Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 08/31/05
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
Bernet: Solo (#6)
artist: Jordi Benet
Don't let the
cover fool you. Or maybe you should, because it will probably
entice you into buying the book.
Of all the names
that have merited the Solo treatment, Spanish artist
Bernet's is probably the least familiar to American audiences.
If there's justice, this book will change that. Clearly,
the writers involved know Bernet and love his work, because
each gives him a different chance to shine.
Equally at home
on the dusty streets of a small town or the mean streets
of Gotham, Bernet delivers simple beauty. He may be willing
to mythologize America, but he won't romanticize it.
story in the book, however, actually takes place in a South
American prison. An old-timers' club of prisoners don't
exactly have their run of the place, but they have become
integral survivors in the population. More than survivors,
actually; the prison really has become their life and they
live it better than could be expected. Bernet imbues each
prisoner with a distinct personality, and a real sense of
having lived awhile and seen things the rest of us might
not want to. The tale takes a surprising turn that you'll
find a bit thought-provoking. What makes Bernet a master,
though, is that it might have been just as effective without
Of course, as
the cover promises, Bernet has a way with drawing women,
and many of the stories give him that opportunity. They're
not always as ridiculously hot and come-hither as the cover
image, but they are recognizably people. In the opening
horror story, Bernet conveys a boarding house operator's
loneliness with subtly, contrasting it with the spunk of
her tomboyish daughter.
he gets to Poison Ivy.
Okay, if you
only want to buy these books if they have straightforward
superhero stories in them, then consider yourself hooked.
It's a provocative battle between Ivy and Batman, with more
real sensuality in eight pages than all twelve issues of
Jim Lee's "Hush." Bernet's women are beautiful, but not
impossibly, ideally so. Maybe it's the European sensibility.
Not a single
issue of Solo has been a disappointment, and I eagerly
look forward to the Mike Allred issue. This issue marks
a perfect case of a powerful comics company using its powers
for good, exposing an artist to the masses who deserves
the recognition. I admit I'm weak on European comics, and
now I have a taste of what I've been missing.
Spider-Man #523: Every good Spider-Man story has a somewhat
predictable arc to it, but Stracyznski has been able to
(sometimes controversially) play with our expectations.
It's good to see the awkward integration Spider-Man has
with being an Avenger from his point of view. Andy
Mead would also like to point out that JMS pulled off what
could possibly be the greatest pun in Spider-Man history.
The trade-off is that Spider-Man will never look fatter
on a cover than he does here.
The Dark Age #3: The last time around with Astro City,
the book was a bit spotty. However, when Busiek has a big
picture in mind, he fires on all cylinders. This is the
big picture, and finding out what happened to the "...poor
doomed Silver Agent" has some frightening things to say
about how far we haven't come.
#9: Still a great plotline, but Ed Brubaker plays with
the narrative's chronology for no particular reason other
than doing so makes a story seem more important or cool.
Michael Lark's art has a dynamism that he pulled back from
on GCPD, once again proving why Marvel wanted him
#7: How does Brian K. Vaughan keep spinning more gold
out of what too easily could have been a one-note concept?
It's not that this series just gets better and better, but
it does deservedly get better read. Runaways proves
that Marvel doesn't need Wolverine to sell a book; they
just need to put out damned good books.
Re-solicited and re-solicited allegedly due to legal fears
over the Identity Crisis parody, we finally get this
hilarious book that offers up a ton of inside jokes and
downright clever concepts from a variety of Marvel writers
and the glorious Jim Mahfoud. My personal favorite is "What
if Stan Lee wrote Ultimate Spider-Man?" but asking "What
if the Black Panther was white?" has its moments, too. Ironically,
the least funny piece is "What if Identity Crisis happened
in the Marvel Universe?"
#6: So young a book, so soon to have actually affecting
tragedy. And yet it does. Almost everyone I talk to agrees
that they originally planned to ignore this book and find
themselves unable to put it down. Most common comment: "It's
better than it has a right to be." It's just good.
Say good-bye to Geoff Johns, and who knows what members
of the Rogues Gallery? I mean, the guy built up the Top
as this incredible menace and then easily disposed of him.
All bets are off.
#2: Why does Fanboy Freddy Prinze Jr. garner nothing
but hatred and Fanboy Seth Green get nothing but love? Because
only one of them uses his powers for good, and that someone
has given the world both Robot Chicken and Freshmen
in the same year.
Squared #2: Look, you know you loved Giffen and DeMatteis
on JLA Classified and Defenders. This time
out they're only defiling the memories of their own new
creation, and if you're lucky, they'll also teach you a
new vocabulary word: caliginous.
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let us know what you think. Talk about it on the