May 21, 2008

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.
I can has Arc Reactor car now plz?   Rants, Capsules can be found on my 

First Look Comments:

     Books I read over the weekend as First Looks, but didn't buy, so can't
really say much in detail about.  DC has stopped having First Looks, so it's
just Marvel and Image...and there's word that Diamond doesn't want to bother
with the program at all anymore.

     Books for next week -

     The Immortal Iron Fist #15: Marvel - With the big tournament plot over,
Fraction seems to be taking a break to tell the stories of more of those 66
Iron Fists he's posited as having existed through the ages.  This time it's
Bei Bang-Wen, who held the mantle from 1827-1860 and fought against the
British and their Ascended masters in the...wait, wrong storyline.  Fraction
seems to be shooting for a more pulp feel here, especially in the narration,
but it just didn't quite click for me.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Thor #9: Marvel - Heh, Volstagg and Hogun fail at banter.  A good issue,
blending together small stories and the larger one of What Loki's Up To Now.
Loki looks particularly freaky now that she's shaved off her eyebrows.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn

     Short, relatively spoiler-free reviews of books I actually bring home
(as opposed to reading in preview form in the shop or online).  If I get a
book late due to distributor foulups or whatever, I'll put it in the Missing

     Books of Note (Strongly Recommended or otherwise worthy): The Brave and
the Bold #13

     Igor Movie Prequel #1 (of 4): IDW - I wasn't even aware of this property
until I saw the movie trailer while at Speed Racer.  And in the usual IDW
fashion, there's no indication on the comic itself that it's a miniseries, or
how many issues it is, I had to google the info.  Anyway, there's two short
stories in here, introducing the protagonist Igor of the movie and one of his
friends/test subjects.  This feels like the sort of thing Clockwork Girl was
trying to do, but it's doing a better job so far.  Oh, and while the movie is
CG, the art here is regular line art (although the computer coloring
sometimes tries to capture the plasticky look of the CG models).
Recommended.  $3.99
     Ninja High School #160: Antarctic Press - Back to Dawn, the Death
Note/Bleach parody character, although this is really Suzume's issue, told
through her narration.  A pretty good character examination by Bevard.
Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Justice League of America #21: DC - Has the "Sightings" banner.  I have
no idea what that's about, and frankly don't much care.  :)  The first half
of the issue is the Trinity chatting about things and Batman being a jerk in
an amusing-to-read way.  The second half is Underworld Unleashed Redux with
an obscure old Martian Manhunter foe as the focus.  Mildly recommended.
$2.99 US/Cn
     Justice Society of America #15: DC - Big running battle against the
prophet of Gog, followed by the "real" Gog showing up.  Not bad for a fight
scene issue.  The last page shows snapshots of upcoming storylines, some of
which look promising.  Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     The Brave and the Bold #13: DC - Waid and Ordway present Batman and the
Flash (Jay Garrick).  A lot of talk about legacies and the like, and it works
well.  And it's nicely paced, compressed storytelling (at the six-page mark I
felt like I'd already read a complete issue).  Strongly recommended.  $2.99
     Marvel Illustrated the Iliad #6 (of 8): Marvel - Well, it's time for
Patroclus to take the stage and get killed, and his decision to impersonate
Achilles is about the only thing in this issue that *isn't* the gods playing
fickle puppetmaster.  Man, even when the idea of a deus ex machina was
invented it got old fast.  Neutral.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     X-Factor #31: Marvel - Some clever twists in the damage control part of
the plot, and Cox's coloring helps over the weaknesses in Raimondi's line
art.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Avengers the Initiative #13: Marvel - Time for the second class to run
through Camp Hammond.  Gage takes over as sole writer this issue, and he
definitely likes writing Taskmaster.  This is mainly a done in one story
focusing on one of the newbs, and it works pretty well.  Recommended.
     Amazing Spider-Man #560: Marvel - Well, there isn't exactly a "with
great power" epiphany here, but Peter does get his nose rubbed in the point
that being a papparazo is a Bad Thing.  Otherwise, Slott's generally bringing
his B game...good, but not his best.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Incredible Hercules #117: Marvel - Your basic "getting the team
together" issue, as Athena has more-or-less convinced the other gods of Earth
to take the whole Skrull fight onto the theological theater of operations.
After all, if the Skrulls take over Earth, then the Skrull gods will replace
the human ones (who will probably get eaten by Demogorge, or at best end up
demons like the N'Garai).  And there's even a hint that the whole thing is
actually being manipulated by infighting within the Skrull pantheon, although
I may be reading too much into the clues.  :)  The story does slow down while
everyone gets introduced, though, so it's merely Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn 
     Marvel Adventures Avengers #24: Marvel - Parker writing, Guara drawing.
Parker's on his goofier end here, although the somewhat silly villain is
actually fairly effective in his own way.  And Parker finds a nice way around
the issue of using that particular character without bringing in all his
baggage from the mainstream.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Dynamo5 #13: Image - After the Noble Family comes in to help tie up
loose ends from #12, the rest of the issue is dominated by the Secret Origin
of Myriad.  Rather narraty and a touch angsty, but a good way to cool off
after the big brawl last issue.  Faerber also starts a column (younger
readers may wish to think of it as a blog on paper) in which he reminisces
about his childhood comicbook influences, this time talking about how he
discovered New Teen Titans in 1982.  Recommended.  $3.50

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 5/21: Fallen Angel #26.  Whee.  The store orders it,
and it's not like IDW is a tiny publisher.  But Diamond can't seem to be
arsed to ship Fallen Angel to us with any regularity.


"Gonna Need Another Timmy!" Award to Igor Movie Prequel #1 (of 4)

"Steam Punked" Award to Ninja High School #160

"Stop, Drop and AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Award to Justice League of America #21

"Powered By Teenaged Angst" Award to Justice Society of America #15

"Wicked Slice" Award to The Brave and the Bold #13

"The Gods Move In Mysterious And Annoying Ways" Award to Marvel Illustrated
     the Iliad #6 (of 8)

"Losing Face" Award to X-Factor #31

"Gorilla My Dreams" Award to Avengers the Initiative #13

"Art Attack" Award to Amazing Spider-Man #560

"You Just Wait Until Samurai Jack Gets Here!" Award to The Incredible 
     Hercules #117

"Mmmmm, Tater Tots" Award to Marvel Adventures Avengers #24

"Proxy War" Award to Dynamo5 #13

     Dave Van Domelen, "Amadeus, you have to RUN."  "What?"  "Athena has her
EYE on you.  And that's never a good thing for a MORTAL." "Dude, I just
survived Hulk's Very Bad, No Good Day AND our little war with S.H.I.E.L.D." 
- Hercules and Amadeus Cho, Incredible Hercules #117
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