October 15, 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.
Also got an Escher art book for $10.  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 
             homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants 

First Look Comments:

     This will be my last week of First Looks for the foreseeable future.
Marvel has bumped the price of the FL packs so that stores will have to pay
more than cover price...so they have to pay Marvel to advertise for Marvel.
Such a stupid move suggests someone in Marvel has been looking for an excuse
to end the program entirely, and making the price stupid high will no doubt
cause enough drop in participation to justify axing it.  Ah well, Image and
DC stopped long ago, it was nice while it lasted.  This'll no doubt save me
money, too, since about once a month or even more often I end up adding a
title because of reading the FL.
     Captain America #43: Marvel - This is not a title I was even tempted to
add, though.  :)  A new arc starts, bouncing between an Untold Tale of the
Invaders and, no doubt, a new antagonist tied to that tale.  Batroc shows up
as well, but he almsot might as well be a different character given how
Bruaker writes him (also, not providing translation for his French is just a
jerk move, guys).  $2.99/$3.50Cn
     Thor: the Truth of History #1 (of 1): Marvel - Alan Davis and Mark
Farmer, so my expectation is for mediocre writing and lovely art surrounding
a clever conceit.  And that's pretty much what gets delivered, but the
conceit is clever and the art is lovely.  Recommended.  $3.99/$4.50Cn
     X-Factor #36: Marvel - You know, cultivating a beard that resembles a
Skrull's chin folds may not be the wisest fashion move these days on
Earth-616.  Just sayin'.  The main Darwin plot moves along nicely, plus one
or two other subplots get serviced.  If you don't mind Strooman's art,
recommended.  $2.99/$3.50Cn

     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): Amazing
Spider-Man #573, Atomic Robo Dogs of War #3 (of 5)

     Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen #3 (of 5): Oni Press - Well, my store
didn't order enough copies of Amazing Spider-Man to get the Colbert variant
cover, but at least I got some sort of Colbert cover this month.  The lead
story continues the Optiklon "plot", and is okay but the tropes are already
wearing thin.  The backup "from the archives" story is a bunch of strung-
together sexual innuendo that only manages to be tedious.  Very mildly
recommended.  $3.99
     The Brave and the Bold #18: DC - Okay, wasn't expecting a tie-in to JL
Task Force.  The story itself is still a bit of a mess and the current
version Supergirl annoys me, but the JLTF part is at least moderately
interesting.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Justice Society of America #19: DC - Ah, one of several doses of
"neo-stalgia" this week.  Okay, most of the issue is JSA vs. JSA over the
issue of what to do about Gog, but the Power Girl on neo-Earth-2 plot
dovetails back in.  And finally we get an explanation about why a particular
character was put into the situation where we saw them in #1.  :)  Some of
the conflicts are pretty artificial and clumsily handed, but it's generally
good.  Recommended.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Legion of 3 Worlds #2 (of 5): DC - More neo-stolgia.  Johns seems to be
playing the threeboot Legion as a parody of the Waid "underagers rool"
version, though, which gets grating amazingly quickly.  The bodycount is
amazingly low, all things considered, but it's non-zero as Johns indulges in
the hackneyed "have the villains kill someone to show how badass they are."
The fact that it takes a whole bunch of villains to kill the one guy,
however, undermines that point.  And there's a suggestion of a huge plot
device in the wings (yes, more huge than bringing three versions of the
Legion together).  Mildly recommended, mainly for the Perez art and the
easter egg hunting.  $3.99 US/Cn
     Booster Gold #13: DC - Yow, twistier than usual time travel fun.  Of
course, this plot is running the risk of painting itself into a corner,
requiring some sort of deus ex machina of rules-changing (that will be
ignored by the end of next year) to prevent the villain from winning.
Recommended, but worried about it.  $2.99 US/Cn
     Amazing Spider-Man #573: Marvel - Naturally, the Stephen Colbert backup
story features old Spider-Man foe Grizzly, and Waid throws in a bunch of
homages and stuff.  Okay, but not something to buy the issue for.
Fortunately, Slott's main story is very much worth buying the issue for.
Strongly recommended.  $3.99/$4.50Cn
     Dynamo5 #17: Image - Flashback issue, of sorts.  Your basic psychodrama
story, going into Maddie's past and why she's where she is, headspace-wise.
The backup story is perhaps a little redundant, yet another "Captain Dynamo
was a horndog" story, but it has some good bits.  Recommended.  $3.50
     Atomic Robo Dogs of War #3 (of 5): Red5 Comics - Guess I won't be seeing
#2 at any point.  Fortunately, it seems like the hole in the plot won't cause
me any problems...pretty much everything I need to enjoy this comic is in
this comic.  I liked the structural bit at the beginning with three parallel
stories that end up mixing together, and the dialogue is definitely up to
snuff.  The backup is short but sweet, just enough of a "busman's holiday" to
get the gag across.  Strongly recommended.  $2.95

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 10/15: Atomic Robo v2 #2 (Diamond now lists it as
"Backordered, not stocked"), Transformers Saga of the AllSpark #4.


"When I'm Walking, I Strut My Stuff" Award to Tek Jansen #3 (of 5)

"Not So Much Daddy Issues As Daddy TPB" Award to The Brave and the Bold #18

"In Sane In The Brane" Award to Justice Society of America #19

"What's The Rent Like In Limbo?" Award to Legion of 3 Worlds #2 (of 5)

"Why Does Starro Need A Talk Show?" Award to Booster Gold #13

"How About A Complete Run Of Daddy Issues On DVDROM?" Award to Amazing
     Spider-Man #573

"At Least He Didn't Go For A Kremlin Look" Award to Dynamo5 #17

"There Simply Isn't Enough Funding For Proper Mad Science Grants!" Award to
     Atomic Robo Dogs of War #3 (of 5)

     Dave Van Domelen, "Wow.  Ven-orpion.  That's like the TURDUCKEN of
super-villains." - Spider-Man
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