April 7, 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 This may be the first time I got too few comics to use my credit card. (Well, since getting a credit card in the first place.) Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): None. "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. MySpace Dark Horse Presents #34: Dark Horse - The Brody's Ghost preview wraps up this month at http://www.myspace.com/darkhorsepresents. Three of the four installments interested me enough to read, including Brody, of course. Brody's Ghost Part 4: After giving the impression that Brody may be living purely on the street in the first three parts, ghosts his only companions, Mark Crilley shows here that he does have connections among the living and places he can crash, if not live regularly. A lighter story than the rest, it focuses on the ways a ghost can get you do go along with what they want, when all YOU want is to enjoy a beer and watch the game on a new big-screen TV. So now we've seen the street fighter, the detective, the mystic apprentice and finally some of the guy underneath the job labels. Recommended reading. Las Primas Controla: Superheroics from Los Bros Hernandez. This isn't their first time writing superheroes, although what little superheroic stuff of theirs I've read came across as lucha libre meets the Jetsons. This story is more like Space Ghost meets Shazam Family, but the tone is just as goofy and bizarre as the previous stuff I've read. As the title states, the main characters are superpowered cousins ("primas"). They gain powers by speaking magic words ("Orbita Taramanus Ridiculum," which makes no sense unless the family name is "Taramanus" in which case it might mean "let a series of ridiculous events surround the Taramanus!") and apparently face an invasion by shapeshifting aliens called Molestors. No, this isn't hentai, I think they mean the word more in the sense of "those who bother in an objectionable way". Anyway, it's got that strong odor of an indie comic creator who decides to make superhero comics based on decades-old faded memories of the books they read at the dentist's office, not something I plan to follow. Englouorioues Mask-tards: Evan Dorkin and Hilary Barta seek bold new directions in intnentional misspeling for the title of this Mask story. Yes, the green-faced one Jim Carrey made famous. The high concept (high as in "what are you smoking?" high) is that Tarantino and his buddies got copies of the Mask's mask, and go on a rampage against movie critics, the press, other directors and actors, etc. At three pages, I think it could have stood to be shorter. Or maybe longer. But it plays out its premise pretty much on page one, then falls back on the usual Tarantino parody stuff (including stuff Tarantino has parodied about himself). Eh. 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. 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. Invincible Returns #1: Image - This is like Invincible #0, a "catch new readers up on what's going on" book. Unlike #0, it's not a loss-leader, but also unlike #0 it's new writing and art rather than a clip show. It's very heavy on exposition and "explain the plot to someone who already knows" scenes, but it does still move the overall story forward rather than just looking back. And if it's got a lot of recap, Kirkman manages to generally make it flow well enough. The "returns" part of the title, by the way, is metaphorical rather than literal. The past couple of years have seen Invincible go down a somewhat darker path, and the main conflict of this issue is his attempts to claw his way back into the light...for all the good it'll do him when the Viltrumite War kicks into gear. Recommended. $3.99 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 4/7/10: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #22, Gold Digger v3 #105 and #116, Gold Digger Sacred Library #3, Marvel Boy: the Uranian #3. Awards: "You'd Think They'd Have Smudge-Proof Glass In THe Future" Award to Brody's Ghost Part 4 "If Only Three Characters Get Speaking Roles, It'd Be Nice If We Got The Name Of More Than One Of Them" Award to Las Primas Controla "Not Enough Footnotes" Award to Englouorioues Mask-tards "Hopefully They Tipped Well" Award to Invincible Returns #1 Dave Van Domelen, "Feh. Villains." - Invincible
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