February 9, 2011

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. An archive can be found on my homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants Yesterday morning it was 5F, it stayed 5F all day into this morning. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Love and Capes Ever After #1 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 2/9/11: Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #8, Chaos War Dead Avengers #1, Shadowland Power Man #4, Transformers Timelines G2 Redux, Gold Digger v3 #123, Widowmaker #3, Time Lincoln Apocalypse Mao, Invincible #77. Add Amazing Spider-Man #654, Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes #4, Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #11, Widowmaker #4, Gold Digger #125 and Atomic Robo Deadly Art of Science #3. (Comics were out late due to the lack of an invoice in the shipment, so I'll wait to hit Hastings tomorrow to get at least some of those books.) Weeded the list down. It's not that Diamond ever shipped those things, just that I've given up on 'em ever showing up here. There may be something to the "Diamond specifically hates your store" theory. Apparently the previous manager was prone to ordering mistakes (like double-ordering), then chewing out the Diamond rep for her mistakes. But she was fired over a year ago, and that still doesn't excuse invoices that rarely match shipments, or that are entirely missing (like this week). Either way, I can no longer adequately explain this via incompetence, and am forced to assume malice on some level, either specifically towards my store, or towards smaller stores in general. "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. I got a Ghost Rider Transformer, but I haven't opened it yet. Time-Shifting: Sometimes I get a comic a week or two late because of Diamond's combination of neglect and incompetence. If it's more than a week late, though, I won't review it unless it's very notable. Additionally, I will often get tradepaperbacks long after publication or even sometimes before Diamond ships them, and those will go here. If I'm reasonably sure I'm reviewing something that didn't ship this week, this is the section for it. Booster Gold #40: DC - A retelling of Booster's origin as a newly acquired arch-enemy sets out to destroy him. That part's not so interesting. What *is* interesting is that Booster's origins in a crime are being dealt with...presumably not by the regular authorities in the 25th Century, as he was already tried and sentenced to death by them back in the original Booster Gold comic. Unless Giffen and DeMatteis have decided that his trial was retconned away at some point and has to be done over? Mildly recommended. $2.99 Iron Man Legacy #11: Marvel - Obviously, as a continuity implant story, the Big Things can't have changed from the status quo here. The Pride have to be left in control of SoCal, Stark has to stay out of their business while at Circuits Maximus, etc. But while the first arc in this title ended on a hopeful note for "we'll pick this up later," the tone here is rather less sanguine for the damaged individual Tony befriended this time around. It almost feels like news of cancellation had hit and the ending was rewritten to be more bitter. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Spider-Girl #3: Marvel - Okay, assuming I can get my hands on them, I will continue to buy the following issues for a while. Tobin manages to maneuver around the worst of the angst-ridden cliches (and finds an interesting role for the Red Hulk in the ongoing story) and the dangers of making Anya into 1960s Peter Parker with breasts. In fact, one theme that this issue comes back to repeatedly is that while Parker might have been able to keep his identity secret for years, Anya's pretty bad at it. So the one element of "female Peter Parker teenager" that hasn't been ruled out yet, the "I gotta hide my secret from my legal guardian" one, might become moot because she's apparently incapable of hiding it from anyone. ;) Recommended. $2.99 New Comics: Comics and comic collections that I got this week and were actually supposed to be out this week, as far as I can tell. These reviews will generally be spoiler-free, but the occasional bit will slip in. REBELS #25: DC - Whee, more Starro. The problem with the new version of Starro is that as a galactic-level threat, it's hard to have him around without it totally dominating the book. I suppose this arc's purpose might be to reduce his stature to the point where he's viable as a recurring foe without being a "why do they leave him alive?" poison pill. This issue is not much more than an extended Big Reveal of a Plot Point, though. Only a couple hints of the subplots. Neutral. $2.99 Adventure Comics #523: DC - Introducing the new Legion Academy! My very first issue of Legion was the Academy spotlight in LSH #304, a rather confusing experience (and disheartening...I thought Wildfire was so cool, and he *died* at the end of the issue, as far as I knew!). And I still don't know who the little gray dude who munches on the wiring is, but he's in this issue too. Anyway, one thing I was worried about was that the new Legion Academy arc would be too much like Avengers Academy, a bunch of trainees who are just one push away from becoming supervillains. And...yeah. Chemical Kid is essentially Striker in personality, and while the rest of the mapping is looser, the same basic dynamics are there. Bad kids, damaged kids, one with a case of flattened affect, etc. Although the Avengers Academy students don't have the sort of horrendously bad fashion sense that Gravity Kid displays. It's like he looked at Grimbor's most aggressively 70s costume and thought, "Pretty good, but needs more randomly exposed skin." Mildly recommended. $2.99 X-Factor #215: Marvel - Mining a different set of myths this issue in what's almost entirely a Layla/Madrox story. And despite how much more the reader knows about Layla than Jaime does, there's still some mystery left in things, mystery that PAD plays up pretty well. Recommended. $2.99 Power Man and Iron Fist #1: Marvel - Yay, the return of Don of the Dead! And a lot of supporting characters from the original PM/IF series. Hm. When Danny changed his outfit from green to red, it was a sign he'd turned evil. What does gray mean? That he'd turned into a really bad launderer? As for the new Power Man, is his name Victor Alvarez or Leeroy Jenkins? Seriously, he's like the stereotype of the idiot who causes Total Party Kills in just about any massively multiplayer online game on the market. AND he'd be insulted if you asked if he at least had fried chicken. (His "Angry Black Man act" needs a lot of work.) Overall, though, recommended. $2.99 The Transformers #16: IDW - A lot of characters get shot at or beat on, but nothing really gets resolved yet. Basically, this is all set up for what I presume will be a lot of Master Plan Monologuing from Megatron next issue, to be followed by the big explosions in #18. They may no longer sell these as 6 issue minis, but they still pace it like that. Mildly recommended, mainly for some good snarking. $3.99 Love and Capes Ever After #1: IDW - While Zahler is restarting the numbering with the move to IDW, the story itself does not go into massive recap mode. Rather, he focuses on moving the story forward, trusting the inside front cover to carry the recap needs and creating a plot that lets him bring in the necessary backstory in context of things changing. And the focus is mainly on four characters but with just enough supporting cast to keep from feeling artificially simplified. A good relaunch indeed. Strongly recommended. $3.99 PS238 #48: Do Gooder Press - You know you're confident in the geekitude of your audience when you make a Universal Soldier reference on the cover and expect people to get it. :) The fight scene from last issue is cut short by a plot device that also lets the kids keep running the show, although I'm a bit worried that Guardian Angel is turning into Cable. The mystery of the headmaster of the Praetorian Academy is essentially exposed for any readers who didn't get the RPG, and the Argonaut/Moon Shadow plot moves forward a bit. It looks like Williams is fiddling with pacing in order to get everything to come to a head in #50. Recommended. $2.99 Awards: "The Golden Age Of Franchise Coffee?" Award to Booster Gold #40 "'Change Fight Partners' Is The 'Reverse Polarity' Of Superhero Books" Award to Iron Man Legacy #11 "That's So Raven" Award to Spider-Girl #3 "Only Lobo Would LITERALLY Put His Meathooks On A Lady" Award to REBELS #25 "Hopefully None Of Them Is A Manhunter" Award to Adventure Comics #523 "I Doubt The Cross Would Work For Core Jaime Anyway" Award to X-Factor #215 "Bad Case Of Scrapperlock" Award to Power Man and Iron Fist #1 "What Part Of 'Unable To Kill Me At Point-Blank Range When I Was Completely Taken By Surprise' Do You Not GET?" Award to The Transformers #16 "Day Job Accolade" Award to Love and Capes Ever After #1 "Victor Von Fogg Is Trying...NOT To Be Seen" Award to PS238 #48 Dave Van Domelen, "Don't look like that. I can't be the first person to have put their parents in an alternate universe and made them faint." - Zodon, PS238 #48
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