December 12, 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.
Icestorm-related power outages SUCK.  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 - 

     Mighty Avengers #6: Marvel - Essentially the big final reel explosion-
fest and a bit of denounment, peppered with WAY too many archly self-aware
thought bubbles.  And the obligatory Skrull Impostor Revelation on the Page
22 Splash.  If Bendis wasn't so in love with his own writing it might
actually be readable sometimes, but this is certainly not one of those
times.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     The Order #6: Marvel - Supernaut gets the focus this issue, but with the
theme of "things fall apart" going on, it's hard to really say there's ANY
focus to the story.  Although, if I was giving Awards to First Look titles,
this would be a perfect place for the old, "Making someone lesbian is not a
substitute for character development" aphorism.  ;)  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Cable & Deadpool #48: Marvel - Brother Voodoo is the team-up guest this
issue, although Strange is still hanging about.  It's your basic symbolic
soul battle thing with the fate of all realities hanging in the balance sort
of know, "Tuesday".  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     She-Hulk v2 #24: Marvel - The story sort of wanders around, but given
that it's time to establish the rest of the new status quo in the wake of the
opening two-parter, that's kinda to be expected.  PAD does a decent job of
justifying why he's mostly ignoring previous characterization for Shulkie,
although I hope he works in some of Slott's stuff 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): Owly v4

     X-Factor #26: Marvel - Chapter Seven of the stupid X-over.  It's kinda
distracting when Eaton draws Xavier to look exactly like Patrick Stewart,
though.  Especially since current Chuck can walk.  Unlike #25, the story's
not quite as self-contained, although a decent chunk of it follows Jaime and
Layla, plus one part looks like it might be setting up a post-X-over
storyline (poor Peepers).  Mildly recommended.  $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
     Gen13 v4 #15: DC/Wildstorm - I dunno about you, but when the issue opens
with Kat accidentally bumping into someone as dynamically as Barberi shows,
and the guy DOESN'T fly crosstown, I become immediately suspicious.  Then
again, Barberi draws all the women as having breasts bigger than their heads
and waists too narrow to contain internal organs, so I suppose one shouldn't
try to read subtle meaning out of his art.  In any case, the art doesn't have
to carry it, Oliver ties the story together well enough by the end.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     StormWatch Post Human Division Armageddon #1: DC/Wildstorm - Officer
Doran gets to be the one to go on Void's Magical Mystery Tour in this part of
the Armageddon arc.  This one breaks formula in several ways, and it's about
time, since we're running out of comics to do this in.  I am amused by the
fact that Gage seems to like these characters better than the rest, as most
of them came through the end of the world pretty well.  Heck, some got their
dreams to come true.  :)  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Salvation Run #2 (of 7): DC - More crowd scenes and pointless deaths of
minor characters, many of whom will probably be back in two or three years
when editorial forgets they got killed off.  However, the final scene is
worth picking it up for.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Green Arrow and Black Canary #3: DC - Well, the reasoning behind the
whole faked-death thing is explained.  A tad tortured, but adequately
covered.  Unfortunately, the explanation takes the characters somewhat out of
their milieu, IMO.  The "Arrow Family" may have been a bad fit for Amazon
action, but at least the neo-Amazons are mostly human.  The new Real Threat
is just a touch too cosmic.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Booster Gold #5: DC - Well, I shouldn't be too surprised by the
identities of the Prime Movers behind Rex Hunter...two of them are past
favorites of Johns, after all.  But I like 'em too, so it's all good.  Mind
you, reading through this, I kept thinking in terms of the Shadowfist/Feng
Shui game's view of time travel..."But that wouldn't work, you'd just see
someone else with a similar name in the same role!" or "Well, duh, of course
he can't succeed, he doesn't control enough chi."  ;)  Recommended.
     Fallen Angel #22: IDW - Very superhero-y cover by Woodward.  The altered
style continues inside, with just a touch of Marc Wheatley to a child's view
of superheroic art (although it shifts a bit as the story goes on, to reflect
the mood).  Interesting framing device, and it's nice to see Jude past his
angst-wallowing.  Recommended.  $3.99
     Transformers Beast Wars: The Ascending #3 (of 4): IDW - More crowd scene
interspersed with exposition, and some more Pointless Deaths (and a noble
sacrifice or two), but it's a bit more coherent this time out.  And it looks
like we get Antagony next issue.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99 (I got cover A,
with the Blentrons).
     Gargoyles #7: Slave Labor Graphics - Possibly the most aggressive
time-shifting I've ever seen in a comic, Quantum & Woody included.  At least
there's timestamps for all the scenes, but that doesn't really help at first,
especially since some of the scenes seem to be irrelevant (at the moment,
anyway).  It does start to coalesce by the end, but I'm calling this one a
form experiment that didn't quite work.  Mildly recommended.  $3.95
     Gold Digger X-Mas Special #1: Antarctic Press - Aside from the usual
assortment of pinups and a couple of mediocre one-page tales, there's three
main stories.  Fred Perry has Mistress Ayane try to go caroling (and no, I am
not worthy to rock, sadly), Ben Dunn tells a story of Doctor Diggers as a
young man, helping Save Christmas, and JL Anderson involves several of the
supporting characters in a re-enactment of A Christmas Carol.  Sort of.  But
it has Peebri, so you must read it!  Recommended.  $3.50/$4.05Cn
     Owly v4 A Time To Be Brave: Top Shelf Productions - This was ordered as
a Christmas present for my niece Marah, who likes owls.  Back when I expected
it to show in October.  At this point, it's now a 2nd Birthday present for
her, I guess (in March).  I'll wait and mail it once the holiday rush is
over.  :) Anyway, Owly is mostly word-free, using pictograms most of the time
where words would be called for, I figured it'd be good for corru...
introducing my niece to the visual language of comics.  The art combines
detailed backgrounds with cartoony characters in a manner similar to Bone
(i.e. lots of people do this in general, but the specific look is Bone-
like).  This particular story is about overcoming fears, as the title
suggests, and the story structure is a little complicated, with both
flashbacks and hypothetical "imaginary" sequences, so I'll tell sis to read
it first so she can explain some of the bits.  Also, one important plot point
is conveyed in words.  But Marah's been scary-precocious already, she should
be up for it.  For more sophisticated readers, Runton makes good use of panel
layout, shifting to pages with a single panel each, dwarfed by blank space
around them, when he wants to convey a sense of loneliness or isolation.
Recommended.  $10.00

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 12/12:

     Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, 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.  Doktor Sleepless finally came in, but I reviewed it a
while back.


"Guess He's Not So Dead After All" Award to X-Factor #25

"Well, Can't Say They Weren't Prepared For An Early Cancellation" Award to
     New Warriors #6

"Explanation Via Deconstruction" Award to Fantastic Four #552

"No, The Other Kind Of Ho" Award to Gen13 v4 #15

"Paris Is Burning...You" Award to StormWatch Post Human Division 
     Armageddon #1

"Truth, Justice and the American Way!" Award to Salvation Run #2 (of 7)

"Polymorphously Perverse" Award to Green Arrow & Black Canary #3

"Gotta Start Blowing Up The Joker's Feng Shui Sites" Award to Booster
     Gold #5

"No, It's Not" Award to Fallen Angel #22

"Which Quatrain Was This?" Award to Transformers Beast Wars the Ascending
     #3 (of 4)

"Lexington's Not The Only One Jet-Lagged" Award to Gargoyles #7

"MOAR COOKIES!" Award to Gold Digger X-Mas Special #1

"(Insert pictogram here)" Award to Owly v4

     Dave Van Domelen, "My innocence was FOREVER DAMAGED by your filthy
book." - Peebri, Gold Digger X-Mas Special #1
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