On My Shelves: Watchmen

Alan Moore and David Gibbon's Watchmen is, justifiably, a landmark in the comic-book universe, a carefully-planned attempt to analyze and deconstruct the standard superhero universe while, at the same time, staying true to some of its most powerful tropes. Watchmen was also made into a movie, which in my view managed to stick fairly close to the original miniseries/graphic novel, but of necessity had to cut out some rather important elements (discussed below). If you don't want spoilers galore, don't read any farther! The setting of Watchmen [ Continue reading... ]

On My Shelves: Doctor Strange

Well, technically "soon to be on my shelves" since the movie hasn't been released to video yet!      Capsule summary: A near-perfect adaptation of the origin of Doctor Strange, updated without losing what made it work in the first place. Excellent acting, fine pacing, and clever scripting make this one of the better Marvel offerings, with only a few relatively minor flaws marring what is otherwise a stellar work. Cumberbatch was made to play Doctor Strange, continuing an amazing streak of beautiful casting decisions by Marvel. I look forward [ Continue reading... ]

On My Shelves: Captain America: Civil War

  Shortest review: Damn good Marvel movie. If you've liked the other Marvel movies, this is one of the best.   Still short, no spoilers: While drawing basic inspiration from the comic-book "Civil War" storyline, this movie makes the conflict more personal for the characters, in all directions. As others have noted, while it's titled "Captain America", to a great extent this is the third Avengers movie, picking up a relatively short time after "Age of Ultron". The trailers haven't been too deceptive, though as usual there's a [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: Superheroes Who Should Not Be Dark

  The recent release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has created a huge amount of controversy, a large amount of it centering on the almost unrelentingly grim imagery of the movie, and most specifically on the depiction of Superman. Throughout my life, there have been several times in which people dealing with the superheroic have decided – in various media – that a superhero can't be done for a modern audience and retain the four-color brightness of their origins. The arguments vary but tend to boil down to a perceived, [ Continue reading... ]

On My Shelves: One Punch Man

IN A WORLD… where monsters and supervillains run rampant, opposed by a variety of heroes and wannabees, there was a man who had reached the point that he did not care whether he lived or died; a monster he encountered was so amused by his "I don't care" attitude that the monster spared him. But then the same monster tried to kill a child in front of him, and the man remembered that he had once dreamed of becoming a hero. After saving the child, he set out to train himself to be the greatest hero… for fun. Saitama – for that was his name – [ Continue reading... ]

Teaser Chapter: The Stuff of Legend, Chapter 2

Figured I should at least let you see the end of that particular scene! If you're coming here for the first time, don't forget to first read the Prologue and then Chapter 1 before going on!   -----     Chapter 2.      She was still in something of a state of shock, but she heard herself respond, "I… will have to think about it for a few minutes." He looked suddenly chagrined. "Look at me, coming in here with a clear plan as to what I was going to say, and then messing it up already." She blinked. "What do you [ Continue reading... ]

Teaser Chapter: The Stuff of Legend, Chapter 1

  I posted the prologue for Stuff of Legend some time back. Here's Chapter 1 of that superhero novel (based in a possible future of the world of Paradigms Lost); this book's currently with my agent Marisa Corvisiero!     ----     Chapter 1.      "I think today's session went well, Mr. Thompson," Jennifer Hsui said in her best professional tone. It was important to conclude each appointment on time, but not to make the patient – or client, as some people preferred – feel pressured or cut [ Continue reading... ]

On My (Virtual) Shelves: GrrlPower

Sydney: "Inverse Ninja! Inverse Ninja!" Vehemence: "… Heed your genre-savvy protégé, Colonel; the main event is indeed about to start."   A webcomic by Dave Barrack that started back in 2010, GrrlPower updates twice a week. A superhero comic, it focuses on a predominantly female cast and is specifically centered on the mystery and (mis)adventures of Sydney Scoville, a rail-thin, ADHD (medicated, and the medication isn't strong enough), genius ultra-geek girl in a world where comics aren't the only place where you'll see [ Continue reading... ]

Under the Influence: Superman

  "That man won't quit as long as he can still draw a breath. None of my teammates will. Me? I've got a different problem. I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard, always taking constant care not to break something. To break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control, even for a moment, or someone could die. But you can take it, can't you, big man? What we have here is a rare opportunity for me to cut loose, and show you just how powerful I really am!"      The Man of Tomorrow. The Last Son of Krypton. The Man of Steel. [ Continue reading... ]

On My Shelves: Secret Identity

  Clark Kent is a teenage boy living in Picketsville, Kansas, a boy who has dreams of being a writer, and a well-developed ability to endure the constant teasing – both well-meaning and malicious – that comes with being named after the secret identity of the most famous superhero of all time. For he lives in our world, or one very like it, where there are no superhuman beings, only stories of them. But one night, while camping alone, he awakens to find himself actually floating in midair. He can fly. He has super-strength, and [ Continue reading... ]