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 At least I was able to turn off air conditioning this week. Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Iron Man Legacy #7 "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. Avengers Assemble: Disney XD - I don't get Disney XD in my cable package, so I'll have to wait for other means of watching the actual series (I dislike watching full length download shows on my computer, so probably gonna wait for DVD release unless they rerun the series on regular Disney with a delay). But I've been watching the dozen or so 4-6 minute "minisodes" that they've been putting up as promotion, thanks to a friend gathering them all and sticking them in a shared Dropbox folder. :) The show definitely has promise, I particularly like how Pym and Van Dyne are portrayed. The short pieces follow various Avengers-to-be through a few adventures in which pieces are moved into place for the team that will happen, and they give us a good idea of the style of the show (visual and audio). Worth checking out on disneyxd.com, YouTube, or other places they end up. 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. Nothing this week. The list of missing books only gets longer, never shorter. 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. Haunted (24 Hour Comic): Thom Zahler of Love and Capes participated in the 24 Hour Comic Day this year, and made the result available online as soon as he was done. No guarantee the URL will stay good for very long, but here it is: http://www.thomz.com/clientside/twentyfour/haunted.pdf Like Love and Capes, this is a romance story, although with only a slight twist of fantasy (whereas L&C has a LOT of fantasy). While you can see the parts that need revision, both visually and in the writing, it's a very good story for one that was done in under a day, check it out. Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #5 (of 6): DC/ABC - Some travel, a fight scene, a plot device, and a mysterious cliffhanger. None of which really grabbed me. Neutral. $3.99 REBELS #21: DC - The Colu situation wraps up, focusing on Lobo fighting the two rookie Green Lanterns, but the main plot advancement comes from Vril Dox's public-relations-jutsu. It's largely narrated by the Okaaran GL, with the occasional cutaway to stuff he wasn't privy to, and develops his character a bit more. The female Psion GL's supposed to be in the spotlight next issue. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Secret Six #26: DC - The general reasons for the two versions of the Squad being in Skartaris are laid out in a "meanwhile on Earth" scene, although it's possible that the prime motivator will actually be dealt with in a subsequent arc rather than in this one. Pretty bloody issue, as usual, although the Shocking Death at the end strikes me as being...not so final. Recommended. $2.99 Young Allies #5: Marvel - Big fight scene against The Superior and a few of the surving Bastards, a likely homage to season 1 of Heroes, and the idea of the Young Allies as a team name is planted but doesn't quite take root. I wonder if they're shooting for a "Non-Team" like the Defenders here, where they keep saying they're not a team but always seem to end up working together. Unfortunately, this teamlessness is becoming a drag on the book. Not only do the characters seem to have little reason to work together, being more of a loose trio and a looser duo, the reader has no reason to think this is going anywhere in particular. Mildly recommended. $2.99 Iron Man Legacy #7: Marvel - Van Lente (hey, at least I get to buy ONE of his books this week) continues to dance around the edges of established backstory in this story of Tony Stark's first few days in Los Angeles after being ruined by Stane. This issue, he reiterates the core principle of Iron Man: the A-Team has nothing on Tony Stark when it comes to building stuff when trapped in a room with raw materials. And since one of the villains who has him "trapped" in his high-tech briar patch has a bit of a history with Iron Man, he's able to point this out to any readers who may have not gotten the message. :) Van Lente Gets Tony Stark. Strongly recommended. $2.99 Avengers Academy #5: Marvel - One of the drawbacks of having McKone on a book is that he's not quite able to keep to a monthly schedule, so either he drops off after the initial burst, or you get a fill-in every so often. Jorge Molina's art (which has a slight Sprouse influence in places) is generally a good replacement, but there's a few pages where it really falls apart, maybe he had to rush to make deadline. This issue focuses on Striker, son of a pastiche of Jessica Hahn. The spotlight hammers home why he's a candidate for almost-villain, given that he has more in common with some of the Young Masters than with the Avengers. Warning, though, there's a page that focuses on some fairly dark elements in Striker's childhood that may be triggery for some people. Recommended. $2.99 Hawkeye & Mockingbird #5: Marvel - And it's the big climax, lots of fighting and philosophical crises and deaths both literal and figurative. 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 10/6/10: Invincible #72, Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #3, Transformers Ironhide #4, Gorilla Man #2, Welcome to Tranquility One Foot In The Grave #2, Atlas #4, 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, Dynamo5 Sins of the Father #3, Science Dog #1, Women of Gold Digger #1 and Gold Digger Books of Magic #2. Add Transformers Drift #3, Chaos War #1, Taskmaster #2, Tron: Betrayal #1. Awards: "But...But...SCIENCE, Jan!" Award to Avengers Assemble "A Healthy Imagination Can Be Unhealthy" Award to Haunted (24 Hour Comic) "At This Point, Is The Integrity Of The Timeline Even Preservable?" Award to Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #5 (of 6) "They Protect What's Really Important" Award to REBELS #21 "The Ultimate Multitool" Award to Iron Man Legacy #7 "He Might End Up With A Quite Complex Complex" Award to Avengers Academy #5 "Well, Bobbi Sure Walked Into THAT Cliche" Award to Hawkeye & Mockingbird #5
Dave Van Domelen, "Who ARE these self-appointed GUARDIANS OF THE UNIVERSE, anyway? Since when did we abdicate our pubic safety responsibilities to these out-of-touch ELITISTS?" - Vril Dox, REBELS #21, pointing out that pubic safety requires a hands-on approach.