What a convoluted mess of a storyline. Morrison must have been tripping on some magic mushrooms to come up with this event. Not impressed at all, and the "intermission" of the crisis to go into two Superman tie-ins to the Final Crisis was worse than the major plotline.
I need science fiction to make sense if I am willing to suspend my disbelief; the science fiction in this book (issues #1-7, plus Final Crisis: Submit issue 1) is just random buzz words from tech bros combined with philosophical bullshit. It was headache inducing.
This wasn't just about saving humans/Earth, but all peoples and all planets in the 52 universes that make up DC. So a lot of minor characters show up without context or the need to have them there. Major characters are given the short stick in terms of page counts and panels. There are also so many plotlines; the JLA are all separate and just doing their own thing and yet the reader has to read about all their separate outings. It was a constant channel surf without a focus. Wonder Woman, Batwoman, and Catwoman go evil and become Darkseid's Furies yet we only get a glimpse of how WW went evil. Batman gets put in a jail cell early in the story and then disappears for 200 pages, just to show up again to die. There are three The Flash (Adam, Barry, and Wally), four Green Lanterns (Hal, Jon, Guy, and Alpha), and Too. Damn. Many. Alternate. Supermans (all from parallel universes). I don't think I even knew the real enemy - Monitor? Dark Seid? That stupid otherworldly vampire whose name I already forgot?
The Superman tie-ins were all about Superman and his parallel selves fighting Monitors to get an antidote to save Lois Lane. Not a fan of LL, so I didn't care about these issues at all.
The artwork was okay, but so many fights and explosions was draining on my eyes. The minor characters' costumes seemed to blur into a sea of blue and yellow after a while.
A confusing, headache is what this event was. I can't recommend. At least I got another square filled.
This was kind of weird. It was a skewed version of the Wonder Woman origin story, but instead of their patron goddess being Hera, it's Aphrodite. You can imagine how that could change a few things. It has a lot more overt sapphic tones than I've seen with Wonder Woman (but hardly surprising or shocking). I mean its a Utopian all female society, so why wouldn't the women pair up together as partners and lovers? I was fine with that. I think some of their rituals were on the verge of kinky if I'm honest. I've always been leery of sex and violence together thought.
I did like that Steve Trevor was black in this version. The relationship that Diana has with him is undefined. Since Wonder Woman has a lover already, I wasn't sure that there were any romantic undertones in her relationship with Trevor as it was written.
When Diana comes to the world of men, she is portrayed as very dominant with an edge of cruelty. I didn't love that about her characterization. I don't see Diana as being that kind of person.
The storyline where she encounters the sorority girls on a wild spring break trip and bonds with a particular girl was a bit odd. I know it was a way to group Diana and teach her the ways of the modern world. I didn't much care for it.
Honestly, I was glad this is Earth One. While I didn't mind the aspect of Diana being queer, and I liked that Steve was black, I didn't care for other aspects of the storyline. It wasn't terrible, so I would still give this three stars.
So Dewey's 24-hour Read-a-thon is tomorrow! My start time is 1pm, so I have time to run errands and do some household chores prior to reading.
1. Participate in the social aspect here and on my IG account.
2. Read for 12-15 hours (tracked via the stop watch app on my phone).
1. Sleight of Paw (A Magical Cats Mystery #2) (Amateur Sleuth square)
2. Saga Volumes 2-4
3. March, Volume 3
4. Hamilton's Battalion
5. Frostbite: A Vampire Academy Graphic Novel (Chilling children square)
6. Shadow Kiss: A Vampire Academy Graphic Novel (Vampires square)
7. Final Crisis (Supernatural square)
8. DC Bombshells, Volume 1 and 2
Thanks to NetGalley and to Scribner for providing me with an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.
Sometimes, I’d try to write them down, but they were just bad poems, limping down the page: Training a horse. The next line. Cut with the knees.
It stays with me, a bruise in the memory that hurts when I touch it.
I would throw up everything. All of it: food and bile and stomach and intestines and esophagus, organs all, bones and muscle, until all that was left was skin. And then maybe that could turn inside out, and I wouldn’t be nothing no more. Not this…
“Because we don’t walk no straight lines. It’s all happening at once. All of it. We are all here at once. My mama and daddy and they mamas and daddies.” Mam looks to the wall, closes her eyes. “My son.”
Both of us bow together as Richie goes darker and darker, until he’s a black hole in the middle of the yard, like he done sucked all the light and darkness over them miles, over them years, into him, until he’s burning black, and then he isn’t. There…
“Let’s go,” I say. Knowing that tree is there makes the skin on my back burn, like hundreds of ants are crawling up my spine, seeking tenderness between the bones to bit. I know the boy is there, watching, waving like grass in water.
I decided to start with some quotes (and I would happily quote the whole book, but there would be no point) because I know I could not make its language justice. This is a book about a family, three generations of an African-American family in the South and it has been compared to works by Morrison and Faulkner, and that was what made me request the book as they are among my favourite authors. And then, I kept reading about it and, well, in my opinion, they are not wrong. We have incredible descriptions of life in the South for this rural family (smells, touch, sound, sight, taste, and even the sixth sense too), we have a nightmarish road trip to a prison, with some detours, we have characters that we get to know intimately in their beauty and ugliness, and we have their story and that of many others whose lives have been touched by them.
There are two main narrators, Leonie, a young woman, mother of two children, whose life seems to be on a downward spiral. Her white partner is in prison for cooking Amphetamines, she does drugs as often as she can and lives with her parents, who look after her children, and seems to live denying her true nature and her feelings. Her son, Jojo, is a teenager who has become the main support of the family, looking after his kid sister, Michaela, or Kayla, helping his grandfather and grandmother, rebellious and more grown-up and responsible than his mother and father. Oh, and he hears and understands what animals say, and later on, can also see and communicate with ghosts. His grandmother is also a healer and knows things, although she is riddled with cancer, and his baby sister also seems to have the gift. The third narrator is one of the ghosts, Richie, who before he makes his physical (ghostly?) appearance has been the subject of a story Jojo’s grandfather has been telling him, without ever quite finishing it, seemingly waiting for the right moment to tell him what really happened. When we get to that point, the story is devastating, but so are most of the stories in the novel. Fathers who physically fight with their sons because they love an African-American woman, young men killed because it was not right that a black man win a bet, men imprisoned for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and for being the wrong race… The stories pile up and even the ghosts fight with each other to try and gain a sense of self, to try to belong.
This is magic realism at its best. As I said, the descriptions of the characters, the locations, and the family relationships are compelling and detailed. But there are elements that break the boundaries of realism (yes, the ghosts, and the style of the narration, where we follow interrupted stories, stream of consciousness, and where the living and those who are not really there are given equal weight), and that might make the novel not suitable for everybody. As beautiful as the language is, it is also harsh and raw at times, and incredibly moving.
Although it is short and, for me at least, a page turner, this is not a light read and I’d recommend approaching it with caution if you are particularly sensitive to abuse, violence, drug use, or if you prefer your stories straight, with no otherworldly interferences. Otherwise, check a sample, and do yourselves a favour. Read it. I hadn’t read any of this author’s books before, but I’ll be on the lookout and I’ll try and catch up on her previous work. She is going places.