September 4, 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.
And the PeopleSoft hurting continues.  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 

First Look Comments:

     Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #43: Marvel - Orka is the featured villain,
but Sumerak sets up a plausible excuse for Spider-Man to fight the Atlantean
villain.  Of course, there's plenty of aquatic puns.  Recommended.
     Amazing Spider-Man #571: Marvel - Part four of New Ways To Die.  Mostly
a series of running fights, but with some good revelatory dialogues and
internal monologues in there, plus post-fight wrapup stuff.  Good writing
from Slott, good art from JRjr.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn

     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.

     Secret Six #1: DC - Gail Simone is back with what appears to be an
unlimited SS series.  It starts relatively slowly, introducing a new threat
and then bringing the cast on-screen a bit at a time.  The dialogue continues
to be the book's strength, although there's not really enough plot yet to say
if that'll work.  Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn 
     Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow: Marvel/Lion's Gate - Take a bit of
M2's Avengers Next, toss in some Earth-X, and start with the premise that
Ultron killed the Avengers and conquered half the planet during the time that
the scions of the Avengers were growing up in hiding.  While starring
tweenaged/teenaged (they're supposedly 15, but several of them act more like
12) heroes, the story is pretty dark, containing numerous very creepy
elements (i.e. Stark places the secret entrance to something as part of his
own grave marker).  Some of the plot elements are telegraphed, other elements
are Awfully Convenient (Ultron knows where all his tech is, except when he
doesn't, for instance), but it generally works.  I found the ending a touch
too deus ex machina, though...I think the kids should have been a bit more
active in the final victory.  I picked up the Target exclusive version with a
CDROM of Spidey and the Mini-Marvels #1 (annoying Flash app, not sensible
PDFs).  Oh, and some of the background music is disturbingly like Stargate
Atlantis BGM.  Recommended.  $14.99 at Target.
     Invincible Iron Man #5: Marvel - Tony hunts for Stane, fights Stane, big
shocker ending that's fairly telegraphed in terms of how the cliffhanger will
resolve.  Not much in the way of new ideas, a sort of Inevitable Fight Scene
issue with the really clever stuff (or what Fraction hopes will be really
clever) held off for #6.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Iron Man Golden Avenger #1 (of 1): Marvel - This is basically a Marvel
Adventures Iron Man story left over from the cancellation of that book,
repackaged as a one-shot and without the Marvel Adventures banner.  Odd.  It
ties off some threads that had been running around in MAIM, and tells a
reasonably entertaining story along the way.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn 
     Amazing Spider-Man #570: Marvel - The variant Marvel Apes cover has a
gorilla Venom fighting a regular Spider-Man.  A three-way battle between
Spider-Man, Venom and Anti-Venom dominates the issue, although the Menace
plot looms in the background.  Good dialogue from Slott and art from JRjr.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     The Twelve #1/2: Marvel - Reprints of two Fiery Mask stories, a Mister E
story, and two Rockman stories (he also got a piece in The Twelve #0).  The
cover is a Chris Weston piece based on the cover of Daring Mystery Comics #1
(featuring the first Fiery Mask story).  The Fiery Mask stories are pretty
unexceptional, and the futuristic cover image has nothing to do with the
stories or the setting.  The Mr. E story is likewise nothing special.  The
first Rockman story is written and drawn by Basil Wolverton, and has the
advantage of being rather weird.  The second Rockman story was written by
Stan Lee and is...amusingly bad, let's say.  Mildly recommended.
     Ms. Marvel Annual #1: Marvel - A self-contained tale of a Singularity
gone a bit awry.  Thing is, while Ms. Marvel's name is on the cover, and
regular MM writer Brian Reed is at the helm, this is really a Spider-Man
story guest-starring Ms. Marvel.  He's the viewpoint character and narrator.
Mind you, it's a good Spidey story, although the Mark Robinson art is a bit
weak.  Recommended.  $3.99/$4.05Cn
     Transformers Saga of the AllSpark #3: IDW - Heh, more Target recolor
characters show up here, but in toy design rather than redone to the movie
aesthetic.  Hence, you can actually tell who they're supposed to be.  :)  Two
more short pieces as everyone tries to get back together after being
scattered through space in the wake of the battle of Tyger Pax.  Ironhide,
who looks rather gorilla-like under Guidi's pencils, leads off, splitting his
story between a present-time threat and a flashback.  Jazz follows suit with
the same story structure, but different threats and Matere art.  Generally
decent, but not much to 'em.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Galaxy Quest #2: IDW - Time to step back and fill in some more of the
blanks between the end of the movie and the start of #1.  A bit more
exposition than we really need, though...most of it could have been covered
in a couple of pages or was already implied sufficiently last issue.  In
short, a bit padded out.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Igor Movie Adaptation #3: IDW - On the other end of the spectrum,
Barbara Kesel has to service a bit too much plot here, and things tend to
whipsaw around as all the plot twists and complications get smooshed together
without really leaving enough time to sink in.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99


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 9/4: Nothing that I haven't utterly given up on.


"Crate Expectations" Award to Secret Six #1

"Jungle Fury Black Panther Spirit Unleashed!" Award to Next Avengers

"Probably A Bit Kinkier Than Intended" Award to Iron Man: Golden Avenger #1
     (of 1)

"The Old Shell(head) Game" Award to The Invincible Iron Man #5

"White Night" Award to Amazing Spider-Man #570

"The Dreaded Pixie Empire?  Oooookay" Award to The Twelve #1/2

"At Least Rule 34 Didn't Get Invoked" Award to Ms. Marvel Annual #1

"Count The Faces" Award to Transformers Saga of the AllSpark #3

"Worst...NDA...Ever" Award to Galaxy Quest #2

"Runaround Sue" Award to Igor Movie Adaptation #3

     Dave Van Domelen, "That's the most cumbersome thing I've heard since
whatever S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for this week." - Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel Annual
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