Sunday, April 17, 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:
  • Mar 9th
  • Green Lantern Corps: The Edge of Oblivion #3 - Well, that ending sucks. I am vaguely interested in what happens in this book, but not nearly enough to get excited about it.
  • Earth 2 Society #10 - Hey, I finally get to see Aquawoman again! And she's nasty! Yay? Ok, so if I have this straight, the world they've ended up on has no natural resources and people are still fighting over what little they have? Ok. Sounds like humans.
  • Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 - It's not a Batman book unless his origin comes up, and here it is. Still, a nice way of slipping it into the plot. It actually works.
  • Spider-Man 2099 #8 - Wow. That's an impressive turn of events. And it all happened in a sort of organic way, as well. Nicely plotted. I'm really curious as to what will happen next.
  • Doctor Strange #6 - And the good guys lose. The end. ... right? I'm not a fan of the Marvel Universe or Doctor Strange, this is hubby's book. But it's a neat little premise. What happens if the world is "cleansed" of magic?
  • Dirk Gently: A Spoon Too Short #2 - I'm enjoying this more than the last mini-series, but that's really not saying all that much. I think this mini is giving a better sense of how Dirk's concept works, the interconnectedness of things and how one piece of information can potentially have meaning in a context that it doesn't seem even remotely related to. There's less pure silly, and more targeted silly in this one. And while Dirk is still really annoying, he's not unlikable. I do wonder what, exactly, he got from the elephant, though. That's a cliffhanger that is almost too amusing to stand.
  • Doctor Who 12th #2.3 - It was interesting to see who makes a cameo in this one, apparently unrelated to the story itself. UNIT is on the job? Well, if you have Sea Devils, I guess it's time for UNIT to show up. In any case, fun explanation for how there are still "humans" and yet they are clearly not human. Fun issue, in all.
  • Spongebob Comics #54 - I'm not sure why I bother mentioning this comic in my capsules. It's always funny and fresh, but it's also not got an ongoing plot, so a capsule will never do it justice. Perhaps I need to really do reviews. Hrm.
  • Baker Street Peculiars #1 - Three kids meet up while chasing a stone lion running through London in 1933. Eventually they meet a stranger who appears to be none other than the famous Sherlock Holmes, who employs them to find out more about missing statues. I thought the method of introducing the characters by having Holmes analyze them was a neat trick, but that only works for one issue. A fun start, with some interesting twists and high strangeness. Could be really good, we'll have to see how the next issue goes.

Fortean Times #337
Fortean Times #337 (February 2016). Oh man. That cover is excellent. Apparently I really like Gothic Romance imagery? Or maybe it's just the composition and the colors that make me happy. I don't know, but I consider it gorgeous. The cover story, about Gothic Romance, covers the basic tropes of the genre and picks out a few examples that exemplify it. I love the page of the book covers, all so similar while being slightly different. A sidebar story talked about Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak, and how it fits and expands the genre. I have a slight desire to see the movie, but I'm not entirely sure I really want to... his stuff tends to spark nightmares for me.

A second feature is about supposed Neanderthals in Wales, and discusses the way people were categorized into different ethnic groups before DNA tests were available. It's all somewhat disturbing, but it's important to understand how we used to think about race and ethnicity, even among people who are essentially the same.

The story of Sulawesi is really hard to read for me. It's a feature on a somewhat unique tradition of how to treat the dead, but it's also macabre to my eyes. The thought of loving family members exhuming my body every few years to celebrate my mummified remains bothers me more than it should. The article is written in a way to undercut any negativity, but it still gets to me.

Strangedays starts with a mystery object found at a cemetery and continues with some great photos, including one of a horse with a horse-shaped marking on its shoulder. There's a bit on people with unusual love interests, complete with at least one photo that's almost not-safe-for-work. Medical bag looks at people who claim to have electromagnetic hypersensitivity... not to diminish their claims, but it really ought to be fairly simple to determine if the condition is real using Faraday cages and double-blind studies. And since all such attempts have failed to prove it, I wonder what's really causing the problem? There's also more on the fictional Red Mercury and terrorist attempts to obtain it.

The Conspirasphere gets to Malheur and the Bird Sanctuary Bozos... there's plenty of fortean concepts to go around in there. I still wish they'd all been eaten by Bigfoot (I made the mistake of saying that in a news meeting at work). Mythconceptions looks at the ridiculous idea that sharks don't get cancer.

Science looks at Earthquake lights, and what might actually be causing them. There is some advancement on figuring that out, but apparently it's not really any good for predicting earthquakes. Archaeology looks at people buried with mixed-up animal bones. There's also more on ancient grains. Classical Corner is about ancient insults and cussing, and is... um... not-safe-for-work.

Ghostwatch finds newly recorded stories about a place that previously was overlooked by ghost hunters. Apparently you can't go anywhere on the map without finding some ghosts. Alien zoo has a handful of news, including the fact that Austalian and New Zealand fairy penguins are genetically different, despite looking the same. The UFO Casebook continues the detailed story of how the Rendlesham Forest incident started.

Strange Statesmen finally gets to America, and there is oh-so-much to examine there. The first politician discussed, Augustus Sol Invictus, isn't one I'd heard of before, but he definitely fits the Fortean Times. Then it goes into the Tea Party and the absolute nuttiness found there, including two of the most memorable political ads in recent history: "I am not a witch" and the demon-sheep ad.

Building a Fortean Library goes into the history of unicorns with two books on unicorn lore. Reviews has some good pieces, including a book on reality and philosophy. There are a few good ones, a handful of books to add to my wishlist. The film reviews has only one of real interest to me, Downtime, the unofficial Doctor Who spin-off. It's panned by the reviewer.

The letters were good - one in particular made me angry. It is about the chain letter craze of the 1970s and 1980s... I got accused as a child of passing one along. I didn't. In fact, every time I got a chain letter from someone, I would rip it up in front of them. Logic said the letters made no sense - they talked about the effect of the letter within the letter, even though the effects couldn't have happened when the letter was written. *ahem* The "It Happened to Me" section was surprisingly happy, with stories that weren't as creepy as usual, but still interesting. The personal stories, true or not, are what makes this magazine fantastic.