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Booking Through Thursday: Real Life

imageThe age-old “How am I going to use this in real life?” question. How would you answer it?

“How am I gonna use THIS?” That’s a pretty deep question, and certainly varies depending on the subject matter. Obviously, the context here would be “books” or “reading.” But then, it also varies on the sort of books or reading material.

untoldlegendofthebatmanThis is a comic reviews blog, so I’ll start with that—comics. There’s a Batman comic from the 1980s…The Untold Legend of the Batman (actually, 3 issues, or there’s a MMPB edition in black and white out there that I’d love to re-acquire as my copy disappeared probably 15 years ago). The first and 3rd issues have both had a profound effect on me.

In the first issue, we see a college-age Bruce attending a class on the Law. In it, a professor sets out a situation and asks what the resolution should be. Bruce disagrees with the answer and asks “But sir…is that justice?” To which the professor responds “No, Mr. Wayne—that is the Law!” And in that story, that was the moment that Bruce realized he could not simply become a police officer, but had to become something NOT bound by red tape—something that could enforce justice, even if not technically the law. And from that, I gained my own distinction between and recognition of the fact that there IS a significant difference between Justice and the Law (and there’s a whole lotta biblical stuff on that, but that’s for another discussion some other time).

In the third issue…well, there’s just a whole tone thing. Memories, how they affect someone, and how sometimes it just takes the right sort of friend or the right sort of encouragement to affect someone….and that, too, sticks with me.    (continued)

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Deathblow (2006 series) #3 [Review]

Quick Rating: Average (Qualified)
Story Title: And Then You Live! (Part Three)

Deathblow continues his quest for "place" in contemporary society.

deathblow003Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Carlos D’anda
Colors: Carrie Strachan
Letters: Rob Leigh
Asst. Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editors: Scott Peterson
Cover Art: Carlos D’anda Brian Stelfreeze
Publisher: Wildstorm/DC Comics

It’s a bit hard to review this issue…and I feel rather stupid for that fact. I just don’t seem to "get" who these characters are nor exactly what’s going on. At the same time, it’s not a TOTALLY negative thing, but I think there’s something lacking for my not being familiar with the character prior…the positive being that this is "only" the third issue and much of the story yet to go.

This issue sees the character we’ve followed for a couple issues attempting to figure out his place in contemporary society, free to do what he wants as he will when he wants to. After breakfast with his family, Cray sets out to find his friend/his dog at the park. Some less-than-comfortable encounters and violence later, we see some hints at a villain of the piece and what the title character might be facing soon.

While it was a bit hard to follow at points, I generally enjoyed certain chunks of Azzarello‘s Hellblazer work. I’ve read the first trade of 100 Bullets, as well as his arc on Batman several years ago, and the more recent Superman arc. Unfortunately, it seems his writing is a bit hit-or-miss for me, almost on an issue-by-issue/case-by-case basis. This is, despite some early optimism, turning out to be a miss. Those other stories had the benefit of involving characters I was already familiar with, whereas here I’m not only not familiar with the characters, but don’t care about them. Even comparing this to a tv show, the infrequency (though I believe mostly on-schedule for once-per-month) of the story segments and lack of any introductory pages make this an hard read without having dug out previous issues to re-read–though that could be leveled more at the publisher than writer.

The art is just fine, and captures a certain sort of realism without leaving behind the visual "feel" that it is still a two-dimensional series of images on paper. No complaints from me artwise.

While I didn’t much enjoy this issue, I suspect others more familiar with the history of the character, or more patience, or just a better memory may enjoy it. It’s still the middle of an arc, and will very likely be far more understandable in its eventual collected/single-volume format than it is here.


Story: 2.5/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3/5

Uncle Scrooge #400 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com


Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

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