November 25, 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, Well, deli-sliced turkey will do in a pinch, yes? This is one of those weeks I wonder if it's worth keeping up with comics anymore. The books I most want to recommend seem to be impossible to find in stores, and even the Big Event Crap books don't always ship in a timely manner due to Diamond's incompetence and/or deliberate neglect. Even when a book does ship these days, I have to wait until much later in the day to get my books because the store has to waste time figuring out how they got screwed this week (not whether, how...invoice, order and actual shipment almost never match). I'm tempted to ditch the weekly routine entirely, cut my pull drastically and shift to monthly shipments from one of the few retailers Diamond finds Worthy. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): The Incredible Hercules #138, Larry Marder's Beanworld: Remember Here When You Are There "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, I got the Dr. Horrible DVD but haven't watched it yet. 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. From now on, I will continue to track late books until I get them or give up on them, but floppies that are more than a week late will not be reviewed unless they're really good (i.e. worth tracking down or waiting for the trade) or really bad (if you were thinking of waiting for the trade, don't). TPBs will still be reviewed, since they can generally be obtained without having to deal with Diamond. Mighty Avengers #31: Marvel - Still not shipped from Diamond, I got it at the newsstand. The Slave Engine story wraps up with a lot of punching things and some explosions, but more importantly with some self-examination. Pym has one last moment of "Okay, I DO sound that pathetic" but determines that owning up and moving on is best while Pietro gets a similar moment of insight and draws a rather different conclusion from it. And Hercules romances a warship. Recommended. $2.99 Also finally gotten: Ninja High School #169-170, Gold Digger Technical Manual #3, Farscape Gone and Back #3 (of 4). 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. Transformers Tales of the Fallen #4: IDW - This is the origin of the Fallen, as told by the, you know, Unreliable Narrator right there. Taken at face value, it certainly makes the AllSpark a LOT more sinister, but given everything that happens to the Fallen it's impossible to take it all at face value (GIVE ME YOUR FACE...VALUE). It's definitely a good example of how people can rewrite their own memories to cast themselves as the heroes no matter how much the rest of the world considers them to be villains, though. Recommended. $3.99 Justice Society of America #33: DC - The "Oh, if we only knew then what we do now" narration is getting rather old, but otherwise it's pretty good for a Big Fight Scene issue. I liked the Shadowpact tie-in as well, although I suppose with Willingham and Sturges writing this I shouldn't be too surprised. :) Now the team splits, and it mostly seems to be "characters I like" (staying in JSA) and "characters I don't like" (moving to JSA All-Stars, which also has crappy art so I'll be avoiding it), although there's a couple I'll be sorry to see go. Recommended. $2.99 Ms. Marvel #47: Marvel - According to Previews, #50 is the final issue. This issue wraps up the on-again-off-again Spider-Man teaming up stuff as Carol and Peter try to go on a date, with both the usual complications and a few they hadn't expected. Reed borrows the "Peter's Page" recap style from Amazing Spider-Man and does a pretty good job of nailing it. The art's a little uneven thanks to McKone only doing part of the book and DiSalvo (who has a somewhat Humberto Ramos look to his work) doing the rest...DiSalvo's stuff isn't bad, but it clashes pretty strongly with McKone's uber-clean style. Recommended. $2.99 Giant-Size Thor Finale #1: Marvel - AKA getting JMS out the door a month sooner by taking the story that would have been the next regular issue of Thor and packaging it with a reprint as a "special". It's not really a finale storywise, either, just the end of an act. There's a preview of where the new writer is taking things, and it's straight to "lazy obvious shock value"-ville, so Thor's coming off my pull. Still, this issue on its own is worthwhile for Volstagg's big moment (like he has any other kind of moment?). Recommended. $3.99 Models Inc. #4 (of 4): Marvel - And thus the mystery is resolved, in a fairly standard and obvious way. Still, that beats a cheap shock-for-its- own-sake ending any day. Since there isn't a next issue, the text piece at the end instead puts some other upcoming comics through the fashion lens. I'd tend to disagree with the evaulation of the new X-Factor outfits, though. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Avengers the Initiative #30: Marvel - I believe the appropriate response to the main game-changer of this issue (and I don't mean Nightmare's overt plan, with him active over in Dr. Strange it's not like anything definitive can happen on that front in this booke) is: ABOUT TIME. Oh, and TANC. As a whole, the issue does suffer some from being on the fringes of events, but that's a minor problem. Recommended. $2.99 The Incredible Hercules #138: Marvel - With Agents of Atlas backup. Always fun to rub it in a little when a plan comes together, yes? Assault on New Olympus commences both in the main story and in the (somewhat anticlimactic) backup, and Van Lente's and Parker's scripting is firing on all cylinders. Strongly recommended. $3.99 Larry Marder's Beanworld: Remember Here When You Are There GN: Dark Horse Books - Not only did I finally get a volume of this through Diamond, I got it a week early (apparently a lot of stores got it early). Where the first two volumes collected the old Eclipse series, this one is new material (and the only non-annoying reason this week's Capsules are being posted so late). This 220 page volume wraps up the first season of Beanworld, that being Spring, and there's a lot of one might expect given that some of the ideas have been percolating for decades. Many things come full circle, while others come more like a hook, the better to catch you with. And through it all, Beanish does what an artist should, breaking taboos and making new connections. Strongly recommended. $19.95 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 11/25/09: Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #22, Gold Digger v3 #105, Official Marvel Index #11. Add Amazing Spider-Man #613 (Diamond finally shipped #611 to my store, and more #612, but no #613). Awards: "There's Primitive, And Then There's PRIMITIVE" Award to Mighty Avengers #31 "Just Because Your God Really Does Talk To You Doesn't Mean You're Not Crazy" Award to Transformers Tales of the Fallen #4 "All You Need Is Love" Award to Justice Society of America #33 "But A Chili Dog Will Do If You Don't Have Love" Award to Ms. Marvel #47 "Modern Coloring + Vintage Inking = Uncanny Valley?" Award to Giant-Size Thor Finale #1 "Seeking Parity" Award to Models Inc. #4 (of 4) "And Thus Is The Power Of Pu...Of Cats Confirmed" Award to Avengers the Initiative #30 "All This Anansi Stuff Should Be Old Hat For Him By Now, Actually" Award to The Incredible Hercules #138 "Segway Into Summer" Award to Larry Marder's Beanworld: Remember Here When You Are There HC Dave Van Domelen, "Jessica, I live my life by ONE SIMPLE RULE: 'If someone asks you if you're a god...say YES!'" - Spider-Man, The Incredible Hercules #138
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