March 10, 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, Stand still, I need to test my new Ghost Slaying Axe.... Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Nothing this week. "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. Iron Man 2 Micro Heads Playset: Iron Monger: Hasbro - The first set of these Mighty Max-ish playsets is actually from the first movie. Iron Man's head turns into a Gulmira battle (with one tank and one missile launcher for Iron Man to fight), while Iron Monger's head turns into the Arc Reactor lab with Iron Man and Iron Monger able to fight over the reactor. The figures are decent, HeroClix-sized and of similar paint quality. There's a LOT of stickers to apply to the scenery, and I had to resort ot tweezers for some, so if you like applying stickers this is for you. The shell hinges aren't pinned, so it pops apart easily, and the one motion gimmick (slide Iron Man on a peg back and the floor drops away to let Iron Monger fall into the reactor) is unimpressive. All in all, at $10 these aren't worth it. Iron Man 2 Action Figures: Hasbro - I found Iron Monger and movie series War Machine at Walmart. Iron Monger is pretty gimmicks, due to the extra plastic needed for his bulk, but I don't much LIKE most of the gimmicks, so that's fine. While his bulk limits the range of motion in his joints, there's plenty of useful articulation including universal joint wrists. Recommended. Movie series War Machine, however, isn't as good. His snap-on weapons don't stay on very well, the giant missiles (you have a choice of two for the one launcher) are ugly, and the feed belt that's supposed to connect one of the weapons to his back doesn't stay in unless you glue it in place. Both of his weapons are supposed to be rotary cannons, but one is oversized to be a missile launcher. They attach to ball joints that are on stalks that fold back, but even stowed you have the asymmetry issue. In fact, the packaging only shows the launcher one installed, there's no mention of the non- launching weapon. Leaving off the launcher helps a bit, but the feed belt doesn't fit properly into the slots on the other weapon, so you kinda have to leave that off too. All in all, get the Comic Series War Machine instead, it's a lot better. Neutral. Both are $6.96 at Walmart. 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. Nothing this week, but Gold Digger Sacred Library #3 is definitely late. 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. Jersey Gods #11: Image - Finally, more of the "god in a mortal world" stuff that got me interested in this title. Sadly, it looks like we're solidly back on Neboron next issue, but Barock's interactions on Earth are enough to keep this from being dropped off my pull for now. Mildly recommended. $3.50 Transformers Bumblebee #4: IDW - Final issue, so I guess this is a miniseries. It still doesn't really fit in with the ongoing...while Bumblebee changes his look at the end of the issue, it's not to Figueroa's design. Or, if it's supposed to be, Chee either got bad information or no information at all. Cannon wraps up the story pretty well, though, dealing with the ethical quandaries and showing clearly that while Bumblebee has had to compromise his morals pretty severely, he's still a long way from even an honorable Decepticon. Recommended. $3.99 R.E.B.E.L.S. #14: DC - Given all the plot devices floating around, I suppose one of them had to work, yes? And thus the Starro arc ends. Of course, having established that the big Starros are a species, another writer can always being one back later, so Bedard has simply put Starro on a bus. St. Aubin's art is a little harder to follow in places than it needs to be, unfortunately. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Secret Six #19: DC - Simone juggles both an in media res main storyline and rapid cuts back and forth to a subplot that takes over at the end and... is not quite successful. It feels too disjoint, too much "did I miss an issue of a crossover I hadn't been told about?" in its pacing. Most of the individual bits are good, but they don't fit together well. Mildly recommended. $2.99 S.W.O.R.D. #5: Marvel - They continue the theme of replacing actual covers with poster art. The arc ends, and the "true purpose" of S.W.O.R.D. is revealed. Well, it may just be Brand blowing smoke, but it certainly makes sense. Good banter, and Gillen has demonstrated his ability to write Death's Head, so I wouldn't mind seeing him return. Recommended. $2.99 Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #21: Marvel - Featuring Black Widow and Nova. Well, that's what the cover says. Black Widow isn't really any more featured than Iron Man or Cap, though. It's really a Nova story, with some WWII heroes who aren't Cap providing him with some perspective. Tobin writes a good story, although he makes the Avengers a bit jerkish. The art by Esdras Cristobal is...ill-suited to the story. It's borderline slapstick in places, and not just in the parts of the story that are goofy. It tends to mess with the serious moments. Mildly recommended. $2.99 The Amazing Spider-Man #624: Marvel - Waid and Azaceta continue with the latest new Vulture. To be honest, he's more of an update of the Fly than the Vulture. (Reads issue.) Okay, so his backstory does include the tech that made the Fly, so that makes sense. ;) By the way, THIS is the issue that all the news reports were about last week. Waid manages to set things up well enough that it doesn't come across as an editorially-mandated stunt (even if it was), and it should plausibly stick for as long as they need it to. The only bad thing about this issue is the next issue box, which fuels my fears about the happy ending of a previous issue. Recommended. $2.99 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 3/10/10: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #22, Gold Digger v3 #105, Gold Digger Sacred Library #3. Awards: (not gonna do awards for the toys this week) "Shoulda Gotten A Better Pre-Nup" Award to Jersey Gods #11 "But How Thick Is His *Emotional* Armor Now?" Award to Transformers: Bumblebee #4 "His Real Super-Power Is Pissing People Off" Award to R.E.B.E.L.S. #14 "Mother I'd Like To Flee" Award to Secret Six #19 "Mmmm, Fleshy Squelchings" Award to S.W.O.R.D. #5 "Buckethead Games" Award to Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #21 "THAT Much Worse, Peter...At Least You Have A Proper Jaw" Award to The Amazing Spider-Man #624 Dave Van Domelen, "You have changed, my friend. You know that?" "(Lockheed gibberish script)" "What did he say?" "It's untranslatable. And physically impossible for humans." - Beast, Lockheed and Brand, hanging a lampshade on it in S.W.O.R.D. #5
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