December 28, 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.
Here we go, last shot at comics for 2007.  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 - (Note, comics will come in either Thursday or
Friday, depending on how UPS runs the holiday.)

     Omega the Unknown #4 (of 10): Marvel - The story meanders about,
although there is some self-contained business with the school bullies and
one of the weirder threads gets some explanation.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Thunderbolts #118: Marvel - Lots of nasty stuff this issue, but nothing
like what's on the cover.  Okay, the two characters on the cover are
together, but the closest they come to fighting is to watch rugby on TV.
That said, Ellis seems to be winding up to have ALL the wheels come off at
the same time here, and perhaps wrap up in a Hamletian slaughterfest.
     Exiles #1: Marvel - New series kicks off with an anthology of sorts, all
written by Mike Raicht but with different art on each bit.  In a world where
World War Hulk and Annnihilation teamed up, the only hope is to try to find
the eXiles.  On one of the stops, he picks up some unfinished newuniversal
business.  Overall, it's okay, but not enough to get me back as a reader.
$3.99/$4.05Cn  [Later note: I'm told this is a one shot, and unrelated to the
New Exiles relaunch.  It's just that it says nowhere on the actual comic that
it's a one-shot, and the indicia simply calls it Exiles #1.]
     Annihilation Conquest #3 (of 6): Marvel - Abnett and Lanning show their
usual penchant for ablative rosters and gory deaths, whee.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Ms. Marvel #23: Marvel - Looks to be the penultimate part of the Brood
deal, with the obligatory "things get really bad" and the almost equally
obligatory Danvers fanservice.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn

     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

     Conan #47: Dark Horse - Back to Tim Truman writing, with Tomas Giorello
on art.  This promises to be the tale wherein Conan makes the transition from
brash young man to adult...and having undead monsters running around is a
good ingredient for that, I suppose.  :)  Promising start to the arc.
Recommended.  $2.99
     Badger Saves The World #1 (of 6): IDW - At least, I'm pretty sure it's a
six issue mini.  Anyway, in a world where magic exists, you need to be
careful, because it's not always something that requires intent.  Certain
actions will have mystic consequences whether you realize it or not.  And
therein lies the conflict of this series...someone's doing unpleasant things
that could have dire mystical outcomes, but has no idea that this is the
case.  And Badger has to, well, Save The World.  A good start, and while I
still find Caron's art rougher than I'd like, it does look better than in
Bull.  Recommended.  $3.99 [Later note: five issue mini, not IDW's usual
     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.
     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 - PAD'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
     Avengers the Initiative #8: Marvel - Yay, Ant-Man joins the cast...and
gets punched out by Hank Pym on the cover.  Christos Gage also joins the
writing staff (alongside Slott), and he brings asynchronous storytelling with
him.  We open with the aftermath of a Big Disaster, then jump around to
various events supposedly leading up to it, although looks like we won't
actually catch up to the first page until a few issues from now.  Individual
pieces are good, but the choice of storytelling device kinda scrambles things
up and removes a lot of the story flow.  Still, worth it for the Ant-Man
scene.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     Teen Titans #54: DC - Um, okay.  The whole Tomorrow's Titans arc ends,
and I have to wonder if McKeever got a last minute edict to wrap it up an
issue early or something, because there's plot threads flailing about all
over the place.  Not to mention an ending that suggests nothing that happened
in the entire story matters, everyone's going to turn out rotten anyway.
Eh.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     The Brave and the Bold #9: DC - A bunch of short team-ups as Megistus
runs his trans-temporal scavenger hunt.  Cute Indiana Jones references in the
Blackhawk/Boy Commandos segment, and Waid was careful to copy the look and
feel of the new Atom's book in the Atom/Hawkman segment.  Recommended.
     Action Comics #860: DC - LSH fix number one for the week.  This one's
short on revelations (although there's a requisite end of issue "shocker"),
and mainly about catching up with more characters and upping the odds.  Which
is to say, I could summarize most of the issue without it really constituting
a spoiler.  :)  Still, this sort of "things happen but about what you'd
expect" issue is necessary to heighten tension.  And Johns gets Brek.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Legion of Super-Heroes #37: DC - And fix number two.  Shooter jumps in
with an all new threat approaching Earth, as Lightning Lad finds that being
Legion leader isn't what he'd hoped it'd be.  :)  I don't much care for
Manapul's art, but the story's okay.  I should state here that I'm one of
those people who wasn't eagerly awaiting Shooter's return, because I remember
things like Plasm even more strongly than I remember his old Legion work.  I
was, in fact, somewhat dreading his return to the Legion, and I'm glad to see
that it's not so bad.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Blue Beetle #22: DC - Rogers and Albuquerque are back, yay!  And we
finally get to see the Reach's big secret plan, plus more of Danni Garrett
(and Ted Kord's tech) and some more mining of obscure DC background
characters.  The snark level is a little lower than usual for Rogers,
although the armor seems to be learning snark as well to make up for that.
Oh, and I finally see that the armor's speech is a font, not random shapes
(unless they just started doing it as a font now), so I suppose someone who's
better than I am at cryptoquotes should use this issue as a key to go back
and work out the rest of the armor's statements.  :)  Strongly recommended.

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 12/28:

     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.


"Wait, If They Killed Everyone, How Did Anyone Know About The Kid Frothing
     At The Mouth?" Award to Conan #47

"Mmm, Eyeballs" Award to Badger Saves the World #1 (of 6)

"Why Can't Anyone Stay Dead?" Award to Captain Marvel #2 (of 5)

"Not A TOTALLY New Look For Him, Actually" Award to Thor #5

"Sibling Riflery" Award to New Warriors #7

"Ice Station HOLY HANNAH!" Award to Hulk vs. Fin Fang Foom #1

"I Can Have Thunderbolt Fist?" Award to Avengers the Initiative #8

"So, All's Well That Ends...Bwah?" Award to Teen Titans #54

"Setting His Cap On Her" Award to The Brave and the Bold #9

"Long Line Of Descent" Award to Action Comics #860

"Signal Lancer Feels Your Pain" Award to Legion of Super-Heroes #37

"Aggressive Product Testing" Award to Blue Beetle #22

     Dave Van Domelen, "Stomped by giant jailbait.  I know guys who'd PAY to
die like this." - Ant-Man, Avengers the Initiative #8
     Bonus quote, "--got it in my notes somewhere.  Filed under Kord-slash-
inventions-slash-"  "*Danni.*"  "-don't just call something 'slash' if you 
file it on the internet, though, you get some very interesting-"  "DANNI!"
- Danni Garrett, Blue Beetle, Blue Beetle #22
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