Morrison's good track record with me continues. Much more "Smallville" vibe than "Man of Steel", with a good amount of the original young, angry and i...moreMorrison's good track record with me continues. Much more "Smallville" vibe than "Man of Steel", with a good amount of the original young, angry and idealistic social consciousness of Siegel and Shuster in the mix as well. I'm still not entirely sold on the widespread, arbitrary, wholesale changes wrought by DC's New 52, but it can't be all bad if a re-imagining of Superman's origins of this caliber comes out of it.(less)
This was a fun, high-octane international romp of an extended Batman adventure, which means it probably holds the most appeal for people (like me) who...moreThis was a fun, high-octane international romp of an extended Batman adventure, which means it probably holds the most appeal for people (like me) whose superhero comics nerditry runs deep and hardcore.
Or maybe not? I ruminated a bit on whether or not getting all of Morrison's geeky references, which are dense and never let up, is all that crucial to enjoying or understanding the book - and if all of the references can in fact be gotten at all. You can check out the meta-analysis on my blog: Parenthetical Asides.(less)
The worst thing about this volume is that it's the last one, since DC cancelled the title. The overarching saga comes to a reasonably satisfying state...moreThe worst thing about this volume is that it's the last one, since DC cancelled the title. The overarching saga comes to a reasonably satisfying state of closure, while still leaving open the possibility of future stories that could be told, if the publisher ever comes to their senses and revives the book. Oh, DC, why did you have to get so dumb in the past few years.(less)
I treated myself to this book (and its sequel, which I haven't read yet) during Top Shelf's annual clearance sale. It's an affectionate send-up of the...moreI treated myself to this book (and its sequel, which I haven't read yet) during Top Shelf's annual clearance sale. It's an affectionate send-up of the old Transformers cartoons, which were something I grew up with, so clearly I am the target nostalgia-driven audience. The main joke of the book is that it's a silly trifle of a story about robots who live only to fight each other, because ... well, because basically that's all that the Transformers cartoon was about. There are a couple of particularly good Zing!s at the expense of the more egregiously ridiculous elements of Transformers lore, but ultimately nothing truly subversive or deeply insightful. It's as if Brown simply wanted to come up with his own Transformer characters and do a riff on the whole idea, with a few wisecracks breaking up essentially a face-value knock-off. Fun to read, but fairly trivial.
SPOOKTOBERFEST 2013! I had heard good things about the Hack/Slash comic and thought the premise was right up my alley: it's a lot like Supernatural, t...moreSPOOKTOBERFEST 2013! I had heard good things about the Hack/Slash comic and thought the premise was right up my alley: it's a lot like Supernatural, the CW tv series, if the Winchester brothers were instead the final girl from a horror slasher flick and a reformed homicidal maniac from a horror slasher flick. And if instead of hunting down all manner of legendary creatures, they only hunted unrepentant slashers. Good times!
It's an entertaining comic, and Cassie Hack (the final girl) is a fun character, but this compilation is heavy on the high concept and plots and low on any kind of character development. There are other volumes out there, and I plan to check at least one more out, but I can see this going one of two ways: either the same joke getting replayed over and over gets real old real fast, or the characters get more fleshed out and have the opportunity to grow and change over time. We shall see!(less)
I haven't been following DC's New 52 very much (at all) but when they managed to snag the services of China Mieville, a novelist whose skewed sensibil...moreI haven't been following DC's New 52 very much (at all) but when they managed to snag the services of China Mieville, a novelist whose skewed sensibilities I've really enjoyed in the past, and handed him the Dial H franchise, which is a weird concept that I've always found appealing (magic dial gives average citizen temporary powers and an insanely random codename and costume), I ... still didn't follow the monthly comics, but I made mental note to pick up the collection of the first few issues whenever it got released.
Sure enough, it did not disappoint. The core concept is there, and Mieville's weird love of the fantastic and twisted sense of humor are there is well. Sometimes, when a novelist or screenwriter or any other outsider to the comics industry is assigned a book, the results feel slightly off, and not of a piece with the rest of the fictional universe where it's ostensibly set. Dial H is so off-the-beaten-path that probably wouldn't matter, and yet Mieville manages to strike a nice balance between acknowledging the past history of the H-Dial (even though this is a reboot and theoretically unfettered by continuity) and still going wherever his imagination takes him. The end result is something that maximizes the storytelling opportunities which something like Dial H should take full advantage of, while also including just enough winks and nods around the edges to amuse the old-school fanboys like me who want to fit the new series into the bigger picture. I will without a doubt come back for the collected volume two!(less)
It's been more than 30 years since Akira originally began appearing in serialized form, which means that its future setting is getting closer and clos...moreIt's been more than 30 years since Akira originally began appearing in serialized form, which means that its future setting is getting closer and closer. The main story is still set somewhere beyond tomorrow, but the fictional Neo-Tokyo is established as being built upon the ruins of the original Tokyo, destroyed in a disaster which precipitated World War III sometime in the 1990s. Nonetheless, the story still has tremendous relevance today. The questions raised in the series, about the use and misuse of all kinds of power - personal, political, religious, military - still have no easy answers. Akira continues to hold up as a modern classic, as dense with ideas as its artwork is with texture and details. I'm still in the slow process of acquiring all the volumes in the series, but when I do so, I foresee a complete re-read to take in the whole masterpiece at once.
Speaking of re-reads ... I have been spending a lot of my free reading time lately re-reading George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, when I haven't been reading the massive and mind-numbing study guides for a technical certification exam my job is now requiring, and also when I haven't been dealing with the recent arrival of our third child. Thus I haven't been posting many new reviews here at GoodReads. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of that in the summer. In the mean time, if you are curious about more of my rambling reactions to Akira, or details on all of that other stuff keeping me excessively busy, you can find those topics plus more at my blog: Parenthetical Asides.