October 17, 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.
Comic shop got burgled Saturday night.  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 - 

     Cable & Deadpool #46: Marvel - This time around (pun intended) it's the
Kirby-era Fantastic Four that gets to have fun with Deadpool.  They do use
the reset gag once, but thankfully don't wear it out.  Recommended.
     She-Hulk v2 #22: Marvel - And Peter David takes over, radically changing
the status quo and leaving explanations for later.  Fairly straightforward
story, wrapped around setup oddity.  Recommended.  $2.999/$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

     There's an exclusive comic included with Target's special deluxe release
of the Transformers movie DVD, it's reviewed as part of my overall review of
the product at http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/BW/Artifacts/DVD07

     Books of Note (Strongly Recommended or otherwise worthy): None.

     Transformers Beast Wars: the Ascending #2 (of 4): IDW - Well, still a
lot of character parading, but there's a bit more solid of a plot than
"there's a vague menace out to kill everyone".  It's still a bit hard to
follow if you don't have a really good knowledge of Beast Wars (and BW Neo,
and BW II), but at least Furman's giving us something TO follow rather than
playing around with splicing continuities together.  Figueroa could stand to
make some of the "same mold, different name" characters look a little more
distinct in places, but otherwise good.  Recommended.  $3.99
     Conan #45: Dark Horse - The long-and-intermittently-running young Conan
story by Busiek is back, and it looks like they won't make us wait another
four months for the next installment, it wraps up next month.  Young Conan's
various birds have come home to roost, and a lot of them are carrion birds.
A bit talky, considering how much fighting there is, but a decent setup.
Recommended.  $2.99
     Aquaman Sword of Atlantis #57: DC - The Secret Origin of the new
Aquaman as Williams brings in his own set of mythic elements and, whether by
retcon or by following notes Busiek left behind, makes sense of a bunch of
the remaining danglers.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     The Brave and the Bold #7: DC - Time for a new arc.  This one's looking
to be a bit looser, tied together by the Challs reading stories from the Book
of Destiny as they slowly build a picture of a new threat.  The story here
involves Wonder Woman and Power Girl, and I'm amused that the seemingly
generic cover image actually accurately portrays part of the story.  :)  Waid
does a lot of hinting at the New Earth continuity's changes (and
not-changes), but it feels kinda tease-y.  On the other hand, it's nice to
see Perez drawing these two characters.  :)  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Shadowpact #18: DC - Sturges continues with his Protege arc, keeping the
team split for now and throwing the other half against what looks to be an
unrelated threat, but you never know.  There's a mix of good stuff and kinda
flat cliche stuff, I think Sturges is still getting the hang of the book.
Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Justice League of America #14: DC - This is mainly about Luthor goading
Superman into doing something stupid, and Superman apparently obliging...but
there's enough transition gaps to allow all sorts of clever plans to have
been put together for later revelation.  Art Adams does the cover, and gets
to draw Grodd, so that's his gorilla fix for the month.  :)  And Benes gets
to take care of his bondage fix, I suppose.  Very much a middle piece of the
story, which as I mentioned fairly screams that we're not even getting to see
everything that happens.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Marvel Adventures Avengers #17: Marvel - Ty Templetone tells the
MA-verse origin of the Vision, while Ag Guara draws.  It was okay, but felt
kinda pat.  Trying too hard to be a done-in-one story, when it's really
something that needs to fit into a larger arc.  If not an Ultron one,
somebody.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Miki Falls: Autumn: Harper Teen - Because "Miki Falls: Fall" would have
been an awkward title.  :)  Anyway, autumn is often thought of as the time of
dying, of ending, with winter's bleakness approaching.  And that sort of
desperation certainly suffuses this installment, as Hiro and Miki face the
consequences of their forbidden love.  But autumn is also when the harvest
comes due, when you reap what you have sown.  And sure, they're experiencing
the consequences of breaking the rules, but what did they really sow?  Love.
And despite all the troubles they undergo here, their love is a bumper crop.
It's even implied that despite the hopelessness of fighting the system, they
may well find that the winter's frost will be thawed by a new spring.
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 10/17:

     Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, Doktor Sleepless #2,
PS238 #25, Transformers Beast Wars Sourcebook #1.  (All of these have been
covered in my CBR Special.)
     Cancelled by Diamond: Transformers Timelines (also covered in the CBR


"What's Up, Docbot?" Award to Transformers Beast Wars: the Ascending #2 
     (of 4) 

"Venarium, Vidi, Vici" Award to Conan #45

"Okay, So He DOESN'T Have His Father's Eyes...Neither Does His Father" Award
     to Aquaman #57

"Almost Nobody's Perfect" Award to The Brave and the Bold #7

"Zombie Jainists?" Award to Shadowpact #18

"Strictly Speaking, Not Cannibalism" Award to Justice League of America #14

"As Long As A Tornado Champion Didn't Get In There" Award to Marvel 
     Adventures Avengers #17

"Who Wants To Live Forever When Love Must Die?" Award to Miki Falls: Autumn

     Dave Van Domelen, "Do you know how LUCKY she is there was a doctor
around?"  "But YOU'RE the one who SHOT her!"  "Yes -- it saves time, doesn't
it?" - Clownfish and Topo, Aquaman #57

Dave's "Stuff That Came In The Mail Friday" Capsules Special

for October 20, 2007

     Devil's Panties #7-8 (Books of Note)

     Ah, weird synchronicity.  A friend of mine had been holding onto a comic
extra out of one of his sister's YuGiOh magazines for me, and put it in with
some trade stuff this week.  And when I went to look for Devil's Panties #7-8
on the Silent Devil website last week I found they no longer sold single
issues, so I talked to the creator and she sold me the issues I was missing.
And both packages arrived on Friday.  I'd have reviewed 'em last night, but
between a cold, SciFi Fridays, and a kitbash that's been eating my time, I
didn't get 'em all read until tonight.  :)

     Devil's Panties #7-8: Silent Devil - There's a lot of convention strips
in these two issues, and to judge from the endnotes (which are a big part of
why I buy these and don't just read the online archives) this marks the part
of Breeden's congoing life where she transitioned from fandom to prodom.
With all the insanity that entails.  And Pez.  #7 also has some significant
"Holidays With The Families" (both hers and Will's) sections, both amusing
and ominous.  #8's non-con parts were shorter and a bit more scattered...LAN
parties, taking kids to renfest, some clubbing, birthday boots, etc.  But you
can really see how the pseudoautobiographical strip started to become
dominated by the professional side of the author's fannish life.  Jen was
nice enough to do some con-style Sharpie sketches on the backing boards in
the envelope (things tend to get crumpled in my mailbox unless they're
reinforced, so I suggested tossing in a board...drawing on 'em was her idea)
and tossed in a temporary tattoo, ooh.  :)  Both strongly recommended if you
can find them, and you should be reading devilspanties.keenspot.com in any
case.  $4.95 each.
     NeoShifters: Mega Brands - This is not a comic available in stores on
its own, as mentioned above it was bagged in as a freebie with some TCG
magazine.  However, it's also available online at http://www.neoshifters.com
as a semi-animated thing (like the ExoForce animated comics on lego.com).
Since the site is all flash-based, I can't provide a proper link, you'll have
to click "Action Details" and then "Extra" in the upper left.  Anyway, this
comic goes along with Mega Bloks' new Bionicle-ripoff line, where the big
robots you build all fold up into spheres, and have little pilot minifigs
that also fold up into spheres that can be launched from the chest of the
bigger bot.  The comic tries to set up all the backstory (for instance, the
little guys are Neos and the big bots are Shifters) but also tries to tell a
story at the "present time" AND a flashback to the origins of the split in
factions.  In other words, it tries to pull of a lot of stuff at once, and
the writers just aren't up to it.  The art is very nice, either painted or CG
with a paint-like filter, but it gets murky at times.  It also doesn't help
that the characters all look about the same except for colors and minor face
details.  And rather than sticking with the four characters who have toys,
they bring in a bunch of non-toy characters, making it just that little bit
harder to follow the action.  Still, major flaws aside, there's some decent
writing here and there, and the art does look nice.  They should have used a
different lettering font, though...even Comic Sans would have looked better.
Worth poking at the online version.


"Always Go With The Sexy Librarian Look" Award to Devil's Panties #7

"I Can Has Minionz?" Award to Devil's Panties #8

"Obsolescence Has Its Advantages" Award to NeoShifters

     Dave Van Domelen, "When did I get covered in Sharpie?" - Devil's Panties
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