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

Comics for May 11, 2011 and FCBD 2011

Includes comments about the Thor movie, GL movie-line Kilowog action figure and Iron Man 2 Revoltech figure. Also, some comics. ;)


                   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 
    So, of course I have a case of the common cold during finals week.

     Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): FCBD 2011
Atomic Robo

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 5/11/11: Shadowland Power Man #4, Transformers
Timelines G2 Redux, Gold Digger #127, Transformers Dark of the Moon Rising
Storm #3-4, X-Factor #218, Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters #2, Transformers
Foundation #3.  Add Time Lincoln Jack to the Future, but I'm not sure I want
to keep up with this series.


FCBD 2011 Capsules:

     I only managed to get one hardcopy comic I was interested in this time,
the rest either being gone before I got to the store, or never arriving.
Fortunately, while various contractual realities prevent comic companies from
having good timely online comic delivery, piracy is very efficient even when
there's no money involved, so a friend hooked me up with CBRs of the other
two I wanted.

     Super Dinosaur Origin Special #1: Image - This was the one hardcopy I
got.  It actually doesn't reveal much more than was shown in #1 of the
regular series, it just goes into a bit more detail.  The story itself is
done by the staples, with the rest of the issue being a mini-sourcebook on
the important characters.  Would this get someone to go back and buy #1?
Maybe.  Actually, the things that I didn't care for in the regular #1 were
present in spades, so I suppose this does the job of being a good warning for
people who find those elements more annoying than I do.

     The Amazing Spider-Man The Way of the Spider: Marvel - This is a lead-in
to Spider Island, with Madame Web manipulating events so that Spider-Man has
half a chance.  The main action is a simple done-in-one conflict with Slott
and Ramos turning in very good work, and the epilogue makes a fair amount of
sense in light of recent developmens in the Big Time mega-arc.  I'm not sure
how MUCH this will entice people to pick up the Spider Island books, since
Slott is a little coy on the exact nature of the threat.

     Atomic Robo/Foster Broussard/Moon Girl: Red 5 Comics - I will probably
still try to get the hardcopy of this, for the Robo-completeness aspect.  But
the other big reason for me to want this book was Moon Girl, which I didn't
order on the strength of online previews, but might be tempted to go back for
if I'm more impressed by this FCBD story.  Unfortunately, the FCBD Moon Girl
piece is old news, I've seen it elsewhere before (Previews, probably, or Red5
put it online).  The Broussard piece doesn't inspire me to look into the book
at all, sorry to say.  However, the Atomic Robo piece is excellent and I can
hope it will rope in more readers.  :)  It also went up online separately
today (May 11, 2011) at comixology, so you won't need to dig around for CBRs
to read it,


"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.

     Thor (movie): I saw it in 3D, but other than some of the pan shots of
Asgard I didn't find it added much to (or subtracted much from) the movie.
Overall, I liked the movie, although I felt Volstagg was way too toned down.
Any actor seeking to portray the Lion of Asgard should be at least emulating
Brian Blessed, if not exceeding him.  :)  Otherwise, they did a good job of
shuffling various classic elements of Marvel Thor mythology without
overburdening the movie with exposition.  Recommended.

     Also, I got a Destroyer straw-topper at 7-11, and felt it wasn't shiny
enough to match the movie version (it's more of a dull gray like in the
comics), so I painted mine: http://www.dvandom.com/kitbash/711destroyer.JPG

     Green Lantern movie Kilowog 3.75" scale figure: Mattel - Hastings had
the full assortment, but at much higher prices, while the local Walmart only
had two figures at the "cheapo" scale: this one and a starry-body Hal Jordan
figure.  I decided to get this one, even though movie-'Wog doesn't really
look right.  One of the gimmicks of the line is that the mid-price figures
(which Walmart had all of) come with an unfolding "construct" (i.e. a block
that unfolds into a scorpion or a big fist) and the accessories that come
with the cheapo figures can attach to these constructs.  The upper end
figures are 6" and come with one of 14 pieces needed to make Parallax.  Yeah,
biggest BAF-set I can recall seeing.  Kilowog comes with two accessories: a
power ring that barely fits on my pinkie (15mm interior diameter) and a clear
rubbery green plastic energy blob that goes over 'Wog's fist.  'Wog only has
six points of articulation, although I didn't look closely enough at the
other figures to tell if this is endemic or just a cost-cutting measure on
the biggest figure of the set.  The shoulders are universal joints, at least,
but since the neck attachment is appropriate to the character his head
doesn't so much turn as cock to the side.  The legs can't bend far enough
back to let the figure stand with arms raised to the front, and while there's
a small peg hole in one foot, no stand is included.  This is, all in all, a
toy designed to be left in the package rather than played with.  And if it's
staying in the package, it can stay on the shelf.  Not recommended.  $6.97 at
Walmart.  

     Sci-Fi Revoltech no. 24 Iron Man [Mark VI]: Marvel/Kaiyodo - I'm not
going to do an exhaustive review here, just a few comments.  This is sort of
the other end of the spectrum from Kilowog, still not really meant to be
played with but definitely meant to be taken out of the package and
displayed.  Like most collector's style action figures in Japan (and an
increasing number of American releases) it comes with several sets of hands
for different poses, including a "repulsors as thrusters" set.  Like recent
Revoltech releases, it has a small box meant to hold the various extra parts,
but like most of those (from what I hear) the box is too small.  In this
case, the repulsor beam pieces are too long to fit.  All the extra hands will
go in, though.  Articulation is, as usual for a Revoltech, really good.
There's a mix of the traditional ratcheting revolver joints and a bunch of
miniature ones that don't ratchet, letting this 6" figure avoid having any
big obvious joints.  The smaller ones are used on the wrists, shoulderpads
and kneepads.  One oddity is that the repulsor hands just peg in and do not
have actual joints, so if you want to use them you have to pull out the other
hands by the root, but to use any other hands you need to leave the joint
piece in the wrist (which can be a bit tricky until you learn how to manage
it).  I do worry a bit about some of the flexible armor flaps, since they
could "rot".  Oh, and the neck articulation is a bit weird, if you pull the
neck back too far you get the Giraffe Armor variant.  At a list price of 2850
Yen, it's definitely a collector's item, comparable to the $16-20 action
figures of the same size (2850Y converts to a lot more than $20, but Japanese
toys are more expensive in an absolute sense, with $12 Transformers often
going for 2000-2500 Yen).  Oh, and the packaging is very much aimed at the
collector market, with little plastic sheets in between joints to make sure
no paint gets damaged during shipping.

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.

     Will Super Villains Be On The Final?: Del Rey - Volume 1 of the Liberty
Vocational series written by Naomi Novik and drawn by Yishan Li.  This in the
timeshifting section because I'm pretty sure it's solicited for June or even
July in Previews...given my rotten luck with trade-style books through
Diamond I checked online and found it was a pre-order for early May.
Anyway....  I have not read Novik's Temeraire books, but I think I probably
played in one of her plots on a Transformers MUSH.  :) Liberty Vocational is
like the Harvard of superhero prep schools, set in a world where powers are
so common that being a superhero can be a family tradition and there's
various levels of "farm team" heroes in addition to the high profile ones.
Leah Taymore is the main protagonist, daughter of a couple of farm team
heroes who is a prodigy transmutation type, utterly out of her depth even
without the machinations of a supervillain determined to...something.  He's
one of those "for the greater good" villains, and it's unclear what the
details might be in Leah's case.  Just that he's out to make things as hard
for her as he can manage without giving himself away.  And, of course,
there's also the usual college/boarding school tropes like the first day
disasters, mean classmates, hopeless crushes, and so forth.  The sort of
thing you've probably seen plenty of if you read the Harry Potter books,
although Novik is drawing more from the Japanese flavor of the school drama
than the British.  The story is generally serious in tone, but with a certain
amount of cliched manga-style visual humor.  The mood does sometimes shift
jarringly between farce and drama, but that's in keeping with the tropes of
Japanese school drama stories (to the limited extent that I am familiar with
them, anyway).  All in all, it's a nice read, with some interesting twists
here and there, but you wouldn't too far off to describe it as "Superhero
Harry Potter/Ranma/Negima".  It's very much NOT like Cartoon Network's "Tower
Prep" series, leaving aside the barest of surface details, and the dark
elements are tied to specific characters rather than being built into the
setting.  Recommended.  $10.99 cover price, $8.79 at DeepDiscount.com.


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.

     Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #14: Marvel - Another reprint, this time
from MA Spider-Man Team-Up #4, but at least it's not a reprint of something I
already have.  :)  Unfortunately, like the last reprint story from a few
issues back, it's not really WORTH reprinting.  DeZago's story is passable,
but relies too much on a gimmick that feels tired by end.  Neutral.  $2.99

     The Amazing Spider-Man #660: Marvel - Again, while there's a banner for
Infested, there's really only a couple of pages on that particular plot
wedged between the main story and the Ghost Rider teamup backup story.
Slott's main story is pretty good, though, and gives McKone a chance to muck
about with numerous costume designs as exposure to an unstable dimensional
thingy runs everyone through incarnation roulette.  Recommended.  $3.99

     R.E.B.E.L.S. #28: DC - Final issue, I guess?  (Pause to look online.)
Yep, final issue.  It just sort of...wraps up.  Deus ex Machina engaged, evil
overlord list violations come home to roost, ominous plot devices stored away
in bubble wrap for potential use elsewhere, reference to the next place the
characters will be making cameos, etc.  Kinda by the numbers.  Not exactly
going out with a whimper, but neither was it much of a bang.  Mildly
recommended.  $2.99

     Love and Capes Ever After #4: IDW - Thanks to various shipping issues, I
get three L&C issues in three weeks, woot.  And while it's a little late to
be truly topical, it's the dreaded TAX TIME.  I wonder if Mark tries to write
off his stack of disposable keyboards as a business expense, or just eats it
because it'd be too hard to explain why he burns through a dozen of them in
April?  :)  Between this and the B-plot with Paul and Amazonia, there are
many places where Hijinks could Ensue, and it's interesting that for the most
part Zahler refrains from any such Ensuing...it's a bit meta, in a way.  The
humor comes from the fact that the easy jokes generally don't happen.
Recommended.  $3.99


Awards:

"Needs A Doctor Dinosaur Guest Appearance" Award to Super Dinosaur Origin 
     Special #1

"Your Kung Fu Is Pig Dung" Award to The Amazing Spider-Man The Way Of The 
     Spider

"Needs A Super Dinosaur Guest Appearance" Award to Atomic Robo and Friends 
     FCBD 2011

"Generally Needs More Dinosaurs" Award to the Thor Movie

"Needs More Poozer-ability" Award to the Kilowog movie action figure

"Starkticulation" Award to Revoltech Iron Man action figure

"Hey, Supervillains Make The Best Superhero Ethics Teachers" Award to Will
     Super Villains Be On The Final?

"It's A Bad Sign When A Couple Panels Of Throwaway Dialogue Are More
     Interesting Than The Main Plot" Award to Marvel Adventures Super Heroes
     #14

"Somehow, I Don't Think The Story About Bedbugs Coming Up In The Local News
     Will Involve Trangenic Infection" Award to The Amazing Spider-Man #660
     (Yeah, it's MRSA infection.)

"Is It Me, Or Does Kory's Head Shrink Over The Course Of The Issue?" Award
     to R.E.B.E.L.S. #28

"In The Business Association Of The Clueless, The Half-Clued Woman Is 
     President" Award to Love and Capes Ever After #4

   Dave Van Domelen, "Didn't you save his life on that first date?" "Yes, but that was future me, not past me. And it was actually my wedding day and her-- Gah! How do you people talk about this stuff without popping an embolism?" - Charlotte and Abby, Love and Capes Ever After #4
Tags: comics
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