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)
and Brian's Books (the other 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!
Well, the controversial
Women of Archie ratings system has come to an end. Why? Because a teary-eyed
editor who shall remain Michael Goodson confessed that he had never
read an Archie comic, and therefore preferred his women airbrushed to
So instead we introduce
the Fanboy Planetary system, in which all comics are awarded from one
to five planets. For old-times' sake, we can pretend that the fifth
planet has long red hair and wears nothing but belly shirts and Daisy
writer: Mark Waid, artists: Steve Epting and Rick Magyar
reviewed by Charlie Wentling.
head to Australia on their hunt for the missing human race, and their
search is a qualified success. Some of the underlying questions of the
series get answered here. The answers lead to further questions, especially
the revelation on the final page. This issue doesn't stand very well
on its own. Hopefully a lot of the confusion will be cleared up next
Danik starts taking
a more active role, but his motivations are still shrouded in mystery.
We also see a new type of negation soldier that is smaller and more
intelligent. Epting does his usual nice job with the artwork. Fans of
the series should enjoy this issue, but new readers may be a bit lost.
4: Prime Mover
writer: Grant Morrison, artist: Jae Lee
It seems that Dr.
Doom has been studying under Dr. Destiny. In his latest mad scheme to
defeat the Fantastic Four, Doom has built a computer called the Prime
Mover, a device which makes the world into his own personal videogame.
Morrisonian physics, Doom's device has altered the very fabric of reality.
Luckily, Reed sensed it coming and built one of his own. And so these
opposite numbers face off on a whole new level of ridiculousness.
Which, now that
he comes down to it, seems to be Morrison's point. By the very nature
of their name, the Four dabble in the fantastic. Morrison has stripped
that idea down to something a little silly that looks really cool thanks
to Jae Lee, but ultimately will leave you scratching your head.
As usual, though,
Morrison has given us a fascinating look into the minds of each hero
and villain. That alone makes the trip worthwhile.
writer: Geoff Johns, artists: Stephen Sadowski and Keith Champagne
of Roulette's heritage will rock the comics world.
not, but it should. Unfortunately, JSA flies fairly low on the
radar. And yet month after month, Johns and Sadowski deliver one of
the most dependable books on the market.
The majority of
the team has been kidnapped and forced into various competitions designed
to test their strength, wits, and resolve before killing them. Of course
each member comes through with flying colors, but it's all in the execution.
Johns skillfully blends plot and character development, and along the
way the once throw-away Mister Terrific becomes one of the coolest men
And it's probably
been there all along, but it's nice to notice that Sadowski has taken
the trouble to make Black Adam actually look Egyptian in features, not
just leaving it up to the colorist. JSA has become one of the
most effectively diverse books on the market, and the only guy with
"black" in his name isn't.
Do not let the
title's history fool you. This is one of DC's most vital and "now" books.
writer: Ron Marz, artists: Jim Cheung and Don Hillsman II
reviewed by Charlie Wentling.
The story this
month shifts from the lesser races back to the Heron/Raven conflict.
Prince Kai leads a group of soldiers into Raven territory and is reunited
with his brother Ethan. Plenty of action takes place, and Ashleigh is
torn over which side she should be fighting for.
Marz does a good
job with the battle scenes, effectively showing the pointlessness of
war. The common soldiers are fighting for their familes and their homeland,
but no winners can emerge with so much killing. Cheung's art is excellent.
The first and last pages are particularly striking, featuring King Dane
and King Bron.
All of this adds
up to an above average issue of an about average series.
Star Wars: Infinities
writer: Chris Warner, artists: Al Rio and Neil Nelson
This series suffered
a mid-way dip after an intriguing start. But Warner, Rio and Nelson
have brought it home with a bang. Though still ending on a predictable
note and without Leia ever donning slave-girl gear, they still manage
The secret? Proving
that Yoda can be a warrior, in a completely logical fashion. On a lesser
note, by reprogramming C-3PO to be evil. I'm not saying that I always
knew that droid could not be trusted. But there was always something
sinister about the way he wouldn't blink.
At this point,
it may make more sense to wait for the inevitable trade paperback, already
solicited. If you have longed for a Star Wars tale featuring
your heroes where you really don't know what will happen, Infinities
will prove worth your while.
Deep Soul Rising
writer: Peter David, artists: Leonard Kirk and Robin Riggs
Most people have
pretty cryptic dreams. But not the maid of might. When she falls asleep
at a beauty parlor, she immediately dreams of a battle less than an
hour away, one in which she will almost certainly die, if not for the
timely interference of Lagoon Boy.
Yes, Lagoon Boy.
Possessed of the power of the puffer fish and obsessed with land-dwellers,
this Atlantean reject seems destined to be a favorite of Peter David.
Ironic, really, since Lagoon Boy only appeared in Aquaman after
David left the title.
Some terrible forces
of evil are gathering against Supergirl, and she will need all the help
she can get, especially as one close to her prepares for betrayal.
David seems intent
on shifting the status quo of this book again. It happens so often that
I can't decide if it's lazy or incredibly clever. Maybe everything is
exactly as it seems, and then again, maybe not. But the not knowing
has held my attention so far. That, and the incredibly ugly Buzz by
Kirk and Riggs.
Superman: The Man
of Steel #120
What Lies Beneath
writer: Mark Schultz, artists: Yvel Guichet and Dexter Vines
In the hands of
Guichet and Vines, the man of steel looks like he could dearly use a
laxative. What should be light and airy looks cramped and blocky, dragging
down an intriguing story by Schultz. Aside from reintroducing Cave Carson
(like you missed him), Schultz sheds light on Superman's relationship
to himself. Or rather, how little he depends on the man instead of the
super. While a similar theme has been playing out occasionally in the
bat-books, it's starting to heat up over here in the super-titles, to
Clark with the chance to run an expose on LexCorp and its danger to
the environment. As Clark points out, though, surely Carson has connections
in the super-community that could better handle the problem, cleaning
up an oil deposit containing a frightening new bio-organism.
While that might
be true, having superbeings take care of problems lessens them in the
public's mind. What Carson really wants is our outrage. Interesting
food for thought, there, deftly placed in a title not often given to
and the manipulation involved, make for a compelling story. It almost
makes up for the artwork.
For alternate views
and more books, check out Daryl Tay's site, Unique
were reviewed by Derek McCaw unless otherwise noted.
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