Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 06/08/05
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
writer: Greg Rucka
artist: Steve Lieber
Gotham Central launched, it focused a long overdue
spotlight on the good men and women of Gotham that faced
both corruption on the force and the shadow of the bat.
It had been tried before in back-ups in Detective Comics
and other random titles, but none of those efforts hit as
hard and effectively as this book.
of its success had to be credited to co-writer Ed Brubaker
and the simple but gritty work of Michael Lark. Both of
these talents, however, fell victim to the Exclusives Wars,
as in Marvel Comics made them an offer they wouldn't refuse.
Could Gotham Central recover?
course. As long as good men in Gotham fight for justice.
as long as original co-writer Greg Rucka keeps collaborating
with artists that make the sometimes fantastic Gotham citizens
seem as real as any average joes. In this case, Rucka reunites
with Steve Lieber, with pen and ink that handles the rough
streets of Gotham and the wild of its nature with equal
the series so far has looked at law enforcement from the
good cops' point of view, Rucka shifts to the seamy underside
for a stand-alone story. Two of Gotham's "Finest" shake
a drug dealer and accidentally kill a teen runaway in the
process. As they cover up their involvement, Rucka shows
just how deep the corruption is on the Gotham police force,
and how much the dirty rank and file resent those that aren't
on the take.
should be expected from Rucka, "Nature" works as a solid
story of corruption on its own. But of course, this is Gotham
City, so a few freaks have to be thrown in. The new king
of Gotham crime Black Mask makes his presence felt, a new
face to old corruption. As the cover makes clear, another
of Batman's foes also appears much to the dismay of the
two cops hiding their own crimes.
a major role, Rucka's new vision of Jim Corrigan also pops
up. Fans of larger DC continuity should be carefully studying
this character; with a freelance Spectre floating around,
it still seems suspicious that a cop in desperate but unconscious
need of redemption should be raising his profile.
the rest of the DCU doesn't matter to you, Gotham Central
still should. Retailers preparing for an influx of new readers
(hope springs eternal) as a result of Batman Begins
should have this book on hand. As Myatt Murphy at Second
To Some Studios pointed out last year, Gotham Central
should be pulling in the same audience that keeps good police
shows on the air.
put this book in the hands of one of those people when they
say, "hey, I like Batman, but comics...come on..." Gotham
Central offers quiet quality month after month.
Legends of the Dark Knight #192:
It's a good
week for fans of all things Gotham. This title varies wildly
in quality, but the arc beginning here has everything it
should. Re-telling the origin of Mister Freeze, the story
has heart and the unsettling but excellent work of Seth
#38: Damn you, Bill Willingham! Damn you, Mark Buckingham!
You taunt us with a heavily armored Adversary, then still
cleverly keep us from learning his identity. Worse, you
keep producing a comic book so good that we don't care that
you taunt and tease us worse than a drunken booth babe at
#1: Give Marvel credit for occasionally trying to reach
new young readers with something other than a retread
of their flagships dumbed down. Sean McKeever, a writer
that has consistently proven he writes young characters
better than anybody. Mike Norton tackles the artwork with
something other than the too-standard quasi-manga style
that has possessed Marvel.
Hero Standing #2: How did the futuristic "M2" Universe
end up being so old-school? That's not necessarily a bad
thing; it's just weird. Spider-Girl creator Tom DeFalco
finds an excuse to bring us up to date on everybody in the
future, and it should enthrall any younger readers you know.
It might even intrigue you. But don't let the appearance
of Hawkeye give you hope; M2 is a "What If?" that proved
popular enough for its own line for a while.
Warriors #1: Somehow, this team has a place in fandom's
heart, despite having no characters that anyone seems to
like individually. While the artwork of Skottie Young has
a curious lack of proportion and apparent conscious design,
writer Zeb Wells is always always worth reading if you're
looking for fun. The idea of putting a team on a reality
show is inevitable; thank heavens Wells got it first.
#109: In the aftermath of "War Games," many of the Bat-books
seem confused. Nightwing shrugged it off after a
"Year One" adventure, and really used its continuity to
alter the status quo. Dick Grayson now works from within
the mob in Bludhaven, and with each issue, Devin Grayson
makes it clear that it's going to get more and more difficult
for him to draw the line between right and wrong. Being
"Crutches" isn't nearly as easy as Bruce Wayne made "Matches"
of Heroes #2: Okay, so it may just be a thinly disguised
set-up for the upcoming City of Villains game. In
Mark Waid's hands, this comic book became a worthwhile title
in its own right, not just an obligatory tie-in.
Luthor: Man of Steel #4: If you hated Azzarello's work
on Superman, forgive him. That had to have been a
different guy, because this Azzarello rocks when
writing Lex Luthor.
Want To Like You But...
Pulse #9: If Secret War weren't less likely to
appear than the next issue of Spider-Man/Black Cat,
I might not resent this. But as nifty as Jessica Jones'
view of things has been, not really knowing anything
more than she does about what the heck is going on has
gotten waaaaaay too frustrating. In hindsight, I'm sure
it will all make sense.
write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about
it on the forums!