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2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
Editor:  Ernest Lilley
Associate Editor: Sharon Archer

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Aug02 Contents
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Columns:
Editorial License
US Books
UK Books
Can Books
Comics
DVD

Events/Cons:
CanVention 22 and the Aurora Awards
If It's Tuesday, this must be TOR

Feature Interview:
Ken Macleod

Feature Review: Cosmonaut Keep by Ken Macleod

Book Reviews
The Alchemists Door
by Lisa Goldstein
Alternate Generals
ed by Harry Turtledove
Argonaut by Stanley Schmidt
Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks
The 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 Marshall Smith
Sisters of the Raven by Barbara Hambly
To Trade The Stars by Julie E. Czerneda
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror
, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Graphic Novel:

Murder Mysteries. Original short story and radio play by Neil Gaiman. Graphic story script and art by P. Craig Russell
Zine: The Journal of Pulse Pounding Narratives

SFMedia:
Film:
Austin Powers: GoldMember

Metropolis (2002) Restoration
& Metropolis Essay
PowerPuff Girls
Reign of Fire
Signs
Simone

 

Daniel's Comic Book Column# 10, AUGUST 2002
by Daniel P. Dern

Ern's 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 STORMWATCH: 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.

GREEN ARROW #17TITLE 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 Jordan/Green Lantern.

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, for example.)

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.

TOUCHING BASE AT DC
COMICS

 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.

 Ditto re 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.

THE DARK KNIGHT FINISHES RETURNING

S
o 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 a copy.

MARVELOUS UPDATES

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 with  Fantastic Four #60, written by Mark Waid and featuring a compete story arc -- for only nine cents.

And 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, starting with Avengers #57.

X-EMPLARY PRICES

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 pair.

 

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). ddern@world.std.com (www.dern.com)