Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 12/07/04
some strange reason, we couldn't get our hands on any Marvel
books this week, but we did our best with a really rockin'
preview from DC.
brought to you by Brian's Books of Santa
writer: Devin Grayson
artists: Mike Lilly and Andy Owens
of "War Games," the one title that crossed over without
losing a sense of its own big picture was Nightwing.
Just before being called back to Gotham City to help his
mentor, Dick Grayson had allowed his "girlfriend" The Tarantula
to kill Blockbuster, and the guilt was eating Nightwing
swept up in the giant crossover still resonated with that
action (or inaction), for naturally it informed everything
Dick did in Gotham. It also only made sense that he should
be the Bat-family member to be shot by the police - an outward
wound to symbolize the bullet he had allowed into his own
Devin Grayson peels away the layers of that wound with this
issue. We've had enough mindless action for a while, though
there's still a fight scene here. Now it's time for us to
really understand why the past few issues have been so devastating
for Nightwing. The writer handles it methodically, with
great imagery from Lilly and Owens.
Nobody has dealt
with Dick's father issues as well as Devin Grayson, and
here she expands them to include that other father - you
know, the biological one killed by Boss Zucco. Lilly and
Owens parallel Dick's two childhoods, one as the circus
boy and one as the assumed spoiled rich sissy boy. Seeing
the two side-by-side gives a brighter facet to Nightwing's
crime with Tarantula, and after several issues of build-up,
Grayson brings it to a devastating, but absolutely logical,
a far greater sense of continuity than the rest of the Bat-titles
seemed to have around "War Games," Grayson also pulls together
some threads from Gail Simone's Birds of Prey. If
for one issue, these two linked books synch up perfectly,
it's a good month. (Subtle plug: keep reading Birds of
Prey -- Gail Simone just signed on for another two-year
exclusive contract with DC and absolutely deserves it.)
it was rumored that Nightwing would end with this
hundredth issue, but it looks like DC has commuted that
sentence. But Grayson definitely brings a sense of closure
to a major chapter in Nightwing's life here. It's not happy
or particularly pretty, but it definitely feels real.
it still makes a perfect jump-on point. It's a smart character
study of a hero everybody assumes they know, and Grayson
proves them wrong. Next month, DC flips the book back to
"Year One" for a few issues, but this is the month you need
to pay attention.
#822: The Lana/Lois/Clark triangle Chuck Austen planted
a couple of months back still hasn't sold me (Lana seems
way too aggressive), but the promised action of the title
occurs in spades without being mindless. Sorry, guys, Chuck
Austen is letting me have fun with Superman. Excuse me for
liking it and not knowing why.
Gravity and the Power of the Vril #1: Actually,
we reviewed this a couple of months ago. Check it out.
#32: The identity of the Adversary has me in almost as
much suspense as who killed Sue Dibny. I can't be sure that
Bill Willingham tips his hand here, but if it's a red herring,
it's sure a provocative one. If it's not, it still provides
a plot turn that comes out of left field, but only because
you should have thought of it.
#109: More fall-out from the JLA/Avengers crossover,
but without all that messy obscure history to annoy you.
Instead, Kurt Busiek and Ron Garney are building a logical
follow-up that's just fun. Maybe it's me, but it's hard
to go wrong with the Crime Syndicate.
Girl #2: The first issue wasn't all that impressive,
but it was interesting enough to warrant a look at the second
one. Good thing, too, because this month Leah Moore and
John Reppion have really fleshed out their fictional world.
It's hard to get a sense of what exactly is going on with
this "animal messiah," but, along with a variety of top-notch
artists, the writers have just made this book seem danged
cool. If you like WE3 (and you should), this makes
a sort of companion piece. Not thematically, but because
both books tell great stories without compromising the thought-processes
of animals to do it.
#68: Per Degaton will be making his move in the "JSA/JSA"
crossover. Yes, you read that right. Word has it that some
of this arc will be extremely intense. If you're a fan of
Stargirl, pay close attention. Notice also the spiffy Alex
#3: It's been interesting so far, with an approach that
brings Nightcrawler closer to the dynamic character he used
to be than the brooding ascetic he became for a while. The
We love Bendis. This is largely why.
#23: We can only hope.
#10: And we'll have fun fun fun 'til Marvel Comics takes
our gamma rays away.
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