Saturday, May 12, 2007


Recent Comics I Have Read

52 #52: Meh. We had to go through all this just to get the Multiverse back? Did anyone really miss it? And Mister Mind, the lamest villain in all of creation, is the new Superboy, eating holes in alternate Earths? Gah.

Amazons Attack #1: Okay, this is cool. I got your War on Terror right here, pal!

Avengers (The Initiative) #2: Nazis? Tony Stark is now working with frickin' Nazis? Gah! Oh, and George W. Bush is evidently a super-hero. Who knew?

Detective Comics #832: Not much for the art, stiff as woodcuttings, but it's a mystery (albeit not much of a mystery, certainly nothing to compare with Hell-Mouths in daycare centers) and the Batman gets to solve it.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #41: Nice end to the Ultimate Diablo storyline, though I have to say, I'm seeing less and less to distinguish UFF from their counterparts. This could have been an original FF story with practically no changes. And if that's the case, then what's the point?

Green Arrow #74: A sweet story about Green Arrow and Black Canary and their on-again, off-again, on-again relationship built around some good fight scenes. I liked it.

Invincible #41: Back from space. Finally. And damn, but they like to kill off characters!

Justice Society of America #5: I'm with Kalinara; I like the new Sand(man) look. Alot. Plus, the idea that all of the villains in Arkham have the same nightmare, the Batman, is pretty cool.

Noble Causes #29: Still good. Art's better.

Powers #24: Please, please, oh, PLEASE, get Christian out of that moronic Millennium Guard outfit!

Ultimate Powers #5: Thor vs. Hyperion! Good stuff. Plus, everybody looks like a supermodel. Oh, light-board, is there nothing you can't do?

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The Sky People by S.M. Stirling


The Sky People, by S.M. Stirling. Have to say that I am generally not a very big Stirling fan. I found his Draka Series to be unconformatably close to an attempt to make fascism seem cool, not to mention godawful alternate history. Plus, I don't really care much for his leaden writing style or his cardboard characters. However, in this book, a kind of alternate history homage to old sci-fi pulps, it actually works for him, since we expect two-dimensional, jut-jawed, heaving breasted, real men and women to be exploring this alternate Venus, complete with dinosaurs, steaming jungles, sexy barbarian princesses and neanderthals. The conceit is that sometime around 200 million years ago, as yet unrevealed aliens terraformed Mars and Venus, making them pretty much exactly as they were imagined to be in the popular imagination before all those boring old probes allowed reality to intrude. Here, the Venera and Mariner probes reveal habitable planets, already inhabited by imported flora and fauna from Earth, including humans(in what appears to be a pretty glaring plot hole, the Americans only just get around to figuring out that the Venusians are exactly like humans and, therefore, the aliens must be still restocking their zoo). It's the alternate late 1980's, Terran technology has been jumpstarted by an ongoing Space Race with the godless commies, and what little plot there is serves merely to introduce us to a set of unremarkable characters and then have them trudge through the wilds of Venus so we can see how cool it all is. This is the literary equivalent of a popcorn movie, but its a brisk read and fun, especially if you are a fan of old-style (say before the 1930's) Sci-Fi.

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