Sunday, April 20, 2014

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:
  • Mar 19th
  • Batman and Aquaman #29 - Without knowing the whole story behind what Batman is doing, this is still a pretty good and almost self-contained issue. Aquaman has some good lines and real action. Overall, very very nice.
  • Trinity of Sin: Pandora #9 - Without the rest of the crossover issues, this doesn't make a lot of sense. But hey, more Sea King! (ok, yeah, a single panel).
  • Green Lantern: New Guardians #29 - Nice little story, built up with a nice little contradiction. Still just Kyle, but at least the story he wandered into isn't boring.
  • Batman Beyond Universe #8 - AQUAMAN!!! Ok, that was unexpected and yet, strangely fitting. Why not reintroduce Aquaman just to... *sigh* Gonna go cry now. Oh, Batman stories were ok.
  • Batman '66 #9 - While the Zelda story was cute, I thought the Alfred story was even better, personally.
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked #3 - Aquaman is so cute in this book! So is Mera, and Manta and just about every other character. Aquaman's story gets a full page. Whee!

After reading Fortean Times #292, I snagged a copy of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M. R. James from Gutenberg to see if I'd ever read any of his stories before. I suppose it's because of my general avoidance of horror, but none of the tales in the book were familiar. At first I scoffed a little at the end of the stories and thought to myself, "That's it? That's not scary..." but then each story worked its way into my head, like a burrowing worm. Each story was surprisingly terrifying on reflection, with so much left unsaid in each one. This is classic horror. This is horror done right. This is the stuff that should give people true nightmares. There's an ongoing theme in the stories of a lack of closure. Sure, the tale is told, the victims generally survive... but there are no answers. No solutions. Just stop-gap efforts at holding back entropy. Creepy as all get out, but incredibly satisfying in the end. I'm going to sum up each story in my own words. I've decided against making notes on every tale, as spoilers would be tragic for anyone who hasn't read these yet and intends to.
  • Canon Alberic's Scrap-book - A photographer makes a spectacular find in a sleepy French village, only to discover it comes with a price not tallied in money.
  • Lost Hearts - A young orphan goes to live with his elderly cousin and finds nightmares waiting.
  • The Mezzotint - A man procuring items for a library takes possession of a rather unusual engraving of a manor house.
  • The Ash-tree - The Lord of a manor learns that having an ash tree next to the house is not good luck.
  • Number 13 - A lack of room number 13 doesn't mean that nobody is staying in it. I love the use of shadows in this one.
  • Count Magnus - Out writing a travel journal, a man becomes obsessed with a Count long dead.
  • 'Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad' - A professor stumbles over an ancient artifact while on a golfing vacation. This is widely considered the finest ghost story M.R. James ever wrote. I do not disagree. It almost made me swear off bedsheets.
  • The Treasure of Abbot Thomas - A man long-dead plays a terrible prank on anyone who would hunt for his treasure.