Sunday, March 01, 2015

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:
  • Jan 14th
  • Justice League United #8 - And... they fail. All over, end of universe, right?
  • Green Lantern Corps #38 - Back to more normal stories, it appears. This was a good little start to a tale. Not really my cuppa, but at least it's a story that doesn't crossover half a dozen titles.
  • World's Finest #30 - Still more tales of the other universe and how things got to be the way they are.
  • Arrow: Season 2.5 #4 - With what's happened in the show since this storyline was set, it's almost painful to read.
  • Smallville Continuity #2 - A mess of heroes, and no Aquaman. Blah.
  • Astro City #19 - Whew. One heck of a story going on here. I was moving smoothly through it until the injury and Crackerjack's response to it. Then it got pretty intense. Looking forward to the finish of this one.
  • Spongebob Comics #40 - I really enjoyed the Kick the Can story. Mostly it was just the usual stuff. Funny and silly, but not a lot of substance.
  • Grimm Fairy Tales: Tales from Oz #6: Zamora - Shades of Wicked in this one. Not a bad story, just kind of strange. And the art is actually mostly decent.
  • Doctor Who 10th #6 - A bit of a mess of a storyline. I get the gist of it, but I'm not sure who the characters are that I'm supposed to be following besides the Doctor and Gabby. I can't even tell which soldier is writing the letter. I do like the title of the story, though... the Angel of Mons is a pretty famous tale.
  • Twilight Zone #11 - All the storylines are starting to weave together into a final single climax. This... this could be pretty good, actually.

Fortean Times #318
Fortean Times #318 (September 2014). It's been awhile since I reviewed this mag. Not out of lack of interest, but rather out of lack of time and energy. This issue is about wildmen, particularly the of the English variety. And to get very particular, the type that appear in church carvings in Suffolk. The cover is a neat tribute to the figures, which are described and photographed for the readers' pleasure. Along with the survey of churches is descriptions of fairly recent sightings of things that could be the hairy wildmen. Overall, a nicely written article that was fun to read.

Another major article of this issue is about Doctor Who and written by my old online friend, Paul Cornell. He does a good job of making the argument that Doctor Who is all about Forteana, and hits all the high points of Fortean topics mentioned/shown in the show, along with extensive notes so people can check it out for themselves. Another excellent article, which means this is a pretty good issue to go hunt down and read.

But wait, there's more! The third major article is a survey of houses in London where notorious murders occurred. Naturally, a place like London accumulates a lot of history, and some of it is quite nasty. This article is enlivened by reproductions from the Illustrated Police News of the various murders along with some modern photos of still existing houses. Way cool. Fascinating tales with good illustrations make this a keeper.

The final major article is about rats in mazes and is also fascinating for the pseudo-science it reveals. I didn't love it quite as much as the first three articles, but it was also solid and fascinating, which is all I really want from this magazine. The experiment for the Expectancy Effect was a nice sidebar to the article as well. It shows all too well that scientists are only human.

Strangedays has the usual mix of crazy and cool, including some neat photographs that defy reality, green puppies, and stone orbs. There's a piece on very old trees (5,000 years old) and less old but still very mature animals. There's also a page of follow-ups, which I always love to read. Another piece is about the practice of propping people up in lifelike poses at their own funerals... um, no thanks.

Ghostwatch goes into Ouija boards and cases surrounding those. Archaeology looks at giant earthworks becoming visible in the Amazon as deforestation increases, along with a few other short pieces on other recent discoveries. Classical Corner visits Egypt and the low opinion of it held by ancient visitors.

Alien Zoo covers a missing tusk, giant rabbits and a snake that looks like a rooster... at least, the head of the snake looks like a rooster head. Fairies, Folklore and Forteana is about the sale of cauls. If you don't know what they are, look it up. I'm not explaining it! UFO files is the usual... including a nicely explained sighting that a person described as a dementor from the Harry Potter movies. I won't tell you what it actually was (go get the magazine!) but the piece ends with "There is nothing more frightening than the ordinary when seen out of place." The casebook discusses the possibility of teleportation and UFO sightings. Phenomenomix is the second part of the piece about August Strindberg.

The Forum has two articles, one on scientists using tricks to get headlines and the other on an ongoing fight between mainstream British Judaism and the followers of Kabbalah. Both are informative. The reviews are lovely. They start out with a book and a published response to that book, giving one a 9 and the other a 2. Plenty of slams to enjoy! Guardians of the Galaxy is also reviewed, and gets a high rating. The letters were good and informative. Now, I have a few more issues to read. I wonder how long it'll take me to catch up?