May 16, 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.
Curse you, Hasbro-mandated street dates!  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 - 

     Captain America #26: Marvel - Reactions to the death, basically.  No big
revelations or twists, just some little hints here and there.  Dark and murky
art that at least fits the mood this time.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Fantastic Four #546: Marvel - A fun read and a clever solution to the
dilemma.  McDuffie definitely gets Priest's T'Challa.  Recommended.
     newuniversal #6: Marvel - Stepping back, taking stock, and then spending
way too many pages showing Justice kill people.  About twice as long as it
needs to be, but by modern standards that's not too bad.  Recommended.
     She-Hulk v2 #18: Marvel - Here's one of the places where things start
blowing up in Tony Stark's face.  Too bad it was telegraphed in Hulk books a
couple of weeks ago.  Still, it's satisfying to have someone in-story say
some of the things to Tony that most readers have been thinking.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Annual #1: Marvel - The main story is
Sandman: Year One, the all new fully retconned and reconciled origin of the
Sandman.  And it's good enough that I hope this one sticks.  :) There's also
a short backup drawn by Colleen Doran, a touching tale of how you can save
someone while also failing to save them.  All written by Peter David.
Strongly recommended.  $3.99/$4.75Cn

     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): None.
     Fall of Cthulhu #2: Boom! Studios - I'll admit to not being a huge
horror fan, so there's a lot of genre tropes I'm unfamiliar with.  But
there's many that I do know, and here's one of them.  In certain types of
horror story, the protagonist gets entangled with Things Man Was Not Meant To
Know, and there's often someone in his or her life who has no patience for
such foolishness and is an utter pain in the neck nagging them to put away
the weirdness and get back to mundane life.  Sometimes this is a voice that
should be ignored for the sake of mankind, other times it's probably best if
the protagonist heeds it and doesn't poke the ancient horror with a stick
anymore.  But, regardless of whether the nagger is right or wrong...that
sort of character annoys the hell out of me.  It's like having someone at a
magic show who keeps saying, "It's all a trick!  He's doing it with wires!"
and stuff along those lines.  Like nails on the chalkboard whenever the nag
appears.  And the nag is really scraping those nails this issue.  Makes it
really hard to get into the mood of cosmic doom.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
     Ninja High School #149: Antarctic Press - Heh.  I'm too used to standard
comic book number theory, and was expecting this to be a penultimate
chapter.  Nope.  I forgot that Dunn likes to use nice round numbers to kick
off new stuff...this is the climax of the whole post-Hawaii Naruto-esque
storyline.  Well, of its first chapter, anyway.  Players enter and leave,
alliances and loyalties shift, and there are numerous resolutions of plots
and subplots.  I figure next issue will put a bow on all this and then set up
the next chapter.  Anyway, good climactic issue.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.45Cn
     Gargoyles #4: Slave Labor Graphics - Several story threads bounce
around, and it's only slightly less hostile to readers who don't have the
entire Gargoyles series memorized.  They really shouldn't be trying to run a
lettercol here, they should be using the space to explain all the things the
writer is assuming we know.  Also, the art suffers from a clash of
incompatible styles.  Neutral.  $3.50
     Conan #40: Dark Horse - Amusing little one-issue story demonstrating how
messed up magic really gets in the Hyperborean Age.  It also seems to be
bringing the framing story of Wazir and the Prince into more focus as a
potential main plot.  Recommended.  $2.99
     Countdown #50 (of 0): DC - Hm, it's okay.  At least the pacing better
fits a weekly series than most of 52 did...each plotline gets advanced a
little, rather than being four monthly books rotating under one title.
Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #2: DC - Sanford Greene takes
over the art this issue, and is utterly mediocre in his attempts to ape the
animated style.  J. Torres's story isn't much better, amounting to a story of
'car trouble' on the way home after Timber Wolf's introduction story.  I'm
giving this book one more issue to improve before I drop it, but I wouldn't
recommend anyone pick up this one.  Mild recommendation to avoid.
     Aquaman #52: DC - I'm still not sure how this all fits with the events
of World War III, although it seems like maybe only *most* of Sub Diego got
restored to the surface there.  That quibble aside, Williams and McManus are
doing a good job here, juggling a few plot lines but mostly concentrating on
the Sub Diego strand.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     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
     Marvel Adventures Avengers #13: Marvel - At last, the origin of Giant
Girl!  Parker and Kirk put together a fun story that doesn't veer as strongly
into excessive camp as some of Parker's recent issues.  Recommended.

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 5/16:

     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.  Add "You Can Draw Transformers".


"But How Does It Sound In The Original Klingon?" Award to Fall of Cthulhu #2

"He Really Knows How To Turn A Robot Girl On" Award to Ninja High School #149

"Never Ask 'You And What Army?'" Award to Gargoyles #4

"Life?  Don't Talk To Me About Life..." Award to Conan #40

"Silence Of The Bats" Award to Countdown #50 (of 0)

"At Least They Didn't Have Him Stick His Head Out The Window" Award to
     Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #2

"Okay, Two Of 'Em Are Mammals, So That Almost Makes Sense, But What About
     The Crustacean's Rack?" Award to Aquaman #52

"Rending And Maiming, But Philosophically" Award to Cable & Deadpool #40

"Well, At Least He Apologized" Award to X-Factor #19

"Slight Ecological Niche Dispute" Award to Marvel Adventures Avengers #13

     Dave Van Domelen, "Wow, haven't had a good *maniacal laugh* in weeks." 
- Thailog, Gargoyles #4
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