Writer Grant Morrison and artist Liam Sharp are having fun visiting their favorite GREEN LANTERN history. This one takes on the GL/GA Team as written by Denny O’Neil and drawn by Neal Adams. “Space Junkies” invading the Pacific Northwest? Giant alien versions of both heroes? Aliens trading drugs for human souls? Demonic assassins from a world where murder is expected? A giant arrow shot to the moon? Okay, it’s full of odd things, this comic, but it does have some resonance for me particularly in the dialog between the heroes, and their unusual teamwork. The art by Liam is eerily similar to Adams at times, too. The plot does not hold together particularly well, but it’s entertaining all the same.
Eleven-year-old Michael Cornhill’s life has already been greatly changed by London’s Great Plague of 1665. His foster family are all gone. He survived by being sent out of the city to live on a farm, but now he’s determined to return to the city he loves, even if he’s not sure anyone there even knows him. A beautiful girl he meets on the ride to London, Susanna, becomes one new friend, but when Michael finds himself penniless and sleeping on the street, another new friend becomes his savior: Tom, a ballad-singer takes him in as a sort of apprentice and let’s him share his small room over an inn and help by selling his printed ballads.
As Michael finds his way into city life, Susanna and her Master Haas who live on London Bridge, become another refuge, and Michael is fascinated with the master’s skill at coloring maps, a job he would like to learn. As a very hot and dry summer progresses, a new danger threatens the city: fire. And there lies the climax of this exciting historical novel, the Great Fire of 1666.
All McGraw’s books are well written, as is this one. Putting the fire on the cover might have been a mistake, because it made me keep anticipating it long before it arrived, and the rest of the story is equally interesting, bringing London of the time to life admirably.
Just in, this trade paperback collection of the new series I’m lettering. It begins with THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE #1 (lettered well by Simon Bowland), introducing all four books in the line, then the first six issues of the comic. I hadn’t seen the colors on those by Jordan Boyd before, and I like them, very painterly. The issue covers by Kai Carpenter are quite nice, too, I’d not seen all of them. Working digitally does have it’s quirks. I’m happy with the way this series is going, you should decide for yourself. On sale July 10 in shops.
The plotting on this book is one where you can see things gradually going out of control despite the best efforts of the controllers, and the fun is in exactly how and when it will all blow up. We’re getting very close! The wives who have been carefully controlled by their husbands in this make-believe neighborhood are learning that spilling blood, their own or anyone’s will release strong magic powers in them, as well as anger. The husbands, who set up this situation and try to control things from a secret underground bunker, led by Aaron, are struggling to keep the women ignorant and separated, but are failing. Their boss has arrived from somewhere else, and Aaron has tasked his wife Iz with putting on a big dinner party for everyone, to show the boss, August, that they have the situation in hand. Instead, gathering everyone together in one house is only making things worse as the women exchange information. It’s been a great build up, and I expect the explosion will happen next issue.
Charlie Fisher has been around. His father is a diplomat, and Charlie travels with him. When they’re assigned to the city of Marseille on the French Riviera, Charlie is astonished one day to see a group of clever pickpockets working a crowded tourist square. One of them, Amir, even steals his monogrammed pen, but is caught by police. Charlie helps Amir, and in return, he’s invited to visit the Whiz Gang’s secret hideout, and soon allowed to join them on their pickpocketing adventures. Charlie has no local friends, and desperately wants to become one of the gang. Gradually they teach him how, even though some gang members think he can’t do it. Charlie works hard, and finally is allowed to pick pockets too. It all seems like a harmless, fun adventure until the day it becomes something quite different. That day Charlie learns he’s been carefully led into a really big con that will change everything. The only way to fix it is probably suicidal, but Charlie has to try.
In the first half of this book I kept feeling there was something wrong with the whole situation but couldn’t put my finger on it. When the penny dropped, this became an even better book, thrilling and hard to put down. I liked Meloy and Ellis’s “Wildwood” trilogy, but think the writing here is even better.