Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Dryer broke again, air drying clothes now. 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 - Omega Flight #4 (of 5): Marvel - Big running fight scene with decent banter and minimal angst. Looks like they skipped the inking step on the art, thought. Decent enough, even if a few characters were Acting Appropriately Stupid, to borrow a term from It Came From The Late Late Late Show. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cnn X-Factor #21: Marvel - A whole bunch of threads flying around this issue, to the point it feels double sized...and that's before hitting the Endangered Species backup (which was okay, but nothing to inspire me to pick up all the other books it's in). Recommended. $2.999/$3.75Cn Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular: Marvel - Several short stories by Slott and Nicieza. Not all are great, but all are good. The commentary on Civil War/Initiative is a tad heavy-handed, but the matters being commented on don't really lend themselves to subtlety, eh? Plus, Slott and Nicieza do remind us that there's safe pockets out there for fun characters. Strongly recommended. $3.99/$4.75Cn 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): PS238 #24 Outsiders #49: DC - CheckOut is finally over, yay. Yet another issue of running around in secret bases while Egg Fu does dastardly things, wrapped up with a Deus Ex Machina and then setting up a New Direction. Feh. Outsiders is apparently going weekly for #50-54, so I'll know pretty quickly if I'm dropping it (I'm THIS close to doing so already). Avoid. $2.99/$3.65Cn Aquaman Sword of Atlantis #53: DC - Heh. Williams is definitely getting in the groove here, and while McManus's art is a bit cartoony at times, he has a good storytelling style. We also see the usual "Well, nobody TOLD me my powers weren't supposed to do that" sort of inventiveness that often comes with a newbie picking up the torch, the sort of thing we should've seen earlier. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Welcome to Tranquility #8: DC/Wildstorm - With the big arc over, it's time for some vignettes. There's three stories here, with four artists (Googe does one page of framing, then Pearson, Chriscross and Jeanty do the main stories), all overlapping at least a little. They focus on the Lindo sisters (who grow up to be the sheriff and a sidekick), the ghoulish cryptkeeper guy, and Emoticon. All are origin stories of a sort, some more obviously than others (the Lindo story is at the subtle end). Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn New Avengers/Transformers #1 (of 4): Marvel - Stuart Moore writes, Tyler Kirkham pencils. Takes place at a divergence point before Civil War. Mostly the Avengers this issue, but parallels to the "standard operating procedure" of IDW Decepticons are in place. All told, while it's not actually disappointing yet, neither am I really filled with confidence for the rest of the series. It feels like this entire issue should have been the first eight pages of the story, not the first twenty or so. It's especially dangerous to spend so much time writing people out of character before revealing that there's a reason beyond "hack writer". Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn New Warriors #2: Marvel - Cute Heroes reference. Anyway, this book seems to be headed in the direction of an uncommon but not unheard-of plot hook...seeking out those with experience as supers but who lost their powers, and offering them new powers. Kind of like the Darkstars snatching up de-ringed Green Lanterns. It's still moving kinda slowly, but in a promising direction. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Thor #1: Marvel - If God did not exist, Man would have to create Him. That seems to be a central conceit of this issue. JMS has been steeped enough in mythology through the decades that I don't doubt he can pull this off, and he's had enough comics experience now that the pacing should be acceptable. The writing is both portentious and pretentious, but isn't that about right for Thor? Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Ms. Marvel #17: Marvel - Things fall apart, the center cannot hold because it has this big gene scrambler bomb strapped to it...in some ways, AIM got a big boost to its "interestingness" levels. On the other hand, it's not like any of the other many many AIM revamps of the past decade have stuck, who's to say that a good one will have any more luck than the bad ones? Still, recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Irredeemable Ant-Man #10: Marvel - Given that #12 is the last issue, one might expect a World War Hulk tie-in to be a desperation move that failed. Well, not really. It manages to tie in without being gimmicky, and it does set up the endgame nicely. Oh, and lest anyone think Black Fox is being a cad, the Wii *does* belong to him. :) Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Cable & Deadpool #42: Marvel - Another delayed book. Horrible cover, and the flashback scenes are done in way too Liefeldian a style, but the Deadpool scenes are worth reading. The Cable scenes, both flashback and non, tend to be a bit too plodding, although his introduction of Gambit is good. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #29: Marvel - Peter David's back on the book, and Pop Mhan's with him. Not that I really like Mhan's art, but at least he's "broken in" as it were. :) The colorist missed a memo, though, as there's one fairly important panel where someone's supposed to be stone hued, and he isn't. Decent story, although the nature of the villain requires some selective forgetting to work as a "Kid Spider-Man" foe (as tends to happen when you use an old Thor villain). Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic: Marvel - Only delayed by about a month. :/ Anyway, this is arcane in more than one sense, as most of the big mystic characters have already been covered in A-Z or one of the other recent books, so we get a bunch of obscure characters and events, which suits me fine. Very few characters get even two pages, and there's no 8 page chunks like Iron Man in the Mighty Avengers Most Wanted. :) There's also pages devoted to types of mystic artifact (swords, talismen, tomes) and an appendix covering the less famous ones that didn't make it into the main entries. Recommended. $3.99/$4.75Cn Transformers Spotlight: Galvatron (#8): IDW - I got cover B, by Milne. Both were good, though. Set shortly after Escalation #6, this provides a brand new origin for Galvatron that does NOT involve him being an alteration of Megatron. Major points for just that. :) It also has a whole bunch of Cybertronian mode Autobots, AND several pages of Guidi designs so we can clearly ID who's who and what their modes are (in the event they don't transform in the story). There's still plenty of vague spots left open, but that's because it ties into the whole mystery plot Furman's been weaving around several of the stories in Spotlight (notably Nightbeat's issue). The actual story has some weaknesses, largely due to the too-coy nature of some of the storytelling, but nothing fatal. Recommended. $3.99 Dynamo5 #5: Image - Starting the "The Chrysalis Affair" arc, although I'd really say that started in #4. Almost entirely hero-side stuff this time, very little on the personal life side, although Scatterbrain gets some fun business. Recommended. $3.50/$3.75Cn (hmm, exchange rate's about to invert?) Gold Digger v3 #87: Antarctic Press - Publication pace is certainly picking up! One of the problems with a deep and rich backstory is that it's possible to forget to remind new readers of what's up. Last issue's Ayane scene turns out not to have been much of a revelation, as the "Last Issue" box suggests that Ayane's mysterious past was already known. Then again, given how none of this is actually in her OHOTGDU entry (the entries this week for Jeeves and Jarvis, her manservants, do contain this info, though), maybe Perry simply meant to say more last issue than he did, or meant for the Last Issue box to say less than it did. He can be a bit coy that way, both re-revealing the known as if it were known and continuing after an opaque scene as if it were all spelled out. Anyway, that aside, a bunch of stuff does get brought together this issue in what I'm presuming now IS an actual revelation about Zero, and all my complaints at the head of the review are really about last issue. Recommended. $2.99/$3.45Cn [Later note: I'm told that #86 was supposed to be the Big Reveal about Ayane, in which case it didn't really work.] Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #7: Antarctic Press - Jade Wizards through Kryn. Thanks to the idiosyncratic alphabetizing system and similar first names, both of the Diggers parentals (Jon and Julia) get to be in the same book. Recommended. $3.95/$4.55Cn [A few later corrections: the proper title has "Gold Digger Sourcebook" at the start, and D'oh, that's what I get for making a clever comment before actually reading the entries...Jon is Julia's father-in-law.] PS238 #24: Do Gooder Press - Some of the Charles stuff gets wrapped up, although it's more an excuse to toss out even more plot threads on the eve of an alien invasion. :) Some really good Full Frontal Nerdity and Nodwick strips, too. Aaron Williams is in fine form. Strongly recommended. $2.99 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 7/5: Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, Invincible #43. Add Miki Falls: Summer. Cancelled by Diamond (again): Dr. Debunko: the Short Stories, Devil's Panties #7-8. Passed on intentionally: Action #851, Astounding Wolf-Man #2. Awards: "Oh, And The Deus Ex Machina Is Telegraphed On The Cover" Award to Outsiders #49 "Been Chatting With Buddy, Have We?" Award to Aquaman Sword of Atlantis #53 "A Hunka Hunka Burning...Ew" Award to Welcome to Tranquility #8 "Imagine How PISSED Doom Must Be" Award to New Avengers/Transformers #1 (of 4) "Waste Not, Want Not" Award to New Warriors #2 "You Wouldn't Think Non-Existence Would Get Old" Award to Thor #1 "Head Of Household" Award to Ms. Marvel #17 "Internal Affairs" Award to The Irredeemable Ant-Man #10 (of 12) "Sunfire Needs To Sue His Tailor" Award to Cable & Deadpool #42 "The Sacrifices We Make In The Name Of Art" Award to Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #29 "Practically An Alpha Flight Handbook" Award to OHOTMU Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic "Unissons?" Award to Transformers Spotlight: Galvatron "+5 Synergy Bonus To Taunt" Award to Dynamo5 #5 "Ninjas Are @$$holes" Award to Gold Digger v3 #87 "Hit Points: ALL OF THEM" Award to the Kraken in OHOTGDU #7 "A Noble Passion" Award to PS238 #24 Dave Van Domelen, "Apparently torn purple pants WERE the best he could do -- a tiara? REALLY?" - Ant-Man on the Hulk's sartorial sense, Irredeemable Ant-Man #10Back to the Main Rants Page.
Explode back to the July 2007 Page.