March 2011 Late Arrivals

Dave's Unspoilt Capsules and Awards

Special Late Books Edition Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. An archive can be found on my homepage, The last day of Spring's snowing. Naturally. Thanks to Todd Kogutt for picking these up for me at his local comic shop. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Atomic Robo Deadly Art of Science #3 (of 5), Comic Book Comics #5 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 3/27/11: Shadowland Power Man #4, Transformers Timelines G2 Redux, Love & Capes Ever After #2, Gold Digger #126, PS238 #49, Time Lincoln Cuba Commander. (I'm giving up on seeing Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #8.) "Other Media" Capsules: Things that are comics-related but not necessarily comics (i.e. comics-based movies like Iron Man or Hulk), or that aren't going to be available via comic shops (like comic pack-ins with DVDs) will go in this section when I have any to mention. They may not be as timely as comic reviews, especially if I decide to review novels that take me a week or two (or ten) to get around to. None for this batch. Time-Shifting: Sometimes I get a comic a week or two late because of Diamond's combination of neglect and incompetence. If it's more than a week late, though, I won't review it unless it's very notable. Additionally, I will often get tradepaperbacks long after publication or even sometimes before Diamond ships them, and those will go here. If I'm reasonably sure I'm reviewing something that didn't ship this week, this is the section for it. Transformers Dark of the Moon Foundation #1 amd #2: IDW - Just like for Revenge of the Fallen, we're getting two prequel miniseries. Rising Storm is like Alliance in that it covers the period between movies. Foundation is like Defiance, filling in the deep history of the movie Transformers. The main action appears to be some time between the end of the main action of Defiance and the loss of the AllSpark at Tyger Pax. Megatron has engineered a "final confrontation" with Optimus, and the narration shifts between the two leaders as it's established that ideologically Megatron is winning the war. Prime has had to sacrifice his principles, the core of who he is, in order to survive, and Megatron is in full gloat mode. Most of the story, however, is flashbacks to the short-lived age of prosperity after new implant Sentinel Prime helped save Cybertron but before the schism outlined in Defiance. There's certainly echoes of the War for Cybertron timeline here, but Barber does a good job of fleshing out the mythology of the movieverse in these opening issues. Depending on how closely continuity meshes with other comics (always an iffy proposition when working with walk-on characters from the movies), it may also lend a LOT more pathos to Tales of the Fallen #6. Griffith does what he can with the bayformer style, and generally keeps characters recognizable. Recommended. $3.99 each Chaos War Dead Avengers #1 (of 3): Marvel - Eh. A few good lines here and there, but finally reading this issue didn't really add anything to #2-3. A couple more flashback sequences, but mostly the characters spend the issue confused and looking for purpose. In other words, the story could have been done about as well in two issues, or even a one-shot. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Widowmaker #3 and #4 of 4): Marvel - Yeah, this here is dogged completism at work...the entire miniseries will probably go in the donations bin, though. The byzantine plot is laid out, it's the fault of someone I didn't see coming simply because his death was retconned away when I wasn't looking (specifically, in Daredevil vol 2 #64, according to Wikipedia). A lot of sound and fury and signifying not a whole lot. Even the "Blind Spot" lead-in was really just a couple of panels, almost an afterthought. Neutral. $3.99 each Power Man and Iron Fist #3 (of 5): Marvel - Van Lente is pushing the "Power Man is an immature loose cannon" button a little hard this issue...I mean, I don't expect him to grow up in an instant, but there's a risk of Power Man becoming a parody of himself. The story itself involves Poker Face manipulating everyone pretty shamelessly, with more questions than answers, as one might expect from the middle of five parts. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Adventure Comics #524: DC - The Ave...Legion Academy kids go off without permission (but not without Chuck knowing they'd do it) to investigate a mystery that didn't seem too mysterious to me last issue, but it is one after all. Jimenez gets to indulge in some lovely scenery and costuming, although Levitz's story is pretty vanilla by comparison. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Legion of Super-Villains #1 (of 1): DC - Ooh, a BLOOD OATH. Yeah, not too impressed by the cover. The story inside is another matter, though. The jailbreak was small potatoes compared to Saturn Queen's actual plans, which involve an assault on the metaphysical as much as the physical. And I suppose she should be getting ready to curse Mekt's inevitable betrayal or something. Between Adventure #524 and this issue, Levitz is mining some fairly obscure Legion foes in addition to the marquee names like Saturn Queen and Lightning Lord. Recommended. $4.99 Invincible #77: Image - Okay, so I knew how this would work out before I started, since I read #78 first, but it's interesting to see how Invincible spends so much time thinking about how badly things could go...and then the Regent demonstrates that they can be a LOT worse. Just not as flashy. And Invincible himself is the key to how bad it will be. Assuming, you know, that the plot device dropped at the end of #78 doesn't come into play. Recommended. $2.99 Atomic Robo Deadly Art of Science #3 (of 5): Red5 Comics - Huh, so several months passed during this issue. Guess I wasn't paying enough attention to references in #4. Lots of emphasis on family this issue, both the family you come from and the family you make. I kinda hope the romance with Helen doesn't get something drastic happening to it in #5...I'd rather it be left as a dangler for some future-set-in-the-past story to deal with, because there's not a lot of non-cliche ways it could be put paid to with one issue to go. Sure, no matter how it resolves, she's probably not alive in 2011, and since she was never really mentioned before this series she probably didn't play a big part in Robo's life after his "childhood", but it'd be nice to leave the matter open for at least one more storyline to use. Oh, and best awkward The Talk ever. Strongly recommended. $3.50 Comic Book Comics #5: Evil Twin Comics - The All-Lawsuit Issue! While it necessarily starts with Siegel & Shuster vs. DC, and Jack Kirby vs. Marvel, most of the issue does keep with the roughly chronological format of the series to date. The 70s and 80s were the heyday of comics lawsuits, with fallout (i.e. Miracleman) that is either still tangled up or only recently got resolved. An entertaining and dense read, also informative on many fronts. Strongly recommended. $3.95 New Comics: Comics and comic collections that I got this week and were actually supposed to be out this week, as far as I can tell. These reviews will generally be spoiler-free, but the occasional bit will slip in. None for this file, it's all old stuff. Awards: "So, Were Those New Bodies, Or Her Sisters' Empty Shells?" Award to Transformers Dark of the Moon Foundation #1 and #2 "A $%&# For The Ages" Award to Chaos War Dead Avengers #1 (of 3) "Most Anti-Climactic Volcano Ever" Award to Widowmaker #3 and #4 (of 4) "You'd Think Joy Would Know Better" Award to Power Man and Iron Fist #3 (of 5) "Why Is He Still Eating The Academy's Wiring?" Award to Adventure Comics #524 "Don't Shoot Food" Award to Legion of Super-Villains #1 (of 1) "Go Ask The Gaoblins How That Worked Out" Award to Invincible #77 "He Could Also Have Pizza Pi" Award to Atomic Robo Deadly Art of Science #3 (of 5) "Marvel At The Miracle Of It All" Award to Comic Book Comics #5 Dave Van Domelen, "I think it may be time we had...a TALK." "WHAT talk?" "Robo, when a MANBOT loves a WOMAN..." "Stop, stop, stop, STOP!" - Nikola Tesla and Robo Tesla, Atomic Robo Deadly Art of Science #3 (of 5)
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