June 6, 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.
Post-nasal drip sucks when teaching.  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 - 

     Nova #3: Marvel - the Initiative tie-in closes with Nova evaluating the
situation on Earth and deciding what most of my comic-reading friends decided
a while back...it stinks, and he's bailing.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Cable & Deadpool #41: Marvel - The crossover continues, but with more
Deadpool and less "you had to read the other comic".  Recommended.
     Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #21: Marvel - Very cathartic,
especially the Robbie Robertson scene.  It's a pity PAD's being booted off
soon to make room for some New Direction nonsense.  Recommended.

     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): None.
Although I suppose New Warriors is notable for actually being decent rather
than a huge cometary mass of suck plummetting onto the readers.

     Omega Flight #3 (of 5): Marvel - Well, the main threat is revealed,
mostly in a murky and badly lit sequence.  Guardian v3 angsts.  The misfit
parade continues.  Ehn.  Very mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Ms. Marvel #16: Marvel - Somewhat fractured issue, going in a lot of
directions at once.  Some good bits, but no oomph.  Mildly recommended.
     Avengers the Initiative #3: Marvel - Mostly Komodo's issue this time
out, with a little Hardball.  Decent issue, with some interesting
developments, but not really playing to Slott's strengths.  Mildly
recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     New Warriors #1: Marvel - The indicia doesn't list a volume number...as
if the previous three or four series of this name never happened.  Mind you,
a lot of this is really picking up from the recent New Mutants, focusing on
Sofia.  There's also a very unexpected X-character showing up, although the
many questions about this person are left unanswered for now.  Promising,
though.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     The Irredeemable Ant-Man #9: Marvel - Where Avengers: the Initiative is
seeking to show the rottenness at the core of the Superhuman Registration
Act, Ant-Man is showing how the implementation is crocked.  The people the
system should be watching the most closely are also those most likely to game
it.  Mind you, that's just a side show to the relationship drama in this
issue.  Although it's fun to see Black Fox playing Wii.
Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn 
     Superman #663: DC - Lightray makes a nice cameo, it's a pity this issue
didn't come out, oh, two weeks ago when it might have helped Countdown #48
have a bit more impact.  But the main plot is all about Arion, who deals with
a little continuity problem and then gets downright nasty.  Still, this is
really the climax of the prophecy of doom arc Busiek's been putting Superman
through.  It may not be the big fight scene (that starts next month), but
it's where the story peaks.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Outsiders #48: DC - More running fight scene and badly spliced
crossover.  Who are these people, why should I care, etc.  It seems to be
100% missable if you just read Outsiders.  Neutral.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Welcome to Tranquility #7: DC/Wildstorm - A bit of a mixed story.  Some
winddown from the first arc, some setup for the next, and a little bit of
cameo-level crossover with Gen13.  Plus flashbacks to the earlier ages of
this world, both blaxploitation and regular ol' female exploitation from the
younger days of Bunny's career.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Transformers Official Movie Adaptation #1 (of 4): IDW - Gasp!  No
variant covers...well, other than retailer incentives.  I guess the fact that
this is a weekly title made them decide to play it closer to the chest on the
variants this time.  Plus, the regular cover is wraparound.  Fair warning
going in, I've already read the official novel, the junior novelization and
several kiddiebook adaptations by this point, so I may unconsciously fill in
any gaps in the storytelling.  On the other hand, I may unfairly compare it
to those other adaptations as well.  Keep in mind my rule of thumb, a good
comic adaptation really needs one 22-page issue for every 10-15 minutes of
screen time, which puts this one a few issues shy of the mark, even with 26
pages per issue.  The compression shows, an entire plot thread is essentially
dropped, and most scenes are rushed.  It's not horrible, but it really
could've used a few more issues.  Also has Blackout and Frenzy mini-posters,
and an interview with one of the producers.  Milne does a decent job of
retaining the detail of the movie designs without the detail making the art
impossible to follow.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99  (Later note: Hastings book
store had the collected series TPB for $17.99 this week.  Has bonus material,
but either it loses pages or the other three issues aren't as long.)
     Dynamo5 #4: Image - A Father's Day issue, thematically important given
the origins of the five and the fact they all know who their real father
was.  And the fact that their real father seemingly came back from the dead
last issue.  Lots of free-floating anxiety here.  Faerber does also nicely
foreshadow the last page reveal.  Recommended.  $3.50/$3.90Cn
     Invincible #42: Image - A special slightly-cheaper jumping-on-point
issue.  Mainly just a Day In The Life story, with the various super-fights
glossed over as often happens in this title.  This is more about the life
Invincible has between the battles, plus the more important fights, after
all.  It ends with a several page recap of the series to date.  Good story in
this issue, too.  Recommended.  $1.99/$2.30Cn
     PS238 #23: Do Gooder Press - Wil Wheaton continues his tour of comics,
and this time he gets to have super-powers!  Also, we get a Massachussetts
Academy to PS238's Xavier Academy, and the mystery of where a certain
antagonist went is solved...or at least stronnnngly hinted it a solution
for.  Or whatever the correct grammar would be.  Oh, and 84 meets 71, and
finds that the future may not be so bright for her.  So sad.  Recommended.

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 6/6:

     Still missing Dr. Debunko: the Short Stories, Devil's Panties #7 and #8,
Fallen Angel #15, "You Can Draw Transformers", Transformers Ark Compendium.
Add Mystic Arcana Book of Marvel Magic.


"Emo Flight" Award to Omega Flight #3 (of 5)

"I Only FEEL Like I Have Forty Pounds Of Snot In My Head, MODOK Really 
     DOES" Award to Ms. Marvel #16

"Two Of Those Guys Don't Even Have Powers, Dude" Award to Avengers: the 
     Initiative #3

"What Comes On The Penance-Burger...Habanero Extract?" Award to New Warriors

"Games Are Probably Pirated" Award to The Irredeemable Ant-Man #9

"Mmm, Bork, Bork, Bork!" Award to Superman #663

"Not So Much A Way Out, Is It?" Award to Outsiders #48

"I'd Call That Restricted x2 On The Device, Yes" Award to Welcome to
     Tranquility #7

"Needs More Maggie" Award to Transformers the Official Movie Adaptation #1
     (of 4)

"Brother Of Another Mother" Award to Dynamo5 #4

"Sylvan's Got A Tutor For That, Octoboss" Award to Invincible #42

"Pimp My Supervillain" Award to PS238 #23

     Dave Van Domelen, "This flash drive contains files detailing every other
way YOU made Star Trek stink."  "I'm really sorry about that, Mr. Wheaton."
"No problem.  These will come in handy for my reviews of the Trek DVDs." 
- Zodon, Alloy, Wil Wheaton, in PS238 #23
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