Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 11/23/05
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
The Magnificent Kevin #4
artist: Carlos Ezquerra
This was a tough
week to choose a spotlight book. Many books proved fun and
some even thought-provoking. Most, unfortunately, were also
in the middle of runs and storylines; in some cases, they
also completely made up for earlier, draggier issues.
So why go with
the fourth issue of a mini-series, especially another one
combining the controversial Authority with their clownish
foil Kev? Finally, finally, Garth Ennis moves the interesting
Kev from deadly buffoon to genuine hero.
Much of it relies
on the limited but complex continuity that the Authority
has accrued over the years, but Ennis gives just enough
information to make it enjoyable without slogging through
six or seven years' worth of books.
issue delved deep into Kev's past, but missing it will only
slightly compromise the depth of the change he undergoes
here. Suffice to say that he questions his mission and begins
working from his heart, which could make him an even more
barely appears, in fact, as the only one not in a coma is
the Midnighter. Even he has been compromised. Despite the
cover, this isn't really about them. Nor should it be, as
neither Ennis nor Ezquerra have yet given a credible explanation
for what actually happened to them.
incident almost turned me off to this mini-series, as it
seemed like something designed to shock, perhaps appall
and then cause prurient giggles. Now it doesn't even matter.
on the main plot, that has the Midnighter being harvested
for genetic material in an insidious government plot. Possibly,
the plot thread has been lying around since the Warren Ellis
days on Stormwatch; certainly Ennis hints at it.
No matter what the case, the book ends up extremely readable.
As he has proven
in series after series, Ennis excels at writing about real
men facing their moment of truth. It works surprisingly
well when matched with an artist like Ezquerra. Though the
art often has a cartoonish feel, it's in the best sense
of draftsmen like Alex Toth, capturing and heightening emotion
for dramatic effect.
not that The Magnificent Kevin becomes lovable. It's
just that this book is absolute driving superhero action
that comes up with an actual hero.
The Things They Say About Her… #3: I'm going to give
Marvel a lot of credit for this one. Rather than give Black
Widow an ongoing series, novelist Richard K. Morgan just
creates little arcs when he actually has a story. If only
more books in the industry worked this way. Heck, if only
more books could be this cool.
#12: Continuing "the Winter Soldier" storyline, this
issue presents a believably conflicted Captain America.
We also start to see the hazards of using a flawed Cosmic
Cube, as points established in the very first issue begin
paying off. Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting and Michael Lark are
doing stellar work here. But you already know that, don't
#79: And soon two out of three of them will move over
here. In the meantime, Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev
say their long good-bye with a devastating twist to "The
#4: The first four issues will bear re-reading in one
sitting to follow all the twists and turns. Once again,
Warren Ellis dares actually say some interesting things
with this book, and suddenly I can't wait for its return
in a few months once he decided he has some more to say.
If the Bible Belt hasn't already stopped reading this book,
this issue should do it. Finally, Morningstar meets his
Father. Though this book never quite reached the critical
acclaim of its progenitor, The Sandman, it should
have. Call it a gut feeling, but Mike Carey may soon be
lost to the world of novels and screenplays where most of
his readers pretend they don't know comics. He's good. Too
vs. Bullseye #1: Writer Daniel Way writes a darkly humorous
Punisher, and it's great to see Steve Dillon indulging his
sense of humor with his penchant for violence. Ultimately,
this is just another wacky ultra-violent mob vengeance story,
but some of us occasionally like that.
#2: When Hawkeye died, I remained curiously unmoved,
and not just because of course we knew he would be back
soon. They always come back. But Dan Slott found a way to
do it without cheapening his death and to add the element
of poignancy that (sorry, Bendis) Avengers Disassembled
seemed to force. Now I get why people think Hawkeye is cool.
#9: Did the Teen Titans ever have these problems? If
the Young Avengers fight crime, they could get hurt, maimed
or killed. Worse, they could get grounded. Yet they fight
on anyway. It's a good book, featuring characters that act
and talk like real teens…albeit with superpowers.
Horrible…But I Can't Look Away…
Howling Commandos #2: Everything about the concept screams
fun. Keith Giffen is absolutely the perfect writer for it.
But the art by Eduardo Francisco and Rob Campanella looks
like Bart Sears took steroids and then went on a drinking
binge. It's almost impossible to decipher, and every monster
looks strangely the same. When Clay Quatermain looks only
slightly more handsome than the Living Mummy, you know somebody
needs to cut back on the bold linework.
Hey, write to us and
let us know what you think. Talk about it on the