September 24, 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.
My new $50 chair has cost me $100 so far.  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 

First Look Comments:

     March on Ultimatum Saga one-shot: Marvel - Okay, I don't read any
Ultimate titles anymore, and don't care about the Ultimatum event, but this
freebie is a good summary of the history of the Ultimate Universe.  So it's
worth picking up.  :)  Recommended.  Free.

     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): Blue Beetle

     My Name Is Bruce one-shot: Dark Horse Comics - Sort of an adaptation of
the upcoming movie of the same name, starring Bruce Campbell as Bruce
Campbell...who is hired by people who think he's the Three Amigos.  Er, I
mean, well, it's the "hire an actor because they think his characters are
real" plot.  And by hire, I mean kidnap.  And by adaptation, I mean selected
scenes with some Chinese Greek Chorus characters spackling over the gaps in
the story.  It works pretty well, actually.  It sidesteps my rule of thumb
about the ratio of pages to minutes in adaptations (a rule that the Igor
adaptation totally broke, to its detriment...that was a good movie and a bad
comic adaptation) by only adapting three scenes in full and glossing over the
rest.  Recommended.  $3.50
     Cthulhu Tales #5: BOOM! Studios - The first story, "The Doorman," is
almost super-hero-y in its take on the Mythos.  Well, street-level
superhero.  The sort of thing that might make a good small-group modern Call
of Cthulhu RPG campaign.  "The Current Chaos" is sort of Nyarlathotep meets
Nikola Tesla with a side order of Mongo/Mi-Go.  Amusing vignette, if a little
better suited to the late 1920s than the 1903 of its setting.  :)
Recommended.  $3.99
     New Warriors #16: Marvel - Post-SI storyline.  Thrash's Big Plan is
finally revealed and put into motion, promptly going all pants, of
course. Reilly Brown has a more conventional art style, making it a little
easier to tell characters apart, although it helps that most of them stay in
costume all issue.  Provisionally recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Ms. Marvel #31: Marvel - Post-SI storyline.  Or pre-SI, in a way, since
it's mainly going over Carol Danvers's life and family and various bits of
flattened-affect semi-angst before setting up a Big Plot Point.  Decent quiet
issue, though.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     She-Hulk v2 #33: Marvel - During-SI storyline, as Jaz's Secret Origin is
revealed and we find that maybe the son that died off-panel during
Annihilation got the better end of K'lrt's parenting skills.  While the
overall impact on the Secret Invasion storyline is minimal, at least there's
a fair amount of resolution to the personal stories involved.  Cucca's art is
generally good, although it has its overly generic moments.  Recommended.
     Avengers the Initiative #17: Marvel - Aggressively-SI storyline.  As in
She-Hulk, Gage and Slott get to take care of their own corner of the plot,
but attempts by the heroes to have an impact on the main storyline are pretty
minimal, if not nil.  It's more a premise than an actual crossover event.
Tolibao's art is a bit uneven (there's times when it feels like he's
swipefiling from an array of wildly divergent artists), but the scripting is
good.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Legion of Super-Heroes #46: DC - Not involved in any company-wide
events, yay!  Interlac on the cover: "Menu" and "Pittsburgh Post Gazette" if
I recall my Interlac correctly.  Shooter's juggling several plotlines pretty
well here, all against the backdrop of the whole mysterious invaders
storyline (which is simmering along for the moment).  A little heavy on the
fanservice, but at least Manapul draws it well.  ;)  Recommended.  $2.99
     Ambush Bug Year None #3 (of 6): DC - Involved in company-wide events up
to its antennae.  Well, by "involved in" I mean "mocking extensively."  Just
follow the bouncing Pantha head.  There's sort of a plot in there, but it's
strictly secondary.  Better than last issue, although not as good as #1.
Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Blue Beetle #31: DC - A good, solid issue from Sturges.  Not brilliant,
but definitely showing no signs of being infected by the Titans Suckrovirus.
Plenty of fun in the main "magnetic mooks" plot, plus the threatened
Political Relevance subplot gets moved ahead without being obtrusive.  And it
has the usual level of quotable quotes.  Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     PS238 #34: Do Gooder Press - The Cherub/Imp plot kicks into high gear,
and there's finally a good reason for someone non-bishy to have one angel
wing and one demon wing.  ;)  Oh, and ironically Williams apologizes in the
lettercol for a typo in a previous issue when there's a typo on page 9 of
this issue.  Heh.  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 9/24: Atomic Robo v2 #2 (Diamond now lists it as
"Backordered, not stocked").


"Doing A Little More Than WHISTLING Past The Graveyard" Award to My Name 
     Is Bruce

"Between Here And GLI, 'Doorman' Is An Ill-Omened Codename" Award to 
     Cthulhu Tales #5

"Plans Come Together, The Center Cannot Hold" Award to New Warriors #16

"Distant Watercolored Memories" Award to Ms. Marvel #31

"Okay, So That Wasn't A Weird Artistic Tweak" Award to She-Hulk v2 #33

"So They're Fake, Who Cares?" Award to Avengers the Initiative #17

"Ultra MackDaddy Vibes" Award to Legion of Super-Heroes #46

"What About Merryman?" Award to Ambush Bug Year None #3 (of 6)

"ICE-y Reception" Award to Blue Beetle #31

"You're Gonna Be Analyzing That For A While, Dude" Award to PS238 #34

     Dave Van Domelen, "Oh well, you know what they say -- you can't fight
City Hall."  "If I turned into a giant ROBOT, I could." - Paco and Jaime,
Blue Beetle #31
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