HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Comics Today's Date:

The Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 9/07/04
brought to you by Brian's Books of Santa Clara

We've got preview books from DC! We've got preview books from Marvel! Finally, a fair fight as the two companies vie for the prestigious title of Fanboy Planet Spotlight Book.

And don't forget that books come out on THURSDAY this week! Thanks, Labor Day!

Top Recommendation of the Week:

Gotham Central #23
writer: Greg Rucka
artists: Michael Lark and Gaudiano

Sure, this book has had a lot of critical acclaim. Despite low sales, it manages to plod along because of its prestige. Someone more cynical might say Gotham Central survives because it's a concept just ripe to be plucked for a TV series; like Birds of Prey, it offers a way to be sort of about Batman without actually being about Batman at all.

After reading this issue, that television concept is a no-brainer. Never mind that, though: you should be getting Gotham Central because it's more than just a great concept - it's a great book.

Don't worry that it's already to the 23rd issue and you haven't read any others. Rucka and his art team (sorry, they're only listed by last names) provide an upfront police file that gives new readers the gist of what has happened previously. Even if you skip that, though, Rucka weaves a narrative that gives you time to become acquainted with his main cops. We get a little splash of their personalities, a conversation that reveals a bit about their home lives and then…it's off on a call.

This being Gotham City, that call ends up involving what the cops derisively call "…a freak." In this case, minor villain The Black Spider is taking care of a little business with a Gotham gang. Needless to say, it does not go well for anybody involved. Yet most of the book focuses on the aftermath, with paperwork, hospital visits and inter-office tension. Gotham Central makes me miss Homicide: Life on the Streets, because it reminds me so much of that really superior cop show. (For the record, that's a good comparison, not a bad one.)

Using Lark and Guadiano as the art team works really well. They're not flashy, nor particularly gritty. But they do give the book the work-a-day feeling that we are witnessing men and women on the job. Other Bat-books have tried art like this with mixed success; not all Batman stories fit well with ordinary people. Take the Bat out, and focus on the guys left cleaning it all up, or trying to keep from having to turn on that signal, and their ordinariness becomes inspiring.

Notice, too, that Gotham Central does not tie in to "War Games," the current crossover shaking up Gotham City. Maybe Rucka will make a passing reference to it; certainly, his guys are going to have to deal with the repercussions of a gangland realignment. For now, though, they're on their own, just trying to get through the day and if they're lucky, see that justice is done, by the book.

If none of that convinces you, try this one. Rucka and company may be messing with our heads here, but there's a red-headed M.E. lurking on the edges of this story named Corrigan. And maybe you haven't heard, but in a couple of months, there's this Wrath of God guy called The Spectre who will be looking for a host once Hal Jordan becomes Green Lantern again. Again, this could all be a fake-out, and certainly this Corrigan does not behave as you might expect. If it's a cheap trick to get superhero fans reading Gotham Central, hey, you might as well fall for it. You'll still get a good book.


Action #819: Chuck Austen plays with his narrative structure a bit to throw some light on Superman's relationship problems. Sure, what he has Lana Lang suggesting flies in the face of "accepted wisdom," but as the book goes along, you can't help but wonder if, just maybe, she has a point. Just as the longer Austen remains on Action Comics I can't help but wonder if, just maybe, the guy is a good writer. And then he goes and names the villain team "Sodom and Gomorrah."

Bloodhound #3: This book has made it to its third issue without an arbitrary appearance from another member of the DCU. Instead, it will be rather disappointing when the creative team does put their Bloodhound up against a more established character. This book is tough, with an intriguing protagonist, and every issue makes me like it more.

Fables #29: What?!? A major epic accomplished in only two issues? Bill Willingham must be crazy. Not only does he finish spinning this little side-story quickly, he provides a nice historical note and acknowledgment that others had come up with similar ideas and forced him to change things around. It's nice to see a writer so strong he can admit to his weaknesses. Once again: Nazis, werewolves and Frankenstein. Really, how can you pass this up?

She-Hulk #7: Alas, though Forbush-Man sits on the cover, he does not appear inside. But given how Slott has been able to put fresh and sometimes silly spins on all sorts of concepts, it now seems inevitable that She-Hulk will cross paths with Not Brand Ecch. While Greg Pak gives us the new Warlock, Jennifer slides into a team-up with the old Adam Warlock. As always with this book, it's not what you might expect.

Warlock #1: Greg Pak finally makes his comics writing debut. Ostensibly set a few years into the future and to the left of the regular Marvel Universe, this makes for an intriguing revision of the original Lee-Kirby creation. It's not enough for Warlock to exist; Pak takes us through the thinking behind such a character, and though he doesn't appear until the end, the build-up is so well done that it's not a problem. Instead, the setting is enough…for now.

Why, Lord, Oh, Why?

X-Force #2: I didn't notice this in the first issue, perhaps because of the spontaneous cataracts, but the pages are reproduced directly from Rob Liefeld's pencils. At last, naked Liefeld! Now with twice as many errors that a competent inker might have cleaned up a bit! Tiny feet, many lines, and everybody has a rectangular head. There's something in there about a plot, too, but…really. You should be ashamed.

Hey, and write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about it on the forums!

Derek McCaw

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites