Sunday, March 08, 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 21st
  • Justice League #38 - Well, at least there's more Aquaman in this one. Although I'm not sure that final splash page is how I generally want my superheroes.
  • Green Lantern: New Guardians #38 - Um. Am I supposed to remember the bad guy in this one? If so, bad call. The story was clearly so forgettable I can't recall.
  • Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse #7 - So the teams are at the source of... the multiverse? And fighting for the fate of everything, I guess. I'm still not sure how much I like this, but I know the lack of Aqua-characters is annoying.
  • Fables #148 - I liked the flashback story, but when it cut to the present I was less enthused. The last Jack of Fables story was... amusing. I suppose if anyone could pull it off...?
  • Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues #1 - I feel like I need to rewatch the movie to really get this... there's just enough callback that makes me feel like I need the refresher. On the other hand, it hangs together well enough. The art? Hmmm... I'm not sure of it yet. Well see.
  • Doctor Who 11th #7 - Alice goes home to deal with her life, but the aliens are up in the sky causing problems. I admit the final couple of pages were a shocker to me. And Jones... wha? That's quite the transformation.
  • Doctor Who 12th #4 - Well, there's a new look for Clara. I'm liking the secondary characters more than the Doctor and Clara in this comic. I'm not sure if that's intentional, or an effect of how I feel about the characters on the show.
  • Jan 28th
  • Aquaman #38 - And so Aquaman's mother enters this series. What new and interesting stuff will we find out about Aquaman's past now? What totally different history will be revealed? And why did Aquaman listen to Mera? Lovely art, nice coloring, but I'm still concerned about the storyline.
  • Sinestro #9 - I'm still not finding this book all that interesting. If not for Soranik's troubles, I probably wouldn't even read it.
  • Secret Origins #9 - Swamp Thing, Power Girl and John Stewart Green Lantern. None of the stories jumped out at me as anything special.
  • Multiversity Guidebook #1 - Holee! Ok, THIS is cool. This is, in fact, maybe one of the best of the Multiversity things I've seen. I like the various Aquaman-Elses... but I find myself just craving more of the various universes in general. Despite wanting even more, this was pretty satisfying to read. I want ALL the stories. Give me more.
  • Spider-Man 2099 #8 - I really like Lady Spider, which means she's probably doomed. Any character I actually like in a Marvel book is going to get killed off quickly.
  • Future Proof #3 - I'm not even pretending to understand what this book is about anymore.
  • Feb 4th
  • Aquaman and the Others #10 - Finally. Aquaman's actually ahead of the game. Nice to see the writers acknowledge that he isn't completely oblivious.
  • Green Lantern #39 - What, somebody actually appreciates Hal? That must be the end of the book.
  • Earth 2 #31 - Atlantis and Nabu... not a bad pairing for a parallel story. I like Khalid, but he needs to man up a bit.
  • Batman '66 #19 - So much potential there. I like the foggy atmosphere, but it seemed to get all wrapped up a little too quickly for my tastes.
  • Flash: Season Zero #5 - So someone wants to kill... Felicity? Oh, this is intriguing.
  • Oddly Normal #5 - Detention... and how is she supposed to know the way home? I do love this book. It's nice to have another solid independent comic out there.

Fortean Times #319
Fortean Times #319 (October 2014). The cover story is Part 2 of the haunted murder houses of London, and the second part is almost as good as the first. Again, the illustrations mixed with modern photos and detailed information work very nicely to make a compelling read. Add in the conjecture on how difficult it is to sell a home that's had a murder (not difficult in crowded London, as it turns out) and it's worth taking a look at.

The second main article is about the inaugural Scottish Paranormal Festival, which was set to happen last Halloween. There's a nice question and answer from the organizer and some explanation of the location, which sounds like a good place to visit.

The third main article looks at the fate of the Sighthill Stone Circle in Glasgow, and how it was never quite finished thanks to Thatcher's government stopping all such art projects. The history of the circle from then until now, when it may be taken down for another development, is chronicled. It's kind of a sad story, in that the circle was designed to prove a scientific point, but stopped before that point could be made. And now it's going to be dismantled.

The Forum has articles on the Woggle (Marsupilami), The Bowmen of Mons and of Mars, and the preservation of documents related to Fortean subjects after the owner of the documents has passed away. The Reviews are strong, as usual, though not nearly as hard on its subjects as I sometimes enjoy reading. Three books got added to my wishlist, including The Invention of News: How the World Came to Know About Itself by Andrew Pettegree, Demon Street, USA by David Rountree and Robbie Lunt, and Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween by Lisa Morton. All of them sound right up my alley. The film and DVD reviews were also solid, but nothing jumped out as something I want to see.

Strangedays has pieces on a quasi-Christian murder cult in China, a crashed wizard, nightmare-fueled photos, odd falls from the sky, a woman who eats books (including one that appears to be by a friend of mine), a round-up of holy grail stories and worries of plagues being released from permafrost. Science notes the trend of transplanting monkey glands into people. Euw. Archaeology has a bit about moving stone over sand, giant men, diggers entombed in basements and very old false teeth. Classical Corner is about female Christian priests, and how they appear to be present in the earliest Christian churches.

Alien Zoo looks at a call for bigfoot hair sample, another search for the Thylacine and a spotted green pigeon that DNA tests proved was related to the Dodo. Konspiracy Korner bids the magazine farewell, noting that when a columnist becomes repetitive, it's time to leave the stage. Fairies, Folklore and Forteana notes how fairies evolved to have wings in popular imagination, when originally they did not. Fortean Traveller goes to a Voodoo Market in Togo, which I don't think I'd be brave enough to do. Phenomenomix finishes up its three-part overview of Strindberg.

UFO Files covers different bits of ground from people being marked during alien abductions to hoaxes of flying saucers. Blasts from the Past talks about the Cat-Faced Woman of East Florence and the racism involved in the reporting of the incident, which happened in 1930s South Carolina. The Random Dictionary continues its look at alien abductions and the similarities and differences between the stories. Of particular interest is the stories that are rejected by "UFO researchers" because they don't fit whatever the popular narrative of the day is... a very Fortean subject.

Finishing up with the letters: I love reading what other people who read the magazine think. As a person who was published in the magazine once, I feel a tiny kinship to my fellow Forteans. That said, I find the letters often add to or even debunk articles from previous issues and as such are invaluable. The "it happened to me..." section is also nicely chilling. Humans really are at our best when telling stories.