Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 06/20/07
brought to you by Illusive
Comics and Games of Santa Clara
writer: Ed Brubaker
artists: Steve Epting and Mike Perkins
Son. Forget Tony Stark occasionally weeping in every
other book in set in the mainstream Marvel Universe. The
test of whether or not the Death of Captain America has
any meaning should be placed right here, with this book
carrying his name after he has ceased to be.
story gets listed as part three of an arc, it's a perfect
place to dip in if you've been wondering what would happen
after Steve Rogers took a bullet. Tony Stark claims no one
will replace him. Sharon Carter and Sam Wilson (aka The
Falcon) mourn him as long as their lives allow, because
all three have a bigger problem.
of believing Cap's first partner, Bucky Barnes, to be dead,
SHIELD now knows he's alive and almost well. In truth, he
had been literally put on ice by the Soviet Union and brainwashed
into being the Winter Soldier. Thanks to Captain America
and the Cosmic Cube, Bucky now knows who he is and what
he's done. Seeking penance without trussing himself up in
spikes, the Winter Soldier sees a perfect opportunity after
his mentor has fallen.
means donning the mantle of Captain America himself or killing
the man he holds responsible, no one knows for sure. What
this means for the continuation of this book is an extension
of the intrigue and suspense that got everyone excited about
it again. Even with Captain America gone, his shadow looms
large. The question is will justice prevail?
Of course it
will. This is comics. But the telling of the tale by the
astounding creative team of Brubaker, Epting and Perkins
makes it all worthwhile. Captain America features
some of the best art work on the stands right now, with
spandex-clad characters looking not too beyond the realm
of possibility. At the same time, it's moody and, if not
quite dark, still perfectly matching the tone of the story.
Being the first
person allowed to play with the Bucky mythos certainly suits
Brubaker. First he managed to violate the law of death in
the Marvel Universe without attracting angry mobs. (Those
came with Captain America's death.) Now he's beginning to
vindicate it all, filling in the Winter Soldier's back story
with some interesting connections to Marvel history. Best
of all, if not exactly justifying Cap's death, he's giving
us a compelling story as a result of it.
Bucky's grief will turn him into something stronger and
more heroic. That's especially necessary with enemies like
the Red Skull and Dr. Faustus (exerting control over Sharon)
still out there. Whether that makes Bucky the new Captain
America remains to be seen.
this issue, though, Brubaker has changed my mind about something
fundamental to being a comics fan. Most of us give it no
more than a year for Steve Rogers to come back, if for no
less cynical a reason than because Marvel will be pushing
a Captain America movie by 2009.
Yet with Captain
America #27, I suddenly hope that isn't true. I hope
that somebody else will pick up the mantle - possibly Bucky
Barnes - and make the hero into a legacy. And whoever that
character is, he'll do the legacy proud.
Spider-Man #541: He's still back in black, on the trail
of the Kingpin. It's nice to see Kingpin back facing Spider-Man,
and J. Michael Straczynski handles the character well. With
Ron Garney's art, Wilson Fisk has rarely looked better as
an antagonist. The whole thing, though, is playing out by
numbers. So far, we have no twist, no curve, that makes
this a memorable story beyond that ever-present threat of
Aunt May dying. It's quality, just not all that engrossing.
Conquest Prologue: Quite a mouthful, that title, sounding
almost like a parody. Ignore that. Inside lies one of the
best set-ups for a crossover we've had in two years. And
that's actually saying something, considering how many danged
crossovers we've had in two years. (Planet Hulk still
trumps them all.) There's that Mike Perkins guy again, drawing
some dynamic yet real-feeling characters. Dan Abnett and
Andy Lanning have set up a credible menace, and given new
life to one of my favorite obscure Marvel heroes - Star
Lord. So despite myself, I want to read more.
#12: Get ready for a bunchy of books this month that
all end with "what?!? The Hulk has invaded Earth?" That's
not going to bother Ghost Rider, though. In a strange way,
this title has been very well served by the crossovers,
because Daniel Way never lets the big events get in the
way of Ghost Rider's mission. Fighting Lucifer, the flame-headed
biker wars with his human alter ego who insists that they
stop for a while and be a regular superhero. Yes, we should
have expected it, and it does flow quite naturally from
World War Hulk, but it looks like the old Champions
are getting the band back together.
Hire #11: "What?!? The Hulk has invaded Earth?" Okay,
even though it's not giving Zeb Wells much of a chance to
spin out plans of his own for this book, he turns in a very
creepy side story involving the formerly laughable character
of Humbug, and a threat that had been lying dormant in Planet
Hulk for quite some time. It's surprising, horrific
and more than enough to make up for the alleged hentai cover
coming next issue.
Hulk #107: "What?!? The Hulk has …oh, wait, this is
Hulk's book…" Filling in the blanks that maybe the actual
World War Hulk title can't explore, writer Greg Pak
expands upon the creation of Hulk's earthly alliance. Damn
him for continuing to rivet us.
#19: The cover alone does all the work. The rest of
the book is trying to justify the run-up to World War
Hulk #1: from Tony Stark's point of view. Yet, really,
the dialogue given him in WWH covers it all.
#11: In all this, Hulk couldn't find time to stop by
and make this book interesting? Not even the teensiest bit
coherent? Ah, well. You can't have everything.
Spider-Man #38: At last. This may be the story that
make Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa memorable. "The Last Temptation
of Eddie Brock" is near-perfect, setting up an end to the
character that may be as talked about as his beginning.
I'm not quite throwing over yet, because it's a two-parter,
but chances are Aguirre-Sacasa will stick the landing.
write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about
it on the forums!