June 4, 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.
BookLog software apparently is very bad.  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 
             homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants 

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 -

     Hulk Raging Thunder #1 (of 1): Marvel - A Hulk/Thundra one-shot written
by Jeff Parker, plus a backup of Thundra's appearance in Fantastic Four
#133.  Heavy on the rectons here, with previous Thundra stories cast as lies
and deceptions meant to keep both citizens and allies happy.  The main story
is a bit narration-happy and doesn't really play to Parker's strengths as a
writer.  Fun Conway reprint, though.  $3.99/$4.05Cn
     Iron Man Legacy of Doom #3 (of 4): Marvel - Eh, not keen on the way
Merlin acts under Michelinie's hand, but at least we're on to the Big Cosmic
Threat and away from the psychoanalysis couch.  $2.99/$3.05Cn.
     Amazing Spider-Man #562: Marvel - Bob Gale's turn at bat, with McKone
art.  Cute running gag of how even the footnotes don't remember one of the
villains of the piece.  Nor can Spidey remember him.  Of course, there may be
reasons for that.  Anyway, it's a "Gambling at the Bar With No Name" story,
and the barkeep's the real focus of the issue.  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):
H.P. Lovecraft's Haunt of Horror #1 (of 3)

     Justice Society of America #16: DC - Well, Gog reveals his suffering in
the Causality Wars...er, in the fall of the Third World, and is generally
creepily genial.  But there's been so much build-up about Gog being the
ultimate big-bad that I can't help but hope that he'll continue to be
creepily genial.  No hidden agenda.  Just the incredible danger that can come
from unchecked power and good but misguided intentions.  Now, I don't have a
lot of faith that Johns and Ross will play it that way, but at least this is
an interesting start.  Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Star Trek New Frontier #3 (of whatever): IDW - I've decided that if IDW
can't be bothered to list how many issues their inevitably limited series are
going to run, why should I?  Big tone shift this issue to the more comedic
end of Peter David's writing style, replete with running jokes and "setup in
one scene, punchline in the next" transitions.  It's a bit jarring, but it
*is* funny, and there's not as much here that requires a lot of prior New
Frontier knowledge.  Recommended.  $3.99 
     Transformers the Reign of Starscream #2 (of whatever): IDW - Loads of
new characters show up, including most of the non-movie toys (Landmine is
apparently a wholly human creation in this continuity) and a few non-toy
characters (it looks like we've got a movie-style Cosmos with a bit part).
We're definitely not in the same setting as the prequel novel, but it seems
unlikely that the prequel novel will be paid any attention ever again, and
rightly so.  :) The colors are a bit washed out in places, but Milne's art is
generally followable, and the story is definitely moving.  Recommended.
     Igor Movie Prequel #2 (of whatever): IDW - Two more short done-in-one
stories written by Dara Naraghi and drawn by Grant Bond.  The first is
another cast member origin story (Igor's good at making friends), not as
strong as the ones last issue, but amusing.  The second is a bit of
world-building, looking at some of the other people in the setting, who may
or may not be important in the movie.  I'd almost rather they be marginal, I
like the idea of the comic being used to expand on things we won't see much
of in the movie.  Recommended.  $3.99
     The Invincible Iron Man #2: Marvel - Hm.  It's hard to say, but I think
Fraction's trying to cast Stark as a *former* futurist who is only now
realizing that the future has caught up to him and passed him.  Every so
often he has a moment of "we should be able to do this better", but then goes
back into doing things the old way, caught waiting for the future to arrive
like anyone else.  It's not necessarily the way Tony Stark should be written,
but given the constraints of what has gone before for the Earth-616 version,
it's certainly a way with potential.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     H.P. Lovecraft's Haunt of Horror #1 (of 3): Marvel MAX - Three short
stories or poems of HPL's adapted by Richard Corben in either black and white
or grayscale, with each adaptation followed by the original work being
adapted.  The opening is the vignette "Dagon" (which isn't listed on the
credits page, oops), followed by adaptations of two passages from the poem
"The Fungi from Yuggoth".  Dagon is a fairly direct adaptation, the first
Yuggoth piece is a bit looser, and the last is more of an "inspired by the
setting" thing more wholly of Corben's creation.  The pacing is good in all
three cases, choosing short source material was definitely the right move
here.  There's an explicit content warning, but a bit of blood is about as
bad as it gets.  Well, okay, someone gets a sword through the back of the
mouth, I guess watching The Machine Girl last night has skewed my
sensibilities a little.  :)  Recommended.  $3.99/$4.05Cn  
     Avengers/Invaders #2 (of 12): Marvel/Dynamite - Sadowski's pencils look
a bit off, maybe inkers in the past have carried a larger burden than the
color finishers can handle here.  This issue finishes the opening brawl and
then lays out the complications...who gets captured, who flees, who just
wanders off unnoticed.  And Cap gets to call Iron Man a fascist.  :)
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Amazing Spider-Man #561: Marvel - More Slott, more op art, woot.
Paparazzi plot wraps up nicely, Slott gets to tease the readers a LOT, and
the mystery of Jackpot is more or less resolved.  :)  Mind you, a lot of that
resolution makes the assumption that people's faces have the same level of
detail as seen in comic art...i.e. they're really hard to tell apart.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn

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 6/4: Fallen Angel #26.  Add Marvel Adventures
Spider-Man #40.


"Faith (And 10-meter-long Arms) Can Move Mountains" Award to Justice Society
     of America #16

"What About TORCHAR?" Award to Star Trek New Frontier #3 (of whatever)

"At Least He Wasn't In The Ductwork" Award to Transformers the Reign of
     Starscream #2 (of whatever)

"But Can She Play The Drums?" Award to Igor Movie Prequel #2 (of whatever)

"Um, I Think Those MODO* Guys Are Alive, Tony" Award to The Invincible Iron
     Man #2

"The Fungi From Juggoth" Award to H.P. Lovecraft's Haunt of Horror

"What Part Of 'Don't Tell Them About The Future' Do You Not Get?" Award to
     Avengers/Invaders #2 (of 12)

"Is This Neighborhood Zoned For Mad Science?" Award to Amazing Spider-Man 

     Dave Van Domelen, "I need to not have giant rockets strapped to my feet
anymore..." - Tony Stark, to himself, Invincible Iron Man #2
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