April 14, 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 The pollen count is OVER NINE THOUSAND!!1!! My Scouter shattered! Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Amelia Rules! the Tweenage Guide to NOT Being UNpopular "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. 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. Transformers Nefarious #2: IDW - Well, Dirt Boss gets some good bits, at least. The other non-movie toy characters brought in are pretty much interchangeable spear-carriers (playing up the insectile aspects by giving Reverb an extra set of arms was a nice touch, though). Much of the rest of the story is either narration about how messed up the situation is (from the POV or Prime or Soundwave) or scenes with the new Big Bad that's messing up the situation. It all feels more like we're being TOLD how dire things are and only barely SHOWN any of it. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Adventure Comics #10: DC - Triangle number 38, more Last Stand of New Krypton megacrossovercrap. In fact, there's barely any pretense of a Legion focus this time...a little bit of Quislet initially, a bit of some other Legionnaires in the middle, but mostly Superman and Superboy in the main plot. The last part with the Kryptonian infiltrator ends as boringly as it began. At least it looks like only one more issue of this at most before New Krypton is over and the book shifts to being a Legion title again. Mild recommendation to avoid. $3.99 Booster Gold #31: DC - "The END of an era!" proclaims the cover. Jurgens wraps up the last bits of his run, dealing with the issues between Booster and his sister and generally giving Booster a reason to not think the job entirely sucks. He also tosses in a bit of a retcon before handing things back to, um, the people whose story he retconned. Hm. The Rip Hunter stuff is spinning off into a new comic, and Booster's going back to Giffen and DeMatteis, which may or may not become full of fail. Intentional camp is hard. Trying to recapture successful intentional camp is almost impossible. This issue is a good coda to the run, though. Recommended. $2.99 Secret Six #20: DC - No cover banners, just blood. Okay, the two plot threads last issue are apparently tied together, something that wasn't exactly clear at the time. This issue also acknowledges the events of Cry for Justice while also taking a subtle "Hey, we're a book about villains and even we're not going THERE" dig at it. Speaking of THEREs, though, the arc focus is now pretty clearly on Catman approaching and possibly crossing the line between villain and monster (a line many on the team drove a main battle tank through ages ago). Recommended. $2.99 The Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot #3 (of 3): Marvel - A bit of a delay between issues, eh? Generally a good issue, playing with some of the genre conventions and subverting others. I do think the "nobody has seen rage like this" sequence was a bit much, though, given that Spider-Man has a similar scene once every few years on average. Recommended. $3.99 Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #1: Marvel - Solicited as just "Super Heroes" under the Marvel Adventures subline, but the indicia is "Marvel Adventures Super Heroes". Of course, the cover has "Iron Man" bigger than the actual title, which I'm sure is causing store owners all sorts of hassles in shelving and deciding whether to pull it for people. Anyway, despite all of this, it's really just the next issue of Tobin's rebooted MA Avengers, as part of the team takes on a hit-it-type threat and another deals with the whole sanctioning issue. A good story, plus it involves percussive degaussing. The backup has Zabu and some adorable baby Tyrannosaurs. Meerp. Recommended. $3.99 Iron Man: Legacy #1: Marvel - I stopped reading Fraction's Iron Man a while back, so I have no idea how consistent this new book by Van Lente is with where Tony's been dragged lately, but I don't really care so long as this book is allowed to keep going where it seems to be going. The opening premise is, to be honest, overdone. Repeatedly, and recently. Someone is using Iron Man tech to kill people, and Tony has to figure out how to deal with it. But while recognizing the consequences of his choices and agonizing over them for a few pages, in the end Tony invents his way out of the problem (and into other problems, of course), which is as it should be. Of course, he's also being played by a master at the game, but it works quite well so far. Kurth's art doesn't always fit the tone, but it's generally good. The backup is Yet Another Reprint Of Tales Of Suspense #39. Maybe they'll continue to reprint issues that haven't gotten non-TPB reprints lately, although I'd prefer just bulking out the new material if they want to justify the $3.99 cover price. Recommended. Amelia Rules! the Tweenage Guide to NOT Being UNpopular: Atheneum - There's a 5 on the spine, but unlike volumes 1-4 this is new material rather than a collection of floppies. It looks like the 6x9 inch format of 150-200 pages will be how Gownley's going to be going with the series from here on out, a more bookstore-friendly format. The title of this volume is also the title of a book-within-the-book, a sort of tweenage realpolitik self-help book that stomps on the "special snowflake" view of childrearing but predictably goes too far in the other direction. "You're not popular, you never will be popular, but if you keep your expectations really low and don't make waves you can avoid being UNpopular." Given the bizarre nature of Amelia's circle of friends, struggling with the Blandwagoning presented by this book makes for a lot of conflict and probably more self-awareness than any 5th grader is likely to experience. But that's okay. :) By turns thoughtful, insane, touching and hilarious, to say this is "more of the same" form Gownley is high praise. Strongly recommended (and almost makes up for missing two other books this week that would likely be strongly recommended). $10.99 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 4/14/10: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #22, Gold Digger v3 #105 and #116, Gold Digger Sacred Library #3, Marvel Boy: the Uranian #3. Add Atomic Robo and the Revenge of the Vampire Dimension #2 and Gold Digger: PeeBri's Big Adventure. Diamond's new reorder system claims that they are going to ship to my store, but not when or from which warehouse. Today's latest try at reordering Uranian #3 at least says it's shipping from the Memphis warehouse, so I'll probably have it next week. Awards: "Something Tells Me OSHA Wouldn't Approve" Award to Transformers: Nefarious #2 "Leave Off The -A-Doop On This One" Award to Adventure Comics #10 "You'd Think Punks With Guns Would Avoid Metropolis" Award to Booster Gold #31 "The Curse Of Being Colorful Characters" Award to Secret Six #20 "You'd Think Punks Would Avoid Bars In Manhattan" Award to The Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot #3 (of 3) "What Kind Of Jackets Do Mithril Traders Wear In The Commodity Pits, Chain Mail?" Award to Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #1 "So, Can I Get Permission To Pervert Your Technology?" Award to Iron Man Legacy #1 "Every One Of You Is A Special Snowflake...Until Society Pounds You Into Dirty Slush" Award to Amelia Rules! the Tweenage Guide to NOT Being UNpopular Dave Van Domelen, "Ha! Tell me I didn't just destroy all Western thought since 1965!" - Amelia McBride
Back to the Main Rants Page.

Follow the pollen back to the April 2010 Page.