June 13, 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.
http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/159017125X/.  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 - 

     Captain America #27: Marvel - Well, even without Cap, the book goes on.
The wake's over, time to get on with revenge and guilt and stuff, with a
macguffin hunt.  Brubaker does seem to do a better job on the book without
having to deal with Cap.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Annihilation Conquest Prologue: Marvel - Sets up the new threat, which
at least isn't the Annihilation Wave coming back already.  There was a bit of
misdirection, what with the baddies neither looking nor really acting like
they normally do, but at least it's a new threat.  :)  $3.99/$4.75Cn

     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): Ninja High
School #150 

     Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron DVD: Every version of this release
comes with a short Hellboy Animated comic, "The Yearning".  This is kinda
haphazard in storytelling, most amusing for the cameo of the dagger from Alec
Baldwin's "The Shadow" movie (okay, maybe both took it from a common source,
but that's where I know it from).  The Wal-Mart version comes shrinkwrapped
with the 80 page digest "The Judgement Bell" (cover price $6.95).  As with
the previous volume, it's one long story, a one page Mignola pin-up, and then
a short "Hellboy as a kid" story.  The main story is confusing to anyone not
familiar with the setting, and would have been helped IMMENSELY by a simple
footnote pointing out that Professor Broom's real name is Trevor Bruttenholm.
In any case, the art is just messy enough that I wasn't sure for a while if
they were the same guy or not (1935 flashbacks).  Both the Judgement Bell and
Yearning stories have in common the solution "give the macguffin to the
monster that wants it"...which works okay once, but not twice in rapid
succession.  As for the DVD itself, the Blood and Iron story wasn't as
memorable as Sword of Storms.  It does come decent-looking extras, though,
but I haven't watched them yet.  Mildly recommended, but try to get the
Wal-Mart version if you can.  $14.44 at Wal-Mart.
     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.
$2.99/$3.75Cn  [Later note: turns out FNSM is simply being cancelled
outright, with PAD moving over to She-Hulk.]
     Transformers Official Movie Adaptation #2 (of 4): IDW - You know, I've
seen these scenes enough times in other adaptations that any new presentation
has to be really good to impress me.  And this ain't.  Too compressed, and
while Milne generally manages to make sense of the storytelling with his art,
some panels simply look bad.  Has another pull out poster, a Barricade pinup,
pictures of Deluxe Brawl and an interview with the writer of the comic.  Very
mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Green Arrow #75: DC - Final issue.  Pity McDaniel is still on it, given
how bad his art tends to be.  The guy can't even draw convincing swords, and
there's a lot of swords in this issue...some of which look like pieces of Hot
Wheels track painted gray.  Dude, swords should look sharp, if nothing else.
Anyway, Winick wraps up the ongoing plots reasonably well, although there's a
huge deus ex machina or two in the A story.  The B story twists around
nicely, though, a good bit of mousetrapping.  To Be Continued in a miniseries
I'm not buying.  :/  Mildly recommended.  $3.50/$4.25Cn
     Gen13 v4 #9: DC/Wildstorm - This is Rainmaker's spotlight issue,
although the captions are a bit confusing in places.  Fourth Wall goes right
out the window in a few places as the Worldstorm or whatever impinges on
things.  Generally good issue despite the problems, though, and they finally
make it to Tranquility.  Oh, I am disappointed in the terribly generic cover,
though.  They could have gone with a cover based on a particular scene in
this issue and sold a lot more copies.  ;)  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Ninja High School #150: Antarctic Press - Quibble if you will about the
specifics of the numbering...any company other than Marvel or DC getting a
book up to #150 is pretty impressive.  This one is marked by a series of
vignettes covering a large number of characters (but by no means all NHS
characters), catching up on where they've been and getting some of their core
bits of business out for any new readers.  A couple of the stories are weak
(especially the not-really-haikus one), but most are quite good.  Strongly
recommended.  $2.99/$4.05Cn

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 6/13:

     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.  Giving up on the two Transformers
books and ordering them off Amazon.  Together I get free shipping anyway.


"Let the Wookiee Win" Award to Hellboy Animated comic pack-ins

"This Is Why It's Important To Save Some Points For A Movement Power"
     Award to Cable & Deadpool #41

"Acceptable Levels Of Bizarre Weirdness Exceeded" Award to Friendly
     Neighborhood Spider-Man #21

"HUGZ!" Award to Transformers Official Movie Adaptation #2 (of 4)

"I Know, I KNOW, But I Can Only Do It Once!" Award to Green Arrow #75

"Beetroot!" Award to Gen13 v4 #9

"No, That's Not The Ark, Guys" Award to Ninja High School #150

     Dave Van Domelen, "Maybe if I'd given up YEARS ago, my aunt wouldn't
have taken a bullet!  My wife wouldn't be living in fear!  Everyone I've ever
loved has SUFFERED because I wouldn't give up!  Wouldn't give up helping cops
or crime victims or innocent people!  Wouldn't give up the good fight!  God
in heaven...you talk to me about GIVING UP?  CAPTAIN AMERICA gave up.  He
wound up on a SLAB.  What do you say to that?" - Spider-Man, FNSM #21
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