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

Comics for August 25, 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 
       Traffic was dense today, by which I mean extremely stupid.

     Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): None, not like
there was a lot in my pull box to begin with, though.

"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.

     The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Baen Books - Okay, not
really comics related, save by a few tenuous links (one story is by long-time
Legion fan Tony Pi, another by Rob Rogers, the author of the superhero novel
Devil's Peak).  But I've been reading this on and off over the past several
weeks on my PDA, and almost every piece is very good.  Most of the stories
have some odd "improbable" twist to them (a few Lovecraft-meets-Doyle pieces,
a quantum many worlds story, a crossover with Doyle's Lost World, etc) but
they tend to stick to the rational.  Despite Doyle's own belief in the
fantastic, Holmes was a great debunker (i.e. the Hound of the Baskervilles),
and that trend tends to continue here, albeit sometimes with a science
fictional or horror bent (one story has real aliens, another has a hoax of
aliens, for instance).  Several stories are available for free on the Baen
Free Library (http://tinyurl.com/24xbfw6), and the full ebook is only $4.00
with no DRM and available in a multitude of formats because Baen is cool.
Recommended.  

     Atomic Robo: Last Stop Teaser - Okay, it's just a teaser, see here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CooHkiODWwA  Not really enough to say much
about even the animation much less the story, but it looks like it involves
either hand-drawn animation or pretty good CG faking of same.  Just go watch
it, okay?


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.

     Nope.  Why should Diamond fix their mistakes and reship in a timely
manner?  That'd be too much like being a BUSINESS.


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.

     X-Factor #208: Marvel - Diamond didn't ship this to my store, I had to
get it at Hastings.  It's another "cycle through the cast so everyone gets at
least a few pages of business" issue, lots of plots advancing a bit here and
there, while the main plots of the issue mainly confirm what was fairly
obvious at the end of #207.  Fairly good superheroic soap opera overall,
though, exploiting the sorts of things that even the most bizarre regular
soaps can't do.  Recommended.  $2.99

     Legion of Super-Heroes #4: DC - "The Great Darkness Returns!" cries the
banner on top of the cover.  This...worries me.  Fortunately, Levitz didn't
(yet) try to go back to that well again, this is more of a loose ends thing,
although it may tie into the overall "Doom of Titan" arc in some more
definite way later.  I'm liking how Levitz is taking the fairly one-note
Earth Man that Johns left him and turning him into...well, still a nativist
jerkwad, but one who clearly has principles and ethics.  He's not in it for
the power trip or even necessarily out of hatred or fear.  A certain amount
of willful ignorance, definitely.  "Ethical racists" (to the extent they can
exist at all) tend to be selectively blind, and Levitz is maneuvering a
pretty good foil into place for him this issue.  Recommended.  $3.99

     Invincible #74: Image/Skybound - Time for the endgame to begin, after an
issue of recuperating from the big fight I missed in #72.  Interestingly,
Invincible himself doesn't seem to know much more about what he did in #72
than I do.  :) Anyway, it's everyone back into the pool, albeit not before a
little bit of weird relationship stuff.  Let's just say that Allen the Alien
is finally learning not to ask questions to which he doesn't really want the
answers.  Recommended.  $2.99

     Gold Digger Books of Magic #1: Antarctic Press - This is more like a
gaming sourcebook than anything else, specifically the flavor text sections
with illustrations.  The premise is that Brianna Diggers is finally learning
some formal magic from her father, and this is her combination textbook and
class notes.  It reads fairly well, although the transcription enchantments
are a trifle buggy at times.  :)  The art is very quick line work, generally
using skintight bodysuits (which Perry has at least made fairly standard
among mages doing aura work in-story) to let Fred turn it out in a minimum of
time.  Recommended.  $3.99

     (Aside: those who read my reviews "live" on Wednesday nights may wonder
why it took so long to post such a short column...it's because a number of
factors in addition to Diamond had me in a fairly foul mood when I got home,
so I decided to cool off for a while before tackling the comics, lest I
unfairly snark at them.)


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 8/25/10: 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,
Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #5 (gosh, surprise surprise) and Welcome to
Tranquility One Foot In The Grave #2, Atlas #1 (store only got one copy) and
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update #3 (which I probably
won't bother reviewing if it ever comes in).  Add Guarding the Globe #1 and
Prince of Power #4.  I've cancelled my reorders of #2-3 and will order the
trade through Amazon, because Diamond is even worse about shipping trades
than they are in general.  Of course, the trade is an overpriced six issue
compilation including the Fall of an Avenger mini.


Awards:

"What's With All The Phossy Jaw?" Award to The Improbable Adventures of
     Sherlock Holmes

"Oddly, For Shatterstar, That IS Tact" Award to X-Factor #208

"Garth, You May Need To Brush Up On What 'Identical Twin' Means" Award to
     Legion of Super-Heroes #4

"Mmm, Lobster Drenched In Butter" Award to Invincible #74

"Peebos Got Chakras?" Award to Gold Digger Books of Magic #1


   Dave Van Domelen, "Please stop saying the things that come into your head first when I talk to you. Don't -- y'know what...just stop answering my questions." - Allen the Alien, displaying newfound wisdom, Invincible #74
Tags: comics
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