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The Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 05/25/05
brought to you by Brian's Books of Santa Clara

Each 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.

Legion of Super-Heroes #6
writer: Mark Waid
artists: Barry Kitson, Art Thibert and Scott Iwahashi

Six issues into this relaunch, Waid and Kitson still have not missed a beat. Every story offers a new surprise, creating a crazy quilt of radical rethinking that absolutely deserves a huge readership.

Yes, for years, the Legion has been a mess, though a fun mess to those of us with fond memories. Each time Waid and Kitson (they take credit as storytellers together) introduce a new member of the Legion, the game of trying to play recognition can only last a panel. Though they use the same characters, they really have started over.

Case in point: this issue's introduction of Princess Projectra of Orando. Originally a Jim Shooter character, she started as a hot platinum blonde with the ability to cast illusions. After the last revamp, she had the same power, but now Orandans were actually giant serpents; "Jeckie" only briefly bothered disguising herself as a hot blonde.

Now the character sort of returns to her roots. Still a Princess, still a blonde, only now she has no power but her parents' wealth. And another piece to the puzzle of the Legion's formation falls into place, even as the impending galactic war grows closer.

The storytellers continue rethinking the future in subtle ways. This 31st Century falls short of dystopia, though it's not as bright and shining as the adults would have everyone believe. The reasons for discontent are just subtle enough that you can understand why a lot of the population has no problem at all; despite it being fun, Legion of Super-Heroes refuses to be a simple book.

It also refuses to spell anything out. DC comic books actually exist within the storyline; it's quite possible that the heroic age these kids worship is fiction to them, too. After all, we have no proof.

In a back-up slot, Waid teams with Iwahashi to shed light on the mystery villain of the piece. Suddenly this coming cosmic conflagration looks like it could easily stand beside "The Great Darkness Saga" and other classics of Legion lore.

The emphasis remains on great plotting and great fun. Waid and Kitson even take the time to script and draw the letters column, addressing the readers directly and definitely in the spirit of one of the most vocal subsections of fandom.

Legion of Super-Heroes has gone from being continuity-heavy to one of the most accessible books on the stand. Put aside any lingering prejudices about its impenetrability and pick up this book.


Captain America #6: Supposedly one arc ends, but it really rolls right into the next one (or an arc to be determined later and thus drive us all insane with anticipation). If Brubaker actually does what he seems to be doing, he has finally done the unthinkable. And that might turn out to be the coolest thing ever done to Cap. There. Done.

Fantastic Four #527: A few details are sloppy, at least to those of us actually in the Silicon Valley, but Stracyznski sets up a good direction for the book, plus a great situation for Ben Grimm. There's a reason Marvel signed Mike McKone to an exclusive contract, and this book proves it.

The OMAC Project #2: Greg Rucka has picked up plot threads from years ago, proving that if you're reading a title by the crime novelist, patience will be rewarded. But you have to have a lot of patience. Jesus Saiz should be on tap to be a superstar in the industry. With that combination, plus this all being part of the Countdown, this is a book you're going to want to buy.

Runaways #4:

Oh, it plays hob with continuity, but what the heck - Marvel cares less about that than sales, and perhaps rightly so. This is one of the best books on the stands.

X23 #6:

Pardon me while I continue eating crow. Crap, I am so tired of the lingering taste of black feather in my mouth. It stings my tongue.

Sight Unseen:

Armor X #3: In a couple of months, DC fans will want to be reading this series written by current JSA inker Keith Champagne, driving back issue prices up and up. You'll have been smart and bought this at cover price while you could.

DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy: As if anybody didn't see this coming. And still we plan on dropping our shekels on it.

Girls #1: The Luna Brothers launch a new mini-series that should please fans of their book Ultra. We interviewed them a few weeks ago. Prove there's a connection between Fanboy Planet and quality!

Green Lantern #1: Hal Jordan returns. Really. Officially. Carlos Pacheco draws him. Geoff Johns writes him. And the members of H.E.A.T. can return to their normal little lives, at least until the next host of the Spectre appears.

New West #2: The team that brought us Beautiful Killer returns with this strange post-apocalyptic noir.

Disappointment of the Week:

Machine Teen #1: Maybe it's just me, but it seems like bad storytelling when the "secret" of the plot, "revealed" on the last page, is actually given away by both the cover and the title of the book. If there's no suspense to the story, why bother?

Hey, write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about it on the forums!

Derek McCaw

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