May 9, 2007

Dave's Unspoilt Capsules and Awards

The Week's Picks and Pans, plus Awards of Dubious Merit

Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups.  Recommendation does
not factor in price.  Not all books will have arrived in your area this week.
Came in just below 90kg today, woot.  Rants, Capsules can be found on my 

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 - 

     Mighty Avengers #3: Marvel - Astonishingly, this is actually getting
pretty good, despite some of the stylistic tics Bendis is using (such as
parenthetical thought bubbles).  I might even (gasp) start picking this book
up.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Cable & Deadpool #40: Marvel - Plot whiplash as we catch up with what
Cable's been doing over in X-Men, lots of internal dialogue and not enough
Deadpool, plus "to be continued somewhere else".  Feh.  Mildly recommended.
     X-Factor #19: Marvel - Mostly a running fight scene with two obvious
sides and a lot of little facets.  Not an outstanding issue, but a good one.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn

     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

     Books of Note (Strongly Recommended or otherwise worthy): Devil's
Panties #11 

     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
     Omega Flight #2 (of 5): Marvel - Team still hasn't really gotten
together, and USAgent is being written pretty one-dimensionally.  Issue felt
padded, like this really should be a 4 issue series and most of the
decompression went here.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #2 (of 4): Marvel - Still seems to
exist in a continuity bubble of unknown location, but also still a fun story
from Parker and Wieringo.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Countdown #51 (of 0): DC - Yay.  Reverse-numbering was moderately clever
when Zero Hour did it.  It was annoying when Byrne did it for Marvel the Lost
Generation.  And fifty two issues of it?  This is gonna be a major nuisance.
Speaking of which, one week after the "revelation" of the new Multiverse,
we're already tossed into the thick of crossovers between 'em, albeit with a
somewhat lame Scourge of the Underworld twist on it.  All told, while Dini
does make some effort to fill in gaps, it still feels like I've walked in on
the middle of the story, not the beginning.  Neutral.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Outsiders #47: DC - Speaking of walking in on the middle of the story,
it used to be that when a crossover was going on, you'd get some indication
on the first page or two that the story was being continued from somewhere
else.  Not so, here.  Just jumps in with no explanation of where part 1 of
the story is, who this cyborg lady Nightwing is talking to is, or anything.
It's especially jarring considering that the story in Outsiders #46 continued
in Outsiders Annual #1.  It does settle down eventually into explanatory
mode, after some obligatory backside baring and some "the characters know a
secret but won't tell the readers" banter.  Mildly recommended.
     Green Arrow #74: DC - Hm.  Not a lot of comics stop the action to have a
forty hour (mostly off-camera) sex scene.  Well, not a lot of main-line DC
comics, anyway.  :)  A pity McDaniels is still the artist, though, given how
ugly his art gets.  Anyway, some good character bits in here, although some
people may dislike the way it takes some characters.  Recommended.
     Gen13 v4 #8: DC/Wildstorm - Roxy narrates this time out, and we really
get inside her head.  We also see that she's not necessarily right, but she's
definitely justified...and that's an important difference.  Also, looks like
Simone's taking the gang into Tranquility, which should make for some
interesting compare and contrast once they get there.  :)  There's some weird
52 fallout in this issue, which is the only sour note for me.  Recommended.
     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
     Gold Digger v3 #84: Antarctic Press - Another Ancient Gina interlude,
combined with a flashback to the childhood of Gina and Brittany and an
arkload of mixed and mangled 70s and 80s SF fannish references.  A fun read,
and touching.  Recommended.  $2.95/$3.40Cn
     Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #5: Antarctic Press - Ecko
through Gina, Ancient.  Lots of worldbuilding background in this one, what
with Exthilion, the Gardeners, and both Gina entries.  Recommended.
     DinoWars Extinction Files #1: Antarctic Press - Given that I'm still
waiting on the most recent two issues of the series, I expect this'll be a
lot of spoilers when I sit down over the weekend to read it in depth.  OTOH,
now I know it was a miniseries for certain, so I can't miss any MORE issues.
Anyway, much less wordy than most guidebooks, it's more of an artbook than
anything else.  It does give away the ending, but given that the ending
shipped to most places weeks ago, that's not really its fault....
Recommended.  $3.50/$4.05Cn
     The Devil's Panties #11: Silent Devil - Speaking of books Diamond
doesn't like to ship....  This is a very convention heavy issue, but not
entirely focused on things what happened at cons.  It also has the infamous
Danielle Corsetto cameo.  Heh heh heh.  Strongly recommended, but not for the
faint of heart.  $4.95
     Miki Falls: Spring: Harper Teen - Mark Crilley's latest project, I never
did see it solicited in Previews, but it apparently shipped to comic shops
this week.  I got it at the bookstore last week, in the manga section.
Anyway, this is a four part digest-sized story set in a sleepy little
Japanese town where the title character gets mixed up in strangeness.  Not
Akiko-level strangeness...more of a subtle, understated strangeness, at least
for now.  The book actually starts at the end, with Miki falling, and then
backs up a year to start explaining how things came to that.  Now, I'm hardly
what anyone would call a shoujo aficionado, so I can't really say how well or
poorly this fits into that genre, but it does seem to meet most of the main
points I'm aware of.  Don't let that deter you, though, if you're not a
shoujo's a good book.  Recommended.  $7.99/$9.99Cn

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 5/9:

     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.


"Day Planner" Award to Annihilation Saga

"And I Will Pet Him And Feed Him And Name Him George" Award to Omega Flight
     #2 (of 5)

"Trying To Get Gold From A Silver Mind" Award to Spider-Man and the 
     Fantastic Four #2 (of 4)

"Nothing Like An Appearance By Pointless Death Man To Kick Off An Event"
     Award to Countdown #51 (of 0)

"Now, I Am Not Wearin' A Cup, And I'm Findin' It Awf'ly Hard To Breathe"
     Award to Outsiders #47

"One Year Later Indeed" Award to Green Arrow #74

"Honk!" Award to Gen13 v4 #8

"Not Even Letting The Corpse Cool" Award to Invincible #41

"Everything's Better With Transforming Mechs" Award to Gold Digger v3 #84

"Fondleroy" Award to Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #5

"I'd've Held Out For Australia" Award to DinoWars Extinction Files #1

"Flying Monkey!" Award to The Devil's Panties #11

"What's Love But A Second-Hand Emotion?" Award to Miki Falls #1

     Dave Van Domelen, "Why buy the curtains when you can get the cow for
free?" - Jen's little sister, The Devil's Panties #11
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