June 25, 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.
Tornado-damaged asbestos tiles suck too.  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 
             homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants 

First Look Comments:

     Books for next week -

     Squadron Supreme #1 (of 5, not that this info is on the cover...the IDW
Syndrome is spreading!): Marvel - Howard Chaykin is give the property to play
with.  This series is set in the wake of the Ultimates crossover that didn't
read...five years later.  It looks like what Chaykin is setting out to do
here is replace the thinly-veiled DC characters in the Supreme universe with
thinly-veiled Marvel characters (we get Venom/Spidergirl, Captain America and
the Fantastic Four, more or less).  Could be interesting, but not enough to
get me to pick up the series.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Avengers/Invaders #3 (of 12): Marvel/Dynamite - Each of the time
displaced Invaders gets some screen time, although as the cover suggests,
Namor gets the most.  There's a few nods here and there to the ongoing event
crap at Marvel, but for the most part the story works independent of things
like Civil War or Secret Invasion.  And there's little bits here and there
that suggest the ending won't just hit the Cosmic Reset Button.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #41: Marvel - Cute story by Sumerak,
explaining in part why Peter Parker never got his driver's license (something
that was a little easier to swallow decades ago when teen drivers in the city
were really rare and driver's ed wasn't so pervasive).  Recommended.
     Amazing Spider-Man #564: Marvel - Oooh, Overdrive has powers, he's not
just a loon in a tricked-out car (not that there's anything WRONG with loons
in tricked-out cars).  Gale, Guggenheim AND Slott tell this story, in a
Rashomon-ish way from the POVs of Spidey, Vin Gonzales and Overdrive.  Unlike
Rashomon, thought, we get to see what really happens, it's just the narration
boxes that spin the tale to favor the teller.  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): Young Avengers
Presents #6 (of 6), Gold Digger: Tifanny & Charlotte #1 (of something).

     Project Superpowers #4: Dynamite - Still pretty aggressively writing for
the trade here.  The focus is too split for anyone thread to get very far in
a single issue, plus no one character gets enough time at a stretch to do
more than superficial development.  Granted, there's a few cute bits that
make it an enjoyable read, but Ross and Kreuger aren't handling their large
cast as well as JMS is handling his over in The Twelve.  Mildly recommended.
     The Clockwork Girl #4 (of 4): Arcana - Well, it ends on several
metaphors being made literal, but it all felt kinda anticlimactic.  The final
scene was nice, though.  Mildly recommended.  $1.99 US/Cn
     New Warriors #13: Marvel - Well, the Machinesmith fight wraps up, with
some of the big guns being pulled out, but the whole "valiant last stand"
idea set up at the end of #12 really doesn't go anywhere.  The book feels
like it's running out of steam, and Grevioux is trying to take an 8 or 12
issue concept and pad it out to more.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Ms. Marvel #28: Marvel - The entire issue is Ms. Marvel fighting no-name
super-Skrulls and coming to an epiphany that all she really needed was to get
la...er, get in a war.  A fun enough slugfest with some reasonably clever
Skrull-fighting tricks, but despite her epiphany it's kinda shallow.  Mildly
recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Avengers the Initiative #14: Marvel - It's the Skrull Revelation issue,
getting inside the head of the real Skrull plant in the Initiative (and thus
explaining some of the stuff from previous issues that didn't really need
explaining), spending some time with Crusader, and bringing back the old 3-D
Man powerset (which included the ability to sense Skrulls, although it looks
like they're going to mess with that to avoid the Big Event being short-
circuited, sigh).  Mildly recommended...decent enough storytelling, but I'm
already sick of Secret Invasion and that colors my enjoyment of any tie-in
that's too tied-in (Hercules being a notable exception because it takes a
weird spin on things).  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     She-Hulk v2 #30: Marvel - A Herc cameo during his cross-country drive of
a few issues back (somewhere between "Beer" and "Beer").  Definitely closes
out the first chapter of the "someone's messing with Shulkie" uberarc, laying
down the truth about Bran and getting Jen back on the road.  Recommended.
     Young Avengers Presents #6 (of 6): Marvel - Hawkeye (the young lady, not
Clint "Ronin" Barton) gets the spotlight in this final issue.  Every issue of
this has been about identity in some way (legacies, family, the nature of
humanity, etc), but this one is pretty overt about it, as Kate Bishop has to
fight Clint for the right to keep calling herself Hawkeye.  Alan Davis and
Mark Farmer do the art under Matt Fraction's excellent story, and prove that
even in the middle of sucky company-wide stuff, there can be hope.  Strongly
recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn 
     Teen Titans #60: DC - Well, the arc ends with the heroes escaping, but
it's only to set up a Terror Titans miniseries.  And while McKeever does some
good stuff with the Dark Side Club crap sandwich he's been handed, he's still
being limited by the ingredients...it's not always possible to pull a good
story out of a company-wide event suckfest.  Mildly recommended.
     Number of the Beast #6 (of 8): DC/Wildstorm - Heh.  Daemonite with a
pince nez.  Said Daemonite provides exposition to nail down the last few bits
of "what's going on here?" left in the backstory, just in time for the fight
to come to the waking world.  Hm, and given the filecard on Private Warr, I
have to wonder if he gets his origin story by the end of this mini?  It'd
provide at least some closure for the DC-dictated never-ending-story syndrome
that I fear may have taken hold here.  Still, that concern aside,
recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Gold Digger: Tifanny & Charlotte #1 (of I dunno...house ads in other AP
books call it a miniseries, but there's no hint in the actual issue that it
is, or how many issues): Antarctic Press - Like Peebo Tales and Tangent, this
appears to be a collection of webcomics, short (mostly one page) bits
focusing on Tifanny and Charlotte at school, a place that is The GDverse's
equivalent of PS238.  Yes, Charlotte looks adult, but she's still just a kid.
Unlike Tangent, this is finished color work.  Fred Perry draws and does
layouts, J.L. Anderson (who's been kicking around AP for a while now, on and
off) does the art and lettering.  Anyway, in addition to being a place for
the children of superhumans, this place also provides faculty jobs to those
who might otherwise become evil mad scientists (so instead, they're just
loopy mad faculty).  A knowledge of GDverse stuff helps, but isn't
necessary...and my favorite character (Miss Giggle) is new.  Strongly
recommended.  $3.50 US/Cn
     Gold Digger v3 #97: Antarctic Press - The whole Dynasty/Abyssalisk
conflict is clarified, and the Diggers girls are stuck right in the middle of
it.  There's also wedgies and angst, but not angst about wedgies.  Yet.
Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #18: Antarctic Press - Now
it's time for the gazetteer issues, or "Realms and Dimensions".  This issue
covers Aebra through Jade, and while many of the locations have gotten some
treatment already, these entries go into a bit more depth give larger
versions of the maps and diagrams we've already seen.  Interestingly, there
doesn't appear to be any new art in this book...the cover is all pieces
assembled from other issues, and all the interior art is either excerpts from
the series or larger repeats of stuff from previous OHOTGDUs.  Still, a good
treatment.  Recommended.  $3.95/$3.95Cn

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 6/25: Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #40.

     Correction: I got Fallen Angel #26 already, I simply got it before it
was listed on Midtown's release list...and it stuck in my mind so poorly that
I didn't remember I'd already read it.  This may be a sign it's time to
reconsider reading it.


"Dude, I Thought Hydro's Costume Looked Gay Before I Was Old Enough To Know
     What 'Gay' WAS" Award to Project Superpowers #4

"Release The MARMOSETS!" Award to The Clockwork Girl #4 (of 4)

"Just Don't Let Thor See That One" Award to New Warriors #13

"Bran The Blessed Should Meet Ms. Marvel" Award to Ms. Marvel #28

"Ze Goggles!  Zey Do SUMPSINK!" Award to Avengers the Initiative #14

"Even Kirby Doesn't Think She's Gonna Call, Dude" Award to She-Hulk v2 #30

"I Shudder To Think What Else Mythbusters Does In The Marvel Universe"
     Award to Young Avengers Presents #6 (of 6)

"What's The Matter, Don't You Have A Watch?" Award (that maybe one person
     reading this will get) to Teen Titans #60

"We Demand A Doctor Sin Ongoing" Award to Number of the Beast #6 (of 8)

"Teachable Moment...INCOMING!" Award to Gold Digger: Tifanny & Charlotte #1
     (of something or other)

"Servicing Head" Award to Gold Digger #97

"Surprisingly Few Locations Have Been Utterly Destroyed" Award to the 
     Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #18

     Dave Van Domelen, "Central Park carriage ninja." - Kate Bishop, Young
Avengers Presents #6 (of 6)
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