May 13, 2009

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.
Last week of regular classes, woot.  An archive can be found on my 

     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.

     Nothing this week.

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.

     Nothing this week, although a few more books became "eligible".

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.

     All New Savage She-Hulk #2 (of 4): Marvel - Dark Reign banner.  The plot
continues to bounce between the present-day fight scene and the flashback (to
the alternate future) fight scenes and philosophical conundrums.  Some of the
scripting is good, but the story is too plot-driven to stand very well on its
own, I suspect it would have been better off as an oversized one-shot of
some sort.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     X-Factor #43: Marvel - Lotsa plot threads still wandering around,
although most of them start to dovetail here.  The cover pretty much gives
away one of the Big Shockers of the issue, and the other one (the Final Page
Shocker) isn't that big of a deal even if you do know who the character on
the last page is.  But the story's strong enough to not need big shockers
anyway.  Recommended.  $2.99
     Gold Digger v3 #106: Antarctic Press - Heh, Jayce and the Wheeled
Warriors extended homage.  Dunno if there was any presaging for this in #105
(I'm really getting tired of reading books in random order thanks to
Diamond's incompetence and/or attempts to kill stores or publishers), but
Perry does have a track record of rapid course changes.  Most of this issue
consists of tossing out Nifty Ideas and developing them a little, while
giving a nodding attachment to the overall plot.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99 
     Booster Gold #20: DC - A nice done-in-one story where Booster tries to
do a little sightseeing but inevitably gets caught up in Secret History (plus
a cute nod to Marvel continuity, not that this is the first time that
particular even has been homaged in DC).  Recommended.  $2.99
     REBELS #4: DC - This is the somewhat awkward part of the story where the
Big Reveal of the previous issue now has to percolate through to all the
other protagonists who hadn't been present, plus a number of remaining bits
of foreshadowing and player-placing have to be done before the arc's endgame
can begin.  It has some good moments, but is generally weakened by its need
to service the arc.  Still, recommended.  $2.99
     Secret Six #9: DC - Battle for the Cowl banner.  A done-in-one where
Catman, Bane and Ragdoll go to Gotham to deal with Batman's "death" in their
own ways, and Ragdoll discovers a new power (sort of).  Catman and Bane both
have their sense of honor, even if they're not heroes, and Ragdoll doesn't
really need a coherent reason to dress up as Robin and annoy people.  :)
Both Catman and Bane are in large part shaped by their relation to Batman,
and Simone does a good job of examining how each reacts, both consciously and
un-, to his loss.  I'm not really sure why this only feels like "recommended"
instead of "strongly recommended," maybe it's resentment over the crossover
banner crap, maybe it just didn't click as well as it should have, maybe it's
just the mood I'm in.  In a reductionist sense, it has all the right pieces,
but I'm still just going to give it a rating of recommended.  $2.99.

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 5/13/09: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe
#22, Transformers Maximum Dinobots #3, Ninja High School #169, Justice
Machine vol 1 TPB, Gold Digger Tech Manual #3, Farscape Strange
Detractors #2, Gold Digger v3 #105.  Add Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1,
Gurren Lagann v1.


"All-Purpose Cultural Monster Girl" Award to All New Savage She-Hulk #2 (of

"Okay, Maybe The Future Doesn't TOTALLY Suck" Award to X-Factor #43

"Once I Ran A V&V Campaign Where Most Of The PCs Randomly Rolled
     Archaeologist As A Career, That Now Seems Prescient" Award to Gold
     Digger v3 #106

"Not Every Group With X In Its Name Is Comprised Of Mutants" Award to
     Booster Gold #20

"The Biggest Disk On The Planet" Award to REBELS #4

"Wankle Rotary Engine" Award to Secret Six #9

     Dave Van Domelen, "I would be an excellent Robin, if I may just get that
in.  I like the outfit and I am not averse to a crowbar to the cranium now
and then." - Ragdoll, Secret Six #9
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Flower on back to May 2009.