August 20, 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.
Gotta go back to work tonight, yay.  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 

First Look Comments:

     Marvel - Your Universe Saga: Marvel - The first half is a summary of
what's been going on in Marvel for the past few years, mostly focusing on Big
Events, but with a few pages spared to individual titles as well.  The second
half is a sampler of pages from the 2009 OHOTMU...which will be released as a
series of 12 hardcover 200 page volumes.  Ow.  Forget cost, where will I even
*put* these?  A freebie, so grab one if they're available.

     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): Where The Deep
Ones Are

     Justice League of America #24: DC - The cover is all about the Vixen
plotline, but it barely gets a couple of pages in the epilogue, the issue is
actually all a big fight with Amazo.  Reasonably good as such things go, but
brawl issues live or die on the art and I really don't care for Benes.
Neutral.  $2.99 US/Cn
     The Brave and the Bold #16: DC - Superman and Catwoman, by Waid and
Kolins.  Cute done-in-one story that doesn't really depend on knowing what's
going on in the main Superman or Batman books (a good thing, since I don't
really know anymore).  Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     StormWatch PHD #13: DC/Wildstorm - World's End tie-in.  The cover
crosses out Human and replaces it with Earth, which I suppose is appropriate,
as this isn't the Post-Human Division team.  It's really just "regular"
StormWatch's remnants, the only PHD'er present is Fahrenheit.  Edgington
delivers a fairly good story, though, even if it has nothing to do with
Gage's series.  The art by Fernandez is okay, but I don't know why he felt a
need to sign the last's not all that good.  Mildly recommended.
$2.99 US/Cn
     Transformers All Hail Megatron #2: IDW - I got cover A, since that was
what was put in my pull and no copies made it to the shelf.  I like cover B
more, though.  Colonel Dan Witwicky (relation to Spike not revealed, although
maybe in the current continuity Spike's given name is Dan?) shows up to head
the rather futile resistance, and most of the issue is still about
Decepticons showing how badly they outclass humans.  And apparently the blue
Frenzy has Spiral Energy, to boot.  For a stompy-dominated issue, it's pretty
good, though.  And Witwicky provides just the right level of dark humor.
Recommended.  $3.99
     Transformers Spotlight #18 (Doubledealer): IDW - I got cover B, I prefer
the playing card motif used for it.  About half the issue jumps around the
various Revelations arc plot elements like a kindergartner hopped up on pixy
sticks, but the rest is a bookend for #3 (Hot Rod), resolving his unfinished
business with Dealer/Doubledealer.  Dan Khanna's art isn't up to his usual
standards, a lot of it feels rushed.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Amazing Spider-Man #568: Marvel - New arc banner, "New Ways To Die!" is
the name, and Green Goblin on the cover is the game.  Quite a lot happens
this issue, actually, even allowing for the fact it's oversized, and we get
to see that Mephisto's deal wasn't a complete "get out of baggage free"
card.  The backup is a good piece focusing on Eddie Brock, and looking a
little more into the mystery of Mister Negative.  Recommended.  $3.99/$4.05Cn 
     X-Factor: Layla Miller #1 (of 1): Marvel - Layla's time-exile is dealt
with here, and while not everything is wrapped up in a bow yet, there's
plenty of actual resolution (of an emotional kind, if not an events kind) and
strong hints about how things will go from here.  Recommended.  $3.99/$4.05Cn 
     X-Factor #34: Marvel - Wrapping up the She-Hulk crossover.  Big
religious/philosophical battle on top of the puncheminnaface, revealing the
"benevolent" nature of the Skrull invasion.  Certainly a more interesting
take on the event than simply "Earth pissed them off enough times that they
decided to do something about it," eh?  Stroman's getting a little more into
the swing of things as well.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     The Incredible Hercules #120: Marvel - Speaking of religious/
philosophical battles....  Nice bit of myth-building on the part of Pak and
Van Lente, and while it has the now-typical "nothing ever really ends" ending
endemic to comics, there's enough resolution to satisfy.  And a few elements
that make me wonder if this book is going to be swinging a bigger influence
on the Secret Invasion event than I'd previously suspected.  Recommended.
     PS238 #33: Do Gooder Press - Both the "should humans keep powers" plot
and the Cecil Holmes plot reach Significant Turning Points this issue, and
Williams does a good job of intermeshing the two.  Plus, the Evil Overlord
List is included as a bonus (and seems to exist in-setting).  Recommended.
     Where The Deep Ones Are: Atlas Games/Mini Mythos Books - Ken Hite writes
and Andy Hopp draws this adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "Shadow Over
Innsmouth" in the style of Maurice Sendak's "Where The Wild Things Are".  A
good mix of the Lovecraft and Sendak story elements, and you don't really
need to have read either to enjoy this.  A bit pricy, though.  Recommended.
$19.95 (hardcover)

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 8/20: Legion of Three Worlds #1 (it was on the
store's invoice, but not shipped to them, d'oh).


"Even The Cover's Bored With The Amazo Plot" Award to Justice League of
     America #24

"I Don't Think Diamonds Work That Way" Award to the Brave and the Bold #16

"Someone Set Up Us The Bomb" Award to StormWatch PHD #13

"He's Even Hallucinating That He's Not Red" Award to Transformers All Hail
     Megatron #2

"Too Bad He Didn't Have His Eagle Mode" Award to Transformers Spotlight #18

"Shouldn't Songbird Look A Little Less Pleased?" Award to Amazing Spider-Man

"Vienna Spring, New York Summers" Award to X-Factor Layla Miller #1

"Absolutely No Political Subtext Here, Please Move Along" Award to X-Factor 

"See The Viral Meme / Infect An Entire People / Dreams In The Shadows"
     Award to The Incredible Hercules #120

"BAM!" Award to PS238 #33

"Deep Penguins?" Award to Where The Deep Ones Are

     Dave Van Domelen, "Step five: Leave.  Now.  Very fast." - The Plan,
PS238 #33
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