July 18, 2007

Dave's Unspoilt Capsules and Awards

The Week's Picks and Pans, plus Awards of Dubious Merit

Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups.  Recommendation does
not factor in price.  Not all books will have arrived in your area this week.
Happy Birthday To Me (37 years old).  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 - 

     Amazing Spider-Man #542: Marvel - (blinks at recap page)  Peter did
WHAT?  A transfusion?  Oh THAT'S gonna end well.  Speaking of not ending
well, this issue's all about revenge and cruelty and the KINGPIN of all
people being the mouthpiece of the reader.  Eh.  Yes, it's dramatic.  But
it's Batman-dramatic.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Mighty Avengers #4: Marvel - Wow, it's the inverse Hypervelocity.  And
Identity Crisis 2.  When the character claim Ultron has no originality and is
just repeating other people's ideas, I think we have an instance of DRHenry's
Law.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Annihilation: Conquest Starlord #1 (of 4): Marvel - Snarky and fairly
well thought out.  The art is a bit on the shaky side, but works.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn

     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

     Books of Note (Strongly Recommended or otherwise worthy): Devil's
Panties #12 (I'd like to recommend one or both of the GTLabs GNs, but my
store didn't order them for me, see below)

     Fall of Cthulhu #4: Boom! Studios - The protagonist is still whiny, but
at least he makes some decisions this issue, for all the good it does him.
And an extra long dose of dreamlands scenery also helps the issue out.
Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Gargoyles #5: Slave Labor Graphics - Better than last issue, although
still betraying TV-show pacing.  At least Weisman did follow the "one issue
is about ten minutes" ratio, though, so it didn't feel too sketchy.  I get
the feeling that he's still getting his legs under him when it comes to
writing comics, but he's moving in the right direction now, at least, and
there's some payoff for the past couple of issues.  Recommended.  $3.50  
     The Brave and the Bold #5: DC - "Batman vs. the Legion of Super-Heroes"
on the cover.  Always nice to see Perez do the Legion, any Legion, and Waid
manages to make Batman a threat to them without getting too "I'm Batman, and
I can breathe in space" on us.  The Rannian plotline also gets some time, and
it looks like some serious retconning is going down.  Recommended.
     Aquaman Sword of Atlantis #54: DC - Cheap gag cover, whee.  This is one
time I'm glad the cover has nothing to do with the story inside.  :)
Williams is definitely bringing a lot of threads together here, and while I
think he may be overstating some things occasionally, he's gotten the hang of
comic pacing very well.  McManus's art is off and on this issue...it has a
strong style that isn't always appropriate to the story he's asked to tell.
It also has what I suspect is a tribute to Leah Adezio in the form of a
Tuckerization.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn  
     Shazam! the Monster Society of Evil #4 (of 4): DC - Weird, but fun.  And
yes, Smith does leave things open for a possible sequel.  I wonder if DC
editorial has assigned an Earth-number to this (it doesn't seem to be the
Earth-5 we've seen glimpses of) or are satisfied to leave it outside the 52
structure?  Anyway, recommended.  $5.99/$7.25Cn 
     Conan #42: Dark Horse - The original of this adapted story started to
come back to me before I hit the somewhat unsatisfying twist to "Rogues in
the House".  Still, Conan gets some good banter along the way.  Recommended.
     Avengers the Initiative #4: Marvel - World War Hulk tie-in, so it has
double the event bannerage.  And it actually has an event of importance to
the main plot, looks like.  The book's own threads do continue, at least, so
it's not a total sacrifice to the crossover beast.  But neither is it all
that good.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #22: Marvel - The Ero plot gets wrapped
up pretty thoroughly, and the Robbie plot gets moved up for resolution before
PAD leaves the book.  Well-played in both, and PAD manages to keep with the
running Back In Black idea of "bitter Peter" without writing a Batman story
with webs.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Giant-Size Marvel Adventures Avengers #1: Marvel - With the Marvel
Adventures Agents of Atlas, whee!  The main story by Parker and Kirk involves
time travel, so as to avoid having to explain the current-time Agents of
Atlas, and sets up a sensible set of rules for time travel, taking into
account both the available talent pool of the protagonists and the needs of
the story.  There's also backup stories reprinting the first appearances of
Namora and Venus (as seen in the AoA collection).  Recommended.
     The Devil's Panties #12: Silent Devil Press - Conventions and cuddling,
plus reprints of Breeden's short-lived vampire family strip.  By the way,
what's an L cup?  Like, displacement-volume-wise?  ;)  A great read as
always, although there's no paper dolls this issue (instead we get design
sketches for the vampires).  Strongly recommended.  $4.95

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 7/18:

     Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15.  Add Levitation and
Wire Mother GNs from GT Labs (store had computer crash in May, they never got
ordered), Transformers Timelines (wasn't available on the retailer order form
in the first place!)
     Cancelled by Diamond (again): Dr. Debunko: the Short Stories, Devil's
Panties #7-8.


"Well, At Least The Whining Ends Next Issue, One Way Or Another, Right?"
     Award to Fall of Cthulhu #4

"I Will Choose A Path Less Clear" Award to Gargoyles #5

"She Does Too Have To Shoot Me Now.  SO SHOOT ME NOW!" Award to The Brave
     and the Bold #5

"Hey, If NASCAR Guys Can Put Up With It" Award to Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis

"Ohana" Award to Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil #4 (of 4)

"Whaddayaknow, His Bete Noire Really Is A Bete Noire" Award to Conan #42

"Team Player" Award to Avengers the Initiative #4

"Vital Part Of A Reporter's Kit" Award to Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man

"Silly Kang, You Forgot To Attune To The Feng Shui Sites!" Award to Giant-
     Size Marvel Adventures Avengers #1

"WHRRRRRRRRRRR!" Award to The Devil's Panties #12

     Dave Van Domelen, "Mary -- please stop climbing on the Seven Deadly
Enemies of Man." - Shazam
     Bonus quote: "My goodness!  That is a lot of cockroaches...what is
holding them up?  Oh, I see!  NOTHING!" - Tawky Tawny
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