August 4, 2010

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, Why are people still running Primary ads when the election was yesterday? Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Iron Man Legacy #5. "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. I found the Hulkbuster Iron Man figure, but I don't feel like reviewing it. :) 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. Welcome To Tranquility: One Foot In The Grave #1: DC/Wildstorm - While there's no footnotes or preface to say so, the opening pages make it pretty clear that this miniseries takes place not too long after the first Tranquility series, and before they decided to blow the new Wildstorm Universe all to hell. Beyond that, though, Simone's storytelling feels disjointed and drifting, and the art from Domingues is uneven. Even if this had come out a month after #6 of the first series, I think it'd feel a little gappy. On the plus side, it's not burdened by the need to explain a few years of post- apocalyptic comics to any readers who are jumping from one Tranquility series to the next. On the minus side, I was kinda hoping to see how the town dealt with the blowup without having to read any other Wildstorm books. All in all, this is a somewhat disappointing issue. Mildly recommended. $3.99 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. Secret Six #24: DC - A done-in-one, this sort of retells the "Junior" arc as a western, but with the current cast...Scandal as the sheriff, Bane her deputy, Deadshot as the out of town gunslinger, Jeanette as the madam, Junior as the rich lady who wants to buy out the town's mine, etc. If it had the original sextet, I'd be inclined to label it an Elseworlds and leave it at that, but the fact it uses the current cast suggests it might be a vision or sending or something. In any case, I'd guess it'll tie into the present- day plotline next issue. Interesting and well-told, although it depends for impact on knowledge of the previous plotline. Recommended. $2.99 REBELS #19: DC - This one is almost entirely focused on the three way struggle among the Brainiacs. All three are justifyably arrogant, although 2 and 3 are not so arrogant it blinds them to their limitations. Lyrl specifically comments on this point, although it's clear he hasn't quite anticipated how badly his inexperience hobbles him. And Vril, knowing he's the idiot in the room, spends most of his time trying to change the ground rules and break out of the plans of his enemies. You know, his usual deal. Poor Pulsar Stargrave just sort of plays the role of attack puppy in this, it's almost cute how he tries to keep up with the Doxes. The main theme is how each answers the question, "Are you wise enough to know that you're not smart enough to rely solely on your brains?" Recommended. $2.99 Young Allies #3: Marvel - The events are different, but the themes are all the's practically a retread of #2 in that respect. Gravity angsts more. Arana worries more about Toro's killer nature, while Nomad continues to be blinded by the fact she knew a version of him. The Bastards continue to hang lampshades on the whole "are they really the children of these villains?" question. (I mean, really...when "Graviton's Son" was 5, Graviton himself wouldn't have had powers unless you assume realtime rather than Marvel Time.) Granted, some of the themes needed repetition to strengthen them (like Graviton's angst), but for the most part this felt superfluous. Like McKeever's stringing the readers along. Mildly recommended. $2.99 The Amazing Spider-Man #639: Marvel - OMIT continues, this time with all new material. It's not really "one moment" though, as it turns out the subtle changes on wedding day weren't enough to completely destroy the love between Peter and M.J. (that love being Mephisto's price). This issue shows that the events shown in #638 started the derailing, but it needed another push later on to fully kill their relationship, and that push is set up (but not explicitly shown) here. Switching between creative teams does make it a little more scattered than I'd like, and I think Rivera might have gotten some incomplete or incorrect art directions, but I do think they're doing a decent job of papering over the huge continuity hole that the original One More Day implied. Recommended. $3.99 Iron Man Legacy #5: Marvel - And the Robots of (Doctor) Doom arc wraps up! And a very good ending it is. On the surface, this has been yet another story about the technological genie Stark has let out of the bottle, how every piece of technology he has ever created can and will come back in The Wrong Hands to torment him. Once an idea is out there, you can't get rid of it, even if the actual plans aren't stolen, the fact that someone knows a thing can be made means it will be made again. That's a legacy. But there's more ideas involved in Iron Man than transistor designs and repulsor theory, and the climax of this issue brings that point into focus. Any weapon can be corrupted. But not all ideas can be turned. And that's the real legacy. Strongly recommended. $2.99 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 8/4/10: Invincible #72, Prince of Power #2-3, Brody's Ghost vol 1 (which my store was charged for, but not shipped), Phoenix Force Handbook. Add Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #3, Transformers Ironhide #4, Gorilla Man #2, Hawkeye and Mockingbird #3. Combination of Diamond screwups and old-management screwups. Awards: "CURSE YOU, MAXI MAN!" Award to Welcome To Tranquility: One Foot In The Grave #1 "You Can Trust Your Bar To The Man With The Star" Award to Secret Six #24 "Level-10 Intellect, Level-15 Bastard" Award to REBELS #19 "Retro-Lamarckian Evolution" Award to Young Allies #3 "That Coulda Forced A Closed Casket Funeral, Actually" Award to The Amazing Spider-Man #639 "The Really Long Game" Award to Iron Man Legacy #5 Dave Van Domelen, "But we'll let the good people of Transia think their new national SUPER HERO defeated them SINGLE-HANDEDLY." "With the POWER of AWESOME!" "Um. Yeah. Never say that in my presence again. Seriously." - Iron Man and (identity would be a spoiler), Iron Man Legacy #5.
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