Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Sometimes not email-blocking is a mistake. 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 - Cable & Deadpool #49: Marvel - Ka-Zar and Zabu fill in for Cable this issue. And we find out the horror that is Brainchild's porn collection! And it just gets better in the windup for the final issue. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn New Warriors #8: Marvel - Well, looks like Beak and Angel's kids didn't get DeciMated into norms. More of a philosophical conflict issue than a physical conflict one, although Midnight's Fire's hair has a bit of a conflict with physics. 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): None. Transformers Beast Wars the Ascending #4 (of 4): IDW - Well, the pile of cameos in search of a plot comes to an end. It may be the final issue, but apparently Furman sees that as no reason not to introduce another dozen or so characters. While it's not quite as anticlimactic as humanly possible, it's in the vicinity. And what's up with Hardhead being a Herald of Shockaract? Artistically...ehn. The credits only list a rotating coloring team, but the style shifts so radically that either some of the colorists were working from very rough pencils, or there's an uncredited penciler or two in the mix with Guidi. Oh, and while Furman wrote both this and the Beast Wars Sourcebook, he doesn't seem to have worried overmuch about keeping the two consistent. Neutral...and only that high because it has Bump. $3.99 X-Factor #27: Marvel - More Messiah CompleX, whee. The first few pages end Madrox and Layla's future trip, and after that it's just a bunch of crossover dross I have zero interest in. Can we please be done with the stupid X-over now? There's no reason to buy this unless you actually like the crossover, as I'm sure anything important to the X-Factor cast will be recapitulated in future issues. Avoid. $2.99/$3.05Cn Amazing Spider-Man #546: Marvel - Sometimes following writers leads to some weird buying choices. While I find the whole One More Day thing laughably stupid and ill-advised, I almost always love Slott's work on Spider-Man (and the rest of hte time merely like it a lot). However, since I've at best been on the periphery of Spider-book continuity since, oh, the 1980s (Harry Osborn died? Huh.), I don't have nearly as much emotional investment in the now-invalidated stories. Plus, I choose to see this as happening on an Earth other than 616 anyway, since that seems a likely later retcon. ;) That out of the way, now to the actual comic. They're going to a thrice-monthly gimmick, which means a lot of backup stories to flesh out the oversized issues. The main story, by Slott and McNiven, has the running theme of "You know, I thought this would be a better life, but it isn't." Appropriate enough, really. And it ends quite nicely as Peter gets even more reasons to angst. The first backup is a two page spread of "the new status quo", which is concise and answers none of the real questions people have. Next is a few pages with Jackpot, eminently forgettable both in its Guggenheim writing and its Land art. Aunt May's three pages follows, by Gale and Winslade, and it's quite good. Finally, a decent three-paged about Harry Osborn by Zeb Wells and Mike Deodato. For a new reader, I'd call this a mixed bag. Some good stories, but it still seems to assume familiarity with the old continuity. And I don't expect anything in this will mollify pissed off existing readers. But if you happen to be in a similar position to me regarding Spider-Man, it's a good read, and I have at least some faith that Slott will make it a very good read. $3.99/$4.05Cn The Twelve #1 (of 12): Marvel - JMS slips into being a bit too narrate-y 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, and one-note characterization is better than NO note (i.e. Beast Wars the Ascending's crowd scenes). Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Gen13 v4 #16: DC/Wildstorm - Oliver's story is pretty good, as the whole "reality TV" plot continues to advance. But Sunny Lee's art is...bad. Oh, focusing on details it looks good enough, but proportions are all out of kilter either in ways both subtle and blatant, and it felt overall like someone with very little talent or experience being "repaired" by inkers and colorists as best as they could. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Teen Titans Lost Annual #1: DC - Well, Nick Cardy's certainly gotten pretty good in the past thirty years. :) Quick background: four years ago, Bob "the corny years of the Titans" Haney teamed up with penciller Jay Stephens and inker Mike Allred to do an Elseworlds Teen Titans story. It got shelved, and since then Haney has passed away, but it's finally being released without the Elseworlds mark on it, with a cover by Cardy (and a sketchbook of his more recent work from around 2001 in the back). The story's high concept is wonderfully loopy, capturing the spirit of the Silver Age. However, the allegories are also massively ham-handed, capturing some of the negative spirit of the Silver Age, and whether Haney's self-paordying or just relatively unchanging, some of the actual scripting is kinda painful to read. Still, it's a fun nostalgia trip, even if it IS nostalgia for a time before I was born. Recommended. $4.99/$5.99Cn Green Arrow and Black Canary #4: DC - Well, it opens with a bit of a science blooper. Not on the level of bringing a white dwarf star down to Legion HQ, but...well, it doesn't matter how good Superman's hearing is, he can't hear you faster than the speed of sound will carry it. Then again, Superman this week seems to assume that he can hear people from anywhere on Earth instantly too, so maybe there's some sort of official handwave in place. The rest is mainly Ollie angsting and retconning about Connor. Fairly well done all things considered, but maudlin nonetheless. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Superman #672: DC - Well, once Lana gets out of this, she may have a solution to Lexcorp's financial woes. A nice elegant solution. ;) On the other hand, the transliterated buzzing lisp the Insect Queen has gets old FAST. The Chris Kent plot gets a complication that implies Batman overlooked something important, it'll be interesting to see if he expresses any chagrin for being wrong, assuming he actually was. Mildly 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 1/9: 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. Add Salvation Run #3. Not Diamond's fault, though, orders shot up after #1 came out and the store didn't have enough ordered (and this week was forward-alphabetical, so I got the short end). Awards: "No, The Sourcebook Doesn't List Hardhead As A Herald...Or Hellscream, For That Matter, But At Least That One Makes SENSE" Award to Transformers Beast Wars the Ascending #4 (of 4) "'Til Death Do Us Part" Award to X-Factor #27 "Serious As A Heart Attack" Award to Amazing Spider-Man #546 "It's Called Nair, Look Into It, Cap" Award to The Twelve #1 (of 12) "When Come Back, Bring Pie" Award to Gen13 v4 #16 "Free Love Isn't Free" Award to Teen Titans Lost Annual #1 "Lies, Damned Lies, and Retcons" Award to Green Arrow and Black Canary #4 "Zeriously, Thiz Iz Annoying" Award to Zuperman #672 Dave Van Domelen, "And there was no way even the world's most determined virgin could keep up a pair of thigh-high stockings without garters. Unless stockings had changed suddenly and dramatically." - The Phantom Detective, starting to think something's up, The Twelve #1Back to the Main Rants Page.
Or slide on the ice back to the January 2008 Page.