Sunday, March 15, 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:
  • Feb 11th
  • Justice League United #9 - So... is everyone working together or at cross-purposes? I'm with Sardath, too many to keep track of in this story.
  • Green Lantern Corps #39 - I'm vaguely interested in the mother/son story. The rest... eh. Whatever.
  • World's Finest #31 - Things fall apart. Well, this is interesting enough. Not a great story, but a decent one.
  • Justice League 3000 #14 - Well, Tora is still cool (pun intentional) but that really doesn't save this book for me.
  • Arrow: Season 2.5 #5 - I'm still a bit thrown by the fact that this takes place before the current season and is thus out of date. Otherwise, this issue is an improvement over previous ones for some reason.
  • Smallville Continuity #3 - Again, I'm just not sure what's happening in this issue. Something important, I'm sure. No Aquaman though, so I'm less than interested.
  • Astro City #20 - I love having this book back on a regular schedule. And I'm really enjoying this bittersweet arc about age catching up with superheroes. This book is a must for anyone who loves the superhero genre.
  • Doctor Who 11th #8 - Poor Alice. She knows all along, but ... even knowing she still has to work through it. As for Jones, that'll teach him to eat random donuts.
  • Spongebob Comics #41 - Amusing. No Mermaid Man, but still amusing.

Fortean Times #320
Fortean Times #320 (November 2014). Well, it's a better cover than "Bif, Pow, Bam!" but only just. The cover story goes into the death of horror comics in the 1950s due to the moral panic that the comics were corrupting the youth of America. There's a lot of comparison between the methods used by the Nazis (book burnings and such) and the methods used by the crusaders against horror comics (including book burnings, no joke). As a comic book fan, I've read plenty about that era of comics. This article doesn't add much to my general knowledge, but is a tolerable overview of what happened. The photos and examples of comic covers add a bit, but it's still just a rehash of well-trodden ground. If you are unfamiliar with the story, it would probably be far more interesting.

The second main article is about gothic horror and goes into the origins and definitions of Gothic literature, which I appreciated. I admit it made me want to go read some more of those old stories... they sound fun in a depressing sort of way. In any case, a decent read.

The final main article is on Anne Rice's return to her world of vampires after a decade of writing about Jesus. I have never read any of the Anne Rice books, nor have I felt any particular desire to do so. This article almost changed that. No, not quite, but I admit after reading it I felt a lot more curiosity about the whole series. Enough to look through Wikipedia to get a general sense of what the series is actually about. But not quite enough to want to read the books themselves.

Strangedays has bits about wasps in a bed, space geckos, ripping apart the latest Jack the Ripper theory, extra teeth and the recovery of a long-lost ship. There's some follow-ups, which I always enjoy, including more on Slenderman.

Ghostwatch is about hauntings at the Langham Hotel, particularly experiences of the England cricket team. Scary. Archaeology looks deeper under Stonehenge and finds plenty to see. Classical Corner tackles the difficult subject of sexual abuse of children in ancient texts and finds the ancients were not people we would consider good by that measure.

Alien Zoo finds something interesting about Yeti hair. Fairies, Folklore and Forteana talks about the apparent ability of some people to gift the ability of seeing fairies by touching someone. The UFO files has a bit about Chinese Lanterns and another on telepathy as applied to alien minds. Science looks at the EmDrive and whether or not it could actually work.

The Forum laments the apparent loss of the American Society for Psychical Research and the cult surrounding Hugo Chavez. Phenomenomix was about painter Johannes Van Der Beeck, aka Torrentius. Illustrated Police News was a sad tale of intrigue and ... clowning around? And it's also an object lesson in not getting drunk and making stupid bets.

Not a lot of really good reviews this time, possibly because most of the stuff was rated highly. Nothing begging to be put on my wish list, although Mass Hysteria in Schools definitely looks good. Letters were also good, including a couple of responses to Paul Cornell's Doctor Who article. I also found the bit on phantom miaows with a new cat owner to be oddly spot on, as I seem to recall the same thing happening when Inkwell first came into our lives. Not my favorite issue of this magazine, but still heads and shoulders above just about any other entertainment.