Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Yes, I know about Captain America. Sigh. 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. Image didn't ship any, and the Marvel ones were late again. 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): Iron Man Hypervelocity #3 (of 6) Fall of Cthulhu #0: Boom Studios - This is mostly a few scenes from the last day in the life of Abdul Alhazred, the Mad Arab, and what he did after that. :) Considering the setting and apparent intent of the story, it's fairly straightforward and coherent, and I like how the artist shifts styles radically between the three main settings (Abdul's lifetime, the Dreamlands, modern day)...although I expect the colorists had a lot to do with that. Amusingly, the "other stuff this month" page at the end shows #2. Recommended. $3.99 Transformers Official Movie Prequel #1 (of 4): IDW - I got the wraparound cover B. Don Figueroa almost makes the movie designs work, but the drab sameness of them all (yes, they differ in a lot of little details, but it all runs together) combiner with an obvious intent to NOT name the viewpoint character makes it annoyingly hard to follow. Co-written by Ryall and Furman, I'm guessing that it was Ryall who created the location "Simfur". :) Anyway, both the art and writing are oppressively dark, murky and obfuscated, and I really hope the movie doesn't continue with that tone throughout. Mildly recommended. $3.99 52 #44 (of 52): DC - Another single-focus issue, bringing the Khandaq plotline to a head and killing off more people. Even the couple of Montoya pages at the end tie into the main plot. Giffen's art shows through more strongly than usual, either his breakdowns were more detailed then normal, or Barrows's style just doesn't have much strength to it (or he copies Giffen). Anyway, it's starting to look like they have a mandate to kill off everyone who hasn't already been seen One Year Later, which is kinda annoying. Mildly recommended. $2.50/$2.99Cn Outsiders #46: DC - One Year Un-Later still, or something. There's a bit of a disconnect between writing and art (for instance, at one point, the narration says everyone in the prison stays in costume as a reminder of their hubris, but no one's in costume). Roughly equal parts of intra-team argument, prison drama and snarky love story. Recommended despite Barberi's art. $2.99/$3.65Cn Shazam! the Monster Society of Evil #2 (of 4): DC - Jeff Smith continues to build an all-new world for Captain Marvel, picking and choosing from various previous incarnations plus stuff he brings to the party himself (and I was right about Talky, heh). A bit gruesome despite the seemingly kid-safe exterior, although that's perfectly in keeping with classic Captain Marvel stuff. I'd advise not looking at the back cover until you finish, though, as it gives away a few major plot points (okay, one of 'em is no real surprise overall, but it could have happened later). Recommended. $5.99/$7.25Cn Welcome to Tranquility #4: DC/Wildstorm - Googe does a very nice job of showing on the first page that his stylistic quirks are just that: style. He's perfectly capable of a classically attractive human figure when he wants to draw one. :) Story-wise, we're in the commonly-seen phase of a mystery where things simultaneously come together and fly apart. The investigator starts to put pieces together into a fairly coherent whole, but at the same time, other players in the drama get pushed too far and start taking drastic action. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Dynamo5 #1: Image - Cute background cameo from one of Faerber's early Image books. Anyway, I've seen the basic concept of this book many times before: hero dies, powers are split up among several new heroes in some fashion, and they carry on the fight (Power Pack, Villains & Vigilantes, for instance). But this is a new twist, and it does lead to some interestingly messed up team dynamics. It's set in the Image shared universe (Invincible and the Savage Dragon have cameos) but in a Silver-Age-ish isolated corner. There's a strong Superman homage involved, but not slavishly so. Definitely promising. Recommended. $3.50/$4.05Cn Bullet Points #5 (of 5): Marvel - Well, this is definitely a classic "What If?" in the sense that the body count is pretty massive. The resolution is pretty good within that constraint, though, even if the art continues to be cruddy. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn newuniversal #4: Marvel - Well, one of the key events from the original Starbrand series happens here, but without all the beating around the bush and "no, this is what we really mean this time" stuff. Things otherwise just sort of edge forward at a typically Ellisian pace, so it's a good thing this is actually monthly, rather than slipping to a "whenever" schedule. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #18: Marvel - Well, the whole fugitive from injustice thing is still going on, but it's mostly background, with PAD's own plotlines getting to drive the story. With the hype machine for Spider-Man 3 ramping up, it's interesting to see elements of that movie used to do something almost totally different, yet still with the core element of Uncle Ben's death. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Iron Man Hypervelocity #3 (of 6): Marvel - This is a step back and exposit issue (much like #2), but nonetheless very fun. It also has that "coming together and coming apart" thing I mentioned in the Tranquility review, although there's really just one player making things go boom. A definite treat for technotaku types (and there's a quick cameo from Gothic Lolita and Social Butterfly). Warren takes dialogue and monologue that might otherwise be dry and makes it sparkle. Strongly recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Dork Decade: the Dork Tower Ten-Year Anniversary Color Collection: Dork Storm - Would you believe 11th Anniversary? Seriously, this was solicited for last November. Anyway, this is a collection of all the Dork Tower (and Shop Keep) strips from Shadis and Dragon Magazine (up to the point of going to press, anyway), complete with end notes. Most of the notes could have been put at the bottom of the page (Penny Arcade collection style), except some of the pages are too long for this (as noted several times), so they went with the Finder/Devil's Panties/etc style of putting all the notes at the very end, so you have to flip back and forth. Recommended. $15.99 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 3/7: Still missing Gold Digger Tangent #2, Fred Perry's S-Guild #1, Dr. Debunko: the Short Stories, Roy Thomas's Anthem #4, Devil's Panties #7, #8 (Diamond cancelled the reorder on Devil's Panties #7), Thunderbolts Presents: Zemo Born Better #1. Awards: "Strange Days Indeed" Award to Fall of Cthulhu #0 "Primus Is A Cenobite?" Award to Transformers Official Movie Prequel #1 (of 4) "Crocodile Tears" Award to 52 #44 (of 52) "Permanent Bedhead" Award to Outsiders #46 "Genius, Genius Rat-Creatures" Award to Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil #2 (of 4) "XD" Award to Welcome to Tranquility #4 "Anonymous, Faceless Nookie" Award to Dynamo5 #1 "A Grimm Ending" Award to Bullet Points #5 (of 5) "The Ability To Resist" Award to newuniversal #4 "Extreme Makeover, Jailhouse Edition" Award to Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #18 "Theft Of Intellectual Properties" Award to Iron Man Hypervelocity #3 (of 6) "Is Maxwell Based On A Pentagon?" Award to Dork Decade Dave Van Domelen, "Upwards of $500 billion in S.H.I.E.L.D. hardware... is pursuing $150 million worth of Stark Enterprises hardware...which is fleeing in $18,000 worth of Honda hardware. Then again, no one ever said that posthuman conflict was cost-effective." - Tony 2.0, driving Johnny Storm's stolen ricer, Iron Man Hypervelocity #3 (of 6)Back to the Main Rants Page.
Get blown back to the March 2007 Rants.