Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) wrote,
Dave Van Domelen

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Comics for October 10, full of SCIENCE!

                    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.
Diabetes diagnosed a year ago this week.  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 - 

     Penance Relentless #2 (of 5): Marvel - Again, if this were a brand new
character without loads of history to be thrown under the bus, this might be
kinda good.  But there's always that nagging "why did they have to do that to
Baldwin?" matter that irks me.  $2.99/$3.75Cn

     Captain America #31: Marvel - Yes, all it takes to break the will of
most Marvel characters these days is to just show them what's been done too
their backstories lately....  $2.99/$3.75Cn

     The Mighty Avengers #5: Marvel - Meanwhile, in the Bendiszonewarp, the
first day of the team continues.  And continues.  Points for Ares showing he
has a brain, at least.  $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): Atomic Robo
#1, PS238 #26

     Gargoyles #6: Slave Labor Graphics - Computerized comics assembly has
brought with it new kinds of errors, such as typos in lettering rather than
misspellings.  But this is the first time I can recall seeing an entire page
misplaced...but with the correct lettering layer.  The art from page 16 (no
page numbers) is also used on page 12, but page 12 has the correct speech
bubbles for that page.  And, except for the final panel, it ALMOST makes
sense, which is why it didn't stand out at first.  That goof aside, this was
a lot more readable than previous issues, in terms of not overwhelming the
reader with hordes of obscure and unexplained characters.  It's not great,
but it's at least readable, and has a few amusing moments.  Mildly
recommended.  $3.95

     The Clockwork Girl #1 (of 4): Arcana - Between the 25 cent zero issue
and this one being 99 cents, this has got to be coming out of someone's
advertising budget, there's no way a small press book like this could make up
those kinds of "give it away" numbers with three issues to go, even if the
price goes up to $4 an issue after this.  Even counting the fact that the #0
story pages are repeated here (mostly, I think a few were changed).  Tesla
count: 1.  Anyway, the story's set up here, if scantly, of two creations
clearly destined to love one another despite the rivalry of their creators.
Although, to be honest, it looks like more of a one-way hatred here rather
than a Montague/Capulet situation...the mad biologist seems more resigned
than anything else, it's the mad mechanist who's got the hate on.  The pacing
of the story feels off, like this is supposed to actually be excerpts from an
even larger #1, much as #0 was excerpted from this.  Still, I'm willing to
give O'Reilly and Hanna time to get the kinks out.  Recommended.

     Atomic Robo #1 (of 6): Red 5 Comics - And another retro robot with a web
presence.  :) Tesla count: 2.  I'll freely admit to having never seen this
character before the solicit in Diamond, and I have yet to check for any web
content, but it stands well on its own.  Set in 1938, the star is Nikola
Tesla's robotic creation, who has been around long enough at this point to no
longer have that new robot smell.  Or naivete.  In fact, he's downright
snarky, if not quite to the level that Aaron Stack has reached lately over at
Marvel.  Brian Clevinger's story verges on disdain for the source material at
times, but manages to be more along the lines of a roast for pulp heroics
rather than an attack on it.  Scott Wegener's art has a sort of Mike Mignola
meets Jhonen Vasquez feel to it.  Strongly recommended.  $2.95  (Aside: Red 5
seems to have some serious capital behind it, as they're launching several
other books this Fall/Winter.  NeoZoic, a "gritty sci-fi fantasy" that seems
to take the conceit of humans and dinosaurs coexisting in a low-fantasy sort
of setting.  Abyss, which seems to be a not-so-friendly jab at modern comics
in the way Atomic Robo is a friendly jab.  MidKnight, which looks kinda
"Batman Animated" but doesn't really hint at much else in the house ad.
It'll be interesting to see if they have legs.)

     New Avengers/Transformers #4 (of 4): Marvel - And so this one issue
story spread out over four creeps to an end.  And it's an end that drowns in
plot device, to be honest, plus an obvious "dun dun DUUNN!  To be continued?"
sort of scene at the end.  There is a nice bit of geek service with
Spider-Man and Megatron, at least.  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

     Superman #668: DC - And now it's back to the "Third Kryptonian" plot
again, leaving off on Arion and Subjekt 17, etc.  A bit of a short attention
span here.  At least I finally have some idea who Clark's adopted son is,
after seeing only side references to him for some time.  Meanwhile,
Kryptonians are blooming like astors, and some new guy's come to do a little
gardening.  Rick Leonardi's art is a bit odd in places (well, okay, it's
ALWAYS a little odd, but I mean odd in a "doesn't fit well" sense).  Story
has some fun parts, but is also rather info-dumpy.  Mildly recommended.

     Green Arrow and Black Canary #1: DC - Well, by the end of this issue we
have a resolution to the wedding special cliffhanger, nice to see that some
writers don't believe in stretching out a one month story into ten.  I will
say that keeping the corpse of your husband in a tube in the garage is
simultaneously very creepy and very superhero-y.  Winick's off to a good
start here.  Recommended.  $3.50/$4.25Cn

     Booster Gold #3: DC - Heh, love the cover.  And cute simultaneous riff
on Back to the Future 3 and Marvel westerns.  There's even a subtle
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference.  But amid all the fan service,
there's some good character pieces on Booster (in vino veritas annat) and
advancement of the plot.  Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn

     StormWatch PHD #12: DC/Wildstorm - Final issue, although you won't see
notice of that on the cover.  And while Gage may have stumbled a few times in
recent issues, he clearly had this resolution planned out in advance and
pulled it off without a hitch.  A good ending to a sometimes uneven series.
Recommended.  $2.99/$3.65Cn

     PS238 #26: Do Gooder Press - Grr, Diamond still hasn't coughed up #25.
And this isn't even the SECOND time I've gotten to read this title out of
order because of Diamond's indifference, IIRC it's the third.  Fortunately,
this is one of those comics with a good "previously" page, so I wasn't lost
or anything.  Lots of fun time travel stuff too, but active and passive, and
our young supervillains get a chance to shine.  Literally, in a couple of
cases.  I would buy a book just staring Zodon and VonFogg.  And you would
too, if you know what's good for you.  Kneel before VonFogg!  Ahem.  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 10/10:

     Still missing and might come in: Fallen Angel #15, Doktor Sleepless #2,
PS238 #25, Miki Falls Autumn (ordered online, but it was on backorder and
didn't ship until today), Transformers Beast Wars Sourcebook #1.
     Cancelled by Diamond: Transformers Timelines.


"Melange A Trois" Award to Gargoyles #6

"Not Staying To Bask?" Award to The Clockwork Girl #1 (of 4)

"...And One Moving Violation" Award to Atomic Robo #1 (of 6)

"Iron Works" Award to New Avengers/Transformers #4 (of 4)

"Tattoo Removal" Award to New Warriors #5

"Think Like A Penguin" Award to X-Factor #24

"Wonder If This Was Gonna Be Double-Sized And Then The Second Half Got
     Reduced To A Montage?" Award to Fantastic Four #550

"Mmm, Cerebro-Spinal Fluid" Award to Superman #668

"Mutual Butt Admiration Society" Award to Green Arrow and Black Canary #1

"Kid Colt 45" Award to Booster Gold #3

"Is It Safe?" Award to StormWatch PHD #12

"Chairface Had It Backwards" Award to PS238 #26

   Dave Van Domelen, "Do you know how it feels when SUPERMAN tells you you can't handle a cape?" - Booster Gold

   Bonus Quote: "WOW. (flips through sheets of charges) JEEZ, that's a lot of atrocities. Where did Helsingard find the time to SLEEP? (flip, flip, flip) I don't even know what this one MEANS." - Atomic Robo
Tags: comics, tesla
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