Dave's CBR Special 2 or "Diamond Has Gotten Even More Incompetent Lately" December 25, 2010 Once again, I've racked up a list of a couple dozen books that Diamond simply won't ship to my store, and asked a friend to look for them at his shop. I gave him a list of everything with a Previews catalog date of August 2010 or older, since by this point those are so late my store can return them should the eventually ship. And as with last time, the ones he couldn't find hardcopies of for me, he dug up CBR format scans. The harder it gets to buy comics, the easier it gets to find pirate scans. He found the following, which I'll review once they arrive in the mail: Invincible #72, Atlas #4, Dynamo5 Sins of the Father #3, Gorilla Man #2, Chaos War #1, Iron Man: Titanium #1, Taskmaster #2. And now, the CBRs. I generally intend to buy these comics if I ever FIND them (with some noted exceptions), but that's looking increasingly unlikely. (Oh, and he also got me a CBR of OHOTMU A-Z #3, but I won't be reviewing that.) Transformers: Ironhide #4 (of 4): IDW - Okay, this one I might not buy if I find it in person. The first half has Ironhide blowing up Insecticons in various ways, then the plot device kicks in and the rest of the issue is Alpha Trion being a condescending ass. It's as if they took an Ironhide Spotlight set pre-war and then padded it out into a miniseries just so they could A) undo killing off Sunstreaker and Ironhide and B) explain how Cybertron became marginally habitable between Stormbringer and All Hail Megatron. Heck, Ironhide himself thinks the whole thing was an utter waste of time, invoking DRHenry's Law: when characters in the story start complaining about how stupid the plot is, you're in trouble. I suggest that a Transformers fan with better image-mangling skils than mine try to assemble the Lost Spotlight out of just the flashbacks. :) Avoid. $3.99 Transformers: Drift #4 (of 4): IDW - Yes, two miniseries in a row, Diamond shipped the first three and then decided we didn't need to see the final issue in Manhattan KS. Like Ironhide, there's a whole lot of fighting against nameless foes here too, with most of the combatants designed in a style that makes them hard to tell apart. Unlike Ironhide, this only felt padded out about two to one rather than four to one, and the ending wasn't quite as pointless. In fact, McCarthy actually managed to capture the idea that this is the beginning of finding meaning, the start of a personal journey, rather than nihilistic "Oh, I needed someone to kill bugs for a while, now go clean up". The giant third sword is also explained, but it's still dumb. :) Mildly recommended. $3.99 Tron: Betrayal #2 (of 2): Marvel - Just to be on the safe side, Diamond wants to protect me from the ends of Marvel's miniserieses as well (Shadowland Power Man #4 is also on the Missing Books list, but it's new enough I didn't ask my friend to get it yet). Anyway, this does a pretty good job of fleshing out the background for Tron: Legacy without giving away the (admittedly really obvious) plot twists of the movie. It even answers a question that hadn't occured to me, regarding the Isos. And unlike the original movie adaptation, the art doesn't decline in quality, looking just as good here as in #1. Mind you, some of the fight scenes are badly laid out and confusing, but one could say it's an accurate depiction of the fights in the movie. :) Recommended. $4.99 Guarding the Globe #1-2: Image - I'd actually started wondering if this title was vaporware, given that neither issue had shipped here. Of course, the fact it had to change titles from "Guardians of the Globe" (probably ran afoul of DC's lawyers) likely caused problems for Diamond's already overtaxed Windows 3.1-based inventory system. #1 is mainly focued on the idea that a new team is necessary, given the deaths and retirements from the team over the years in Invincible, with one newbie recruited from Nepal. And #2 makes me think they're going to tread the DC Guardians of the Globe territory pretty heavily, what with national stereotypes abounding. Yeah, Invincible is all about the retro-80s stuff, but do we NEED another boomerang-slinging Aussie super? I suppose we haven't had TOO many chupacabra-based supers yet, though. Anyway, like the main Invincible book, it's a mix of 80s-style superheroics and ultraviolence. A fairly fun read, once you get past the wink-wink-nudge-nudge stuff. $3.50 each. Science Dog Special #1: Image - Turns out this is entirely reprints of backups from Invincible, with new material in the upcoming issue. So, since I already own this material, it's just as well I didn't pay for it again. :) It's rather deliberately heavy on exposition, since it's meant to be a comic within the comic and a bit of a retro-Silver Age one at that, and I'm thinking that small doses work better with it anyway. Mildly recommended. $3.50 No Awards this time out.
Dave Van Domelen, "You were always going to get killed, sooner or later." - Alpha Trion to Ironhide