Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 05/10/06
week we look through the upcoming releases to offer our two
cents as to what's hot and what's not. You can agree with
us or not, but spend your money wisely.
brought to you by Brian's Books of Santa
and the American Way #2
writers: Scott Kurtz and Aaron Williams
artist: Giuseppe Ferrarrio
Homage can be
a tricky thing. An artist doesn't want to seem to be just
ripping off something he loves, but he also wants to be
honest about his inspiration. So why not just come out and
admit it? Finding the right balance in order to create something
new is a tremendous challenge.
So far, Scott
Kurtz, Aaron Williams and Giuseppe Ferrarrio have won that
the surface, Truth, Justin, and the American Way
screams Greatest American Hero. It even has
a theme song with the same feel-good vibe. But just
because Justin J. Cannell puts on a suit that grants him
great power with no idea how to use it, that does not make
him Ralph Handley.
have made their protagonist a bit younger, a well-meaning
slacker on the edge of turning into a decent husband for
the loving (and lovely) Bailey Smithers. If only his loser
buddies hadn't thrown a fateful bachelor party.
If only, really,
the last gasp of the Iron Curtain hadn't hidden an experimental
suit in Justin's dry cleaning. If only the government agent
on his tail wasn't absolutely insane. If only '80's television
hadn't happened, there wouldn't be this book.
It all happened,
though, and so we might as well enjoy the ride. Elements
may seem completely bizarre, starting with the design of
the suit. In our twenty-first century rush to make things
logical, we lost a lot of the fun and goofy wonder that
For the characters,
the stakes are high, even if we know it will all work out
in the end. The script never betrays that, but also keeps
winking at us. Kurtz and Williams know they're dealing with
shadows from a half-dozen beloved action shows from their
childhood. There's an innocence forming a bedrock for the
danger, especially when you see how cartoonish Ferrarrio
has made the Russian spy involved in the whole affair.
By the way,
Ferrarrio does a bang-up job. His cartooning slightly resembles
Kurtz' own on PvP, but it seems more tightly controlled
and right for the time period, almost as if an animated
cartoon from the eighties had actually been done well.
Image has apparently
sold out the first issue, but the second one stands well
enough on its own to make it worth a spotlight recommendation.
You'll get up to speed, figure out the characters and really
enjoy the ride.
this, I realized that I really missed these kinds of shows.
Sure, as an adult, I'm satisfied with harder-edged and more
believable dramas, but I'm hard-pressed to imagine my kids
glued to the televison to watch reruns of Boston Legal
or CSI. I suddenly want an action show that we can
all watch together.
In the meantime,
I'm going to give them Truth, Justin, and the American
in the Preview Stack:
Virgin #3: The salaciousness of the title and the advance
ads were a necessary evil. Yet they do this book a disservice.
Though Steven T. Seagle has taken a couple of shots at Christian
Conservatives that may have been too easy, the overall story
has turned into that of a young man struggling with his
faith in the face of man's evil. Comics don't tackle this
kind of thing with true seriousness as often as they should,
considering what dominates the industry. Bravo to Vertigo
for daring to tell this story, but a shame that you might
think you're getting some bizarre sex romp.
#3: Clearly, Sam Kieth thinks the Joker is coolly sane.
And you know what? That almost makes him twice as scary.
This meditation on the power of the media smack dab in the
middle of a cool Batman-Joker battle just gets better and
better with each issue - and so does Kieth's art. This is
a creator at the top of his game playing around with a flagship
character and still creating something uniquely his. Maybe
Alan Moore wrote the definitive Joker story, but Sam Kieth
might just be chipping away at that reputation.
Page 2: Cable
& Deadpool #28, Cthulhu Tales #1, Firestorm #25 and
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