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Dave's Capsules for January 2020 [message #389636] Thu, 30 January 2020 20:53
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Dave's Comicbook Capsules Et Cetera
Intermittent Picks and Pans of Comics and Related Media

Standard Disclaimers: Please set appropriate followups. Recommendation does
not factor in price. Not all books will have arrived in your area this month.
An archive can be found on my homepage, http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/Rants
And spent more time in the hospital this month, for cancer removal.

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

In this installment: Adventure Finders Book 2 vol 1 chapter 6, Rise of
the Tyrant #2, Ghost Spider #6, Venom: the End #1, Wonder Woman #750,
Stabbity Bunny Emmet's Story, Vampirella #7, Dragonfly & Dragonflyman #3 (of
5), My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #85-86, ROM Dire Wraiths #1 (of 3),
Transformers #15-16.

Current Wait List (books either Diamond didn't ship or my store failed
to order): Nothing this time.


"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 month. Bought the animated Killing Joke, but didn't get
around to watching it.


Digital Content:

Unless I find a really compelling reason to do so, I won't be turning
this into a webcomic review column. Rather, stuff in this section will be
full books available for reading online or for download, usually for pay. I
will often be reading these things on my iPhone if it's at all possible.

Adventure Finders Book 2 vol 1 chapter 6: Patreon.com - This is
dominated by a structural revisit to the site of Book 1 Chapter 4, the first
big town the group encountered on their original adventure. But now they are
veterans and have added some serious firepower to the party, and while
they're not all as swaggeringly confident as they try to project, neither are
they the easily cowed newbies who had to get pushed up against the wall
before they'd make a stand. As a result, there's a fair amount of petty (and
not-so-petty) revenge taken on old tormentors, a good bookend to that part of
their lives before they move on to challenges on an entirely new scale.
Recommended. $1/month or more on Patreon.com.

Rise of the Tyrant #2: Amigo Comics - I saw this on ComiXology and
decided to give it a try, but nowhere on the store page is it called #2. It
was only when I went to see if another issue had dropped did I see that there
WAS another issue, #1. And zooming in on the indicia revealed this to be #2.
So, Amigo needs to work on its professional presentation a bit. The fact I'm
not leaping to get #1 is a sign of my ambivalence about this book. The high
concept is "Super robot fighting alien invaders, with a standard Chosen One
pilot whose immaturity causes as many problems as the invaders." But made
"grown up" via extra body horror, cursing, drinking, and general We're Grown
Up Now cliches. I'm also not sure if this was originally written in Spanish
and then translated, or written in English from the start by
Spaniards...there's some definite translation issues in any case. Now, all
that said, they did make sure the book was accessible to new readers, in that
I started on #2 and could mostly figure out what was going on (and the rest
can be blamed on translation issues and murky art). Very mildly recommended,
$0.99 on ComiXology (full-sized issue).


Trades:

Trade paperbacks, collections, graphic novels, pocket manga, whatever.
If it's bigger than a "floppy" it goes here.

Nothing this month.


Floppies:

No, I don't have any particular disdain for the monthlies, but they
*are* floppy, yes? (And not all of them come out monthly, or on a regular
schedule in general, so I can't just call this section "Monthlies" or even
"Periodicals" as that implies a regular period.)

Ghost Spider (2019) #6: Marvel - Ah, good...the Jackal plotline is
largely back-burnered this month, with Gwen's main action scene involving
faceless goons that are part of Man-Wolf's organization but not advancing any
major plot. It's good to have a breather, especially given how skeevy Jackal
is. A new front-burner arc gets a slow start, bringing in more Earth-65
versions of characters with a long Earth-616 history. Mildly recommended.
$3.99

Venom: the End #1: Marvel - So, the "the End" one-shots are kind of
future-directed What If? stories, looking at one way the title character
could come to their final day. But Adam Warren is nothing if not too
ambitious for his own good (on Patreon he said the script for this one took
him 96 pages), and The End in this case is the end of all biological life in
the universe. As a result, this is less a story and more a history,
snapshots and narrated explanations covering a span of over a trillion years.
The core conflict is between biological life championed by Venom (who kinda
needs it to survive) and AI life intent on turning the entire universe into
Computronium (and in response to my question on Patreon, Warren said he was
unaware of Hickman's use of similar themes in Powers of X, they were both
just drawing from the same speculative science sources). This can also be
considered a sort of stealth sequel to Iron Man: Hypervelocity. A dense
read, but worth it. Recommended. Get the Warren variant cover if you can
find it. $4.99

Wonder Woman #750: DC - I spent a few days in the hospital at the end of
the month, my brother visited to help me in recovery, and he picked this up
for me while I was in the hospital. The main story is the climax of
something I hadn't been following, a Year of the Villain big ol' clash
between WW and Cheetah. Since Year of the Villain isn't over, WW won but in
a non-decisive way that let Cheetah run back off to the event comics, meh.
The rest is a mix of pin-ups and short stories (including a sequel to the
internet-beloved Star-Blossom story, in which we find out that minotaur
cheese exists but probably should not). The short stories are generally
decent, with art ranging from good to hideous (Riley Rossmo's is the hideous
one). I'm glad I have it for the Star-Blossom story, but it's not good
enough to pay $10 for. Mildly recommended, 96 pages. $9.99

Stabbity Bunny Emmet's Story #1: Scout Comics - As part of my pseudo-
New-Year's-Resolution to more aggressively try new books to fill the gaps in
my pull left by last year's cancellations, I picked this up in the hopes that
a one-shot might be new-reader friendly. Ehh, not so much. It's a side
story that really should have been a regular issue of an ongoing, but since
Scout ascribes to the "only limited series" publishing plan, it got to be a
one-shot. But it definitely reads like a done-in-one meant for regular
readers in between arcs of a more traditional ongoing. Stabbity himself is
barely in the story, and I only got a vague idea of the world of the comic in
the final pages. It did a very bad job of convincing this new reader to try
the main books...and a pretty weak job of even letting me know what the main
books were like. I shouldn't have to read a wikipedia page to understand a
one-shot. If nothing else, instead of a contextless piece of art on the
inside front cover, they could have used the space for a one-paragraph
description of the premise of the series(es). This was a case of "That
wasn't written for you" in the sense of really being aimed at existing
readers with little concern for new people who might be willing to take a
risk on a one-shot. I don't really blame the writer, the editor should have
done more to make sure that it was properly formatted. #3.99

Vampirella vol 5 #7: Dynamite - In a break from the series so far, all
of this is told in order, with no jumps to the therapist's office. It tells
the tale of the island vacation that Vampi took with Benny the witch...on the
one hand, we know he survives this because he was on the plane back home at
the start of things, but on the other hand things didn't look so great for
him on the plane. Priest goes back to a gag he used way back in Justice
League Task Force, with this arc named Chokula. Recommended. $3.99

Dragonfly & Dragonflyman #3 (of 5): Ahoy Comics - Overtly, the
Earth-Omega side of the continuing devil-dude plot is still darker and more
disturbing. But Earth-Alpha is probably CREEPIER given the plot device this
issue. It just raises so many questions whose answers would not even
remotely fit the cheery innocence of Earth-Alpha. Mildly recommended. $3.99

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #85: IDW - A done-in-one story by
Mary Kenney in which Applejack tells Apple Blossom a story of overcoming her
own fears as a filly. Light and fluffy and ultimately pretty ignorable.
Mildly recommended. $3.99

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #86: IDW - A much better one-shot
story by Whitley, in which Pinkie Pie and Maud Pie find themselves having to
deal with challenges better suited to the other. Walking a mile (or in
Pinkie's case, several) in her sister's horseshoes. Recommended. $3.99

ROM Dire Wraiths #1 (of 3): IDW - Another "try something I didn't
pre-order" book. ROM gets little more than a cameo, this is really about an
early Dire Wraith incursion used as a stealth Inhumanoids reboot. The
upside? Inhumanoids were really unlikely to get any kind of treatment, so
this is good. The downside? The Dire Wraiths' involvement mean that the
human cast is gonna have a rough time of it even in the best case scenario,
especially since this is set in 1969. Technically, there's no guarantee that
this is in the old IDW continuity and therefore would have to leave no trace
on the timeline...but it sure feels like a leftover story from the old
continuity. Sal Buscema does some of the art for the backup story. Mildly
recommended, but I'll get the other two issues to see where it goes. $4.99

Transformers #15: IDW - While there's a little bit on the Autobot side
(including Bumblebee getting some very unwelcome truths dropped on him), this
is mostly Megatron reminiscing about his past and putting his own house in
order in the present. Well, it's still the past, but the narrative present.
Ruckley is still very much writing for the trade, but this is a decent
chapter of it. Mildly recommended. $3.99

Transformers #16: IDW - The first few pages involve a lot of characters
catching up on what the reader already knows, with Starscream being cleverer
than everyone he talks to. Then the rest is an infiltration operation
carried out mostly by Ascenticons who've had varying levels of screen time,
and demonstrating that Ruckley's at least been reading summaries of the IDW
first continuity. Mildly recommended. $3.99


Dave Van Domelen, "Save your protests for the end, Orion. You will have
several." - Sentinel Prime, Transformers #15
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