Category Archives: Reviews

And Then I Read: HAL JORDAN & THE GL CORPS #26

Image © DC Entertainment. Written by Robert Venditti, art by Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona, colors by Tomeu Morey, letters by Dave Sharpe.

A new storyline featuring Jack Kirby’s New Gods, or at least one of them: Orion. He’s under attack by an unknown force, and Hal and Kyle Rayner offer rescue and medical help. Meanwhile, Guy Gardner is looking for a new assignment, having lost his Yellow Lantern partner, but John Stewart is keeping him on Mogo for now. Mysterious powerful figures are behind the attack on Orion, foreshadowed by GL Graf. All he can offer is the warning “Metal.”

I’m not crazy about big interstellar battles, but so far this one has some interesting aspects. Recommended.

And Then I Read: GREEN LANTERNS #24

Image © DC Entertainment. Written by Sam Humphries, art by Carlo Barberi and Matt Santorelli, colors by Ulises Arreola, letters by Dave Sharpe. This cover by Emanuela Lupacchino and Michael Atiyeh.

New Earth GLs Jessica and Simon are on Mogo, Corps headquarters, getting one-on-one training from Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner, respectively. Jessica’s issue is largely self-doubt, and Guy succeeds in getting her mad enough to overcome it (who better?). Simon’s issue is lack of imagination in using his powers, and Kyle has some visually interesting ideas on how to overcome that. Meanwhile, Volthoom (in the body of renegade Guardian Rami) is searching for the seven original power rings, and we see another of them beginning service on Mars. What Volthoom finds out will have a major impact on Simon and Jessica, as they are assigned a new mission: to escort Rami to a very dangerous place.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: THE FLASH #27

Image © DC Entertainment. Written by Joshua Williamson, art by Paul Pelletier, Howard Porter and Andrew Hennessy, colors by Hi-Fi, letters by Steve Wands.

I’m still way behind on this title, but trying to catch up. The final chapter of “Running Scared” has Barry Allen transformed by the Negative Speed Force into an even nastier version of Reverse-Flash, and the two duke it out around Earth in the 25th Century, and then across time. A fight is a fight, though, and not all that interesting to me. What happens with Iris West is a lot more so, as she brings her own vengeance to Eobard Thawne. Back in our time, Wally West is in the hospital, and Iris is not trusting Barry one bit.

Mildly recommended.

And Then I Read: HAL JORDAN & THE GL CORPS #25

Image © DC Entertainment. Written by Robert Venditti, art by Ethan Van Sciver, colors by Jason Wright, letters by Dave Sharpe.

The uneasy coalition of the Yellow and Green Lanterns falls apart here, something that was easy to predict. Not so easy was the anger and venom coming from Yellow Lantern leader Soranik. Not without reason, but it feels like a plot -driven anger rather than one that comes from the character as we’ve known her, who has always listened to reason. Now she’s all hate and anger, and is taking on the name Soranik Sinestro as she leads what’s left of her Sinestro Corps back to Korugar. This is also a big fail for John Stewart, the other architect of the coalition, and one thing that did surprise me was, he had a backup plan to minimize damage, one that is also a kind of betrayal. Unlike past issues, this one feels like an executive decision to return one part of the status quo. It’s well told, but feels like a letdown all the same.

Mildly recommended.

And Then I Read: KA, Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr by John Crowley

I became of fan of John Crowley with his novel “Little, Big,” published in 1981 and referred to on this cover. Still probably his best-known work. I found and read his earlier works (the novel “Engine Summer” impressed me the most) and have read many of his later ones.

“KA” is a very long novel, as are many of Crowley’s since “Little, Big,” and a crow, Dar Oakley, is the protagonist. He was born in prehistoric times in Europe in a place where there were not yet any humans, and witnessed their arrival. More than any other animal, Dar became intimately involved with humanity and several particular humans. The first of his human friends, a medicine woman named Fox Cap, taught him to speak and understand her language, and gave him his name (or helped him choose it). Later, he followed her into the spirit world of her people where he gained eternal life of an unusual kind. It’s not that Dar never dies, he does, but is long lived, and after he dies he wakes up again in a later time and gradually regains at least some of the memories of his past lives. Another human friend, a monk that Dar only knows as Brother, leads him on a pilgrimage to the westernmost islands of Ireland, and eventually across the ocean to North America. There, Dar’s lives take him through American history from pioneer times to the civil war and eventually to our own time, where he befriends the author of this book, and tells his life story through him. That friendship forms a framing device that bookends the story.

In addition to human history and time spent in magical realms, there’s also plenty about Dar’s life with other crows: first his own family, later many mates, some more important and memorable than others. The relationship between crows and humans is a common theme that goes through its own evolution.

I enjoyed reading the book, but it does tend to wander, as Crowley books do, and at times I found myself checking to see how far along I’d read, wondering how much more there was to go, which a sign that a book is not fully engaging my interest. I love birds, and I enjoy history and magic, so all the elements suggested I would be fully engaged, but the meandering of the story cooled my interest at times. There’s also an overall melancholy, a focus on death and dying and the possibilities that might happen after, and a feeling that both Dar and John Crowley are in a story that has grown too long for them. There are moments of joy and humor, moments of suspense and action, but they are intermittent.

In all, well worth reading, and recommended, but not for everyone.