Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Typed the First Looks on my new EEE PC. Rants, Capsules can be found on my homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants Special Comics-Related FanArt: http://www.dvandom.com/kaiju/snorky1.JPG http://www.dvandom.com/kaiju/snorky2.JPG 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 - Captain America #35: Marvel - Slow progress towards making the new Cap into a real Captain America, but progress. $2.99/$3.05Cn Thor #6: Marvel - Now that Asgard has settled in, it's time for an issue of how the locals react to and interact with the Aesir, and this is a good one of that type. Followed by a lot of sturm und drang as the "bring back the Aesir" plot comes to a head. Recommended. Young Avengers Presents #2 (of 6): Marvel - Hulkling focus. Specifically, Hulkling meets Mar-Vell. We seem to be developing a theme of legacies here. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn New Warriors #9: Marvel - Not much to say about this one. Fight scene against forgettable villains, some trust issue angst, background on the supporting cast, and sinister plans afoot. More of the same, basically. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn She-Hulk v2 #26: Marvel - It's hard to angst without pants, but Jen manages it. A decent balance of serious and humor, though, about what PAD usually manages when he's trying to be deadly serious. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Damage Control #2 (of 3): Marvel - And McDuffie's view of Penance gets air time, yay! And fun fallout from WWH some of it literally fallout. Or shrapnel. Strongly 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): Cable & Deadpool #50 Startling Tales of Super Weirdness Presents Adventures into Darkness: Ronin Arts - No, this isn't a comic, it's a Mutants & Masterminds Superlink product. But I figured it was worth mentioning here. AiD is a counterfactual by Ken Hite (those of you who know Hite should at this moment be gasping in shock that he'd write a counterfactual) revolving around the following premise: what if, while recovering from illness in 1937, Lovecraft was convinced by a combination of friends and a young Julius Schwartz to write comics for (and generally let others write under his name for) Ned Pines's comics line, generally known as Nedor Comics? This infusion of a steady paycheck let him regain his health (in reality, he died in 1937), and he was involved in Nedor's comics for nearly a decade. As a result, at the same time we're seeing Alex Ross putting his spin on characters like the Fighting Yank over in Project Superpowers, Hite gives us a glimpse at what might have happened had H.P. Lovecraft put his own spin on these pulpish superheroes. Consider this to be Mythos-flavored Golden Age superheroism rather than superhero-flavored Lovecraft, though...it's not really suitable for running "straight" Call of Cthulhu in the True20 system. It also needs some work to use anyway, since the guy who did the stats (it wasn't Hite himself) violated the rules in several places, mainly seeming unable to properly assign Power Levels (i.e. it doesn't matter if a guy only spent 30 points, if his Attack is +5 and his Damage is +4, he's PL5, not PL2). And yes, it includes SAN loss rules for M&M 2nd Edition, and some advice on tweaking them to suit your game. Recommended. $9.95 PDF download from Ronin Arts, http://www.roninarts.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=508 Conan #49: Dark Horse - The villains are laid out more clearly, motivations established, and survivors revealed. Pretty much just gearing up for the Big Boom in #50. Mildly recommended. $2.99 The Scream #4: Dark Horse - Eh, so-so. It ends with a sort of resolution, enough to tie things off if there's never another issue, but it's only a small resolution. Very much a chapter one sort of thing. Aside from the plot, which was unremarkable, the scripting and art were also unremarkable. Neutral. $2.99 Transformers Spotlight #12 (Arcee): IDW - The Monstructor plot threads get picked up again, and while Arcee is the title spotlight, Fortress Maximus is as much in the focus as she is. Furman sets up a contrast of cold justice and hot vengeance, although the "Arcee as psycho bitch" characterization doesn't exactly thrill me. At least Furman provides sufficient motivation for it here. Milne's art gets pretty busy in places, although most of the bits that are hard to follow are supposed to be. There's still too much love for harsh lighting contrast by the coloring team, though. Anyway, warm up the MSTing circuits, Grimlock's getting the Spotlight next month. ;) Mildly recommended. $3.99 (I got Cover A) Prince Of Heroes vol 1 #2 (of 3): Antarctic Press - This still needs captions to indicate timing. Also, this issue reads as HORRIBLY padded. Loads of splash pages that really don't make use of the extra space, that would work far better as part of a 4-6 panel layout. Sure, it's extra-sized so there's still an issue's worth of story (although Espinosa cops to writing for the trade in the opening notes), but it felt even shorter than a regular issue. My disappointment from #1 continues unabated, and odds are #3 will be my last issue of this title. Neutral. $3.50/$3.50Cn Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #14: Antarctic Press - Subtracto through Theodore Diggers (who gets a big entry, as one might expect). Several team entries this time, and somewhat heavier than usual on the minor villains/antagonists. Recommended. $3.95/$3.95Cn Gold Digger v3 #93: Antarctic Press - Back to Brit's homecoming voyage, with a big revelation, a tie-in to recent issues, and a lot of threads starting to come together. It does kinda pull a "tell rather than show" on concurrent events in the Earthbound plot, though. Recommended. $2.99/$2.99Cn Green Arrow and Black Canary #5: DC - A skip-jump through Ollie's life, revealing the Truth (until it gets retconned again) about his relationship (or lack thereof) with Connor. The cover is not only disingenuous, it's outright incorrect, though. Oh, and while Amanda Connor is listed as the only artist on the cover, she only does the cover...the interior is Andre Coelho (who does a pretty good job). Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Justice League of America #18: DC - Ick. Really getting tired of what Benes passes off as art. Burnett's story is pretty good, though. The backup by McDuffie and Meyers focuses on Red Tornado, so no resolution on Vixen yet. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn The Brave and the Bold #10: DC - Superman and Silent Knight, plus Aquaman and the original roster Teen Titans. Two more tales of Megistus's transtemporal scavenger hunt, one opposed by design and the other by happenstance, with the Challs wrapped around it. Fun to see Perez drawing the original Teen Titans. :) Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Shadowpact #22: DC - The Unbound arc comes to a finale, and Sturges does a pretty good job of it. Winslade's art is a bit off in places, every so often it looks like he was rushed on the inking. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Marvel Illustrated the Iliad #3 (of 8): Marvel - The takeaway lesson from this installment is that Zeus is a fickle jerk. And that sometimes a deus ex machina means that the plot makes no sense. Basically, the battle seesaws all over the place as Zeus throws his weight around and forbids anyone of the other gods from enjoying the same privilege. Short form: this is a part of the story that usually gets left out of adaptations, and for good reason. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Amazing Spider-Man #551: Marvel - Guggenheim's month wraps up with Menace driven off and possibly thwarted, but not without giving Jackpot loads of angst. And I'm starting to get a Rose/Thorn vibe here. Well-scripted, though. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn The Order #8: Marvel - The first arc may be over, but we're not done with the framing interview trick. Mulholland Black this time. The main story doesn't dwell exclusively on her, though, being mainly about the S.H.A.D.O.W. plot. And a clever use of compatible technologies. Annoyingly, just as I decide to start picking this book up, it's announced it'll be ending at #12. $2.99/$3.05Cn Marvel Adventures Avengers #21: Marvel - Sumerak and Guara again. It's time to bring in the Russian contingent, with a Crimson Dynamo and Black Widow story, which has echoes of both mainstream Marvel and the Ultimate versions. A bit narrate-y, but good. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Cable & Deadpool #50: Marvel - Final issue. Still with crapy Skottie Young cover art, it's like he banged out a dozen or so in one afternoon and they're still working through the pile. However, inside is pure gold. Seriously, Deadpool and a host of guest stars versus Venom-symbionted dinosaurs in Manhattan? Hard to go wrong with that premise, and Nicieza goes quite right with it. Strongly recommended. $3.99/$4.05Cn Invincible #48: Image - While there's a little bit of the usual personal life stuff here, it's mainly one of Kirkman's occasional forays into showing the foreground action, as a villain takes down pretty much everyone in the extended universe (including Savage Dragon, Dynamo5 and Freak Force on top of the usual Kirkman stable). Recommended. $2.99 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 2/20: Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, PS238 #25, (both of these have been covered in my CBR Special), Sky Sharks #2, Gamma Files, Transformers Devastation #5 (of 6). The Order TPB came in, but it's only #1-5 rather than #1-7, so I left it in my pull for now. I'll get it and scavenge the intervening issues over the weekend, dropped enough cash on comics today as it is. Awards: "Sometimes Virtue Isn't Exactly A Virtue" Award to Conan #49 "Feel The Power Of My Utter Lameness!" Award to The Scream #4 "The Fangs Are A Bit Much" Award to Transformers Spotlight #12 (Arcee) "Not Even The Only Comic I Read Today With A Pantsed Lady Brawler" Award to Prince of Heroes vol 1 #2 (of 3) "No, That's Not Megatron On Next Issue's Cover" Award to Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #14 "But Do They Have Smudburgers?" Award to Gold Digger v3 #93 "Fashion Show In Green" Award to Green Arrow and Black Canary #5 "A Head-Shrinker Got To Bronze Tiger On The Cover" Award to Justice League of America #18 "That Impurity Isn't Yellow" Award to The Brave and the Bold #10 "I Just Wonder WHERE She Kept It" Award to Shadowpact #22 "A Charioteer's Lot Is Not A Happy One" Award to Marvel Illustrated: The Iliad #3 (of 8) "Waiting For Him To Get Called 'Porker'" Award to Amazing Spider-Man #551 "They're Doing Really Cool Things With USB 3.0" Award to The Order #8 "I Still Prefer The MkV" Award to Marvel Adventures Avengers #21 "Sumo Slammin'" Award to Cable & Deadpool #50 "BUT NOTHING IS BENEATH ME!" Award to Invincible #48 Dave Van Domelen, "And you just HAPPENED to have a roll of duct tape on your person?" "I always carry duct tape. What -- don't you?" - Nightmaster and Enchantress, Shadowpact #22Back to the Main Rants Page.
Shiver back to the February 2008 Rants Page.