April 27, 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 I will spend about 16 hours in Boston later this week. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): The Amazing Spider-Man #659 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 4/27/11: Shadowland Power Man #4, Transformers Timelines G2 Redux, Gold Digger #127, Transformers Dark of the Moon Rising Storm #3, Avengers Academy #12, X-Factor #218. I've removed PS238 #49 from this list because the news has come down that #50 will only be available as part of a TPB, so I don't see any reason to hunt down the floppy of #49 now. Add Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters #2 (I paged through it in Hastings and decided to wait to see if my store gets it) and Transformers Foundation #3. "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. My store got a new Diamond rep, who actually seems to care about her job and hasn't been ground down into sullen unresponsiveness yet. Time Lincoln vs. Cuba Commander #1: Antarctic Press - The font for "Cuba Commander" is an obvious riff on GIJoe's font, and Fidel gets a bunch of faux-Cobra gear to help defend against the good guys in 1962. It's still kinda talky, but Perry's getting a better handle on telling a story in these one-shots rather than outlining one. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Gold Digger v3 #126: Antarctic Press - Big ol' running fight scene ending on poetic justice of a kind. Yeah, being terse here, but it's old enough I was tempted to just remove it form the missing list without comment. Recommended. $3.99 Transformers Dark of the Moon Rising Storm #2: IDW - A muddled mess of flashbacks, Knowing Narration and foreshadowing for the movie, into the middle of which Barber tries to fit something resembling a story about foiling Starscream's latest doomed-to-fail plot. The ways it ties into other prequel/sequel comics only manage to make things more confusing, not less. The sad part is, this is hardly the worst IDW movie-verse comic in that regard. Neutral. $3.99 Love and Capes Ever After #2: IDW - Okay, last week I erroneously typed in a few places that I had this issue, when I had #3. Now I really do have #2. The main plot this issue is letting Abby's parents in on Mark's secret ID, although as one might expect the complications run to more than just leaky water heaters and excessive mortgage-signing (although those are present too). Not as good as #3, but still pretty good. Recommended. $3.99 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. Space (a Couscous Collective collection): couscouscollective.com - A fifty-odd page magazine-sized anthology of short pieces at least loosely tied to "space", put out by the San Francisco art group whose name I've already mentioned twice. :) I got this mainly for the Narbonic story, a vignette from Dave and Helen's married life and how the issue of closet space can be a source of high adventure. The Narbonic links extend deep into the book, though, with a piece by Andrew Farago, another one written by Garrity but drawn by Pogorelov featuring her Edie character (a webcomic she did a little of for a site that then went under), and a text story by Skin Horse writer Jeffrey Wells. There's only two actual stories by other creators (plus some pinups), neither of which really grabbed me. Pogorelov really gets to strut his stuff, though, with the painted cover in one style, a manga-esque and somewhat Garrity-esque style for the Edie piece, and another different shaded style for the text piece's first illo. Recommended. $10.00 The Mighty Thor Saga: Marvel - With the movie coming up soon, time to flog the Thor comics as much as possible, and a freebie to help people catch up to how the comics differ from the movie is part of that. While the cover is symbolically split in three with Kirby, Simonson and Coipel pieces, the timeline understandably is focused on more recent events (the Coipel-drawn stuff starts at the staples). Works for me, though, since I'm more familiar with the old than the new. :) Recommended. Free. Thor: Asgard's Avenger: Marvel - And a OHOTMU-type book focusing on Thor is another part of the pre-movie push. :) This is pretty tightly focused, although a few non-Asgardian characers slip in because they have ties to Thor in some way (and it's possible there's a brand-new retcon in here regarding one of the 1950s Venus's enemies...although given that the entry treats Venus as being Aphrodite it may just be poorly-researched and doomed to be ignored). Recommended. $4.99 Spider-Girl #6: Marvel - Spider-Girl versus Hobgoblin. Tobin brings up the old "America spent piles of money to develop pens that work in zero-G while Cosmonauts just used pencils" story to make a point about how a little ingenuity can make up for a lack of money (since Spider-Man used a really expensive special suit to deal with Hobby). But the thing is, American astronauts used pencils at first too...but realized that whether you use grease pencils or graphite pencils, it's almost impossible in microgravity to avoid getting little bits floating around. Some of which have potentially fatal electrical consequences should they get into the wrong thing. And thus, the metaphor works on a level not drilled into the reader: doing things the cheap way is also potentially suicidal, and you really shouldn't do it that way if you can avoid it. (The "Spider-Girl has no business fighting Hobgoblin under any circumstances" point was, however, driven home at the end.) Recommended. $2.99 The Amazing Spider-Man #659: Marvel - "INFESTED: The Road To SPIDER ISLAND" banner. Which involves bedbugs, topically enough. But that's just two pages, most of the book is given over to Spider-Man's adventure with the FF, full of eminently quotable quotes and rollicking action in the Mighty Marvel Manner of yore. And zombie pirates. Yarr. Strongly recommended. $3.99 Power Man and Iron Fist #4 (of 5): Marvel - I kinda feel like I missed, if not a whole issue, then a couple of pages between #3 and #4. On the small scale, there's lots of good stuff in this issue. It just doesn't really hang together properly, like there's either too much or too little substance, and I can't quite figure out which. Still, for the small stuff, recommended. $2.99 Awards: "Is Amelia Earhart Voiced By Pauline Newstone?" Award to Time Lincoln vs. Cuba Commander "There Rat" Award to Gold Digger v3 #126 "Yeah, Not Getting That Security Deposit Back Either" Award to Transformers Dark of the Moon Rising Storm #2 "Mythbusters Must Be A Hoot In This Universe" Award to Love and Capes Ever After #2 ("Tonight we test super-speed myths, with special guest Crusader!") "We Don't Discuss What Happened to Storage Room A. Or B. D Is Right Out" Award to Space a Couscous Collective Anthology "That's A Whole Lotta Ragnaroks" Award to The Mighty Thor Saga "Wait, That Stupid Mohawk Wasn't Just A Cover Gimmick?" Award to Thor: Asgard's Avenger "You Mean To Tell Me No Shops On Times Square Sell Earplugs?" Award to Spider-Girl #6 "Level Five Hellbike, Tune With Level Four Servicer!" Award to The Amazing Spider-Man #659 "Luke Cage Is The Sensible One. Oh Dear" Award to Power Man and Iron Fist #4 (of 5) Dave Van Domelen, "ZOMG! Not just pirates -- but ZOMBIE pirates?! It's like the five-year-old ME threw up inside my BRAIN!" - Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man #659
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