Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Warm weekend, cold week, good ordering. 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 - Annihilation Conquest #4 (of 6): Marvel - Torture and plans of genocide and a few quips here and there. So-so. $2.99/$3.05Cn Clandestine #1 (of 5): Marvel - Does a good job of laying out who they are and what they're about, and of course the Davis/Farmer art is lovely...but I just don't find it interesting enough to buy into. $2.99/$3.05Cn Omega the Unknown #5 (of 10): Marvel - Oooookay, they named a fast food franchise in here "Butter Dog". If you don't know what that refers to, do NOT google it if you squick easily. :) Other than that, the weirdness keeps going much as before. $2.99/$3.05Cn Ms. Marvel #24: Marvel - The Brood arc wraps up reasonably well, and Stack gets one good panel. Then we dive into the very implausible (in light of the arc JUST FINISHED) Secret Invasion tie-in revelation. Recommended other than the last page. $2.99/$3.05Cn The Twelve #2 (of 12): Marvel - This one is about settling in. Not everyone gets focus, and a lot of it shows how Golden Age heroes could be jerks (not talking feet of clay revisionism here, just Superdickery kinds of things). Presumably we'll get the rest of the cast next issue. It IS driven home how this isn't a team, though. Not yet, and maybe not ever. Just a bunch of extreme people thrown together by fate and then stranded in a future none of them are really ready for...although some think they are. 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): Miki Falls Winter Project Superpowers #0: Dynamite Entertainment - Originally solicited as just Superpowers, I guess they ran into a problem with DC's Super-Powers title trademarks (now being used on an action figure line). Of course, the cover just has a big stylized S, so even though I emailed my shop to be aware of the title change, it still didn't get put in my pull, since the cover title was "S". D'oh! Like The Twelve, this takes a bunch of Golden Age characters and revives them. And since this IS Dynamite, there's five variant covers, most of them retailer incentives. I got the right side of the wraparound, the one with Blue Beetle (the Golden Age one, but in Kingdom Come-ish armor in Ross's painted art, and renamed Scarab). Like The Twelve, it involves Golden Age heroes trapped for decades and released in the modern day, in a world that's been going quite wrong (although, since this isn't Marvel, they have to settle for a page or so of sketching out the ways the world's in trouble). Unfortunately, Krueger suffers from excessive coyness. Only a handful of the large cast is ever named, so if you're not an obscure comics expert it's just a bunch of unfamiliar costumes with no names. Bad form for a #0 issue that's meant to rope in readers...they don't even have a text page to lay out the real life origins of the characters, and the indicia is the only place most of them get named. In other words, this is a book they seem to assume will sell purely on the art and the creator names attached, because they don't seem to care if anyone knows who the characters are. Very mildly recommended, but cheap enough to give a shot. $1.00 Conan #48: Dark Horse - Conan fights zombies all issue, with a few cutaways to supporting cast either hiding from zombies, making zombies, or becoming zombies. A very zombie issue, and also very much the middle part of the story (most of the establishing stuff is done, but nothing resolves). Mildly recommended. $2.99 The Clockwork Girl #2 (of 4): Arcana - Very decompressed, lots of slow travel time pages, but at least we get to see why the tinkerer hates the biologist. The art is murky and oversaturated, although it may be intentionally that way and not the result of a printing goof. There's a little of the charm seen in #1, but it's kinda disappointing overall. Mildly recommended. $1.99/$2.50Cn Action #861: DC - We get a bit more of an idea what the evil Justice League's all about this issue, plus the Big Plan (which of course obligingly falls apart shortly after being revealed). Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Badger Saves The World #2 (of 5): IDW - Yet another Stooge trio shows up as part of the badguy organization (Larry, Curly and Moe have something like a half dozen incarnations in the Badgerverse, it seems), we get to see how Ham's patron really needs to get with the times, and there's some pretty broad satire. Caron's art is a bit off again this issue, and he needs to work on his Bruce Lee likeness. Kinda a wobbly issue overall. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Amazing Spider-Man Swing Shift Director's Cut: Marvel - This is the Free Comic Book Day story, but un-redacted. Y'see, they tweaked things back then so as to not give away all the One More Day spoilers, passing this off as having been set some time in the past. Mind you, it doesn't actually fit seamlessly into Brand New Day *either*, unless it's supposed to be Spidey's last outing before 100 days more of inactivity (it's established that at the start of this story he's been semi-retired for long enough that it's affected Bugle circulation). Still, it's a good story from Slott and lovely art from Jimenez. They follow it with Brevoort's mission statement for Brand New Day and a sort of year one series bible that includes some info not yet revealed in Amazing. The rotating writing teams for the first four months are also listed, making it clear that The Other was in part a trial run for the thrice-monthly Amazing Spider-Man, each writer taking a three issue chunk in rotation, under the guidance of a head writer. Unfortunately, other than Slott, the writers in the team don't thrill me (Guggenheim, Gale and Wells). If you didn't get the FCBD version, it's worth picking this up for the story. But it's a bit pricey just for the redactions and background info. $3.99/$4.05Cn 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 Avengers Initiative #9: Marvel - Well, we catch up to the in media res opening of last issuem although I wouldn't be surprised to see more flashbacks next issue. The body count is pretty high, although a lot of 'em are just KIA's word that the injuries were fatal. Given the nature of his abilities, it'd be simple enough for him to be sub-fatally injuring them to make a point. With most writers, I'd figure they mostly are dead...like the Titans East Special, we have a big pile of obscure characters who seem to have "please kill me for dramatic effect" stencilled on their foreheads (especially large targets are painted on Thor Girl, who doesn't even fit into the new Thor direction, and Crusader, a heroic Skrull on the eve of a big evil Skrull crossover). But even Gage, as co-writer, has a track record of being more into maiming than killing. Mildly recommended for now, since it could be as lame as it reads on first glance as a result of editorial edict, after all. $2.99/$3.05Cn Miki Falls Winter: Harper Teen - The final installment in Miki's story (although Mark Crilley will be doing a series of "prequel" comics on YouTube). It actually came out a few weeks ago, but distribution is spotty and I only just got my copy. Anyway, this is the Big Finale, and we do catch up to the opening scene of Spring at a bit past the midpoint, leaving time for not just one, but three "and then what?" twists, including a rather effective final fakeout. Sure, the final result was pretty much what I expected would happen (there's only so many endings that wouldn't be dramatic cop-outs, and I didn't think Crilley would take any of the other ones OR a cop-out), but it's all about the journey. The twists and turns it takes that may make it take longer than a straight shot (in fact, there's a literal recapitulation of that dramatic path in the final run to 'freedom' in the first half of this volume) but result in resolution rather than mere ending. A 600+ page fantasy romance novel gets its proper resolution here. Strongly recommended. $7.99/$9.99Cn (I got mine from deepdiscount.com for $7.43 with free 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 1/30: 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, it just didn't arrive yet today)), Sky Sharks #2, Gamma Files, Official Handbook to the Gold Digger Universe #11. Still no Transformers Animated, so I've given up on Diamond and ordered it online. Awards: "Oh, And Daredevil Is Renamed 'Devil, It Seems" Award to Project Superpowers #0 "Good, Bad, I'm The One With The Sword" Award to Conan #48 "Not Exactly A Proud Parent" Award to The Clockwork Girl #2 (of 4) "You Say 'Sub' Like It's An Insult" Award to Actin Comics #861 "I Want A Crocheted Ambush Bug" Award to DC Nation this month "Sorry, The Real Thing Is Far Weirder Than 'Chastity Slut'" Award to Badger Saves The World #2 "Irony? You're DROWNING In It" Award to the "we don't want Spider-Man to be too tainted with the otherworldly" dictum in Amazing Spider Man Swing Shift Director's Cut "This Is Gonna Have Hurt" Award to Fantastic Four #553 "Petard? You're Hoisting In It" Award to Avengers the Initiative #9 "Leap Of Faith" Award to Miki Falls Winter Dave Van Domelen, "Screw it. This room's for kicking ass. You come in. You got an ass. It gets kicked." - Ant-Man, Avengers the Initiative #9Back to the Main Rants Page.
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