Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. I am typing this on my new iMac, woot. An archive 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. None 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 section. Books of Note (Strongly Recommended or otherwise worthy): Amazing Spider-Man #587, Marvel Adventures Avengers #33, Gold Digger v3 #103 The Brave and the Bold #22: DC - Last issue before a hiatus of some sort, although given that the putative next arc involves the HERO dial I may stick around. The current arc ends on a pretty treacly note, which surprises me not at all. Neutral. $2.99 Justice League of America #30: DC - Mostly a big fight scene and vague foreshadowing for, well, the villain who got his backstory dumped on us in #29, so the vagueness was kinda unnecessary. Cute use of science trappings in the final plot device, though. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Adventure #0: DC - I broke down and got this at a local media store (Hastings, for those familiar with it). The lead is a reprint of Adventure #247, the first appearance of the Legion, complete with "wrong" names and costumes, although adding in the more recent coloring retcon to place Brainy on the scene. Believe it or not, I think this is the first time I've read the entire thing. The backup is an Origins & Omens piece where Lex Luthor wheels around Brainiac 1 and is all ominous while in jail. Eh. Anyway, if you don't already have a reprint of Adv247, it's worth a buck to grab this. $1.00 Mysterius the Unfathomable #2 (of 6): DC/Wildstorm - ("stealth" miniseries, solicited as such but not listed on the cover) Two or more plot threads wind through this issue, and the reader can see some of the connections, but the characters can't yet. There's also a thinly veiled pastiche of Anton "Fear My Scary Hat" LeVay in the 60s flashback sequence. :) The writing's a little heavier on the "move the plot along" than in #1, but still a good read. Fowler continues to do good work in the Bernie Wrightson mold. Recommended. $2.99 X-Factor #40: Marvel - Well, this here's about how Madrox deals with the Shocking Events of last issue. And since angst is a natural part of the Mutant Experience, it's not much of a spoiler to say he deals with it... poorly. Along the way, a few niggling details are resolved, one of which is rather gross if you think about it too much. :) DeLandro's darker style is certainly appropriate to the mood of the issue. Recommended. $2.99 The Amazing Spider-Man #587: Marvel - Great scripting from Guggenheim, and the Spider Tracer Killer mystery is finally let into the light, although the plot has hardly resolved. Certainly the month for revelations in ASM, yes? Strongly recommended. $2.99 Marvel Adventures Avengers #33: Marvel - BWAHAHA! Tobin manages to work the running gags just right and avoid them becoming tedious, while Guara's art supports them well. Also, there's a preview of First Class #12 at the end that has me strongly tempted to pick that up as well, curse you Van Lente! Strongly recommended. $2.99. Dynamo5 #0: Image - A little bit of downtime in civvies followed by a short fight scene that shows off everyone's powers and resources, wrapping up with ominous foreboding. In other words, while short, the story does what a promotional 99 cent issue should do. There's also a text piece summarizing the storyline so far, something that more promo issues should do. Recommended. $0.99 Gold Digger v3 #103: Antarctic Press - Smaller company print job batching can cause weird scheduling. :) The hidden city in chains plot gets backburnered for a bit (well, sort of backburnered, they're doing research on it this issue, but it's not really the PLOT plot) so that some bits of pre-#100 business can get looked at. The overwhelmingly overriding theme of this issue is "blowing opportunities and getting second chances," and there's at least three characters who get run through that particular wringer, form scales grand to personal. It starts a little shakily (as in, I read #102 last week and still felt like I had missed something), but finishes very strongly. Strongly recommended. $2.99 US/Cn 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 2/18/09: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #22, Transformers Maximum Dinobots #1 and 2, Transformers Revenge of the Fallen: Alliance #1 and 2, Transformers Revenge of the Fallen: Defiance #1, Jersey Gods #1, Booster Gold #17, REBELS #1, Gen13 v4 #27. Add Invincible #59. Awards: "Yes, Being A **** Is In Character For Him" Award to The Brave and the Bold #22 "When The Moon Hits Your...Asia" Award to Justice League of America #30 "Superdickery Survives 1000 Years" Award to Adventure #0 "Admit It, You've Wanted To See That Happen To David Blaine Too" Award to Mysterius the Unfathomable #2 (of 6) "Nun Shall Pass" Award to X-Factor #40 "His Sense Of Sarcasm Is Superhumanly Heightened Too" Award to The Amazing Spider-Man #587 "Someone Alert Randall Munroe" Award to Marvel Adventures Avengers #33 "Janitors Get All The Cool Powers" Award to Dynamo5 #0 "LOLgods" Award to Gold Digger v3 #103 Dave Van Domelen, "We're starting with FRENCH FRIES? This ALREADY makes no sense." - Wolverine, MA Avengers #33 Bonus Quote: "'TEACHING MOMENT' usually means 'Let's try and get Kitty KILLED'..." - Kitty Pryde, X-Men First Class #12 preview
Okay, "normal" Diamond errors tend to involve the little companies, from Antarctic on down in size. I'm used to that. But lately, they've been neglecting to ship stuff from Marvel, DC, Image and IDW, all supposedly major companies. And they haven't shown any real sign of reshipping to stores that got shorted. Hastings, a regional media chain (i.e. books, music, movies, etc) has a decent newsstand comic section, and since they buy directly from the publishers (as far as I know) they don't have to worry about Diamond. On the other hand, they don't do pulls or order a given title every month. Still, I was able to make a dent in my missing stack. Sadly, by the time I decided to do this, they'd already sold out of TF:RotF Alliance #2, so I'm still missing that. I read it from the rack last month, though, so I'm caught up. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Movie Prequel: Alliance #1 (of 4): IDW - One of two prequel minis. Both presumably four issues, but being IDW they don't say so anywhere on the comic...wait, what's this? On the inside front cover they actually say "of four," wow. Also, henceforth, "TF:RotF" will stand for everything before "Alliance" so I don't have to keep typing it. Maybe Diamond's computers simply choked on the title, explaining why they never shipped it or its companion series. Anyway, this series picks up from the end of Reign of Starscream and takes some of the threads laid down both there (the human-built Landmine et al, Starscream's faux AllSpark) and in the first movie's prequel comic (Wreckage, who got horribly jobbed, is back). Of course, to do all this, it actually starts a few months before the main action of the movie, since there's a lot of Wreckage retconning to do. And Dispensor, perhaps the most sinister of the AllSpark Babies, gets a brief appearance. :) The Dispensor scene makes it clear that the Legends of the AllSpark miniseries is not in the same continuity, since that had a different fate for Dispensor. And a lot more of this issue involves establishing how the end of the first movie wasn't necessarily what it appeared to be, thereby opening up some wiggle room for the sequel to go in slightly different directions. Mowry's writing and Milne's art are both passable, although I'm starting to think that no one can really write Ratchet without it sounding like they're trying way too hard to be funny. Mildly recommended. $3.99. TF:RotF: Alliance #3 (of 4): IDW - Well, Wreckage got shelved again in #2, too bad. He served his purpose, however, of showing how an AllSpark fragment can Do Stuff, like in TF: Animated. Also, it gave a better reason for Sector 7 to be officially disbanded...namely, Wreckage busting loose and wreaking havoc. This issue finally catches up to the end of the first movie and the deep sixing, then moves into intermezzo territory. The coloring drifts into murk, although several scenes are at night, so it's excusable. Loads of toy-but-not-movie characters show up and start trouble, so I think it's safe to say that #4 will rack up something of a body count. Again, the writing and art are okay, and they do a decent job of stitching together the gaps. Mildly recommended. $3.99. TF:RotF: Defiance #1 (of 4): IDW - The other prequel series. And this is VERY prequelly, being set before the Autobot/Decepticon split, at least initially. A new threat is introduced, along with implications of a sort of proto-Decepticon culture lost in archaeological history. Mowry writes this series too, with Khanna on breakdowns and Griffith on finishes. There's definitely a different sort of Cybertron here, and it seems like the friction between Megatron and Optimus Prime would have remained merely that save for the introduction of a Plot Device. Given that this is billed as a prequel to Revenge of the Fallen, it's not too big a stretch to posit that this plot device involves the Fallen. :) The writing tends towards the expositiony in places, with characters relating to each other what they already know, and the visual blocking is more in the style of pinups than storytelling much of the time. Mildly recommended. $3.99. REBELS #1: DC - This is actually the second REBELS series, the first being a followup to LEGION, which also started with Vril Jr. on the run from his own organization. Some of the people on the cover haven't shown up yet, and most of the ones who have spend this issue fighting each other or running from each other. So, we're looking at a team of rivals, I suppose. :) Much of the issue leads up to a sort of Rube Goldberg where way too much effort is taken just to deliver a message, suggesting two possibilities: 1) Bedard was too in love with a clever idea to see the overwrought nature of it, 2) the gizmo has other functions that will be revealed next issue, and therefore the simple way wouldn't have been enough. Still a bit excessive even in case 2, though. Bedard's one of those writers where I'll generally cut some slack, but I've been burned before...so this had better improve markedly in the next couple issues or I'm gone. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Invincible #59: Image - A done-in-one story told from the POV of the antagonist as he drifts from the role of misguided hero to that of tragic villain. A nice breather before the big crossover thing coming next month, to be sure, and a good examination of the sort of fallout Invincible's high- power adventures can have. Recommended. $2.99 Awards: "Brand Loyalty" Award to TF:RotF Alliance #1 (of 4) "What, Exactly, Made Fracture Think That Was A Good Disguise?" Award to TF:RotF Alliance #3 (of 4) "The Shadow Over Cybertron" Award to TF:RotF Defiance #1 (of 4) "But Can He Toast Muffins?" Award to REBELS #1 "The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions And Conductive Plating" Award to Invincible #59 Dave Van Domelen, "You know, the last thing I expect from you is sanctimony." - Querl Dox, showing an astonishing lack of self-awareness about his genepool, REBELS #1Back to the Main Rants Page.
Eat clearanced chocolate hearts in the February 2009 Page.