HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Comics Today's Date:

The Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 12/21/05
brought to you by Brian's Books of Santa Clara

Each 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.

Seven Soldiers: The Bulleteer #2
writer: Grant Morrison
artists: Yanick Paquette and Serge LaPointe

I tried to resist the urge to put this book in the spotlight. As usual, Grant Morrison's latest chapter in his Seven Soldiers epic was fun, but The Bulleteer does not have the complete left field kick to the head that something like Klarion the Witch Boy had.

In finishing the stack of preview books this week, though, The Bulleteer kept standing out. Though the hows and whys of Alix Harrigan's unwilling transformation to superheroine took place last issue, this book serves as a good midway jumping on point to the whole Seven Soldiers event.

Despite claiming a while ago that this was an anti-crossover, Morrison has woven his allegedly unrelated miniseries together quite tightly. This issue explains some of that, recapping the prologue in a manner told a little more simply for new readers. Morrison achieves this by explaining it to Alix, a newbie to the costumed crimefighter game. Thus you newbies can get a grip, too.

The connections may not be readily apparent. Apparently, the Bulleteer has been in action since before this event started, and had been interested in joining Greg Saunders' Vigilante in starting an official Seven Soldiers of Victory. That group, of course, got slaughtered on their first outing, prompting this event.

With ambivalence, let us pause to note that for the first time, Morrison actually explains those late characters' backgrounds, finally providing a motivation for the Vigilante to have one last hurrah.

This story also provides a capstone to a character that first appeared in The Shining Knight mini-series. Though her fate will obviously affect Bulleteer's viewpoint on things, the story stands alone and separate from the overall arc.

For those of you steeped in continuity, which Morrison has managed to embrace and sidestep at the same time, he also plants a seed that goes all the way back to the early seventies. I don't think he's mentioned this, but it seems like it has to come back and haunt this concept - the original Seven Soldiers of Victory actually cheated in their sacrifice. The soldier who died was actually the "eighth" soldier, Wing. Unless Green Arrow and Speedy no longer count, in which case - see, you think that Grant Morrison is confusing, but he's actually doing his part to streamline things left completely in chaos by Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Don't get bogged down by that. Instead, embrace the fun, honest respect and new energy that Morrison keeps injecting to the superhero genre. Time after time in this series of mini-series, he reminds us why these things have such a hold on the public's imagination. We may like grim and gritty, but that's not what got us involved in the first place.

Let me not ignore the art team, either, because this book looks beautiful. Despite a rather silly helmet design (and my dislike goes back to the Fawcett days of Bulletman and Bulletgirl), the Bulleteer is a striking character. Paquette and LaPointe play emotions well, managing to find a bit of subtlety in spite of LaPointe's heavy line inking.

Will the Seven Soldiers save the universe? That's a given. More importantly, they keep saving superhero comics.


The Book of Lost Souls #3: Gorgeous artwork from Colleen Doran counters the occasionally pretentious storytelling of J. Michael Straczysnki. Yes, I've said it. He's pretentious. But he's also got a good concept going here, offering a nice high-profile alternative to the superhero book. Because The Book of Lost Souls tends to be more of a romance than an action book, it might appeal more to women readers, but hey, it's amazing that Marvel has a book this good that could do that.

Captain America #13: Argh! Is the Winter Soldier Bucky or not? Does the very concept outrage you or not? For purists, this could be the most controversial storyline of the year, but don't forget that it's been done with incredibly detailed writing (possibly the highest ratio of panels to book that I've seen in a superhero comic for quite some time) and still lush artwork by Steve Epting and Michael Lark. Like the plot twist or not, you have to admit that Ed Brubaker and company are still actually playing fair with us, and doing it well.

Fantastic Four #533: The state of the Hulk confuses me. Even after reading Peter David's recent return to the title, it's unclear which version is running around. JMS seems to like the one with an aggressive personality retaining Bruce Banner's intellect, but what he really likes more is an excuse to write a huge Thing-Hulk battle. Folks, it's going to be a doozy, and you get great family drama, too. This is the first issue of the new creative team that finally feels out of the shadow of the fantastic Waid/Wieringo run. It's nice to see monsters fighting in the sunlight.

Generation M #2: Last year, Jubilee was a high school student. In the wake of House of M, apparently she's aged four or five years. Though still an interesting book, this second issue just doesn't do justice to the "common mutant" theme it promised. Instead, the murder mystery takes front and center, and while exciting, it suddenly makes Generation M feel like just another mini-series calculated to get our extra cash after a big event.

Justice #3: Like many of us, Alex Ross believes that the comics of his youth are the way things should be. Unlike many of us, he has the power to turn back time and bring back the characterizations that he loved. Justice takes the Justice League, mixes them a bit with the Challenge of the Super-Friends and gives them a plot worthy of modern storytelling techniques. Yet the heroes are very clearly noble, unconflicted people, just like when we were kids. What do I like most? Alex Ross clearly digs Aquaman. Let his enthusiasm be spread!

Lucifer #69: Though the series isn't over, this issue wraps up what it's all been building toward. If you haven't been reading this book, which often rivals its progenitor The Sandman in quality, you may want to go back and work your way through the trades. But you're missing out on something extraordinary and challenging.

Punisher vs. Bullseye #2: It's cheap. It's violent. It's got Steve Dillon on art. So naturally, I'm drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Join me in my shame.

Runaways #11: Holy cow, Brian K. Vaughan writes a great Spider-Man. Oh, yeah, and the Runaways are in here, too, helping to solve the mystery of who put Dagger into a coma. It's no secret anymore, but always worth repeating, but holy cow, Brian K. Vaughan is a great writer. This is a great book.

Hey, write to us and let us know what you think. Talk about it on the forums!

Derek McCaw

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites