June 23, 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 Wait, why is there an earthquake in Ottawa? Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): None. It's been a kinda "meh" month, although the books Diamond can't be bothered to ship might be better than what they have been shipping. "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. Iron Man 2 Comic Series Titanium Man: Hasbro - The second wave finally hit stores around here...most are reluctant to order the new toys because the first batch is still clogging shelves ("horn mask" Iron Man is part of this wave, but I got it online). While the cardback describes Boris Bullski as the wearer of this armor, it's the Armor Wars-era suit worn by the Gremlin, more or less. The snap-on accessory is a flaming fist...yeah, not particularly fitting. It looks pretty good if not necessarily comics- accurate (it's got gray on the flexible parts, rather than being all green), and the lack of a waist joint (it gets by on just the joint between chest and abdomen) is a bit weird, but otherwise a solid figure. Recommended. $6.96 at Walmart. Iron Man 2 Comic Series Guardsman: Hasbro - A sort of companion figure to the "horn mask" Iron Man, given that the look of that toy is closest to the one used on the cover of Iron Man #98, which also featured Tony Stark in the Guardsman suit. The cardback has Kevin O'Brien as the wearer and has Guardsman as an enemy of Iron Man's (although the armor's look on Kevin was slightly different from how it looked in #98). The design is a bit simplified, though, without the boot details painted on (something of a strappy look on the original), instead sticking largely with whole-piece colors where possible. There's swivels at the calf and upper forearm so that the boots and gloves can simply be dark green plastic and they didn't have to paint the hands or feet at all, but it does mean a loss of some of the 70s-style design elements. The lighter green paint is closer to chrome than the metallic green on Titanium Man, to the point of being a bit distractingly shiny. Mind you, it's still a lot better than the 90s Guardsman toy, and the head is spot-on, but it almost looks knockoff-chromey. The lack of wrist joints hurts a bit too, and it has the same no-waist-joint problem as Titanium Man. Mildly recommended. $6.96 at Walmart. The other toys in this wave are a Hulkbuster armor that looks more or less like the large Legends version (not the World War Hulk suit, nor the Hulkbuster from the 90s), and the John Romita Jr.-designed "smooth armor" Iron Man. I didn't see Hulkbuster on the shelf, still not sure I'll buy it. But I'm not getting the JRjr suit. Oh, and ironmancard.com still just redirects to marvel.com. At some point I may just use the cards I have to work out my own set of rules. :) 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. Nothing this week. 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. X-Factor #206: Marvel - Second Coming Revelations banner. Well, the gang gets back together and fights a giant mech. There's some advancement of the non-MRD plotlines, but it's mostly running fight scenes, which DeLandro's art is only so-so in. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Thunderbolts #145: Marvel - The Heroic Age banner. Wow, Walker's art didn't exactly thrill me last issue, but it's a lot worse this time around. It's like he's swipefiling half a dozen different artists, most of whom aren't in the superhero biz. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Seriously, Man-Thing is the least uglified character...okay, I exaggerate. Fixer gets to be kinda fey. On the writing side, at least, Parker doesnt' disappoint. There's even footnotes to explain the use of continuity, gasp! Oh, and we get a character in a wheelchair who refuses to let Fixer outfit him with proper prosthetics, but said character is a known blockhead who has understandable (if stupid... and that too is in character) reasons to stick with a wheelchair and a hook- style prosthetic arm. Recommended only if you can look past the art, otherwise mildly recommended. $2.99 Iron Man Legacy #3: Marvel - According to Van Lente (I asked him), this storyline takes place some time between Heroes Reborn and when Tony Stark became Secretary of Defense...a pretty broad swath during which I'm pretty sure he didn't wear the classic armor, so I guess we can chalk that visual up to art error. Not that Tony spends any time in red and gold this issue, as he's the captive of the Zmaj in Transia since the events of #2. A few amusing (and non-amusing) parallels to his origin story are added in, along with a character I kinda hope survives the arc so she can show up in another story. She does kinda have bullseyes all over her, though. Recommended. $2.99 [Later note: I have been informed that Iron Man did wear the classic armor in late 2000, just about when I stopped caring and possibly after I stopped reading, during the Tieri run.] Namora One-Shot: Marvel - Eh, it's okay, but not Parker's most compelling work. Not even his best story this week. It's a serviceable tale of Namora out on her own, doing the hoary "seeking out lost colony of Atlanteans" storyline that both Marvel and DC do pretty regularly. It serves to lay out who she is and what her backstory is without being too obvious an infodump, but that's about it. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Dynamo5 Sins of the Father #1 (of 5): Image - Things start out a bit awkwardly as everyone exposits about who they are and how their powers changed, etc. The first half of the issue is pretty by-the-numbers introductory material, but while that's better than just assuming all readers are old readers, it's not up to Faerber's usual writing standards. The flashback sequence is rather better, at least, although it's short. Hopefully he's gotten the exposit-itis out of his system and things will be more like the flashback for the rest of the series, but for this issue on its own I can only give a mild recommendation. $3.99 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 6/23/10: Gold Digger Peebri's Big Adventure #2, Invincible #72, Prince of Power #2, Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #3, Gold Digger v3 #118. Add Legion of Super-Heroes #2, which Hastings didn't get either. Awards: "Maybe Titanium Man Is Catching Fire?" Award to Iron Man 2 Comic Series Titanium Man Action Figure "He Stole Piccolo's Special Beam Cannon" Award to Iron Man 2 Comic Series Guardsman Action Figure "Is Destro Supplying MRD?" Award to X-Factor #206 "Not As Hot As Oracle" Award to Thunderbolts #146 "Possibly As Hot As Oracle" Award to Iron Man Legacy #3 "Ia! Ia! Kraken fhtagn!" Award to Namora One-Shot "Dating Blonde Legacy Heroines Is Always Dicey" Award to Dynamo5 Sins of the Father #1 (of 5) Dave Van Domelen, "Guess [Supreme] thinks HE'S Earth's champion." "You've met him right? Does that surprise you?" - Captain Dynamo and Omni-Man, Dynamo5 Sins of the Father #1 (of 5)
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