Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Happy Administrative Professionals Day! Rants, Capsules can be found on my homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants First Look Comments: Books I read over the weekend as First Looks, but didn't buy, so can't really say much in detail about. DC has stopped having First Looks, so it's just Marvel and Image...and there's word that Diamond doesn't want to bother with the program at all anymore. Books for next week - Nothing of interest to me. Well, there was Iron Fist, but what with the administrative side of my job eating my brain today, I wasn't really in the mood to read what's never been a book I actually wanted to buy. 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 section. Books of Note (Strongly Recommended or otherwise worthy): Young Avengers Presents #4 (of 6), Shadowpact #24 Star Trek New Frontier #2: IDW - Art hasn't really improved. The story is a bit easier to follow, but still mainly aimed at people who have been reading the series all along. There's an interesting bit of business with Morgan, though...a pity it's unlikely to ever have an impact outside of Peter David's own books. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Fallen Angel #26: IDW - Big boom time, and apparently "Henh" comes with the Chief Examiner job. The last scene is a bit confusing, in part because it seems to be referring to a plot element that had not heretofore been brought up, although it makes sense in retrospect. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Transformers Spotlight #14 (Grimlock): IDW - Yes, it's written by Furman. This is a direct sequel to Spotlight #1 (Shockwave), with a Mysterious Government Project Suspiciously Like Sector 7 trying to revive Grimlock to use as a weapon against the Decepticons (placing this right after the end of Devastation and before All Hail Megatron), with it predictably going wrong. Furman gets in a brief "Me Grimlock" sequence before Grim's self-repair systems get his vocalizer working properly, but it's mostly Furman-style Grimlock (down to being a badass who still manages to get his tailplate kicked). Matere's art is a bit off, and the coloring team has someone among them who likes pink too much. Anyway, as a one issue character sketch goes, it does a pretty good job of catching people up on any necessary backstory and establishing what sort of person Grimlock is in this continuity, while also advancing a few of the main plotlines. Recommended. $3.99 Avengers/Invaders Sketchbook: Marvel/Dynamite - Project Superpowers was apparently warmup for Ross and Krueger to do this project. A free promo book. Most of it is Alex Ross pencil sketches of various characters...the Invaders, the Mighty Avengers, the New Avengers, plus a retconned-in team of obscure characters (including the Black Widow currently seen in The Twelve). Steve Sadowski's pencils for a few pages of fight scene flesh out the rest of it. It looks interesting, and this book itself is free so why not grab it? Recommended. Free. Ms. Marvel #26: Marvel - Ah, a fairly clever use of the Secret Invasion conceits, playing off of existing plots in the book rather than disrupting them, plus Aaron Stack gets some serious screen time. All this and Agent Sum gains some interesting backstory. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn She-Hulk v2 #28: Marvel - Given the cover showing Shulkie behind bars, the Iron Man promo block under the issue number looks particularly sinister. One of the themes of this issue seems to be that you don't need to be a Skrull to steal someone's identity and sow dissent. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Thor #8: Marvel - Lots of relationship stuff, both metaphorical and literal (and not all of the combat happens in the metaphorical side). Definitely a philosophy-dump issue, but a good one. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Young Avengers Presents #4 (of 6): Marvel - The Vision's turn for the cover, but it's really another two-for, with Stature (Cassie Lang) sharing an issue that's by turns introspective, romantic, and "strange tales of Kung Fu". A bit talky at times, but that's forgivable, and Cornell does a good job of working within what I consider the "Civil War Salvage" subgenre. ;) The art by Brooks and Mendoza is passable. Strongly recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Justice League of America #20: DC - Well, I suppose it's equal opportunity mind-control bee-kkake for the cover. The actual threat implied isn't much of a big deal, though...this is more of a character piece, examining Wally West's place (or lack thereof) in the JLA. McDuffie is good with short character stories like this, and Van Sciver's art is okay (and, I suppose, a nice bit of familiarity for Flash fans of a certain era). Recommended. $2.99US/Cn Shadowpact #24: DC - Well, while they don't come out and say it in so many words, the reason behind the name "Shadowpact" is explained (and/or retconned), as is the reason for the whole "always doomed" aspect. This issue is your basic penultimate build-up, with the villain on the move and a cast of thousands, including three different Shadowpact teams. Sturges juggles them all pretty well, giving at least a little dimension to each of the new arrivals while not ignoring the existing cast, very good economy of writing (i.e. compression rather than decompression). Plus, some nostalgia for me and any other "old school" Blue Devil fans out there. Winslade's art is a little rough on faces, but good at storytelling. Not really a jumping on point, but worth going back and picking up some recent issues in order to enjoy this one. Strongly recommended. $2.99US/Cn Number of the Beast #2 (of 8): DC/Wildstorm - More of the background comes out, both in-story and in the profile pages at the end. The parallels to The Matrix (movie) are further strengthened here, but instead of machine intelligences running things with the intent of keeping things settled, you have bored techs playing games with the world. Obviously, the point where we get to start watching is the point where things start to fall apart, or there wouldn't be much of a story. :) Recommended. $2.99US/Cn Dynamo5 #12: Image - The big fight scene-slash-disaster movie, although the title continues to run true to form by making the real clash one of personalities and secrets. Recommended. $3.50Cn Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #16: Antarctic Press - Vaultron Team through Zero. Yep, finally wrapped up the first round of entries. May will see what looks to be a condensed "everyone in one volume" book. This one is packed with werefolk, as one might expect, plus some Agency Zero background in the Wonder Friends entry and Xane. Recommended. $3.95/$3.95Cn Gold Digger v3 #95: Antarctic Press - I still think ether vents look creepy. The action shifts back to Quasi-Space, and despite all the action is kinda fluffy in a plot sense. On the other hand, with the big #100 thing looming, pausing to actually establish (or re-establish) some of the important plot points is a good idea, since one of Perry's writing flaws is a tendency to leave things unsaid that he didn't intend to hide. Recommended. $2.99/$2.99Cn Gold Digger Peebo Tales #3: Antarctic Press - Reprints in full color the book-length "Tuna Thief" storyline seen in the Peebomanga digest. It's a fun story, but not at the top of the Peebo game. It's a good game to be in the middle of, though. Recommended. $3.50/$3.50Cn 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 4/23: Amelia Rules #20. Awards: "Well, She DOES Have A Rather Strong Influence On The Universe" Award to Star Trek New Frontier #2 "Well, It's Less Disgusting Than The Other Way She Could've Done It" Award to Fallen Angel #25 "Fire In The Sky" Award to Transformers Spotlight #14 "Does The Star-Nosed Guy Have Digging Powers?" Award to Avengers/Invaders Sketchbook "It's All About The Fringe Benefits" Award to Ms. Marvel #26 "Gonna Need A Bigger Gun" Award to She-Hulk v2 #28 "Overcrowed" Award to Thor #8 "There Is Something To Be Said About Deliberately Distinctive Speech Patterns" Award to Young Avengers Presents #4 (of 6) "STAR Labs Stands For 'Soft Target, Accessible Riches' Apparently" Award to Justice League of America #20 "The RX-78-1 Suit" Award to Shadowpact #24 "Vagina Aculeata?" Award to Number of the Beast #2 (of 8) "Nice Set Of Lungs On Her" Award to Dynamo5 #12 "Wabbit Season" Award to Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #16 "Eat Newtonian Mechanics!" Award to Gold Digger v3 #95 "Or Just Eat Some Tuna, I Guess" Award to Gold Digger Peebo Tales #3 Dave Van Domelen, "I am a movie based on his short story." - Vision, referring to his connection to Iron Lad, Young Avengers Presents #4 (of 6)Back to the Main Rants Page.
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