Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 12/14/05
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: Peter David
artist: Ryan Sook
As part of Marvel's
"Decimation," we're getting a lot of mini-series exploring
the ramifications of the House of M. The ephemeral nature
of these leads the cynics among us to believe that within
a year, the Scarlet Witch will raise her hand and say, "oops.
Sorry. Didn't mean it…" and undo our emotional investment.
they've been cool. See Son of M below.
Then comes this
new X-Factor. Spinning out of the set-up of last
year's Madrox mini-series, Peter David's new Marvel
series looks to deal with the consequences of Wanda Maximoff
in the long-term. Many have lost their powers, but the outside
world still calls them mutants. And it will be hard to adjust
to the loss of those powers.
M focuses on a few high-profile ex-mutants, but X-Factor
could very well maintain the gritty feel of the late lamented
District X. Even with superpowers still prevalent,
David can bring the human side to Marvel's not-so-merry
mutants without dipping into melodrama.
Case in point:
a now powerless Rictor. Once upon a time, he was one with
the Earth. As Erik Lensherr with his magnetic fields, so
Rictor was with the ground. Now he stands high above the
Earth, ready to end it all.
Across the street,
Madrox argues with himself in a moment that provides more
characterization than the first ten years after his creation.
For if you don't know him, he's often known as the Multiple
Man, and David has played the concept that each "multiple"
represents a facet of his personality to the hilt. Before
Madrox can take action, he has to decide which "him" would
do the best job.
now has a cracked mirror image job of the original team,
which then consisted of the original five X-Men. Then and
now, the team existed to rescue mutants. Only now, it's
helping them handle life as a normal in a world that will
never accept them as normal.
In short, many
of the post-M books offer action, introspection and clever
plot twists, but X-Factor offers hope.
The other things
are still there, too. Rescuing mutants may not pay the bills;
getting involved solving mysteries and fighting bad guys
does. Siryn, Strong Guy and Wolfsbane seem involved in that,
and of course it gets personal. Then David throws in one
heck of a cliffhanger.
Would this be
Ryan Sook's Marvel debut? This guy has to be one of the
most underrated artists in the business. It may be a matter
of speed; Zatanna seemed to fall behind schedule,
but that may have been more Grant Morrison's fault than
At any rate,
Sook gives this work so much personality. It's earthy (sorry,
Rictor) yet fantastic when it needs to be. Always, it's
The thing that
ticks me off about this is that for the past few years,
Marvel has been slowly insidiously converting me back to
digging these characters. I really wish they would stop,
but for now, I'm along for the ride as far as they want
to take me.
The Magnificent Kevin #5: Once again, Garth Ennis manages
to make, in his parlance, utter arseholes still seem somehow
noble. Kev and the Midnighter form a kind of friendship
under fire that actually leaves both men changed. Another
writer might have bollocked it up, but that part of it really
works. The solution to what has been going on seems a little
cheap, with that mysterious coily thing (I'm being vague
- you know, for the kids) still rather unsatisfactorily
explained. It wasn't a perfect mini-series, but it was a
When a new issue of Fables comes out, it goes right
to the top of the read pile. Damn. Not a single issue has
let me down. Somebody adapt this for television or something
so that mainstream America will learn how incredibly cool
Bill Willingham's epic rethinking of children's story really
is. On second thought, that's probably a foolish plan…
#1: Too mordant to recommend to just anyone, this Dan
Slott tour de force is still great fun. Most members
of the team get a solo chapter with various artists, each
one a perfect summation of the character. Maybe it's just
me, but the idea that Squirrel Girl is secretly the most
competent superhero in the Marvel Universe is just brilliantly
subversive, if that's really what Slott is saying. Read
it and decide for yourself. Then let me know you think I'm
Fantastic Four #7: Okay. This one might sit on the shelves,
but I think it is the duty of Fanboy Planet to spread the
word. With Christmas (or insert the commercialized bastardization
of your favorite Winter holiday here) coming, this makes
a great stocking stuffer. There. I was blatantly commercial
about it. A retelling of the coming of Namor that allows
everybody to still sort of be good guys, this book is appropriate
for kids without condescending to them. Ho ho ho.
of M #1: The mastermind behind House of M, one of the
most arrogant superheroes in Marvel history, now is one
of those cursed by his sister - "No more mutants." No question,
Quicksilver will not be able to function as a normal human
being. Why this book caught my attention, though, is because
it's the first to deal with the fallout of House of M for
Spider-Man. Peter remembers his "perfect" life and hunts
down Quicksilver to let him have it. This is powerful, but
the reason it didn't quite make the Spotlight is simply
because it does spin so directly out of House of M.
If you read that series and liked it, you must read this.
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let us know what you think. Talk about it on the