Dave's Comicbook Capsules et cetera for April 2018

Archive of older reviews
Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Ms. Marvel #29, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #65.

In this installment: Jessica Jones S2, Avengers Infinity War, Overwatch #16, Marvel Rising #0, Ms. Marvel #29, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #30, Black Lightning Cold Dead Hands #6 (of 6), Deathstroke #30, Justice League #42-43, Future Quest Presents the Herculoids #9, Astro City #51, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #65, My Little Pony Legends of Magic Annual 2018, Transformers Lost Light #17, Optimus Prime #17-18, Empowered and Sistah Spooky's High School Hell #4 (of 6).

Current Wait List (books either Diamond didn't ship or my store failed to order): None, yay!  About half my week three comics didn't arrive on time, but they all showed up the next week, suggesting a lost box or something at the warehouse.

"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.
"Wait, you want me to do a
crossover with Riverdale?"

Jessica Jones Season 2: Marvel/Netflix - Bad Decisions Theater, basically.  Yes, there were some good episodes in the mix, and the overall arc was good, but it was a 8 episode season padded out to 13 by the rapidly-becoming-stereotypical-for-Netflix practice of character making really really bad decisions, and making them often.  Adding to the feeling of padding was how every other episode seemed to tease us with, "Maybe this is the episode where Trish becomes Hellcat?"  Really needed tighter editing and a shorter season...if union pay scales are a problem, then pay for one season but split it into two 6-7 non-padded arcs and release it in two chunks like Voltron's been doing.  Mildly recommended.

Avengers Infinity War: Marvel - If I weren't confident that Avengers 4 will hit the Cosmic Reset Button, I'd be quite annoyed at how a few other movies got their endings kicked in the head.  As it stands, it's still kinda annoying.  Otherwise, though, this was generally a well done "mega crossover event compressed into 2.5 hours" movie.  A few things were left uncertain or "oh yeah, didn't we say that earlier?" suggesting maybe some bits were cut that shouldn't have been.  It definitely felt like a Big Deal, though, which was its main job, and almost all of my quibbles were "spirit of the staircase" rather than things that bugged me at the time.  Can't really say much more without spoilers, but I will say Dinklage got the perfect role.  Recommended.

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.

Overwatch #16: Dark Horse - The latest freebie looks back to the day Talon made its first big strike against Overwatch, to tie into the game's current flashback event.  Decent vignette, although it's most notable for containing panels that were easily assembled into loss.jpg.


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

None this month.


No, I don't have any particular disdain for the monthlies, but they are floppy, yes?

Marvel Rising #0: Marvel - So, this is basically a teaser for a four issue Ms. Marvel/Squirrel Girl miniseries...but someone in marketing ran amok with it, giving it a Generic Major Event title and bookends (Alpha and Omega), with the two issues in between being Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 and Ms. Marvel/Squirrel Girl #1.  So...yeah.  Devin Grayson wrote this teaser and the bookends, Ryan North and Willow Wilson will write one inner issue each.  So, the setup in this freebie and the talent involved convinced me to order this scheduling disaster.  Recommended.  Freebie.
"Wait, you want us to do a crossover
with Riverdale?"

Ms. Marvel v2 #29: Marvel - The Archie-style cover doesn't literally take place in this issue, but it's close enough.  Definitely a "coffeeshop AU" sort of characterization-focused issue, as Bruno comes back to Jersey City and Kamala finds herself wishing maybe for more giant cyborg animals to fight instead.  Bruno's roommate Kwezi steals every scene he's in, playing "rich tourist in a backwards nation" stereotypes to the hilt.  :)  And an excellent scene where Kamala goes to her local religious leader for counseling.  Not only is he a cool old dude who knows how to give guidance and be helpful rather than just pointing out her flaws, he admits to having once been more like the anti-fun stereotype Kamala was fearing.  Strongly recommended.  $3.99

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #30: Marvel - A pretty meh ending to a story that tried to be cosmic.  It's clear what the writer set out to do: have Luna learn that Devil Dinosaur is her friend, not just her pet, and also convince Torch and Thing that they needed to get back into being the FF (since the FF is getting their own book again soon).  But it all felt sort of perfunctory, like a chore.  Neutral.  $3.99

Black Lightning Cold Dead Hands #6 (of 6): DC - No, you've fallen into MY trap!  Followed by many pages of epilogue.  On the one hand, it's nice to get actual resolution rather than just "beat the badguy and assume the rest will be fine."  On the other hand, it left this issue feeling more like it was written for the trade.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99

Deathstroke #30: DC - Heh.  So, people were freaking out in advance of this arc, which pits Deathstroke against Batman again, on the premise that Deathstroke is Damien's true father.  Thing is, that's a macguffin in the truest sense...it really doesn't matter.  It's a plot device to get the two in opposition.  And they both know it.  The REAL conflict comes from how Deathstroke and Batman deal with it.  Recommended.  $3.99

Justice League #42-43: DC - The cover to #42 seems to assume no one read #41, since anyone who did knows Who Shot Wonder Woman.  A better cover would have been, "What About The Fan?" as he presented a rather serious moral quandary to them.  Gotta recuse myself from evaluating how good the solution was, though, since I was part of the group that helped Priest brainstorm for it.  :)  Recommended.  $2.99 each.

Future Quest Presents: The Herculoids #9: DC - Dorno has teenaged angst, and is tempted by a powerful and vaguely-Kirbian entity.  It definitely feels like the sort of plotline you might have gotten in the original series.  And that's not necessarily a good thing.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99

Astro City #51: DC/Vertigo - Continuing to follow up from Astro City #1/2, and a summary of that story is presented here.  Even in a superhero universe, some stories are hard to believe, and our protagonist is stuck with one such story.  But first, the story of another of his support group, which goes a bit darker than Astro City usually does.  Recommended.  $3.99

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #65: IDW - The "ruler goes among their subjects in disguise" is a pretty old story, but it usually doesn't cross over with the Oliver Twist story.  Pretty good script from Zahler, and excellent art from Price, especially the various reaction shots and displays of emotion.  Strongly recommended.  $3.99

My Little Pony Legends of Magic Annual 2018: IDW - Whitley doesn't really pick up on Sunburst's theory from the end of #12, but otherwise ties a lot of comics continuity together here, from the alternate universe mirrors to the darkness dimension of Legends of Magic #1.  He also firms up a running gag that the Princesses never knew about the Pillars, despite being around during their heyday.  Recommended.  $7.99

"Wait, you want me to do a
crossover with Riverdale?  Sure,
if it gets me out of here."
Transformers Lost Light #17: IDW - The secret origin of the AllSpark!  Maybe.  There's a lot of untrustworthy narrator stuff going on, and Roberts is himself quite untrustworthy.  Of course, with the end of the universe coming soon (in a literary if not literal sense), a LOT of stuff has to dovetail quickly if there's to be any resolution, so a certain amount of "wait, what?" level of coincidence and retcon is going to be necessary.  Still as WTCHOP as things may get (and they get VERY much so on the last page), it all fits with the tone of the series and makes for a fun read.  Recommended.  $3.99

Optimus Prime #17-18: IDW - Time to get ready for the Unicron event, which means ALL the plot threads have to be tied up, including some that form millions-of-years-long loops.  Onyx Prime's gambits all come to fruition in a bit of a Xanatos Roulette fashion, and Starscream wants nothing to do with any of this.  At the end of the issue, it looks like the whole Fallen thing has been a long con.
#18 is presented as an interlude, but it's definitely important to the plot, and MASSIVELY changes the meaning of the reveal in #17.  It is indeed a long 'Con, as it were.  But a lot grander of a scheme than it had seemed.  The various "age of the Primes" stories we've been getting lately get fleshed out and confirmed, maybe contradicting the cosmogeny seen in Lost Light #17, maybe not (again, even when someone says they have no reason to lie, they probably have a reason to lie).  In both issues the art can be hard to follow at times, but the story's interesting.  Even the narration-heavy #18 works.  Recommended.  $3.99 each.

Empowered and Sistah Spooky's High School Hell #4 (of 6): Dark Horse - Binging and purging in the cafeteria, followed by fatal blonding.  The deathtraps don't really advance things significantly, I suspect this series would have worked fine as a 3-4 issue series, even if there's enough ideas to fill six.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99

Dvandom, aka Dave Van Domelen, is an Assistant Professor of Physical Science at Amarillo College, maintainer of one of the two longest-running Transformers fansites in existence (neither he nor Ben Yee is entirely sure who was first), long time online reviewer of comics, is heading into the home stretch for the semester, is an occasional science advisor in fiction, and part of the development team for the upcoming City of Titans MMO.

"He's not a PUZZLE.  He's an ETCH A SKETCH." - Robin (Jason Todd) about Batman, Deathstroke #30
Dave's Comicbook Capsules et cetera for April 2018 Dave's Comicbook Capsules et cetera for April 2018 Reviewed by Dvandom on Monday, April 30, 2018 Rating: 5
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