CanVention 22 and the Aurora Awards
If It's Tuesday,
this must be TOR
Cosmonaut Keep by Ken Macleod
The Alchemists Door
by Lisa Goldstein
ed by Harry Turtledove
by Stanley Schmidt
Logic by Laurie J. Marks
Iron Grail by John Woodstock
The Sacred Pool by L. Warren Douglas
The Sky So Big And Black by John Barnes
Spaceland by Rudy Rucker
Straw Men by Michael
Sisters of the Raven by Barbara Hambly
To Trade The Stars
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Ellen Datlow and
Murder Mysteries. Original short
story and radio play by Neil Gaiman. Graphic story script and art by P.
Journal of Pulse Pounding Narratives
& Metropolis Essay
Reign of Fire
Daniel's Comic Book Column# 10, AUGUST 2002
by Daniel P. Dern
Two Cents: While Daniel loves the
classic DC and Marvel titles, I like things a little more edgy. Superheroes
can't help having feet of superclay, and they do seem to attract supervillians
in spades. I stumbled across a comic that seems to think the same way I do,
from Wildstorm (www.wildstorm.com),
which is, these days, part of DC. It's called
TEAM ACHILLES, and its about a team of humans using high tech weapons
to combat "any costumed individual who assumes they have the authority to
speak for humanity." and deal with the growing superhuman threat. Not that I
have anything against super-humans. Some of my best friends are mutants.
Really. You should be able to pick up a copy of its first issue which was
released in July at a discerning comic store near you. I bet it would make a
heck of a movie.
Daniel's Comic Book Column# 10, AUGUST 2002
Speaking of comic-related movies, I finally saw Unbreakable
(starring Bruce Willis, in his laconic, non-wisecracking, mode), on cable,
a day or so ago. It was definitely one of the more incisive looks at the
comic book mentality. Recommended. (Of course, we could have told you
that...and we did, in our
Unbreakable review - ed)
Other than that, I don't have anything particular for this month, so get
out your PDAs and your wallets, and I'll suggest some more comics to read.
OF THE MONTH: GREEN ARROW
I don't know what started me on this arrow-of-thought, and the web
browsing that followed to dig up some of the info, but if you haven't been
following DC's GREEN ARROW for the past year and a half, you've been
missing a great read. Green Arrow has been a hot, great title for the past
year and change, and if I haven't been saving that often enough to remind
you, my apologies.
Green Arrow is another Jack Kirby creation who's had his ups and downs.
He's had his share of silly cosmic adventures, whacky arrows,
Arrow-vehicles... good serious runs like Mike Grell's, which included his
romance with Dinah Lance (Black Canary -- the original BC's daughter, it
turned out, for those of you who care), his political adventuring with Hal
Oliver Queen, the original Green Arrow (ignoring any pre-Crisis/pre-Zero
Hour Earth 1/Earth 2 considerations), was "killed in action" some years
back -- by Extant, if I recall correctly, who, if I recall correctly, was
(really) Hal Jordan (the Silver Age Green Lantern), gone whacky from when
his home town Coast City, including his long-time love interest Carol
Ferris, got blown up by Mongul during the long (and good -- and mostly
available in trade paperback) "Return of Superman" story arc that followed
the "Death of Superman" arc after Superman went hand-to-hand with
Doomsday. (OK, enough history for now!)
What, you say, hasn't there's been another Green Arrow on the scene --
Connor Hawke, who, it turns/turned out, actually is/was Oliver Queen's
son. Check out Connor's role in the current Justice League of America,
issues 5-9, fighting the Key. (Collected in the
American Dreams trade paperback.) and also in the
Rock of Ages JLA collection.
Yes -- but that never rules out two characters with the same name. (It
hasn't stopped hot-and-cold-running Green Lanterns, or multiple Flashes,
While you may have been not looking, Ollie's back. How? Read Kevin
"Chasing Amy" Smith's "Quivers" storyline to find out -- available in
paperback as "Green Arrow: Quiver" (Hardcover, on sale at Amazon, B&N,
etc. for like 17 and a half bucks.)
Ollie's also been guest starting in the most recent two issues of Hawkman,
by the way.
Green Arrow: The Unofficial Fansite has some nice pix -- in theory
there's also lots of good text there, but danged if I could find most of
it while using Opera.
I was never a big fan of the original Green Arrow, but Kevin Smith's done
a fabulous job of reviving the character. Somebody else is taking over the
writing, but they've got a good base to build on. Check it out.
JSA (Justice Society of America)
continues to be a great -- possibly my favorite
-- comic. With the wrap-up of the Ultra-Humanite "Stealing Thunder" plot
(and a very nice "Father's Day" follow-up issue), it looks like we're
getting back, as intimated/promised just before all hell broke loose, to
"What's really going on with Power Girl?"
This may also be a good time to consider picking up
Supergirl again (the comic, that is, of course :-). Peter David's been
doing his usual fabulous job ... and hyper-weird stuff is about to happen.
The Legion of Super Heroes. I've been ignoring this title for the past
few years, but it looks nice (visually) again, and the plot and characters
seem worth following again.
DARK KNIGHT FINISHES RETURNING
So the third and final issue of Frank Miller & Lynn Varley's
The Dark Knight Returns is out -- came one on (revised) schedule, July 31.
Was it good? Was it worth waiting for? Yeah and I guess so. Miller did a
good job with keeping the plot going, and resolving things neatly -- it
could easily have been an unsuccessful mishmosh. The art is, well, very
different; like Steve at The Outer Limits where I buy these things, I
found some panels where I had no idea what was going on. On the other
hand, I don't care a lot; it was a fun romp. On the third hand (the Dr.
Octopus school of debate), I don't see rereading this sequel one or two
times a year, like I did for its predecessor.
DC will be collecting these together, including, I think, in a
single-volume that incorporates the original Dark Knight Returns four-parter,
so if you don't own any of the parts yet, you may want to wait. Or borrow
While I'm confused, dubious and even annoyed by some of what's going on in
some Marvel titles -- do Nick Fury and Luke Cage really need to cuss and
be so violent that they've had to be moved into the "Mature" (i.e., older)
buyer category? I don't think so. But there's still some good and
interesting news over at the House of Ideas, like:
Remember DC's "10-cent adventures" issue
of Batman back in the spring, which cost only one thin dime? Marvel's
going kneecap-to-kneecap with DC in silly price stunts
Four #60, written by Mark Waid and
featuring a compete story arc -- for only nine cents.
if you haven't been reading Marvel's The Avengers lately -- and despite
Kurt Busiek doing the scripts, I confess I haven't been either -- you may
want to revise that decision starting this month, as Geoff Johns, who's
been working on JSA over at DC, adds this Marvel title to his workload,
Last month I noted that Marvel was doing a hardcover reprint of the Frank
Morrison X-Men issues whose arc just wrapped up -- for thirty bucks.
(Probably less if you know where to shop.) I'd also noted that the first
batch of those issues were already in trade paperback, as "E is for
Extinction" -- if you have that, you can complete the arc with the
follow-on trade book, "New X-Men."
X-Men: E Is for Extinction ($12.95) and New X-Men ($19.99) are on sale at
Amazon.com for 10% and 30% off, respectively, or $24 and change for the
The Comic-A-Week List
Oh yeah, the comic-a-week list. Mmm, Justice Society, Amazing Spider-Man,
Hawkman, and either Fantasic Four or Green Arrow. X-Men slips off the list, but
just by a little -- let's add a second-string list, like so; X-Men, GA or FF
(whichever you don't get on the first round), Justice League, and, argggh, Hulk
or Young Justice or Doom Patrol.
Daniel P. Dern is a free-lance technology writer. He was previously
Executive Editor of Byte.com (www.byte.com). firstname.lastname@example.org (www.dern.com)