October 8, 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.
"Green behind the ears"?  What the...?  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 
             homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants 

First Look Comments:

     Squadron Supreme #4: Marvel - The move from DC-homage to Marvel-homage
continues, with Emil Burbank putting on a Doom-ish mask.  :)  Still, the
extended Origin Story stuff does tend to make the other plotlines take a back
seat or even wait for the next bus.  $2.99/$3.50Cn (Oops...I guess Marvel has
decided Canada's free ride is over, all the books for next week have pumped
up the Canadian prices.)

     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): Secret Six #2 

     Cthulhu Tales #6: Boom! Studios - I got cover A, with the "sexy" nurse
(who doesn't appear inside).  Messner-Loebs gives us a funny piece in which
Cthulhu gets involvined in a reality TV show.  Fultz's story is a clever
twist on the old witch-hunter tale, and Cadigan's story has Cthulhu upgrade
his software.  All three stories are good.  Recommended.  $3.99
     Fallen Angel #30: IDW - A fair amount of philosophical banter, some
explosions, and a bit of general plot advancement.  Some decent bits, but
nothing to really impress me.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Galaxy Quest #3: IDW - I got the photo cover B, but forgot to check for
alternate covers.  The three chapters per issue structure goes a bit
disjointed this issue, but the middle one is probably the emotional core of
the issue.  The third one has a space dominatrix, though.  :)  Recommended.
     Transformers Spotlight #19 (Sideswipe): IDW - I got cover B, liked the
look better.  End of the Revelations Arc, so it comes with pretty high
expectations that something will be, you know, revealed.  Of course, it also
comes with the expectation that Sideswipe won't get a whole lot of
spotlighting, and at least that one is met.  As for the Big Reveals, it was a
confused mess.  And the whole Gorram Prime renaming thing came out of left
field, Furman tossing in an overly clever bit and not explaining it enough
for it to actually BE clever.  EJ Su's painted art is okay, but I prefer his
traditional stuff.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Transformers Animated the Arrival #3: IDW - My store only got cover B,
oddly.  The first story is essentially Nanosec done with a new character.
Megatron arranges for human to get powered gear, she field-tests it as part
of Megatron's rebuilding program, she gets hoist on her own petard.  But with
a lot less personality.  The second story is the cover piece, featuring Oil
Slick in a flashback to Ratchet's days in the Great War (and set before the
Arcee story, so Ratchet still has a bit more of his innocence).
Recommended.  $3.99
     Marvel Zombies 3 #1 (of 4): Marvel - First off, I didn't like the
original Marvel Zombies series, and I think the concept was good for about
one use, having used that up over in Ultimate FF.  That said, between Van
Lente on writing and Aaron Stack on the cover, I decided to give this one a
try, Funny right off the bat...Siege has apparently gotten himself
trademarked, and the TM even shows up in his cybereye display.  :) A lot of
obscure characters show up, and some of them get horribly killed, but you
kinda have to expect that in a zombie book.  Recommended.  $3.99/$4.05Cn
     Invincible Iron Man #6: Marvel - Mixed-style retro cover.  The
cliffhanger resolution is pretty much As Expected, albeit with a slight
twist.  Pyrrhic victory time, in spades, which bodes ill for the rest of
Fraction's time on the book, however long that is.  Having victory turn into
ashes in your mouth every so often is fine, but making a habit of it kinda
goes against the point of escapist literature, yes?  Mildly recommended.
     Marvel Adventures Hulk #16: Marvel - The Abomination gets his origin
this issue.  It's a so-so issue, nothing really stands out one way or the
other.  Competent, but...eh.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #44: Marvel - A little kaiju action, of
sorts, for the week of Monsterpocalypse's release, heh.  :)  Good script y
Sumerack, decent art from Meyers (although I think he mixed a bit too much
Red Skull into one of the character designs).  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn 
     Avengers/Invaders #5 (of 12): Marvel/Dynamite - A good mix of humor
(mostly involving Spider-Man) and eerie pathos (mostly involving the Human
Torch, but some with Iron Man).  Perhaps a few too many irons in the fire,
but they DO have 7 more issues in which to sort things out.  :)
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn   
     The Twelve #8 (of 12): Marvel - It seems to be the week for Marvel retro
stuff.  :)  It's nice to see one of the Twelve finally gets away without
wholesale retconning of their origin, although another has theirs retconned
this issue as well, so I guess it's a wash overall.  I'd still like to see
Amadeus Cho show up in this title, but I guess we're getting too close to the
actual plot resolution to muddy the waters now with guest shots.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.50Cn
     Gen13 v4 #23: DC/Wildstorm - Cute Big Daddy Roth homage cover.  A break
in the action, the quintet goes looking for food and shelter, meanwhile
talking about how they'd pictured living life after the end of the world.  A
good look inside their heads for any new readers, but a little repetitive for
those who've been around a while.  Interestingly, Roxy just seems to assume
Tranquility would weather the apocalypse just fine.  The backup story chunk
is forgettable and stars yet another Wildstorm character I don't know.
Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Green Arrow and Black Canary #13: DC - Fallout from the big 12 issue
arc, alternating between Mia and Dodger's relationship and Connor's
recovery.  Pretty good "downtime" issue.  Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Secret Six #2: DC - Again, it's all about the dialogue and character
interactions, with the plot being something of an afterthought.  But Simone
does the dialogue and interactions so well.  :)  Strongly recommended.  $2.99
     Invincible #53: Image - While there's plenty of punching and
supervillain plotting, the real conflict continues to be Invincible versus
the disturbingly inhuman morality of his little brother.  And make no
mistake, Oliver has a strong ethical core...it's just not one that Mark is
particularly comfortable with.  Recommended.  $2.99
     Gold Digger v3 #99: Antarctic Press - There were two ways this could
have gone, given that #100 is the Big Blow Up.  One, the Dynasty gets dealt
with in some way that renders them allies for taking on Dreadwing and/or
Negative Infinity in #100.  Two, the Dynasty IS the big blow-up for #100, and
Dreadwing gets to wait for #150 or something.  :)  I suppose a third option
would have Dreadwing just sort of drop into the big Dynasty fight and get
slapped down, but that seems unlikely.  Anyway, Perry manages to pace things
so either of the first two options is plausible until practically the end of
the issue, which is a Good Thing, writing-wise.  Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn

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 10/8: Atomic Robo v2 #2 (Diamond now lists it as
"Backordered, not stocked"), Transformers Saga of the AllSpark #4.


"Um, That's Not An Immunity Idol" Award to Cthulhu Tales #6

"Thank You, Oolon Colluphid" Award to Fallen Angel #30

"What If It's A Two-Part Episode, Though?" Award to Galaxy Quest #3

"Not So Much Epic Tale As Epic Fail" Award to Transformers Spotlight #19

"At Least There Was No Space Scarab" Award to Transformers Animated the
     Arrival #3

"When The ****head Hits The Fan" Award to Marvel Zombies 3 #1 (of 4)

"A Few More Victories Like This, And I Will Be Undone" Award to The 
     Invincible Iron Man #6

"Does No One Learn The Lesson Of Ronnie Raymond?" Award to Marvel Adventures
     Hulk #16

"How Nature Points Up The Folly Of Man" Award to Marvel Adventures Spider-
     Man #44

"I Am Sparkacus" Award to Avengers/Invaders #5 (of 12)

"The Devil Went Down To Hollywood" Award to The Twelve #8 (of 12)

"Things To Do In Denver When It's Dead" Award to Gen13 v4 #23

"It's 'Vegans Eating Meat' Month At DC!" Award to Green Arrow and Black
     Canary #13

"Yes, Listen To BANE About Father Issues" Award to Secret Six #2

"My Honor Is PREDACON Honor!" Award to Invincible #53

"The Light In Darkness's Heart Is An Oncoming Warship" Award to Gold 
     Digger v3 #99

     Dave Van Domelen, "As it turned out, an official elimination ceremony
wasn't necessary that week." - "Cthulhu House" host, Cthulhu Tales #6
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