Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Time for the new semester to start. 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 - Damage Control #1 (of 3): Marvel - On the one hand, McDuffie's writing. On the other hand, Damage Control as a property has been seriously messed up lately. Fortunately, the first order of business seems to be "fix Damage Control." And it's looking great so far. I do kinda suspect that McDuffie has written himself into the series as one of the characters, though. :) Strongly recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Young Avengers Presents Patriot #1 (of 6): Marvel - Brubaker and Medina on this. The story here is mainly about two angry young men trying to figure out what it means to uphold Captain America's legacy, and neither is sure if they're on the right track, but that doesn't stop them from trying. I guess each issue will focus on one member of the team (I didn't read the solicits, but since the title in the indicia is just "Young Avengers Presents" that would seem to make sense), before a hopeful eventual relaunch of Young Avengers. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn The Order #7: Marvel - Last issue to go in the first TPB, and we're back to a focus on Hellrung. It's a fairly quiet climax, but a character arc climax nonetheless. I've ordered the TPB, I'll let y'all know how well the story works all together. $2.99/$3.05Cn She-Hulk v2 #25: Marvel - Jen bitches and angsts a lot while weirdness rains down all around her. In the backup, PAD digs up an obscure old Shulkie foe and puts him on a quest for meaning or somesuch. :) Finally, a second backup has Jen beating the crud out of the fourth wall. This oversize issue wraps with a revised OHOTMU entry for Jen. 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): Atomic Robo #4 (of 6) Ninja High School #156: Antarctic Press - Told in the form of Kuro's letters to various members of his rather large nuclear family, a sort of illustrated novella. A lot of it is summary of what readers already know (unless they're new this month, of course), but a trio of important new developments arise as well. Recommended. $2.99/$2.99Cn Transformers Devastation #4 (of 6) (TF G1 #20): IDW - Got the Su cover A. Lots of explosions this issue, and as kinda expected the threats seen last issue partially cancelled each other out in the short term. There's also some cliffhanging regarding the human cast. In any case, things are moving along at a decent pace, although it feels like there's no real connection between the two main storylines (Sixshot story and Headmasters)...this wouldn't be an issue if they just called this an unlimited series, but for a "miniseries" to have two parallel arcs that don't connect to each other is bad storytelling. As Transformers #20 it'd be recommended, but as Devastation #4 (of 6) it's only mildly recommended. $3.99 Fallen Angel #23: IDW - The kid from last issue isn't around, but then again, we're all about jumping around in the timeline for this arc, it looks like, and he may not have arrived yet. Hard to say. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Salvation Run #3 (of 7): DC - Yes, Diamond is capable of shipping reorders in a timely fashion. They just don't bother for smaller publishers. Anyway, more crowd scene, but the lines finally get drawn in the conflict established in #2. And we find that someone else has been keeping their eyes on the project besides the shadowing forces behind the planet itself. No outstanding moments, but a good read. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Justice League of America #17: DC - McDuffie's stretched a tad thin lately, so Alan Burnett is running the lead story while McDuffie does a backup focusing on What The Heck Is Up With Vixen. The lead story ties in to Salvation Run in a nice example of how you can have a big event impacting other titles *without* having to slap a banner across the cover of every book involved or derail ongoing stories. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Shadowpact #21: DC - The details from last issue's Big Reveal are filled in, the Earthbound side of the team tries to get in on the action, and Detective Chimp trolls furries. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Booster Gold #6: DC - And here's the big payoff, the mission to save Ted Kord, despite #5 being all about how it would be impossible. I suspect Johns is experimenting here with recompressed storytelling, the kind of chop and change seen in older comics (and Saturday Matinee serials), but I'm ambivalent regarding the results here. I think he's shifting gears too quickly now. Anyway, at least he seems content to not pull the rug out again right away, and there's actually a resolution that gets to stand until the end of the issue. :) Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Marvel Illustrated: the Iliad #2 (of 8): Marvel - This covers the abortive fight between Menelaus and Paris, and then a whole lotta the gods being utter bastards. As is their wont, really. Achilles is still sulking in his tent, waiting for his cue. Roy Thomas seems to have chosen to emphasize in this issue that when the gods get too involved it just means pain for all involved and little to no resolution...best to let the mortals work things out themselves. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn 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 Amazing Spider-Man #547: Marvel - Brand New Day continues. Well, at least we get Spider-Man in costume this issue, and Mr. Negative doesn't stay in the shadows. No decompressed pacing from Slott, here. The "out" for the cliffhanger is telegraphed a bit too obviously, hopefully it's revealed next issue that Spider-Man figured it out himself before getting tangled up in said cliffhanger. :) No backup stories, I wonder if we'll get a $3.99 issue once a month with all the backups, or if the ones that bear continuing will just get continued in the main part of the book. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Marvel Adventures Avengers #20: Marvel - Sumerak and Guara on creative duty this time. Once again, they're retelling the origin of an existing villain, with enough twists to make it fresh, but with enough left the same that it's pretty obvious who the bad guy is going to be. Not at the level of Parker's issues, but still a good read. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Atomic Robo #4 (of 6): Red 5 Comics - Most of this issue's main story is a flashback to Atomic Robo's adventure on Mars, with a couple pages devoted to the present day Egyptian brouhaha, and a backup in which Edison uses the ghost of Rasputin in an attempt on Tesla's life...heh. This issue is all about the cutthroat world of science, man. Generally a quieter issue, though, probably on purpose for pacing reasons. Not as full of pure win as previous issues, so while it's still a very good comic, I'm breaking the streak and only giving it a "recommended". Best of the week, though. $2.95 Banana Sunday TPB: Oni Press - A friend recommended this the other week, so I orderd a used library copy off Amazon (specifically the Sno Isle Regional Library). The original miniseries came out in 2005, and the collection in 2006, so obviously you're not likely to find this on the shelves of your local comic shop (but hey, it might be in your local library if you're not in Sno Isle...Dewey number 741.5 NIBOT 2006). It's your basic "first week at a new high school, with SF/Fantasy elements added on" story, in which a teenaged girl and her three talking primates (a superintelligent orangutan, a romantically enthusiastic spider monkey who seems to be visually based on the teen heartthrob phase Frank Sinatra went through, and a dimwitted but supremely strong midget gorilla) arrive at a new school and try to fit in. It sounds odd to say this, but the plot is pretty standard for its type...and yes, there's a type here, albeit more found in manga than in American comics. But the execution is very good, and it's worth hunting this down. I know there are still plenty of cheap used copies on Amazon, for instance. :) Recommended. $11.95 new, I got mine for about $9 with shipping. 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 1/16: 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: "The Pen Still Needs To Work On Beating Out That Sword" Award to Ninja High School #156 "Who Says Only The Decepticons Get To Teleport Away When The Going Gets Tough?" Award to Transformers Devastation #4 (of 6) "Beating A Death Horse" Award to Fallen Angel #23 "Peace Or Else" Award to Salvation Run #3 (of 7) "I Still Don't Know What Comes From Beyond" Award to Justice League of America #17 "Stupid Magical Viral Meme" Award to Shadowpact #21 "Do The Beetles Get To Have Lanterns?" Award to Booster Gold #6 "Oooh, Dissed By Sarpedon" Award to Marvel Illustrated: the Iliad #2 (of 8) "And What's That Dryptosaur Doing With That Struthiomimus?" Award to Cable & Deadpool #49 "Okay, Someone In The Beak Household Is A Mega-Geek To Know About That Particular Spider-Man Costume" Award to New Warriors #8 "And At Least He's Not Yet Reduced To *Wearing* That Costume" Award to Amazing Spider-Man #547 "I Guess Whirlwind Was Too Busy To Be The Stalker This Time" Award to Marvel Adventures Avengers #20 "Between This And Futurama, Hawking Just Can't Catch A Break" Award to Atomic Robo #4 (of 6) "Tripitaka Sympathizes With Your Plight, Miss" Award to Banana Sunday TPB Dave Van Domelen, "Or do we truly WANT the phrase 'ROBOT PORNOGRAPHY' to be broadcast across the COSMOS to be some distant, advanced ALIEN civilization's FIRST impression of mankind? I rather thought NOT." - Carl Sagan, Atomic Robo #4 (of 6)Back to the Main Rants Page.
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