June 3, 2010

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, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants Real periodicals distributors were able to hit their regular shelf day. 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. Just a short comment on the Iron Man 2 Comic Series figure that looks vaguely like the "horned mask" version of the MK III armor. It's just the Comic Series Mk V suit with a new head, it doesn't even get different accessories (other than the still-useless cardgame pieces). It claims to be the "first of what might be called the 'modern' IRON MAN armors," but it's really the armor seen on the cover of Iron Man #98 (1977), not the armor seen in Tales of Suspense #48 (which was the actual first modern armor). It's a pretty weak headswap, though, so don't bother with this, especially if you already have the MkV toy. Hopefully the wave-mate Guardsman armor (which I haven't found yet) will be better. 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. I'm slowly working my way though The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archive Omnibus, I might be done by, oh, August. For all its imposing thickness (the pages aren't numbered, but I'd estimate 500-600 pages) it's missing all his Marvel and DC work. By that, I mean things like his Marvel Age strips or the strips he did for the DC editorial pages, plus full issues such as Fred Hembeck Destroys the DC Universe. This book is all small publisher stuff like his Fantaco books (which make up the majority of the tome), various pieces done for magazines and a lot of unpublished or commission work. 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. Official Index of the Marvel Universe v2 #2: Marvel - Avengers #40-79, Captain America Comcis #6-9 (1941) and Captain America #129-158 (1970s, so it looks like they're paralleling old and new rather than running through all the 1940s first), Journey into Mystery #110 to Thor #144 (numbering was kept when the name changed). No blue text boxes untangling continuity issues this time. Recommended. $3.99 Transformers Ironhide #2: IDW - A bit decompressed this time out. The flashback sequence to the glory days is good (and I am amused that the logo of the raceway Ironhide works for seems to be the Street Speed Mini-Con Team), and the not-quite-flashback head trip sequence (in which Outback demonstrates that his luck never changes) works, but the present-day parts spend a little too much time on "it's spooky on dead Cybertron" meandering. Oh, it's not horribly padded, but I get the feeling that Costa figured out the beginning and end first, and then didn't quite have enough middle so had to stretch a sequence or two. Still, a solid story. Recommended. $3.99 Serenity Float Out one-shot: Dark Horse - This story was written by Patton Oswalt. My first exposure to him was as part of the parade of D-list comedians who showed up on things like VH1's various list shows, but he recently impressed me with a couple of roles in SF shows (Dollhouse and Caprica, both recurring but non-regular roles, both as the goofball with more depth than you expect). He wasn't actually on Firefly that I can recall, but he's worked with a lot of the same people. :) Anyway, this one-shot is a sort of wake for Wash, as a trio of old friends/acquaintances christen a ship in his name and swap stories. It's a good character sketch, but not the most compelling storytelling. The art is serviceable in a rumpled sort of way. Mildly recommended. $3.50 Justice Society of America #39: DC - Before cracking the cover, I was leaning towards "this is all a nightmare inside of Obsidian, not a time travel story." Well, the odds of being right went down this issue, although I'm not prepared to say they're zero. This is basically carnage porn as Willingham kills off, well, everyone he can get his hands on. Because, after all, it's an alternate future timeline that sucks, so why not? Ultimately, though, all but about four pages are fight-padding. Giving this title one more issue to impress me, but I wouldn't recommend anyone jump on right now. Neutral. $2.99 Adventure Comics #12: DC - While the Neo-Classical Adult Legion stars in the new LSH title, Adventure is focusing on other Legion versions, kicking off with young-Clark Superboy and the Neo-Classical kid Legion. Yeah, no Reboot or Threeboot team focus yet, although I suppose it could be worse, we could be getting this version of the Legion (link courtesy of Scav): http://www.cosmicteams.com/legion/img/fanfare/archie-legion.jpg The issue opens at the Kent farm in "late 20th Century Earth" which I suppose will do for a few years before it needs retconning again. :) It's set a fairly short time after Superboy first met the Legion, but it's supposed to be his first "day off" with them, a meeting that's not about fighting a crisis or anything, just hanging out and enjoying himself without having to hold back. Along the way, a number of classic bits of Legion business are set up from the beginning, since modern readers aren't as likely to let some of the later-explained things ride...and unlike the Reboot and the Threeboot, they still have Superboy along from the beginning and have to worry about the paradoxes and stuff. I do wonder why R.J. Brande talks like Interlac is his third language, though...bad editing, or an attempt to give him an accent? In terms of storytelling, the "checklist" conceit Kon-El's stories have been using is continued, so I guess Connor can add "made checklists" to his "Things Superman did" checklist and check it off. A decent story, if something of a retread. The "backup" is a preview of the upcoming Red Hood book that will explain in depth how Jason Todd...eh, I don't care. :) Recommended. $3.99 (Oh, and there's a faded 515 behind the 12 on the issue number.) 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 6/3/10: Gold Digger Peebri's Big Adventure #2 Awards: "Every Copy Should Come With A Fresnel Lens" Award to the Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archive Omnibus "There Should Be A Running Count Of Pym's Screwups" Award to Official Index to the Marvel Universe v2 #2 "Waiting For Ironhide To Fight Pyramid Head" Award to Transformers Ironhide #2 "Curse Your Sudden But Inevitable Flashback" Award to Serenity Float Out "The Green Rings Run On Willpower, Not Intelligence" Award to Justice Society of America #39 "Bgtzl Girls Are Easy" Award to Adventure Comics #12 Dave Van Domelen, "I HATE cockroaches." "No one's figured out how to get rid of them yet?" "NO." - Brainiac 5 and Superboy, Adventure Comics #12
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