Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Diamond wants my store dead, apparently. 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. DC Super Friends Cyborg figure: Series 2 of the chunky child-friendly DC figures. According to the co-sell on the back, the rest of the series is Batman, a red and black Batman, and Hawkman...with Hawkman having a "NOT AVAILABLE" sticker over it, oops. Rather than the Build A Figure that many lines use now, there's a Build A Picture using the back sides of the heavy cardstock "trading cards" that come with the toys. Of course, with Hawkman being unavailable, the new picture can't be completed, I guess. Cyborg comes with a huge cannon that fires a dense foam ball, and while he's mostly based on the mainline DCU version, he has elements of the Teen Titans cartoon design to him. The basic design is the same as the discontinued Spidey & his Friends line, right down to the usual 9 points of articulation (swivels at neck, shoulders, hips and wrists, hinge elbows) standardized tab on his back onto which can be clipped various accessories. Not that his cannon has the clip. Instead, it has a regular grip that goes in either hand and a monopod that flips down to keep the figure from tipping over forward. The gun can fire straight up about half a meter. There's tabs on the sides of the barrel intended to keep the ball in the barrel, but they don't really work and it tends to fall out at random. Kinda disappointing, but I otherwise knew what to expect since I own a few of the first wave toys too. Um, I forgot to keep the receipt, so I don't know how much this cost, I think it was $6.99 or $7.99. :) Wonder Woman Animated Movie: Warner Brothers - I got the Best Buy exclusive with the DC Universe Infinite Heroes Wonder Woman (animation version) packed in. The two-disc version was slightly cheaper at Wal-Mart (like, a dollar cheaper), I figured the action figure would be worth the difference. Although I could have gotten the single disc for ten dollars less at Best Buy. The main disc is the same on one- and two-disc versions (this is not always the case). In addition to the movie, it has a preview of the upcoming GL movie, plus featurettes on several recent DC animated projects (New Frontier, Gotham Knight) and a bit on Wonder Woman as well. Of course, GL is the extra most people I know are interested in seeing, so they'll be glad to know it's on the one-disc version too. Unfortunately, there's no finished footage of the GL movie, just storyboards and a few very rough animatics with voice on them (Michael Madsen does a decent Kilowog). Other than the GL one, I think all the featurettes were seen on other DVDs before, as previews. The two-disc version also comes with Digital Copy, not that this is a selling point for me. Also on the second disc are two documentaries ("Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream" and "Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth," both 25 minutes and 36 seconds), and a pair of JLU episodes featuring Diana (To Another Shore and Hawk and Dove). Obviously, if you already have the JLU sets, the documentaries are about the only potential draw for the second disc. Daughter of Myth is your standard "myths that inspired Wonder Woman, and myths Wonder Woman has created" thing that's been done many times, having interviews with a lot of the Usual Suspects (i.e. Trina Robbins, Andy Mangels), although no Perez. A Subversive Dream (yeah, I watched 'em in reverse order) is more about Marston and others involved in the mundane side of the creation, with mostly the same interview subjects (although Hugh Hefner and Dan Didio join the cast). At 10.2cm tall, Wonder Woman is a little taller than the Question figure I have from the same line, which is appropriate if perhaps pure chance. Made of tan plastic with most of the costume printed on rather than painted on, in darker colors than are traditional for Wonder Woman. The neck joint exists, but the hair blocks it from moving. There's a swivel at mid-torso, swivel shoulders, V-joint swivel hips and hinge knees. No elbows or wrists, and the hands are in closed fists. No accessories, not that she could hold them. Generally better than the JLU female molds, and definitely worth a few bucks extra if you were planning to get the two-disc release anyway. If you aren't interested in the second disc, though, it's probably not worth ten bucks (although they're selling these for $6-8 depending on store lately). She may end up kitbashed, since the only molded costume details are her tiara and boot soles/heels. Yeah, her costume is printed on, no molding at all. Cheapo for a figure, but ideal for turning her into something else. :) Okay, now for the actual movie. Yeah, there's a movie in among all those extras. I am amused that the the dogfight where Steve Trevor gets shot down involves the two models of jet found in the smaller Machine Wars Decepticons. :) Generally, this is one of those cases where Gail Simone's writing is "on" (she had lead writing credit, shared with screenwriter Jelenic). And Nathan Fillion does a really good job with the lines he's given as Trevor. The story is another updating of the classic origin story, plus the threat of Ares unleashed from his imprisonment on Themiscyra, and works pretty well (although the Invisible Jet comes totally out of nowhere, pardon the pun...I wonder if they storyboarded a scene in which someone magicks up the wreckage of Steve's Raptor to make it, but the scene got cut?). Rated PG, which generally means content that would be PG-13 in live action. No nekkid Amazons, though, in case you were wondering (hair always conveniently covers the front bits), and it's surprisingly bloodless. As in, someone will get a sword rammed through them, and will only get some dramatic bleeding out the mouth (although in the "blood sacrifice" scene there is admittedly probably more blood than a person normally contains). And it's a running gag that "crap" is the strongest language anyone uses. Recommended. $22.99 this week at Best Buy. I considered the Watchmen Motion Comic, having enjoyed the Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath motion comic I got a few years ago. But I decided that I simply wasn't going to get the time to watch it any time soon, and there's a good chance it'll be an extra on the super-duper deluxe DVD release of the movie anyway. :) 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): Farscape #3 (of 4). Secret Six #7: DC - The tale of the bloody card comes to an end with plenty of mayhem, some redemption and a whole lot more betrayal, of others and of self. It's perhaps a little too aggressive about writing people out of the script, but Simone does a good job of dealing with a wide variety of criminal and insane (and criminally insane) motivations. Recommended. $2.99 Agents of Atlas #2: Marvel - Dark Reign banner. Two intertwined stories with two art teams, both stories labeled as "part 1", making last issue a prelude. The present-day story is fairly slow, with Atlas working a sting on HAMMER and then getting a new teammate that they didn't ask for. The other story is set in 1958 and is a weird SF/Horror mystery that I can only presume will dovetail eventually (else it'd have been a separate backup rather than interleaved). Both good. Recommended. $2.99 Farscape #3 (of 4): Boom! Studios - I got the black and white variant cover. This issue is all about how expectations can really ruin your day. Crichton's reputation for doing the impossible *makes it* impossible for him to convince anyone he just stumbled into the situation, while Rygel's reputation as a useless dictator ruins the day of everyone opposing him. :) DeCandido's script continues to be really good, and the story by O'Bannon is paced pretty well and seems likely to have a reasonably solid resolution next issue. Strongly recommended. $3.99 Yep. Three books. Admittedly, only five were supposed to come in this week, but what about the dozen or so books they never shipped? And they failed to ship PREVIEWS to my store again. They can't even pretend that's not in stock, it's their own frelling catalog. I can only conclude that Diamond is trying to undermine my store, driving their customers away to mail order. For it to be explained by mere incompetence would require that Diamond's employees have the average skill set of third graders. And I'm worried I may be insulting third graders. What the heck, I don't normally review these, but I'll toss it in as a bonus since it arrived this week: Bionicle Glatorian #2: DC/Lego - With Bionicle's original storyline wrapping up a few months ago, they've rebooted the franchise with a new world, new villains, etc. The Glatorians are, as the name vaguely implies, gladatorial warriors. The comic comes free with membership in the Lego Club (which is generally free to join), so the cover price I quote later is really more for show than for go. They are making the Bionicle comics available in TPBs lately, though. Anyway, long-time writer Farshtey is still at the helm, and the story is a bit more coherent than usual for Bionicle, although that may be partly a function of getting a new setting started (the comic often skipped over events that were to be told elsewhere in novels, online comics, movies, etc). Pop Mhan is the series artist, and his style really suits the Glatorians well...spindly, spiky and big-footed is how they look normally. :) The story does suffer a bit from being a toy tie-in and having to introduce a bunch of characters all at once, but at least a few of them get decent characterization. It's worth joining the Lego Club to get this series. $2.95 cover price, but at 16 pages of story there's no way it'd ever sell for that. 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 3/4/09: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #22, Transformers Maximum Dinobots #1-3, Transformers Revenge of the Fallen: Alliance #2, Jersey Gods #1, Booster Gold #17, Gen13 v4 #27, Beanworld volume 1 hardcover, Dynamo5 #20, Cthulhu Tales #12, Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil #2. Add Jersey Gods #2, Transformers Revenge of the Fallen: Defiance #2. Awards: "He's Got The Biggest (Nerf) Balls Of Them All" Award to Superfriends Cyborg "Wait, Was Saying He Sounded Like A Woman A Compliment Or A Slam?" Award to the Wonder Woman movie "Are Those Wolverine's Scissors Or Something?" Award to Secret Six #7 "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Forgettable Spider-Man Foes" Award to Agents of Atlas #2 "Nobody Ever Suspects The Baby" Award to Farscape #3 (of 4) "Wait, The Red One ISN'T The Main Hero?" Award to Bionicle Glatorian #2 Dave Van Domelen, "You're smarter than that, John." "Uhm -- have we MET? Crichton's the name, really really dumbass plans are my game." - Scorpy and Crichton, Farscape #3 (of 4)
Another couple of comics picked up from Hastings because Diamond can't be arsed to ship what my store orders. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Movie Prequel: Defiance #2 (of 4): IDW - We see more of what external force changed Megatron from a jerk into a tyrant, but at this point I have to wonder if there will be a Big Reveal anywhere in this series...since the full revelation may be a plot point for the movie. There's also some retconning to make Earth a little more focal to the Autobot/Decepticon conflict rather than the random battleground implied in the first movie. Mowry's writing is competent, and the art by Khanna and Griffith is pretty good, although Josh Perez's coloring is sometimes a bit overdone. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil #2 (of 4): Marvel - The cover has Masters of Evil crossed out and Circus of Crime painted in. On the other hand, this issue the Masters of Evil do actually show up (Amora, Skurge, Melter, Zemo, Radioactive Man). The Circus is used pretty well, although the more All-Ages tone of the book does make for some fairly tepid evil being mastered around here. Recommended. $2.99 Awards: "I Blame The Goa'uld, Myself" Award to TF:RotF Defiance #2 (of 4) "It's A Bug AND A Feature" Award to Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil #2 (of 4) Dave Van Domelen, nothing really worth quoting.Back to the Main Rants Page.
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