Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Sunday Review

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Sep 7th
  • Grimm Fairy Tales: The Library #1 - Fun start. There's a great deal of potential in the "poor little rich girl" story alone, add in the mystical and we've got ourselves a possibly fascinating mini-series. If the series ends with daddy realizing he hasn't paid enough attention to his kids and trying to be a good father... well, that's how this sort of series always ends. Maybe we'll get something more creative. Probably not. For the record, we picked this up because of the potential for Wizard of Oz content.
  • Justice League International #1 - Despite attempts to create a new universe, this still feels like we were dropped into the middle of a story. I don't know all these characters, but I guess I'll get used to them.
  • Stormwatch #1 - Well, finally we got our J'onn. So he's part of a shadowy group that is saving the world from the sidelines now. Nifty. I'm going to take a wait and see attitude on this book.
  • Usagi Yojimbo #140 - The finish to the mystery tale started in the last issue. I loved it, as usual. I don't think there's been any issue of this book I didn't like, and very few that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed.
  • Sep 14th
  • Mister Terrific #1 - A bit of a mess. The art is weak in places, the story seems to hold together but never really gels. So it's a mild disappointment. I hope it gets better. Fingers crossed.
  • Green Lantern #1 - Ok, so some of the old universe is still in place in the new DC Universe. The whole adventure with the darkest night and brightest day apparently happened, and the war of the lanterns. I'm not sure I like that, because it starts the book out as a resolution to a cliffhanger. I guess we'll wait and see.
  • Resurrection Man #1 - A new twist on the old story. I think I'm going to really enjoy this series. I hope it goes on for a long time.
  • All New Batman the Brave and the Bold #11 - A time travel adventure. I love the cover, and in fact enjoyed the story as a whole. Fun stuff.
  • Sergio Aragones Funnies #3 - I honestly haven't got anything more to say about this series. I mean, really. If you like Sergios work you absolutely MUST get this. If not, eh.
  • Sep 21st
  • Dark Horse Presents #4 - I only got this for the Beasts of Burden short. I've only skimmed through the rest of the stories. I enjoyed the Beasts tale, and I'm glad I pre-ordered the next one that will have them in it. Pity there isn't a regular Beasts of Burden ongoing.
  • Green Lantern Corps #1 - John and Guy dealing with Earth not being their home anymore, illustrating why super-heroes have secret identities. Not too bad. Didn't like the final splash... or rather non-splash.
  • Tiny Titans #44 - Crosswalks of doom? I love this book. You know it. It just keeps me happy when I'm not sure what to think of things.
  • Young Justice #8 - Artemis. Learning a lot about her, but I'm still not sure what to make of her. I want to rewatch the series so far and reread the comics... not going to happen. Not enough time, but it's got me interested.
  • Fables #109 - I admit I'm much more interested in the Oz side of the story than the winds side, but finding out that Ozma gave the prophecy was a nice touch that tied them together. I think we should have been getting this book from the start. Hindsight is 20/20.
  • DMZ #69 - Matty continues his tour of the Five Nations while a bridge, literally and figuratively, is blown up. Huh. Not sure what to think of this one.
  • Northlanders #44 - Brutal as usual, along with the strange bits of slavery and not slavery. When is slavery not slavery? Hard to say. But this is a brutal book and not for kids. Wow.
  • Simpsons Treehouse of Horror #17 - Fun as usual. Some strange stuff in this one. Overall, a good issue of the ongoing series based on the ongoing series of episodes of the very ongoing animated series.
  • Stan Lee's Soldier Zero #12 - And so it ends, with a fight and a discussion. I'm not sure if I liked it. I know I didn't hate it, so that's something. Maybe I'll get the continuation, if there is one.
  • Sep 28th
  • Aquaman #1 - Yes, I finally read it. It took me long enough. I enjoyed it too. The art is sweet, the expressions on Aquaman's face perfect for each of the situations he is in. The storyline has a little bit of promise, but alien underwater creatures popping up from under the floor of the ocean only to discover the new world above has been done a couple of times already, both poorly and not so poorly. The twists need to be big for this one to work for me. I'm going to just cross my fingers and hope for the best, but I can say that I really enjoyed this issue and I'm looking forward to the next one, which is already in my pile waiting to be read.
  • Green Lantern New Guardians #1 - Kyle's getting a little too much, isn't he? I'm surprised that everyone would assume he's a thief, though. Very strange.
  • Doctor Who #9 - Kevin just totally cracks me up. And his appearances here are great. The whole mind control aspect was mildly annoying, but it all worked out better than I would have expected it to in the end. Fun stuff. I like the tourist aspect of the whole thing as well. Heh. Kevin. Heh.
  • Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz #1 - Good start to a book I hardly remember. I do recall liking Jim and Eureka, so I'm hoping for some fun as this gets going. Actually, I seem to recall the start of this book being rather creepy. So far, my memory is correct.
  • Futurama Comics #57 - I normally don't bother to read this book, just let the hubby enjoy it. I'm not a big fan of the show. But the steampunk aspect was just too funny a twist to pass up, and I actually mostly enjoyed the book.

My Kindle book this week was Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb by MJA Ware. This Kindle book, currently available for free, is a zombie romp for young adults. The story is about a couple of teenagers who run away from home just in time for a zombie invasion to cause their hometown's evacuation. On their return, they have to clear the town of zombies before the government decide to sterilize the town by other means.

The characters are fairly strong, but they are typical teenagers. They aren't quite old enough to drive, they snap at each other and don't understand each other, and they take over the local Walmart as a fortress against the zombies. Fortunately for them, the zombies aren't too smart, as I wouldn't rely on any Walmart product to keep a zombie out. The adventures the kids have are logical. We follow them from their first discovery of the zombies to their eventual attempts to return to normal life.

What was interesting is how the main character grows and changes through the book. He's a typical teen at the beginning, but rapidly figures out that he doesn't know much, and yet manages somehow to deal with both his ignorance and his embarrassment at his own ignorance. When the initial pair are joined by a nerd who has all the answers, the main character defers to him when needed and is gratified to get respect back. The relationships between the characters took this book from a typical zombie romp up a notch.

The only big downside I found was a lack of distinctive voice for the second character in the book, the lead character's best friend. There are times when I confused their speeches because they both spoke with much the same voice. The nerd had a nicely distinctive way of speaking, and his growth was decent as well, but he was still the nerd.

The science in the book is also a joy. It isn't complicated science by any means, but it is nicely explained and would be enough to inspire some kids to try making their own little zombie bombs, I bet. All in all, I really did enjoy the level of fun and sophistication in the book, and found myself satisfied at the end.

But wait, there's more! Once you reach the end of the book there are two bonus stories added for your reading pleasure: "Hobgoblin Horror" and "Bloody Mary". The first is about two boys visiting an old man at a nursing home, and listening to the war stories he tells. The second is about a popular sleepover game that maybe isn't as innocent as it seems. The first story was better than the second, if only because the ending of the second story left a few questions about what had happened. Anyone unfamiliar with the game might be left clueless despite the exposition delivered in the story. But both were good horror tales to read on Hallowe'en night, which is when I read them, so I'll give them credit for that. Definitely a book worth checking out if you have a chance.

I've read a couple of other stories by Ware, and was offered this book for review before it was offered free at So far I've enjoyed all of Ware's efforts to some degree, and I look forward to reading more.

Agatha Christie this week was Elephants Can Remember from 1972. I got this one. I got the whole thing, motive and everything. It's the first one I can honestly say I figured it out as soon as I had the hints, and not at the reveal. Anyway... Poirot is asked by the mystery writer Mrs. Oliver to investigate an apparent suicide pact from over a decade ago. I love reading Christie's MarySue character, and this was a good one for her. The insights into society and how a person was expected to act were lovely to read about. Reading some Christie again after a break was like putting on a warm winter coat during the first freeze. I want to read all the rest right now, but kind of want to save them for later as well.