May 19, 2013
The first step was getting the big two superhero publishers to start publishing more female characters and I think they are doing it - the next step is to actually get people reading them. Red She-Hulk was cancelled this week as well, and Captain Marvel is looking relatively shaky. I'm wondering: is the problem that readers (still primarily male) aren't interested, or is it that publisher's aren't highlighting these characters as well as they should? All I know is that I'll be looking to replace my cancelled titles with something similar - if it's available.
Reviewed this week: Age of Ultron, Batgirl, Batwoman, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, It Girl and the Atomics, Legion of Super-Heroes, Sesame Street, Sword of Sorcery, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and Wonder Woman.
May 17, 2013
Ask any Doctor Who fan, and the answer to this question is obvious: clearly, after seven seasons it's Tom Baker. The problem is this: how do we measure the length of a particular Doctor's tenure? We could, for example, do it the easy way with the number of televised seasons each actor starred in as the Doctor.
There we go. Done and dusted. Or is it?
There we go. Done and dusted. Or is it?
May 15, 2013
The latest fear seems to be that ratings under Steven Moffat have nosedived, and that things were so much more popular under previous producer Russell T Davies. I figured it was worth taking a quick look at those stats and see if this was true.
May 14, 2013
It's such a silly title. It doesn't even have a colon: it's not Star Trek: Into Darkness. There is no sub-title here, it's just one sentence, like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Star Trek Into Darkness. It makes me think they just need to turn the lights on. Then again, it's yet another Hollywood film retro-fitted into 3D, so given the dimming effect of those polarised 3D glasses, Star Trek Into Darkness is weirdly appropriate.
This is a mostly great film dragged back by a few elements of monumental stupidity. The stupid bits aren't easy to discuss without revealing key elements of the plot, so we'll put the rest of this review under a cut.
May 13, 2013
Demon Knights, Dial H and Threshold all reach their final issues in August, but I was surprised to see Legion of Super-Heroes is ending as well. I was even more surprised to see that both Stormwatch and Batwing have been given temporary reprieves. I know both books have recently received soft reboots (okay, in the case of Jim Starlin's take on Stormwatch it's a ridiculously hard reboot) but they haven't really affected sales enough to justify their continued publication.
Of course four cancellations means four potential new titles. Perhaps it's time to look over DC's back catalogue of properties to work out what might be getting dusted off next. Booster Gold? Kamandi? A Demon solo book? A Robin solo book? Of course for that last one they'll need a new Robin.
The Doctor (Colin Baker) takes Peri (Nicola Bryant) to the icy planet Necros, where the body of his old friend Stengos is said to be lying. Instead he finds an intergalactic funeral home under mysterious new management, a problem of disappearing corpses, and an old enemy lying in wait for him.
"Revelation of the Daleks" is a bleak and violent satire, coming as the finale of a season typified by being bleak and satirical, and by being particularly and graphically violent. The season begins with a man's hands being bloodily crushed by Cybermen and continues through hideous acid burns, mock executions, cannibalism, stabbings, and all manner of actions and consequences both graphic and distasteful. In some cases this horror works remarkably well, but in others it feels sensationalistic and more than a little tacky. In the case of "Revelation of the Daleks" I feel the horror works perfectly. It very likely contains some of the most effective uses of violence in Who history.
May 12, 2013
Jon Ronson is a fantastic English journalist whose radio and television documentaries combine both fascinating reporting with a remarkable sense of humour and absurd. His most famous book is probably The Men Who Stare at Goats, which was adapted into a popular feature film starring George Clooney, but I still think his best book is Them! which was published in 2001 as a tie-in to his documentary series The Secret Rulers of the World.
The book basically recounts Ronson's encounters with a string of extremists and conspiracy theorists around the world. As he goes he begins to actively follow the mysterious Bilderberg Group, as several conspiracy enthusiasts have cited that group as the one that secretly rules the world.
Neil Gaiman returns to Doctor Who with "Nightmare in Silver", his second Doctor Who television script and his first since his widely (but not universally) loved Season 6 episode "The Doctor's Wife". Also returning are the Cybermen, who are pretty much my favourite Doctor Who monster.
I can't help but feel that this was an episode I felt I was supposed to like, rather than an episode that I actually liked. Actually that's a little unfair, because all things taken together I did ultimately enjoy "Nightmare in Silver". I simply didn't enjoy it as much as I felt that I should have.
Part of this episode's stated goal was to make the Cybermen scary again. I always have a mild problem when people attempt this sort of thing, because they often misinterpret what makes people scary in the first place. For one thing, being more elaborate is not scary: a super-fast 'bullet-time' Cyberman is a surprise, definitely, but it isn't scary. A Cyberman that can remove its head as a distraction isn't scary either - it's actually slightly silly. A Cyberman that removes its hand, which then scuttles about like a hand-shaped robotic spider, is so silly they already used the gag in an episode of Red Dwarf.