July 2, 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 cleanup still going on at work.  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 
             homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants 

First Look Comments:

     Books for next week -

     Nova #15: Marvel - The Galactus and Harrow story wraps up, and Nova gets
a new status quo.  While I'll admit I'm always rather down on Abnett &
Lanning as writers, this one really didn't have any of their usual
strengths...or weaknesses, for that matter.  It just sort of WAS.
     Guardians of the Galaxy #3: Marvel - Lotsa fight scene, some snark from
Rocket Raccoon and Drax, and some really annoying villains acting like they
stepped out of a Warhammer 40K RPG session.  Eh.  Still a better read than
Nova, though.  $2.99/$3.05Cn 
     Iron Man Legacy of Doom #4 (of 4): Marvel - Huh, they usually don't put
the last issue of a mini in the first looks pile.  Well, they fight the big
demon, Tony has a Moment of Insight and they manage to win out.  Didn't
particularly impress me one way or the other.  About the only real selling
point is that it's Not Post-Civil War Tony.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Hulk Chronicles #1: Marvel - A reprint of Hulk #106, Hulk: World
Breaker, and a short "saga" piece summarizing how things came to pass that
Hulk declared war on Earth.  Decent stories being reprinted, at least, and
they're intersplicing the pages to tell it all in chronological order.
$4.99/$5.05Cn (okay, now they're just taunting Canada)
     Invincible Iron Man #3: Marvel - Well, they can't make Tony not be
Director of SHIELD, but Fraction does what he can to evoke the Iron Man movie
in this issue, with an extended flashback on the Stane/Stark conflict of the
1980s (realtime) and waving around a piece of tech that looks like the Arc
Reactor movie-Tony put in his chest.  And, as long as we're having 80s
flashbacks, they update the Raiders (those guys in lame blue and gold armors
from the Hammer/Stane days).  Recommended, largely on nostalgia.

     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): None.

     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
     Legion of Super-Heroes #43: DC - You know, "superheroes versus
bureaucracy" stories are almost never as interesting as their writers seem to
think they are (unless the story goes over the top and makes the bureaucracy
into some sort of mystic/noetic menace, but even that has its pitfalls), and
this is no exception.  Yet another issue of Lightning Lad sitting in his
chair dealing with paperwork and surly officialdom...it might be realistic,
but it's deadly dull.  And it leaches the energy out of the extensive fight
sceneage in the issue, too.  Neutral.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Blue Beetle #28: DC - Pfeifer writes this "waiting for a new regular
writer" issue, Baldeon pencils.  A done in one tale of a menace fought by
both Dan Garrett and Jaime Reyes (although the timing is a little weird,
since this is WWII Dan Garrett, not 1960s Dan Garrett, apparently).  It's an
okay story, but lacks a certain oomph.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Doctor Who #5: IDW - Second last issue of the current arc before they
restart at #1, not that they admit any more on the actual comic if it's a
miniseries.  I spent a lot of the early part of the issue wondering if I'd
missed an issue...the pacing's rather off, and Russell plays things a touch
too coy.  The random artist wheel comes up with a decent one this time, but
nothing outstanding.  I seriously doubt this story will wrap up in any way
that convinces me to pick up the followup series, though.  Very mildly
recommended.  $3.99
     Star Trek New Frontier #4: IDW - Another penultimate issue, and a bunch
more characters get tossed into the mix to confuse things.  The humorous
scenes and the dark scenes don't really mesh, and the art continues to be
pretty ugly.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Igor Movie Prequel #3: IDW - Another pair of stories.  The first just
has our trio of protagonists having an adventure (of sorts) while giving
another background-character mad scientist some screen time.  Fun fluff.  The
second helps establish what will no doubt be the main motivating conflict of
the movie (well, the main motivation for the majority of people in the
setting, if not necessarily for the title character).  Recommended.  $3.99
     Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen #2 (of 5): Oni Press - Looong delay between
issues, explained in the text page as being a combination of switching
artists and a solidarity co-strike with the TV writers.  It's a flip book,
with the main story being on the side with the black and white Matt Wagner
cover, involving the fallout from Tek's screwups in #1's main story.  I have
to say, I kinda prefer the enthusiastic "Tek's always right" tone of the
original cartoons over the "Tek's a screwup who lucks into solutions, and his
superiors know he's a screwup" tone seen here.  The backup on the flip side
is short and somewhat restrained, but more the sort of thing I like out of a
Tek Jansen story.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Dynamo5 #14: Image - In the wake of the team being blown to bits and
back, most of 'em are trying to salvage the remains of their personal lives,
with varying levels of success, but the city itself is falling apart.  A new
hero (who may be a previously-seen character in a new outfit...there's no
real clues of this, but it has that feeling to it) is trying to hold things
together, but villainous presence has passed a tipping point.  Even if the
entire Dynamo5 were up and ready to go, they'd be hard pressed to deal with
the chaos.  Yildiray Cinar pitches in on about half the issue's art.
Recommended.  $3.50

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 7/2: Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #40.

     I did see the Myth-Told Tales comic, and passed on it.  It's an
adaptation of one of the newer Myth Adventures short stories, and I've been
rather disappointed by Asprin's more recent works in the setting, that
particular piece included.  And while the art looked decent, it lacked the
charm that Foglio or Valentino brought to the old Myth comics.


"Let My People Go" Award to Avengers/Invaders #3 (of 12)

"Drive Offensively" Award to Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #41

"Rashourmon Traffic" Award to Amazing Spider-Man #564

"Did Shooter Spend Too Much Time In DMV Lines Recently Or Something?" 
     Award to Legion of Super-Heroes #43

"Son Of A B...You Know" Award to Blue Beetle #28

"You Are Far Too Trusting" Award to Doctor Who #5

"Rough Tradecraft" Award to Star Trek New Frontier #4

"Well, It Certainly Disintegrates" Award to Igor Movie Prequel #3 

"Cover Charge" Award to Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen #2 (of 5)

"She Needs A Tricked Out Motorcycle" Award to Dynamo5 #14

     Dave Van Domelen, "Ah, Captain.  Are you here to KILL me?"  "No, Lucius,
I am not."  "Damn you.  Damn you to Hell." - Lucius and McKenzie Calhoun,
Star Trek New Frontier #4
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