April 4, 2007

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.
My convoy of Convoys arrived today.  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 
             homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants 

First Look Comments:

     Books I read over the weekend as First Looks, but didn't buy, so can't
really say much in detail about.  DC has stopped having First Looks, so it's
just Marvel and Image...and there's word that Diamond doesn't want to bother
with the program at all anymore.

     Books for next week - 

     Nova #1: Marvel - The now-standard "harried hero rushing from disaster
to disaster with no personal time" plot, ending in a crash on Earth so Nova
can run afoul of the Civil War crap.  Annihilation's main selling point for
me was that it kept at least some characters OUT of Civil War, but I guess it
couldn't last.  Sigh.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     newuniversal #5: Marvel - The PSIForce update appears this issue, and
there's actually some interaction between powered characters, but a lot of
plot threads are just ignored to make room.  A decent read, though.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     She-Hulk v2 #17: Marvel - This seems to be the Adam Warren homage
issue.  Or Adam Warren in-joke issue, anyway.  Several Livewires callbacks,
plus what looks suspiciously like an Empowered ref.  The actual plot is no
great shakes, but still fun.  And ominous.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Dynamo5 #2: Image - Another fun issue, with a dark undercurrent.  The
Scoobying of the villain was a little too pat, all things considered, so I
fully expect Faerber to reveal something about it later.  Recommended.

     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): Omega Flight
#1 (it's not Strongly Recommended, but shows a lot of promise).

     Fall of Cthulhu #1: Boom! Studios - It's not a good sign when the very
first page has a character ask, "Uh, do you see a ring here, sweetie?" and
there is, in fact, a rather big ring there.  Speaks poorly of the editing,
and of the artist's ability to visualize the writer's story.  As in #0,
Dzialowski's art varies depending on the scene, being more garish and
abstracted in the Dreamlands, but none of it looks quite as good as the work
in #0.  The story is a bit slow-moving.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Ninja High School #148: Antarctic Press - I got around to sorting the
past year's worth of comics over the weekend, and all told I bought nearly 50
comics from AP, plus a DVD archive.  Heh.  This issue takes the old "Girl's
Night Out" cliche and trots it out, but has things fail pretty badly, due in
no small part to the weird upbringing of the girls involved.  The story
clunks in places, but is generally good.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.45Cn
     52 #48 (of 52): DC - Almost the entire issue is devoted to the Church of
Crime thing, which feels a tad anticlimactic given how Mannheim grew to giant
size and menaced Metropolis during One Year Later.  Nice Darick Robertson
art, but the attempt at noir prose just falls flat.  A bit of a chuckle from
the tag involving the mad scientists, though.  Very mildly recommended.
     Superman #661: DC - The retro cover layout is at sharp odds with the
Image-style cover art.  The interior story has Barreto finishes for a further
retro look, and Busiek's done-in-one tale also looks to be shooting for
Silver Age-ness.  But...I dunno.  It feels like he caught too much of the
rough and not enough of the raw, if that makes sense.  Sure, it feels like a
Silver Age story, but not one of the good ones.  Neutral.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #28: DC - A touch on the deus
ex machina side at times, mainly in terms of people shrugging off injuries
and infirmities off-screen.  It's nice that things are turning around, but
after the way things have been dragging lately, the sudden change of pace is
a tad abrupt.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Welcome to Tranquility #5: DC/Wildstorm - Heh.  The problem with a town
full of old secrets is that it's too easy for one of the secret-holders to
assume that they're the one you've sussed out, resulting in a cascade
effect.  Also, the gun seen on the mantle in the first act is actually fired
in this act, metaphorically speaking.  :)  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     The Mighty Ant-Man #7: Marvel - Well, it's still Irredeemable in the
indicia, but they're mocking the Mighty Avengers this month.  Thing is, while
he's still a horndog and a jerk, Ant-Man is pretty clearly shown not to be
irredeemable this issue.  Pages 4-5 may be an archetypical moment for him,
but later on he shows he's not completely amoral or without redeeming
qualities.  Even if he is acting with ulterior motives.  Cory Walker on the
art is a big improvement.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Omega Flight #1 (of 5): Marvel - Well, I've bought every Alpha Flight
series so far.  I kinda like USAjerk and Beta Ray Bill.  So what the heck.
Even though Oeming's been very hit-and-miss for me over the years, I decided
to give this a try.  And it's definitely on the hit side.  And, pleasant
surprise, colorist Reber complements Kolins's art very nicely, eliminating
its usual scratchy quality.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #19: Marvel - Well, one of the
longish-running mysteries in the book is resolved, but with some nice
misdirection along the way.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Thunderbolts Presents: Zemo Born Better #3 (of 4): Marvel - The
mysterious grad student's motivations become clear this issue, and Zemo
himself moves up into living memory.  It's clear that Nicieza is setting up a
basic ethical dilemma for the endgame, and it's shaping up nicely.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Ms. Marvel #14: Marvel - Strictly speaking, I probably should have read
this before Omega Flight, what with the Arachne timeline thing.  Then again,
it's not like Arachne really had any screen time to speak of in Omega
Flight.  Reed does a decent job of showing Carol grappling with the fallout
of her choices and allegiances in the Civil War, and its affects on those
around her.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Avengers: The Initiative #1: Marvel - Confidence-uninspiring interviews
aside, I figure if anyone can make a silk purse out of this sow's ear it's
writer Dan Slott, so I put this on my pull.  So far, it's a little too much
on the setup side to really get a feel for where he's trying to go with this,
but I do like the little touches everywhere.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Iron Man Hypervelocity #4 (of 6): Marvel - Not quite as fun as the past
few issues, sadly.  It's still good, and there's certainly some promising
directions it could go even knowing that there's been no sign of Tony 2.0 in
Civil War or after, though.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn

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 4/4:

     Still missing Gold Digger Tangent #2, Fred Perry's S-Guild #1,
Dr. Debunko: the Short Stories, Devil's Panties #7 and #8, Dino Wars #3 and
#4.  Actually got G-Fan #79, but never did get #77-8.


"All Work And No Play Makes Jack Cthulhu F'taghn" Award to Fall of 
     Cthulhu #1

"Playing The Percentages" Award to Ninja High School #148

"Wait, We Were Supposed To EVER Believe Batwoman Was The Red Herring?"
     Award to 52 #48 (of 52)

"Zeus Cope" Award to Superman #661

"Disk Covered" Award to Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #28

"I Don't Wanna Be In-State For The Make-Up Sex" Award to Welcome to 
     Tranquility #5

"No, It Doesn't Get Old" Award to The Mighty Ant-Man #7

"YA RLY" Award to Omega Flight #1 (of 5)

"Uncle Ben, Converted" Award to Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #19

"Man, What'll He Do For Tenure?" Award to Thunderbolts Presents: Zemo Born
     Better #3 (of 4)

"Nah, She'd Just Get It Crashed By Space Cockroaches Or Something" Award to
     Ms. Marvel #14

"Just Like God Intended" Award to Avengers: the Initiative #1

"~Drugs, Mmmkay?" Award to Iron Man Hypervelocity #4 (of 6)

     Dave Van Domelen, "...you'll wish you'd chosen the diseased ecstacy of
my box." - Fall of Cthulhu #1.  It's either not as bad as it sounds, or far
worse.  Maybe both.
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