Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 06/22/05
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
House of M #1
writer: Mark Waid and Tom Peyer
artists: Salvador Larocca and Danny Miki
So Marvel will
spend the summer in an alternate universe. More than a "What
If -- ?," the company promises that the events in all of
the House of M books will have lasting ramifications
for the Marvel Universe. Expectations are high. How can
the publisher ever hope to meet the hype?
of locking Brian Michael Bendis into a room and injecting
him with GMGH (Grant Morrison Growth Hormone), bringing
in Mark Waid makes for a darned good start.
Yes, the crossover
has echoes of ten years ago, when all of Marvel's mutants
were plunged into the Age of Apocalypse. But this
series has some crucial differences. Instead of a dark dystopia,
the events of House of M show a world that still
has social injustice, but does not seem poised on the brink
of destruction. Mutants dominate, but not in the way they
did under en Sabah Nur's iron rule. And if the clues dropped
by Waid and co-writer Peyer pay off, this time the heroes
do unconsciously know something is just not right.
For one thing,
everybody loves Peter Parker. In fact, he has it all. Literally.
Married to Gwen Stacy, he still gets to make movies with
Mary Jane as his onscreen romantic partner. Uncle Ben, never
killed by a burglar, manages his nephew's career and financial
empire. It turns out that when not being constantly hated,
Peter has time to fulfill his potential as a scientific
You just know
that for a guy like Peter, it's too much. And so one day
he wakes up and shaves his head, not knowing that in this
mutantopia (where he himself is a mutant and not the result
of an accidental spider-bite), it looks like Professor X
is nowhere to be found.
elements of a defining Spider-Man story are all here. At
first, the Green Goblin seems harmless, an identity taken
by Crusher Hogan (who looks suspiciously like Hulk Hogan)
during Spider-Man's wrestling days. But with long-time civilian
dissenters like J. Jonah Jameson and Norman Osborne lurking
around, it has to take a dark turn.
required appearances of those elements that everybody knows,
Waid and Peyer spin something new, while strongly underscoring
the strength of Peter Parker's character. When he figures
everything out, we know that he will do the right thing,
even though it means losing everything he ever wanted. But
along the way, the writers aren't afraid to explore that
having everything might also bring out a dark side to Peter's
personality - Jameson has an almost legitimate reason to
hate him in this reality.
As should be
expected, Marvel has put a lot of top talent on this project.
Larocca and Miki make a detailed combination that give you
one extremely pretty book to read. Luckily, there's a good
story to go with it.
you don't really have to read these side books to appreciate
what Bendis is doing with the main House of M, but
if they're all of this quality, you'll want to. And that's
how they keep sucking us in...
The Dark Age #1: Finally, finally, finally we'll
learn what happened to the "...poor doomed Silver Agent."
Along the way, Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson have recaptured
what made this book such a fan favorite when it first burst
onto the scene. I'd say this is the best Astro City
in months, but it's more accurate to say "in several issues,"
as it's been a while. They're back and they're demanding
#5: In only five issues, this book has been hit and
miss. But this is one of the hits, as the political intrigue
heats up, the villains' plan really rolls into action and
we finally understand how Radioactive Man can be bad here
and sort of good in Thunderbolts. Hint: it's a different
guy. Best of all, John Romita Jr. gets to draw The Rhino
causing a lot of mayhem. A lot.
#7: Just in case some of the events of this relaunch
have confused you, Ed Brubaker pauses to explain just who
the heck Nomad is and why we should care that he appears
to be dead. Naturally, this also becomes the single best
Nomad story ever. Maybe that doesn't sound too hard to you,
but Brubaker makes it an achievement in a run that already
has a place among the best of Captain America series.
#44: Will Pfeiffer has taken over Selina Kyle's adventures.
One of the lower profile of DC's stable of really good writers,
he seems to have settled in nicely to this corner of Gotham
City. Hush makes an appearance and sets Catwoman in a really
big tub of extremely hot water.
Neverwhere #1: Mike Carey actually writes this book,
no doubt with the trust of Gaiman. Phil Winslade does a
better job of visualizing Gaiman's imagination than the
BBC mini-series did. If you've never been here to Neverwhere,
this Vertigo series makes a great introduction. If you've
read the novel and/or seen the TV show, then this still
makes a good comic book.
#7: After a brief hiatus, Kurt Wagner returns to investigate
the supernatural menaces that might plague a mutant that
looks like a demon. In his heart, he's all man, and Roberto
Aguirre-Sacasa points it out without hammering the point
home. Sometimes, subtlety works. Like here.
of Magick: Life During Wartime #12: Would some helpful
reader kindly prove to me that Tim Hunter appeared before
Harry Potter? I've got some arguing to do over that issue.
Anyway, Vertigo has done its best to make Hunter very distinct,
creating a succession of series that may only end in tears.
Once you get past the unrecognizable Zatanna and the even
more amoral than usual John Constantine, you may find yourself
utterly fascinated by this book.
#3: Though it's a little slow moving, this brilliant
conceit from the Wachowski Brothers has me already clamoring
for number 4, and I haven't even read the third issue.
The Island #1: Hellboy discovers he's a clone being
raised for parts, and wonders why he looks so much like
Scarlett Johanssen. Actually, no, but he does discover that
fate may have something far worse in store for him.
Super-Heroes #7: Okay, I snuck a peek this morning.
Mark Waid and Barry Kitson - I salute you. Every issue has
crammed a great new concept into my head while building
an extremely complex model of a future universe.
The Screaming Brain #2 We like Bruce Campbell. Some
of us have shaken his hand. Some of us will try to keep
our composure when we try to meet him at Comic-Con this
summer. And all of us will buy this comic book.
write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about
it on the forums!