Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 11/09/06
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of Santa Clara
The Oath #2
writer: Brian K. Vaughan
artist: Marcos Martin
I have seen
many tributes to Jack Kirby by talented artists working
on one of his creations. I've never seen someone do a Ditko
pastiche. Or if I have, I've never seen one so memorable
as Marcos Martin's job on The Oath.
odd alternate dimensions, basic facial expressions and even
just the creepy way Dr. Strange's cloak seems to have a
life of its own - Marcos has it all down. Like Steve Rude
doing Kirby, though, he never loses his own identity in
the tribute. It's remarkable work, and if you're a Ditko
fan, that alone would make this book worth picking up.
it over the edge for the rest is that Brian K. Vaughan is
writing. With The Oath, Vaughan has truly put Strange
in an uncomfortable position. In only one issue (yes, it's
the second issue, but I missed the first), he's made Stephen
Strange interesting as a lead character. Not even the exalted
J. Michael Straczynski managed to pull that one off with
last year's Strange.
How do you make
Stephen Strange uncomfortable? No, it's not the presence
of Night Nurse, though kudos to Vaughan for continuing the
effort to make this character viable. It's that he consistently
looks for the supernatural to be opposing him, never really
able to grasp that maybe more mundane villains might be
paying attention to him.
He's also got
a sense of a ticking clock, as his faithful companion Wong
has an untreatable brain tumor. Seeking answers beyond the
veil, Strange comes back with a cure-all. So, duh, actually
possessing the cure for cancer just might capture some attention.
Yet his cluelessness
makes sense. Dr. Strange has a short list of usual suspects
that come back to haunt him again and again. An occasional
appearance in Daredevil notwithstanding, he tends
to interact with the Marvel Universe only when the otherworldly
too, the Clea thing has played out, but that's also a reflection
of the character's standing with fans. Who really knows
his continuity anymore? So again, Vaughan's elevation of
Night Nurse to unwanted sidekick could play out into something
more interesting. Certainly, she (no secret identity revealed)
and Dr. Strange could be put in an almost Nick and Nora
Heck, this might
almost make the good Doctor seem fun, and he hasn't really
been that since Thor: Vikings.
So it's a second
issue. It's absolutely worth picking up.
Also on the
#4: See? The Civil War doesn't really matter at all
if Annihilus takes over our universe. Keith Giffen is in
the middle of an ambitious space opera, with nice art by
Andrea DiVito, but jumping in cold to this thing is more
than confusing. If you're interested and aren't already
involved, wait for the trade.
#1: J. Michael Straczynski has hit upon an interesting
"What If…?" idea, though it's not being marketed as such.
Perhaps because something of this scope ends up being more
of an Elseworlds, and we can't say that about a Marvel
book. We can say Tommy Lee Edwards gives it a nice gritty
look. Captain America's super-soldier formula never gets
made thanks to a timelier Nazi assassin, so instead Steve
Rogers dons a prototype of the Iron Man armor. Through a
confluence that might be too coincidental but works anyway,
Peter Parker grows up without the influence of Ben Parker.
And you know that can't be good…
Bronx #3: "Crime comics are back in full force," trumpets
a quote from Ed Brubaker. And he should know. The Cross
Bronx, however, isn't a straight up crime comic, as
there's an element of the supernatural involved, as well
as cultural struggles and prejudices. All you really need
to know is that it's good. Really good.
Richards, Son of a Genius: Happy Franksgiving!: Marvel
keeps making these. I keep telling you to buy them. Every
special has made me laugh. How about you?
#3: I think I can follow the plot; it's the music references
that have me up to my neck in confusion. But hey, that's
my problem with the nineties, not yours. The book started
cool and remains cool, with clean art and a really clever
concept. It's just not for the tone deaf.
Origins #8: The Carbonadium Synthesizer. I don't know
why, but that macguffin just sounds so…well, macguffin-like.
Daniel Way has exposed a couple of good secrets of Wolverine's
past, but for long-time fans, he also seems to be spending
an awful lot of time noodling around in things we did
know. Cases in point: a meditation on Jubilee, a flashback
to his days running with Sabertooth, fighting Omega Red
and then a guest-star that calls him "little uncle." Why
should everybody come a-running just because Logan got his
write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about
it on the forums!