May 20, 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.
Forgot to change this bit last week, oops.  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.

     Dark Reign: Young Avengers #1 (of 5): Marvel - More of a Young Masters
of Evil, with a motley collection of not-very-heroic sorts picking up the
legacies of various members of the Masters and playing at being heroes as
part of a big piece of performance art.  It has a scattered feel, really not
pulling together even by the end of the issue.  In other words, writing for
the trade.  The concept is interesting, though, and I've liked Cornell's
writing on Young Avengers in the past, so I'll give this another shot.  Only
mildly recommended on its own, though.  $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.

     Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen #5 (of 5): Oni - And it finally wraps up.
The main story finishes off what little arc the series could be considered to
have, with the final battle with the Optiklons, while the flip-book backup is
a cute little done in one on surveillance.  All told, while I think it's
possible to translate the Tek Jansen cartoons to comic form, this series
wasn't it.  And certainly not worth the wait.  Neutral.  $3.99
     Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Official Movie Adaptation #1 (of 4):
IDW - Wow.  I've seen some pretty bad compressions in adaptations, but this
one barely rises to the level of Cliff's Notes.  I'm not sure reading it
could even constitute spoilers for the movie, I've seem more details in the
TRAILERS.  It's like Furman's not even trying here, just taking X panels per
minute of screen action and "adapting" it as lazily as possible.  Avoid.
$3.99  (As an aside, I'm reading the prequel novel now, and it's okay,
although the redshirts are painfully obvious.)
     Transformers All Hail Megatron #11: IDW - And at last Megatron's Master
Plan is revealed, in among the double page spreads (which, to be honest, are
things that deserve the double page spread treatment).  It's a huge retcon,
but of the "good" variety (i.e. not contradicting anything that has gone
before, but probably not what the writers were thinking of back at the
time).  In short, a good issue, but the sort of thing we should have seen
months ago, rather than padding the series out they way it was.
Recommended.  $3.99
     Mysterius the Unfathomable #5: DC/Wildstorm - Things start to tie
together, but not before we get a flashback to a previous Delfi's career
which may or may not be relevant later on.  As "So, Mister Bond, allow me to
explain my plan" issues go, it's okay.  There's also a short preview of the
StarCraft comic, which I skimmed and found ugly and utterly uninteresting.
Mildly recommended.  $2.99
     Green Arrow vs. Black Canary #20: DC - Yes, the title was changed for
this cover.  The opening conceit is that they're in couples therapy, and it's
used to put in some flashbacks to Dinah's latest-revision origin (parts of
which we've seen in previous issues), although it goes outside the
therapist's office soon enough.  The Shield (the Archie/Impact character)
makes a cameo, for those who follow such things.  Recommended.  $2.99
     The Brave and the Bold #23: DC - Huh, not dead after all.  Of course,
with the story being written and pencilled by Jurgens, it's practically a
side story for Booster's own title anyway.  The other character in this
not-really-a-teamup is Magog, who interests me even less now that he's not
Terribly Mysterious.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99
     Gold Digger Sketchcard Album: Antarctic Press - A bunch of sketchcards
done as a promo for Gold Digger #101-2...but Perry ended up making them into
two stories rather than a bunch of disconnected sketches.  So it's almost
like a new issue of Tangent, in that respect, although the art is even
sketchier than in Tangent, if that's possible.  :)  The first story features
Crush getting her first job after jail (along with a few short stories on the
job), while the second features Avenger in a "Spider-Man and his Amazing
Friends" parody.  It wraps up with Peebri's first weapon design and then some
headshots (um, the depiction-of-character sort, not the kind one would
attempt to make using Peebri's weapon).  A bit hard to read in places and not
exactly accessible to new readers, but fun.  Recommended.  $2.99
     Gold Digger Ninja High School Maidens of Twilight #4: Antarctic Press -
Well, the story wraps up, and I've definitely seen better from both Perry and
Bevard.  Not sure if J.L. Anderson shares any of the blame for the sometimes
choppy pacing, but every so often it felt like a page had been lost.  I can
see where all the character arcs were trying to go, but...well, not much in
the way of impact, unfortunately.  Mildly recommended.  $3.50
     Invincible #62: Image - Pretty much Invincible and Conquest beating on
each other, with a few half-hearted attempts by Invincible to stop the
fight.  No Startling Revelations about Conquest (although given the rather
small Viltrumite population I half expect him to be Invincible's grandpa),
but Cecil supplies his share.  Recommended.  $2.99
     Timestorm 2009-2099 #2 (of 4): Marvel - The retconning continues,
although a bit of retroactive butt-covering is deployed as well, handwaving
the original 2099 date as being plus or minus a few decades thanks to the
information lost in the Dark Ages.  In places the story feels fanficky, but
it's otherwise a decent read.  Recommended.  $3.99
     Marvel Adventures Avengers #36: Marvel - The tension is a bit more
artificial than even the norm for superhero stories, and there's not a lot of
examination of the central premise (that heroes create the menaces they
fight), just a surface treatment of the overt plot.  Yeah, MA books aren't
intended to have deep subtext, but that doesn't mean they can't have it.
Mildly recommended.  $2.99
     Amazing Spider-Man #594: Marvel - Waid and Kitson conclude their 24/7
arc, resolving a number of mysteries and restoring the status quo
thematically (i.e. Parker's life sucks more than he really deserves) if not
literally (i.e. Vin's still in jail, but Peter gets a new roommate who's just
as much of a hassle).  Recommended.  $2.99
     Agents of Atlas #5: Marvel - Dark Reign banner.  Spider-Man gets to show
that he's the brains of the New Avengers, and the "Logan meets Jimmy Woo"
backup from a while back gets some followup.  The plan comes apart in many
details, but hangs together in its goal, at least short term, and Namora gets
to have some fun.  :)  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 5/20/09: 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, Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1, Gurren
Lagann v1.  Add Ninja High School #170, Incredibles #2.


"Thor No Doubt Personally Exiled Her, Then Forced Her To Go On The Hembeck
     Show" Award to Dark Reign: Young Avengers #1 (of 5)

"Even Hatred Itself Can Love" Award to Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen #5 (of 5)

"Magic Nose Goblins" Award to Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Official
     Movie Adaptation #1 (of 4)

"Someone Set Up Us The Bomb" Award to Transformers All Hail Megatron #11

"Burning Moose Is More Fun" Award to Mysterius the Unfathomable #5

"Someone Get These People The Phone Number Of Dr. Blink" Award to Green 
     Arrow vs. Black Canary #20

"Magog's All Set To Fight Mumm-Ra" Award to The Brave and the Bold #23

"Bum-Looker!" Award to Gold Digger Sketchcard Album #1

"Strictly Speaking, They're Not All Maidens" Award to Gold Digger Ninja
     High School Maidens of Twilight #4

"Teach Yer Grandpa Ta Chew Planets, Why Don't'cha?" Award to Invincible #62

"Kron-O-Logical Disorder" Award to Timestorm 2009-2099 #2 (of 4)

"Does Anyone Else Actually Want Those Sausages Now?" Award to Marvel
     Adventures Avengers #36

"He Should Just Move Into An Abandoned Goblin Base Or Something" Award to  
     Amazing Spider-Man #594

"Well, Wolverine Has Plenty Of Excuses Not To Recognize 'Em" Award to Agents
     of Atlas #5

     Dave Van Domelen, "How come my futures always STINK?" - Wolverine,
Timestorm 2009-2099 #2 (of 4)
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Flower on back to May 2009.