Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Helmet of Fate

The Helmet of Fate is beginning in two weeks. This five issue miniseries will lead into the new Doctor Fate series, written by Steve Gerber, who has already confirmed on his blog that Ralph Dibny will not be in it. What a shame. I'd love to read Dibny's diary every month based on issues of the new Dr. Fate series.

The five issues have been advertised as being the following:

Detective Chimp is being written by Bill Willingham who's done a great job with Bobo ("Don't call me Bobo!") starting with Day of Vengeance and continuing into Shadowpact, so I'm pretty sure that'll be a good issue. It's being illustrated by Shawn McManus who illustrated the VERY GOOD Thessaly miniseries with Willingham, so that should be a pretty good fit.

Ibis the Invincible
is being written by Tad Williams, who wrote The Next miniseries, which was OKAY, although really pretty throwaway, and is scheduled to replace Busiek on Aquaman with issue #50, which I'm already dreading. Busiek will thereafter only be writing Superman, but at least he's scheduled to be around until at least issue #662. It's being illustrated by Phil Winslade who did the "Blitz" storyline culminating in Flash #200, which I haven't yet read, but the covers are nice, if a bit cartoonish. I'm not sure that he'll be the best fit for this, but we'll see.

Sargon the Sorceror
is being written by Steve Niles of 30 Days of Night fame, and illustrated by Scott Hampton. I must confess that I haven't gotten around to reading 30 Days yet, but it's in my pile, but I've heard good things about it. However, Niles was also the author of Batman: Gotham County Line, which was left waaay too convoluted at its resolution, and as he's only got one issue here, I truly hope that he doesn't do the same thing. In B:GCL, Niles came up with a strange, nigh-insane, nearly nonsensical mystical afterlife type plot, with curses, alternate realities, time loops, and other ridiculousnesses, and although he managed to pull a competent story out of it, it just wasn't very good (EH). He did that one with Hampton too. Hampton won a Harvey Award in 1993 for his EXCELLENT work on the Batman: Night Cries graphic novel written by the late, great, Archie Goodwin, so I'm sure that his style will be equal to the task on this book.

is being written by Steve Gerber and being illustrated by the excellent Peter Snejbjerg. You may (or perhaps not) remember that Gerber was the creator of Howard the Duck, and Snejbjerg, of course, worked on many issues of James Robinson's Starman, among other projects. As I mentioned above, Gerber is also going to be continuing as the writer of the ongoing Doctor Fate title, so this may be one of the best of these five issues.

Black Alice, which concludes this series, is written by the incomparable Gail Simone, and is illustrated by Duncan Rouleau. I personally hated Rouleau's work on Blue Beetle, but his New X-Men issues have been nicely done (for a slaughterfest), so this may go either way. Judging from the cover photo, it may be okay, but I'm holding my breath (well, not really - this book is coming out in March, and I really don't think that I can hold my breath that long).

Overall, I'm looking forward to at least three, if not four, of these books, so I'm hoping that my expectations will not prove to be unfounded. In other words, this had better be good...

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