Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Battlestar Galactica: "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 2" - Finally the final episode of season one... and it ends on a triple cliffhanger of sorts! That's ok, Season 2 is already in the Netflix queue.
  • Numb3rs: "Arrow of Time" - The menace in this episode was striking. Having watched the show from the beginning, the whole history of it came down to one single moment. Powerful stuff. My only complaint has nothing to do with the episode... it's that DISH Network no longer carries the local channel that has this show due to some sort of dispute, so we had to watch it on the 'net, through a slightly jerky connection. Annoying, but a few years ago we would've been out of luck altogether!
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: "Enter the Outsiders!" - Liked the opening. Right up until B'wana Beast's into-the-cockpit smash, Black Manta actually seemed menacing. The rest of the episode... not so much. This show exaggerates the worst qualities of each hero to contrast with Batman.
  • Primeval: - We're two three episodes into the second series, and I wanna see MORE. The intrigue that has arisen in the changed present is slightly annoying, but the "monsters" they come up with are still great and I'm looking forward to seeing more. This is a very addicting show, and I'm looking forward to seeing much more of it.

Comics this week:
  • Ambush Bug: Year None #5 - I only got this because the solicit said it would have Ma Hunkel's meatloaf recipe. It didn't.
  • Justice League of America #27 - Doctor Light? And... a bunch of characters I just don't recognize. If the cover didn't say "Milestone" I'd be completely confused instead of just mostly confused.
  • Justice Society of America #21 - Yup, about what I expected.
  • Green Lantern Corps #31 - An utter mess.
  • DC Universe Holiday Special - There were some good stories in there. The Aquaman story, pretty as it was, didn't make much sense. I mean, yeah, modern nativity... but this is Aquaman. He's used to dealing with Greek and Roman gods. Another Doctor Light story, but this one contradicts the JLA appearance. Ah, continuity! Overall, an ok package. Would have been better if I'd read it before Christmas instead of a couple weeks after, I bet.
  • Captain Britain and MI13 #8 - Have I mentioned that I really like Marvel's summary page at the beginning of their books? Just makes it so much easier to recall what's going on after a month. Nice cliffhanger to this one.
  • DMZ #37 - Just what has Matty got himself into this time?
  • Fallen Angel #32 - I wish the art was a little clearer and the coloring not quite so dark. It's hard to tell what is going on sometimes.
  • Sire Apropos of Nothing #2 - All the Wizard of Oz references! And the two-page spread featuring (among other things) the TARDIS! This is a great book, pick it up!
  • The Greatest American Hero #1 - Hey, when did I order this? That's ok, it's actually pretty good... even if it starts out a little Mad Max-ish. I don't think I ordered the second issue, though, so we may have to go on a hunt once it comes out. DCBS is great for pre-ordering, but doesn't seem to be much good for getting books later.
  • Doctor Who Classics: Series 2 #1 - The Prometheus story! I remembered the ending as I read the first couple of pages, but didn't recall any of the rest, so it was good to reread.
  • Doctor Who: The Forgotten #4 - I already have the next issue in my reading pile. This one features the sixth and seventh Doctors in their flashback stories. Good to see Pia's name on the cover again, even if she only drew two pages. Good stories, too. I'm really liking this book.

My library book this week was Rat Life: a mystery by Tedd Arnold. This was another recommendation by The Unshelved Book Club, and I'm getting to the point where if I see a book that looks even slightly interesting to me there I immediately put it on hold at the local library. This one was a good choice. This book is set in the very early 1970's and the main character is an aspiring writer who lives in a motel that his parents own. Saying anything else might spoil the fantastic surprises this book springs on the reader. Suffice to say I really enjoyed this book. Go out and find yourself a copy.

Agatha Christie this week was Murder on the Orient Express from 1934. This is a famous mystery, but I'd never read it or watched the adaptations, so the murderer was a surprise to me. It made such perfect sense, and I think I was beginning to realize it as Poirot sat everyone down for the reveal, but I admit I didn't get it before the reveal. Wow. First ever mystery novel where I was rooting for the murderer to get away with it, even before I knew who the murderer was. Definitely worth reading.

Fortean Times #244, February 2009. Totally spaced-out cover, dude. Again, not one I really like. But then, Fortean Times sometimes seems like a magazine that ought to have a plain brown cover, just as it comes in a plain white envelope. Strangedays has a story about religious feuds, not that THAT is anything new at all. There's also coverage of the attempt to prove near death experiences by putting images near the ceiling of recovery rooms that can only been seen from above to see if anyone who has experienced an NDE can recall the images (thus proving that the patient actually left their body). There's also a good bit on archaeological fakery.

Ghostwatch has a bit on Ghosts and TV, including still images of what people that was a ghost during a 1964 broadcast (it appears that it was just discolored stonework in the background). The conclusion is that ghost sightings don't usually happen while people are watching TV. Draw your own conclusions from that, but I tend to think it supports the argument that ghosts are more a psychological phenomenon than a supernatural one. I could explain myself further, but that's a whole 'nother blog entry or two.

I didn't have much interest in the article linking music with space mythology. I read it, but I didn't recognize a lot of the band names included, so a lot of it just went over my head or under my radar. The UnCon2008 report was fine... sounded a bit like a lot of conventions I've been to, really, only bigger. The historical "unusual pets" article was great. I guess Aquaman isn't the only person to have a pet whale. More pictures of a "winged" cat! Yay! Poor thing looks a little annoyed. There's a fascinating four-page take-down of Richard Dawkins that some people would certainly have issues with. The Reviews section is good, if a little light on stuff I'd actually want to read.

Probably the most striking thing about this issue is the stylish ad for "Death Note: L Change the World" on the back cover. The scene is set so perfectly with the expressions of the actors faces so creepy that I actually preferred leaving the magazine front cover up rather than see that ad more than I had to. Strange days, indeed.