October 14, 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, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants Bleh, alarm clock went off half an hour late this morning. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Nothing this week. "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. None 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. None, sort of. Not counting X-Men/Agents of Atlas as late because it seems that most of the country got it this week rather than last 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. Farscape D'Argo's Trial #3 (of 4): BOOM! Studios - No trial yet, in the literal sense. This is the "trying to get Jothee to safety" piece of the story, intercut with Macton's flashbacks covering stuff that happened after his second-to-last scene in #2. Most of the artist's structural tricks this issue involve Macton's flashbacks, with transitions going between similar panels (i.e. Macton in the same position talking to someone, but the person he's talking to changes between panels, as does the background). Still rather sketchy. Overall, it's interesting structurally, but not that compelling emotionally. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Adventure Comics #3: DC - Ah, more bromance between Conner and Tim. I mean, it almost goes to light yaoi in mood here. Meanwhile, Krypto symbolically dismantles the previous Superboy series by pwning most of SBoy's old villains with ease (only Scavenger even stays conscious long enough to complain about it). The Legion story focuses on Brek and Dirk on Tharr, with a bit of role-reversal for the two...Brek's all angsty and Dirk's back to his pre-Johns irrepressibility (although he finds that making fire is not a good way to wow the ladies on Tharr). Recommended. $3.99 R.E.B.E.L.S. #9: DC - A lampshade gets hung on the title during one of the short "doing a megacrossover in one book" scenes. Adam Strange gets a good Witty Retort, although his presence in the book isn't as major yet as the cover might imply. Unfortunately, this massively multiplotline story is about to get even more crowded with a Blackest Night crossover, which Adam has come to warn everyone about. Quibbles aside, though, recommended. $2.99 Secret Six #14: DC - Y'know, given the whole "pile of muscle and Venom" tning Bane has going on, it's easy to forget that the main reason he was so dangerous to Batman the first time around was that he's got brains too. Mind you, later portrayals of Bane in other media have tended to emphasize the brawn over the brains too, and his puppydog behavior in Secret Six so far hasn't done much to dispel that impression. It gets dispelled this issue, but not in the way that's been brought up repeatedly as a possibility for much of this arc. Also, we learn that Vandal Savage isn't all that picky. Recommended. $2.99 Booster Gold #25: DC - No, my store didn't order enough to get the Orange Lantern rings. The main story comes full circle, reprising the mission that kicked off the whole Dead Titans arc and giving Booster a chance to really be a hero in quieter ways. Meanwhile, Black Beetle continues to be a villain in rather loud ways, both in the main story and in the Blue Beetle backup. And Paco's seen Watchmen. Recommended. $3.99 The Marvels Project #3 (of 8): Marvel - It's a good thing I got the Mysterymen Handbook and read it through, a lot of characters from it are showing up this issue. Including Ferret. The binding thread of this series seems to be John Steele, though, for all that he doesn't really get any lines yet. Projects trying to replicate him, projects trying to find counters to him or equivalents to him. Not every one of the plot threads is obviously connected to this yet, but there's signs that there will be a whole lotta dovetailing in a few issues. This is a good thing, as it suggests an actual plot rather than just excuses to have characters show up and fight. :) Angel's narration (well, Brubaker's) is a bit soporific in places, and there's still a lot more tell than show, but it's otherwise going pretty well. Recommended. $3.99 Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #16: Marvel - Featuring Giant-Girl, Spider-Woman and the Beast (who's got the cat-face). And also featuring the wake of Hercules. No, not the funeral kind of wake, the "trail of chaos and pining women" sort of wake. As mysteries go, it's a perfect fit for the Adventures line, as it has a good reason to be fairly straightforward. Hercules tends not to do subtle very much. Recommended. $2.99 X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #1 (of 2): Marvel - AKA Agents of Atlas #12, picking up with the "Aphrodite's not happy about Venus running around using her name" subplot. Of course, there's lots of X-stuff in there too, but with the help of some suitably snarky captions and obligatory exposition, Parker manages to make the X-stuff comprehensible to a non-X-reader like me and presumably manages the same for non-Atlas-readers without it being too intrusive. The premise setting up the conflict is a fairly small thing, really just a "doohickey we need to advance this other plot over there" sort of issue, but the reputations of both sides get in the way of doing things the non-fighty way. The backup story has the original X-Men taking on an Agents of Atlas team that never was, either an alternate Earth thing or perhaps it'll be revealed as having some sort of in-story place (i.e. Ken telling someone a tall tale). Recommended. $3.99 The Incredible Hercules #136: Marvel - Sometimes you need a noble hero like Thor. Sometimes you need an extreme hero like Hercules. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we get both! A bit goofy in places, but this is the lighter storyline to counter the somewhat dark Cho story, so that's to be expected. Recommended. $2.99 PS238 #41: Do Gooder Press - Well, the origins of the Green Gauntlet get hashed out, and we get an Invincible crossover on deck. Well, not really. But thematically. Less blood, though, one would hope. 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 10/14/09: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #22, Ninja High School #169-171, Gold Digger Tech Manual #3, Gold Digger v3 #105, Middleman GN (I ordered direct from Viper and it shipped yesterday), Farscape Gone & Back #3, Models Inc. #2. Add Transformers All Hail Megatron #16. Awards: "A Little Too Literally Red-Handed" Award to Farscape D'Argo's Trial #3 (of 4) "At Least He Didn't Dig Up Knockout" Award to Adventure Comics #3 "Disked Over" Award to R.E.B.E.L.S. #9 "Family Reunions Are Always Trouble" Award to Secret Six #14 "Next Time Out, Black Beetle Will Claim To Be Captain Atom" Award to Booster Gold #25 "Come To Think Of It, He's Probably Used To Being Naked Behind Enemy Lines" Award to The Marvels Project #3 (of 8) "At Least They Weren't Pearls" Award to Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #16 "Being Canadian Isn't Really A Mutant Power, Usually" Award to X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #1 (of 2) "No, The OTHER Adamantine Mace" Award to The Incredible Hercules #136 "Silver Shield, Emerald Gauntlet, Whatever" Award to PS238 #41 Dave Van Domelen, "We're FLOATING here. Just hoping for clues to JUMP OUT." "True, but it's not like we're following after somebody SNEAKY, like WOLVERINE or SPIDER-MAN. This is HERCULES. He leaves a TRAIL." - Beast and Spider-Woman, Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #16
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