"No more holiday delays" my blue furry behind.

June 3, 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, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants Yes, I heard about the DC-wide reboot. Meh. One of the consequences of my store's shift to "order everything specifically" is that I now have an issue of Previews that I'm not sure I'll use. I'll probably just order a handful of titles (the ones I really like, and maybe the "last before rebooting again" DC books) and if I move in mid- August make arrangements to have someone mail me the few books. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): None 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 6/3/11: Shadowland Power Man #4, Transformers Timelines G2 Redux, Gold Digger #127, Transformers Dark of the Moon Rising Storm #3-4, X-Factor #218, Transformers Foundation #3, Time Lincoln Jack to the Future, Science Dog Special #2. I've taken Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters off my pull. Also, just so people know, I won't be getting the movie adaptation comic. "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. Thor: Tales of Asgard DVD: Marvel/Lion's Gate - While not quite in the continuity of the new movie, I'd say that this feature's take on Thor is more in tune with the movie Thor than the comics. It's definitely its own spin on Asgard and a young Thor, even if it recycles many of the "space god" tropes of Kirby or Simonson. Unfortunately, it fails to engage much in the way of suspense along the way. Sure, we know all the main characters will survive and all that, as it's a tale of Thor's youth. But there's a significant new character whose eventual fate is pretty much spelled out by the name they chose to give him...he's not the same character as his namesake, but his name is a big glaring hint. It's a competently told tale, but I think it would have been improved by making up an entirely new name for the important new character, so it wouldn't be quite as obvious what would happen. Recommended. $15 or so. Green Lantern HeroClix Blindpack: DC/WizKids - On a whim I grabbed one of the blindpack boxes at Target (where they're apparently an exclusive, although for all I know the molds will show up with slightly different paint jobs elsewhere). They have stat cards like regular current-generation HeroClix, but they're all curled up inside the tiny box, making these a lot less of a collectible since they're damaged even when in sealed boxes. I drew R'Amey Holl, a new movie-specific Lantern with upside-down butterfly wings (as in, smaller wings on top, larger on bottom). The figure is as rubbery as Star Wars collectible minis, rather than the more solid-feeling plastic that most HeroClix use. On Kilowog that wouldn't matter, but on a slender waif like R'Amey, it's a significant problem. It also means that figure modding isn't going to be feasible for these unless you use a rubbery paint. Not recommended. $2.99 each. 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. Strictly speaking, they're all late. Diamond promised no more holiday delays, so my store didn't even have people scheduled to work Thursday afternoon (they normally open at 4PM since walk-in traffic on Thursdays is negligible most weeks) and couldn't find anyone on short notice when Diamond said on Wednesday, "Oops, we couldn't get them to you on Wednesday this week after all! Terribly sorry...." 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. The Transformers #20: IDW - More pieces are put together for the upcoming CHAOS event, and the characters themselves notice that everyone in this little group has been presumed dead at some point recently, then somehow come back. A bit lampshade-y, that. I got a general feeling of Costa finally finishing with the repair work and feeling he can get on with what he'd wanted to do all along if only he hadn't been left a box of such terribly broken toys. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Secret Six #34: DC - Well, after spending several issues in Hell, it's time for some well-deserved downtime. Taking stock of the little, broken family that they have become. But as broken and damned as they may be, they're not utterly lost, and that's important. Simone seems to be gearing up for an ending that, if not necessarily happy, is as upbeat as one could get for such a group of miscreants. Recommended. $2.99 Adventure Comics #527: DC - Sometimes being genre-savvy works, as in the case of Comet Queen's origin (she set out to duplicate the origin of either Star Boy or Ultra Boy, having determined that they were the easiest to pull off for someone without the right genes or a tenth-level intelligence). But as this story relates, getting powers doesn't automatically get you everything else you wanted, and Comet Queen's been bouncing from one disappointment to another, including a rather nasty event that landed her back at the Academy. This issue doesn't really answer the question of whether it's all an act, or if she's simply incapable of staying depressed longer than it takes to notice a new...SQUIRREL! Er, ahem. Recommended. $2.99 X-Factor #220: Marvel - While not labeled as a Fear Itself tie-in, this issue certainly fits the theme, as PAD goes back to the idea of the Sin- Eater. Except this time it's a lot more literal. The final page shocker first made me think "isn't that person dead?" and then I slapped myself because pretty much the whole premise of this issue is that things are happening (and have been happening in the book of late, such as the Hela story) to make death an even less inconvenient state than it usually is in a Marvel comic. Recommended. $2.99 Thunderbolts #158: Marvel - Fear Itself tie-in. Since Juggernaut and a breakout at the Raft are big parts of Fear Itself, it's natural that this book would be heavily impacted. The undead fight started last issue may or may not actually tie into Fear Itself, but it at least serves to get most of the cast out of the way to let the breakout happen. Still, serving a story I don't intend to get into does weaken it. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Avengers Academy #14.1: Marvel - Yep, the Point One thing is still going. Not everyone experimented on by Osborn ended up dead or in the Academy, and this issue checks in on several of the people who ended up between those poles. The major theme, though, is that the whole superhero thing is as outdated as, oh, paper comics. And while this is hardly the first comic in recent years to go on about that, Gage does a pretty good job of it here. Recommended. $2.99 The Amazing Spider-Man #663: Marvel - Speaking of the old Sin-Eater story, there's a few more callbacks to that one here, although Slott gives such obvious clues to the "truth" behind things that it feels like a misdirect and we'll find that it's exactly what it looks like on the surface. Oh, and Peter manages to boost the ol' CV in a big way. Recommended. $3.99 Herc #4: Marvel - Fear Itself tie-in. Lots of fighting and running away as the city goes mad. While Pak and Van Lente are integrating the Fear Itself stuff pretty well into this book, the nature of the event does tend to short-circuit some aspects of storytelling for the duration. Still, recommended. $2.99 Awards: "Barflies Three" Award to Thor Tales of Asgard DVD "Will Of Iron, Clicky Of Rubber" Award to Green Lantern HeroClix Blindpack "The Shane McCarthy Revenge Squad" Award to The Transformers #20 "Is It Wrong Of Me To Want King Shark To Say That Ohana Means Family?" Award to Secret Six #34 "You Do Not Want To See Comet Queen's Omnicom Bookmarks" Award to Adventure Comics #527 "Enhanced Taste Plus Bite Attack Equals EWWWWW" Award to X-Factor #220 "Cain Mutiny" Award to Thunderbolts #158 "Hey, It Was The Seventies" Award to Avengers Academy #14.1 "Eddie, You Should Know Better Than To Bury The Lead" Award to The Amazing Spider-Man #663 "Loin Item Veto" Award to Herc #4 Dave Van Domelen, "Well, what do you know. Belt pouches are actually USEFUL." - Hercules, Herc #4
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