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

Comics for September 9, 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 
  Good thing it's raining now, ragweed levels were at "chewy air" levels.

     Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): None

"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.

     None 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.

     None this week.


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.

     Transformers Drift #1 (of 4): IDW - Yes, they put "(of 4)" on the cover
for once.  And the only variant cover was a retailer incentive.  Could they
be changing their ways?  Anyway, this is the origin story of Drift, the pile
of fanfic cliches that walks like a bot and turns into a car.  Shane McCarthy
clearly likes to write asynchronously, with nested flashbacks and the like,
but his way of doing it feels less like "building drama" and more like
"taunting anyone dumb enough to buy the monthlies," since it leads to poor
pacing when spread out over several months.  No real improvement here,
although at least it's MOSTLY linear with only a couple panels of flashback
in among the strobeshot scenes.  Milne's art is reasonably easy to follow,
although the designs of the new neutral faction introduced here are
reminiscent of Gundam Wing Endless Waltz in terms of being over-done and
fiddly.  As for story...not a lot to go on yet.  Deadlock (the once and
future Drift) pisses off his Decepticon buddies by being too reckless, flees,
ends up on a plot device planet with Mysterious Neutral Cybertronians and
gets rebuilt to resemble them so that no one will be able to tell anyone
apart next issue.  Eh.  I can't really recommend picking up this issue on its
own, there's not enough THERE there yet, only the vaguest hint of a hint.
$3.99 

     Welcome to Tranquility One Foot In The Grave #3: DC/Wildstorm - Still
missing #2.  Apparently very little time has passed since #1, though, just
enough to have the villain of the piece introduced and his identity revealed
in what I'm guessing was a Final Page Shocker.  "Having superhuman powers as
a kid means you never grow out of being a little psychopath" is the trope at
work here, a storytelling device at least as old as the apocryphal childhood
Gospels (where Jesus uses his powers to kill and then resurrect animals and
other children, among other displays), and likely with roots in things like
the life of Hermes.  Of course, we saw this before to a lesser extent with
the Gen13/Tranquility crossover and the whole "rotten teenagers" arc, but
this dials it up to Lecter.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99

     Adventure Comics #518: DC - The lead story skips ahead a bit (I'm sure
the AR completists could tell me exactly how much) to pick up the Zaryan
story a little later after Superboy's been a member for a while and the
roster has increased in size.  It's looking like one of the building subplots
is the old "Dreamy gets all the Legionnaires kicked out on technicalities due
to a prophecy that one of them would die" plot, but given how the story seems
willing to skip over the original stories, it's entirely possible next issue
will take place after that story has played out rather than retelling it
on-screen.  The Atom backup is only notable in that Oracle is competent.
Mildly recommended.  $3.99

     Booster Gold #36: DC - This issue feels a bit frantic.  Not just the
characters (who have plenty of reason to be frantic), but as if Giffen
suddenly realized he had N issues' worth of stuff he wanted to do, only M
issues left to do them in, and M
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<n.>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

<lj-cut text="No books of note or timeshifted books, but at least no NEW missing books.">
<pre>
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
Good thing it's raining now, ragweed levels were at "chewy air" levels.

Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): None

"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.

None 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.

None this week.


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.

Transformers Drift #1 (of 4): IDW - Yes, they put "(of 4)" on the cover
for once. And the only variant cover was a retailer incentive. Could they
be changing their ways? Anyway, this is the origin story of Drift, the pile
of fanfic cliches that walks like a bot and turns into a car. Shane McCarthy
clearly likes to write asynchronously, with nested flashbacks and the like,
but his way of doing it feels less like "building drama" and more like
"taunting anyone dumb enough to buy the monthlies," since it leads to poor
pacing when spread out over several months. No real improvement here,
although at least it's MOSTLY linear with only a couple panels of flashback
in among the strobeshot scenes. Milne's art is reasonably easy to follow,
although the designs of the new neutral faction introduced here are
reminiscent of Gundam Wing Endless Waltz in terms of being over-done and
fiddly. As for story...not a lot to go on yet. Deadlock (the once and
future Drift) pisses off his Decepticon buddies by being too reckless, flees,
ends up on a plot device planet with Mysterious Neutral Cybertronians and
gets rebuilt to resemble them so that no one will be able to tell anyone
apart next issue. Eh. I can't really recommend picking up this issue on its
own, there's not enough THERE there yet, only the vaguest hint of a hint.
$3.99

Welcome to Tranquility One Foot In The Grave #3: DC/Wildstorm - Still
missing #2. Apparently very little time has passed since #1, though, just
enough to have the villain of the piece introduced and his identity revealed
in what I'm guessing was a Final Page Shocker. "Having superhuman powers as
a kid means you never grow out of being a little psychopath" is the trope at
work here, a storytelling device at least as old as the apocryphal childhood
Gospels (where Jesus uses his powers to kill and then resurrect animals and
other children, among other displays), and likely with roots in things like
the life of Hermes. Of course, we saw this before to a lesser extent with
the Gen13/Tranquility crossover and the whole "rotten teenagers" arc, but
this dials it up to Lecter. Mildly recommended. $3.99

Adventure Comics #518: DC - The lead story skips ahead a bit (I'm sure
the AR completists could tell me exactly how much) to pick up the Zaryan
story a little later after Superboy's been a member for a while and the
roster has increased in size. It's looking like one of the building subplots
is the old "Dreamy gets all the Legionnaires kicked out on technicalities due
to a prophecy that one of them would die" plot, but given how the story seems
willing to skip over the original stories, it's entirely possible next issue
will take place after that story has played out rather than retelling it
on-screen. The Atom backup is only notable in that Oracle is competent.
Mildly recommended. $3.99

Booster Gold #36: DC - This issue feels a bit frantic. Not just the
characters (who have plenty of reason to be frantic), but as if Giffen
suddenly realized he had N issues' worth of stuff he wanted to do, only M
issues left to do them in, and M<N. The not-exactly-Book-of-Destiny plot
gets shuffled off so that Booster and Beetle can be put into another pickle
and continue the tour of late 80s Giffen writing (I suppose they'll
eventually have to end up in the "stupid costumes" era Legion at this rate).
A few pages are also spent establishing how Booster's continuing to show up
in Generation Lost, but it almost feels tacked on at the last minute,
increasing the whole "hectic writer" mood. Mildly recommended. $2.99

The Amazing Spider-Man #641: Marvel - Final issue of One Moment In
Time. The mechanism for "everybody forgets" is revealed, takes advantage of
previous continuity and is generally pretty elegant. Similarly, it creates
an effective "last straw" to fulfill the terms of the bargain with Mephisto
and destroy the love between Peter and MJ while making it all a result of
freely chosen actions. In an "Eternity Inc." moment, Mephisto was able to
tweak one small moment in time and set dominoes in motion to obtain the
desired results. That's a lot scarier than throwing around infinite power,
when you think about it...and in keeping with the idea that when you deal
with the Devil you should never really be sure if he ever did a single thing
for you. Recommended. $3.99

The Amazing Spider-Man #642: Marvel - I'm surprised this hasn't happened
more often during the thrice-monthly run. At least they saw it coming in
time to mention it in the lettercol for #641. OMIT is over, and it's time to
launch a new arc in which any villains who hadn't gotten the spotlight in the
Kraven thing get a chance to reappear. Waid quickly reminds the reader of
all the other crap in Peter's life lately and even takes the opportunity to
make a sight gag out of it. Unfortunately, artist Azaceta really isn't up to
the tone of the story...to the extent I think his art works at all, it does
so in a darker, more realistic story. Not so much in a supervillain gang-up
in broad daylight. 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 9/9/10: Invincible #72, 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, 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), Guarding the Globe #1, Astro City Silver Agent #2, Dynamo5
Sins of the Father #3 (although that was only on Midtown's list, not
Diamond's) and Science Dog #1 (ditto).


Awards:

"I Wonder If Any Copies Shipped To Central Wisconsin?" Award to Transformers
Drift #1

"Paint Bucket" Award to Welcome To Tranquility One Foot In The Grave #3

"Awww, No Planetary Chance Machine?" Award to Adventure Comics #518

"Maybe Ted Can Get Gadget Hackwrench's Phone Number?" Award to Booster Gold
#36

"At Least They Recognize Sentry Was A Bad Idea" Award to the Amazing Spider-
Man #641

"The Most Dangerous Coffee Shop In New York" Award to the Amazing Spider-Man
#642
</pre></lj-cut>

&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Dave Van Domelen, "We need you to infect the world." "Well, when you make it sound so SEXY, how can I resist?" - Reed Richards and Tony Stark, the Amazing Spider-Man #641.
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