Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. I'm assessing assessment plans. Recursion! 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 - Squadron Supreme: Hyperion vs. Nighthawk #4 (of 4): Marvel - I didn't read the other three issues, but it looks like I don't really need to, as this issue goes back and retells the whole story from Nighthawk's perspective, minus the smoke and mirrors. As such, it's on the dry side. The resolution is intentionally unsatisfying. At least Gulacy's art isn't as wooden as it used to be. $2.99/$3.75Cn Cable & Deadpool #39: Marvel - Ron Lim comes in on art. T-Ray's pissed that his previous appearance sucked, and wants revenge on Deadpool. And the writers, probably. And maybe some of the readers, although I hear that one's mutual. Anyway, another wild and wacky fun tale that cheerfully gets away with levels of Fourth-Wall-breaking that the Legion of Net.Heroes would frown on. And Cable's side of the family even gets a scene. Strongly recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn X-Factor #18: Marvel - Everyone's back in the same plotline by the end of the issue, at least. :) Some fun stuff here, including the sort of stuff PAD wrote into his quickly ignored revamp of Major Disaster. Khoi Pham does a decent job on art. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Capsules: 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 section. Books of Note (Strongly Recommended or otherwise worthy): Gen13 v4 #7, Amelia Rules #17 Spider-Man 3 Novelization: Pocket Star Books - Once again, Peter David does the adaptation duties. I've been asked on several occasions why I read the novelizations before seeing the movie, what with the whole spoilers issue. First, I don't really worry about the spoilers on actioners like this (or Hulk, etc). It's about the performance, and the special effects. Second, I find that Peter David in specific is really good at fleshing out the details of stuff that the movie only has enough time to brush against, and this can actually help me in enjoying the movie (i.e. I liked the Hulk movie, and I suspect having read the novel first is a big part of why). Still, once in a while, it gives me a certain amount of trepidation when I read the novel first, and this is one of those times. My initial impression of the villain lineup was that it was going to be too many villains, resulting in a scattered and frantic plot. Later, I thought I'd figured out how they could pull it off without such problems...but now I know that's not the case. It really is kinda scattered and frenetic, even given 156 minutes to work with. PAD manages to tie things together pretty well, but I'm not sure the movie will manage the same trick. If you're thinking of seeing the movie, I definitely recommend reading the novel too. And even if you're not planning to see the movie, the novel's a good read. It even has a cameo by Sachs & Violens, plus some obscure comic callbacks. Recommended. $7.99/$9.99Cn (355 pages) 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 Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #1 (of 4): Marvel - Okay, I have no idea if this is supposed to be in the past of regular continuity, in the Marvel Adventures continuity despite lacking a banner to that effect, or off in its own little world. It certainly doesn't take place in the here and now of Earth-616, though. Anyway, Parker brings the same sort of fun storytelling here that he has in Marvel Adventures Avengers, if a little more restrained with the goofball aspects. Wieringo, obviously, has plenty of experience with the characters, and does them justice. Continuity issues aside (and would have killed them to toss in a footnote?), a good start. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Spider-Man Back in Black: Marvel - Not really tied to Back in Black, it's more of a Spider-Man-centric A-Z Update issue, a mix of updates and never-before-indexed obscure characters. A bit heavy on the Clone Wars-era stuff, mind you. It's missing key information from Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man regarding the 2211 arc, though. This is odd, considering how these OHOTMUs lately have often been up to date with that week's comics. Maybe it got delayed. Recommended. $3.99/$4.75Cn Transformers Official Movie Prequel #3 (of 4): IDW - Well, in case I hadn't read the prequel novel to find out, the "A" cover of this one makes it pretty clear that the unnamed Autobot in #1 was, indeed, Bumblebee. A somewhat scattered issue that almost but not definitely contradicts the prequel novel (and definitely contradicts the spirit of it). I do wonder how they'll explain the gap between the events in 2003 and the movie in 2007, though. Unless the movie is supposed to be set in 2003? Ah well. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Fallen Angel v2 #14: IDW - Back when v1 of Fallen Angel started up, there was all sorts of speculation that Lee was meant to be Linda Danvers, despite out-of-story evidence to the contrary (i.e. Fallen Angel was creator- owned, making it tricky to bring in Supergirl stuff). Eventually, it was all sorted out, with Lee's origin as a literal fallen angel established and so forth. So, of course, this issue is dedicated to muddying those waters again, in ways that could stand the out-of-story problems quite nicely. Woodward has a lot of fun with the art, mixing grayscale and color, impressionistic and photorealistic as the focus character's grip on reality shifts and slides. Recommended. $3.99 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. I like how the back cover is used like the back cover of a paperback book to promote the story and lay out some teasers. Recommended. $3.50/$4.15Cn 52 #49 (of 52): DC - Entering the final month, time for a detour into a different miniseries that actually tells the real climax of this series, whee. Anyway, at least we get some fun Doc Magnus along the way, with a fitting cover. Plenty of good mad science all around, in fact. Recommended. $2.50/$2.99Cn Green Arrow #73: DC - McDaniel is still on the art, but otherwise things are looking up. There's a certain amount of angst-wallowing, sure, but then those involved do something about the problems rather than just continuing to angst. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Teen Titans #45: DC - More running fight scene stuff as the Titans/ Titans East clash starts to just drag. I mean, there were some interesting developments, but really, this is decompressed fight scene-ing. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Gen13 v4 #7: DC/Wildstorm - I read recently someone commenting on Gen13, to the effect that things might be fair (visually speaking) if everyone ran around in a thong for an issue. Now, while not everyone's in a thong, and Caitlin's in a fur bikini, Grunge eschews clothing entirely. Take THAT! Or should that be "Ze goggles, zey do nozing"? Anyway, plenty of fun to be had this issue, what with the dinosaurs and the flashbacks and the quick reminder that IO is run by and for rich scumbags. Strongly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Amelia Rules #17: Renaissance Press - I think this may be the first non-FCBD issue in over a year...fortunately, it partially makes up for that by being double-sized. I was a little worried that it would be padded out by reprinting the FCBD stuff, but nope! All new stuff, and on glossy paper, to boot! On the inside front cover, Gownley states that the original plan was for five simple short stories, but clearly the stories ended up twining around each other with flashbacks and digressions and the like. The main frame is the first day of fifth grade, but Amelia's first day in the new town figures large as well, as does her last big adventure with her best friend back in New York. It's a bit more subdued overall than some other stories, but that fits the "looking backwards/looking forwards" theme of the story. Strongly recommended. $4.95 (although it's kinda hard to read the price). 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 4/18: 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. Awards: "Bob Ingersoll's Gonna Lose His Security Deposit" Award to Spider-Man 3 Movie Adaptation "Who All's Accredited To Award A Doctorate Of Mystery?" Award to newuniversal #5 "You're Married, He Isn't...Might Not Really Be A Double Standard" Award to She-Hulk v2 #17 "Definitely The Wrong Side Of The Bed" Award to Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #1 (of 4) "It's The Rainbow W That Really Sells The Outfit" Award to Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Spider-Man Back In Black "Welcome To Tranquility" Award to Transformers Official Movie Prequel #3 (of 4) "Earth-Bound" Award to Fallen Angel v2 #14 "Excessive Police Force" Award to Dynamo5 #2 "Think Like A Bullet" Award to 52 #49 (of 52) "Well, SOMEONE Had To Pick Up The Hacker Girl Baton" Award to Green Arrow #73 "How Two-Faced Can You...Oh, Nevermind" Award to Teen Titans #45 "Not Without Your Pants" Award to Gen13 v4 #7 "Better To Fade Away Than To Burn Out?" Award to Amelia Rules #17 Dave Van Domelen, "Oh, shhhhhhhhhhhheena." - Caitlin, Gen13 v4 #7Back to the Main Rants Page.
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