Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 06/14/06
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 FanboyPlanet.Comics
of Santa Clara
Two-Gun Kid #1
writers: Dan Slott and various
artists: Eduardo Barreto and various
Let this be
a nice painless way to slide back into the Western genre.
By starting off with the Two-Gun Kid, Dan Slott eases us
from modern day superheroics (without any Civil War)
into the Old West.
Matt Hawk, of
course, has been stranded in the 21st century. Some might
say rescued, as She-Hulk literally brought him back into
continuity in the pages of her own book. If you're a fan
of that book, you might want to only skim the first couple
of pages; thanks to the vagaries of books being behind schedule,
the Two-Gun Kid makes passing reference to what might be
a major plot twist in She-Hulk, but hasn't happened
The case he's
on here reminds him of an adventure back in his own time
period, and it's definitely in the Mighty Marvel tradition.
Blending the supernatural with a strong sense of respect
for the Western, this opening story both leads right back
to the pages of She-Hulk and may plant some seeds
for other books in this Western mini-revival.
Slott also has
the clean work of Barreto backing him up. Not a particularly
flashy artist, Barreto has always been first and foremost
a straightforward storyteller. Because of this, he's also
an artist whose style can span a variety of genres, as he
has to do here - superhero, Western and horror.
We even get
a nod to the Lone Ranger, less offensive here than in the
controversial Rawhide Kid mini-series a few years
back. The character has a different name, but you know exactly
who that masked man is - because, let's face it, in comics
they're all a riff on him.
does his best to break that mold with the story of Hugo.
I should just leave it at that, but then there's the joy
of reading him reunite with his Ambush Bug co-creator
Robert Loren Fleming, all of inked by Mike Allred.
a one-joke story, they keep it down to five pages, but oh,
what pages they are. That Giffen bothers to reference Michael
Redgrave, well, just proves the guy is working on levels
beyond levels, or he really hasn't been sleeping in order
to churn out all the material he has due this summer.
the book and making it worth the addition of a dollar to
the usual cover price, a Lee and Kirby Rawhide Kid story
sees a reprint. If anything, it proves that Marvel's founding
fathers always made a stew of their genres. It's weird but
classic, though I'll admit that seeing Kirby draw Western
stuff always struck me as a little off.
To be even more
candid, though I can see that the Kid has a sense of style,
there doesn't seem to be even the slightest hint of gay
subtext. For some, that might be a relief (for shame), but
really, it just again proves that that whole Slap Leather
thing was ill thought and ill-defended.
Also On The
Action Pack! #2: Partly, this is worth a recommendation
because DC has held the line on its price at $2.25. Then,
it's rare that you get to read Judd Winick justifying himself
to kids, as he does in an interview here (possibly a bait-and-switch
for kids that like Juniper Lee -- there's no comics
story in this issue). Mostly, though, it's a decent kids'
book with truly no objectionable material without being
insipid. If your kids like these Cartoon Network shows,
this would be a great buy to keep them quiet for five minutes
once school gets out.
#2: Yes, the events in this issue will reverberate throughout
the Marvel Universe. There's just no backpedaling on it,
either. Something pretty major happens here, and if you
want to really be shocked, DO NOT READ THUNDERBOLTS
UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE READ THIS ISSUE. You have been warned.
The question is, have you been entertained? Not so much,
#5: Rick Remender wanted to revisit Space Opera in comics
as done by Wally Wood for E.C. He really has succeeded.
Fear Agent is fun, suspenseful and occasionally politely
gross, with a story that keeps looping back around on itself
in clever ways. Artist Jerome Opena looks destined for big
things, because his work here is simply beautiful, even
when it's politely gross.
Romance Redux #5: Love Is a Four Letter Word: When will
they stop? Like the other collections, this rewriting of
old romance comics is a hit or miss affair, most notable
for horror writer Joe R. Lansdale taking a swing. While
he's funny, the only story that really works comes from
Peter David, who consistently takes the approach of trying
to find an inner storytelling logic to his jokes, instead
of just filling the story with non sequitirs.
Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer #3: By the great black
blade, how long has it been since the second issue? And
who besides Moorcock fans are going to care? I include a
write-up here in hopes that a search engine will bring you
to Fanboy Planet, and you will be grateful to us for informing
you that this book exists. It's actually pretty good, and
if memory serves, Moorcock has been using each chapter to
deepen our understanding of Melnibone while cleverly adding
new aspects to the Eternal Champion. And if you don't understand
that sentence, then you were here already. Move along to
the next review.
#4: The Frank Cho covers certainly help sell this book.
On the inside, however, it's still got good art and decent
story. Unfortunately, it still refers very heavily to the
events of House of M, and some of us didn't think
to pick up Ms. Marvel's spin-off mini-series from that event.
Intriguingly, we've got a murder mystery in Iceland. More
intriguingly, the victim is a Neanderthal woman, and she
was killed by a bullet. Mayhem and mysticism collide, all
in a culture that most of us really don't know much about,
except that maybe we listened to Bjork once in college.
The story builds quite nicely and really readably; you might
even find the lesbian sex a distraction.
Origins #3: Daniel Way has completely surprised me.
Wolverine has his memories back and yes, he's done some
dirty things. We expected that. But he's done some dirty
things for either the other side or an operation so covert
it's impossible to tell if anybody was right. On top of
that, Way has made the once throwaway but cool villain Nuke
into a figure of sympathy. Almost, anyway. The surprises
just keep coming…
Hey, write to us and
let us know what you think, or talk about it on the