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. 80F on Monday, snow showers today. 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 - Black Panther #32: Marvel - I'll admit, I'm a little surprised Hudlin's stayed on this long. Anyway, while the high concept on this arc looks interesting, the actual writing is the worst I've seen from Hudlin, it clunks badly in several scenes. $2.99/$3.05Cn Cable & Deadpool #47: Marvel - Dr. Strange is the guest in this latest issue of Twisted Team-up Theater, and it's a grand tour of killing his way across the Ditkorealms, whee! Ron Lim art is much appreciated after getting past yet another lame Skottie Young cover. 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): MidKnight #1, PS238 #27 Ultimate Marvel Sampler #1: Marvel - Eh, it's free. A lot of art (ranging from pencils to completed color work) and vapid hype, but no writing on display on even the most completed pages. So, hype and pretty pictures but no stories? Sounds about like what I've come to expect from Ultimate Marvel. Feh. She-Hulk v2 #23: Marvel - Extended fight scene with a few twists, but very little new or even particularly interesting. At least the mystery of Shulkie's partner isn't dragged out past this issue. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Marvel Adventures Avengers #18: Marvel - Ty Templeton on writing. Hercules enters the MA continuity, but he only speaks Greek at this point, which leads to about the sort of misunderstandings you'd expect. Mind you, ol' Herc is prone to that sort of thing even when he's speaking English. Fun fluff. Recommended. $2.99/$3.05Cn Conan #46: Dark Horse - And the tales of Conan as a youth finally come to a close. The big battle ends, and Conan is welcomed back into his village, but starts to wonder if he wants to BE back. Obviously, he picks the road over the hearth. :) A decent enough tale, wrapping up the Busiek/Ruth origins arc. Recommended. $2.99 The Scream #1: Dark Horse - Peter David and Bart Sears (whose style is so dominating that even though he only does breakdowns inside, it still looks like his work). The feel I got from the solicits was "The Hulk, sort of". And, with an emphasis on the "sort of", that's what it seems to be. The theme of the emergence of the repressed id is certainly strong here. It rambles a bit, but by the end of the first issue there's a decent picture of what's going on, which is good, given how "uncertainty about reality" seems to be another major theme here. Provisionally recommended. $2.99 Action Comics #859: DC - Looks like this is a six-parter with the Lightning Saga Legion, not a one-shot as I thought when I read the solicits for #858. It's your basic "villains take over Earth and the Legion's on the run" storyline, although it does seem like they're kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel for threats this time. Nice art, loads of easter eggs (my goodness that's a lot of costume-displaying glass tubes), and I appreciate the captions. Recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn The Brave and the Bold #8: DC - Flash and Doom Patrol. Mostly concerned with the current Wally West version and the current post-Byrne creepy Doom Patrol, neither of which I'm exactly caught up on. Waid and Perez still manage a decent story, but I expect it might have a bit more impact if this wasn't my first exposure to Wally's kids. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Shadowpact #19: DC - the Protege story, if not the overall arc, comes to a head and a close this issue. Sturges's writing is good, but Winslade's art is scratchy and rough in ways that don't appeal to me. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.65Cn Sky Sharks #4: Antarctic Press - Hm, among the amazing inventions of this alternate past comes pre-packaged sugary breakfast cereal a decade or so before it existed in real life. :) Anyway, the villainous triumvirate is collapsing even faster than I'd expected, but the fact it's happening is unsurprising. The only mystery is whether the remaining two will wipe each other out or get taken down externally. Mildly recommended. $3.50Cn Gold Digger v3 #90: Antarctic Press - In videogames, you often see a stage where the final boss shows up for an inconclusive fight around midgame, either directly or watching up close as his minions attack, and that's largely what the main action of this issue feels like. And that somewhat overshadows the intended emotional conflicts of the issue. Mildly recommended. $2.99/$3.45Cn MidKnight #1: Red5 Comics - All I knew about this going in was from the house ads in Atomic Robo, which looked like a Batman Animated sort of comics. And while this isn't what I'd call a light week, I figured I'd give it a try. This property has actually been kicking around for a decade (I missed seeing it at Mid-Ohio Con in 1997, it looks like, pity), but largely tied up in Development Hell with one animation optioner or another. And it's still in Development, but this time with someone willing to let the Hodgeses keep the comicbook rights, which they took to Red5. High concept could be described as "What if DCAU Batman and Black Canary were married with a kid, but still fought crime in addition to having day jobs?" Well, not exactly Batman and Dinah, of course, but the mapping is reasonably close in places. The pacing is a bit off in places, but it's a promising start. As an aside, I wish Red5 would actually provide contact email. I don't really feel like mucking about with cut and paste into their web contact form, hence don't send them copies of my reviews of their books. That bit of web-annoyance aside, recommended. $2.95 (in teeeeeeny little print under the issue number) Invincible #46: Image - Heh, faux Spider-Man action on the cover. Clearly, Invincible and Rex Splode have studied Combat Banter, as the running fight scenes that dominate this issue are no reason for them to stop chatting about their relationship issues with Eve (Rex's oh-so-dead relationship, and Invincible's possibly dead-on-arrival one that Rex has been trying to set up). Just another day on the job, but with flying body parts. And a wholly unsurprising surprise revelation in the opening scene. :) Oh, and "arm- pitting" makes its return. Recommended. $2.99 PS238 #27: Do Gooder Press - Still waiting on #25 in hardcopy. This issue is mostly a sort of dream sequence flashback combination in which we finally learn Principal Crandall's Dark Secret, woot. And nice fakeout on the cover, too. A bit chatty, but you've got to expect that when dealing with so much backstory at once. The back cover announces that a Hero System PS238 RPG will be coming next year, hmmmm. Strongly recommended. $2.99 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 11/21: Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, Doktor Sleepless #2, PS238 #25, Transformers Beast Wars Sourcebook #1m (all of these have been covered in my CBR Special) Sky Sharks #2 and Gamma Files. Add Official Handbook to the Gold Digger Universe #11. Awards: "And By 'New Reader Friendly' We Mean 'Readers Intimately Familiar With Mainline Marvel History' Of Course" Award to Ultimate Marvel Sampler #1 "You'd Think That Trick Would've Stopped Working On Creel Long Ago" Award to She-Hulk v2 #23 "This Award Requires Installation Of The 'Symbol' Font" Award to Marvel Adventures Avengers #18 "Home Is Where The Heart Is...The Excorporated Heart Of Your Enemy, That Is" Award to Conan #46 "I Refuse To Make A 'Going Postal' Joke Here" Award to The Scream #1 "But Did Steph Finally Get One?" Award to Action Comics #859 "Jim Henson's Doom Patrol Babies" Award to The Brave and the Bold #8 "He Finally Got His Devil's Dozen" Award to Shadowpact #19 "Still Waiting To See Someone Else In the Jetpack" Award to Sky Sharks #4 "The Heart-To-Heart With Gina Was Somewhat Less Painful" Award to Gold Digger v3 #90 "Much Hotter Than Alfred" Award to MidKnight #1 (and, actually, it's always in all caps font, so I don't really know if it should be MidKnight or just Midknight, but I like my way) "Invincible Vs. Capcom" Award to Invincible #46 "Article II Anyone?" Award to PS238 #27
Dave Van Domelen, "Brianna...about your ARMOR'S silhouette..." "...What?" - Gold Digger #90, debuting the Winger Mk. I armor, apparently.
P.S. Welcome to the world, Anne Wittlin Clark! (Middle name spelling may change, it needs looking up in brother-in-law's geneology to be sure) I will probably post baby pictures to Livejournal once dad sends some along.