Last one tonight

Aaaaaah, Manhattan Guardian. By far my favorite 7S mini, mainly because it's Grant's take on a DC take on a Marvel-style character, where the others in this wave (Klarion the Witch-Boy, Zatanna & Shining Knight) have been supernatural/magical in nature. This issue focuses more on the Newsboy Legion and their fates. A bit of metatext here with the Terrible TimeTailor fitting the shiniy Golden Age adventurers that are the Newsbot Legion with "new clothes," that rob them of their innocence. Lots of questions here: Is the Terrible Time Tailor one or all of the Seven Unknown Men? Why did he bring the Sheeda to harvest the earth? Was the last issue a foreshadowing of the relationship of the TTT and the Sheeda Queen - the husband scientist mobilizing robots after his wife turns them into her pawns - a battle with innocents caught in-between? Why did the Newsboy Legion kill Captain 7? Loving this mega-series, though. Next week: Grant tackles the cosmic superhero with Mister Miracle! Yay!

So I finally read it

Gibson's Neuromancer. Pretty decent. I didn't love it as much as Pattern Recognition, but still, a decent thrill of a story. I now dislike the Matrix movies even more, as they just plain STOLE a large portion of the premise from this book. There are moments where it gets a little to "gritty" for my tastes, but all in all, a decent book. Philip K. Dick would be proud.

On the comics tip

As you'll notice from the time stamps, it's pretty late. Couldn't sleep, so I worked on a project for a little and am now working through my backlog of posts I've been meaning to get to. This came out week before last, but here it is anyway - the first Seven Soldiers mini to wrap. Was it worth it? I think so. While I didn't enjoy this mini as much as, say Guardian, it had some great moments.

I love the way Grant's refitting forgotten concepts with the Seven Soldiers minis, with SK as a psychedelic fantasy. Story-wise, Shining Knight's a solid tale that ties into the mythological origins of the Sheeda, but grunds them as a real threat. Bianchi's art is gorgeous, but his storytelling is a bit wonky at times (issue 2's glaring inconsistencies during the police car escape springs to mind, as well as the unnecessary Chinese-type symbols in every exterior scene), but serves the book well. Like I said, not my favorite, but worth the money.

Now I Remember Why I Loved the Alvin Maker Books

Finished the Crystal City last week as well. Man, I had forgotten how much I just loved this series. In setting up Alvin Maker in an alternate reality, Card offers a chance to look at the life of a Joseph Smith analogue and see the humanity that we tend to look past when talking about great people. Alvin's a man given a great responsibility, but he's still just that- a man. He stumbles, makes mistakes, doubts himself and wonders if he's doing what he should.

The thing that really hit me the most was how driven Alvin is to find out what his purpose is, how he fits in with the grand scheme. He has these talents and is DESPERATELY seeking an answer to how he should use them. I dunno, that really struck me. It seems like that's a big part of what I'm being taught right now: that there's a purpose and I need to be searching it out. I need to dream and then make it real.

Another thing that's really great about a Card book is his ability to flesh out any character. Even throwaway characters like - forgot his name, but he's Lincoln's friend, gets his wallet lifted, anyway... - has a distinct voice and motivation. I really loved Calvin's character, a real wonderful foil to Alvin: totally self-indulgent and scruple-less compared to Alvin's selfless conscience. It would have been really to wite him as a madman, or just out-and-out evil, but Card manages to flesh him out and we see the human inside him. Truly evil people don't think they're evil. Calvin sees his worldview as totally acceptable - power is to be used, not controlled. If you can do something, why not do it, right?

This book works as an alternate history book, a fantasy book and as religious allegory. Well-played Brother Card.


Fearless Freaks

Saw this last week. Really loved it. Reminded me why I fell so deeply in love with the music of the Flaming Lips. Beautiful, scary, sad, ridiculous and fun, which, interestingly enough, is just like the music these guys make. Covering the twenty plus years of the Flaming Lips, through their mutations from Cure-with-a-Southern-accent goths, loud punk rockers, sundazed stoners, pop trippers and finally psychedelic scientists of the heart, it's a great look at one of the best bands out there. Recommended.