Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Three Weeks of Fast Thoughts

And yes, I am fully aware of the irony of calling something "Fast Thoughts" when you're reviewing comics you bought three weeks ago. The new job and a Con appearance consumed all of my spare time that wasn't spent sleeping, okay? :)

COMIC BOOK COMICS #1 - From the team that brought you Action Philosophers!, this little book is a comic book about comics history - a novel idea that I'm surprised hasn't been attempted before. While not quite as funny as AP was - although, in fairness, I don't think much CAN be funnier than the image of Plato being a big bearded bloke in a Luchadore mask who talks in Hulk-Speak - this is, like AP was, a very fun comic that manages to be educational to boot. I dare say that only the most die-hard of comic geeks won't learn something new about the genre's origins from this book and I will further say that this is a must-read for anyone who has ever held a comic-book.

DOCTOR WHO #1 & #2 - I haven't seen any of the Third Season of the Doctor Who revival series (AKA New Who, as some fans call it) but this has been due more to my busy schedule than any desire to avoid it... much as I do miss Rose Tyler already. Still, this comic book series based on the adventures of the current (i.e Tenth) Doctor and his current companion (i.e. Martha Jones) serves equally well as an introduction to the world of The Doctor for old fans, new fans or people who are "not sure if I'd even like Doctor Who".

The first issue deals with The Doctor being kidnapped by one of the last of the Sycorax - an alien species familiar to New Who fans as the main baddies from The Christmas Invasion of 2005 - who is running a business catering to big-game hunters who wish to hunt the last of any given species. Naturally The Doctor, who is the last of the Time Lords of Galifrey as we are informed in the introduction, is big business indeed. The second issue centers upon a trip to 1974, a series of odd sand-based statues and a technological curse extending back to the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs.

If you're a fan of quirky science-fiction, sly British humor or - of course - Doctor Who - these comics are of equal quality to the TV series. I'm no Doctor, but if I were, I'd prescribe these comics for all my patients.

DOCTOR WHO CLASSICS #2-4 - Classic Marvel Comics of England - with Dave Gibbons artwork pre-Watchmen - depicting the adventures of The Fourth Doctor - aka Tom Baker, perhaps the best-known and most popular actor to ever play The Doctor. There's not a lot I else I can say about this except that if you're a fan of The Doctor, Dave Gibbons artwork, or trippy science-fiction with a big heart and a sly wit, this should be required reading. Unless, of course, you already have a complete set of the original Marvel comics and have no need of the IDW reprints. :)

FABLES #70 - Still the best damn book on all fronts published monthly.

GREEN LANTERN #28 - The plot thickens as we see the first signs of the Fourth Lantern Corps - the Red Lantern Corps of rage. Not surprisingly, Laria - the Green Lantern who killed a Sinestro Corps member who had surrendered and was unarmed a few issues ago- was their first recruit. What is surprising is the power behind the Red Lantern Corps is The Empire of Tears - the enemies of The Guardians and the group responsible for, in the Alan Moore story Tygers revealing the Prophecy of Blackest Night which detailed the oncoming war between Seven Lantern Corps based on Seven Emotions and Seven Colors.

Not the best issue for a new reader to jump on, I'm afraid, but this is the best Space Opera book in years. Go pick up the new Hardcover collection of The Sinestro Corps War to see where it all began before picking this one up.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #22 - Pretty much everything I said about Green Lantern applies to Green Lantern Corps as well. Good book. Good art. And not a good issue to come in on as this issue continues last month's storyline involving the Green Lantern Boodika's transformation into an Alpha Lantern (i.e. half organic/half Manhunter robot being devoted toward policing the Green Lantern Corps itself) and her going after one of her former sisters in a group of space amazon bandits. And while you might not think it difficult to get into a comic that is basically a bunch of muscular women wearing next to nothing trying to kill each other, such is the depth of this book that such a simple pleasure is made complex.

HELLBLAZER #241 - Bit of a slow issue this one. John doing what John does best as he tries to redirect the mad warmage Mako toward a different target while buying himself some time as innocent (well, relatively so) people are torn apart while John skates away. It's still good stuff but it feels like the sort of issue that exists only to pad out a story to six issues for the inevitable trade paperback.

JACK OF FABLES #20 - Should I even bother to mention that in five years of librarian school and working in libraries I have never yet met one librarian as hot as any one of The Page Sisters? Much less three? Much less three sisters? Just thought I'd mention it and that I take comfort in the fact that a liar like Jack can't possibly be telling the truth about having seduced all three of them. And yes, I know it doesn't bode well of me that I lust after fictional sexy librarians and am jealous of a fictional character who managed to seduce them all. I don't care. I still want to marry Barbara Gordon.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes - uh... this is a very good comic and you should be reading it. Yes.

SERENITY: BETTER DAYS #1 - Pre-Serenity The Movie, Whedon-written original adventures of Malcolm Reynolds and the rest of the Serenity crew. If you're a fan of Firefly you probably already know about this book and bought it or are cursing in Chinese and resolving to go down to the comic book shop first-thing tomorrow. Suffice it to say that if you're a fan, you'll love it. And if you're not a fan, hie thee hence to procure Firefly: The Complete Series and see what all the fuss is about.

WONDER WOMAN #18- This issue had it all. Really. Kick-ass action scenes in the form of Wonder Woman vs. An Army of Khunds (aka The Conan Aliens). Old-School sensibilities mixed with New-Earth coolness as we get a gun-totting, ass-kicking Etta Candy. And the only laugh-out-loud moment in any comic I've read in the past month as we see Diana start putting Nemesis through the Amazon Courtship rituals.

Yes, you read that right. Apparently lesbian relationships were common enough among the Amazons for complex courtship rituals to be developed. Which is only natural and makes perfect sense. Still, it is a bit flooring to see such a thing finally be spelled out in the pages of Wonder Woman much less to have such a revelation be revealed without a bit editorial hoopla. Especially given the way they handled the reveal of Batwoman and (Insert Judd Winick storyline of your choice here).

Good book. And a good issue to start with if - for some reason - you didn't jump on this ship when Gail Simone became the captain.


  1. Action Philosophers was fantastic. I'll have to look for their new book. Their take on Ann Rand and Nietsche was pretty great too.

  2. Nietsche actually has a brief cameo in it as they are discussing Siegel's pulp story "Reign of the Superman" - which served as a proto-version of the Superman we know today. Except that this Superman was a psychic, not a strong-man and was a villain, not a hero. Of course he was so bad ass that the story ends with God having to step in and kill the Superman.
    The ubermensch abuses his authority and is brought down. I'm sure Nietsche would approve. :)

  3. Seeing it tomorrow
    Oh, I'm glad you wrote something on this, I was hoping you had. I get to escort two very excited fourteen year olds to go see this, and I'm dreading it. But first, I'm dragging them to see Get Smart. So, I feel it will even out. Although, I feel a little more intrigued by your article, and I'm more interested to see it as well.
    Thanks for always being so detailed about your ideas. ^_^