October 13, 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, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants Diamond failed to ship more than half my books to my store this week. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #7 "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. I will note that "No Ordinary Family" is heading too much into "anxiety humor" sitcom territory for my tastes, though. 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. Tron: Betrayal #1 (of 2): Marvel - The official prequel to the upcoming movie. BTW, I've seen the new action figures, I'm not impressed. This prequel is written by Jai Nitz and drawn by Andie Tong, neither of whom I've heard of before. It's set a couple of years after the end of the original movie, in the weeks leading up to the birth of Flynn's son (the protagonist of Tron: Legacy). It establishes the origins of the new system and its ruler, and sets up a sort of conflicted view on the role of unintended consequences: they're both good and bad. The one clear message, though, is that a refusal to accept change and adapt to it is bad, whether in the real world or the virtual one. Tong's visuals, unfortunately, are unimaginative in their design. Pretty much everything in the virtual world uses the Legacy models, and while I could see things visually locking down after the titular betrayal hits next issue, there should have been more of a gradual shift from the original movie's designs to the new ones. Still, a significantly better story than I expected, and it gives me hope that the movie itself won't be as bland as it's otherwise shaping up to be. Recommended. $4.99 Transformers Drift #3 (of 4): IDW - The end of #2 suggested there'd be a fight, but...the cliffhanger turns out to be a short drop to a ledge a few inches below. Lots of talking, arguing and cajoling, but while it was clearly intended to create a tense ethical struggle I didn't really feel like there was much to it. Drift just, well, drifts. The arguments get no more heated than the ones you might have regarding what to order on the pizza. Mildly 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. The Transformers #12: IDW - Costa's weird pacing continues, as the petty stuff gets loads of screen time and the important events happen in a panel or two or even occur off-screen. It's like he's trying to startle the reader by having the important stuff SUDDENLY APPEAR and then go away again. A summary of this issue would sound pretty good, but the actual execution not so much. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Adventure Comics #519: DC - Short main story this time, as the Atom backup expands to take up rather a lot more space so that it can dump all the backstory about the Colony on us. Levitz turns in a decent little story, though, deliberately echoing the checklist style of the Kon-El stories from last year, although the art from Eduardo Pansica makes some characters look more like gradeschoolers. Recommended. $3.99 Booster Gold #37: DC - Slight goof in this issue, the psycho female pirate in this issue is clearly Sklarian, not Zamaronian...and Giffen really should know better, given that he co-created Kono. The camp levels continue to be a little high, but with an undercurrent of "Man, my life really did used to be this way, didn't it?" from Booster. I didn't really expect it to work, but work it does. Recommended. $2.99 The Amazing Spider-Man #645: Marvel - Had to get this at Hastings, Diamond didn't ship it to my store. This is your basic "no more screwing around" story as Spider-Man cuts a swath through the underworld. Happens every so often, although props for bringing out some fairly obscure members of his gallery for this one. Unfortunately for Doc Ock, though, Spider-Man's not the only one in a cold-blooded mood, and the wheels (arms?) come off the plot at the end of this issue. Recommended despite the art. $2.99 Marvel Super Heroes #7: Marvel - Another Hastings buy. Invisible Woman cover, but at least the actual title is at the top and not the bottom this time. Invisible Woman is on about two pages, this is really a Black Widow spotlight. Tobin is really writing her as a hyper-competent Batman-type character who deserves her place among superhumans because she's Just That Good. The entire rest of the world is her weapon, it just doesn't realize it yet. :) Strongly 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 10/13/10: Invincible #72, Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #3, Transformers Ironhide #4, Gorilla Man #2, Welcome to Tranquility One Foot In The Grave #2, Atlas #4, 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, Dynamo5 Sins of the Father #3, Science Dog #1, Women of Gold Digger #1 and Gold Digger Books of Magic #2, Chaos War #1, Taskmaster #2. Add Transformers Prime, Transformers Animated Bots of Science, Iron Man: Titanium #1, and Welcome to Tranquility One Foot In The Grave #4. That's all she wrote for Tranquility...it's just not good enough to justify the hassle, so it's off my pull. Awards: "Child Of Mind, Child Of Spirit, Child Of Body" Award to Tron: Betrayal #1 (of 2) "A New Hat Will Make Everything Better" Award to Transformers Drift #3 (of 4) "We Are Aliens, And Know Nothing Of Your Terran 'Dramatic Pacing'" Award to The Transformers #12 "The Cake Is A Pie" Award to Adventure Comics #519 "Huh, She Vomited So Hard Her Facial Tattoo Fell Off" Award to Booster Gold #37 "Spider-Man: The Replicant Saga" Award to The Amazing Spider-Man #645 "Guess This Version Of Cap Sucks" Award to Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #7 Dave Van Domelen, "Well, as you are a SHINY MOVING OBJECT, you SHOULD appeal to the types of women you adore." - Black Widow to Iron Man, Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #7
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