Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 08/15/07
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #23
brought to you by Illusive
Comics and Games of Santa Clara
Writer: Peter David
Artists: Todd Nauck and Robert Campanella
It's the end of an era. After this, the
dreaded with one eye half-open "One More Day" arc begins,
when J. Michael Straczynski has his final say on the character
If we have hope, it's that this isn't
Peter David's final say on Peter Parker, because few writers
around handle him as well. When matched with a penciler
like Todd Nauck, who handles light moments as well as darker,
more intense ones without any clash of style, the result
is the Spider-Man we should be reading more often than we
Technically, Spider-Man should be stuck
in the midst of the "Back In Black" arc, which has been
handled more directly in Amazing Spider-Man. With
an anticipated major shedding of supporting cast on the
horizon, David pares this one down to some basics that anybody
having only seen the movies can latch onto and get why the
heck we like reading these books.
Though obviously the Aunt May situation
has to be in Peter Parker's head, it's reference obliquely.
Instead, the focus is on J. Jonah Jameson trying to get
Robbie Robertson to come back to work at the Bugle, having
previously fired him for showing integrity at exactly the
What Peter David gets, what writers that
understand the Spider-books get, is that of course Jameson
knows that Robbie serves as his conscience, and any conflict
between the two has to be resolved quickly. As well, David
understands the core problem between Jameson and Spider-Man
As he's been proving ever since he memorably
sent his previous X-Factor team into therapy, David understands
the psychology of his characters. Yet it doesn't seem like
heavy exposition; it flows naturally out of the plot. Spider-Man
may give Jonah some free shots after accusing him of envy
(and not for the first time in his history), but it takes
Robbie to observe something more personal from the other
side of the battle.
It's a tight little story, easy to pick
up, with a long way to go for one of David's most painfully
fun punchlines in a long while.
When we've been inundated with as many
Spider-Man books as we have in the past few months, it's
good to see one shine like this.
Also on the Stands:
Captain America #29: Think it kills
the suspense to know that Alex Ross will be handling Captain
America's return? Think again. This book belongs to one
Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier, as he narrows down
his hunt for the Red Skull. And you won't regret a page
of it. With Steve Epting and Mike Perkins on art, this may
have vaulted to the category of Marvel's best book overall.
Certainly, it's the best book with a dead title character
- and I'm including Marvel Zombies.
New X-Men #41: Changes get made
to the line-up. Illyana may or may not be back. It's still
just a confusing mess, not helped by the sloppy storytelling
of Skottie Young. In the back-up, you may realize that a
central point of "Endangered Species" also contradicts itself
from the first chapter. The desperation to keep creating
event after event has begun just leading all the X-books
around by the nose.
(Annihilation: Conquest) Quasar #2:
A solid enough second issue, with an unexpected focus on
Moondragon's past. For those that didn't know it, that's
pretty useful. However, the plot feels drawn out, a problem
making most of these "Annihilation" books feel like they
should have been combined into one tightly wound mini-series.
Marvel might not have made as much money that way, but it
would have been a stronger book.
Sub-Mariner #3: Namor fights X-Men
in order to confront Charles Xavier. Didn't we just see
this in World War Hulk? Aren't we just a little bit
embarrassed by that fact - or insulted that Marvel doesn't
think we'd notice?
Origins #16: Re-telling a classic X-Men tale of Logan
teaming up with Captain America and a child Natasha Romanoff,
this time with all of Logan's memories of the event. To
prove they're not cheating, Marvel reprints the original
story in the back, and I'll give Daniel Way points for some
pretty clever writing between the lines without cheating
at all. But the fact remains it's still just a retelling
in a book that should stop doing stunts and start actually
living up to its title.
write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about
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