June 20, 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.dvandom.com/kitbash/AP.html.  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 - 

     None.  Oh, they came in, but I spent the afternoon grading exams, so by
the time I hit the comic shop, all of this week's comics were out...and my
stack was thick enough to deter hanging around.  :)

     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): Iron Man
Hypervelocity #6

     Conan #41: Dark Horse - Back to the main storyline, following up on the
death of the Gunderman.  Adapted from "Rogues in the House", albeit with
tweaks to fit it into the overall comic storyline.  Cary Nord art, Tim Truman
script.  Recommended.  $2.99
     Transformers Official Movie Adaptation #3 (of 4): IDW - Most of this
issue's events take place at night, with associated dark and murky colors on
way too many pages.  The cover art looks rushed, and the story inside is
mediocre in terms of adapting the full story.  Very mildly recommended.
     Transformers Megatron Origin #1 (of 4?): IDW - Long time fan Eric Holmes
writes, Alex Milne draws, Josh Perez and Zac Atkinson murk it up.  Okay, the
point is to show the oppressive, dark environs of first the mining colony and
then Kaon, but a combination of smaller panels (normally welcome because it
means the story's not being as decompressed) and chaotic layouts make the
excessive darkness in inking and coloring a Bad Idea.  Half the time, looking
at Megatron, I'm not even sure it's him, a bad thing given that this is
supposed to be his origin story.  One also suspects the story is how Megatron
remembers it, not necessarily how things happened, what with the excessively
corrupt Autobots and so forth.  Promising, but too hampered by confusing
storytelling.  Mildly recommended.  (I got Cover A)  $3.99
     Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #3: DC - Okay, last shot for
the book to stay on my pull.  And...it's okay.  Musical creative teams
continue, and the story actually contradicts the cartoon in a significant way
while trading on some hoary cliches, but it's okay.  Sadly, "okay" isn't
enough to make up for the weakness this title's otherwise been showing, and
it's off my pull.  Mildly recommended.  $2.25/$2.75Cn
     The Brave and the Bold #4: DC - Eh.  Mostly Supergirl and Lobo cruising
around and then getting an infodump.  Next issue looks more interesting.
Very mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Shadowpact #14: DC - Definitely looking forward to where this is going
now.  :)  Also enjoying Zauriel's discomfiture at every turn...he clearly has
no idea how to deal with these people, poor baby.  Some of the dialogue is a
tad stilted, although that may be intentional in Blue Devil's case (i.e. he's
trying really hard not to rhyme).  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     The Tick 20th Anniversary Special #1: New England Comics Press -
Solicited for April, but I've seen worse missing of solicit dates.  Like Tek
Jansen, solicited for March and not yet out.  Anyway, this is an anthology
piece, 1-2 page mini-stories by various people, many of whom have worked on
the Tick in the past (like Sean Wang) or related properties (such as Zander
Cannon), some of whom are just friends of big blue.  Unfortunately, the
closest thing to a table of contents is organized alphabetically by creator
and spread across several pages...the whole thing has the feel of a comic
shop newsletter put together in the basement, which I suppose brings a
certain nostalgia (since that's what the Tick started off in), but it can be
annoying at times.  Recommended.  $5.95
     The Mighty Avengers Most Wanted Files #1: Marvel - Goes against the
usual style for these, and focuses on a few really long entries (15 total)
rather than a lot of short ones.  Amusingly, three pages are devoted to tiny
pictures of scores of Wasp outfits (mostly costumes, although some are street
clothing or lingerie).  Nearly forty Iron Man armors get the tiny picture
treatment as well.  Recommended.  $3.99/$4.75Cn
     Iron Man Hypervelocity #6 (of 6): Marvel - AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!  And
so ends the last good Iron Man story Marvel's gonna put out for a while.
With a bang (and a whimper from at least some readers) and a lot of
ambiguity.  It's a great ride, but I'd feel better about the ending if I
thought there was much chance of this being followed up on.  Recommended.
     Ninja High School Class Reunion 20th Anniversary Special #1: Antarctic
Press - In addition to some one page reminiscences from various people
involved in the creation of the title, there's short commentary next to the
covers of every issue of NHS (and v2), the first half by Ben Dunn and the
second by Robby Bevard.  This is followed by just a cover gallery without
commentary of reprints, yearbooks, etc.  A very interesting read.
Recommended.  $4.95/$5.70Cn
     The Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #6: Antarctic Press -
Gina's House through Jade.  Maybe doesn't have as much "juicy" stuff as some
of the other issues, but well worth picking up.  Recommended.  $3.95/$4.55Cn
     Gold Digger v3 #86: Antarctic Press - Aside from a few short scenes
(including implication that Ayane is More Than She Seems and some very strong
character-driven bits), this is mainly on the "revenge against Zero" plot.
It's a little hard to follow, in part because Perry's picking up some stuff
from a while back and doesn't introduce all the players properly.  Still,
recommended.  $2.99/$3.45Cn
     Gold Digger Peebo Tales #2: Antarctic Press - This one's a single long
story, R-Peegi, seen in the Peebomanga 1.0 collection (specifically, pages
37-60), but now in glorious color.  And it has naked Peebri on the cover!
The comedy density is a bit lower, as there's actually a story that demands
some time here and there, but it's well worth picking up.  And it's
especially good in light of one of the revelations in GD 3.86.  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 6/20:

     Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, Mystic Arcana Book of
Marvel Magic.  Add Aquaman #53, which Diamond told the store had some sort of
unspecified problems.
     Cancelled by Diamond (again): Dr. Debunko: the Short Stories, Devil's
Panties #7-8.
     Got on Amazon: You Can Draw Transformers, Transformers: the Ark
(reviewed in http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/BW/Artifacts/HowToDraw )
     My bad: Missed Spider-Man/FF #3 on the shelf, will review next week.


"Hyperborean Dori Seda" Award to Conan #41

"Okay, Maggie's IN It, If Barely" Award to Transformers Official Movie
     Adaptation #3 (of 4)

"The Dukes Of Hazardstripes" Award to Transformers Megatron Origin #1 (of 4)

"Talk About Color-Blind" Award to Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century

"Conveniently Omitted Is WHY Lobo Is The Last Czarnian" Award to The Brave
     and the Bold #4

"The Devil's In The Details" Award to Shadowpact #14

"Coulda At Least Hinted At What Happened To Tumor" Award to The Tick 20th
     Anniversary Special #1

"When Even A One-Off Priest-Book Armor Gets In, You KNOW It's Being
     Thorough" Award to The Mighty Avengers Most Wanted Files #1

"Never Let 'Em See You Sweat.  Because That Would Be Icky For A Mecha" Award
     to Iron Man Hypervelocity #6 (of 6)

"That About Covers It" Award to Ninja High School Class Reunion 20th
     Anniversary Special

"Cursed Magic Items Reveal How Secure You REALLY Are" Award to The Official
     Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #6

"That's Gonna Leave A Mark" Award to Gold Digger v3 #86

"Tony 2.0's Not The Only One Who Needs To Worry About Buggy Software" Award
     to Gold Digger Peebo Tales #2

     Dave Van Domelen, "May the best engineering win." - Tony 2.0, Iron Man
Hypervelocity #6 (of 6)
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