Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Screen-off trick worked a charm. 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 #36: Marvel - The "riot in Washington" arc wraps up, with status quo nearly re-established (and the characters explicitly bringing that up), but it feels more like a short breather than an actual resolution. $2.99/$3.05Cn The Immortal Iron Fist #13: Marvel - Round 6 of the Budoka...er, Capital Cities of Heaven Tournament. Loads of artists as usual, and lots of shifting about in time, but the main plot is finally coming to a head. $2.99/$3.05Cn The Incredible Hercules #115: Marvel - The visual storytelling is rather muddled at the start, but it's cool to see the Behemoth (from the anti-Godzilla squad) back in action. And some really good Herc backstory action. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Thor #7: Marvel - Speaking of bringing up old myths, Thor does a little plot-relevant reminiscing as well. Not as emotionally stirring as Herc's, but an interesting insight into where JMS is taking the story nonetheless. Art by Marko Djurdevic generally does a good job of capturing the Nordic style, although I'm not keen on his Surtur (looks too much like a Hellboy in his with-horns mode). Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn The Order #9: Marvel - Turns out Heavy is a spear carrier from Iron Man's most recent revised origin. Anyway, the Evil Plot comes to a head this issue, and with three more to go in te series the pacing is making me wonder. Either this fight will drag out a bit, or it ends in #10 or #11 and the rest is denounment. A bit less of the things I like about the series can be found in this issue, but still recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn 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): Atomic Robo #6 (of 6), Empowered vol 3 Ninja High School #158: Antarctic Press - The action shifts back to Tetsuo Rivalsan's personal arc, as he wrestles with his dreams and desires in both figurative and literal manners. A fair amount of Nanashi fanservice as well, although the story is mainly Tetsuo soul-searching. Recommended. $2.99/$2.99Cn Amazing Spider-Man #553: Marvel - Gale goes a little bit too far over the top once in a while, but just the right amount over the top the rest of the time. Plus plenty of good banter. Generally good art from Jimenez, although his design of the featured villain runs into "Jack of Hearts Syndrome", in that no other artist is gonna want to touch it. ;) Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Avengers the Initiative #10: Marvel - Still bouncing around through multiple layers of flashback, and we get our first definite no-kidding fatality (plus more mutilation and maiming, plus some emotional scarring totally unrelated to KIA). Slott, Gage and Caselli can't *quite* pull of this asynchronous storytelling smoothly, but it's a game attempt. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn X-Factor #29: Marvel - Cute short-circuiting of cliches. And then things go to hell. Well, not literally. Probably. But maybe elsewhere on the Outer Planes. Ah, some badfun times ahead in this arc. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn The Last Defenders #1 (of 6): Marvel - Cute use of the (more or less) same logo style as the New Defenders from the 80s. And using Stark's established high-handed jerkitude to explain the arbitrary nature of the new lineup. But despite the "official" lineup, Casey's keeping the camera on the New Defenders era cast as well. And Blazing Skull is fun. A promising start. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Superman #674: DC - Lots of neat toys, the return of a villain I've never heard of, and tales of Daxam. Pretty much a "scene set" sort of issue from Busiek. Art by Guedes is pretty good, if not too memorable. Recommended, provisionally. $2.99/$3.65Cn Salvation Run #5 (of 7): DC - About half an issue's worth of content padded out with brawl scenes. The mystery of the exile world is at least partially answered, though. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Green Arrow and Black Canary #6: DC - This was a fast read, very low-density storytelling. Some good bits, but it felt kinda frothy. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Booster Gold #7: DC - Okay, so they DID break the timeline. And Johns doesn't keep us in suspense about why things went wrong, either. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Gen13 v4 #18: DC/Wildstorm - All the various "deathtraps" of #17 (although they're not really traps) are sprung and dealt with, and Kat demonstrates that her most dangerous assets have nothing to do with her Gen-active status. And hot dogs are consumed. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Transformers Animated vol 2: IDW - Yeah, pretty much given up on getting these through Diamond, so they show up now whenever my online source's shipments show up (deepdiscount.com for reference). This digest-sized full color volume has the same pagecount as vol 1, but only adapts Blast From The Past (Dinobots first appearance) and Nanosec, meaning there's more space to properly tell the stories. There's also no profile pages like vol 1, freeing up even more story pages. At 50 pages for Blast and 68 pages for Nanosec, that's pretty much in the sweet spot for my "22 pages per 8-12 minutes of animation" adaptation rule of thumb. Some of the captions are a bit too "talking down to the kiddies", but it's not like they get in the way of the cel art. :) Good episodes, if not the best of the first season, and it does make it clear that IDW's not going to try to adapt everything in these volumes. Recommended. $7.99 Badger Saves the World #3 (of 5): IDW - Still pretty uneven, both in storytelling and art. Amusingly, plans to get Badger out of the way may well have sent him exactly where he needs to be, thus demonstrating how fortune loves a fool. The semi-political stuff is a bit heavy-handed, but only a few pages. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Doctor Who #2: IDW - Well, the main action is sort of a one-shot, but a continuing thread becomes a much bigger deal here, and there's several cutaways to scenes not directly related to this issue's festivities. Gary Russell definitely has comic book pacing down, though, an even with the uberplot-servicing going on, he still delivers a solid story and great dialogue. The art by Jose Maria Beroy is okay, although it's hard to say for sure how much is his baseline style and how much is a deliberate attempt to capture the era the main action occurs in (the early 1970s). Recommended. $3.99 Atomic Robo #6 (of 6): Red5 Comics - While it's as chock full of snarky robot goodness as any other issue, my favorite thing is on the back cover...where volume two is announced. :) The main fight is a classic case of what happens when you have the same arch enemy for 70 years...move and counter move, expectations both met and shattered. The backup is shorter than most, and gives the first meeting of Robo and one of his crew. Strongly recommended. $2.95 Serenity Better Days #1 (of 3): Dark Horse - Whedon's experience in writing comics is finally paying off, and this mini is off to a much better start than the previous Serenity mini, in terms of using the medium. And that aside, it looks like the theme of this one is, "The only thing worse than things going to hell is things going well." ;) Recommended. $2.99 Empowered vol 3 (of 5): Dark Horse - Shrinkwrapped as usual. Not that it really NEEDS it, although binding the book tightly in a fragile and thin membrane does seem to be...apt. Oh, and while the "Parental Advisory" sticker over Ocelotina's pelvis may also be somewhat apt as well, it doesn't really cover anything saucy, so sad. There's a fair amount of "made for something else" material in here, which causes it to hang together more like vol 1 than vol 2 in terms of story flow, but it's all good, and the whole ninja bounty plot gets resolved quite satisfyingly. Butts are kicked (and shot, and vaporized), names are taken (and provided). Strongly recommended. $14.95 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 3/12: Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, PS238 #25, (both of these have been covered in my CBR Special), Sky Sharks #2, Gamma Files. Awards: "But Is She From New Jersey?" Award to Ninja High School #158 "A One-Man Furry Convention" Award to Amazing Spider-Man #553 "Porn For Amputation Fetishists" Award to Avengers the Initiative #10 "The Pit And The Pendula" Award to X-Factor #29 "Maybe Isaac And Patsy Would Have Been Better Off Over Here Than In Avengers the Initiative" Award to The Last Defenders #1 (of 6) "But Does The New Apartment Playset Come With Exclusive Superman Figure?" Award to Superman #674 "Mexican't Standoff?" Award to Salvation Run #5 (of 7) "She Can Keep My Books Anytime" Award to Green Arrow and Black Canary #6 "And Here I Thought It Was A Coloring Error" Award to Booster Gold #7 "Gee, Maybe They ARE Brains" Award to Gen13 v4 #18 "Wally Wood's T.R.A.N.S.F.O.R.M.E.R.S. Agents" Award to Transformers Animated vol 2 "God Demands Munchies" Award to Badger Saves The World #3 (of 5) "Sand In Shorts, Ick" Award to Doctor Who #2 "Women Love Him For His Brains" Award to Atomic Robo #6 (of 6) "Who Secures The Security?" Award to Serenity Better Days #1 (of 3) "Trade Of Restraint" Award to Empowered vol 3 Dave Van Domelen, "Now you got a real face for radio, pal...if you turned the radio all the way down...and unplugged it...and sold the radio." - Spider-Man, talking smack, ASM #553Back to the Main Rants Page.
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