Sunday, April 05, 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:
  • Mar 4th
  • Aquaman and the Others #11 - I'm slightly sad about losing the book, but on the other hand, this was a nice little wrap-up to the storyline that leaves the team ready for action again. So... eh, it works.
  • Green Lantern #40 - So Hal's breaking loose? Wonder what that will mean for the story... just kidding. I still don't care much about this book.
  • Earth 2 #32 - So what happened to Aquawoman? And the rest of the population? Who's left on Earth 2?
  • Justice League 3000 #15 - I was not really expecting that result when Tora and Beatriz finally met face-to-face. Still, very cute indeed.
  • Flash: Season Zero #6 - I got all excited with Barry going underwater, thinking he might attract some other hero... but no, it's King Shark. Still... it's King Shark!
  • Scooby-Doo Team-Up #9 - This was pretty silly and cute. Just the kind of story I want to read with this book, actually. Although I'd like an Aquaman tale.
  • Doctor Who 10th #8 - The angels really got less and less scary with each appearance. If we'd stuck with just the once, they would still be truly creepy, but no, they've been trotted out over and over. In any case, this comic is actually making them scary again.
  • Doctor Who 11th #9 - And the Doctor bites off more than he can chew despite ample warning. Jones is becoming... well, he's becoming something. Hard to tell what just yet.
  • Fiction Squad #6 - Well, it was a bit of a messy storyline, but overall it wasn't too bad. And it had a nice finish.

Fortean Times #323
Fortean Times #323 (January 2015). What a way to start off a year... with KKK ghost riders. The article is actually very interesting, how white masters encouraged superstition among their slaves in order to help keep them under control. The article is depressing and rage-inducing, but also informative. It helps to understand some of those ugly stereotypes perpetuated in the south during those years, and many years after. Heck, it might even have bearing on the mindset of some people today.

A second article proposes the idea that human minds... this is really difficult to explain quickly... are part of the earth's electromagnetic field... sort of. The theory seems slightly bonkers, but oddly fits some facts and myths. It definitely did the job of making me think, although I'm still kind of boggled by the very idea.

Another article looks at a strange 19th century engraving of an unknown hyena, which may be an unknown subspecies or might just be a case of mange or something equally unusual but not particularly mysterious.

Editorial has a couple of points of interest in this issue. The first is a brief excerpt of an interview with William Gibson in which he discusses his love of Fortean topics. The second is an update on the website, which has pretty much lost all content and become a place for people in the UK to manage their subscriptions. As I hadn't visited the site in some time, I didn't notice the change until recently and was glad to read this explanation, although it's sad to see the front page gone. The forums still exist, at least.

Strangedays has the usual mix, including the new Conspirasphere, which is about Alex Jones. Other pieces in Strangedays include odd flotsam, a heist by an illusionist, a giant bell that may or may not exist, and a special report about Dabiq, the town at the end of the world. There's also a set of follow-ups, which includes some fascinating tales and a page of people who rose from apparent death to live on.

Science looks again at morgellons (a disease in which sufferers are convinced there are itchy fibers under their skin) and whether or not it's a real, physical condition or just delusional parasitosis. There's some evidence that it's not only real, it may be related to Lyme disease. If so, I hope relief can be found for sufferers. Ghostwatch looks at the phantoms of WWI on the centenary of the outbreak of the war. Of course, the Angels of Mons are brought up, as are specific anecdotes collected from men who served in the war. This is the first of two parts.

Archaeology is about giant circles of uncut rocks in Jordanian deserts, and a possible sundial found in the Ukraine. There's also more about the use of mind-altering drugs in pre-historic cultures and a bit about the audio properties of standing stone monuments. Classical Corner is about mobs killing people. Alien zoo has four pieces, one about a double-trunked elephant, one about bee-eaters, one about a bustard showing up where it wasn't expected and the final one about black elephants, which are at least as rare as white elephants... if not moreso. The Illustrated Police News is about the sleeping Frenchman of Soho. Phenomenomix continues to follow the life of Jung.

The UFO files continues the double-page stories, this time with tales of flying people. Blasts from the Past talks about fears of stolen children that resulted in danger to visitors to certain places. The focus is on a case from 1869 Brussels which was reported by Fort. The piece includes follow-up information Fort probably didn't know about. The First Forteans looks at Arthur C Clarke and his involvement with early British Forteans. The Forum has a piece on the term "living fossils" and how it's not really descriptive or useful. Another article examines the evidence that the Loch Ness Monster was inspired by creatures in the 1933 King Kong movie. The final article is about a play that defies any attempt I might make to sum it up.

Reviews gives two books perfect 10s, and three others get 9s. Some of these I may want to put on my wishlist, but mostly I'm just disappointed that nothing truly awful has crossed the desks of the Fortean Times editors so they can be snarkily awesome. The movies are mostly the same, including a review of Birdman, which earned 8 out of 10. Letters are typical, with a nice report on the Fortean adventures of Donald Duck.