Dave's Capsules for April 2022


Items of Note (Strongly Recommended or otherwise worthy): Nothing this month, although the finale of Kaijumax does have the potential to be once I get a copy.

In this installment: Spider-Man: No Way Home, Adventure Finders Book 3 Episode 9, Monkey Prince #3 (of 12), Shang-Chi #11, Moon Knight #10, Vampirella/Dracula Unholy #5 (of 6), Draculina #3, Transformers War's End #3 (of 4), Transformers #42.

Current Wait List (books either Diamond didn't ship or my store failed to order): Arrowsmith v2 #4 (of 6), Norse Mythology III #3 (of 6), Kaijumax Season 6 #6 (of 6), Transformers Beast Wars Annual 2022.

Diamond is still pretty horrible, but I actually got everything ordered for the last week of the month, just a bunch still missing from the middle of the month.

"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.

Well, SOMEONE really enjoyed the movie.

Spider-Man: No Way Home: Sony/Marvel - The third "Sony shares with Disney" Spider-Man movie, and clearly written with the anticipation of being the last, so that Sony could go back to building their own Spiderverse...something that was definitely already scuttled by the time this movie came out on disc, with Morbius not doing very well.  And, fair warning, I found the scenes between "The police come for Peter" and "Peter goes to the Sanctum Sanctorum" to be painfully cringe and ended up skipping over big chunks of them.  Once I got past that, though, the movie settled down and became enjoyable.  One could say that despite DaFoe chewing all the scenery (very well) as the Goblin, the real antagonist of this film is Peter Parkers' overdeveloped sense of responsibility.  He could have fixed his own life pretty quickly, even after the botched spell, but insisted on helping his other-reality enemies avoid their own deaths, and that is the main plot of the movie.  Not "Three Spider-Men versus the Sinister Five," but rather "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility, Damn It."  Recommended, other than scenes 2 and 3.  Price varies by format and store.

Still waiting for Moon Knight to finish the season before reviewing, but I am enjoying it.

Digital Content:

Unless I find a really compelling reason to do so (such as a lack of regular comics), I won't be turning this into a webcomic review column.  Rather, stuff in this section will generally be full books available for reading online or for download, usually for pay.

Adventure Finders Book 3 Episode 9: Patreon.com - The tide turns, and the characters on the cover do not actually appear in this issue, oops.  Mecomi attends to some affairs of state, Asogog finally does the thing everyone was told not to do, and Sister Ariarra starts the slow process of regathering the party.  The very long day gets longer and we see that while you can split the party in a story better than in a game, boy does it dial up the page count.  :)  Recommended.  Minimum $1/month on Patreon.


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

None this month, my order of Happy Kanako vol 3 hasn't come in yet.  I did consider reviewing a couple of "comics and activity pages" licensed Marvel magazines I found at Dollar Tree, but they're not really worth the effort (despite one having Ralph Macchio writing and the other Ron Lim art).


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.)

Monkey Prince #3 (of 12): DC - Despite Baije's best efforts, the two plot threads continue to not merge until the last page of the issue, and through no effort of the pig's.  Meanwhile, is Sun Wukong really the Monkey Prince's dad, or is Arm-Fall-Off Boy?  A lot of Refusing the Call, but amusing enough to keep going.  Recommended.  $3.99

Shang-Chi #11: Marvel - Mostly the Five Weapons being massively out of their depth in enemy territory until another point of MCU convergence is attained.  I feel that Yang's way more interested in making Shang-Chi match the MCU version than in telling a story here.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99

Moon Knight #10: Marvel - Sometimes a clever and well constructed story can be hamstrung by a bit of bad research in a throwaway point at the end.  I mean, yeah, comicbook science is Weird, but if you show characters using commercial-style radio communicators and don't know what sorts of things utterly block radio signals, it puts feet of clay on the statue.  You're asking the reader to think, then make the reader regret thinking.  Ah well.  Mostly a good story.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99
Vampirella Dracula Unholy #5 (of 6): Dynamite - Okay, backstory fill as we find Vampi was about a year too late to actually do anything about Dracula, although she still has the small victory of maybe saving Matt, even though his entire life is collapsing anyway.  Priest is usually better at making individual issues readable while jumping around, maybe this will work better read all at once or maybe it's tripping over something in production and won't ever be coherent.  I mean, I stopped working on this column last night because I felt I was being too unfair due to "tired at the end of the week" crankiness, but even now well-rested I can't really think of much positive to say about this issue.  I mean, there's a couple of good scenes in the flashbacks, but the overall story feels like it fell apart somewhere between script and the printer.  Sacred Six held together better.  Very mildly recommended.  $3.99
Draculina #3: Dynamite - Poor Katie, doomed to be part of stories that take a dozen issues to catch up to their first issues.  It's not as hard to follow as last issue, I think the artist is getting better at making sure the "what day is this" scene-setting is done properly.  Anyway, things are coming together reasonably well, and the issue ends on a number of questions...almost all of which are answered by the Next Issue box, d'oh.  Way to let the wind out of the dramatic sails, editorial.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99 
"My shipment...!"

Arrowsmith Behind Enemy Lines #4: Image - Missing from the shipment that it was supposed to be in.

Norse Mythology III #3 (of 6): Dark Horse - Back-ordered.
Kaijumax Season 6 #6 (of 6): Oni Press - The long-awaited series finale (well, unless there's a "movie"), so of course Diamond didn't ship it.

Transformers Beast Wars Annual 2022: IDW - Also missing from the Diamond shipment.

Transformers: War's End #3 (of 4): IDW - This really feels like it was originally planned to be spread over 12 issues.  Fights start and then stop almost immediately, characters enter and leave and check off plot points in a way that might fit well in the original Marvel comic's pacing but really doesn't suit Ruckley's ultra-decompressed style.  From slow trudging to Keystone Kops high speed camerawork, maybe if Ruckley had figured out more appropriate pacing a few years ago the stories would have been generally better.  I mean, I can almost see through the page to the outline.  There's some stuff that was set up and is now "paying off" too quickly to leave a mark.  Mildly recommended, because at least it IS paying off.  $3.99
Transformers #42: IDW - Meanwhile, in the other half of basically the same story, this issue is about half "Autobots try to pull off a plot device to make all Cybertron's problems solve each other" and half "Optimus has yet another mystic experience in which he is assured he can save Cybertron."  There isn't quite as bad of a "hurry up and resolve things before we lose the license" here, but it still reeks of emergency backup plot.  Mildly recommended.  $3.99

Dvandom, aka Dave Van Domelen, is an Associate 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), wishes Diamond didn't suck so much, is an occasional science advisor in fiction, and part of the development team for the upcoming City of Titans MMO.
"Why is fighting you always SO GROSS?!"  "Then next time, DON'T FIGHT ME!" - Robin and Monkey Prince, Monkey Prince #3 (of 12)

Dave's Capsules for April 2022 Dave's Capsules for April 2022 Reviewed by Dvandom on Saturday, April 30, 2022 Rating: 5
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