Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. My shop class problem's been resolved. 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 - Books may be delayed until Friday by holiday New Avengers/Transformers #1 (of 4): Marvel - Stuart Moore writes, Tyler Kirkham pencils. Takes place at a divergence point before Civil War. Mostly the Avengers this issue, but parallels to the "standard operating procedure" of IDW Decepticons are in place. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Ms. Marvel #17: Marvel - Things fall apart, the center cannot hold because it has this big gene scrambler bomb strapped to it...in some ways, AIM got a big boost to its "interestingness" levels. On the other hand, it's not like any of the other many many AIM revamps of the past decade have stuck, who's to say that a good one will have any more luck than the bad ones? Still, recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Thor #1: Marvel - If God did not exist, Man would have to create Him. That seems to be a central conceit off this issue. JMS has been steeped enough in mythology through the decades that I don't doubt he can pull this off, and he's had enough comics experience now that the pacing should be acceptable. The writing is both portentious and pretentious, but isn't that about right for Thor? Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn New Warriors #2: Marvel - Cute Heroes reference. Anyway, this book seems to be headed in the direction of an uncommon but not unheard-of plot hook...seeking out those with experience as supers but who lost their powers, and offering them new powers. Kind of like the Darkstars snatching up de-ringed Green Lanterns. It's still moving kinda slowly, but in a promising direction. 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): Blue Beetle #16, She Hulk v2 #19 Note, a LOT of Diamond flubs this week, see below. Transformers Official Movie Adaptation #4 (of 4): IDW - This opens with a background element that always annoys me, the statement that all advanced real world tech is reverse-engineered from some alien artifact. An artifact in the hands of only one government. As if all new tech of the past century has come solely from America. Pfeh. If they had some stuff more advanced than real life tech (as used in the Ghosts of Yesterday prequel novel), that'd work. But while it worked as a laugh in Men In Black, it's just dumb in a story trying to be taken seriously. That aside, this is another muddled mess with insufficient pagecount to really adapt the story, and it jumps from scene to scene in such a way that if I hadn't already read the novel, I'd have no idea what was going on half the time. Pass on this adaptation and just watch the movie or read the novel. Neutral. $3.99 Fallen Angel v2 #17: IDW - Flipbook with Shi. Joy. At least PAD writes both sides of it, and uses some effective parallel structure. It doesn't matter too much which side you read first, as both tell the tale of their respective stars reaching the same point, but the Fallen Angel side does seem to come "first" as such things may be reckoned. It also has bare breasts on the very first page, so careful about reading this in a public place. ;) And no, Shi doesn't show anything herself, just Li. Recommended. $3.99 Teen Titans #48: DC - Amazons Attack tie-in. And it looks like DC is trying to out-do Marvel in terms of showing they can have the government into more of an asinine strawman parody of the Bush Administration here, with internment camps set up for anyone who's even associated with Amazons. This issue is so full of stupid that I have trouble believing that the main AA book is worth buying even as kindling. Avoid. $2.99/$3.65Cn Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #31: DC - Bedard and so-so artist Kevin Sharpe take over for an intermezzo of sorts, dealing with some of the fallout from the Dominator War and maybe setting up for the next storyline...or wrapping things up for cancellation and relaunch. It's okay, and I do like the way a Legion longtimer is brought into the new timeline. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Blue Beetle #16: DC - And this one's an Eclipso tie-in, tossing us into something that looks like it has nothing to do with Blue Beetle. Other than having a couple of his supporting cast in the background, that is. But, unlike the suckful Amazon Attack tie-in over in Teen Titans, this one's fun to read even if I don't know what's going on. :) Just goes to show, the right writer can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Rogers may need work in the plotting department, but his ear for dialogue remains excellent. And he gets superheroes...there can be pain and death and sorrow, sure. But there's also hope and defiance and optimism. And weirdness. Albuquerque's art is a little hard to follow in places, although when you're trying to follow Cully Hamner's character designs for supporting cast, it can be tough to make them recognizable. Strongly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #3 (of 4): Marvel - As Reed discovers the true dangers of the Hirogen assimilation, Spidey shows that while he's no Reed in the science department, he's plenty smart enough. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn X-Factor #20: Marvel - The whole Quicksilver/Terrigen plot resolves in an unsurprisingly Monkey's Paw sort of way, and a few things about Layla Miller are revealed in the process. A decent story, recommended. (Hey, they aren't all gonna be mini-essays.) $2.99/$3.75Cn Fantastic Four #547: Marvel - Gotta love lame "not really the title" titles. This wasn't put in my pull because it's "The New Fantastic Four" on the cover, rather than "Fantastic Four" (which is how it's solicited and how I ordered it). At least it didn't get filed as "The Initiative The New Fantastic Four". Anyway, a transitional issue, as a couple of new threats pop up and the whole Eon thing gets wrapped. Some fun character bits, especially regarding Ororo's hair and eyes. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn She Hulk v2 #19: Marvel - Let's see...She-Hulk back in the law firm setting, dealing with personal issues and weird law and no longer running around as a SHIELD Agent, check. Slott back on top of his game, check. The Leader may dominate the cover, but the true archvillain in this issue is Mallory Book, who brings about conflicts both internal and external, ethical and legal...and even manages to (in essence) stop a horde of robots. Oh, and excellent use of longboxes by the basement geeks. Strongly recommeneded. $2.99/$3.75Cn Marvel Adventures Avengers #14: Marvel - Okay, not quite as interesting as the cover hints at (it's not an alt-version story), but still pretty good. Parker and Kirk do a good job showing the Avengers doing a little more than simply hitting the badguys, although they do plenty of that too. Pretty quotable too, but up against Shulkie and Blue Beetle, which means it's not getting my endquote position, sorry. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn 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 6/27: Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, Mystic Arcana Book of Marvel Magic, Aquaman #53. Add Transformers Movie Magazine #1, Invincible #43, Cable & Deadpool #42. They also didn't ship G-Fan #80, bringing Diamond below 0.500 for that magazine, I might as well subscribe directly. In fact, I just went to g-fan.com and did so. Screw Diamond. [Correction, looks like Transformers Movie Magazine was a bunch of reprints, and not what I ordered. What I ordered was the movie guide, which theoretically comes out July 5.] Cancelled by Diamond (again): Dr. Debunko: the Short Stories, Devil's Panties #7-8. Awards: "Speed Dial's Psycho Ex" Award to Transformers Official Movie Adaptation #4 (of 4) "Where's His Pogo Stick?" Award to Fallen Angel v2 #17 "When Clumsy Polemics Attack" Award to Teen Titans #48 "Tenzil For The Offense" Award to Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #31 "To Be A Dennnnntist! You Need A Talent For Causing Pain!" Award to Blue Beetle #16 "No, You Don't Get To Help Me Whitewash The Fence" Award to Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #3 (of 4) "THIS! IS! X-FACTOR!" Award to X-Factor #20 "Something Stinks Here" Award to Fantastic Four #547 "Because The 5th Amendment Only Applies To Criminal Liability, Not Making A Fool Of Yourself" Award to She-Hulk v2 #19 "For GOD'S Sake, Don't Let Hulk At The Ton Of Beans!" Award to Marvel Adventures Avengers #14 Dave Van Domelen, "'Cuz you SUCK. I'm not the only one thinks that. Batman's file on you? 'Eclipso. Power: Sucking.'" - Traci 13, Blue Beetle #16Back to the Main Rants Page.
Melt back to the June Rants Page.