April 6, 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 Careless torrenting by comic shop employee cost me two bucks this week. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Nothing this week. 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 4/6/11: Shadowland Power Man #4, Transformers Timelines G2 Redux, Love & Capes Ever After #2, Gold Digger #126, PS238 #49, Time Lincoln Cuba Commander, Transformers Dark of the Moon Rising Storm #2. Add Love & Capes Ever After #3. (#2 is now available at the L&C store, gonna hold off for now, though.( "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 time. 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 today. 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. Secret Six #32: DC - Against the hordes of Hell, it's actually not as bloody as some issues of the title. Several fairly expected guest appearances, and one...confusing one. Specifically, it ties into an arc from a few months ago that had lots of symbolism in it that might be on the verge of a clarification. Recommended. $2.99 The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38: Marvel - Okay, it's regular-sized and priced. And it starts a story that continues in Deadpool and Hulks. It smacks of a miniseries that got recast as Annuals or something. Fortunately, the story is relatively self-contained. Oh, there's still a big unresolved plot point that will continue on into Deadpool Annual and Hulks Annual, but Spider-Man's personal story starts and ends here. It echoes one of the arcs from Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man a bit too closely, and the artist is pretty careless (Spidey's borrowed costume changes significantly several times in the first few pages...although I suppose that's meant to be a clue that this whole arc is a dream sequence). But it's still a good read. Oh, and the Marvel Crossovers Transformers race car Spider-Man (black version) has a cameo. Recommended. $3.99 Herc #1: Marvel - So, the premise is that Herc is now mortal (again... while the narration states this is the first time, he did spend a while as a mortal after annoying Zeus back in the late 80s, IIRC) and is missing most of his powers. Exactly how much is not clear, since the narration claims both powerlessness and great strength for him, but at least strength commensurate with his physique. Oh, and he retains the power to hear the prayers of mortal worshippers, even though he can no longer do as much for them. Oops. Still, that aside, he's functionally a Hero Of Myth here, capable of all the feats attributed to the Heracles of myth, minus the "inflation" imposed by setting them in a superhero universe. Pak and Van Lente have dropped him into a new supporting cast, no Cho or Hebe or really anyone else from the old book save for an off-screen Ares. Sure, there's a lot of convenient coincidences in how he establishes this new life, but coincidence follows heroes around. The choice of a villain for the end-of-issue conflict is a bit odd, but I suppose it fits his new role. As a backup feature, there's a summary of Herc's life and times, heavily focused on his actions in the past few years real-time. Recommended. $3.99 Awards: "No Soul, But Plenty Of Rhythm" Award to Secret Six #32 "Didn't Jet Li Do This Movie?" Award to The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38 "Still Godly Where It Counts" Award to Herc #1 Dave Van Domelen, "Hey, there, big fella. My name's KING SHARK. I'm a SHARK." "Ah. Good choice for a NAME, then." - King Shark and (spoiler), Secret Six #32
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