Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Fear my all-capitalized job title, MUAHAHA! An archive can be found on my homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants Time for a bit of a reorganization, since the "Other Media" section seems to be getting populated pretty regularly (which is good) and my "late books" list is also getting populated pretty regularly (which is bad). After the disclaimers, I'll now just have "Items of Note", then Other Media, then Late Books, then New Books. The spacing also means that there's plenty of spoiler space, so if I do a little spoilering along the way, at least there's a buffer before the new books. :) 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. Marvel Universe Ms. Marvel Figures: Just quick notes here. There's two versions of Ms. Marvel available, the original costume (now worn by Karla Sofen) and the modern costume (worn by Carol Danvers for most of the current run). Both are listed as being Carol, and both have the same secret file paperwork (including a psych evaluation by Dr. Sofen), but they do have package art and trading card art matching the costume in question. Neither has any molded costume details, they differ only in heads (which are both on the small side, but at least have molded masks), hair (rubbery) and the scarf on 70s Carol or sash on modern Carol. They come with energy blast things that fit over the hands. Good articulation, with bending forward and back at the ribcage, double hinge knees, etc. About the only missing articulation compared to other MU figures is that the elbows are simply hinges, with no swivels. The paint jobs are pretty mediocre, and it hurts the modern costume a LOT more, since there's more places where a molded piece has to be split in color, with paint boundaries being less sharp. Of the two, I'd say the 70s costume version looks better overall, although neither figure is a stellar example of the line. On the other hand, they're also the first female figures I can recall seeing in the line, so I suppose some slack needs to be cut for growing pains. $8 price point most places. Late Books: These are comics that were not listed as shipping during the week they were reviewed. Sometimes someone recommends a book to me that's already out, and I grab it over the weekend. Sometimes it's a trade paperback I ordered online rather than trusting Diamond. Sometimes the store screwed up or I was inobservant and I missed something I meant to get. USUALLY, though, it's because Diamond didn't ship what it was supposed to ship and I had to scrounge around or wait on a reorder. Buck Rogers #0: Dynamite - I've pretty much given up on Dynamite as a publishing entity, but when I was buying Mighty Avengers I figured I'd pick this up too. It seems to be set up as a "end of career framing sequence" story, letting Buck think back on a few things during a mission before going back to the start of his story in #1. It's okay, but not enough to convince me to get the regular series. Scott Beatty's story is about as good as you could expect for a short teaser, but not better. The art by Carlos Rafael looks to have some Bart Sears influence to it, and is okay but sometimes the visual storytelling is muddled. Worth grabbing for a quarter, but I'm not going to recommend the series in general on the strength of this. 25 cents. Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Alliance #2 (of 4): IDW - Wreckage is revived by an AllSpark fragment (but does not change to an Animated style design), fights Starscream just long enough to erase the last lingering inconvenient bits of plot device from Reign of Starscream, and then gets jobbed since he's not in the movie. It's not so much that things happen here as they UN-happen, erasing any bits of continuity from previous comic tie-ins that might fit poorly with Revenge of the Fallen. Neutral. $3.99 Transformers Maximum Dinobots #2 (of 5): IDW - Heh, we're working from outside in on this title...got #5 first, then #1, and then #2 and #4 together. In this issue, Grimlock fights the mind-controlled Dinobots, Sunstreaker angsts and Scorponok gloats. The whole Shockwave/Soundwave plot gets some setup as well. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Transformers Maximum Dinobots #4 (of 5): IDW - Well, more players have come on the field, and some of the sides have changed, but Sunstreaker is still angsting and Scorponok is still gloating. I'm guessing there's one heck of an infodump in #3, given how much background I'm still missing after having read all but that issue. Tag-team art is in full effect this time around, apparently Roche couldn't make deadline on his own, and it's kinda muddled. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Booster Gold #17: DC - Weird...when I read #18 without reading this, I was generally able to follow what was going on. Now that I read this a few months after #18, it's hard to follow. It's not only a kinda padded middle of the story, it's aggressively the middle of the story. In fact, it's mostly a side piece involving Barry Allen, although it does eventually tie back into the main plot. Neutral. $2.99 Gold Digger/Ninja High School Maidens of Twilight #2: Antarctic Press - Some fun with the hedgie-thrope and a bunch of exposition, but I didn't really learn much that I didn't pick up from the What Has Gone Before page in #3. The tone is generally light, which makes Suzume's angstbombs feel out of place. Mildly recommended. #3.50 Jersey Gods #1: Image - (Second printing) And now my voyage backwards through the first three issues is complete. The inverted New Genesis setting is laid out pretty well (badguys in the floating city, goodguys on the ground), the two leads and several supporting cast sketched out, and the reason for the opening conflict (well, the prime mover of it, anyway, even if his actual motives are left vague) is laid out. Recommended. $3.50 Mighty Avengers #24: Marvel - Oops. My store messed up and didn't put this in my pull, and I was sloppy and didn't check the shelf carefully enough (although with 20 books already in hand, I didn't have a lot of motive to grab more off the shelf). In this issue, Loki's plans unfold and we get a number of reaction shots from the rest of the new Illuminati, but this is mostly set up as a montage...lots of short scenes showing the Mighty Avengers traveling the globe and saving people, while the mysteries of the setup interweave as subplots. Recommended. $2.99 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. Justice Society of America #26: DC - Johns closes out his run by focusing on Stargirl, and the fact that she's not exactly a newbie but also not exactly a veteran in the JSA. She's a legacy hero, but at the same time has been a mentor of sorts to several of the other legacies. And rather than focus on the "neither fish nor fowl" isolation that could result from that, Johns instead concentrates on how she's part of both groups. She still gets a little more of the Kiddie Table treatment than I'd like (especially the punch line built into the final scene), but if he'd been writing her more like this all along it would have been much better. Recommended. $2.99 Legion of 3 Worlds #4 (of 5): DC - Was starting to think I'd need to wait for the 31st Century to see this issue (insert rimshot here). The undoing of recent events continues, a sort of buyer's remorse on the part of Johns, perhaps. At this point, I half expect Slobo to show up in #5. :) Lovely Perez art as always, but for a book that's trying so hard to undo pointless deaths of past events, there's certainly a LOT of pointless death. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectactular #2 (of 2): Marvel - This issue has the reason I got the series, "Galacta" by Adam Warren. Although the Power Man story by Wyatt Cenac of the Daily Show is a secondary attraction, and comes out pretty well given that Cenac's not exactly a veteran here (the Todd Nacuk art doesn't hurt). The third piece, an Elsa Bloodstone story, is mediocre at best, though. There's a poll to see which of the six stories should get continued...obviously, if it's to be continued by the existing creators I want Warren to get more work. :) But if we're just voting on the story with no guarantee the talent will remain attached, I like the premise of the Luke Cage story a bit better (Galacta's a touch too gimmicky for me to want to see it continued by someone other than Warren). Recommended. $3.99 Avengers/Invaders #10 (of 12): Marvel - Okay, so they're still back in the 1940s, and didn't get vaulted into an alternate present-day. Goes to show how clear the storytelling was last issue. As for the art by Sadowski and Berkenkotter, I find the odd mix of 40s anatomy and modern linework to be really distracting. Especially on the female characters. Neutral. $2.99 Dr. Doom and the Masters of Evil #4: Marvel - This was almost in next week's Late Books section, along with MA Avengers below. Diamond didn't ship 'em (yeah, way to go, fail to ship two all-ages books during FCBD week), but I had to be over by Hastings later in the afternoon and grabbed this and MAA off the shelf. I'm still not sure if this is a miniseries or not, but the arc wraps up here as Dr. Doom goes after his true goal, one worthy of him and certainly better (in his case) than mere immortality. Recommended. $2.99 Ms. Marvel #38: Marvel - Okay, this is the Important Issue, at least as far as continuing to follow this book goes. With Karla Sofen taking over as Ms. Marvel, will we see the return of the Brian Reed that wrote the torture porn story a few months, or keep the Brian Reed who's written most of the series so far? Unfortunately, it seems to be leaning towards the torture porn Reed. I'll give it another issue or two to see if I'm wrong (and to see if there's any progress on Carol's subplots), but I'm not sanguine. $2.99 Marvel Adventures Avengers #35: Marvel - Zut alors! Eet ees Batroc ze leapaire's most fiendish plot yet! Okay, some of the guest characters are written so off-model (to the extent they can be considered to have a model in the MA-verse) that I wonder if Tobin even told Casey Jones who to draw or if Jones picked whatever he felt like most of the time. Jones's art is rather rougher than the norm for MA books, mostly in his harsh inks. Recommended. $2.99 The Muppet Show #2 (of 4): BOOM! Kids - This time the focus is on Fozzie being worried he's lost his edge. Yes, Muppet angst for the second issue in a row. And trying to copy the format of the show is really not working for me. They'd be better off trying to fit the story to the medium rather than trying and failing to bend the medium to fit the existing story styles. Neutral. $2.99 Eureka Dormant Gene #1 (of 4): BOOM! Studios - I think this is set somewhere in season one. Before Zoe got any real character development beyond "rebellious teen who is the lone non-nerd". Which makes the arc I sense coming for her doubly pointless...not only aren't writers Cosby and Paglia able to make any real changes, in this case it looks like they're trying to presage developments the have to be left for the actual show. On top of that, there's a lame Twilight parody running through everything. Not an auspicious start. Neutral. $3.99 Farscape D'Argo's Lament #1 (of 4): BOOM! Studios - O'Bannon and DeCandido continue writing the Farscape comics on this "flashback" story. Unlike the other two minis, though, being set in the spaces between episodes (somewhere early in season 2, after Zhaan's death but not too long after as Jool mentions being on the first flight of D'Argo's newly adopted ship: a footnote or an inside the front cover note nailing it down would have been nice) means it has the same limitations that made the first Eureka mini fall flat for me...can't make any real changes to any established characters, and any new characters might as well be wearing red Starfleet uniforms. It doesn't help that all the new characters have gimmicky names (the names of various people spelled backwards, like the crimelord Xocgerg). Nor does it help that Jool could almost be replaced by Chiana for all that she does in the story. Suffice to say, it's not as good as the other Farscape comics. Mildly recommended. $3.99 By the way, this week it's 8 books in the late pile, 10 in the new. Almost an embarrassing balance. 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 4/29/09: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #22, Transformers Maximum Dinobots #3, Ninja High School #169. Add Justice Machine vol 1 TPB. Awards: "Space Jodphurs!" Award to Buck Rogers #0 "Not So Much A New Paint Job As Bad Lighting Effects" Award to Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Alliance #2 (of 4) "Who Wants A Stoopid Tape Player Anyway?" Award to Transformers Maximum Dinobots #2 (of 5) "Smugmaster Technology" Award to Transformers Maximum Dinobots #4 (of 5) "OMG, He's Turning Into Post-Crisis Mopee" Award to Booster Gold #17 "A Nosicle For Trouble" Award to Gold Digger/Ninja High School Maidens of Twilight #2 "She Doesn't Want A Man, She Wants A Ken Doll" Award to Jersey Gods #1 "Can LOLSkrulls Be Far Behind?" Award to Mighty Avengers #24 "Who Let Thom At The Mustache Wax?" Award to Justice Society of America #26 "If He Had Little Success, That Implies He Got SOMETHING" Award to Legion of 3 Worlds #4 (of 5) "They Can't Wait Until The Kid Develops Invulnerability" Award to Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular #2 (of 2) "All Those Public Domain Heroes Nailed To A Wall Is A Metaphor For Something Or Other, I Think" Award to Avengers/Invaders #10 (of 12) Derek Radner Seal Of Approval to Dr. Doom and the Masters of Evil #4 "Didn't Actually Explain Why The Hulk" Award to Ms. Marvel #38 "Bed-Hopping" Award to Marvel Adventures Avengers #35 "Will He Become A Wedge Of Spite?" Award to The Muppet Show #2 (of 4) "The Giant Teenager Was More Interesting" Award to Eureka Dormant Gene #1 (of 4) "Providing The Name Of A Short-Timer Character Only On The Second To Last Page Is Bad Writing, Guys" Award to Farscape D'Argo's Lament #1 (of 4) (seriously, I almost had to go googling for Jool's name, as I'd forgotten it and her name only appears once in the entire issue!) Dave Van Domelen, "Kree = YUMMY!" - Galacta, Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular #2 (of 2)Back to the Main Rants Page.
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