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

Comics for the week of June 1, 2011



                   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 
            Yes, I heard about the DC-wide reboot.  Meh.

     One of the consequences of my store's shift to "order everything
specifically" is that I now have an issue of Previews that I'm not sure I'll
use.  I'll probably just order a handful of titles (the ones I really like,
and maybe the "last before rebooting again" DC books) and if I move in mid-
August make arrangements to have someone mail me the few books.

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

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 6/3/11: Shadowland Power Man #4, Transformers
Timelines G2 Redux, Gold Digger #127, Transformers Dark of the Moon Rising
Storm #3-4, X-Factor #218, Transformers Foundation #3, Time Lincoln Jack to
the Future, Science Dog Special #2.  I've taken Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters
off my pull.  Also, just so people know, I won't be getting the movie
adaptation comic.


"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: Tales of Asgard DVD: Marvel/Lion's Gate - While not quite in the
continuity of the new movie, I'd say that this feature's take on Thor is more
in tune with the movie Thor than the comics.  It's definitely its own spin on
Asgard and a young Thor, even if it recycles many of the "space god" tropes
of Kirby or Simonson.  Unfortunately, it fails to engage much in the way of
suspense along the way.  Sure, we know all the main characters will survive
and all that, as it's a tale of Thor's youth.  But there's a significant new
character whose eventual fate is pretty much spelled out by the name they
chose to give him...he's not the same character as his namesake, but his name
is a big glaring hint.  It's a competently told tale, but I think it would
have been improved by making up an entirely new name for the important new
character, so it wouldn't be quite as obvious what would happen.
Recommended.  $15 or so.

     Green Lantern HeroClix Blindpack: DC/WizKids - On a whim I grabbed one
of the blindpack boxes at Target (where they're apparently an exclusive,
although for all I know the molds will show up with slightly different paint
jobs elsewhere).  They have stat cards like regular current-generation
HeroClix, but they're all curled up inside the tiny box, making these a lot
less of a collectible since they're damaged even when in sealed boxes.  I
drew R'Amey Holl, a new movie-specific Lantern with upside-down butterfly
wings (as in, smaller wings on top, larger on bottom).  The figure is as
rubbery as Star Wars collectible minis, rather than the more solid-feeling
plastic that most HeroClix use.  On Kilowog that wouldn't matter, but on a
slender waif like R'Amey, it's a significant problem.  It also means that
figure modding isn't going to be feasible for these unless you use a rubbery
paint.  Not recommended.  $2.99 each.


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.

     Strictly speaking, they're all late.  Diamond promised no more holiday
delays, so my store didn't even have people scheduled to work Thursday
afternoon (they normally open at 4PM since walk-in traffic on Thursdays is
negligible most weeks) and couldn't find anyone on short notice when Diamond
said on Wednesday, "Oops, we couldn't get them to you on Wednesday this week
after all!  Terribly sorry...."

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.

     The Transformers #20: IDW - More pieces are put together for the
upcoming CHAOS event, and the characters themselves notice that everyone in
this little group has been presumed dead at some point recently, then somehow
come back.  A bit lampshade-y, that.  I got a general feeling of Costa
finally finishing with the repair work and feeling he can get on with what
he'd wanted to do all along if only he hadn't been left a box of such
terribly broken toys.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99

     Secret Six #34: DC - Well, after spending several issues in Hell, it's
time for some well-deserved downtime.  Taking stock of the little, broken
family that they have become.  But as broken and damned as they may be,
they're not utterly lost, and that's important.  Simone seems to be gearing
up for an ending that, if not necessarily happy, is as upbeat as one could
get for such a group of miscreants.  Recommended.  $2.99

     Adventure Comics #527: DC - Sometimes being genre-savvy works, as in the
case of Comet Queen's origin (she set out to duplicate the origin of either
Star Boy or Ultra Boy, having determined that they were the easiest to pull
off for someone without the right genes or a tenth-level intelligence).  But
as this story relates, getting powers doesn't automatically get you
everything else you wanted, and Comet Queen's been bouncing from one
disappointment to another, including a rather nasty event that landed her
back at the Academy.  This issue doesn't really answer the question of
whether it's all an act, or if she's simply incapable of staying depressed
longer than it takes to notice a new...SQUIRREL!  Er, ahem.  Recommended.
$2.99 

     X-Factor #220: Marvel - While not labeled as a Fear Itself tie-in, this
issue certainly fits the theme, as PAD goes back to the idea of the Sin-
Eater.  Except this time it's a lot more literal.  The final page shocker
first made me think "isn't that person dead?" and then I slapped myself
because pretty much the whole premise of this issue is that things are
happening (and have been happening in the book of late, such as the Hela
story) to make death an even less inconvenient state than it usually is in a
Marvel comic.  Recommended.  $2.99

     Thunderbolts #158: Marvel - Fear Itself tie-in.  Since Juggernaut and a
breakout at the Raft are big parts of Fear Itself, it's natural that this
book would be heavily impacted.  The undead fight started last issue may or
may not actually tie into Fear Itself, but it at least serves to get most of
the cast out of the way to let the breakout happen.  Still, serving a story I
don't intend to get into does weaken it.  Mildly recommended.  $2.99

     Avengers Academy #14.1: Marvel - Yep, the Point One thing is still
going.  Not everyone experimented on by Osborn ended up dead or in the
Academy, and this issue checks in on several of the people who ended up
between those poles.  The major theme, though, is that the whole superhero
thing is as outdated as, oh, paper comics.  And while this is hardly the
first comic in recent years to go on about that, Gage does a pretty good job
of it here.  Recommended.  $2.99

     The Amazing Spider-Man #663: Marvel - Speaking of the old Sin-Eater
story, there's a few more callbacks to that one here, although Slott gives
such obvious clues to the "truth" behind things that it feels like a
misdirect and we'll find that it's exactly what it looks like on the
surface.  Oh, and Peter manages to boost the ol' CV in a big way.
Recommended.  $3.99

     Herc #4: Marvel - Fear Itself tie-in.  Lots of fighting and running away
as the city goes mad.  While Pak and Van Lente are integrating the Fear
Itself stuff pretty well into this book, the nature of the event does tend to
short-circuit some aspects of storytelling for the duration.  Still,
recommended.  $2.99


Awards:

"Barflies Three" Award to Thor Tales of Asgard DVD

"Will Of Iron, Clicky Of Rubber" Award to Green Lantern HeroClix Blindpack

"The Shane McCarthy Revenge Squad" Award to The Transformers #20

"Is It Wrong Of Me To Want King Shark To Say That Ohana Means Family?" Award
     to Secret Six #34

"You Do Not Want To See Comet Queen's Omnicom Bookmarks" Award to Adventure
     Comics #527

"Enhanced Taste Plus Bite Attack Equals EWWWWW" Award to X-Factor #220

"Cain Mutiny" Award to Thunderbolts #158

"Hey, It Was The Seventies" Award to Avengers Academy #14.1

"Eddie, You Should Know Better Than To Bury The Lead" Award to The Amazing
     Spider-Man #663

"Loin Item Veto" Award to Herc #4


   Dave Van Domelen, "Well, what do you know. Belt pouches are actually USEFUL." - Hercules, Herc #4
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