Sunday, February 07, 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:
  • Dec 23rd
  • Justice League of America #6 - Yay, more Aquaman! Boo, getting attacked by his own people again (so what else is new?). This story needs to hurry up and finish.
  • Aquaman #47 - Nice to see the Justice League in place and working with Aquaman. Nice to see Mera, as well. And nice to see Tula and Garth working together. And hey, the real Batman, even. You can tell because he's such a jerk to Aquaman. So, we're almost at the finale! Which will it end up being, Thule or Atlantis?
  • Titans Hunt #3 - Wow. Garth and Donna in full-fledged kill-each-other mode! Nice. I don't know that I really like this version of Garth that much, but that's what this series is all about, right?
  • Sinestro #18 - Wonder Woman and Superman, huh? Well, there's still more to go. I kept thinking this would wrap it up, but it never is that easy. Again, this could have been told in two or three issues and been great. Instead, it's spread out and ... well, it's a little boring after awhile. Just a lot of fight scenes. *yawn*
  • DC Comics Bombshells #7 - No Mera, sadly, but we get to see what the Batgirls were up to in Gotham. And it turns out, cleaning up after Batgirl. Lots of funny quips, and some tender moments. Fun little book.
  • Batman '66 Meets the Man From UNCLE #1 - I would probably understand this better if I had ever watched the Man From UNCLE. But it's still pretty fun, despite my lack of knowledge.
  • Astro City #30 - While it was somewhat predictable, it was extremely pleasant to read. In other words, a great little two-parter that I thoroughly enjoyed. That's what I generally get from Astro City.
  • Peanuts vol 2 #29 - A single story in which Marcie shows again how intelligent she is compared to Peppermint Patty. And Charlie shows what a good sport he can be.
  • Doctor Who 11th #2.4 - Semantics! Yes, I can see how a librarian's assistant might find that a little annoying. Alice's vision is interesting, especially in who it's hinting at. Looking forward to the conclusion of this tale, though I'm sure we have a few more issues to go before that happens.
  • Doctor Who 12th #15 - I was expecting a different time-twist ending, so I was a little surprised at this one. In fact, I'm a bit disappointed. Didn't really work all that well for me. Maybe next issue will be better...
  • Doctor Who 12th #16 - A Christmas special! And yes, much better. In fact, I actually really enjoyed this one. An old foe asking for help the only way he can? Good stuff.
  • Dec 30th
  • Justice League #47 - Zzzzzzzzz. More of the same new gods storyline. I wish it was over, but apparently it's going to torment me by going a few more issues. Ug.
  • Harley Quinn & Power Girl #6 - And so, it's finally over. The longest two weeks of her life... at least she didn't have to read about it.
  • Spider-Man 2099 #5 - Spider-Man/Captain America team-up! Yeah! I'm actually liking Roberta more and more. I despise Spider-Man 2099's new costume, but I'm sure I'll get over it. So, the best book for me this week was a Marvel comic? That's unusual.
  • Jan 6th
  • Green Lantern #48 - This is a bit better. A mystery story featuring Hal trying to hunt down terrorists, and an old foe. But why do we have to have Parallax show up?
  • Batman Beyond #8 - So what's happened to Metropolis to have that particular result? Wasn't it just in control of Brother Eye? Why are there any survivors at all?
  • DC Comics Bombshells #8 - Tenebrae are becoming a bit of a problem in this book. But clearly Mera's people have fought them before, right? I enjoyed Mera in this, but I feel like she's a little too fond of the sailors.
  • Doctor Strange #4 - Aware of the problem, the good doctor notifies other magic users. But it sure doesn't seem like it'll be enough. Meanwhile, in scenes I found more compelling than sorceror deaths... books started to die. Yikes.
  • This Damned Band #6 - And, once again, the ending leaves us a little confused... what did actually happen? For not knowing what really happened, it was a surprisingly satisfying finale.
  • Doctor Who 10th #2.4 - Cindy's story is left hanging from last issue, as Gabby and the Doctor try to sort out why aliens are kidnapping humans and neanderthals at the dawn of civilization. I like Gabby's confusion, and her delight at seeing Munmeth's art. How did he know about the "blue hut" though?
  • Doctor Who 12th #2.1 - Spooky Scottish school, new mystery involving Clara, and a pan galactic gargle blaster, or two. A decent start to the new series (year two), although it does make me wonder when/if we'll get a new crew in place.

Fortean Times #331
Fortean Times #331 (September 2015). The cover really jumps out at you, with the Chinese children and the alien portrait. "UFOs OVER CHINA!" also jumps out, making this one of those covers people are likely to see from across the room and say, "what?" about. That's a good cover. The cover story, by Chris Saunders, is a pretty good overview of how Chinese media seems content to let UFO stories through while shutting down references to other events. In addition, the folks in China who study UFOs tend to be more mainstream scientists, instead of enthusiasts who aren't always as rigorous. I'm less than convinced of the conclusions Saunders draws from the situation, but that's what being Fortean is all about.

Bob Rickard's story on the ancient Japanese story of a princess of the moon exiled to Earth is a wonderful piece with lots of fun bits and bobs to think about. I find it slightly alarming that, despite my anime/Japanese culture phase, I'd still never heard of this tale. It's a reminder of how vast culture is, and how unlikely people are to run across all the same things when there is so much information available. More on that in a moment.

The final main article is about Warminster and David Simpson, the man who fooled UFO watchers and learned a bit about how people who truly believe they are seeing something amazing react when they are told flat out it was a hoax. A great story on how people's perceptions color everything.

Strangedays starts with the Satantic Temple's unveiling of its Baphmet statue intended for the Oklahoma State Capitol, to go beside the Ten Commandments monument unconstitutionally erected there. There's a page of cats, including a memorial for Tama the stationmaster cat and news that Tara, the cat who saved her human boy from a neighbor's dog attack, earned the 33rd Annual National Hero Dog Award from the SPCALA. That's one tough cat! We also get a report on the "chicken church" that was meant to look like a dove of peace, the glass delusion, weird sexual fetishes, the mummy of a monk in an ancient statue, and fortean follow-ups. There's also a special report on a UFO conference in Madrid held in an art museum.

The Conspirasphere considers the role of conspiracy in culture and how it displays in mainstream versus alternative news sources. Ghostwatch is about elves, duendes, gremlins and other creatures that tend to bother folks. Alien Zoo is about out-of-place animals, honors for a cryptozoologist and the appearance of beavers in Devon, where they were hunted to extinction about 800 years ago. Fairies and Folklore looks at sewer creatures in London and New York, particularly the crocodiles, but also pigs.

Speaking of too much information, that's what the science column is about this month. Basically, there's too much new research constantly coming out, so it's difficult to keep up with it all. I see it among regular folk, as well. It is now possible to get your news from only sources you trust... which makes your life a bubble as you seek out news sources that reinforce your own world view instead of seeing the same thing as everyone else and drawing your own conclusions from it. The result is that many people think they know what's going on, only to be rudely reminded that they only have half the picture when they run up against someone whose worldview is from a completely different angle. Sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes it's not. And yes, I include myself in this. I'm no doubt as guilty as anyone of it.

The UFO Files is about how governments would likely react if aliens did suddenly arrive, along with a lovely conspiracy theory about the Rosetta spacecraft. UFO Casebook looks at a UFO detector, and was a tale I found really interesting due to the idea of naive children getting these things and tinkering. I loved tinkering...

I'm still not certain about the new Building a Fortean Library feature, but it's there. The Strange Statesmen feature continues to amaze. I'm just wondering when they'll hit the US politicians... there's so much there to mine.

Forum has a bit about the direction of cryptozoology and the discovery of what might be a from-life portrait of Shakespeare. The reviews were standard, nothing jumped out, and the letters were excellent as usual. Great issue.