Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Doctor Who: "Deep Breath" - The first new Peter Capaldi Doctor Who episode starts with a bang as a dinosaur is wandering the Thames in London. It slows down a bit in the middle, but there are nice little callbacks to previous events in the history of Doctor Who which the audience may have gotten well before it became obvious what was going on. Clara had her moments in this one, including a massively strong scene in which she stands up to the villain of the piece. There was also a great deal of humor with enough quotable quotes in the first half alone to keep Doctor Who fans quipping at one another for months. Overall, I enjoyed it. There were some flaws, but there always will be. Even at its worse, Doctor Who is generally better than most TV, and this was far from the worst we've seen from Doctor Who.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Jul 16th
  • Green Lantern: New Guardians #33 - I almost see a potential point to this story. But it's so stretched out that even if it were a good tale, it has taken long enough to tell that it's just become boring.
  • Harley Quinn Invades Comic Con Intl San Diego #1 - Wow. Just... wow. This is meta is so many ways. And you really have to go over each panel to see all the in-jokes. Wow. Impressive. And terrifying. Wow.
  • Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse #1 - I've read all this before. I hope it gets original mighty fast.
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked #7 - Maybe it was just because I was recently at the Wizard of Oz convention, but the various Wizard of Oz references in this one totally jumped out at me. Aquaman is so cute in Scribblenaut form!
  • Capt Action Cat #3 - The magic is confused... really? No kidding? This is getting more fun and cute... and confusing... by the minute. I really like this sort of nonsense comic. It's got just enough plot to carry the hilarity.
  • Fables #142 - Yeah, Bigby appears to be in a really bad way. And there's a lot more going on in his family than I realized. Scary stuff, kiddies.
  • Jul 23rd
  • Aquaman #33 - This is all about a growing threat... and one that doesn't generally hold back. I'm glad Salty survived his run-in, but wow, lots of dead in the wake of this new bad guy. And more Vulko, which is both sad and good. Looking forward to the next issue.
  • Secret Origins #4 - Harley Quinn, slightly different than what I've seen before, but close enough. Green Arrow, grim and gritty as always. And Robin, with art that felt so opposite the story I just cringed while reading the whole thing.
  • Trinity of Sin: Pandora #13 - Ah, there's more to Marcus than meets the eye. Well, that's not really a surprise, I guess.
  • Batman '66 #13 - A Batman TV show becoming popular and spawning fads? So implausible! This was a really fun episode issue from start to finish.
  • Batman Beyond Universe #12 - And the two storylines mix it up and finish off in an ending that ties up most of the various little plots. It could have been better, but hey, Aquagirl. Doubled.
  • Doctor Who 10th #1 - Nice set up for a story - Day of the Dead, Doctor wandering around with a non-buzzing device that isn't working quite right, and a girl whose trying to get away from a boring family situation. Good stuff.
  • Doctor Who 11th #1 - And this one was a full story, complete with a fun alien or two, a blubbering prime minister and two really amusing shorts at the end of the book. I'm a bigger fan of the 10th Doctor, but this book was better.
  • Groo vs Conan #1 - I am mostly unfamiliar with Groo, but I'm a bit of a fan of Conan (not a fanatic, I just am amused by the stories). This is a really funny start, mixed in with the "real life" bits and the characters noticing the differences in styles. This is just going to be a lot of fun, I can tell.
  • Steed and Mrs. Peel: Needed #1 - Ah, this is much more like the Avengers I remember. That last series went off the rails more than a bit. This one seems to be following the formula while taking it to new heights. Good show so far.
  • Peanuts V2 #20 - The usual fun. I tend to be able to tell the originals Schulz tales from the newer stuff, but they are all pretty good.
  • Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's City on the Edge of Forever #2 - Curiouser and curiouser. This really is a journey into what could have been, what might have been, what ought to have been. There are some really good bits in here that were so far gone from what aired that it's depressing.
  • Twilight Zone #7 - I'm getting more and more curious to see how this story ends up. She's already made a difference in some ways, what else is going to happen now that she's so involved? And the callback to the previous story was also good. It puts this one into a certain timeframe.

My mystery book this week was The Alpine Yeoman by Mary Daheim. A body found in Alpine isn't a local and doesn't arouse much interest, except why is a deputy gone missing and what are these crazy rumors about the high school? Everything sort of crashes together at the end of this one. I was expecting about half of it. Some of the other revelations and events were somewhat surprising. More fun for me was the tie-ins to my region of the state, including prominent mentions of Wapato and Yakima, and Emma getting in touch with old friends who worked in the newspaper business in this region. Heh. Fun. I like the continual complaints about how the newspaper industry is dying from the oldtimers, even as Emma points out that she's still running a paper. A good one, and I'm finally caught up with the series. If you want to start the Alpine series, I strongly recommend starting at the first book, The Alpine Advocate.