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The Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 09/08/05
brought to you by Brian's Books of Santa Clara

Each 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.

Colossus: Bloodline #1
writer: David Hine
artist: Jorge Lucas

The only X-Man death that ever really affected me was Colossus. By the time I got into reading the book (back when there was only one book), Phoenix had already died and Thunderbird was long gone.

But Peter - or Piotr - was one of that core team that grew as I read him, completely able to put aside the slightly disturbing fact that he was clearly in love with a 13-year-old. He was big for his age. Time went by and I dropped all X-Books, then heard that Colossus had sacrificed himself to cure the Legacy Virus.

Grant Morrison sucked me back into the X-Men, then Joss Whedon cemented it by finding a way to bring Peter back from the grave. I'm still not even sure what the explanation was - I was just happy to see Colossus striding Astonishing X-Men like a ...well, a colossus.

Thankfully, the first mini-series to feature him is already worthy of his return. David Hine and Jorge Lucas have created a story that has an edge usually missing from portrayals of Peter. Sure, they're following up on threads left dangling by Whedon, but it's still a deeper look than the usual simple farmboy artist that Peter often becomes.

They also look beyond his immediate family to weave together a tale of decades of blood with the inner torment that Peter feels after years of confinement and torture. His power literally traps him inside himself, while it becomes apparent that history has trapped him as well. It's about time somebody used Peter's name as something than a conveniently recognizable Russian patronym.

Lucas' art hits just the right notes, with a slightly steely look to it. The opening pages have a cold beauty, but he seems well able to shift tones. If there are drawbacks to it, it's that his inking tends to be a little heavy on the use of black space; Lucas could afford to be subtler in his shading, though it's very affecting as he reaches the cliffhanger to this issue.

The story delves into the supernatural a bit, perhaps more in Nightcrawler's territory. But it could be an interesting fit. Okay, and maybe an excuse to bring in Nightcrawler. We already know that Kitty has to be involved, as one unresolved thread deals with their unrequited (but now quite legal) relationship.

Don't fear that there will be mushy stuff; it's pretty clear that Hine, the writer of the underrated District X has bigger things in mind.


Amazing Fantasy #12: The origin saga of the new Scorpion comes to a close. They've backed away from the quasi-manga look, despite the cover, and just focused on this being a hard-driving classic Marvel story. I won't mind it when she gets a solo book, though the back-up "Vampire by Night" ends on a terrible almost cuddly note - look at how cute these flesh-eating monsters can be.

The Authority: The Magnificent Kevin #1: Garth Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra always combine to offend someone somehow. With this mini-series, it looks like they've decided to cloak their love of porn and turn it into a superhero story. From a mysterious sperm-like villain throwing deadly cream pies while calling himself women's genitalia to Ezquerra's masterfully subtle depiction of the sin of onanism, this book is sure to tick somebody off. I laughed.

Exiles #69: The only Marvel title in which the House of M seems like just another day, Exiles has an interesting perspective on the whole event. It's also a nice look at the history of Beak.

Gotham Central #35: Who is killing Robin, over and over? Perhaps a better question is why hasn't the Joker gotten ticked off about it? He sure went after Black Mask in a hurry. This slow burning policier continues being not what it seems, and Brubaker and Rucka may also be setting up a new romance for Tim Drake.

Spider-Girl #90: I just want to keep reminding you people that want them to do comics like they used to that they do. This is the one, very old-school fun and worth handing over to your kids.

Swamp Thing #19: Lest we forget, Joshua Dystart is doing some startlingly good stuff over here, and guest artist Ronald Wimberly is what you'd get if Paul Pope and Kyle Baker had a baby. If you agree that that's a good thing, you need to pick up this book.

Y: The Last Man #37: We don't give this title nearly enough attention. It's good. It's not as titillating as many male readers would expect, despite the occasional provocative cover. It's also quite simply a gripping story that manages to continue mining new questions out of what could have easily been one note.

Sight Unseen:

Ghost Rider #1: Garth Ennis takes on the biker from Hell. I know it's timed to maximize the movie hype, but I'll still give it a look. Because Garth Ennis rules.

Serenity #3: What do we want? Serenity now.

Shazam/Superman: First Thunder #1: I bet that when Superman and Captain Marvel first met, they played a game of tiddlywinks. Captain Marvel loves that game.

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

Derek McCaw

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