Sunday, March 06, 2016

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 27th
  • Justice League of America #7 - Time travel, parasitic gods, and Superman being super. What more does a fan need? More Aquaman would be nice, but at least he's arming up.
  • Aquaman #48 - So is this plotline over then? The Justice League went on a rescue mission while Arthur and Mera went to deal with the heart of the problem? Somewhat anti-climatic at the end, but the promise of the set-up argued for a big bad, not for a lightshow.
  • Scooby-Doo Team-Up #14 - With all the other impossibilities in this issue, why was people talking with scuba gear in their mouths the one thing that 'threw me out of the story'??? I mean, it's all impossible, so why couldn't I get over that bit of silliness?
  • Doctor Who 10th #2.5 - Munmeth is a pretty fun character, and I thought we were headed for a nice tie-up of the story and the end of it all... but the fun continues. I wonder what comes next?
  • Doctor Who 11th #2.5 - That final splash page just made the team even more exciting, if that's possible. I mean, Abslom Daak, The Squire, Alice and the Doctor... plus one? This book is getting more interesting as it goes on.
  • Peanuts vol 2 #30 - Wuv, true wuv... is not in the cards for Lucy or Marcie, apparently. Charlie Brown is a bit of a cad. Why didn't he invite Marcie in to watch TV with him?

Fortean Times #334
Fortean Times #334 (December 2015). The cover is a jumble, but striking enough. The blood spatters make it uncomfortable to look at, which may be the point. The cover story itself is about a chilling murder of an entire family in 1929 Detroit. I found the clippings from the newspapers to be fascinating (the fact that a reporter gave the name of the youngest child as "Marrow" instead of Mario says something about knowledge of Italian names at the time). One of the clippings mentions the family dog escaped and was later found by a woman who decided not to keep it after learning who had owned it before. The whole story is sickly compelling. It's unsolved and unlikely to be definitively solved at this point, which just makes it more tragic and mysterious.

The second main article is about the connections between Virginia Woolf and Jack the Ripper. There's actually more connections than I would expect, but then... If the killer truly was a gentleman, then most of the upper class at that time would have some connection somewhere with him.

The final main article is very disturbing, about the Black Dahlia murder of 1947. Truly sickening, with a few photos that are at the edge of tolerable. Nothing so explicit to make me sick, but the editorial actually warned readers: "we chose not to include any of the more graphic crime scene photos, but some readers may find the images disturbing". Yup.

Strangedays starts off with a report of a floating city in China, and what might cause an optical illusion like it, if it's not a hoax. There are photos of giant vegetables, an escapologist who nearly died, people who came back from the dead, knitted dissections and security provided by a large stone. Medical Bag is a mish-mash and not all gross for once.

The Conspirasphere looks at tin foil hats and Faraday Cages along with a theory about Stephen Hawking being an impersonator. Science tackles the anti-vaxxer movement from a historical context. Archaeology has a history of beheadings along with good news about some antiquities targeted by terrorists.

Classical Corner is about ancient obesity. Ghostwatch looks at politicians' ghostly beliefs. Alien Zoo has Mothman, vampire squirrels and mutant spider (maybe bitten by a radioactive Peter Parker?). Mythconceptions smacks down the idea that microwaves cook from the inside out.

There's a nice piece on an exhibit by Scotland Yard of part of its special collection of criminal artefacts, some of them with quite the history. The UFO Casebook looks at signs of water on Mars and what it might mean for us. Building a Fortean Library is almost incomprehensible. Fortean Traveller is moody and depressing, but interesting. L. Frank Baum is mentioned in Phenomenomix.

Blasts from the Past is about a man who tried to alter animals and humans into bizarre forms... and whether or not he could have existed. It also talks about "cripple factories" in which children are crippled so kind people will give them money. That's a story I've heard about in modern times... don't give money to beggars, they've been crippled to tug at your heart strings and if no one gives money, none will get crippled. Wasn't it also a theme in "Slumdog Millionaire" as well?

The reviews made me happy. There's a couple of slap-down reviews, including a movie that only got 2 out of 10. There's also a few books I wouldn't mind reading. Two books in the "Also Received" section look up my alley as well, one about spiritualism in Lincoln's White House and the other about Tibet. The letters were as cool as always, including a couple of thrilling ghost stories. Overall, another excellent issue of the best magazine available for people who really want to think.