Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 09/14/05
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
writer: Brian Michael Bendis
artist: Michael Gaydos
frontloaded this with the New Avengers on the cover. And
I'm going to officially complain - "Enough with Ronin already!
He hasn't actually appeared yet!" Yet the return of Michael
Gaydos to the character he made famous (and vice versa)
almost completely makes up for the blatant marketing manipulation.
promises of action, birth, and more action, Brian Michael
Bendis actually gives Gaydos an issue of slice of life moments,
albeit in a super-powered universe. The story tangentially
follows Marvel Knights 4 #22, as Ben Urich and Jessica
Jones have a run-in with the Thing. Rather than it involving
a supervillain, it turns out that Jessica has a lunch date
with Sue Richards, arranged by Carol Danvers.
course, has a knack for realistic quiet moments, and he
will make you consider both the improbability and the believability
of superheroes having children. When Sue speaks, though,
you'll hear a writer really expressing his love and marvel
at having a child of his own. The character speaks truer
than some of you may know, but it's Bendis' truth. (Though
so far, the littlest Bendis has not demonstrated any superpowers.)
got more superheroic, Gaydos seemed uncomfortable, and indeed
shared art duties with Mark Bagley if the action got too
steeped in spandex. The humanity of these characters, though,
is still right up his alley. If anything, Gaydos' time away
has only sharpened his skills, as the women look more strongly
different from each other and yes, even a little bit more
attractive. Finally his faces are unique.
Even the cliffhanger
this issue is quiet, but it's a quiet that some will appreciate
as being a huge precursor to panic. I might take issue with
a sound effect, but this is after all the Marvel Universe,
and things get exaggerated here.
of The Pulse does what Bendis set out to do with
it - give a human face to the superheroic action and show
us the faces behind the masks. More importantly, it does
so without resorting to melodrama. We may never have lunch
with Ms. Marvel (okay, we will never have lunch with
her), but we still do need to believe she and other heroes
have a very human side. Bendis and Gaydos accomplish this
in spades. For those who miss Alias (the Marvel one),
you will kick yourself if you do not pick up this issue.
#831: Gail Simone has a grand old time pointing out
all the things about Bizarro that should annoy people. They
annoy Zoom, too, but Superman cannot worry about that. He's
got Black Adam and Dr. Psycho to contend with. This book
delivers on its title, though it might as well be called
Jones #3: Ellis and Williams take a relatively distanced
look at the adult film industry, with a protagonist who
remains largely a mystery. Once again, we get maddening
clues as to what has been done to him in the name of National
Security. But Ellis keeps the story going at a fast enough
pace that we can trust that we can wait for the answers.
4 #22: This issue serves as a companion piece to The
Pulse #11, as The Thing tracks down a golem. Roberto
Aguirre-Socasa keeps surprising me with sharp characterization.
Though he has delved into larger-than-life adventures, the
writer really shines at stories like this: making the Fantastic
Four seem not so fantastic.
Even with elements like the Blue Fairy (still creeped out
by last issue's revelations), Bill Willingham makes evil
so disturbingly mundane. Worse, he also makes it almost
reasonable. This isn't quite the final puzzle piece, but
most of the big picture seems to be in place for Willingham's
#17: Yes, Firestorm #17. Stuart Moore has turned
this book from my greatest disappointment of last year to
the biggest surprise of this year. Freed from the trappings
of continually sucking, Jason Rusch has a showdown with
the Secret Society of Super-Villains and meets a cute girl
with a pretty obvious (for longtime fans) connection to
Firestorm. Which is worse, facing down the Queen Bee or
a really cute but unstable girl who keeps calling you her
boyfriend when you hardly know her name? We know, Jason,
we know. Give in. You're going to end up with the cute girl.
#44: Just when you think you have it all figured out...
If I say anything more, it will ruin the suspense and the
overall great asskicking handed to the bad guys. Every now
and then, that's more than enough to satisfy.
Unlimited #11: This anthology book keeps delivering
satisfying stories. It isn't exactly a must-read, but it
has yet to be a disappointment. And that sure puts it up
a notch above the predictable and yet lamely plotted Marvel
Knights Spider-Man #18, where Reginald Hudlin makes
me forget how much I loved Boomerang in my younger
Men #2: I missed the first issue, and unfortunately,
this book does nothing to get me up to speed. Yet it's clearly
well-written with complex characters that leave me confused.
It's always commendable when somebody uses comics to tell
a more mainstream genre tale, and that's going to goose
the industry. I'm just going to have to wait for the trade.
#54: Despite the cover image and headline, Mirror Master
is actually the villain for next issue. Instead,
Green Arrow and Black Lightning take on Dr. Light, who takes
on the younger, hotter, more female Dr. Light. But yeah,
DC, we probably wouldn't buy a book with a smokin' Asian
woman on the cover. Historically, those don't sell.
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let us know what you think. Talk about it on the