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Dave's Comicbook Capsules for November 2022

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Dave Van Domelen

Dec 1, 2022, 1:05:27 PM12/1/22
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,
And off to another comic shop and a new delayed schedule, yay.

Items of Note (strongly recommended or otherwise worthy): Einstein

In this installment: Kayleigh Has A Slasher Boyfriend #1, Health &
Wealth: A Graphic Guide To The US Healthcare System, Einstein, Diana and
Nubia: Princesses of the Amazons, Fantastic Four #1, Shang-Chi and the Ten
Rings #5, Ultraman: the Mystery of UltraSeven #4 (of 5), Moon Knight #17,
Black Adam #6 (of 12), Monkey Prince #8 (of 12), Vampirella Year One #4 (of
6), Star Trek Lower Decks #3 (of 3), My Little Pony #6, My Little Pony
Classics Reimagined #1, Transformers Shattered Glass II #4 (of 5).

Important Note: my new store is abandoning local weekly pickup, which
means if I don't want to pay more for shipping than for comics I'm switching
to getting monthly books. (And lately the local pickups haven't been
available until Thursday anyway, hence this review not being posted in
November.) That pushes things back to the point that it's almost not worth
doing reviews of monthly books, because two months might pass before anyone
can act on my recommendations...and unless you're lucky enough to live near
one of the few remaining good comic shops, the book I recommend might be long
gone (and ComiXology is no longer even remotely a viable alternative). I'm
not sure if I'm going to drop the floppies section entirely, but I'll
probably switch this section to just reviewing notable books with the rest in
an "also read" list without details. Since all my monthlies will be at least
a month late starting in 2023, there's not much point tracking late books
separately. I'm also far less likely to pick up a new series on impulse,
because I won't be able to add it to my orders until two months down the line
and might miss the issues in between if they don't make it to the shelf.

"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.

I got the Doom Patrol S3 and Peacemaker S1 sets near the end of the
month, but there's no way I'm getting either watched before December, so I'll
review them next month. I did get Doom Patrol started, and the first episode
really does feel like an S2 finale (they had to stop filming early due to

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.

Kayleigh Has A Slasher Boyfriend #1: - This is a
collection of works that started as a Tumblr joke and turned into something
of a webcomic. The premise is that Kayleigh is a camp counselor at a came
that has your basic hockey-mask-wearing slasher...and she's decided they're
dating, obliviously foiling all his attempts to kill her or any other
campers. So, mostly a collection of vignettes, with the art quality
depending on how much time the artist spent on a particular gag, anywhere
from quick sketches to fully colored pieces. Recommended. Pay what you want
via KoFi link.

Health & Wealth: A Graphic Guide to the US Healthcare System: - An educational comic done in the style of a Richard
Scarry book. The purpose is to explain to Americans how our healthcare
system is Not Normal, and why even with good intentions (and those are
suspect) our insurance system has resulted in wasted money and failed health
outcomes. So, you know, commie propaganda or something. The online version
is free, but you can also order hardcopies either singly or in classroom
packs for you indoctrination needs.

Adventure Finders delayed by Espinosa's personal life stuff.


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

Einstein: :01 First Second - While Ottaviani does a lot of science
biographies, this is the third in a series with specific trade dress (after
Feynmann and Hawking). It takes an interesting storytelling approach of
eschewing narrative captions...sort of. When a character speaks with an oval
speech bubble, it's something the character said at the time to the others
(if any) in the scene with them. When they speak with a more rectangular
bubble, it's the character addressing the reader with either "later I knew"
stuff or laying out background (such as the state of Physics at the time).
Well, usually. In purely imaginary situations, like the conversation
Einstein has with Newton, it's all ovals. As with the Hawking comic,
Ottaviani does not try to hide Einstein's negative character traits...he was
charming but also a cad. There's a lot of characters identified as "Future
Ex-Girlfriend" and there's a touching sequence making it clear that Einstein
never even met his first child before she died in infancy. Sometimes people
who knew Einstein make excuses for him in the narrative dialogue, but
Ottaviani does not. Artistically, Dye goes for a more cartoony and scratchy
style, but still keeps people looking correct within the style (e.g. no
caption needed the second time Niels Bohr comes on panel, it's obviously
him). Strongly recommended. $32.99/$43.99Cn

Diana and Nubia: Princesses of the Amazons: DC - Sequel to Diana:
Princess of the Amazons (because the OGNs featuring existing properties get
sequels, while the ones that create new ones like Primer and Anti/Hero are
abandoned), this introduces Nubia, but as an alternate timeline daughter of
Hippolyta. Like Diana in the previous book, she suffers from a lack of
same-age friends, and she does something about it. That something is to, um,
break reality. Oops. She and Diana wake up in a new merged universe
(there's some lampshading of "DC tends to do that a lot" later on), first
expecting the other is Circe, then slowly coming to find that they were
getting what they wished for. Then there's the quest to undo the merger,
which of course doesn't go the way they wanted...or does it? A decent
all-ages story, with enough winks at older readers to keep me engaged. :)
Recommended. $9.99/$13.50Cn


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.)

Fantastic Four #1: Marvel - While North's Squirrel Girl never quite
grabbed me, I was willing to give him a shot on the FF. Technically, this is
a Thing and Alicia story, the rest of the FF are only mentioned a few times
and do not appear. While there's very little clobberin', it's a good done in
one Sci-Fi Mystery story in which Ben and Alicia's main assets are their
brains and their hearts (although Ben has to break some stuff occasionally).
Recommended. $4.99 (oversized issue)

Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #5 (of 6-and-an-Annual): Marvel - As promised on
the cover, the origin of the Ten Rings is outlined in between fight scenes in
the Game of Death riff. And, of course, Yang mines more Chinese mythology,
tying the rings to Nezha's wind-fire wheels and generally establishing that
Ta Lo is Marvel's version of pretty much all the Taoist mysticism stuff in
Chinese myth (not just the Jade Emperor as we've already seen). Probably the
only reason the Monkey King hasn't shown up yet is that Yang's using that
side of things over at DC. Several more opponents get taken down (one might
say a few get outright jobbed), leaving the main event as the leader of the, the Red Dot Collective. For a story supposedly structured
around a fighting tournament, Yang doesn't seem all that interested in
showing the fighting tournament. Like, I'm not asking for Dragonball levels
of dragged out fight scenes, but two of the combatants basically get wiped
out in under two pages, serving nothing more than to demonstrate how badass
the new badguy is. Recommended despite some questionable pacing choices.

Ultraman: the Mystery of UltraSeven #4 (of 5): Marvel - Well, Marvel
proves that they have some flexibility in how they use the Ultra properties
this issue, with a rather different take on Ultraman Jack. That's the most
interesting thing about this issue, though, since it's otherwise almost
entirely Ultra-on-Ultra fight scene with a little light gloating by the real
villain. Mildly recommended. $3.99

Moon Knight #17: Marvel - This is the turnaround point in the arc, after
being badly beaten by the Proctor's hired killers and then taking the time to
get his head together and do the research, Moon Knight turns the tables and
starts seriously taking the fight to the enemy. Basically, while "the hero
comes back and wins the rematch" is a pretty standard superhero trope, MacKay
took a few issues out to show that Moon Knight earned it. A payoff issue, so
maybe not the best place to START reading the title, even though MacKay does
a good job of laying out basic information in a natural enough sounding way
so that a new reader wouldn't be lost, per se. It just won't have as much
impact if you haven't read the previous issues. Recommended. $3.99

Black Adam #6 (of 12): DC - A new artist takes over for the big Black
Adam/Batman fight, and he's...kinda generic? Not really bad, and he does
know how to draw at least two male body types, but it's a little bland. At
least it doesn't actually confuse issues, which is good since this issue is
solid head games, pretty much the only way someone like Batman could be
expected to hold his own against a powerhouse like Black Adam (and having
access to the wisdom of ancient gods doesn't mean you USE it
correctly...although Adam does several things that really were the right move
against Batman). Next issue promises to deal with Dark Crisis, after several
months of "This takes place before the events of Dark Crisis" editorial
notes, so it might be better to see this as the end of a six issue
miniseries, to be followed by another miniseries. Recommended. $3.99

Monkey Prince #8 (of 12): DC - End of the Aquaman arc, MP gains a little
(very little) respect from some of his allies and enemies, earns a new power,
gets over one of his big problems, and of course that means he's due for a
boot to the head next issue. Still, a decent middle. Recommended. $3.99

Vampirella Year One #4 (of 6): Dynamite - So, several years into Year
One, Vampi is an adult, if not completely grown up yet. In the narration to
her unborn child, she really hammers home the point (which had not really
been brought up that much before?) that she was engineered to be altruistic
by her mother, goaded by her genetically-reinforced conscience to try to do
good. As for the story, not only does it do the usual Priest-style jumping
around in time, it...doesn't really connect things as clearly as it could.
It feels like a narration box or two got left out by accident? Mildly
recommended. $3.99 (I accidentally bought two copies, because my current
store's online ordering system is "stupid" in the sense of not keeping useful
track of what you might already have on order, so even with the spreadsheet I
set up to track my orders, there's nothing on the site to warn you that
you're about to order a second copy. I do not like this system, and am glad
to be going back to a traditional human-managed pull list, even if it means
more delay.)

Star Trek Lower Decks #3 (of 3): IDW - Whew, despite this never showing
up as orderable from my old store, they did get it for the shelf, so I was
able to pick it up. A good ending, North definitely gets how Lower Decks
plots generally work. The often full-bleed art doesn't mesh well with his
footnote habit, though. It's probably a good thing that the comics tend to
be deuterocanonical, because otherwise I think Rutherford might have broken
one of the setting's assumptions here. Recommended. $6.99 (in terms of page
count, it's more of a 5 issue series plus a bunch of bonus one-pagers).

My Little Pony #6: IDW - I suppose this wasn't a bad story on its own.
The gang does some decent research, finds some useful clues, and more of the
backstory is fleshed out. But I've been getting more and more disenchanted
with the course reversal G5 has done, abandoning a clean reboot in favor for
a badly spliced soft reboot to try to keep the very very different G5 setting
in the same world as G4. It's like Transformers Energon and Cybertron all
over again, awkward connections rather than letting the new story stand on
its own. I've already ordered ahead the next several issues, so I might as
well go at least to #12, but unless #13 has a writer I really like (such as
Cook or Price), I'll be stopping at #12. $3.99

My Little Pony Classics Reimagined #1: IDW - Starting the Little Fillies
adaptation. This takes the old Classics Illustrated conceit, but retells the
story with the G4 cast...sort of. While I admit to never having read Little
Women (or seen any other adaptation), they're very clearly not playing this
one straight. It almost feels like Discord is running a game for them (he
plays several roles, as a GM is wont to do), but not...quite. In any case,
Brown's writing is amusing enough that I'll stick with this (if I can, it
never showed up to order at my current store, my new store can't start until
#3, so hopefully #2 makes it to the shelf locally). Ayoub's art style is
certainly different, more shoujo manga influenced, but that's appropriate to
the story. Recommended. $3.99

Transformers Shattered Glass II #4 (of 5): IDW - For a story where the
point is to get over the past and look to the future, it sure has a lot of
flashbacks. Like, more than half the issue is Flamewar having flashbacks to
various events, not really in date order, so it can be a bit difficult to
follow...this is definitely one of those places where timestamp captions
would have been very helpful. Mildly recommended. $3.99

Dave Van Domelen, "It's a bit early to break the fourth wall, don't you
think? We're only four pages in." - Rarity/Amy (I think that's who Rarity is
playing, she's never addressed by name in the story), My Little Pony Classics
Reimagined #1
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