August 22, 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.
Starting classes this soon bites.  A lot.  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 

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 - 

     Avengers the Initiative #5: Marvel - Rather than picking up from the end
of last issue, we shift to picking up the pieces.  :)  Slott's still not up
to his usual level, but it's good (one odd bit slipped past editing,
though).  Still not really keen on Evil Government plots, but Gyrich and "not
a jerk" don't really go together, I guess.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Fantastic Four #549: Marvel - Love the resolution to the Frightful Four
part (careful what you seed on Bittorrent in the MU, BTW), but then it's back
to the cosmic plot, which is still in warmup phase.  Nifty cosmic threat, at
least.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn

     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): Blue Beetle

     Annihilation: Conquest - Starlord #2 (of 4): Marvel - Run and gun, with
some good banter and plenty of pointless death.  Mildly recommended.
     Cable & Deadpool #44: Marvel - More "Skottie Young wants to be
Sienkiewicz" cover spew, and Wolverine takes over the billing from Cable
during Cable's sabbatical from life.  Story's perhaps a little predictable,
but it's fun, and I like how Bob's blog is the recap page (Hail Hydra!).
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Marvel Adventures Avengers #15: Marvel - Oooh, Malekith!  Asgard!  Storm
the Thor fangirl!  Heh.  Fun done-in-one story from Parker and Cafu.  It does
tend to make Spidey look clever at the expense of everyone else looking a bit
thick, but that's okay...especially since I wouldn't really expect Iron Man
to be as good at bringing the idea of magic into his intuitions.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn 
     Superman #666: DC - Well, the demonic tie-in could have been made an
obvious part of the Arion plotline, but Busiek decided to go with a done in
one story instead.  And it's Superdickery the Comic.  :)  Simonson's art is
on the ugly end of his spectrum, but most of the time in this story ugly is
called for.  Recommended.  $3.99/$4.75Cn
     Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #33: DC - (Aside: this is the
off-week here for McD's LSH31C toys.)  The Winath story wraps up, and we
learn more fun facts about Bismoll in this continuity...looks like politics
are just as weird as in preboot, as is the legal profession.  The actual
story seems a little too pat (even for superhero stuff), and I still don't
care for Calero's art, but Tenzil makes it worth reading.  Mildly
recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn 
     Blue Beetle #18: DC - A preview of Blue Beetle with the Teen Titans.
There's a vital case of mis-colored hair early on that muddles things some
(two undercover characters are really only distinguishably by hair color,
since they don't have enough time on screen for subtle hair style differences
to become apparent at that point in the story), but otherwise plenty of the
sparkling scripting I've come to expect from Rogers.  Albuquerque splits art
tasks with David Baldeon (who does pages 13-14, not 12-13 as the credits
indicate, although the lack of page numbers makes this less obvious).  Fun
issue, and a credible yet amusing reaction to and treatment of the immediate
threat.  Strongly recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Invincible #45: Image - Heh, don't throw me in the briar patch!
Invincible's having a pretty bad day, and edging towards angst, but I suppose
he's entitled to some at this point.  But, as the cover suggests, this is
really Allen the Alien's day to shine, even if he's only in a few pages.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.25Cn
     Amelia Rules #18: Renaissance Press - This one comes with a study guide,
and is intended to be used in classrooms to help kids deal with parents or
other loved ones being shipped into warzones (Iraq is never actually
mentioned, just fearful whispers about "bad places," but I expect that's less
to avoid being political and more to keep it shelf-fresh through the next few
wars).  The After School Special parts do drag a bit, but most of the story
in this oddly-short (as in, only 9.5" tall pages, not low on pagecount) issue
makes up for it.  Recommended.  $2.95
     The Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe (GD Sourcebook) #8:
Antarctic Press - Kyle (such a nice boy) through Madrid (her eyes really ARE
up here now).  Ah, Leprechauns and OompaLoompas, measured in apples for
height and weight.  Some pretty big standard apples, to judge by the "to
scale" images on the cover, though.  Recommended.  $3.95/$4.55Cn

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 8/22:

     Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, Transformers
Timelines (wasn't available on the retailer order form in the first place!).
Add Arsenic Lullaby Pulp Edition, but that looks to have been a publisher-
level problem.  (Correction: I wasn't missing Fallen Angel #18 after all.)
     Cancelled by Diamond (again): Dr. Debunko: the Short Stories, Devil's
Panties #7-8.


"RTFM" Award to Annihilation: Conquest - Starlord #2 (of 4)

"There Can Be Only One.  Maybe Two.  How About Three?" Award to Cable &
     Deadpool #44

"I Live To Smite, I Smite To Live, MUAHAHAHA!" Award to Marvel Adventures
     Avengers #15

"Where's The Miter?" Award to Superman #666

"Motion To Break For Lunch, Your Honor" Award to Supergirl and the Legion
     of Super-Heroes #33

"Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This" Award to Blue Beetle #18

"Viltrumite Divorce Court Must Require Bismollian Lawyers" Award to 
     Invincible #45

"One Jillion Is Avogadro's Nunber" Award to Amelia Rules #18

"How's THEM Apples?" Award to The Official Handbook of the Gold Digger
     Universe (GD Sourcebook) #8

     Dave Van Domelen, "Not to panic anybody but -- no.  Panic is actually
the appropriate response here." - Robin, Blue Beetle #18
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