Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 05/17/06
Out This Week:
1 -- Fell #5
#2: The experiment itself is grand and ambitious. Even
on a weekly basis, though, it feels a bit rushed and unsatisfying,
as the storyline splinters every time something gets good.
A bit involving Kandor comes out of left field, and raises
more questions than it could possibly answer in a couple
of pages. That's frustrating storytelling, and the back-up
feature, The History of the DC Universe feels even
more so. It barely mentions what we really want to know
before the dreaded "To Be Continued" pops up. Damn you,
DC; I'll see you next week.
Year 100 #4: A series like this, on the other hand,
completely ignores continuity. But when Paul Pope sits behind
it, that's more than okay. For some strange reason, Pope
gets the energy of Batman, and even telling a dystopian
tale of 2038 feels like this is a Batman worthy of being
The Batman. It ends on a confusing note, and the
book would only get my unreserved recommendation if Pope
plans on delivering more.
Agent #4: Like fellow Image writer Robert Kirkman, Rick
Remender can write in a variety of genres with equal cool
facility. As much as I want this guy to have success, I
don't want DC or Marvel to ruin him by yoking his voice
to something that isn't his. Though the fourth issue, and
definitely in the middle of a plotline, Fear Agent #4
gets readers up to speed without being pedantic about it,
and every page is a rush. How Remender will get a fifth
issue after his ending here, I don't know. But next month,
I'll be eager to see.
Harm #3: Keith Giffen seems to have created an intergalactic
bad-ass we can all get behind. Not as alien or smart-assed
as Lobo, Jeremiah Harm appears human, which makes it hard
to catch up to this story playing out on Earth. Though filled
with great ideas, Jeremiah Harm #3 does not offer
a hand up to those who missed the first two issues. It may
leave you cold; it left me lukewarm with a willingness to
see where Giffen goes next.
#2: The presence of Hush and Murmur, the most twisted
vaudeville team in the DCU, undercuts the attempt to make
Man-Bat into a straight up horror character. We know he
must be innocent, but Bruce Jones still makes it believable
that not even Batman understands that. Rare nice touch:
Batman reacting with nauseated horror at the slaughter of
the Langstrom family. Not much surprises Batman, but I'll
buy that this did.
Rocket #2: Finally, a book that takes the things about
manga that makes it cool without slavishly imitating it!
This combines the giant robot and mecha genres with some
American angles and makes one fun book. It's not earth-shattering,
but it is a nice diversion.
Mundi #18: Another book that has had some great critical
response but which I'd missed. This week's release actually
marks the end of its days at Image, and it may be too complex
to jump into here. Instead, catch the trade for a cool alternate
history religious conspiracy tale. Really, we don't get
enough of those.
Rock: The Prophecy #5: Though each issue has had its
moment of dealing with the true horrors of World War II,
this one focuses on the anti-semitism that made things so
easy for the Nazis. Perhaps Kubert could have made his villain
a little less piggish, but it's still bracing to see this
veteran war title not shy away from the ugly truth.
#1: These mystical heroes can commit acts of incredible
sorcerous atrocity. So why does everybody just seem befuddled
and amiable when faced with the potential blood sacrifice
of hundreds of citizens of a small town? Bill Willingham
illustrates his own script here and it's competent, but
both art and writing seem at odds with the subject matter.
He also trots out an odd and perhaps unnecessary personal
"One Year Later" device for the team - taken out of action
before they really began.
#1: A plane blows up, sending most of its flaming wreckage
into the ocean. Incredibly, one passenger is found alive
twelve hours later - underwater and just regaining consciousness.
Not even he knows how he survived, but he begins learning
that somehow, the other passengers live on through him.
I describe the plot here because I want you to see that
it's one damned cool idea, executed pretty well. At points
the art feels a little muddy, but Talent reads really
well, and it has a religious conspiracy angle, too. Let's
all forget that code Da Vinci left and move on to something
new - like Talent.
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