Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this week. Optimus Helmet + Trenchcoat = Matrix Prime 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 - Omega the Unknown #2 (of 10): Marvel - Eh. A bit more linear and comprehensible, but pretty aggressive about pointing the camera away from the action. Not so much artistically pretentious as dull,n though. $2.99/$3.05Cn (and they finally catch up with the exchange rate.) The Order #4: Marvel - Well, it's finally kicking into gear, and it helps that the focus character this issue is a genuine Good Person, not a hero with feet of clay or an attention whore or action junkie. If this keeps up, I may just get the first trade and start picking up the series. $2.99/$3.05Cn Annhilation Conquest #1 (of 6): Marvel - Getting the players from the various minis together to try again to stop the Phalanx, and as a final page reveal we see why they're so much more effective than they used to. $2.99/$3.05Cn Annihilation: Conquest - Starlord #4 (of 4): Marvel - Cleverly, they left this group completely out of the main miniseries' first issue, so there wouldn't be any hint whether there was a Total Party Kill. :) Ending's a bit anticlimactic, but overall it's a decent read. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Ms. Marvel #21: Marvel - Well, the mystery alien is IDed on the first story page, but its previous appearance made so little impact on me that I still don't recognise it. We finally see Aaron's "signing bonus" and it's about as disturbing as one might expect. At least the plot's tying back together. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Fantastic Four #551: Marvel - Guess I was wrong, McDuffie's still on the book. And from cosmic present he goes to time travel and the road Reed's been traveling since throwing his lot in with the Illuminati. Looks very good at this point. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn 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): Weirdling GN Action Comics #858: DC - Ah, the joys of modern DC pseudo-continuity, where everything is possible, but until you've bought a dozen or so issues of a given story you don't know what elements of the past they're cherrypicking. This ties in with the JLA/JSA crossover with a Legion of Super-Heroes that's more or less pre-Crisis. But, apparently, with a Things Went Horribly Wrong event straight out of an old issue of Marvel's What If? (i.e. What If the Legion Failed To Stop Universo? or something along those lines). Your basic "suffer not a happy future to live" thing. As you might have gathered, I'm not terribly sanguine about how this is going or how it'll turn out, but the Gary Frank artwork is just enough to pick it up. Mildly recommended. $3.50/$4.25Cn Justice Society of America #10: DC - Speaking of continuity hash, Earth-22 (Kingdom Come) fully crosses over with JSA this issue. It's mostly low-level angst and talking about Superman-22's background (interspersed with painted pages by Alex Ross). The main fight-like conflict near the end is your basic Idiot Plot, unfortunately. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #35: DC - Still don't like Calero's art. Fun with Atom Girl, but otherwise it felt pretty padded, like Bedard really only had 1.5 issues' worth of story for the Lallor sub-arc, including interludes. A fair amount of fan service (of the geek/reference kind, not the nudity kind), but not a lot of story to speak of. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Dynamo5 #8: Image - Yay, Firebirds! I've been expecting Faerber to bring them into the story with actual lines ever since he had them cameo at the funeral scene in #1, and it looks like he's put the original one-shot back into print to boot (fans of the mother-daughter legacy hero type of story may want to check it out, my original capsule for it can be found at http://brrdd.com/?18). Anyway, this is more of a fallout issue, dealing with some of the personal problems caused by recent action (okay, being in a coma may go a little beyond "personal problem"), and Faerber takes the opportunity to flesh out his corner of the shared setting a little more. Recommended. $2.99 (new lower price) Sky Sharks #3: Antarctic Press - Okay, so I ordered this back when #1 was solicited, but my store never got #1. But by that time I'd read that issue on the Rod Espinosa DVD-ROM, and wasn't enthused enough about the title to make a fuss. #2 likewise never showed. But #3 did, and it was still sitting on my pull list, so I figured what the heck, and asked them to try reordering #2 (yeah, like that's ever gonna show up from Diamond). The setting is reminiscent of Crimson Skies in some ways, an alternate past after a great war in which pulp-style fighter pilots are the main protagonists and antagonists. However, it skews a little higher on the fantastical side, given the Rocketeer pastiche in this issue. Some of the aerial combat scenes are a little hard to follow for someone jumping right in. Mildly recommended. $3.50/$4.05Cn Ninja High School #154: Antarctic Press - Time for another threat to be added to the mix, although it looks like this is more of a "here's a taste of the Next Big Arc once we're done with the evil ninja clan thing" preview. Aside from that, it's all about poor Ricky's inheritance of the Feeple "Tenchi Field" that gets exotic and beautiful women throwing themselves at him. Recommended. $2.99/$3.45Cn Gold Digger v3 #89: Antarctic Press - The serious side of the story delves into D'bra's past and teenaged angst, while the main part of it involves Gina and Penny running away a LOT, including from some monsters that almost merit this comic being shrinkwrapped. ;) Fun *and* charcacter developing. Recommended. $2.99/$3.45Cn The Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe Sourcebook #10: Antarctic Press - Natasha through...PEEBOS! Yay Peebos! The weird cover effects I mentioned for a previous issue are largely gone, although the lack of blur on the jets of Night Flight make them look like they're not much bigger than the Peebos. Oh, THAT'S a story I'd like to see...Peebos versus miniaturized Night Flight! ;) Recommended. $3.95/$4.55Cn Transformers Beast Wars Sourcebook #2 (of 3): IDW - Still no sign of #1 here, sigh. Elephorca (Blentron recolor of Torca) through Noctorro. Amusingly, since both the U.S. and BWII versions of the lion/elephant/eagle combiner were named Magnaboss, the BWII version gets to be called Magnaboss II. Luck of the draw kept most of the "same name, many toys" characters out of this set, and Megatron merited enough pages to at least get his original two-pack and barneytron versions in art, although the Transmetal and Transmetal II forms aren't shown. Showing the "croc" (actually a gavial) mode is an odd choice, though, as the bio note doesn't mention it at all. The backgrounds aren't quite as empty as they looked in the CBR of #1 (I still don't have the hardcopy of that), but there's still an awful lot of empty space. Even if they didn't want to go back and get the writers to provide more text, they could have played with font size to fill the space a little better. Still, recommended. $6.99 [Correction, gatorMegs gets one line in the writeup. And for that nearly half the space given for the entire character goes to art for it. Horribly bad editorial decision.] Biff-Bam-Pow #1: Amaze Ink - Man, this was solicited for JUNE. So now my "most delayed" book is Confessions of a Blabbermouth, assuming it didn't pull a Gamma Files and come-out-but-not-here and I didn't notice it on the release lists. This is an anthology book of Dorkin & Dyer's more kid-friendly stuff, dominated by Kid Blastoff's setting, plus a few other short pieces. The humor sometimes goes a little too "talking down to kids", but usually avoids that trap (the worst offender was written specifically for Nickelodeon Magazine). Recommended. $2.95 [Update: Yeah, Confessions of a Blabbermouth did indeed come out MONTHS ago, but Diamond couldn't be arsed to ship any, apparently. Doesn't bode well for Kimmie66 next week.] Weirdling GN: Strange Fear - Creator Mike Dubisch contacted me with an offer of a review copy, so this isn't necessarily the week you'll be able to find this in stores. But it's definitely appropriate for reviewing today, and does a better job overall of evoking Mythos than Fall of Cthulhu did. The premise is that Anna is a surgeon at Miskatonic University in Victorian times and also a medic in an interstellar war in the far future, and each identity dreams of the other, with it being left uncertain which was the true Anna (and, frankly, it could be both). Some of the future-setting infodumps are inelegant, and it's pretty clear this was originally written for serial release (there's occasional recaps that seem out of place) which causes a few problems early in the story. But, aside from a few stylistic quirks, it's a good story. Dubisch's art style is strongly reminiscent of Mike Gustovich, and given that both have worked on Palladium books this may not be coincidental. :) (And if Mike Adams isn't a pseudonym, that makes three Mikes sharing the style.) Aside from a color cover, it's all black and white line art, no computer shading or effects aside from the occasional screentone (and even those are relatively rare...there's a LOT of tiny little lines inked in by hand). http://www.dubisch.com/weirdling is one of the several webpages he has set up with promotional materials if you want to see the art for yourself. Anyway, if you like your Mythos at the cosmic end of things, and prefer protagonists who face horror without whining about it, you should definitely check this out. Recommended in general. Some nudity. $15.95/$19.95Cn [Later note: looks like it's due out November 7.] 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 10/31: 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.) Add Sky Sharks #2 (which I guess I missed coming out) and Gamma Files (which my store never got at all and I missed on the release lists). Cancelled by Diamond: Transformers Timelines (also covered in the CBR Special). Awards: "We Forgot To Mention, The Future Sucks" Award to Action Comics #858 "I Mean, REALLY Sucks" Award to Justice Society of America #10 "And It's Ugly" Award to Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #35 "What's A MILF, Dear?" Award to Dynamo5 #8 "Probably Not The First Guy In The Rig, Actually" Award to Sky Sharks #3 "Kin Of The Rumpled" Award to Ninja High School #154 "I Know She's A Leggy Blonde, But REALLY" Award to Gold Digger v3 #89 "The Perfect Disguise!" Award to The Official Handbook of the Gold Digger Universe #10 "Mantid Wars" Award to Transformers Beast Wars Sourcebook #2 (of 3) "A Surprisingly Common Origin, Though" Award to Biff-Bam-Pow! #1 "It's Hard To Corner A Non-Euclidean Enemy" Award to Weirdling GN Dave Van Domelen, "FISH! FISH! FISH! FISH! FISH! FISH! FISH! FISH! FISH!" - Lucy, Biff-Bam-Pow! #1Back to the Main Rants Page.
Or rake the leaves back to October 2007.