April 8, 2009

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.
Spring is here, and with it giant monsters.  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.

     Nothing 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

     Books of Note (Strongly Recommended or otherwise worthy): None.

     Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Defiance #4 (of 4): IDW - Okay, that
makes Diamond one for eight in terms of shipping the movie prequel comics to
my store.  They didn't ship Spotlight: Gary Stu this week, though.  Anyway,
like Alliance #4, the actual storytelling part ends after a few pages and we
shift into summary mode, laying out the rest of the backstory for the movie.
All of the "just dumb luck" stuff about the setup in the first movie is
ruthlessly retconned into being For A Purpose, and the whole setting gets
rather Furmanned.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Doktor Sleepless #12: Avatar - The gang wars continue, with more gangs
(including the police, which are simply a better-equipped gang in Heavenside)
getting involved.  Pretty much more "here's things going to hell, and Doktor
Sleepless may be making it worse or better but he's certainly turning up the
pace" stuff like last issue.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Ignition City #1 (of 5): Avatar - Retro-futurism given the same sort of
"itz not so grate, aktully" treatment that Doktor Sleepless gives to
cyberpunk.  Lots of nods and winks (a former space pilot named Buster Crabb,
for instance) but everyone talks about the setting in a natural way, which is
to say they don't rehash information for the benefit of the reader.  So
there's a lot of implication, but it's frustratingly coy.  And, of course,
the world sucks and will probably drown in its own filth for having the
temerity to not be as cool as it could have been.  Oh, and America is evil
and banal, but that almost goes without saying for an Ellis project anymore.
Just interesting enough to keep me reading, though.  Mildly recommended.
     Booster Gold #19: DC - About half an issue's worth of denounment padded
out to fill the whole issue.  A certain amount of summing up the themes of
the issue so far, as well, as Booster has a heart to heart with his past
self, and Michelle deals with her own angst.  Both this issue and the Secret
Six I got (and hence, probably all the mainstream DC books this week) have a
preview of the upcoming Power Girl series, featuring l33tb0ts of some sort.
Mildly recommended.  $2.99
     Secret Six #8: DC - Ah, date night.  When a stripper is the most
well-adjusted person in the room, you know it's Secret Six.  A rather
philosophical issue in general, although a lot of that philosophy is
nihilistic or comes from a Lowlie from Apokolips, so it's not what I'd call
life-affirming.  On the other hand, the systems espoused seem reasonably
functional and even sane, given the professions and origins of those
involved.  Oh, and to keep things from getting too sane, Rag Doll gets a Mini
Marvels/Tiny Titans style backup story.  Save the monkeys!  Recommended.
     Timestorm 2009/2099 #1 (of 4): Marvel - I didn't pre-order this, but I
decided to grab it on impulse.  As implied by the title, time travel is
involved, with someone rewriting the 2099 timeline to his advantage and
having the sort of unintended consequences that always crop up.  Reed's
writing is a bit opaque at times, but generally good, and Eric Battle's art
ic quite nice.  An OHOTMU entry for Mig O'Hara "Classic" is included that
goes into quite a lot of depth.  Provisionally recommended.  $3.99
     eXiles v4 #1: Marvel - This is one of those times I follow a writer onto
a property I've lost interest in.  :)  Parker goes back to basics, recruiting
another eXiles team from across realities, etc etc.  This time, though, it's
people yanked from just before their deaths, so there's no going back at
all.  One character's backstory is conspicuous by its absence, though,
although having skipped v3 I couldn't say for sure how obvious Parker's
being.  Recommended.  $3.99
     All New Savage She-Hulk #1 (of 4): Marvel - Dark Reign banner.  This is
the daughter of Hulk and Thundra from that Hulk one-shot a while back.
Essentially Thundra with green skin.  But Fred Van Lente's writing it, so I'm
giving it a shot.  And we're three for three with timeline monkeying Marvel
comics this week!  It's made even more clear that the Thundra in Hulk: Raging
Thunder isn't from any previous Thundra reality, but instead from a possible
future of Earth-616 (although it's got its own altiverse label, Earth-8009).
Van Lente uses the ARMOR group from Marvel Zombies for the chorus and initial
fight scene cannon fodder, but most of the issue is a series of flashbacks to
Lyra's (the new shulkie) homeworld, flashbacks that are likely to continue
through the entire series given that they don't reach "and then she came back
in time" point yet.  Recommended, but that largely because I like Boudicca
the bossy virtual pet.  $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 4/8/09: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe
#22, Transformers Maximum Dinobots #1-4, Transformers Revenge of the Fallen:
Alliance #2, Jersey Gods #1-2, Booster Gold #17, Gen13 v4 #27, Dynamo5 #20,
Cthulhu Tales #12, Gold Digger Maidens of Twilight #2, Transformers Spotlight
Jazz, New Mutants Saga.  Add Transformers Spotlight Drift.


"I Still Blame The Goa'uld" Award to Transformers Revenge of the Fallen 
     Defiance #4 (of 4)

"His Eyes Have Mask-Holes" Award to Doktor Sleepless #12

"Suck Rogers" Award to Ignition City #1 (of 5)

"Why Is Every Complaint About Being Treated Like A China Doll Inevitably
     Followed By Doing Something Stupid That Justifies That Treatment?"
     Award to Booster Gold #19

"That Never Happened To Spridle" Award to Secret Six #8

"Vending Machines Are NEVER Your Friend" Award to Timestorm 2009/2099 #1 
     (of 4)

"Conspicuously Absent From The Design Sketches, Too" Award to eXiles v4 #1

"This Is Probably Why ARMOR Didn't Pick Up On The Timestorm Thing" Award 
     to All New Savage She-Hulk #1 (of 4)

     Dave Van Domelen, "We Lowlies had a saying.  'Hope is the heart of pain,
and only fear is eternal.'"  "That's quite a sad philosophy, Insignificus."
"On the other hand, I encourage rutting in the dirt with strangers at every
available opportunity." - Insignificus the Lowlie and Scandal Savage (who is
sure she's not a dancer, thanks).
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