February 17, 2010

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 The cough yet lingers on, twenty days after the first symptoms. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Atomic Robo vol 4 #1 (of 4). "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. 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. REBELS #13: DC - The cover proclaims "Triple Cross!" but I'm not sure that's quite right. Then again, we're deep into Xanatos Roulette territory at this point in the game, so I suppose it could really just be an overly complicated triple cross, as opposed to a more Starro-thematic quintuplecross. Mind you, I'm not sure Lyrl is actually betraying in an active sense so much as recognizing when to simply step back and let everyone else blow each other up, anticipating the results of such mutual annihilation to be beneficial to his own interests. Like father, like son, and all that. 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. Transformers: Bumblebee #3: IDW - Still no idea how this fits in with the ongoing, but I like it. Protagonists and antagonists continue to act intelligently, hampered not by the idiot plot but by running into ethical dilemmas. Autobots forced to consider letting the ends justify the means, human antagonists realizing that maybe they're not doing the right thing, etc. And Bumblebee himself skirts the edge of starring in the bad sort of Public Service Announcement. ;) Recommended. $3.99 Invincible #70: Image - I can see the miscommunication here, resulting in the initial cover showing Invincible covered in sequins. :) The squishy slugfest runs almost the entire length of the issue, but does a good job of setting up the important character development moment. Even better, Invincible is being set up in an ethical dilemma where there's an easy, almost lazy, way out coming when the Viltrumites return...the old "at least I'm not as bad as they are!" defense. Which I suspect Kirkman won't let Invincible get away with. Recommended. $2.99 The Amazing Spider-Man #621: Marvel - A "tying up loose ends" sort of issue, as Spider-Man gets some help to deal with a plot device, Carlie deals with her subplot from the Mysterio arc, and Dark Aunt May continues to make a splash. I would like to point out, though, that "gauntlet" is a corruption of "gantlet" in this whole over-arc title, now that the title has been brought into dialogue. A gantlet in this context is a narrow path, and running the gantlet is to run down such a narrow path while attacked from both sides as a form of punishment. The meaning of gantlet as alternate spelling of gauntlet (armor on hand) got mixed in at some point. It's not as bad as "honing in" on a target (seen in Bumblebee this week), but it still irks my pedantic side. That aside, though, it's a good story. Recommended. $2.99 The Incredible Hercules #141: Marvel - FINAL ISSUE. Well, "Final". It's going the Agents of Atlas path of a few miniseries and specials before a May relaunch. But the Assault on New Olympus arc is definitely done, with an appropriately heroic body count, although not all the bodies are piled up by who you might expect. Meanwhile, in the Agents of Atlas feature, there's hot Venus on Aphrodite action. Not quite as momentous as the events going on upstairs in the main story, but there's still some turning of the wheel and a good resolution to Venus's whole life-of-retcons in AoA. Recommended. $3.99 Atomic Robo v4 #1 (of 4): Red5 Comics - Revenge of the Vampire Dimension is the subtitle of this miniseries. :) This is a fairly self-contained issue, set in 1999 and featuring the job interview of Dr. Bernard Fischer, who at this point in his career has absolutely no idea what he's getting into. By 2010 he still may not be entirely sure, come to think of it. But he probably knows what Action Geology is by now. Clevinger and Wegener are definitely up to their usual snuff here, and this stuff just doesn't get old. Strongly recommended. $3.50 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 2/17/10: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #22, Gold Digger v3 #105, Marvel Index #13, SWORD #4. Add Avengers vs. Agents of Atlas #2. Awards: "Despero, I Strongly Suspect You WILL Be Mocked" Award to REBELS #13 "No, I Don't Have Any Candy, Why Do You Ask?" Award to Transformers: Bumblebee #3 "Someone Neglected To Read The Evil Overlord List" Award to Invincible #70 "Peter Porker Is Doomed!" Award to The Amazing Spider-Man #621 "If Only More Conflicts Could Be Solved That Way" Award to The Incredible Hercules #141 (specifically, the Agents of Atlas backup) "I Expect Their Last Insurance Adjuster Took Early Retirement" Award to Atomic Robo v4 #1 (of 4) Dave Van Domelen, "REMAIN CALM. TRUST IN SCIENCE." - printed on the armored shutters in TeslaDyne HQ, Atomic Robo v4 #1 (of 4)
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