June 29, 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 Wiltingly hot and humid today. Bleh. 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 6/29/11: 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. Add Captain America: America's Avenger. "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. 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. Rocketeer Adventures #2 (of 4): IDW - More anthology stories and pinups by pros who are fans. Waid and Weston get the lead story, in which Rocketeer meets an actor who portrays a comicbook superhero (and looks rather big, red and cheesy). A bit too nod-and-wink, but nicely drawn. "Betty Saves The Day" by Darwyn Cooke is paced as a middle part of a matinee serial, and is pretty well described by the title. Like the lead story, it'll take any excuse to get Betty out of most of her clothing. ;) Finally, "TKO" by Lowell Francis and Gene Ha uses the time-honored technique of having narration of one thing (a boxing match, in this case) mirror a different set of events. A little forced in places, but generally well-done, and with a nice surprise guest star at the end. Recommended. $3.99 Thunderbolts #159: Marvel - Fear Itself trade dress. This double-sized issue is another anthology, following various characters through the chaos following Juggernaut's near-destruction of the Raft. Jeff Parker's "Underbolts" story is probably the most "plot advancing" of the stories, giving us more time with the understudies as they decide how to take advantage of the situation. Caramanga and DeLandro's piece is the most straightforward "clean up the mess" story of the four, without a whole lot of other meaning. Van Meter's Ghost story is actually a character study of Warden Walker, definitely one of the more sympathetic portrayals the guy's gotten over the years. Finally, Tieri writes a breakout story focused on Crossbones (for some reason I thought he died a few issues ago, I guess it wasn't as fatal as it looked), mostly freeing him up for later use. And killing a bunch of no-names. Meh. A mixed bag, like most anthologies, but Van Meter's story is worth picking this up for. Recommended. $4.99 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. Super Dinosaur #3: Image - Hm. Still not really grabbing me. Oh, there's nothing really bad about this, and it has all the parts that say it should be cool, but somehow...it doesn't mesh. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Captain America: First Vengeance #4 (of 4): Marvel - Had to get this at Hastings...the order was on time this week, but missing a bunch of stuff. Whee. The first half of the issue is basically the movieverse origin of the Howling Commandoes (sans Nick Fury, since they don't want to explain how he lived that long, I guess). A bit labored in places, but it makes a certain amount of sense. The second half mainly focuses on how Erskine decided Steve Rogers was the one to test the formula on. There's a few pages of the framing story, but since this is a prequel it has to end inconclusively. Mildly recommended. $2.99 The Amazing Spider-Man #664: Marvel - Lots of secrets come out, wrapping up a number of plot threads in advance of Spider Island. One interesting thing about it is how the new Wraith is dealt with...Spider-Man doesn't buy her story for even a second, seeing through pretty much every part of her gimmick. Which, frankly, he should. When you regularly go up against guys like the Chameleon and Mysterio, it takes serious skill to pull off a con you won't notice. In fact, the overall theme of this issue is deconstruction of the Mask Principle...the only reason Spider-Man's ID isn't blown this issue is a creative use of his powers (and the fact that people have been trying to unmask him for so long he's figured out how to avoid most of the usual methods). Experience, lad, you should learn to appreciate it. And Peter's starting to appreciate it himself, to his chagrin (a theme that came up a couple issues back in the Avengers Academy guest shot). Recommended. $3.99 Awards: "That Can't Be Very Aerodynamic" Award to Rocketeer Adventures #2 (of 4) "It Doesn't Matter How Strong Your Basket Is, Don't Put All Your Eggs In It!" Award to Thunderbolts #159 "Shades Of Animatronic Badrock" Award to Super Dinosaur #3 "Road To Rune" Award to Captain America First Vengeance #4 (of 4) "I Just May Be The Lunatic You're Looking For" Award to the Amazing Spider- Man #664 Dave Van Domelen, "Everyone runs while I wait for the cops. Suddenly, *I'm* the grown-up." - Spider-Man, ASM664
Back to the Main Rants Page.

Storm on back to the June 2011 Page.