99 Transformers Wreckers: Tread & Circuits #4 (of 4): IDW - Oops, they broke pattern here, it's actually a four issue series, not five. And it's not really a solid end, more of a "to be continued in the next Wreckers book," which is a bit of a problem given that IDW lost the license and doesn't have a lot of time to pick up on any danglers. I guess they might show up in the big wrap-up miniseries? Anyway, as I read through this issue, I kept thinking, "Well, the obvious and cliche way to go would be X, so they won't do that," and then they did X. And at the end, the Wreckers decided to drop their cover and just become an obvious elite squad, just like every other incarnation of the Wreckers, abandoning what made them an interesting take on the concept. So, an uninspired ending to a series that started out with some promise. Very mildly recommended. $3.99 Transformers Beast Wars #12: IDW - And thus, Optimus Primal's Clever Plan is carried out, to mixed success, forming a good bit of arc closure and setup for a long run that...won't happen, I guess? On the other hand, this title is pretty separable from the rest of the IDW books, with no real indications it's even in the same continuity as the slow burn Great War titles (unlike Wreckers), so it could end up being picked up by the next licensor even if they don't want to continue the main continuity (as happened when IDW picked up Dreamwave's plots and ran with them). Art still annoys me, but Burnham's story works well enough. Recommended. $3.99 Transformers #39: IDW - Welp, given that loss of license I mentioned, I guess Ruckley'd better finish off the prologue soon. This issue is mostly "Smokescreen's team fights its way out of Swindle's bar," with a small B-plot of Cyclonus dealing with his mysteriously revived old comrade, as the slow burn on Exarchon continues. I guess it'll shift from too-slow to too-fast soon enough, with Ruckley never really finding the groove on how to pace for a serial comic instead of a novel. Mildly recommended (some good lines here and there). $3.99 Dave Van Domelen, "Finally, you ARE aware this is a hospital?" - Nurse, after a lengthy critique of Tatsu and Miku's Policure pantomime, Way of the Househusband vol 7
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