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Dave's Unspoilt Capsules and AwardsThe 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 I am shocked that Diamond actually shipped 6 of the 7 things I ordered. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Taskmaster #4 (of 4) 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 12/2/10: Invincible #72, Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #3, Transformers Ironhide #4, Gorilla Man #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 #1-2, Dynamo5 Sins of the Father #3, Science Dog #1, Chaos War #1, Taskmaster #2, Transformers Drift #4, Official Index to the Marvel Universe v2 #7, Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #6, Tron Betrayal #2, Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #8, Chaos War Dead Avengers #1, Shadowland Power Man #4, Transformers Timelines G2 Redux and Gold Digger v3 #123. Add Hercules New Prince of Power TPB. And since it turns out Diamond won't let stores cancel orders that are shipped late (unless it's REALLY late, like a few months) I'm going to wait a few weeks before ordering it on Amazon so as to not stick my store with a TPB. "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. 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 Movie Adaptation #1 (of 2): Marvel - Found this at Toys R Us. With only 2 oversized issues in which to adapt a full movie (about a third of what's really needed), Peter David has to get tricky in order to tell a story that's readable. The device he uses is to start with Flynn being digitized, and then tell the story up to that point as a series of flashbacks (from various points of view, not all Flynn's) during digitizing. This lets him get away with a choppier story flow, but at the same time the issue ends with Flynn having just gotten into the Grid and seeing Tron for the first time. The action sequences that dominate the remainder of the movie are going to get compressed a LOT, I expect. Still a pretty good job and the art by Pierfederici is consistent if not necessarily on-model to the actors' likenesses. 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. Secret Six #28: DC - Well, the Skartaris arc ends with a lot of blood, as one might expect, but also a general sense of pointlessness. Black Alice gets significant character development against this backdrop, at least, and it looks like a dangler from the previous Atom series might have gotten dealt with but there's not enough information in the actual story here to know what's going on with that. A little too much presumed background knowledge. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Adventure Comics #521: DC - With the early days story arc over, it looks like the Green Lantern-focused plots from Legion of Super-Heroes will be moved over here. And...it felt like everyone was going through the motions. Like Levitz has a story he'd rather be writing, and just has to hack through this piece of setup first. The Big Things all feel small, and the small ones feel nonexistent. A simple summary would sound pretty good, but the actual reading was...eh. The Atom backup ends on a cliffhanger To Be Continued In Another Comic, but it never really hooked me, so fie on that. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Official Index to the Marvel Universe v2 #8: Marvel - Other than the 1940s Captain America issues covered here, I read every issue in this issue of the index the month it hit stands. Avengers #254-288, Captain America #304-337 (including the issue in which I got a No-Prize), Thor #358-409. Mid 80s, huzzah! There's only 2 issues of the original Captain America Comics indexed, but each issue had five stories, so there's a fair amount of content covered. Recommended. $3.99 Ant-Man & Wasp #2 (of 3): Marvel - Unlike the other comic I read this week about shrinking heroes, this one uses knowledge of other stories to add nuance to plot elements that can be followed fully in-book. For those who don't know, Monica Rappacini has a daughter. They don't get along. This gives a little more weight to one of her "Yeah, the betrayal is coming" comments. Meanwhile, Seeley does a good job of showing both Pym and O'Grady as competent and basically good, but deeply flawed. And the issue is heavily quoteable. Recommended. $3.99 Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes #2: Marvel - Two equal-length stories split this issue, both written by Yost. The first story, with art by Brian "Atomic Robo" Clevinger, is sort of a summary of Armor Wars, involving Crimson Dynamo and the Winter Guard. Since it ends with a Masters of Evil recruitment scene, I'm guessing that the cartoon will just have CD showing up as a member without showing his induction. And just as Clevinger did the lead story in #1, Scherberger does the second story's art. It's a fairly straightforward slugfest in which Hulk pounds on the Awesome Android while Pym matches wits with the Mad Thinker. Recommended. $3.99 [Later note: Okay, just watched the Gamma World two-parter, and Crimson Dynamo does indeed just show up as a member, when they recruit Abomination.] Taskmaster #4 (of 4): Marvel - Okay, that ending brought a tear to my eye. For all the broad farce in this series (i.e. Redshirt of M.I.L.F. as the main villain, or Don of the Dead), it has a strongly tragic emotional core to it. It explains why Taskmaster is what he is, and how his seemingly inconsistent appearances are reconciled. And unlike most "and here's the real truth" stories about characters with convoluted backstories, this one builds in a reason for later writers to ignore it if they want...without having to invalidate it. Even if the next writer acts like this story never happened, the one after that can pick it up without any need for fancy footwork. And that's part of the tragedy of the character. Strongly recommended. $3.99 Awards: "Ah, The Halcyon Days Of Yore, When Programmers' Contracts Didn't Specify That The Company Owned Everything In Their Brains" Award to Tron Original Movie Adaptation #1 (of 2) "Daddy Issues And Giant Snakes...Freud Would Be So Proud" Award to Secret Six #28 "If You Like It Then You Shoulda Put A Power Ring On It" Award to Adventure Comics #521 "Never Piss Off The Guy Who Can Turn You Into A Credit Card" Award to Official Index to the Marvel Universe v2 #8 "The Harvard Grads End Up In Hydra, I Guess" Award to Ant-Man & Wasp #2 (of 3) "The Winter Guard Don't Seem All That Surprised By The Explosion" Award to Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes #2 "O'Grady Even Brings Out The Snark In Steve Rogers" Award to Taskmaster #4 (of 4) Dave Van Domelen, "For once, you don't need to be ashamed of your *ignorance*, O'Grady." - Steve Rogers, Taskmaster #4 (of 4)
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