Image © DC Comics, Inc.
Part 3 of “Lights Out” begins with the remaining Corps and Guardians trying to regroup after the destruction of… well, some of you might not have read Part 2 yet, so I’ll just say it was a big loss. Kyle Rayner, the White Lantern seems to be the focus of their hopes, especially when the godlike embodiments of the various colors of ring energy join forces with him. This does not sit well with Hal Jordan, who is supposed to be in charge. Meanwhile, John Stewart is on another mission that gives them a bit of hope. One nice thing about this crossover is seeing Earth’s Green Lanterns in one book again, at least most of them. Guy Gardner does not appear this time. Relic is also off-stage for this issue, not such a bad thing. The art looks good, and the script kept me reading.
Two editions of this book, the first and a later hardcover. I read it on my iPhone.
This is the longest, and my favorite of Nesbit’s “Psammead” trilogy about four British children who find magical items that get them into all kinds of trouble. Here they’ve rediscovered the Psammead or sand fairy, captured and put on display as a monkey, which it slightly resembles. They rescue the sad creature, and while it can no longer grant them wishes, it does lead them to a magical amulet. Through it’s archway, grown huge with the right words, they walk into ancient Egypt, Babylon, Tyre, Britain, and even Atlantis. They’re searching for the Amulet’s other half, which will give them their heart’s desire…in this case, the return of their baby brother and parents.
In addition to the usual bungling on the children’s part, and all kinds of dangerous people and places, the book has plenty of humor, but also some deeper currents. Nesbit clearly put a lot of thought into the historical settings she visits, and also into the character of the “learned gentleman” living upstairs from the children, based on a real man who helped Nesbit with her research.
For those who think magical adventure stories began with Tolkien, or even Harry Potter, the three books in this series (the others being “The Five Children and It,” and “The Phoenix and the Carpet”) will open their eyes to one of the past masters of the form.
Image © DC Comics, Inc.
I lettered one of the stories in this, and work with or have worked with some of the creators, but I have to say I think these lengthy anthologies from Vertigo are quite excellent, and they’re giving DARK HORSE PRESENTS stiff competition. This one has a great variety of art and writing styles as well as subject matter, with the idea of “witches” as the unifying theme. Some get pretty far from that, but I’m not complaining. From the chilling tale of what happens to a colony on Mars when support from Earth stops coming, to the rollicking weirdness of Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe fleeing from federal agents, while Arthur tries to rewrite reality on his typewriter in a moving car. There are lots more, I think I enjoyed all these stories. You might, too.
Image © DC Comics, Inc.
Relic is a powerful giant with powerful technology who is going around the universe sucking up ring power of all colors. He’s about to reach Oa, and the Corps is bracing to meet him under Hal Jordan’s command. When he arrives, they find themselves as helpless against his power as all the previous ring-bearers, so it’s a matter of a strategic retreat, with John Stewart and a band of new recruits trying to hold Relic’s attention while the others escape. In all ways, things do not go well. The story by Van Jensen and Robert Venditti is following a predictable course, but the magnitude of the disasters the Corps is trying to deal with does give the story interest, and the character interplay is effective. The art by Bernard Chang is quite good. Nothing terribly new here, but a page-turner.
Image © Dynamite Entertainment and the respective copyright holders.
Dynamite has lately been gathering licenses for a number of pulp magazine and radio characters from the 1930s and 1940s, and in this series they’ve teamed quite a few of them up in an exciting adventure. Writer Chris Roberson has done a fine job capturing the feel of the time period, and the characters without making it seem too dated. This is not easy! He also makes the team work by putting them in a New York City where criminals have taken over the government and the police force, making it very hard for any one of them to buck the system. Together they might have a chance, and they coalesce against a very strong common threat, not only to themselves, but to the ordinary people of the city. The art on the first issue is by Alex Ross (also on covers throughout), and it’s terrific. Issues 2-8 have art by Dennis Calero, whose style is looser, somewhat impressionistic. I thought this was a wise choice, and once you get used to it, Calero’s style works just fine. At times it reminded me of Alex Toth, or in other places a little of Gene Colan.
You don’t need to know much about these classic characters like The Shadow and The Green Hornet to enjoy this fine book, but if you do, I think you’ll enjoy it all the more. Great work by everyone involved.