May 4, 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, Way to be knuckledraggers, City Council. Yay single-issue voters. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Atomic Robo Deadly Art of Science #5 (of 5) 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 5/4/11: Shadowland Power Man #4, Transformers Timelines G2 Redux, Gold Digger #127, Transformers Dark of the Moon Rising Storm #3, X-Factor #218, Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters #2, Transformers Foundation #3. Add Transformers Rising Storm #4. Gold Digger Spring Special may or may not be late here. "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. I did get the Revoltech Iron Man the other day, but if I review it, it'll be later. 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. Avengers Academy #12: Marvel - Just in time for #13 and Giant-Size #1. Hearkening back to the old "Adult Legion" stories, but with the twist that the minds are still young. Cosmic time travel type stories always come with the hazard of meaning nothing in the end, but most of the team came away with some sort of permanent change...if only emotional. 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. Secret Six #33: DC - I liked how the Catman thread worked out, but otherwise it all felt like the forces of Hell weren't really trying, just going through the motions. While some of that could be explained as being the setup of the ending zinger, it still...rang a bit hollow. Even the Six themselves, for the most part, seemed unimpressed. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Adventure Comics #526: DC - The lead story wraps up the Black Mace story and touches on the Academy graduations, while the backup features Phil Moy drawing an XS story...but both lead and backup are subordinated to foreshadowing for the whole Blue Flame thing kicked off in LSV. On their own they were perfectly serviceable stories, but lacked weight. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Captain America: First Vengeance #1 (of 4): Marvel - Van Lente runs two stories in parallel. One is a mission against Hydra in 1944, the other is a series of flashbacks Cap has during that mission. The flashbacks are largely a retelling of the standard Steve Rogers life story prior to Project Rebirth, but with the addition of him being long-time friends with a Bucky Barnes who is his own age. I guess the movie people wanted to entirely avoid the "teen sidekick" issue. It makes for an interesting twist on the dynamic between them, and I'm curious to see how it translates into the costumed identities of both, but that's yet to come. Recommended. $2.99 Herc #2: Marvel - The Thor movie bug in the upper left is amusing here. The issue is dominated by the fight between Herc and Hobgoblin, and Van Lente gives freer reign to his humorous side. The twist on the two new women in Herc's life was perhaps a bit obvious, but I'll give it a few more issues to see how it plays out before passing judgement on it. Recommended. $2.99 Avengers Academy Giant-Size #1: Marvel - 80 pages, eight bucks. Mind you, unlike a lot of Giant-Size issues, it's all new material, practically a 3-issue mini in one package. Written by Tobin and drawn by Baldeon, it has three of the Young Allies teamed up with four of the Academy kids out for a day on the town...Arcade-style. This actually takes place before the Korvac arc in Avengers Academy, but if you don't read it until after AA #13 (as I did) it's not a big problem. Interestingly, Tobin *doesn't* spend much time introducing the characters, managing to work most of that stuff into the story fairly smoothly (although Toro gets the short end of the stick, with very little actual characterization or even screen time). Recommended. $7.99 [Later note: On further reflection, I think this was actually the stuff solicited as "Arcade: Game of Death" a while back, resolicited as the Giant-Size. So it IS a three issue mini in one package.] Avengers Academy #13: Marvel - Ah, prom season. While not as whacked out as Operation P.R.O.M., it has its moments. I would have avoided inviting Harball, thought. A LOT of plot threads come to a head this issue, with loose lips blowing ships into tiny pieces. Metaphorically, at least. Usually. And, as befits a prom, there is a certain amount of hooking up. As Pym notes at the end, while it may not be Happily Ever After, it's good enough for today. Recommended. $2.99 Atomic Robo Deadly Art of Science #5 (of 5): Red5 Comics - Yay, on time for once! Hard to say anything about this issue without it being a spoiler, so let's just cut to the chase and strongly recommend this issue, yes? $3.50 Awards: "Veiled Threat" Award to Avengers Academy #12 "Poker? I 'Ardly KNOW 'Er!" Award to Secret Six #33 "Dear Princess Celestia..." Award to Adventure Comics #526 "The Deadly Science Of Art" Award to Captain America: First Vengeance #1 (of 4) "Yeah, Kingpin And Greeks...Bad Combo" Award to Herc #2 "Hanging Out With Finesse Is Starting To Rub Off On Reptil" Award to Avengers Academy Giant-Size #1 "Speedball vs. Vinyl Scratch In A DJ-Off?" Award to Avengers Academy #13 "What A Ridiculous Sentence" Award to Atomic Robo Deadly Art of Science #5 (of 5) Dave Van Domelen, "But don't worry, there are no cameras in the living quarters." "Okay, but she's your EX-GIRLFRIEND and she knew you were IN MY ROOM." - (spoiler) and (spoiler), Avengers Academy #13
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