Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Should be done ruining lives for the week. 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 - Captain America #34: Marvel - Well, the new Cap is revealed, and the reasons behind the costume change. Plus a big side order of "can you punch socioeconomic ills?" Very dark in tone, and the art reflects that (while the new costume reflects everything else, badumpbump). $2.99/$3.05Cn Fantastic Four #553: Marvel - the end of McDuffie's run, and of my interest (I shun Milllar). I am amused that time travel ideas I've been messing with lately are also brought up here, albeit in a slightly different way, but with the same storytelling purpose: how can a time travel story have any drama if it can only either branch off a parallel or it's doomed to linearity? 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): Damage Control #1 (of 3), Blue Beetle #23, Amelia Rules #19 (YOU NEED THIS BOOK), Amelia Rules! Volume One: The Whole World's Crazy, Amelia Rules! Volume Two: What Makes You Happy Incredible Change-Bots GN: Top Shelf - This digest-sized full color GN was first printed back in July, but I didn't notice it until it was already out, and given Diamond's back order track record, I decided not to bother trying to get one. It was resolicited, though, and this time I noticed it in Previews. ;) Anyway, it's a pretty broad parody that mixes elements of the original Transformers "More Than Meets The Eye" storyline with bits of modern American politics and tells it with a deliberately crude "indie comics" art style. There were some chuckles to be had, and the jabs were generally not mean-spirited, but all in all I wasn't that impressed. Neutral. $15.00 The Scream #3 (of 4): Dark Horse - At least, I *think* it's a four issue miniseries. The pacing certainly doesn't feel right, unless we're in for a "to be continued in volume two" ending next issue. In any case, it's just not gelling for me, it's like Peter David's trying to play around with cliches and forms and so forth, but it's just not working out. Neutral. $2.99 Transformers Spotlight #11 (Blaster): IDW - They're throttling back, the only alternate cover this time was a retailer incentive. Kinda narration- heavy, and the plot is a fairly basic "who tried to kill me?" mystery, but taken as a spotlight story, it does the job admirably. It establishes who Blaster is, both his public face and his inner self, and why he's important. The art by Santalucia is good, and he manages to capture Silverbolt's creepy lips exactly. :) Recommended. $3.99 Amazing Spider-Man #548: Marvel - The first month of Brand New Day (yes, it's a day that not only feels like it lasts a month, it really does) is done, and Slott's definitely warming up to the new storyline. Plenty of good Spider-Man action and patter, while various complications in his life do somersaults. I especially like the way his situation with Mr. Negative does flip-flops. Recommended. $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, which is extensive but not quite up to date (it runs to about two or three issues before the end of Slott's run). Recommended. $3.99/$4.05Cn 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 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 Gold Digger v3 #92: Antarctic Press - This one is a big reveal issue, but I had to read it twice to pick up all (I think) of the reveals. Mainly, it ties several major series villains together, and delves more into the background of Ayane (although it's unclear if we're seeing Ayane herself, or a namesake ancestor). Recommended. $2.99/$2.99Cn (Yes, they list both prices on the covers despite the numbers being the same now.) The Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #13: Antarctic Press - Were-rat clan leader Sherisha through a REALLY extensive entry on Stryyp'Gia. And it seems that the weird poodle is the one from a recent "childhood flashback" issue, only now much older. Recommended. $3.95/$3.95Cn The Prince of Heroes v1 #1 (of 3): Antarctic Press - Rod Espinosa's launching another epic, this time in his Chronicles of Universe/Battle Girlz setting. Three issues not an epic, you say? Well, according to the inside front cover, this miniseries is merely chapter one...of eighteen. So this will be longer than Neotopia. I go into this with some trepedation, though. While Rod's usually golden, his Chronicles setting shows its "childhood writings" origins rather strongly, and like Ted Nomura's Altered Wars setting suffers from huge hidden backstory being required to follow the actual published material. Battle Girlz wasn't so bad, but the Chronicles TPB was, well, not good IMO. So, trepidation. And, well, it's not off to a great start. I'm not sure if the opening scene happens before the rest of the issue, or if the bulk of the issue is a flashback. Initially I wasn't even sure if the viewpoint character was the same PERSON, despite looking the same (i.e. setup for a Prince and the Pauper sort of thing). The "hidden backstory" issue also crops up, although it's not so much hidden as simply not presented anywhere in this comic (the Darem are the setting's ruling super-race, very long-lived and physically superior to almost everyone...this is merely hinted at here, and not knowing it makes the story even MORE confusing than it already is). Oh, it looks lovely, and if I went onto princeofheroes.com to check the online pages I might get more information, but this isn't a viral marketing campaign! All these pages given over to lovely but wordless cinematic scenery are nice, and a little mystery is always okay, but I was frustrated at how coy Espinosa is here. It's like I'm being expected to not actually read the book until I have all 3 issues of the chapter (if not more) in hand. Given all the hype Antarctic sunk into launching this book, it's disappointing how poorly it launched. I'll be getting the rest of this chapter, but I'm worried sales will tank. Neutral. $3.50/$3.50Cn Teen Titans #55: DC - An aftermath issue, after the big and somewhat pointless arc, in which the various costs are counted. I like how McKeever's working together with Rogers in using Blue Beetle (it shows up over in BB's book too), and Igle's art is better than I remember. The story's a touch on the soap-opera-y side, but a definite improvement over the muddled mess of the Future Titans arc. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Legion of Super-Heroes #38: DC - Mostly one long fight scene intercut with Lightning Lad crumbling under the weight of leadership. Some nifty tricks, but I think the points of this issue could have been well conveyed in half the page count...in other words, it all felt redundant and padded. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Blue Beetle #23: DC - Such a Peter Parker Angst cover. :) Big penultimate chapter of the Reach conflict (or at least this phase of it), although if an acquaintance hadn't mentioned that a friend of his was working on art for #28 (I think that was the issue) I'd be worried that it'd be the penultimate issue. Yes, Rogers has ramped up the stakes so high I'm actually worried it's intended to be a swan song, which says something about the high quality of the writing. Albuquerque continues to do well on the art, too. Strongly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Amelia Rules! #19: Reinassance Press - Wow. Just...wow. It starts out light and fluffy with a new game to play in convenience stores (a game that gets a couple of callbacks through the issue), then moves into an exploration of family history using fake news clippings and comic strip styles from across a century's worth of newspapers...and then manages to tie everything together on the third to last page in an absolutely masterful way. Sure, the actual story is pretty much a "regular" generationl family summary, but Gownsley tells it incredibly well. Strongest possible recommendation. $2.95 Amelia Rules! Volume One: The Whole World's Crazy TPB: Renaissance Press - Last time I tried ordering Amelia Rules TPBs to fill in my back collection, Diamond never bothered to ship them. So when Gownley solicited the new "bookshelf editions" I jumped at them. Unlike most small publishers, he does everything in full color, and these TPBs have glossy pages too. They're between digest size and regular TPB, with 6" by 9" pages. This issue covers #1-5. I think. There's no mention anywhere I can find what the original issues were, it just labels the stories "Part 1" through "Part 5". And I don't have the original issues to compare against. All the indicia says is that portions of the book have appeared in the comics previously. This is a tad annoying. Maybe later I'll go through and compare the stories to the issues I have and try to figure out a pattern, but I've been reading and reviewing comics for nearly five hours straight, I think it's time to give it a rest. :) Strongly recommended unless you have all the original issues (as in, every issue ever, since I can't tell which ones you might need). $11.99/$13.99Cn (176 pages) Amelia Rules! Volume Two: What Makes You Happy TPB: Renaissance Press - Same deal, six more parts with no indication what issues they were originally. There's also a third volume, "Superheroes," but I didn't get that as I think I have all the original issues. But who knows, given the way these are put together? Ah well. Another one I strongly recommend unless you have all the original issues. 170 pages (a few blank sheets to fill out the signatures). $11.99/$13.99Cn 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 1/23: 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, I have someone sending me a BW Sourcebook though)), Sky Sharks #2, Gamma Files, Official Handbook to the Gold Digger Universe #11. Add Clockwork Girl #2 (store got shorted), Transformers Animated vol 1 (ditto). Awards: "Optimusdickery" Award to Incredible Change Bots GN "I Have No Scream, And I Must Mouth" Award to The Scream #3 (of 4) "No, Everyone Wants To Shoot At Talk Radio" Award to Transformers Spotlight #11 (Blaster) "Well, At Least SOMEONE Appreciates Him" Award to Amazing Spider-Man #548 "No Need For Jen-Chi" Award to She-Hulk v2 #25 "Awfully Young To Have Steve Rogers Angst" Award to Young Avengers Presents Patriot #1 "We Don't Do Thought Bubbles Anymore Either" Award to Damage Control #1 (of 3) "Recycling Can Be Bad For The Environment, Too" Award to Gold Digger v3 #92 "Insert Your Own Joke About Skippy And Spreadability" Award to The Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #13 "And I *Liked* Cloverfield, So It's Not Just Lack Of Info" Award to The Prince of Heroes vol 1 #1 (of 3) "Bitch-Whore Much?" Award to Teen Titans #55 "Quite Much, Yeah" Award to Legion of Super-Heroes #38 "Geez, And Just As I Learned To Read The Scarab's Old Font, Too" Award to Blue Beetle #23 "Thank Goodness You're Open" Award to Amelia Rules! #19 "Well, My Childhood Memories Are All Jumbled Together Too, So I Guess It Fits" Award to Amelia Rules! volumes 1 and 2 collectively Dave Van Domelen, "*It's all true, but we can't tell you about it. We don't do Editor's Notes anymore. --Editor" - Damage Control #1 (of 3)Back to the Main Rants Page.
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