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 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): 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. $2.99/$3.65Cn 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. $2.99 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. $3.99/$4.75Cn 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. Awards: "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 #54 "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 #22 "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 TawnyBack to the Main Rants Page.
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