Each week we take a critical
look at some of the best books on the stands, courtesy of Big
Guy's Comics (the unofficial comic book store of FanboyPlanet.com).
If you publish a book that you want us to be covering, contact us. Or
contact Derek. He doesn't have
enough to do.
Hey Kids! Comics!
writer: Tony Bedard, artists: Andy Smith and Brad Vancata
reviewed by Charlie Wentling
Komptin is still
trying to capture Obregon Kaine and his fellow escapees. His latest
scheme involves publicly executing the blue-skinned Kremmin one by one
until Kaine is drawn into making a rescue attempt. Komptin thinks that
sentimentality is the big weakness of the human race. This is sort of
odd since Kaine has behaved very much like soldier, and sees most of
his companions as resources to be exploited, at least on the surface.
Kaine does have
his own reasons for rescuing the Kremmin. They have knowledge of planets
in the surrounding area, and this knowledge can be used in conjunction
with Evinlea's teleportation powers.
We also catch up
with the second group of escapees, lead by Mercer Drake. The two groups
will soon be reunited, but it may not be a friendly meeting since Kaine's
group thinks they were abandoned.
The guest artwork
is by Andy Smith, who seems to be CrossGen's designated relief artist
lately. His work here is good and matches the style of regular artist
Paul Pelletier well.
writer: Brian Michael Bendis, artist: Michael Avon Oeming
We have 67 days
between the first two acts of this issue's story and its quietly explosive
wrap-up. Somewhere in those days must be all of the rest of this series,
because Bendis has thrown it for one heck of a loop.
With the suicide
of Wazz in Walker's apartment, everything has gone to hell. The government
has stepped in and taken the investigation away from Walker, who has
been left knowing far more than he should about the secrets of FG-3.
But before we can
even get to those ramifications, Bendis and Oeming give us snippets
of the FG-3 movie, which sucks even more hilariously than had it been
left to our imaginations. These creators have gotten caught in the Hollywood
trenches enough times to know them too well. (And yet I sort of curse
them to get caught some more; I want that Powers movie, even
though I know better.)
Left with nowhere
to turn, the notoriously reclusive Walker does the one thing no one
expects. This act turns the status quo of this book completely upside
down, and it's hard to see how it can continue with Walker in it. But
Bendis must have a couple of aces up his sleeve.
his usual spare but dead-on effective artwork, aided by surprisingly
lush coloring from Peter Pantazis.
The only drawback
this month is that the extra length of the story kills any space for
the letters column, which normally provides the best reading of the
writer: Chuck Dixon, artists: Scot Eaton and Andrew Hennessy
reviewed by Charlie Wentling
Last month, Sam
saved the planet Gaia from an asteroid launched on a collision course
by the Saurians. It wasn't a complete victory, though. Some large rock
fragments still hit Gaia, and we get casualty reports like "two billion
dead". Numbers like that are too large to be understood.
Sam and his cohorts
do what they can to help save as many people as possible. There is a
new and out-of-place subplot about some people being worried that Sam's
power-level make him seem like a god. Under the circumstances, they
should just be happy that he was saving lives.
The Planetary Union
gather all of their available forces for a retaliatory strike against
the Saurian homeworld. Meanwhile, Tchlusarud manages to escape from
captivity. If I had to guess where things were going in the future,
I'd say that Tchlusarud will take control of the Saurian forces and
end the war with the humans. Hopefully, it won't be that simple.
writer: Ron Marz, artists: Greg Land and Drew Geraci
reviewed by Charlie Wentling
Arwyn has struck
a deal with Shiara the dragon. In return for killing Mordath, Arwyn
will give her magic bow to Shiara. It sounded like a good idea to Arwyn
since she wouldn't have to complete her quest for the five fragments.
However, we know something that Arwyn doesn't: she's a character in
a comic book. It would have been a nice twist if Ron Marz had set up
Arwyn's quest only to cut it short so soon, but he sticks to the obvious
So we get an issue
of Mordath and Shiara blasting fire at each other. It is suitably impressive,
but rather empty. Shiara hasn't been developed enough as a character
enough for us to care what happens to her. I get the impression that
the ending is supposed to be shocking or terrible. For me though, it
seemed like a no-lose deal. Either Mordath loses the fight, which is
good for Arwyn, or Shiara loses, which keeps things status quo.
Still, it's not
a bad issue. The art team has realized how silly it looks that the characters
are all so clean in a medieval world, so they now look a bit dirtier.
It's a welcome change.
Supergirl #70 A Plague On Both Your Houses
writer: Peter David, artists: Todd Nauck and Robin Riggs
her mysterious vendetta against Supergirl, this time utilizing Hurmizah,
a major demon with a talent for raining plagues down upon the guilty.
Specifically, in fact, the black plague, a talent which gives him the
alternate name of "The Black Plague. Unfortunately, the art reflects
this. Even in Hell, if you're a black character, you have to have the
word black in your name somewhere.
undercuts a lot of the more serious side of David's story, though he
may very well have been directed to do so. It may just be personal taste,
but it seems weird to have this cartoony style for a story in which
Lilith, among other things, kills a baby in its mother's womb. And for
a heroine who rails against being treated as a sex object, Supergirl
sure strikes a lot of cheesecake poses.
But that has been
a problem long inherent in this series. On the one hand, David seems
to want to tell a serious, though not humorless, story with theological
overtones (One aspect of Supergirl is, after all, an angel). Unfortunately,
he keeps giving in to prurient impulses, and it's not just the presence
of the conflicted Buzz driving them. If David's style had more black
humor to it, the dissonance might not be so jarring. But he prefers
broad humor, which makes issues like this one just a little unsettling,
and not in a good way.
Still, we've got
Mary Marvel taking an active role, and for Marvel fans, that makes this
a good week.
X-Factor #2 The Natural
writer: Jeff Jensen, artist: Arthur Ranson
How does Marvel
manage to release this book in a week when rumors ran rampant that New
York Yankee Mike Piazza was planning to come out as a homosexual? (The
rumor, by the way, was just that. Piazza felt so harassed he held a
press conference to re-affirm his heterosexuality.)
Tony Robb plans to "come out" as a mutant, and the FBI has to be called
in to protect him from death threats. He has never used his power to
affect the game, and could easily continue "passing" as normal. But
he's tired of the lie. As unintentional commentary on the real-life
bigotry of the week, the timing could not be more perfect.
Nor could the actual
Jensen (to comics, anyway) never misses a beat in this agonizingly realistic
examination of humans trying to find their way in a world with mutants.
An X-Man appears, but merely as a peripheral player; the character does,
though, make a perfect choice considering Agent Kearse's struggle to
reconcile mutantkind with his religious beliefs.
have made such religious conservatives into mindless bigots, but Jensen
has managed to make it understandable. You probably won't agree with
Kearse's stance, but he doesn't come off as a bigot.
If the appearance
of this title made you think this was just Marvel up to its old tricks
of flooding the market with X-crap. Think again. They may be flooding
the market, but more often than not, they're giving us quality.