Friday, February 20, 2009

Share the reading love

And oh, what love this week! (And last week’s too, as I’m late)

What follows is talk of:
Supergirl 38, Superman/Batman 55, Action Comics 874
Green Arrow and Black Canary 17
Booster Gold 17
Showcase 95 #5 (featuring Spoiler!)
A few lines about other old DC books (Fanboy GL, LoSH and New Gods)
Some delight over George R R Martin’s Dreamsongs, a RRetrospective volume 1
Me bemoaning my lack of attention to reading orders, maybe. Possibly also some Buffy thoughts.

That’s a lot to get through. I’ll bolden up each heading, read whichever parts you like.

So, onwards and, of course, spoilers ahead.
Supergirl #38
Oh my how I love the cover of this. Not so much for Kara, but for Superwoman. The eyes, the eyes. She’s mesmerising. I could look at that cover all day.
About the inside of the book. It seems like a lot of issues have opened with Kara announcing ‘This is my life’ and her getting decked by a supposed friend. A reference back to the earlier issues perhaps? Kara does talk like a teenager in this, which is good for getting the character right, but might be annoying if you don’t use teenage slang yourself. I do take umbrage at the use of the word ‘psyche’. Has anyone ever said that, past about 1994? Honestly.
The fight scene was fun and the colouring lovely – the blues of the ice, the sea and the sky were a pleasure to see. It’s good to see that Superwoman’s gold discs have a use – that of communicating with her bosses.
Focusing on the art once more, the panels with Cat Grant were a treat and really showed her ugly personality. The doll scares me, and I feel trepidation regarding who sent it, I’m certain Kara didn’t, not her style.
The Superwoman mystery depends. Forget what I said last month, now I’m hooked and excited as to who she is. It is revealed (or is that a red herring?) that she’s not Kryptonian, despite Kara guessing at Thara being under the mask.
Now, in a planet full of Kryptonians, how could Kara be given a secret mission? And could Superwoman truly hide her identity? Surely all Kara would have to do is listen hard to everyone on the planet (far less a number than earth’s population) and focus on the familiar voice, then go find her. But I guess Kara isn’t that curious (or creepy).

Re: Origins and omens. Looks like there’s interesting stuff coming up. I’m glad to see that Lana is looking after Streaky (love the origin of the name) and I’m looking forward to the future love interest.

Best line in the book? ‘I’m so going to kick you in the face!’

Superman/Batman #55
I KNEW it. Batman is insane. This proves what I’ve been saying (thinking?) all along. Power hungry messed up in the head idiot. He beat up on Selina! And Dick! I reckon Kal’s powers brought out the urges he’s been burying.

Kara as Linda Lang comes to see Clark at the hospital, and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t recognise her immediately. I’m a bad fan. The scene was wonderful though. In fact, this whole story arc is great.

Favourite panel? Where Bruce is laying into Clark and GL, Flash, Zatanna and Lois are all holding Clark back.

Action Comics 874
Good opening page. Very good. The Zod, Ursa and Non problem is coming along nicely and we are promised more of Nightwing and Flamebird next month, which is a plus. The destruction of the phantom zone is very intriguing, as is the question of how Mon-El will survive on earth.

Booster Gold 17
Booster ensures Barry has his accident and then Booster interrupts a younger version of himself. Not as good as last issue, but good enough.

Green Arrow/Black Canary 17
I love this cover – it’s the shades of green they’ve used and the detailing on the shadows I think.
This is a vast improvement on previous issues. For one, the deliciously evil bad guy attacks a building with a truck. By driving into the top floor from another high storey building. That, is ace.
Secondly, Dinah gets to fight. She helps herself, she doesn’t get rescued by Ollie and they work as an effective team. We also get to see more of the action from Dinah’s point of view. Now that means that the issue lives up to it’s title, for once.

Re the origins and omens segment, we see Dinah’s discovery of her powers and the aftermath of the guy she injured last issue – he’s been deafened and he’s not happy about it. Speedy has been given a black costume, but doesn’t look evil and I think that one of the pictures shows Ollie pointing an arrow at Dinah, but the positioning is off. And it looks like the future is going to centre around Ollie, as usual. Which would be fine, if the book was named Green Arrow.

Showcase 95, #5
A Spoiler story! Steph finds out her coach is dealing drugs to schoolkids, in her school. One of them dies in a car accident the inference is that it’s because they were high. This incident teaches Steph that yet again, shit happens and she loses a little more faith in adults. Poor kid.
This issue also features a Thorn story, and a Firehawk story. It’s worth getting for the Thorn and Spoiler sections.

Assorted DC books
Legion of Superheroes #43 – the intruder to their HQ calls Drura ‘Infectious Lass’. This may have been a joke but is an entirely plausible name for a member of the LoSH. Good issue, I’d kinda like to read more of this run now.
New Gods #1 – I should have read this before Final Crisis.
FanboyGL of the lunch room sector# 2. Odd. I hadn’t come across the fanboy mini before. Features half of Hal Jordan’s ass.

Dreamsongs: A RRetrospective book one
Well I finally finished reading it, and I can definitely say it’s the most enjoyable and gripping collection of short stories I have stumbled across. You won’t find a huge amount of diversity in the stories, but they are so well crafted and so powerful I don’t really care. To be fair, in Martin’s future worlds sexuality doesn’t seem to be an issue although all his couples are heterosexual. Anyway, onto specific stories:
If you pick this volume up I wouldn’t bother with the 4 colour fanboy section. Instead, head straight to the filthy pro, sci fi, fantasy or horror sections. With Morning Comes Mistfall is beautiful, The Ice Dragon is about a small child discovering her humanity and empathy, Bitterblooms uses Arthurian legends and In the Lost Lands deals with how it is sometimes unwise to get what you most desire. I found the horror section the most powerful though. Meathouse Man displays deep misogyny, yet also condemns it, and The Monkey Treatment is a story of how the fat man gets his revenge on diets.

After finishing reading this volume I felt at a loss for what to do next. I ended up going to Waterstones and spending £31 on 4 more books, including the 2nd volume of Dreamsongs and an Ursula le Guin book which I discovered was the 3rd in a series. I've read number 1, not number 2, and have been waiting to read Powers for months and months, and now have to get book number 2 first. Arggh. I could have been getting more reading action done months ago if I’d known. I’m a dumbass.

I found this post about the Buffy comics (via WFA). The writer has a very good point. Where are the normal sized ladies in Buffy? Where’s the variation we saw in the last episode of season 7? ‘Tis a crying shame that hasn’t been carried through.

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