June 17, 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.
This time the storm hit the other side of town.  An archive can be found on my 
             homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants 

     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.

     None this week, sigh.

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.

     Mysterius the Unfathomable #6: DC/Wildstorm - Well, everything does tie
together in the end and there's plenty of semi-apocalyptic action, but I was
overall left feeling rather "meh" about the whole thing.  Also, while not
labeled as such on the cover, this WAS a six issue miniseries.  Very mildly
recommended.  $2.99
     The Brave and the Bold #24: DC - Static and Black Lightning, which was
sorta kinda got in the Static cartoon, but with a stand-in because Warner
Bros. didn't want to give Tony Isabella any more ammunition for claiming his
creator rights.  As someone who watched the cartoon but never really got into
the comics for Static, the level of reader background knowledge assumed here
was pretty high.  Most of the bits got explained one way or another
eventually, but just a bit too much conflicting backstory stuff.  Mildly
recommended.  $2.99
     Green Arrow vs. Black Canary #21: DC - Yeah, the "versus" part in the
title wasn't a one-off.  It's not really that appropriate this issue, though,
as the two characters share exactly zero screentime.  The issue is split
between Dinah's ongoing origins flashback, present day attempts by Dinah to
solve the problem, and Ollie just doing damage control and dealing with
Cupid.  Since there's no sound, it's thought captions (not thought balloons)
for everyone in the non-flashback scenes, and the letterer does a good job of
keeping them distinct.  There's some high school physics in here (both in
flashback and present-day, the latter triggering thoughts of the former), and
some of it is good science...but somewhere between script and lettering the
number 10 to the 20th power got "fixed" as 1,020 (complete with comma),
rendering the statement kinda dumb.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99
     Transformers Spotlight #23 (Cliffjumper): IDW - Hey, a Transformers
comic that Diamond shipped to my store, wow!  Cliffjumper gets to star in one
of the classic war stories here: the tarnished "hero" soldier cut off from
his allies and hiding among peaceful villagers (either a deliberate exile or
unintended, but in neither case wanting harm to befall innocents), knowing
all along that the war will inevitably find him again.  Of course, in this
case the villagers are purple-skinned manga people (Robby Musso's style is
reminiscent of that seen in Oh/Ah My Goddess), but they're still essentially
humans right out of central casting.  A bunch of unnamed Decepticons also
inevitably show up and help Cliffjumper establish himself as a Badass
Warrior.  The Bun-Bun of Transformers, apparently.  A fairly standard story,
but decently told and well drawn.  Recommended.  $3.99
     Gold Digger v3 #107: Antarctic Press - Time to break away from the new
main cast and service the whole Negative Infinity background plot, which is a
little disorienting given that the main action takes place at some undefined
point in time (or, more likely, NOT in time) and focuses on two entirely new
characters.  It's not all that bad, though.  And any story that can in all
seriousness use the line, "Y-you've got a singularity portal trigger in your
mouth!" has something going for it.  Recommended, but potentially confusing.
     Invincible #63: Image - Whoog, a visible compound fracture on the cover.
I can see some stores black-bagging this one (like they do for covers with
bare breasts) for gore.  More running slugfest with Conquest dismantling bits
and pieces of various heroes and killing thousands in passing.  It does tend
towards gratuitous and overdone, and in a yawn-inducing way rather than a
shocking way, though.  There's a few good character points made, but it just
dragged in too many places.  One-sided beatdowns will do that.  Mildly
recommended.  $2.99
     The Invincible Iron Man #14: Marvel - Dark Reign banner.  A lot of ado
over the whole brain-deletion thing, but at least someone finally points out
a bit of the absurdity.  There's really only one character in this issue I
enjoyed reading, but at least he got a decent number of scenes.  Mildly
recommended.  $2.99
     Dark Reign Young Avengers #2 (of 5): Marvel - As it's actually part of
the title, does this really count as having a Dark Reign banner?  Anyway,
it's origins time, and I suppose even Norman Osborn has at least one squeeing
fangirl.  And she seems to be the Zemo of this lot.  The team's motives
continue to be all over the place, something made more obvious by how they
react to the real Young Avengers, but one thing's for sure...this team's not
likely to be as cohesive as the Masters of Evil they're patterned after.  Of
course, the original Masters weren't conceived of as performance art.  Insert
your own joke about Old Masters versus modern art.  Oh, and I suppose the
last page of this issue officially makes a long-time Marvel character into a
MILF.  ;)  Recommended.  $3.99
     All New Savage She-Hulk #3 (of 4): Marvel - Dark Reign banner.  And
women just can't get enough of Normie this week.  Noh-Varr provides some plot
dump and allows Van Lente to sneak a Reboot reference in, and that does sort
of set the tone for this one...a lot of infodump.  There's also some
foreshadowing about the Big Reveal in with Noh-Varr's scene in the
oppositional sense...he's such a smug jerk you know he has to be wrong in
some significant way.   The backup story is okay, but kinda belabors a point
already established.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Marvel Pets Handbook: Marvel - Dark Reign banner.  No, just kidding.
The definition of "pet" gets stretched in a few places (i.e. Mole Man's
monsters are counted, as is the "turned into a fox by Jaime Braddock" villain
Vixen), but it's not for padding.  Heck, this one has more half-page entries
than just about any other OHOTMU-type book, plus a page of just head-shots of
various named cowboy horses and several pages of miscellaneous minor pets.
Ms. Lion doesn't get an entry, but his picture does appear on the
introduction (and "Why are we doing this?") page.  Recommended.  $3.99
     Marvel Adventures Avengers #37: Marvel - It's Avengers/Invaders, but in
one issue and acknowledging that a guy who dresses in yellow really shouldn't
call himself Whizzer.  Recommended.  $2.99
     The Mighty Avengers #26: Marvel - Dark Reign Banner.  Well, I think
everyone expected at least some of the fight with the FF to be a dodge, but
instead it's a large number of feints.  The Quicksilver/USAgent plot is
totally dropped for this issue, but I'm fine with that...cutting away to that
would have broken the tense "clock is ticking" tone Slott was shooting for
here.  And while acknowledging that "Salvation 2" was probably a bad choice
of names, it's at least revealed to some characters what the deal is.  The
readers have to wait for #27, though.  Also, Amadeus gets pwned by a 2 year
old.  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 6/17/09: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger
Universe #22, Transformers Maximum Dinobots #3, Ninja High School #169-170,
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, Incredibles #2, Doktor Sleepless #12.
     Empowered vol 5 was delayed until next week for everyone, not just me.
Also, Lockjaw #1 got a second printing this week, but Diamond still didn't
send any my store's way (I have read a CBR of it, but won't review it until I
get a paper copy).


"Actually, It Was His Nose" Award to Mysterius the Unfathomable #6

"Actually, The Deodorant Bit Wasn't Just For Protecting The Secret ID, Kid"
     Award to The Brave and the Bold #24

"Spot the Batman Beyond Villain" Award to Green Arrow vs. Black Canary #21

"A History Of Violence" Award to Transformers Spotlight #23

"Mmm, Greased Nerdette" Award to Gold Digger v3 #107

"Conquest Recommends OxiClean To Get Out Stains" Award to Invincible #63

"Um, PICObytes?  Impressive In It's Own Way, I Suppose," Award to The
     Invincible Iron Man #14

"Baroness Squee-Mo" Award to Dark Reign Young Avengers #2 (of 5)

"Warning, Incoming Game" Award to All New Savage She-Hulk #3 (of 4)

"Exactly How Many Pseudo-Pegasi ARE There In Marvel?" Award to Marvel Pets

"Heh Heh" Award to Marvel Adventures Avengers #37

"Just Ask Herc, Pym'd Fit Right In" Award to The Mighty Avengers #26 (in
     reference to the quote below)

     Dave Van Domelen, "Dr. Pym created Ultron, the robot who, in turn,
created you.   If you -- kiss Doctor Pym, it's akin to kissing your
grandfather."  "Actually, Edwin, in the circles I trsvel within the robotic
community, Hank is seen as the *creator* of modern Artificial Intelligence.
So when I *do* kiss him, it's more like I'm kissing God." - Jarvis and
Jocasta, Mighty Avengers #26
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