Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 09/21/05
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: Grant Morrison
artist: Pascual Ferry
internet has buzzed with the loss of Pascual Ferry from
this series. Whatever the reason, it is a shame, because
Ferry has a dynamic and unique style that Grant Morrison
really knows how to write for.
Do not mourn
yet, for Ferry has delivered an incredible first issue.
For me to talk about the artist before the writer means
that it's something really special. Part of that comes from
superb coloring by Dave McCaig as well, but really, Ferry
has a great sense of design.
He shifts subtly
between the fantastic and the mundane. If you read through
it a second time, you'll see where reality slowly waxes
and wanes for Shiloh Norman, a mortal man caught between
Earth and Apokolips.
Of course, every
mini-series in this Seven Soldiers of Victory cycle
has been excellent and wildly different. What makes this
one memorable is that Morrison may be the first writer to
substantially tweak Kirby's Fourth World mythos in a way
that really brings it to a more modern sensibility. The
basic concepts still show respect for the King's work, but
the changes wrought here are more than just cosmetic. Our
idea of cosmic has grown, and Morrison reflects that.
I don't mean
that he's moved the story along; other writers have done
that. But Motherbox is suddenly a more active character
in her own right, and Morrison posits New Gods that are
far more alien than we might have previously thought. Our
tiny minds perceive them as anthropomorphic, but each of
our tiny minds also perceive them differently.
Shiloh Norman wears the mantle of Mister Miracle, and got
it from Scott Free, he still doesn't quite accept its theological
implications. In this series, he isn't just saving the world;
Shiloh will have to redefine his reality.
And that's after
he escapes from a black hole in the first four pages.
that stunt at the beginning of The Manhattan Guardian
#1, which means that these series are a little more
tightly bound than the ad copy promised. It's not so much
that it gets in the way of enjoying everything, but then
again, I'm also still reading everything so I may not be
noticing the questions that a casual reader might raise.
Who should read
this? If you're one of those old guard that cling to the
genius of Jack Kirby, please join this crowd and have your
hackles raised. Then calm down and realize that Kirby would
likely have approved these additions to his mythos - because
Morrison feels duty bound to stretch our imaginations.
While I have
really enjoyed all the Infinite Crisis countdown
stuff, I'm going to come clean: Seven Soldiers of Victory
is really the project that superhero comics are all about.
Prey #86: After a special, a mini-series, a TV series
and 86 issues of an ongoing, the Birds of Prey actually
become the Birds of Prey. Yes, it occurred to Gail Simone
that they didn't actually have that as a team name. Thanks
to Lady Blackhawk, now they do. And that's just one small
detail of the latest issue of one of the best books on the
market. Must I praise more?
#10: This may be the first time that Jesse Delperdang's
inks have agreed with me. But that's not why this is worth
reading. It's also one book in th House of M event
that actually bothers explaining just how history differed
for one character. Not, I suspect, that any two writers
would agree on this concept. It's a fun crossover for fans
anyway, but for some reason, this issue has seemed the most
Bill Willingham pulls a major shift on Robin's status quo.
It's unsettling, it's different and it's somehow kind of
cool. Considering that Tim is determined not to really
become Batman while still being dedicated to grow up and
do good, it makes sense that he might start seeking out
other mentors. This might not be the best choice for him,
but it sure makes an interesting one.
#8: Like Goodson with JLU, I almost feel it's
becoming unfair to harp on how good Runaways is.
No matter what the teen angst, every issue finds a fresh
take. Take this issue's approach to the Skrull prince problem.
Vaughan has also wisely found a way to make the membership
be in flux.
Top 10: Beyond
the Farthest Precinct #2: One of the things most fun
about Top 10, beyond its clever concept, are the
cameos. Sometimes the creative team does a nice job of camouflaging
them, sometimes they're just blunt and hilarious. This issue
the Scooby Gang serves a vital role, and that alone makes
this worth a look.
#32: With some help and inspiration from the late Will
Eisner, Mark Millar has delivered the best Wolverine story
ever. And that's all I can say.
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