Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Got my electricity back Thursday night. 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 - (Note, comics will come in either Thursday or Friday, depending on how UPS runs the holiday.) Captain America #33: Marvel - Eh, not much to say on this one. It's okay, and finally resolves some stuff, but overall the arc still doesn't really grab me. $2.99/$3.05Cn Captain Marvel #2 (of 5): Marvel - It looks like someone involved in this is messing with time. That, or Reed was plotting on index cards and they got shuffled. Decent heart to heart scene with Danvers, but otherwise still not a very satisfying standalone read. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Thor #5: Marvel - The revealed reborn god this time out is a bit of a trick play, an amusing twist. JMS throws in a bunch of new complications this issue, but there is also cake. $2.99/$3.05Cn New Warriors #7: Marvel - Thanks to the new artist, I'm back to not being able to tell half of these people apart. Story-wise, the implied revelation about Thrash is confirmed. Gah, the artist makes Ultra Girl look nasty. Anyway, art badness aside, they're playing to the strengths of the premise. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Hulk vs. Fin Fang Foom #1: Marvel - PAS's story seems to be set back in the old "Hulk Smash" days (to the extent it's in continuity at all), and Jorge Lucas is in full Kirby pastiche mode. We also get some OHOTMU-style entries for the mains in very abbreviated form. It wrap up with a reprint of the first ever Fin Fang Foom story. Recommended. $3.99/$4.05Cn 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): Official Handbook of the Invincible Universe TPB Official Handbook of the Invincible Universe TPB: Image - Well, you wouldn't think a 2-issue perfect bound series would need a TPB, so I didn't order this initially. Then I saw the hosue ads that put it at about 24 pages more than the combined original series, with promises of new material. So I sucked it up and ordered from Deepdiscount.com (I'd rather support my FLGS, but backorders through Diamond these days take slightly longer to arrive than the heat death of the universe). Turns out there's four new entries, one updated entry (reformatted because part of it was spun off into a new entry), a five page intro by Peter Sanderson, and some "making of" art gallery stuff. As far as I can tell, none of the old entries got any new material. Most of the time, this is no big deal...Bi-Plane isn't getting any less dead, after all. But the characters tightly involved in the Sequid plot really could've used a few lines to reveal what was up with that. And Dupli-Kate's own recent events might have merited a line or two. If you already have the original series, it's probably not worth picking up (the new entries are Anissa the Viltrumite, Oliver, and a couple of one-off villains). But if you haven't bought the original issues, this is Strongly Recommended. $12.99 The Scream #2 (of 4): Dark Horse - The protagonist figures out at least some of what's going on, and it's made clear that this is set in a 'real' world rather than a superhero one. Anyone know what "foux" means? Babelfish isn't translating it as anything, and I don't own a hardcopy French to English dictionary. :) The cover is a tad deceptive, and feels more like it's intended to be showing next issue or something. Mildly recommended. $2.99 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 story...you 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. $2.99/$3.05Cn Marvel Illustrated: the Iliad #1 (of 8): Marvel - I'd make a joke about spoiler alerts here, but as "Troy" showed us a while back, you can adapt the Iliad more or less faithfully but still tweak important details. :) Anyway, the Iliad is a very long work, so even though Thomas chooses to summarize a lot of the early stuff (like, say, the first nine years of the war), there's a lot he could easily focus on in later issues that's normally dropped in other adaptations. Not sure how tightly he worked this up and how much he left in the hands of artist Sepulveda, but it definitely looks like how Thomas did Conan, in terms of layout, etc. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Marvel Holiday Special 2007 #1: Marvel - Garrity and Farago's contribution this time is all one piece rather than scattered about like last year. Unfortunately, the artist on it (Lou Kang) is only so-so. His general blocking and so forth is good, but I don't care for his face work. The story takes place in a shadowy "somewhere" in continuity prior to Civil War. Cebulski does a piece with the Loners, and it's kinda opaque to people (like me) who didn't read Loners. Carey's piece at the end is more of a "What The?" piece of loopiness, but it has a cute send-up of the latest Big Event Thing as its zinger. Recommended. $3.99/$4.05Cn Marvel Adventures Avengers #19: Marvel - Templeton brings in a sexy new Super Adaptoid and what seems to be a female version of the Mad Thinker (who really should take on the codename Brawllerina if she recurs). Some elements are hammered home a little too hard (i.e. treating the readers as a little dim), but generally a solid story. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Superman #671: DC - Heh, Jay Hosler got consulted on this issue. Well, if you want to tell a story involving superheroes and insects, he's certainly the go-to guy. Busiek's otherwise having fun with Superman's restored pre-Crisis levels of power, while still finding ways to challenge him that don't always involve magic or other Kryptonians. :) Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Justice League of America #16: DC - Icky Image-style art from Benitez, but McDuffie does a decent job of starting up a Tangent crossover story here. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Shadowpact #20: DC - The swapping back and forth between the two stories this issue is a little awkward in places, but Kieron Dwyer's art generally suits the raw and warlike nature of both stories. And Sturges ties a few more threads together, and brings back a few old faces. Or muzzles, whatever. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn 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 12/19: 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. Awards: "I Like The Rough Layout For Dupli-Kate In The Jam Piece Better" Award to Official Handbook of the Invincible Universe TPB "Letting It All Out" Award to The Scream #2 (of 4) "Deadpool, Disassemble!" Award to Cable & Deadpool #48 "Extremely Tough Love" Award to She-Hulk v2 #24 "Those Topless Towers Aren't What I Thought They'd Be" Award to Marvel Illustrated: The Iliad #1 (of 8) "But There's No Sense Crying Over Every Mistake. You Just Keep On Trying Till You Run Out Of Cake" Award to Marvel Holiday Special 2007 #1 "Not A Setting Where Red Hair And Green Eyes Really Narrows It Down Much, I'm Afraid" Award to Marvel Adventures Avengers #20 "Bring On The Blattidae!" Award to Superman #671 "Flash In The Plan" Award to Justice League of America #16 "Passing The Sniff Test" Award to Shadowpact #20 Dave Van Domelen, "So, would it be awkward if I licked your face?" "A little bit, yeah." - Shadowpact #20 (identifying the speakers would be something of a spoiler)Back to the Main Rants Page.
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