October 3, 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.
Home internet's been wonky on and off.  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 - 

     Nova #7: Marvel - The Nova Corps apparently has recruited Pokemon at
some point.  Granted, they've always been an homage to the GLC on several
levels, but Abnett and Lanning have really been pushing the parallels
lately.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     New Avengers/Transformers #4 (of 4): Marvel - Odd that they put this out
as a First Look, they usually leave off the ends of stories.  Big plot
devicey end and a bit of geek service in the last bit of the battle, plus an
obvious "dun dun DUUNN!" at the end.  All told, passable but nothing to get
excited about.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     New Warriors #5: Marvel - End of the big fight scene, then the
inevitable recriminations all around.  Some decent bits, but felt a little
padded.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     X-Factor #24: Marvel - Well, the Isolationist plot wraps up and all the
details come out, it's okay.  Maybe a little too resolved, though.  Mildly
recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Fantastic Four #550: Marvel - McDuffie wraps things up, gets in one last
Gravity appearance, and puts the status quo back together for the next
writer.  A bit abrupt, but plenty of good bits.  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): Empowered vol

     Ms. Marvel #20: Marvel - Okay ending to the arc, I suppose.  The whole
"turning blue" thing gets a reveal too, but not one that means anything to
me.  Mildly Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Howard the Duck #1 (of 4): Marvel - It seems to be Gerber Revival Week.
This time with Ty Templeton on writing and Bobillo on art.  And like the
original, Howard still exists in the Marvel U, he just gets stuck with the
weird underbelly and lesser lights...or even knockoffs of lesser lights.
Good script from Ty, but the art isn't quite working for me.  Recommended.
     Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #32: Marvel - And so Peter David's second
run on this book ends.  It's one of his weaker efforts, unfortunately.  Part
of it is that I've seen the "make Hydro-Man a serious threat" story done a
lot better several times, but I think most of it is that it felt too much
like this one was going on autopilot.  Pushing the cliches a little too
hard.  That sort of thing.  Neutral.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Welcome to Tranquility #11: DC/Wildstorm - A little hard to follow on
the main story, as Simone keeps bouncing from one scene to another in the
chaotic zombie massacre thing, although she did "stand still" long enough to
give one character a very touching last hurrah.  The backup is the origins of
one of the weirder members of the local teen hero team/band, Fearless Fairy
Tentacle Shogun, seen in Gen13 of late.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Transformers Beast Wars the Ascending #1 (of 4): IDW - And things go all
the way cosmic, as Furman takes BWII and BWNeo stuff, mixes in his own
Shokaract stuff from the BotCon stories, and then puts time in the blender.
Like the first series, this one is shaping up to be mainly a minimal excuse
to show as many characters as possible in the shortest feasible time.  This
issue not only reviews all the characters from Gathering, but also tosses in
a dozen or so more.  But it still has time to let Grimlock have a scene.  At
least Retrax gets to be part of it.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99 (I got Cover
A, the Maximal side.)
     Transformers Devastation #1 (of 6) (TF G1 #17): IDW - Um, Ravage is
feline, not canine/lupine.  He should not "aroo".  That aside, the premise
behind "Devastation" is that Megatron's tossing aside the usual phase order
(which we haven't even seen run through once) and dropping his poison pill on
Earth.  But that's practically a sideshow to the whole Hunt For Sunstreaker
thing, which not only gets the A-cover this time, but also seems to dominate
next issue, despite the nature of the cliffhanger this issue.  Odd pacing and
priorities.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99 (got Cover A by Su.)
     Conan #44: Dark Horse - A bit of Gunderman side plot to tie this to the
next arc, but otherwise this is mainly Conan in desperate battle with the
beastman.  One of those payoffs that works better in the collected form, I
think.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99
     Empowered vol 2: Dark Horse - Once again, shrink-wrapped for your
protection.  Amusingly, Bomb Queen (all but guaranteed to have pink bits
every issue) was not so protected, and the store had to bag and board it
before putting it on the shelf.  Mind you, despite BQ being explicit and
Empowered not, Empowered is the pornography of the two.  Nudity in BQ is
simply part and parcel of the character's general state of moral turpitude...
at least in the first mini it wasn't really about the sex itself.  But
Empowered has been about titillation from the start, and while it moves away
from its origins as short bondage stories this volume (being made
specifically for longer form this time, rather than being largely a
collection of shorts), Emp is still about the fetish.  And Adam Warren is
VERY good at "porn without the pink bits".  ;)  That said, the plot and
character development are quite excellent as well, even when they are about
the pink bits, and we get to learn some potentially useful Japanese.  I could
probably keep going on about cool stuff in here until I'd written more just
about this than all the other comics I got this week together, but I think
I'll stop now.  Strongly recommended, but not for the uptight.  Well, maybe
the uptight need it more than anyone, but they probably wouldn't enjoy it as
much.  $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 10/3:

     Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, Doktor Sleepless #2,
PS238 #25.  Can't find Miki Falls: Autumn anywhere, bookstores have shifted
to "special order only" on it locally, so I'll order it online and review
next week.  Diamond did not shift the Beast Wars guide scheduled for this
     Cancelled by Diamond: Transformers Timelines.


"Only The Second Most Blatant Example Of Superheroine Bondage This Week"
     Award to Ms. Marvel #20

"Yeah, You'd Think AIM Would Get Tired Of That" Award to Howard the Duck
     #1 (of 4)

"Well, He May Not Learn, But At Least It's Evened Out Now" Award to Marvel
     Adventures Spider-Man #32

"You'd Think Getting Into Manga Would Make Her MORE Worried About The Stubs,
     Not Less" Award to Welcome to Tranquility #11

"Here At The Asc-ending Of Time" Award to Transformers Beast Wars the 
     Ascending #1 (of 4)

"Of COURSE He's Phase Six" Award to Transformers Devastation #1 (of 6)

"Exposition Kills" Award to Conan #44

"Does Hinata Get To Learn Some Of These Jutsu When She Turns 18?" Award to
     Empowered vol 2

     Dave Van Domelen, "But for HER, the contradictory self-perceptions of
HOTNESS and NON-hotness can CO-EXIST as superpositioned quantum states of
HOTNESS INDETERMINACY...which COLLAPSE into a single state of either hotness
or NON-hotness when you try to compliment her BUTT." - Thugboy, Empowered vol
2, and MAJOR props for using "indeterminacy" instead of "uncertanity".
Heinieberg's Indeterminacy Principle, man.
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