September 23, 2009

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, Hopefully ISP's "improvements" are done soon so I can stay online. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): None "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. Late Books: These are comics that were not listed as shipping during the week they were reviewed. Sometimes someone recommends a book to me that's already out, and I grab it over the weekend. Sometimes it's a trade paperback I ordered online rather than trusting Diamond. Sometimes the store screwed up or I was inobservant and I missed something I meant to get. USUALLY, though, it's because Diamond didn't ship what it was supposed to ship and I had to scrounge around or wait on a reorder. Nothing this week. 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. Reminder, I dropped JLA. Wolverine First Class #19: Marvel - A fairly slow-moving start to a multi-part story. Some of the slowness is deliberate pacing in the beginning, a sort of "slowly dawning realization" thing, but other bits just feel like padding out a story that didn't really fit into an integer number of issues. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Ms. Marvel #45: Marvel - Dark Reign banner. Still not really liking the over-white-splashed art from Briones. The reason behind the split Carol is spelled out for anyone who may not have figured it out already, though, just in time for the prime movers to make things even more confusing. Recommended despite the art. $2.99 Avengers the Initiative #28: Marvel - Lots of characters making tough ethical choices here, and plenty of crowd scene cameos (including using some IDs last seen in Avengers/Invaders) plus a badly designed new costume for Boomerang (seriously, guys, the Union Jack part of the Aussie flag is only a quartering, he shouldn't have the pattern over his entire suit). Recommended. $2.99 The Amazing Spider-Man #606: Marvel - Ugh, another J. Scott Campbell cover. Fortunately, he doesn't do the interior art, McKone does. The "Peter's Girl Troubles" theme continues this issue, with a few bits of other plotlines (including the long-simmering Kravenette one, and something that looks like it may be referencing events in a different title entirely) impinging on the main story. Lots of good dialogue from Joe Kelly, despite some issues of excessive exposition. Recommended. $2.99 The Incredible Hercules #135: Marvel - Cho time, and the cover depicts him saving a blonde from a deathtrap in Golden Age fashion. The story operates on at least three layers of pseudo-reality as Cho and Pythagoras play dice with the universe and more of the strings are revealed all around. The geekery does get pretty overpowering at times, but it's well done. The last page touches on the Hebe subplot and even ties in a little to Spider- Man, something we might see come up over in ASM once Van Lente comes up again on the Wheel Of Spider-Writers. Recommended. $2.99 Ninja High School #173: Antarctic Press - Plenty of payoff for the setup contained in the issues I still haven't read, sigh. Oh, perfectly comprehensible, but it's a bit disappointing to have not had the chance to speculate. :) Okay, there's one bit that's confusing, but that's because Meppy's being over-dramatic, not because of anything I missed in #169-171. Recommended. $3.99 Gold Digger Halloween Special #5: Antarctic Press - Not sure what's up with the cover, two of Gina's new students running from a boulder-roll trap. It's not really Halloween-y, nor do the students appear inside. Leftover cover art that wasn't used in the main series? Accidental switch that means the next regular issue of Gold Digger will have a pumpkin on it? (I will likely have an answer to this by the time I web-archive this.) The main story involves Brit dressed as The Baroness (GIJoe), which is all you really need to know, yes? ;) There's a gallery of previous Halloween Special covers, the usual splash page fan and pro art, and several very short stories, mostly one-pagers. 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 9/23/09: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #22, Transformers Maximum Dinobots #3, Ninja High School #169-171, Justice Machine vol 1 TPB, Gold Digger Tech Manual #3, Gold Digger v3 #105, Marvel Adventures Super-Heroes #14, Farscape: D'Argo's Trial #1-2, Middleman GN, Atomic Robo Shadow From Beyond Time #4. Add Invincible #66 and Farscape Gone & Back #3 (my store was hideously shorted in general, I was lucky those were the only books I was missing!). My Justice Machine TPB arrived yesterday. I haven't taken the time to read it yet, but it looks like it was intended for color and looks pretty horrible in grayscales. Awards: "At Least There's No Secret Invasion Banner" Award to Wolverine First Class #19 "Okay, Osborn Has One Up On Stark" Award to Ms. Marvel #45 "No Rules, Just Wrong" Award to Avengers the Initiative #28 "Timing Is Everything" Award to The Amazing Spider-Man #606 "Tsk, A Linear Dice Resolution System? How Passe" Award to The Incredible Hercules #135 "Some Priorities Are Not Merely Misplaced, They're Sealed In A Trunk And Mailed To Abu Dhabi" Award to Ninja High School #173 "Castle's Got Nothing On Papa Diggers" Award to Gold Digger Halloween Special #5 Dave Van Domelen, "Black Cat. Take it the ol' 'bad luck' powers are back?" "From where I'm sitting they're the 'hilarity ensues' powers, but yeah, they're back." - Spider-Man, Black Cat, ASM #606
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