September 12, 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.
My conference notes were 66 pages.  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 - 

     Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar #3 (of 4): Marvel - Ehn.  Kinda plot
devicey and change for its own sake.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Captain America #30: Marvel - Things continuing to slowly come together
in the various threads.  Decent enough story, but not enough to get this on
my pull.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Penance: Relentless #1: Marvel - Well, I guess they spent enough time
with silent emo Baldwin, this book is about building him a new personality,
while also providing a few mysteries.  I don't hate it, but neither do I like
this specific execution enough to overcome my general distaste for the
backstory.  $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): Justice League
of America Wedding Special #1

     New Avengers/Transformers #3 (of 4): Marvel - Moore plays up parallels
in this issue, between Autobots and Decepticons, humans and TFs.  And we do
get to see giant Iron Man kick some tail.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Thor #3: Marvel - Thor would have words with Iron Man.  And that's about
all you need to know.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     X-Factor #23: Marvel - Pieces fall into place all over the place,
although not all the SAME places.  It is a tad "time to reveal everything to
the reader, even if the other characters still don't know what's up" in
places, but not enough to hurt the story.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.75Cn
     Cthulhu Tales: Tainted #1: Boom! Studios - Third anthology book, but
they're pushing for the #1 sales every time, I guess.  The usual mix of
serious and darkly humorous stories, although the balance seems to be more
towards the dark humor this time.  I especially liked "Respect Your Elders,"
which managed to be very creepy while also funny.  Recommended.  $6.99
     Fallen Angel #20: IDW - Dennis Calero uses a mix of techniques (or
computer simulations of those techniques) to tell Peter David's story
focusing on Jude, the young priest who fell from grace to the top of the
heap, only to find that the top of the heap is still part of the pile.  Lee
herself barely appears, and I suppose this could mostly be a "meanwhile"
during the Shi crossover.  Definitely a Cain and Abel sort of story.
Recommended.  $3.99
     Ninja High School #153: Antarctic Press - The focus shifts to Tetsuo,
who is on a Quest.  And as with most proper quests, the outer journey is just
a pretext for the inner journey.  While facing external challenges, Tetsuo
makes significant progress on his internal flaws.  Recommended.
     Superman #667: DC - And we're back to the Arion plot, #666 just being
wedged in awkwardly and pretty much ignored here.  Things come up here that
make it clear that Arion is just the appetizer...he may be wrong on a number
of levels, but he's right on enough stuff that once he's dealt with there's
still a bigger threat behind him.  Along the way this issue there's plenty of
poisoned choices for Superman to make.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Justice League of America Wedding Special #1: DC - Okay, going into this
I know that there's loads of problems with the whole Arrow/Canary wedding.
But Dwayne McDuffie's writing this particular book, so I'm giving it a
chance.  And I'm glad I did.  Sure, the bachelor and bachelorette parties
(complete with strippers in both cases who are dressed and coiffed in ways to
evoke non-DC supers, such as the strippers who look like Roxy, Fairchild,
Rogue, Emma Frost, etc.) go on in this, but it's really set up as a lead-in
to McDuffie taking over JLA proper, setting up the revamped Injustice League
Unlimited.  Yes, he's drawing heavily on his JLU stuff...but given how good
that was, I have no problem with that.  :) (Minor nit: there's a mis-aimed
speech balloon on page 9 that kinda messes with an otherwise good gag.)
McDuffie even manages to pick up on some of his danglers from Firestorm.
Strongly recommended.  $3.99/$4.75Cn
     Justice Society of America #9: DC - Power Girl's on the cover, and she
gets the initial focus, but the issue isn't completely a spotlight.  The
Wildcats get some good development, Citizen Steel gets to angst, and Starman
learns it's not nice to fool mother nature.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Booster Gold #2: DC - Heh.  Booster may not have the kind of
intelligence needed to figure out the sort of elegant temporal meddling plans
some have advocated, but he definitely shows he has the way of people now.
While there's plenty of fight scene to go around, he wins his battles with
his mouth rather than his fists, and I like that.  After all, the premise of
this series isn't really the sort of thing where you *should* be able to just
punch your problems away.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     StormWatch Post Human Division #11: DC/Wildstorm - With the first year
coming to an end, Gage is wrapping up a lot of danglers...although I haven't
been watching solicitations carefully, Gage could be in "series finale prep"
mode too.  It certainly feels like it.  The capekiller plot gets wrapped up
perhaps a little too quickly and easily, to the point that it almost has to
be a red herring unless cancellation looms.  Andy Smith continues to draw
more like he's trying to become Alan Davis.  Mildly recommended, but with
some good bits here and there that rise above the plotting issues.
     Welcome to Tranquility #10: DC/Wildstorm - Big ol' zombie battle with
some Big Background Revelations and an interesting conceit at the core.
Simone and Shaw do a Scooby Doo homage backup tale which  Still,
good main story.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn
     Gen13 v4 #12: DC/Wildstorm - Finally, we get to Grunge's dark, hidden
past.  And some amusing side effects of his powers.  Still, while there's Big
Dramatic Developments in the fight against the Authoriteens, it's not over.
Hey, with a title like this, you don't end a big arc on #12, you end it on
#13, capice?  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn

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 9/12:

     Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, Doktor Sleepless #2,
PS238 #25 (both of which the store manager knows were ordered).
     Cancelled by Diamond: Transformers Timelines.


"Sorry, The MegaMorphs Are From A Different Continuity" Award to The New
     Avengers/Transformers #3 (of 4)

"Fear A Man Brave Enough To Wear A Disco Ball Wrapped Around His Body" Award
     to Thor #3

"The Cold Shoulder" Award to X-Factor #23

"I Like To Think I'm At Least A Pretty Good Old One" Award to Cthulhu Tales:
     Tainted #1

"Of The Cloth Or Out Of It, Whatever" Award to Fallen Angel #20

"I Have Seen The Top Of The Mountain" Award to Ninja High School #153

"Tide And Time" Award to Superman #667

"I'll Let Y'all Just Google 'Kinsey Scale'" Award to Justice League of 
     America Wedding Special #1

"Goth Sucks" Award to Justice Society of America #9

"Time Monkey!" Award to Booster Gold #2

"Hey, Not All Giant Green Killers With Split Personality Are The Hulk!" 
     Award to StormWatch Post Human Division #11

"My Galabal Salabal" Award to Welcome to Tranquility #10

"Percy, Vale" Award to Gen13 v4 #12

     Dave Van Domelen, "Mind you, they ARE nicely PERKY." - Grunge, Gen13 v4
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