Sunday, March 02, 2014

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 15th
  • Justice League of America #11 - So, are they still in the trap, then? I'm not really sure what's happening here.
  • Green Lantern Corps #27 - Fighty spacey stuff. Boring.
  • World's Finest #19 - So, they're finally going to come clean with the world's superheroes? Or at least the two most important ones to them?
  • DC vs Masters of the Universe #4 - I'm still giggling about the big bad in this one. No Aquaman in this issue, however. Pity.
  • Justice League 3000 #2 - Nasty. Not really my thing, but it's funny that the "Wonder Twins" actually told the truth in front of the team. Albeit accidentally.
  • Astro City #8 - This is the kind of fight that can't be truly won, just completely fought out until somebody claims victory. I do like this book a lot.
  • L'il Battlestar Galactica #1 - Fun. Just plain fun. Nothing more, nothing less. Just fun. Fans of the original show might get a happy little chill reading the opening... I did.
  • Department of Monsterology #4 - Final issue of this mini... The art was ok, but I still had difficulties following the storylines. Maybe if they'd stuck with a single plotline it would have been more compelling.

My library/Kindle book this week was Dragonbreath #9: The Case of the Toxic Mutants by Ursula Vernon. Danny has to visit his grandfather in the old folks home, and manages to get Wendell and Christiana to come along. There are a few good educational bits in this one, like the fact that reptiles just keep growing. There's also a bit about how to figure out the tracks of unknown animals along with some bits about the habits of said unknown animals. And then there's what will happen to Wendell if he loses his retainer. This was actually pretty fun, and I want to read more. The Dragonbreath stories are lovely little snacks for a voracious reader.

My mystery book this week was The Alpine Scandal by Mary Daheim. Vida and Emma discover a dead man after investigating a pre-mature obituary sent to the paper. Another tale of sad and painful events. At least it was leavened with a good bit of funny Ed, who managed to mismanage his wealth. I wondered how long that would take once he had it in the first place. Anyway, it didn't twist out the way I feared it would. It still managed to be a good little ride of a book. Sometimes I feel like I'm reading more for the soap opera aspects than for the mysteries. If you want to start the Alpine series, I strongly recommend starting at the first book, The Alpine Advocate.

Fortean Times #307 US Cover
Fortean Times #307 (December 2013). This issue has two covers, I've got the mostly black one on the front, but the first page is the other cover! As for the cover story... well, it's the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination. It seems only obvious that we'll get some retrospective of the conspiracy theory. To my delight, however, this is more than just a retrospective, it's also a review of the history of theory conspiracy and a very nicely done overview of the evolution of JFK theories.

The other main articles also cover the same territory in nicely constrasting ways. One covers a plethora of conspiracy theories, from reasonable to idiotic, while another focuses on the cinema of conspiracy.

Strangedays covers a Siberian Mowgli, a vote rigging coconut, a stylite monk, scary clowns, out-of-place marine animals, criminal cats and flaming babies. Science is about cold fusion, and whether its failure was a conspiracy by oil companies or simply a case of poor science. Ghostwatch looks deeper into the idea that consciousness can last after death and how it might be possible to study it. Archaeology uncovers a possible sunstone as well as gates to hell that probably killed people who ventured too close with toxic gasses. Classical Corner looks at giant bones and what the ancient presumably thought of them.

The UFO files continue to dismiss contactee stories while looking at truly intriguing instances of sightings in the Casebook. There's a healthy dose of skepticism, but sometimes it almost seems purely skeptical instead of truly Fortean. Anyway, the casebook report is really interesting, a sighting by actual air controllers. No reason to not believe it, and hard to understand what it could have been. Blasts from the Past talks about brutal serial murders of yesteryear that were never solved... if the events actually happened (newspapers of the time did tend to sensationalize stories). Foretean Traveller visits the Denver Airport, which even I have to admit is a pretty strange place.

Forum has an article about Mithraism and how it plays into modern-day conspiracy theories and another article about JFK assassination obsessed Aubrey Mayhew. The reviews are excellent, as usual, though I tend to find reviews of truly awful books to be the most entertaining sometimes. Letters were strange, particularly the apparently misplaced photo in the Simulacra Corner. Looking forward to enjoying the next issue, even though I'm a few months behind reading and reviewing.