Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 07/13/05
I really should be sleeping so I can get up early and drive
to San Diego, this week's Spotlight column will be a little
shorter than usual, unless it turns out I've rambled on and
on again, in which case, never mind. Just enjoy comics this
brought to you by Brian's Books of Santa
writer: Gail Simone
artists: John Byrne and Nelson
This week, I
had to go with something a little out of the norm for the
spotlight. Action Comics #829 isn't the best-written
comic book this week, though as always, Gail Simone delivers
a fast-paced and compelling tale. It isn't the best-drawn,
though John Byrne is doing some of the best work of his
career returning to a book he once redefined.
No, this week's
Action may not be the best (I have hopes for All-Star
Batman and Robin, foolish though they may be), but it
is the most important in terms of continuity. If DC has
the stones to do what this storyline, "Sacrifice," implies
will be happening, Joe Quesada will be stewing in his own
juices. This is the arc that will tear the internet
As the second
part of a four-part crossover, this issue actually repeats
a lot of information from last week's Superman book - sort
of. Readers of The OMAC Project know that Superman
may not exactly be in his right mind right now, and last
week he fought with Brainiac to what he thought may have
been the death.
Only now, with
the JLA hovering around him in his Fortress of Solitude,
Superman remembers it differently. This time, he struggled
with Darkseid. The end result is the same: he awakens with
blood on his hands. But the question is whose...
goes to town with his designs this issue. Long loving the
Kirby creations, Byrne is one of a handful of artists that
can make the Fourth World seem new without betraying the
work of "the King." Compare his Apokalips with the flashbacks
Val Semeiks did in last week's Villains United, and
you'll see just how much sweat Byrne puts into every panel.
Of course, we
should expect that Simone would also put a nice spin on
Apokolips, too. Long-time flunky Desaad actually gets to
be effective comic relief instead of just simpering.
It's not the
creative team's fault that this crossover is almost like
Rashomon on acid, and thus only a couple of pages
give us any new information. If you missed last week's Superman,
this book will read much better. In either case, you will
want to read this one.
Jones #2: Warren Ellis and J.H. Williams give us something
moody, something vaguely disturbing and something just damned
intriguing. "Desolation" Jones follows in the footsteps
of a long line of flippant burned out British heroes, but
this issue gives us the softer side even as it takes a stab
at a twisted version of the Black Widow. It's excellent
reading, but what did you expect from Ellis?
#4: According to Andy at Brian's Books, nobody is buying
this thing. That's a shame, because it just keeps getting
better and better. With this issue, Hercules faces the New
Avengers, and the results are funny but also a little bit
poignant. Nothing in Frank Tieri's previous work would have
led me to this unexpectedly touching and dynamic book, but
there it is.
Since District X is the best X-book, it only makes
sense that its House of M redesign would be intriguing,
too. If the first three pages are accurate, there's also
a lot more to the entire House of M storyline than
originally met the eye.
#7: Spider-Man hasn't been this funny in years. Jessica
Drew actually turns out to be an effective hero. And Cage
- well, he sure knows how to pose. Bendis introduces the
ruling council of the Marvel Universe, and that concept
alone should have long-lasting repercussions. As he delves
into the mystery of the Sentry, though, the writer may get
a lot of hate mail - but for now, we say "trust your Bendis."
Breakout #4: Tony Bedard started slowly with this one,
turning it into a good story highlighting the differences
between Spider-Man's solo career and his new awkward relationship
with the Avengers. This could have easily been a throwaway
mini-series designed to capitalize on any New Avengers
fever, and despite its cover blurb, it really only has a
tenuous connection. But it is a good book, and deserves
Batman & Robin #1: Frank Miller. Jim Lee. No-brainer.
But be warned -- this one has two different covers; you
can buy Batman or Robin. You can buy both. We still can't
Plot: The Secret Story of the Elders of Zion: Treat
this one with respect, gang. We are seeing the last work
of Will Eisner, two days before the first posthumous awards
ceremony in his name.
#1: Dark Horse bridges the gap between Firefly
and its big-screen incarnation with this three-issue mini-series
that Joss Whedon announced back at Wondercon. Once again,
you have a choice of three covers, depending on which character
you find the hottest. Just admit that drives a lot of your
it. I'm off to bed, I swear it. You'll hear from me next
when I get to San Diego.
write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about
it on the forums!