Posts Tagged ‘ DC Comics ’

Books of the month(s) – March and April 2012


With apologies for missing a month, just in case there’s someone out there who has been waiting anxiously to find out what I’ve been reading recently.  Given that this post covers two months, it is surprising in some ways that it isn’t extraordinarily long.  On the other hand, the reason for that is one Monsieur Dumas.  So, in order of completion :

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Books of the month – February 2012


A smaller collection of books this month if you compare it to the January 2012 selection.  However, by the end of February, I was one third of the way through The Count of Monte Cristo as well.  That one really is going to take quite some time to finish!

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Books of the month – January 2012


I read a lot.  On the train, last thing at night, in lunch breaks or just when the opportunity arises, you will often find me with my head in a book.  It sometimes seems inconceivable that there are any books on my shelves which have not yet been read, but somehow there are.  Their ranks get topped up from time to time due to eye-catching titles in charity shops, exciting new publications or just general moments of weakness.  And then there are library books, whether from my place of employment or the public library (using the latter a lot more now, as they need the circulation statistics a lot more than university libraries do).  One of my goals for the year (in addition to sticking to my church’s scheme to read the Bible in a year) is to finish all those unread books, including one or two which were shamefully abandoned part way through.  However, of the books I finished during January, only two can claim to be from the “to be read” backlog.  So, what have I read?  Why did I read it?  And what did I think?

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A ‘Very Special Issue’ of Robin


TV comedies, particularly American ones, have quite a history of ‘Very Special Episodes’ which tackle a serious theme in a serious manner, often very badly.  The term is usually applied in a mocking fashion, and seems inappropriate to use in conjunction with an episode that actually succeeds at doing more than preach.  Science fiction and fantasy often get away with tackling more of those serious issues than comedy or even ‘straight’ drama can do, as you can wrap things up so much in metaphor, pretending that since people with bumpy foreheads or pointy ears aren’t really human, we can examine their oddly-familiar prejudices and foibles more objectively.

Anyway, the world of comic books is not immune to the ‘Very Special Episode’ phenomenon, though in this case it’s a ‘Very Special Issue’.  AIDS is now a common subject, as are the many and varied forms of prejudice.  Sometimes this works magnificently (there was bucketloads of social commentary in Green Lantern/Green Arrow back in the 1970s, for instance) and sometimes it’s even more stilted and preachy than television manages.  This month sees an example of a very good ‘Very Special Issue’, in the form of Robin Vol. 2 #156

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52’s first suit


I’m a week behind with the wonderful world of 52, the weekly ‘real-time’ comic I enthused about some time ago.  The rest of the community of crazy comics fans camped outside their local shops last week and picked up Week 14, but the last issue I read was Week 13, meaning that I am exactly one quarter of the way through the series, and at an appropriate point to pause and reflect.  The creative team involved with the series have mentioned that the title has some meaning other than the number of weeks in a year, and the first thing that springs to mind for many people is a deck of cards.  Now, there’s been no sign of the poker-themed villains the Royal Flush Gang thus far, but I did wonder whether one could divide the series into four suits, and if so, which suit the first 13 issues represent.

For me, I think it’s hearts, as quite a number of hearts are broken, in one way or another, in this first ‘suit’.  Continue reading

Superman Begins


No, I haven’t got my super-hero films muddled up, although I have seen Superman Returns, and rather enjoyed it.  Not a fantastic film, but good fun and with good performances all round.  I also have Batman Begins on DVD, and think it’s a rather smashing film with an odd, but very effective, soundtrack.  Anyway…  What I actually intend to ramble about are Superman’s beginnings.  Not his fictional back-story (rocketed from a dying world and all that stuff), but his first adventures in print, way back in the late 1930s. Continue reading

52: Real-time comics


What do a drunken ex-cop, a social crusader with no face, the ruler of a Middle Eastern nation, a grieving detective, a man from the future and a moral scientist have in common?  52, that’s what.  Read on…  Continue reading

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