Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. My A1C level is down to 5.1, yay! 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 - Thunderbolts #114: Marvel - Some shouting, some fighting, a little bit of characters not being strawmen for one side or the other. Didn't suck, but not calling out to my wallet either. $2.99/$3.75Cn Nova #2: Marvel - Well, it is amusing to see prime movers for the two big events at Marvel having a little chat, having been totally unaware of the other's crises beyond vague mentions here and there. There's even some callbacks to the original Nova comic. But then the crap hits the story at the end. $2.99/$3.75Cn The Immortal Iron Fist #5: Marvel - Mostly one timeframe this time, setting up the Big Fights for #6. As a result, the artist list isn't as long as usual. :) Talky, with occasional bits of amusement. $2.99/$3.75Cn Amazing Spider-Man #540: Marvel - Spidey's dark turn continues as he hunts his way up the food chain to find out who put the hit out on his family. Okay story. $2.99/$3.75Cn Annihilation Saga: Marvel - Like the old Marvel Saga series, this one-shot summarizes the events of Annihilation in chronological order. Recommended. $1.99/$2.50Cn Invincible #41: Image - Four plots come to a conclusion here, a nice bit of wrap-up. Perhaps a bit rushed, but frankly, in a world full of decompressed storytelling, I don't really mind the occasional flash-forward bit. Recommended. $2.99/$3.55Cn 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): Welcome to Tranquility #6 Transformers Official Movie Prequel #4 (of 4): IDW - Well, as a prequel it certainly can't have a significant resolution, but...eh. It was okay. Starscream seems to have gotten the Standard Furman Grimlock Personality, plus vocalisms, but with some of the classic Starscream snark. Good Figueroa art, especially since he gets to work with mainly humans and vehicles rather than vague piles of scrap. Mildly recommended. $3.99 Transformers Escalation #6 (of 6): IDW - The day is saved by characters pulling out new abilities they hadn't displayed before, kinda cheaty. Some of the Spotlight stories come into play, and more mystic mumbo jumbo worldbuilding happens. Mildly recommended. $3.99 World War Hulk Prologue: World Breaker #1: Marvel - A decent, if talky Peter David story leads off. Annoyingly, it reveals important events in She-Hulk's life that have not come up in her own book yet, and sorta blow the cliffhanger she had going. Giarrusso then summarizes World War Hulk in his little kid style, and the Mastermind Excello story from last year's Amazing Fantasy is reprinted. I presume that means he's going to be important to World War Hulk. Recommended. $3.99/$4.75Cn Fantastic Four #546: Marvel - Last week's book, I read it on the shelf Sunday and decided to add it to my pull. Okay, so the main action, a fight against the Silver Surfer, isn't great, but it is decent. However, what drew me to this was the continuation of the McDuffieverse, as he picks up a plot thread from Beyond (and also wraps up an Annihilation dangler). Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Thunderbolts Presents: Zemo Born Better #4 (of 4): Marvel - It ends perhaps a little anticlimactically, but that seems to be the point...that it is not so much climax as epiphany. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Ms. Marvel #15: Marvel - Okay, is there ANY registered superheroine that Tony Stark isn't thought to be nailing? Sheesh. Anyway, Reed seems to be talking to Peter David, since there's some pretty good inter-book ties here, such as with developments in Wonder Man, stuff PAD's done in Hulk, etc. Oh, and MODOK with a head cold is a fearsome sight. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #20: Marvel - The whole Arrow plot comes to a head, with some good Betty Brant character time along the way. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Wonder Man #5 (of 5): Marvel - Peter David book number three for me this week, whee! It's clarified that this whole thing took place before Civil War, which I suppose is necessary to keep CW and the Initiative from being the 500 pound gorilla in the room (to mix metaphors). I was a bit surprised by the ending of the framing sequence, but as soon as I knew for sure the story was "backdated" I knew that the main plot had to end more or less like it did, else suffer One Year Later syndrome (i.e. time has passed, why haven't we seen such-and-such character in any other book?). Currie's back on art, and I still kinda like his weird style. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn Avengers: the Initiative #2: Marvel - I've seen some savaging of #1 online, and honestly agree with the details of many of their criticisms. However, I'm willing to cut Slott a pretty large amount of slack at this point based on his prior work, and see where he takes things. Many of those problems are still present, although it's clear the reader is meant to think of them as Bad Things. And Slott plays around with a number of expectations in a reasonably clever way. Plus, lovely "reunion" scene at the end. Recommended. $2.99/$3.75Cn All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update #2 (of 4): Marvel - Again, not a chunk of the alphabet but A-Z on another batch. And for once a cover that doesn't totally suck! Probably most notable is that Captain America gets an *eight page* entry, twice as much as the biggest previous entry I can recall seeing. Also, Avalanche finally gets a proper Cretan name, with previous versions explained as aliases and anglicizations. Glossary continues from the Back in Black handbook, with Entropy through NASA. Recommended. $3.99/$4.75Cn 52 #52 (of 52): DC - "It ends here!" the cover proclaims. The cover's a wraparound crowd scene at a memorial for Elongated Man, the Question and Isis. The issue inside is oversized (at no increased cost), and does adequately wrap up the storyline while also putting things into shape for other writers to still be able to play with the toys. A decent ending, if tarnished by a meandering and sometimes pointless story preceding it. Recommended. $2.50/$2.99Cn Teen Titans #46: DC - The big fight scene finally comes to a close, and we find out what Deathstroke was after all along. And, frankly, the story could have been told just as well if not better in fewer issues. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Superman #662: DC - Superman gets back to the whole "Arion says you'll doom humanity" plotline, probably in gearing up for #666. Somewhat meandering, but amusing along the way. And it has Zatanna in a teddy. [Later note: lingerie aficionados inform me it's not a teddy. Whatever. It's skimpy and bedroom-y.] Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil #3 (of 4): DC - A breather and some complications. A lot of it feels like setting up elements for future stories, that Smith didn't really need 4 full issues to tell the story he wanted to tell here, and used some of the extra for worldbuilding. Recommended. $5.99/$7.25Cn Welcome to Tranquility #6: DC/Wildstorm - Well, the first storyline wraps up, with all the secrets laid out and the motivations explained. And some lovely banter along the way. Strongly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn 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 5/2: Still missing Gold Digger Tangent #2, Fred Perry's S-Guild #1, Dr. Debunko: the Short Stories, Devil's Panties #7 and #8, Dino Wars #3 and #4, Fallen Angel #15. (The AP stuff has become the owner's fault, he still hasn't gotten around to making a direct order from the publisher like he keeps promising.) Oops! Omega Flight wasn't in my pull, I thought it was, and then forgot about it until the next day. Will review it next week. Awards: "Mike Chary As A Transformer" Award to Transformers Official Movie Prequel #4 (of 4) "And I Will Hug Him And Squeeze Him And Call Him George" Award to Transformers Escalation #6 (of 6) "Jen Shoulda Used Protection" Award to World War Hulk Prologue: World Breaker "And She Was Such A Cute Baby" Award to Fantastic Four #545 "Blood Will Out...Except From The Rug" Award to Thunderbolts Presents: Zemo Born Better #4 (of 4) "World's Biggest Kleenex" Award to Ms. Marvel #15 "This Is Why Some Guys Don't Like Aggressive Women" Award to Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #20 "Punch Line" Award to Wonder Man #5 (of 5) "You Suck, Henry Pym" Award to Avengers: the Initiative #2 "Gonna Have To Count Up All The 'And Then Captain America Died' Bits In That Entry" Award to All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update #2 (of 4) "Thandra's Gonna Be Annoyed" Award to 52 #52 (of 52) "Dr. Spock Would Not Approve" Award to Teen Titans #46 "I Prefer It With The Extra C" Award to Superman #662 "Cat Butt Attack!" Award to Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil #3 (of 4) "Flash-Frozen" Award to Welcome to Tranquility #6 Dave Van Domelen, "You. Young lady with the tentacles. Will you *please* do me this *one damn courtesy* and keep those *sausages* away from my *pooper?*" - Mayor Fury, Welcome to Tranquility #6Back to the Main Rants Page.
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