July 30, 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.
I seem to have the Con Crud from Canada.  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 
             homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants 

First Look Comments:

     None.  Wasn't feeling too well, decided to grab my books and go home to
lie down.

     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): Blue Beetle

     Project Superpowers #5: Dynamite Entertainment - A lot of "second verse,
same as the first" stuff, and skipping over things it would have been nice to
see.  The pacing, frankly, bites.  It's reading more and more like just a
flimsy excuse to draw the characters in fight scenes, with minimum lip
service to a story.  Neutral.  $2.99
     Ms. Marvel #29: Marvel - Ms. Marvel kills super-powered Skrulls.  Then
she finds out a little more about the tactical situation, and kills more
Skrulls.  Then she relocates to a potentially more defensible position and
finds that there's a really scary Skrull that needs killing.  Fight scene
padding, no real character insight or development, eminently skippable.
Neutral.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Thor #10: Marvel - Mostly about Loki using the truth to deceive
everyone, particularly Balder, but with a little bit of the Bill/Kelda plot
advanced.  Kinda leisurely in its pacing, but a good read.  Recommended.
     newuniversal 1959 #1 (of 1): Marvel - Jumping around through the 1950s,
we're shown what happened to the last set of superhumans (the Nightmask,
Justice and Spitfire avatars show, but no Starbrand), and it's tied even more
firmly into the Marvel Multiverse with the 1950s Tony Stark playing a pivotal
role.  While the cover suggests a sort of pulp or noir story, it's a bit on
the dry side most of the time...I suppose a sort of emotionally flatter
     H.P. Lovecraft's Haunt of Horror #2 (of 3): Marvel MAX - Corben adapts a
short story (a fairly long one, compared to the one in #1) and two more
sections of the poem "Fungi From Yuggoth" this issue.  "The Music of Erich
Zann" is pretty good, but "The Canal" and "The Lamp" (both from the Yuggoth
poem) feel kinda perfunctory, although at least the Canal takes a visually
interesting route.  Recommended.  $3.99/$4.05Cn
     Justice Society of America Annual #1: DC - The story here (written by
Johns, drawn by Ordway at his most Silver Age DC) follows Power Girl after
she was sent away by Gog, who supposedly sent her home.  But you cannot set
foot in the same river twice, and all that.  It's got some nice nostalgia for
fans of the early 80s Earth-2 stuff, but for all its extra size it's just the
opening of a story.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99 US/Cn
     Teen Titans #61: DC - Kid Devil and Blue Beetle teamup, against old
Booster Gold foe Shockwave (who's gotten a new suit since his appearance in
Teen Titans #56).  A decent done-in-one story by McKeever and Rodriguez.
Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Blue Beetle #29: DC - For some reason Rogers has his name on the cover,
but this is actually the first issue for new regular writer Matthew Sturges
(with Albuquerque staying on as regular artist).  And, to my relief, Sturges
seems to have the hang of the characters right out of the gate, with a tone
very similar to what Rogers brought (my main previous experience with Sturges
was Shadowpact and Salvation Run, which were necessarily a bit darker, so it
may be that Sturges isn't trying to write like Rogers...that this is just how
he writes when not dealing with as much evil).  Oh, and 2.8 kiloTesla will do
about what Sturges shows it doing (heck, 28 Tesla will).  A very promising
start to the new run.  Strongly recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Dynamo5 #15: Image - While there's a short bit with a couple of the
other D5'ers, this issue is mainly Scrap and the new heroine Vigil dealing
with the chaos that has sprung up in the wake of Dynamo5 vanishing from the
scene.  But it's not just puncheminnaface, the issue is really about Scrap
coming to a decision about where she needs to go with her life, even as
everyone else on the team seems to be trying to pretend like everything's
back to where it was before #1.  Oh, and some much appreciated guest stars in
the final scene, too.  :)  Recommended.  $3.50

     Just an "old books alert," I got my hands on all three volumes of Action
Philosophers from Van Lente and Dunlavey from deepdiscount.com, and while I
haven't had time to read 'em yet, just frim skimming they look fun.  I may do
a Rant Special on the books over the weekend, or just fold them into next
week's Capsules.

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 7/30: Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #40, Scud the
Disposable Assassin: the Whole Shebang.


"Heels On Wheels" Award to Project Superpowers #5

"Do Dry Cleaners Do Skrull-Blood Stains?" Award to Ms. Marvel #29

"The Best Liars Need Only The Truth" Award to Thor #10

"The Stark Effect" Award to newuniversal 1959 #1 (of 1)

"That's What You Get For Building On A Floodplain" Award to H.P. Lovecraft's
     Haunt of Horror #2 (of 3)

"The Killing Choke" Award to Justice Society of America Annual #1

"Weaponizing CuteOverload.com" Award to Teen Titans #61

"Not A Great Idea To Take The Name Of A God Without Asking First, Though"
     Award to Blue Beetle #29

"MILF-tastic!" Award to Dynamo5 #15

     Dave Van Domelen, "Is it lame that I'm still excited about having a
secret identity?"  "Yes." - Blue Beetle, Peacemaker, Blue Beetle #29  (runner
up was "You are not Johnny Cash." - Peacemaker.)
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