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review 2020-06-14 21:24
Legion of Super Heroes, Vol. 11
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 11 - E. Nelson Bridwell,Cary Bates,Jim Shooter,Mike Grell

We're still getting some very wacky ideas from what should have been a straight-forward plot, such as the issues where the Legion teams up with a Science Police officer, or when Princess Projectra keeps getting sick. The women also keep getting weaker and weaker. The time will come when male writers will figure out how to tell a love story in a comic book without the woman becoming utterly hopeless. An exception creeps in with Night Girl's romance with Cosmic Boy, but her costume had to lose most of its fabric. I love Mike Grell's art, though, it's classic pop comic. He will make some questionable choices with costumes, too, but we'll get there when we get there. There is tension building in this series, and I can almost feel the Legion about to spring forward into the dark '80s. It's just waiting on the write author to pull all of the elements together.


Legion of Super-Heroes


Next: 'Volume 12'


Previous: 'Volume 10'

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review 2020-06-12 21:20
Legion of Super Heroes, Vol. 10
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 10 - Cary Bates,Dave Cockrum

This volume contains Dave Cockrum's landmark stint as the new illustrator for the series. The early 1970s was a tumultuous time in the industry and the many titles were being revamped and or canceled to make way for new creators and lines. Cockrum was fan of the series and made many costume decisions for the series, for better of for worse. He also made many character contributions. In the end, he committed fully to Marvel to work on the revived 'X-Men', creating Storm and Nightcrawler.


Despite other advancements, the stories here are still pretty shallow. The main writer is Cary Bates who doesn't seem to plan much for the long term in his storytelling. A lot of the new costumes were fan-service for the dudes that seem even more dated than the early '60s originals. In fact, there was a whole spread of costumes sent in by fans that thankfully were used only once or twice before settling into a slightly-less-cringey holey-jumpsuits and bikinis. Notably Phantom Girl gained pigtails and bell-bottoms and Princess Projectra's front bodice is only held together by two threads, for example. Chameleon Boy and Colossal Boy got thoughtful recreations of their costumes that complimented their characters. Huh. Funny.


Still, a whole lot of fun.


Legion of Super-Heroes


Next: 'Volume 11'


Previous: 'Volume 9'

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review 2020-05-27 21:12
Petals of Blood by Ngugi wa'Thiong'o
Petals of Blood - Moses Isegawa,Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

I dragged my feet with this book for a long time. The character sketches were phenomenal, but something about the style kept me at a distance and it was a great effort to keep turning pages. Even being laid up during the covid-19 lockdown didn't help. Have to mark as 'abandoned'. 

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review 2020-04-01 21:15
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Kindred - Octavia E. Butler

A feeling of nausea, a dizzy spell, and Dana opens her eyes not in her house, but on a muddy riverbank in time to save a boy from drowning. She finds herself back home, but covered in mud. This begins a terrifying ordeal where Dana doesn't know when she'll be taken again back, only that there is a connection between her and a sullen red-haired boy named Rufus in the early 19th century.


This was not the book I was expecting - I must have had my wires crossed with one of her other books - but 'Kindred' is phenomenal. We follow Dana as she is, sometimes for months at a time, trapped on Maryland plantation: a black woman with no traveling papers. Dana is a modern woman and as this is a first-person novel, we experience her thoughts as she attempts to rationalize her actions and those of the people around her. There is brutality, kindness, slow capitulation and sharp reminders of the era. There are decisions that Dana makes that defy comprehension, but I have no idea how I would react in a similar situation, so I find it hard to judge her. What made the bond between Dana and Rufus so strong? It goes well beyond self-interest.


All I know is that this book kept me reading late into the night, I couldn't put it down until I found out how Butler reached the ending hinted at in the beginning. 

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review 2019-12-03 20:28
The Rocking Horse Secret by Rumer Godden
The Rocking Horse Secret - Rumer Godden

Rumer Godden was a prolific writer and, among other stories, created the eternal classic  'The Story of Holly & Ivy'.


This didn't really match that in terms of emotional impact and originality. Our heroine is Tibby, a 7 year old girl, who comes with her mother to live in a grand old house called Pomeroy Place. Her mother, Mrs. Winters, is the housekeeper, cook, and maid-of-all-work in a house that once had an army of servants. There is Jed who does all of the gardening and once looked after the horses when elderly Miss Pomeroy still had them.


Tibby is alone most of the time and falls in love with the old day nursery. She especially loves the large wooden rocking horse. That rocking horse has a secret, and the reader must muddle through a whole book before the seven year old realizes that secrets are silly things.

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