January 4, 2008

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.
Back to Wednesdays next week, hopefully.  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 #10: Marvel - I don't think the editor knows what "vore" means in
the paraphilia community, but I suspect Abnett and Lanning didn't pick it as
the issue title in ignorance.  :)   Anyway, it's mostly a pause in the action
to deal with romantic issues that I don't really care about, but it's
competently written.  $2.99/$3.05Cn
     The Twelve #1 (of 12): Marvel - JMS slips into being a bit too narraty
again, as he often does when thing go epic or long timespan, but to be fair
he has a LOT of infodump to deal with, introducing twelve characters who most
readers never heard of before.  Some of the characterization is on the "with
a brick" side off unsubtle, but it's a decent start.  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): Essential
Power Man and Iron Fist vol 1.

     Essential Power Man and Iron Fist vol 1: Marvel - PM/IF #50-72 and
#74-75.  Why was #73 skipped?  Dunno.  My guess would be that they couldn't
fit everything in at the assigned pagecount, and #73 was a filler or
something that we'll get in vol 2 (although with #100 being another double
sized issue like #75, we run into the same size problem).  They also have
those Sienkiewicz-drawn house ads with calm Danny and angry Luke trying to
get people to read the book.  Anyway, this is the Jo Duffy era of PM/IF...she
writes 18 of the 25 issues in here.  Art is a bit more varied, although Kerry
Gammill seems to lead the pack.  This volume covers the first three years
(roughly) of the title, and is an interesting transition for the pair from
their roots in blaxploitation and chop socky into full-in superhero stories.
Granted, each made most of that transition before they ever teamed up, but it
gelled here.  Recommended.  $16.99/$27.25Cn (which suggests the cover was
laid out rather far in advance!)  [Later note: it was pointed out to me that
#73 guest-starred Rom the Spaceknight, and Marvel no longer has that
     Howard the Duck #4 (of 4): Marvel - A lot of running around and shouting
plus a fair amount of ham-fisted political and social commentary, but some
good bits as well.  Mildly recommended.  $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
     Doktor Sleepless #4: Avatar - Subtitle this go-round is "Don't Worry
Ma'am, We're From The Internet".  We're back to fairly indulgent storytelling
here, where several pages are devoted to the graphic disemboweling of a
character we haven't seen before but who is part of the Doktor's backstory.
And then the Doktor rants on a rooftop for a while, and weird things happen.
A missable issue, sadly.  Neutral.  $3.99
     Dynamo5 #10: Image - Asrar's art's a bit on the scratchy side this
issue.  The story follows three main threads, one of which is actually
supervillain-related, but ends on a cliffhanger unrelated to any of them (and
somewhat clumsily foreshadowed at one point, too).  Mildly recommended.
     Sky Sharks #5: Antarctic Press - And so the story wraps up.  Despite the
shipping problem, I have read all four of the previous issues...and I felt
lost a good part of the time here.  Maybe reading all the parts in one
sitting would help, in which case this is a severe case of writing for the
collected edition, and might have been better off released as a GN from the
word go.  It felt like there were some cool ideas and fun bits throughout the
series, but that it just didn't hang together.  Mildly recommended.
     Gold Digger v3 #91: Antarctic Press - A bit of a side story focusing on
Madrid and the Dragon Ladies (6, 38 and Platinus).  And a certain amount of
dominance displays and fan pandering.  ;)  It's starting to feel like the
Gigliathon plot is being padded out to end on #100, but at least the side
trips are entertaining.  Recommended.
     The Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #12: Antarctic Press -
Looks like it's time to have my store do another direct order to AP, still no
#11 coughed up by Diamond.  This issue covers Rook through Sheila Silvear,
including the enigmatic Sabbo.  OooooOOOoooh.  Um, and why is there a giant
poodle monster on the cover for #13?  Recommended.  $3.95/$4.55Cn
     Transformers Beast Wars Sourcebook #3 (of 4): IDW - Onyx Primal through
Silverbolt.  At least, I think it's of 4 at this point, could even be 5 at
this point.  Nice seksi (well, sorta) drawing of Scylla by Simon Williams,
whose style feels kinda late 70s/early 80s in general.  A few of the other
artists in this volume contribute to a rather retro feel.  I am amused at how
they obliquely explain away the two Prowls...Magnaboss Prowl is the G1
version, while Owl Prowl is the Alternator version, who is established as a
separate entity from G1 Prowl.  And while the Transmetal Jaguar gets
redefined as Ravage, Shadow Panther is defined as a Ravage fanboy.  ;)
Recommended.  $6.99  [Later note: Ah, Simon Williams has done work for the
U.K. TF Armada comic...so it's not so much 70s Marvel as U.K. Marvel.  Heh.
Personally, I like the weirder interpretations in this issue precisely
because they're NOT the same Guidi/Roche/Figueroa versions everyone else
seems to want.]

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 1/4:

     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.


"Lemme Call Some People" Award to Essential Power Man and Iron Fist vol 1

"Duck Naked" Award to Howard the Duck #4 (of 4)

"The SPLORTCHy Rewards Of Manual Labor" Award to Ms. Marvel #23

"Um, Oh Yeah, We Forgot The Mature Audiences Label" Award to Doktor Sleepless
     #4 (both for the disemboweling and the partial nudity on the cover)

"You'd Think He'd Be Used To Checking For 'Kick Me' Signs" Award to Dynamo5

"Sounds Like A Zerg Rush To Me" Award to Sky Sharks #5

"My Lovely Dragon Humps" Award to Gold Digger v3 #91

"Um, Sander?  You're Supposed To Be Two Inches Taller Than Rook At 1:1
     Scale, NOT On The Cover" Award to The Official Handbook of the Gold
     Digger Universe #12

"Primary Function: Universal Overlord?  Nice Work If You Can Get It" Award
     to Transformers Beast Wars Sourcebook #3 (of 4)

     Dave Van Domelen, "...you worry too much for a man without ethics." -
AIM Agent 66, Howard the Duck #4
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