Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 07/11/06
on the Stands:
Page 1 --
The Spectacular Spider-Man #28
Man Called Kev #1: Garth Ennis and Carlos Ezquierra
return to their hapless man of mystery who gets the job
done even while it all goes to bollocks. And so it does.
He's been asked to leave the country or face an incriminating
film past, but dark forces want to keep that from happening.
It's still full of lad humor, but this first issue doesn't
feel quite strong enough to warrant sitting through another
mini-series. We don't quite know why we're reading about
Kev, unless it's because we liked the earlier stories.
Cryptics #1: Horror writer Steve Niles gets cute with
artist Benjamin Roman in a series of short stories with
monster children. Yes, we've seen variations on this before,
but Roman draws a disturbingly cute baby fishman, so that's
a plus. If this sort of thing floats your boat, this sort
of thing will float your boat. And swim out underneath it
and pull it under when you least expect it.
#27: Stuart Moore has to have pulled off the best turn-around
of the year, turning everybody's least favorite nuclear
man into a character worth reading. Jason Rusch still doesn't
quite know what he's doing, but at least he's not whining
about it. Moore throws in a couple of plot twists I didn't
expect, and Jamal Igle and Keith Champagne turn in another
solid issue of art.
Rider #1: Supposedly, this spins out of Garth Ennis'
recent Vertigo riff disguised as Ghost Rider. However,
Daniel Way writes it to stand on its own. If you don't know
anything about Johnny Blaze but think the character just
looks cool, Mark Texeira's art makes it easy to get into
this book. Then that story just might have you hooked. For
the first time ever, I'm kind of intrigued.
Dick: The Last Resort #4: B. Clayton Moore's scruffy
pre-statehood gumshoe is a cool character, so cool that
supposedly a film version with Johnny Knoxville is in development.
Great choice, there. But this last issue of a mini-series
doesn't really do justice to the concept; it's hard to catch
up. If you have all the other issues, then by all means,
finish it up. Everybody else, wait for the trade - you will
be glad you did, because all of a piece, it's pretty good
Squared #2: A therapy session takes up the entire issue.
That description doesn't really do it justice, because the
session still ends up sprawling across the farthest corners
of the Earth. Keith Giffen and JM DeMatteis continue deconstructing
the mythology of superheroes, but don't let the depth scare
you off. It's still pretty danged funny. Guys, thanks for
Next #1: A youthful team of superbeings (not necessarily
superheroes) tumbles into our reality and our awareness.
Pursued by a powerful paradimensional or parachronal dark
force, they struggle to understand our ways. If only there
were still a WB to turn this into a pilot. Or if only we
hadn't really seen this with The Forever People, Young
Heroes In Love or even to some extent last year's The
Human Race. Writer Tad Williams hasn't yet proven this
has something different to it, other than a characterization
of Superman that seems rather out of character.
#1: Why, oh why, do I get the feeling that everybody
at Wildstorm giggles and calls this "Rock On!" behind Scott
Dunbier's back? Kudos to Wildstorm for trying to jumpstart
a new sword and sorcery craze, but this is the least original
of their offerings. You're better off trying Skye Runner
or the revivals of Warlord and Claw. Rokkin
has cluttered art and a predictable storyline.
Supreme #5: By now, we can all get over figuring out
the parallels to Justice Leaguers and just enjoy the tremendously
intense story J. Michael Straczynski and Gary Frank are
telling. Bringing the Squadron into the war on terror, JMS
makes compelling arguments for both sides of the political
debate, muddied, of course, by the fact that a few members
of the team are probably psychotic, possessed by an alien
force or both.
Girl #9: No two Rick Remender books read the same. You
go from cool cyberpunk riffs on classic horror literature
to vampire pirates to…well…this. In Strange Girl,
a girl accesses sorcerous powers to fight demons on an Earth
abandoned by God - literally, as it takes place a decade
or so after the rapture. This is my first exposure to the
title, but I'm going back to look for earlier issues.
Force 1 #1: Tsk. Task Force 1 has decent art
but a kind of jumpy storyline. Right now, Jim Valentino's
"Shadowline" efforts feel like decent concepts buried in
loads of false edginess. This book wants to be more shocking
and outrageous than it actually is. We've already seen government-sponsored
superheroes gone wrong. Heck, we're seeing it right now
with Squadron Supreme.
Origins #4: Captain America versus Wolverine with a
surprising revelation. The ol' Canuckle head considers Steve
Rogers to be a friend! Daniel Way puts an interesting spin
on a couple of long-time tropes of the Marvel Universe,
thus making this book a bit better than we had a right to
#188: Mike Carey closed the book on the Prince of Lies
and opens it on everybody's favorite merry mutants. Okay,
so not everybody's favorites are in here, but with Chris
Bachalo's art, Carey continues his interesting characterization
and his willingness to let even the most beloved of characters
look like jerks, and the most jerky look like complex beings.
#6: We get to see this dark Oz' version of the Tin Woodsman.
I'm in just for that.
Escapists #1: Brian K. Vaughan continues Michael Chabon's
Pulitzer-prize winning work, set simultaneously in both
the mundane world and the world of the greatest hero of
them all…The Escapist! Watch out for the Iron Chain…
Traces: The Great Game #1: This interesting look at
War of the Worlds puts it back in its original time
frame, hypothesizing an England that managed to reverse-engineer
Martian technology. Of course, they forgot there might be
Fantastic Four #31: The Frightful Four are loose. Somebody
please explain to me how they're not going to turn
the Ultimate Universe into a world full of zombies.
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