Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) wrote,
Dave Van Domelen
dvandom

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Comics for August 11, 2010



                   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.
An archive can be found on my homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants 
     About ready to see the end of the 100+ F temperatures, thanks.

     Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Super Stupor #3

"Other Media" Capsules:

     Things that are comics-related but not necessarily comics (i.e.
comics-based movies like Iron Man or Hulk), or that aren't going to be
available via comic shops (like comic pack-ins with DVDs) will go in this
section when I have any to mention.  They may not be as timely as comic
reviews, especially if I decide to review novels that take me a week or two
(or ten) to get around to.

     Nothing this week.


Time-Shifting:
     Sometimes I get a comic a week or two late because of Diamond's
combination of neglect and incompetence.  If it's more than a week late,
though, I won't review it unless it's very notable.  Additionally, I will
often get tradepaperbacks long after publication or even sometimes before
Diamond ships them, and those will go here.  If I'm reasonably sure I'm
reviewing something that didn't ship this week, this is the section for it.

     I got the Phoenix Force handbook, but it's not notable enough to review
this late.  I will say it has a lot of Excalibur/Captain Britain content,
though, and isn't purely recent-Xbook-stuff.


New Comics:
     Comics and comic collections that I got this week and were actually
supposed to be out this week, as far as I can tell.  These reviews will
generally be spoiler-free, but the occasional bit will slip in.

     The Transformers #10: IDW - Over on the AllSpark forums, one of the
regulars has been doing single-page distillations of Transformers issues, or
even entire miniseries.  I think this one would start with three panels of
various characters saying, "I have a plan," then the middle third of the page
being a big battle spread, then three more panels at the bottom, with two
characters (one Autobot, one Decepticon) saying, "Run away!" and then the
last panel with Bumblebee saying, "I have a plan."  The theme of the issue is
"making things up on the fly," but it's hard to avoid thinking that maybe
Costa's making things up just ahead of deadline himself.  Mildly
recommended.  $3.99

     Adventure Comics #517: DC - More stories from the early days of the
Neo-Classical LSH, featuring one of the worst scene transitions I've seen in
a while (page 3 to page 4...is it a flashback, did they lose a page, what?).
This issue is pretty much Imra Angst, and Levitz hammers on it a bit too
much, although I did enjoy the subplot of "Physics doesn't work like that,
Rokk" in several scenes.  The Atom backup retcons in a new threat that's
always been in the background of Ray Palmer's life, I guess.  It's hard to
say what's old and what's new with his continuity when I don't actually
care.  :)  And no, this story doesn't increase my amount of caring about
neo-Palmer.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99

     Booster Gold #35: DC - The "lost tale" continues, doing a good job of
balancing the light-hearted low-consequences adventures of the JLI days and
Booster's newfound maturity.  They also draw a fine distinction between being
an idiot and acting like one.  What's weird is that things like the
Darkstars, which I still think of as new in some ways, are being used for
nostalgia now....  Recommended.  $2.99

     Gold Digger v3 #120: Antarctic Press - A bit prone to chunks of
exposition, and the "damsels in distress" cover is a touch misleading, but
overall a good story about the different ways people can deal with old pain
and rage.  Not everyone does it very well, but enough do well enough, and at
least some hate is turned into...call it dislike.  Not just quantitatively
different, but qualitatively as well.  The climactic scene is worth reading
just to see the reason behind the phrase, "Load-bearing villain".
Recommended.  $2.99

     Super Stupor #3: SomethingPositive.net - Available online or at
conventions that Randy attends, rather than through Diamond.  So, you know, I
got it in a timely manner.  :)  Like the previous two issues, this is a
smaller than normal 6"x9" size.  And like the first two, it has a little bit
of reprinted online material that serves as the nucleus for all-new
material.  Most paper comics produced by webcomickers are mainly reprints
with maybe some bonus material, but Super Stupor reverse that ratio.  And
while the online strip is mostly dark humor gags, Randy Milholland's building
up a rather serious world with silly trappings here (much like the Superguy
universe he used to write in).  This issue, with an EC-homage cover, involves
the mystery of who's trying to kill off all the old EC-era storyteller
characters, including the Scaretaker (who is on the cover).  Along the way, a
lot of setting background gets worked in, mostly seamlessly (and the one
obvious exposition chunk is done in the style of the Scaretaker's old
stories, so it fits the theme).  Much of the issue is silly or snarky or a
little bit NSFW (language and maybe some blood)...but there's a deep
undercurrent of human tragedy and a very bittersweet ending.  Strongly
recommended.  $3.95 (plus shipping).


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 8/11/10: Invincible #72, Prince of Power #2-3,
Brody's Ghost vol 1 (which my store was charged for, but not shipped), Tom
Strong and the Robots of Doom #3, Transformers Ironhide #4, Gorilla Man #2,
Hawkeye and Mockingbird #3.  Add Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #5 (gosh,
surprise surprise) and Welcome to Tranquility One Foot In The Grave #2.

     I'm seriously considering paring my pull list down and ditching titles
that Diamond doesn't want to bother selling me, shifting to buying direct
from the publisher where it's a book I really like.


Awards:

"I Have A Cunning Plan" Award to The Transformers #10

"Newton's Third Law Is A B****" Award to Adventure Comics #517

"Okay, I Suppose That Sorta Counts As A Death Trap" Award to Booster Gold #35

"Certain Load-Bearing Villains Can Be Located With A Stud Finder, At Least
     The Kind Gina Builds" Award to Gold Digger v3 #120

"Many Kinds Of Moron" Award to Super Stupor #3


   Dave Van Domelen, "How are your children, Eudora?" "Well. How are your clones, Heinrich?" "Failures. I try and try, but they never do as I hope." "Heinrich, you have to let children be who they are. You can't live through them, you know." "But that's the whole point of having clones!" - Super Stupor #3
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