December 8, 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, Oddly, Diamond shipped books to my store on Tuesday this week. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): None 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 12/8/10: 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, Hercules New Prince of Power 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. Women of Gold Digger #1: Antarctic Press - A trio of "Tangent" stories focusing on various women in the cast, as might be expected, interspersed with Official Handbook updates for the featured characters. Being all in black and white linework makes some of the characters a little harder to identify (notably Xane). There's heartwarming family stuff, prison comedy and naked oil wrestling. So, something for everyone. Recommended. $3.50 Gold Digger Books of Magic #2: Antarctic Press - If #1 was mainly overview and #3 is spell lists, this one is technical details up the wazoo. The art pieces have only a little bit of character stuff as a result, since so much of them is taken up by things like spell arc angles and examples of magical script. Some amusing bits, but pretty dry. 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 #14: IDW - Regarding cover A, why is there a bullseye around the crotch of the Optimus Prime silhouette? Do they really have an important reactor linkage there? Anyway, this issue is a "things get shaken up and the Decepticons become a serious threat again" story, which might have actually worked if there had been any sort of stable status quo to shake up in the first place. Instead, it's just more turmoil and chaos and keeping anything from lasting long enough to care about. It's worse than the new- toyline churn the Marvel Transformers comic had to deal with. And Figueroa's cartoony humans work counter to the Dire Situation scenes Costa is putting them in. Neutral. $3.99 REBELS #23: DC - The "GL rookies" story resolves (as much as any serial can have a resolution) in this issue, with the actual REBELS cast mainly on the sidelines for the entire issue (although some are coaching from the sidelines). The other main plot development mainly serves to derail an earlier more interesting plotline and bring back a previously defeated foe way too soon. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Booster Gold v2 #39: DC - A relatively quiet issue, focusing on Booster finally coming to terms with Ted's death. Maybe this time it'll stick (the coming to terms, not the death). Still, Giffen and DeMatteis do a good job with it. Recommended. $2.99 Widowmaker #1 (of 4): Marvel - So, two doomed short-lifetime books get to cross over in a miniseries in the hopes of drumming up more interest in either. Now, the very fact that Black Widow is involved guarantees a certain amount of retroactive continuity...her origin is too tightly tied to the Soviet Union to let it be swapped out in the way Iron Man's had Vietnam replaced by Afghanistan. But the Big Bad of this story is himself a big ol' continuity implant. McCann sets it up fairly well, and doesn't string the reader along, revealing the core element very early on but then slowly doling out the details. As such, this issue is really more about the bad guy than it is about Hawkeye, Mockingbird or Black Widow. In fact, Dominic Fortune is more prominent than Mockingbird. As a H&M story, there's not much to recommend it. But as a story in and of itself, it's pretty good so far. Recommended. $3.99 Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #9: Marvel - Vision and Nova get the cover, and appear shocked and horrified by something. Maybe they don't like the reader. But, while it's hardly the norm for this title, the cover actually has something to do with the story inside, AND the characters who get their names with the title are actually the focus of the story, oooooh. Without spoilering, I will say that this picks up from the weird bit with Black Widow in Atlantis from a while back. And there's some great dynamics between Vision, his girlfriend and Nova. Recommended. $2.99 Awards: "Yay Wanton Acts Of Destruction!" Award to Gold Digger Books of Magic #2 "An Oily Christmas Present" Award to Women of Gold Digger #1 "Best Minecraft Ever" Award to The Transformers #14 "I Thought We Were The Popular Citadellian Front?" Award to REBELS #23 "Give That Girl A Gold Star...Er, Wait" Award to Booster Gold #39 "It Only Hurts When I Violate IP" Award to Widowmaker #1 (of 4) "Fearing Sue Storm More Than He Does Iron Man Just Shows He's Sane" Award to Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #9 Dave Van Domelen, "Iron Man! We need to be IRRITATING!" "Really? Too bad Nova isn't here." - Sue Storm and Iron Man, Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #9
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