September 1, 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, Finally got my computer repaired somewhere other than Geek Squad. I will probably be a little terse tonight, because I'm also trying to get all my files restored to my new computer after getting the hard drive replaced (typing this up on the old 2003 iLamp). Yeah yeah, I shoulda gotten a Time Machine external HD rather than just backing up files, I know. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #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. None this week. 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. Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #5: Marvel - Captain America on the cover, and the story actually focuses on him, too. Oh, and Diamond didn't ship this, I found it at Toys R Us on my monthly shopping trip in Topeka. Anyway, Chris Cross really manages to get what Tobin was aiming at in this issue, it probably helps that this is a somewhat Priest-ish script from Tobin and Cross has worked with Priest. :) Seriously, it's like Cap is Quantum and Rhino is Woody. Well, Cap's a bit less uptight, and Rhino a bit less ethical. The part of the goat is played by a baby rhinoceros. Strongly 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. Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #4 (of 6): DC/ABC - Still missing #3. Apparently Things Happened last issue, as this is largely a fallout and regroup sort of deal. The storytelling is ill-suited to monthly issues, though, and it wasn't even clear until about halfway through that they were still in the past as seen in #2 and hadn't moved on to another point in timespace. When you're doing a time travel and alternate realities story, captions establishing setting are REALLY important, and Hogan drops the ball here. There's other ways in which it feels like he just wrote a graphic novel and broke it into issues rather than trying to make sure each issue was readable on its own during the wait between months. Not really enthused about this series, despite the strong opening promise. $3.99 REBELS #20: DC - Pretty predictable for the most part, although the real secret weapon at the end was a cute twist. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Secret Six #25: DC - New arc, Bane's new Secret Six dumped into a weird situation and then the rest of the original team sent in after them, it all feels kinda like a few pages got lost along the way, although the story gap starts mid-page so it's not a printing error. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Young Allies #4: Marvel - Well, the mystery behind the Bastards of Evil is more or less resolved, although another mystery erected behind that. Mostly a fighting issue, decent on that level but nothing special. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Taskmaster #1 (of 4): Marvel - The title character is being hunted down by just about every known criminial "super agent" organization (there's a guide to them in the back) while struggling with his memories. Turns out his powers are overwriting his personal memories with the reflex memories his powers give him, so he's kinda in a pickle. An amusing read, but with scratchy and ugly art. Recommended. $3.99 Iron Man Legacy #6: Marvel - The second arc, "Industrial Revolution" (set between Stane taking over Stark International and Stark forming Circuits Maximus) starts here. One of the problems with retconning in big powerful organizations like the Illuminati (and like the villains of this issue) is that you now have to explain why they didn't affect earlier stories. The Illuminati are dealt with elegantly in the opening scene, and the rest of this arc seems to be set to explain why a Los Angeles villain group never hassled Tony during the CM years...because they hassled him the moment he hit town and he dealt with it (well, will deal with it over the next few issues) in some way already. Good start to what looks to be an interesting backstory fill. Recommended. $2.99 Hawkeye & Mockingbird #4: Marvel - Very Saturday Matinee Serial. The cliffhanger, the wind-back of the clock to establish how the heroes escaped, then the set up for the big fight. But with more romance than your average Matinee adventure serial, of course. And Hawkeye gets to use a (hopefully replica) Triceratops skull as a brawling weapon. Recommended. $2.99 Gorilla Man #3 (of 3): Marvel - Still missing #2. But Parker manages to give sufficiently dense narrative that I figured out the broad strokes of what happened (in the present and in the flashback) in #2 and my enjoyment of this issue wasn't diminished. The backup is a Lee/Kirby "Gorilla-Man" horror story from the late Timely years. Recommended. $3.99 PS238 #46: Do Gooder Press - Okay, it's 9PM and I'm still not done, thanks to spending time scraping out the insides of my backup drive and going online to download new copies of software I previously purchased, so I'll keep it short. A number of plot threads are dovetailing here, with the core being Zodon's origin story...which I think has only been revealed in the RPG so far. In fact, it looks like a lot of the RPG's revelations are about to come out in this arc or soon after. 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 9/1/10: Invincible #72, Brody's Ghost vol 1 (which my store was charged for, but not shipped), Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #3, Transformers Ironhide #4, Gorilla Man #2, Welcome to Tranquility One Foot In The Grave #2, Atlas #1 (store only got one copy) and Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update #3 (which I probably won't bother reviewing if it ever comes in), Guarding the Globe #1. Add Astro City Silver Agent #2, Dynamo5 Sins of the Father #3 (although that was only on Midtown's list, not Diamond's) and Science Dog #1 (ditto). Awards: "There's No Place Like Springfield" Award to Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #5 "Yeah, I'm Over That...Time Travel, Extended Lifespan, You Know" Award to Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #4 (of 6) "Launch The Emo Bomb!" Award to REBELS #20 "King Shark Watches Way Too Much Syfy" Award to Secret Six #25 "If You Want To Be Surprised By The Ending, Don't Look Too Closely At The Cover" Award to Young Allies #4 "Eh, The Next Big Event Would Retcon 'Em Away Anyway" Award to Taskmaster #1 (of 4) "And He's Got A Wicked Slice, Too" Award to Iron Man Legacy #6 "Fight Family With Family?" Award to Hawkeye & Mockingbird #4 "Probably A Monkey's Paw Anyway" Award to Gorilla-Man #3 (of 3) "We Took The Power From Other Universes That Didn't Want To Live As Much As We Did" Award to PS238 #46 Dave Van Domelen, "You're a grown man committing crimes while dressed like a RHINOCEROS. If you think it looks impressive, or intimidating, you're way off." - Captain America, MA Super Heroes #5
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