Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 11/23/04
again, we take a look at some of the books coming out this
week, paying careful attention to one that deserves your
attention and your hard-earned shekels...
brought to you by Brian's Books of Santa
warn you -- it's not a week with a whole heck of a lot to
be excited about. But there are still some solid books to
writer: Andy Diggle
artist: Pascal Ferry
For just a moment,
the tortured Adam Strange awakens to find everything is
right with his worlds again. His beautiful wife and daughter
greet him, and then they notice that something is wrong
with the sun.
Of course it's
all been a dream, but up until this point in the series,
writer Andy Diggle hadn't really reminded us what Strange
believes he has lost. For just that moment, these fantastic
elements seem real and, if the Rannians (Rannites?) will
forgive the comparison, human. If you're not up with this
series, take note that this fever dream of Adam Strange
actually takes place in the vacuum of space, but not the
cold vacuum. That something wrong with the sun? It exploded,
and Strange drifts in its radioactive afterglow, barely
protected by his special suit.
Though all this
got covered in the first two issues, this third issue still
makes a good jumping-on point. Diggle's intent with the
series is to revive the lost galactic component of the DC
Universe, and this is where he really gets to start.
It turns out
that in the wake of the destruction of Oa, the Thanagarians
have taken on the role of galactic policemen - with a galaxy
very suspicious of them in the first place. The Thanagarians
need to find a scapegoat for the alleged destruction of
Rann, and just look at who they find floating in the midst
of the alleged wreckage.
and artist Pascal Ferry, the Thanagarian Empire has been
sweepingly re-imagined since their last appearance in JSA.
Now free of Hawkman continuity, they have a larger "bird
of prey" motif (without aping Klingons or Romulans) in their
culture. Better positioned as an ambiguous but threatening
presence in the DC Universe, already you'll want to see
more of them.
will, as Strange's journey to Thanagar will spill over into
the next issue. Diggle offers tantalizing glimpses into
a warrior culture that may or not be struggling to find
a conscience more in line with the rest of the galaxy.
With Wing Commander
Sh'ri Valkyr, the writer also offers a compelling character.
Cryptically accused of "heretical beliefs" not yet explained,
she finds herself forced into the role of defender of "The
Defender of Rann." Ferry's portrayal of her adds to the
intrigue; when faced with a naked Adam Strange, does she
see him as a raptor sees its prey, or is she attracted to
him? Or in Thanagarian culture, is there a difference?
So far, this
series has proven to be a vivid exploration of imagination,
restoring the glory days of Mystery in Space. It
may be through a slightly jaundiced lens, but the fun is
definitely still there.
Revolution #2: We've ragged on Robbie Morrison's take
on the characters enough this past week. Forget about that
one, and get this - The Authority takes on a twisted, amped-up
version of the Freedom Fighters, while The Midnighter sees
his own future, and has to work against his own team to
keep it from happening. This truly could send the characters
in a new direction that is actually growth, not a strange
misreading of what made this series great in the first place.
#3: I've clearly got a thing for spy stories. Don't
buy this for the Greg Land covers, because that will only
make you feel guilty. Instead, read the complex story within.
This is one of those "this is why comics should exist" books:
a mini-series not to maintain a copyright or market share,
but because a writer has a great story to tell.
Hellblazer #203: Notice that slight shift in title,
so that those driven from the movie theater by the Keanu
Reeves movie will know to find the book. Of course, they're
more likely driven from the movie theater to go curl up
in a ball, but then they'd miss a consistently entertaining
and disturbing title.
#21: Yes, this book has been cancelled. But that doesn't
mean you shouldn't read its last hurrah, an arc called "Quiet."
Nightcrawler's mother doesn't know exactly who all the players
are; you might not, either, but Sean McKeever has made the
narrative so rich, you won't mind having to play catch-up.
Most of the mainstream X-fare bores me, but this is truly
a worthwhile exploration into another genre still using
the mutant concept.
The intrigue gets more complex. Again, don't jump on here,
but buy it then go back and get the previous issues. Sleeper
is absolutely worth the expense.
#216: It's an Identity Crisis crossover, meaning
that Geoff Johns has actually used the major event of the
year to spark some real major events in the life of Wally
#1: Dark Horse brings back Paul Dini's creation, the
wayward and winsome daughter of Santa Claus. Up until now,
her adventures have been fun, and there's no reason to think
otherwise with this incarnation.
Spider-Man #514: And so the controversy ends...for now...not
with a bang but an "eh."
An epilogue to "War Games" that features Bruce Wayne drinking
alcohol, feeling guilt and yet strangely does not have Uncle
Henry ask, "what have you learned, Dorothy?" Wait until
next month, when Judd Winick, Doug Mahnke and Dustin Nguyen
actually show up on the book (the cover says they
already have - it lies.)
#2: Okay, it's already trying too hard to throw in twists
and turns that you JUST WON'T SEE COMING! In between issues,
last issue's twists somehow became status quo. It's not
a bad book yet, but it's certainly on its way.
Wow. I did not see that coming - that the ending to this
intriguing concept would be as powerless as the title.
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