Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Tis the season for 24/7 fireworks idiocy. An archive can be found on my homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants Epic fail from Diamond this week. About a third of the store's shipment was not shipped...but rather than simply being a missing box, every title on their invoice was there (there were three books I was expecting that weren't on the invoice, business as usual there), just missing about a third of the copies. So the only stuff making it to the shelf was either on no one's pull or got removed from some pull lists since the order was placed. (It was uneven, though, some books nearly made it to the shelf while others got two copies to fill ten or so orders.) Fortunately for me, if not for people who couldn't be at the store in the middle of the afternoon, by hovering over the counter (and actually being helpful in the triage) I managed to get all the books on my pull that did ship, including the only copies of several. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Gold Digger: Tifanny and Charlotte Second Semester #1 "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. Nothing. I got Doktor Sleepless #12, but it turns out that was a reship of an older issue and the title isn't sticking in my memory enough for me to realize this fact until I'm six pages in. And no one else noticed it on my "not shipped" list as something I'd already reviewed either. Probably time to drop this book, eh? 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. The Muppet Show #4 (of 4): Boom! Kids - The theme this time is psychic phenomena, including a fortunteller for the guest star and a Pigs In Space episode involving a region of space that grants telepathy via captions. The best of the four, but not good enough to keep me around for the other Muppet comics. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Farscape Strange Detractors #4 (of 4): Boom! Studios - Only copy to get to the store, so I didn't get to pick which cover. The pacing's pretty bad here, with a LOT of montage stuff crammed in at the end. Granted, the main emotional storyline is resolved on-screen, but I think it would almost have worked better to cut the montage scenes entirely and pick up after a "later" sort of caption. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Official Index to the Marvel Universe #7: Marvel - Oddly, this lone copy my store got was mixed in with the special orders, suggesting it was tossed in at the last minute when the warehouse tribe found a few more copies. Iron Man #215-259, Amazing Spider-Man #287-327 (the whole McFarlane run is in there), and Uncanny X-Men #269-303. There's also some errata for Index #1. As the age of the mega-crossover and of the "de facto weekly Spider-book" kicks into high gear, the cross-referencing gets pretty intense. There's a guide to the Blue Team/Gold Team stuff in the X-Men section, but apparently they figured Spider-Man's inter-book continuity was clear enough to need no special timelines. Recommended. $3.99 Invincible Iron Man #15: Marvel - Yay, bloody tied-to-chair torture on the cover. Dark Reign banner, although that's sorta redundant in this case. Mind you, while Tony's on the cover being tortured bloody, he's not the victim of the actual torture inside. At least it doesn't quite make it to the level of torture porn, but it's still pretty Women In Refrigerators in nature. The majority of the issue, though, is split between Flowers for Algernon on Tony and Maria Hill annoying Black Widow. Neutral, and only that good because Black Widow gets some good bits. $2.99 eXiles #4: Marvel - Wow, apparently there's ways in which Hank Pym can screw up even WORSE. Interesting setup, but pretty transparent plot device and the Final Page Shocker strikes me as being misdirection rather than revelation. Recommended. $2.99 Agents of Atlas #7: Marvel - Dark Reign cap on the logo. A little bit more of Namor and Namora's background gets retconned, although it's a good retcon and makes sense while not requiring major changes going forward (which would likely end up ignored by the next writer anyway). The origins of Lao are fleshed out a little bit more in the backup, although nothing we hadn't seen explained before. Recommended. $2.99 Astro City Dark Age Book Three #3 (of 4): DC/Wildstorm - The story veers, as it sometimes does, into the Big Damned Cosmic stuff rather than staying solely on the Regular People. It also seems to reach outside its era a little to include a Liefeld jab, at least artistically. A big chunk of the issue is dedicated to introducing the awkwardly large Apollo 11 team, although at least the Williams brothers are positioned so they're at least watching the action, if not all that involved in it most of the time. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Secret Six #11: DC - Bloody bondage on the cover, although at least this is supposed to be a book about vile people, unlike Iron Man. Anyway, one of the problems that comes with working for and with vile people is that a rather large percentage of them are quite insane. And it's the ones that aren't visibly starkers at first glance, the ones that don't talk in poetry or practice self-mutilation...those are the ones that are the most dangerous to work for. The Six find that they've been employed by such a person, and because they're not uniformly vile or insane (well, they're all vile and/or insane on some level, but not the *same* level) this causes team conflict. You know, more than the usual attempted homicide. Recommended. $2.99 Gold Digger Tech Manual #5: Antarctic Press - Okay, the reason the Dynasty only got one page in #4 is because they get almost the entire issue this time out. Heck, symbiots alone get about half the issue, befitting their status as the emerging all-purpose techno-mystical plot device and "magic item" handwave of the Gold Digger Universe. Oblivion gets an entry as a thing rather than a place, given its nature as a created world. The last five pages start Gina's section, which may well fill all of #6 and most if not all of #7. Recommended. Gold Digger: Tifanny & Charlotte Second Semester #1: Antarctic Press - Probably another four issue mini, but not listed as such on the cover. This issue is a single extended story, although still told in a series of four-panel pages that mostly work as single installments...a comic strip going directly to comicbook form while retaining comic strip storytelling format. The theme of the issue is ballet...Tif discovers she loves ballet, and Charl discovers she likes men in ballet tights. Pojo discovers that he is apparently wrapped tightly around Tiff's little finger...and will probably soon discover whether his werewolfen traits will save his feet from the devastation that is Point Shoes. (Tif has her were nature plus symbionts to save her tootsies, while Charl's a hollow-boned genetic construct who can always use her wings to take off any extra pressure. Pojo'd better hope he heals fast.) Of course, this is the Gold Digger universe, so ballet manages to involve multiple explosions. Which, to be honest, would get me more interested in ballet. Strongly recommended. $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 7/1/09: 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, Empowered v5. My Empowered online order has been delayed due to being on backorder, whee. Add Transformers Spotlight Metroplex, Gold Digger v3 #108, Gold Digger Peebo Tales #5. My store's owner plans to make a direct order from Antarctic at this point, but was distracted today by the arrival of the Diamond Failboat. Awards: "Doesn't Take A Psychic To Predict Beaker On Fire" Award to The Muppet Show #4 (of 4) "At Least Rygel's Vomit Wasn't Explosive" Award to Farscape Strange Detractors #4 (of 4) "Who'd Have Thought The Armor Wars Would Be The 'Good Old Days'?" Award to Official Index to the Marvel Universe #7 "Anyway thats why Im gone to keep trying to get smart so I can have that feeling agen. Its good to no things and be smart and I wish I new evrything in the hole world. I wish I coud be smart agen rite now. If I coud I woud sit down and reed all the time" Award to the Invincible Iron Man #15 "If you are hearing thie message make your way to the domed city of Corinth, you will be safe there" Award to eXiles #4 "I Don't Wanna See Bob's Browser History" Award to Agents of Atlas #7 "Celestials With Tiny Feet" Award to Astro City Dark Age Book Three #3 (of 4) "I Didn't JUST Come To Gloat, I Can Multitask" Award to Secret Six #11 "Here's A Thought: Peebos With Ether Vents! What? I Didn't Say It Was A SANE Thought!" Award to Gold Digger Tech Manual #5 "Which Kind Of Saute Was That Again?" Award to Gold Digger: Tifanny and Charlotte Second Semester #1 Dave Van Domelen, "Um. Please don't kill me. Now I did ask NICELY for you not to kill me! Poor sport! Poor sport!" - Ragdoll, Secret Six #11Back to the Main Rants Page.
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