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

Comics for December 15, 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 
       And it's another Tuesday shipment.  UPS gearing up, perhaps?

     Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Gold Digger
X-Mas Special #4

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 12/15/10: Invincible #72, Tom Strong and the Robots of
Doom #3, Transformers Ironhide #4, Gorilla Man #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 #1-2, Dynamo5 Sins of the
Father #3, Science Dog #1, Chaos War #1, Taskmaster #2, Transformers Drift
#4, Official Index to the Marvel Universe v2 #7, Tom Strong and the Robots of
Doom #6, Tron Betrayal #2, Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #8, Chaos War Dead
Avengers #1, Shadowland Power Man #4, Transformers Timelines G2 Redux and
Gold Digger v3 #123, Hercules New Prince of Power TPB.  Add Atomic Robo and
the Deadly Art of Science #2 (argh).


"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.

     Nothing 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.

     Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update #5 (of 5): Marvel -
No particular theme this time, just a little bit of everything, both new
stuff (like Red She-Hulk) and older things that got left out (like Major
Victory).  Recommended.  $3.99

     Tron Original Movie Adaptation #2 (of 2): Marvel - Unfortunately, the
story gets as rushed as I expected, but that in itself would have been okay
if the art hadn't taken a nosedive.  It looks like Pierfederici decided to
digitally ink this (they show some inked pages at the end) and slapped a lot
of lines together with 6 point line thickness.  It looks sloppy and uneven,
with a lot of faces deformed in one way or another.  And no amount of fancy
coloring tricks over that can compensate.  Neutral.  $3.99

     X-Factor #212: Marvel - A lot of fighting, and along the way the whole
"Rahne's real baby-daddy" thing comes out for the benefit of readers who
don't follow all the X-Books.  The general impression I got of the climax was
that it was exactly the sort of clever plan that Hela wanted to have happen,
so this is more the start of things than the end.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99

     Thunderbolts #151: Marvel - The origin story of the current Ghost, as
told to Moonstone.  No connection at all to the previous Ghost(s) other than
the general powerset and anti-corporate outlook...and a pretty decidedly
Unreliable Narrator anyway.  Recommended.  $2.99

     Iron Man Legacy #9: Marvel - Heh, nice to see editorial notes.  A
footnote specifically places this arc as happening between scenes of Iron Man
#188, give or take an issue.  Interestingly, that's mere months before I
started reading Iron Man regularly.  A few more footnotes about the Pride
might have been useful, while they were at it.  Anyway, this arc continues to
fill in the Circuits Maximus era, showing that Tony didn't go it completely
alone, we just didn't see some of the things that people did to help him out
while Stane ran Stark's old company.  And while Kurth's art isn't really that
well-suited to standard superhero stories, it fits the "edge of desperation,
crawling back up" feel of this arc quite well.  Recommended.  $2.99

     Chaos War #4 (of 5): Marvel - On the other hand, Pham's art is just TOO
scratchy here.  Yes, there's also a desperate tone to it, but it's cosmically
desperate, the end to all things.  Khoi Pham's art is better suited to the
sort of small despair seen in Iron Man Legacy.  This reminds me of Coipel's
work in Legion of Super-Heroes...grungy and dire in the wrong ways.  Chaos
War needs something more along the lines of a Kirby or Starlin, and the
artistic mismatch makes it just feel so much smaller than it needs to be.
Mildly recommended.  $3.99

     The Amazing Spider-Man #650 - Introducing Spider-Tron!  Seriously, his
new costume looks like Peter Parker saw the Tron: Legacy designs and thought,
"I have to do something like that!"  Okay, it's really just another in a long
line of "Peter invents something to get around the powers of one of his
foes," a point brought up during his job interview a couple issues ago.  And
the downsides of the suit are brought up pretty much right away, so there's a
reasonable excuse for him to ditch it later on (or only use it on special
occasions).  The actual story flows pretty well, although it's REALLY heavy
on the soap opera aspects.  The backup with Mac Gargan isn't as good,
although the wooden art is a big part of the problem.  Recommended.  $3.99

     Avengers Academy #7: Marvel - Weird...I've always thought of McKone as a
very tight penciler, but the two inkers who work over him this time make for
some serious differences in style.  The opening scene between Hank and Tigra
doesn't even look like McKone's work.  As for the story, with all six of the
students having gotten spotlights, naturally it's time for the teachers.
This takes place after the Ant-Man and Wasp miniseries, and picks up a lot of
Pym's business from Initiative and Mighty Avengers.  Recommended.  $2.99

     Gold Digger X-Mas Special #4: Antarctic Press - In addition to the usual
one-pagers and pinups, there's three short stories.  Fred Perry's leads off
the issue and gets the cover, a story of the 'Gia family and the sort of
problem that a lot of real families encounter: what you do when one or more
members of the family is called away on Christmas.  Okay, so real families
don't have superpowers or work for mysterious rescue organizations, but cops
and firefighters and doctors often end up spending Christmas saving someone
else's family.  The second story is almost wordless, by Ben Dunn, and
features a young Brit dealing with a hazard of the holidays in a world where
magic is real.  Finally, Gina and Penny have their annual gag gift exchange,
although it's kinda hard to tell who's who with Chris Allen's art (more of an
Archie influence than manga).  Recommended.  $3.50


Awards:

"A Chin-Grab.  Really?" Award to Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
     A-Z Update #5 (of 5)

"The Art Has De-Rezzed" Award to Tron Original Movie Adaptation #2 (of 2)

"In The Market For A God?" Award to X-Factor #212

"Like The Question, But With Worse Hygiene" Award to Thunderbolts #151

"Don't Make A Habit Of It" Award to Iron Man Legacy #9

"Activate The Noah Plan" Award to Chaos War #4 (of 5)

"Stairs Must Be Really Fun" Award to the Amazing Spider-Man #650

"Eh, Who Needs Stairs?" Award to Avengers Academy #7

"All I Want For Christmas Is A 7-Foot Tall Woman" Award to Gold Digger X-Mas
     Special #4


   Dave Van Domelen, "D-did I just get saved by LADY GAGA?" - Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man #650
Tags: comics
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