June 30, 2014

Dave's Comicbook Capsules Et Cetera

Intermittent Picks and Pans of Comics and Related Media 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 Settled down in Amarillo, picked a comic shop and set up a pull list. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #30 In this installment: Nova Phase #3, Serenity Leaves on the Wind #6 (of 6), Astro City #13, Gold Digger #211, My Little Pony Friends Forever #6, My Little Pony Friendship Forever #20, Transformers: Windblade #3 (of 4), Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #30. "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 time around. Digital Content: Unless I find a really compelling reason to do so, I won't be turning this into a webcomic review column. Rather, stuff in this section will be full books available for reading online or for download, usually for pay. I will often be reading these things on my iPod if it's at all possible. Nova Phase #3: Slave Labor Graphics - Somewhat disappointing issue. There's a fine line between lampshading genre cliches and wallowing in them, and I think they crossed it. I'll give it another issue or two anyway, but this was definitely a downturn. Neutral. 99 cents on ComiXology. Trades: Trade paperbacks, collections, graphic novels, pocket manga, whatever. If it's bigger than a "floppy" it goes here. None this time. Floppies: No, I don't have any particular disdain for the monthlies, but they *are* floppy, yes? Serenity Leaves on the Wind #6 (of 6): Dark Horse - Well, it wraps up as disjointedly as it has been running. Seriously, Zach Whedon has no sense of pacing. It's like he thought he was going to have a cowriter to fill in the spaces between his scenes, and only bothered to write the ones that interested him. Neutral. $3.50 Astro City #13: DC/Vertigo - Ah, and then there's intentional and aggressive disjointedness. Busiek deliberately tells this story out of order, to emphasize the otherworldly nature of its prime mover, but everything does have a timestamp if you want to try going back and reading it in chronological order. But there's a definite difference between intentional skipping around and "can't be bothered to show the connections", and this worked pretty well for me. Recommended, but it does demand some work on the part of the reader. $3.99 Gold Digger #211: Antarctic Press - This is one of the Mega Arc issues, and also a Penny Pincer focus (the cover is thematically more or less correct, but "Ancient Gina" doesn't show up this issue, despite being on the cover). Perry pulls what I tend to think of as the Dynamo Joe Gambit here, explaining some of the motivations of a major villain group in the setting. No, I won't explain what I mean by Dynamo Joe Gambit, that would be a spoiler. But if you've read that comic, you might be able to figure out what I'm talking about. ;) Recommended. $3.99 My Little Pony Friends Forever #6: IDW - Not so much friends as allies of convenience this time, with Rainbow Dash teaming up with Trixie. Thom Zahler does the writing, but Agnes Garbowska draws it. (I have no idea what's up with the Hastings exclusive cover, BTW.) Zahler draws a compare/ contrast between Rainbow Dash's ego and Trixie's ego, but to do so he basically keeps Trixie from having learned much from the Alicorn Amulet incident. Not *nothing*, mind you, but she's still pretty much the Season 1 Trixie. Also, it felt like Zahler was writing down too far, it's just not up to the level of his Love & Capes stories. Mildly recommended. $3.99 My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #20: IDW - The conclusion of the mirror-verse arc. I agree with common criticism I've seen of this issue, and really the entire arc: the Mane 6 are superfluous. Any random characters could have filled the role of exposition target, and Cook even pointed out in her backup piece how the mirror Mane 6 weren't involved at all. It felt like a Mandated Appearance, weakening a story that would have been stronger had it focused on the actual characters driving it. Lots of fun bits, because Cook and Price know how to make the most of moments, but the main plot really could have been stronger. Recommended on the strength of the little bits. $3.99 Transformers: Windblade #3 (of 4): IDW - In proper arc pacing, meanwhile, Scott gets her penultimate ducks in a row. While she's holding the Big Reveal for #4, we do get a Little Reveal and Windblade herself has started to put together enough pieces to know there's an important one missing. Recommended. $3.99 Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #30: IDW - Roberts, meanwhile, revels in the chaos of his multiple flashback storytelling, and even throws in some blatant time travel to make things more fun. But this title has pretty much always been about massive rambling diversions and stumbling into problems and their solutions (not necessarily in that order). This issue was great fun, AND got to finally lay out how Megatron's trial resolved. Or didn't resolve, because what fun would that be? And best of all, it gave new impetus to the quest that's defined the mission of the Lost Light, thus all but ensuring they'll never, ever get there. ;) Strongly recommended. $3.99 Dave Van Domelen, "Rodimus! You are not going to BELIEVE what just happened! I opened the door to my HAB SUITE and -- " " -- you found your own dead body inside? 'Cos if not, I win." - Nightbeat and Rodimus, TF:MtMtE #30

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