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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What Do You Mean They're Not Superheroes?: Sneak Peek Reviews 09/30/08

City of Dust #1
Written by: Steve Niles

Art by: ZID

The original solicit of this mini-series from modern horror master Steve Niles and ambitious new publisher Radical Publishing mentioned Blade Runner as an influence. I can certainly see where they might have made that sort of connection, and a lot of people may make the connection to a futuristic Fahrenheit 451 but what I think that this story most closely resembles is a cult classic film from 6 years ago called
"Equilibrium". The world of Philip Khrome (our main character) has outlawed all religion, fantasy, and fiction. They believe that imagination is the greatest hindrance to the human mind and that all wars, all illogic, all hate, all difficulty in dealing with the reality of the world around you can be fixed by making the world simply what it is and nothing more, that imagination is the greatest enemy of the world and of humankind. As the story unravels it becomes clear that this has become a much different world even beyond the absence of fiction and fantasy. Trial are held on the street at the point of apprehension, hunting is legal though consuming the animals that you kill is not, stores no longer have names and simply state what they sell on the outside. Ultimately this is a pretty exciting book. I think that we are going to see some really interesting stuff from it. It is most assuredly for mature readers, and if you have checked out any of the other Radical Books (Hercules, Caliber, or Freedom Formula) then this book should most assuredly be on your radar, and if this is going to be your first exposure to Radical then allow me to assure you that you are going to be getting an incredibly good quality product for your money, just based on production value alone!

Terror Titans #1
Written by: Sean McKeever
Art by: Joe Bennett

Been wondering what Ravager has been up to since leaving the Teen Titans? Look no further. Spinning out of the recent events of Teen Titans, Terror Titans is a hard look at the events that h
ave lead to the "Dark Side Club" kidnappings that have been seen in many books, and an even deeper look at those responsible for them. In all reality this book probably could have had a "Final Crisis" cover treatment and have been considered a part of that story as we are getting a much more in-depth look at some of the newly arisen New Gods. This issue starts with a gathering of some less than well known teen-aged heroes and watches them try to fare their level best against the newly reformed Terror Titans. If you didn't read the Terror Titans story arc that recently occurred in the Teen Titans book then you might feel a little lost at first but Sean McKeever does a really good job of making this a story about the events as they occur as opposed to being about re-living moments from the past. Also if you read Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers of Victory you'll have a pretty good idea of who the characters behind the Dark Side Club are. Again though it is not as essential as it is referential. I highly recommend that you check this series out as I think that over the next six months that McKeever and his artistic partner Joe Bennett are going to be putting together a rather action packed story that should be fun for one and for all.

Vixen: Return of the Lion #1
Written by: G. Willow Wilson
Art by: CAFU

Lurking behind the rather gorgeous cover by Joshua Middleton, G. Willow Wilson has managed to craft a story about a mid-level DC character who has recently been on the rise. Thanks to Brad Meltzer a whole lot of people now know who Vixen is, far more than probably ever cared before. Now we are getting a chance to see her on her own and with Cafu drawing the interiors it is certainly become something to see indeed. Vixen's mother died when she was a child and living in the small village of Zambesi, since then she has become both a supermodel and a superhero (ah the wonders of being a fictional character). It's been ten long years since she has been to her home country of M'Changa but now she has all the reason in the world. Having long believed her mother to have died during a poaching incident, Mari Macabe now knows that her mother died at the hands of a violent tribal leader who is now making a play to become a warlord of sorts. So using her power she is now headed back to Africa to challenge the man who stole her mother away from him and make safe once again the village of her childhood. G. Willow Wilson has become a more visible name in the comics industry since last summer when she penned a one shot that was a part of the Outsiders "Five of a Kind" event that lead to the ongoing Batman & The Outsiders book. Here we see that she not only has a great grasp on how to tell a story but also knows how to use people with powers in frighteningly real situations. Having lived in Egypt Miss Wilson is more than aware of the dangers and issues that face Africa on a daily basis, she manages to make this story both about that and about superheroics in such a way that it never seems preachy. Let's hope that the rest of the series remains as entertaining!

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