Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 06/29/05
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
Human Torch #5
writer: Dan Slott
artist: Ty Templeton
get around to fighting some bad guys, but Dan Slott and
Ty Templeton (please, please, please finish Stig's Inferno)
don't seem all that interested in superhero action with
this issue. Nor, really, has it been the point of this mini-series
at all. Instead, Slott and Templeton have firmly and believably
built a friendship.
has been there for over forty years, but as both Johnny
Storm and Peter Parker are firmly in the public consciousness,
it's time to cash in, er, cement the idea. This mini-series
could have been cheap and callow; instead, it's one to treasure.
meet at the usual spot, the torch of the Statue of Liberty.
At first Spider-Man resents this as their place, until the
Human Torch points out that Peter chose it in the first
place. Yes, after years of a strange rival a trois,
Johnny Storm has figured out that Peter Parker and Spider-Man
are the same guy. And that he's resented both of them for
True, an anvil
had to be dropped on Johnny's head for him to wake up to
this dual identity. It comes about in a nice little full
circle, as Johnny first met Peter while speaking at his
high school. Now, of course, Peter is a teacher there, seeing
Johnny's presentation from a fresh perspective. Until the
bad guys try to hold the auditorium hostage.
has a sly sense of humor, nothing becomes buffoonish. In
fact, the writer handles Peter's concern for his students
much more believably than the regular Spider-books have
done. He also acknowledges one of the central implausibilities
of Peter's life: students gawk when they realize he's married
to a super-model.
Of course Johnny
may be a show-off, but he can keep a cool head when the
chips are down. Together, they make a good team, and all
the chuckles come from the characters being in character.
The book also
has a lot of sentiment, but it never slides into mawkishness.
Once they exchange notes and reminisce, the story turns
to them just hanging out and meeting each other's families.
It should have happened a long time ago, and goes a long
way toward the rehabilitation of Peter's character. He isn't
a loser, he isn't a loner, and in fact, it makes more sense
that after all these years, the super community would have
a lot of respect for him.
Maybe in a regular
book, somebody will pick up on that.
It's a shame
to see this mini-series end, but it really wouldn't work
on an open-ended basis. Spider-Man and the Human Torch really
aren't a team whose adventures you would want to read month
after month; they're friends that we'd want to check in
on from time to time.
In a year or
so, let's see glimpses of their friendship again.
Solo: The most cohesive of the Solo books, this
comic provides a great bang for your buck. Cooke offers
a sweet autobiographical tale, then further evidence that
one of DC's oldest characters, Slam Bradley, deserves more
action. He also throws in a better Question story than the
entire recent mini-series, and sprinkles some pin-ups of
the good bad girls of the DC Universe. Then he redoes a
classic Batman story - and it works. It's beautiful, but
don't take my word for it. Buy it.
Four #528: Straczynski may have come up with the one
menace the Fantastic Four cannot fight: Child Protective
Services. Meanwhile, Ben does everything short of build
himself Unca Scrooge's money bin and swim through the cash.
Lest you think this issue is played strictly for laughs,
Reed faces a blind spot, and doesn't like what he finds.
But you will.
Hellions #2: I once told a comic book store clerk that
Marvel Comics has the best stories about characters I couldn't
care less about. Now, that's changed some over the years,
but this book is a perfect example. The Hellions bug. But
the story is actually pretty good, though it raises some
larger questions about mutant reality. If you are an X zombie,
you've already got this one on your pull list. However,
if you are just looking for a compact, interesting story
to read, this mini-series fits the bill.
#23: Warren Ellis moves the plot along maddeningly slow.
But his details make up for it, as with this issue he gives
us the origin of the Drummer. We tear our hair out over
how infrequently this book appears, and then we cannot help
but forgive Ellis and John Cassaday every time we get a
new issue. Damn them. Damn them.
#5: This team works. It shouldn't, but it does. Every
issue reveals something new, and the fun never flags. There
it is, once again: fun. Young Avengers makes me feel
like a kid at 7-11 again, eager to drop my quarter on some
trifle from the spinner rack. If only this wasn't 2005 and
it's now three dollars...
That I'm Not Even Sure Gave Me Pleasure:
Spring Break Massacre: You know why violence in movies
no longer bothers me? Lobo. The thought occurred to me after
reading this book then seeing Land of the Dead. George
A. Romero has nothing on Giffen, Grant and Bisley when they
hit their stride. So this book is grotesque, amoral, and
leaves the reader with a greasy feeling. But I keep eating
Quarter Pounders, too.
#223: Geoff Johns is almost done on this run. You just
know it's going to end with a bang.
#2: Of course, this book will be keeping Johns busy.
The first issue sold out almost instantly, and rightly so.
Wisdom Seeker #3: Taking a skewed look at fairy tale
heroes has become quite the fad over the past few years.
Lullaby still manages to do something new with it.
write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about
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