Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Last week of the regular semester! 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 #9: Marvel - Apparently, dogs love armpitting. The two part side story ends decently, and I like Cosmo. $2.99/$3.05Cn New Warriors #6: Marvel - And the first arc wraps up with revelations. Some petty, some major, some clearly faked. There's a certain amount of rah-rah involved too, but I can cope. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Fantastic Four #552: Marvel - The cliffhanger is resolved, there's a little talking, then lots of fight scene and oration. Plus some Valid Points. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn 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): PS238 #28, Atomic Robo #3 (of 6) "Who Da Ubermensch?": Dark Horse Presents - Normally, I don't review web-only content, because that's a slippery slope into trying to review the bazillion webcomics out there. But once in a while I'll make an exception, and http://myspace.com/darkhorsepresents?issuenum=5&storynum=3 is one of those exceptions. It's flash-based, which is something of a nuisance (i.e. non-trivial to make an offline copy, but I'm sure such either exist already or will by the end of the day). This is a full-color Empowered story by Adam Warren, which is WHY I'm making the exception. :) Most of it is introduction and recap, aiming this at people who haven't read Emp yet but who hopefully will soon. But there's a tiny bit of actual story in this 8 page story, and some cleverness on Emp's part. However, she also manages to end up in her usual fate anyway. And that's the part that's there for the existing readers, I think. Heh. Recommended. Free online. Ninja High School #155: Antarctic Press - The cover homages "The Lady and the Tramp," although I'd argue it's not clear which NHS character fills which Disney role. (rimshot) Anyway, this brings the "last kitsune" subplot to a head, with the Rumplestiltskin and Yuudai storylines simmering on the back burner. Oh, and I'd be remiss as a geek if I didn't point out that while the splash page is "after Escher," it's not quite a copy of Relativity, even allowing for rotation. :) Recommended. $2.99/$2.99Cn (woot, parity!) The Twelve #0: Marvel - One of two "dredge up unrevamped 1940s characters" projects out this month. This zero issue reprints stories with Rockman, Laughing Mask and the Phantom Reporter, then shows the updated designs for the whole team and the same preview pages that appeared in Previews. An interesting look at the lesser lights of the Golden Age. And I'm amused that the Phantom Reporter has two secret identities: millionaire playboy and cub reporter. So, not only was he ripping off both Batman and Superman, he was also a sort of proto-Moon Knight. :) Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Ms. Marvel #22: Marvel - Aaron is only in this for one page, but he steals the show as usual. The main story is head-trippy but not as compelling as Reed probably hoped. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Howard the Duck #3 (of 4): Marvel - She-Hulk is on the cover, but Bobillo doesn't draw her like he did when he was her regular artist, oddly. She looks like his usual inside, though. Continuity-wise there's some issues here, but not really worth getting tied in knots about. And while Templeton has some amusing core ideas here and the occasional clever moment, he belabors some of his points and drains them of the funny. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Avengers the Initiative Annual #1: Marvel - Part of the "Secret Invasion" event, which I'll admit fills me with a sense of dread and foreboding. But, um, not the one I think Marvel Editorial wants me to feel. Gage joins Slott on the writing. Rather than a single big story, this Annual is a collection of origin stories and foreshadowing, setting up at least three future threats, two of which I'd guess are part of the Secret Invasion thing, and the third confined to Initiative. A decent read. Recommended. $3.99/$4.05Cn Justice Society of America #11: DC - Eh, this issue sort of meanders around, eventually getting to the point but...it doesn't even really feel like padding or decompression, just a serious lack of focus. The obligatory fight scene was decent, but didn't really seem to serve the plot in any particular way. It could have been any fight scene and done the same. Starman addressing the reader was cute, though. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Justice League of America #15: DC - Man, I am getting so tired of Benes. His art is just so stereotypically "Imitation Image Founder". Oh, and someone neglected to tell the editor that Giganta isn't wearing the leopard print dress anymore (see recent issues of Blue Beetle), or he decided he wanted the panties gag more than he wanted it to fit with current portrayal of the character. The issue is otherwise a big brawl of the "kitchen sink" variety, with no particular direction or theme. Some good bits, but a feeling that McDuffie was just tossing in everything that came to mind. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Dynamo5 #9: Image - Not much to say, a bunch of little stuff moves forward, one of the five finds a new power, and we see a new threat start to assemble (well, probably a few new threats, all things considered). No "big wow" moments, but solid storytelling. The pinup of Scrap is perhaps a bit more suggestive than the artist intended (or the artist was trying to see how much he could get away with). Recommended. $2.99 (Image gives up on a separate Canadian price now, I see) Invincible #47: Image - Lots of subplot-servicing here too. And while it continues to be mainly about "what happens between the fight scenes" for the heroes, we also get some time on the home life of the villains as well, for a nice change of pace. Recommended. $2.99 (Aside: I notice now from the back cover ad that the TPB of the Official Handbook of the Invincible Universe contains content not found in the two issue series...24 PAGES more material, d'oh. And my store didn't order any for the shelf. Since Diamond lately sucks at sending out anything I try to backorder, it's a good thing deepdiscount.com lists it.) PS238 #28: Do Gooder Press - Ah, a caper! Well, a mask-and-caper. Moose! Sorry, I'm being cryptically weird, but that's gonna happen when reading this book. Strongly recommended. $2.99 Atomic Robo #3 (of 6): Red5 Comics - By page 9, I had found and replaced six "end of post quotes", if not more. I think my number two choice nicely sums up the issue, though: "Judging by how these things usually go, I think it's safer to ASSUME mummies until proven otherwise." "That's just good advice in ANY line of work." Very strongly recommended. $2.95 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 12/5: Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, Doktor Sleepless #2, PS238 #25, Transformers Beast Wars Sourcebook #1 (all of these have been covered in my CBR Special), Sky Sharks #2, Gamma Files, Official Handbook to the Gold Digger Universe #11. Awards: "At Least She's Not In Violation Of Seatbelt Laws" Award to "Who Da Ubermensch?" "High-Tech Etchings" Award to Ninja High School #155 "I Think The Heroes Killed More People Than The Villains Did" Award to The Twelve #0 "There But For The Grace Of...Wait, I Went There After All" Award to Ms. Marvel #22 "This Looks Like A Job For...Keith Olbermann!" Award to Howard the Duck #3 (of 4) "Guess Southpaw's Not Involved After All" Award to Avengers the Initiative Annual #1 "Most Disguisting Explode-Self Power Ever" Award to Justice Society of America #11 "E.F. Hutton Has Nothing On The Bat" Award to Justice League of America #15 "Intellectual Real Estate" Award to Dynamo5 #9 "Epic Fail" Award to Invincible #47 "Attack Of The Servo-Bots" Award to PS238 #28 "Sorry, Egypt, All Streaks Gotta End Sometime" Award to Atomic Robo #3 (of 6) Dave Van Domelen, "I didn't found this crazy organization to NOT nuke things." - Atomic RoboBack to the Main Rants Page.
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