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  3. Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 1/23/12222
  4. Luna incognita
  5. Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 1/23/

And with that, on to the reviews -- which are listed in alphabetical order, but first by DC, Marvel, and the rest of the publishers. American Carnage falls into some disappointingly predictable tropes this issue, as ex-cop Richard might be in too deep with the white supremacists he's trying to take down.

Richard is asked to kill an African-American street dealer, but the confrontation goes sideways, and Richard is forced to shoulder some of the aftermath. He's also getting closer with the daughter of the leader of the organization, who is supposed to be the "relatable" face of the group because she has a kid. After two strong issues, American Carnage 3 is just OK; it loses track of its message and becomes another predictable crime story. Here's to hoping it can quickly right the ship next issue.

Aquaman walks a brave path these days, and the risk is more than paying off. Mysteries abound in this genuine fish-out-of-water story, and every time you believe you have it figured out, a new one emerges from the shadows to pull you in once more.

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To say that Tom King has been taking Batman to unusual places is a little bit of an understatement, and those unusual places haven't always worked. The issue explores what might have been had Selina not stood him up on their wedding day, but don't expect it to be all happiness. Constantine is constantly right behind Batman, being the rain on his parade. Ultimately, it's Constantine that clues both Batman and the reader in on what's really going on. It's an emotionally complex and deftly written issue with some big emotional hits that come in the most subtle of ways.

That said, the issue also feels thin in places, almost as if King's narrative concept is being stretched a little father than it should yet again. Most of this issue is a deep conversation about art, comics, and careers, with a pivot to the spy side near the very end. David Mack's art is still lovely as ever, but this comic just meanders at a very strange pace, and I can't see how anyone who isn't a comics creator or is very comics adjacent would stay invested in it.

Cover appeals to a very specific audience, and at this point readers have decided whether they love the comic or have moved on. The first half of the issue features a story with art by Mike Perkins and colors by Rain Beredo. If you have been reading along, you likely can guess that Justin Jordan does a very solid John Constantine and Swamp Thing. The next two tales are frustrating.

It feels like this annual could have been reduced to just an issue — The Constantine story — and either skipped these other stories or given them more breathing room in another book. The second feature, by Jordan and artist Neil Edwards, with inks by John Stanisci and colors by Beredo, presents a challenge to letterer Wes Abbot: how do you keep a story visually interesting when it is basically a lot of simple layouts, relatively little in the way of dynamic action, and basically no dialogue?

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There are moments in this issue of Damage where we actually get to see the heart of Ethan, and they work incredibly well. As much as I've complained about having big-name guest stars in the book, the juxtaposition of Batman as a sort of villain actually does a lot to advance the story. By the end though, it feels like just another issue stuck in the same stale circle.

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Penciller Eddy Barrows, inker Ever Ferreira, and colorist Adriano Lucas have the unenviable task of making what amounts to an issue-long battle between relatively-unknown heroes and a giant, unstoppable war machine into compelling comics. They manage it, mostly through clear storytelling, sharp colors, and a constantly shifting strategy on both sides of the battle though surely some credit for that element goes to writer Robert Venditti. Venditti is channeling Kingdom Come in this issue, and we are here for it. You get the same swell of hope and appreciation for the heroes, and the same sense that while the story is absolutely going to get dark, there is a light at the end of the tunnel that makes this series smart, sexy, and savvy.

It should be required reading for our dark and divided times. Handling stories regarding the multiverse can be a tricky thing, but DC is knocking it out of the park in Justice League. Somehow Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV make it work, melding the various subplots into a mixture that just keeps you turning the page. Justice League carries tension and heartbreak in equal fashion, while also taking a big step forward story-wise on the macro level. With each passing issue, Lucifer gets deeper into tales of the occult, and, quite frankly, it's bizarrely delightful.

As dark and gritty as you'd expect, this title continues to sneak in a tremendous amount of heart that leaves you rooting for the devil. Naomi feels very much like a Brian Michael Bendis comic, for all of its strengths and weaknesses. That's probably unfair to co-writer David Walker, who is a fantastic writer, but the comic has all of Bendis' typical scripting hallmarks. All the "Bendis-isms" are there -- the distinctive dialogue style with rapid, short sentences, and two pages of single-panel grids where various strangers all answer the same question with different responses and reactions.

Naomi 1 is also Bendis' most decompressed work to date since arriving at DC, as not much actually happens in the comic save for the introduction of Naomi and her friends and a tease of a bigger mystery. The decompressed style works though for this comic, as it really emphasizes the relatively mundane nature of Naomi's world and gives her personality lots of room to shine.

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The winding road that Pearl seems to be headed on is crafting a pretty great journey. There is The main tale, which involves the Marvel Family kids going to a magical amusement park in the middle of the night, is sensory overload. The colors by Mike Atiyeh do a lot of heavy lifting in giving us a sense of how overstimulating the place is, how full of life and magic and chaos. Obviously that could not have happened without the art by Marco Santucci, but the palette from Atiyeh is really key to selling the feeling.

Sivana and Mr. Mind plotting their next movie. Neither of these really get enough time on the page to advance their plots much, and are rather there just to keep the reader on the hook for when Johns makes his move. Sideways remains a solid superhero series, plain and simple. The artwork is stunning, per usual. The story here doesn't do anything too groundbreaking, but it doesn't need to. The characters are consistently strong and well-thought out, and they are more than enough to carry the weight of the book on their shoulders.

By remaining in very human situations, like the loss of a loved one, Sideways makes the extraordinary circumstances in comics seem relatable. Plus, there's a wonderful reveal on the final page that has nothing to do with superpowered anything, and it's incredibly exciting. The assembled roster is really coming into its own, with the variety of eccentric personalities generating enough mystery, humor, and friction to keep things lively.

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Rawlinson D. With their continental counterparts, they explored notions of space travel and struggled to accommodate imagined extraterrestrial be- ings to Christian history. Rather than treating these musings in terms of the history of science, as is common among the few scholars who have noted them, my purpose is to locate these texts within the cultural and religious context of Stuart and Rev- olutionary England. A series of publications in the late s put the moon and it inhabitants, and the likelihood of traveling to meet them, into the national conversation. Wilkins argued that the moon was inhabited, but the nature of its inhabitants remained uncertain.

Godwin gave an account of a Spanish adventurer who harnessed migrant birds to take him to the moon. There he found a kind of paradise with peace and plenty, and lunar creatures instinctively inclined toward Christianity. These works, along with the literary, cosmological, and religious treatises that preceded them, and the disputations, entertainments, and translations that followed, were inspired both by the geographical discoveries of the age of Columbus and by the heliocentric discourse of the Copernican revolution.

They were also energized by the soteriological concerns of Christianity, refracted and intensified by the Ref- ormation. Had God in his plenitude created one world or many? See also Karl S. Or did Christ die only for us, leaving any other creatures to a kind of limbo or perdition? Supposing the moon to be inhabited, among a plurality of populated worlds, what kind of society prevailed on that planet, and what could we on earth learn from it?

Was there any means to resolve these questions by actually traveling there and back? These were ancient questions, revived in the Middle Ages, but they received new stimulus from the new astronomy, and from recent discoveries with the telescope and the compass. To these contemporary questions we can add others that emerge from modern scholarship.

What was the cultural and religious context of these seventeenth-cen- tury writings, and what did they owe to earlier discussions? In what manner or tone did the authors present their positions, and how did readers react to them? How did religious, scientific, and literary voices collide in the fractured worlds of post-Co- pernican, post-Reformation Europe, and in the contested cultures of early modern England?

Who were the participants in these discourses, what other texts had they read, and who was saying what to whom? It was stimulated by Renaissance voyaging and geography, with frequent comparisons to America, which had been unknown before Columbus, and to the Antipodes, most of which remained undiscovered. It was propelled by the sixteenth-century configuration of the solar system, and by refinements and popu- larizations of the new astronomy. The findings and theories of the new astronomy reinvigorated ancient and me- dieval notions of the plurality of worlds.

Seventeenth-century theorists became in- creasingly willing to contemplate an infinite and populated universe, assuring their readers that this conjecture was compatible with revealed Christian religion. The acceptance of such beliefs involved rejection of the authority of Aristotle, and re- jection, too, of a narrow literalist reading of Holy Scripture. The thirteenth-century St.

Wiener and Aaron Noland, eds. Debus, ed. New York, , 2: — As to the question whether Christ by dying on this Earth could redeem the inhabitants of another world, I answer that he is able to do this even if the worlds were infinite, but it would not be fitting for him to go unto another world that he must die again. These ideas circulated as part of the international traffic in lunar and celestial cos- mology that connected Paris and Padua to Oxford, Cambridge, and London.

Our master Jesus Christ was born, died, and resurrected in this world. Nor does he man- ifest himself elsewhere, nor elsewhere has he died or resurrected. Therefore it must not be imagined that there are many worlds, because it must not be imagined that Christ died or was resurrected more often, nor must it be thought that in any other world without the knowledge of the son of God, that men would be restored to eternal life.

Protestant reformers were not nec- essarily enthusiasts for the new astronomy or for the plurality of worlds; nor were early modern Catholics necessarily against it. The works of Godwin and Wilkins are well known in histories of science and astronomy, and they are sometimes mentioned in histories of travel. Although this was the aspect of the lunar encounter that most exercised contemporaries, the linkage of the plurality of worlds to questions of sin and sal- vation remains terra incognita.

Just as religion in history may be too important to be 14 Phillip Melanchthon, Initia Doctrina Physicae Wittenberg, , quoted in Dick, Plurality, Barfoot, eds.

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Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 1/23/12222

The history of science was mostly a twentieth-century invention, whereas most of the writers discussed here regarded themselves as participants in the work of religion. Early Stuart England, no less than the rest of late Renaissance Europe, took part in the processing, refining, and absorption of the observations and calculations of Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Galileo, and Kepler—the canonical figures of the new astronomy. The Roman Cath- olic condemnation of Copernicanism only drew more attention to its theories, and may have recommended them to Protestant Europe.

Kepler, the math- ematician of planetary motion, had died in , but his Somnium on lunar astron- omy and lunar voyaging circulated in manuscript and was published in Frankfurt in The new experimental philosophy of Francis Bacon also made headway among English cognoscenti, with four editions of Sylva Sylvarum between and , and New Atlantis republished in Seeking practical benefit as well as philosophical illumination, many Europeans at the time believed that lunar observations could unlock the mystery of longitude.

They could draw on ancient and modern traditions, sat- ires and speculations, available in recent editions.

Ewen A. Francis Hicks Oxford, , —, 9— John Milton was sufficiently impressed by this passage to cite it in his pamphlet Of Reformation. By , the year of publication of Wilkins and Godwin, a wide range of modern scientific treatises were available in English and in Latin, alongside satires and en- tertainments about the man in the moon.

Luna incognita

There was a quickening interest not just in the mechanics and mathematics of planetary motion, but also in what we might call the ethnography or cultural geography of outer space. Columbus, Ohio, — , 4: New editions appeared in , , and Oxford, , —; Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, ed. Thomas C. Faulkner, Nicolas K. My eyes were riveted to the man standing over me. His caramel colored eyes were illuminated beneath his half mask in the gaslight lanterns that marked the garden path.

A cold smile bloomed on his full lips. He shifted his weight. We were to travel by tarpon for the first part of the journey. One of the men tried to give me a lift on to the massive brindle colored tarpon but I shook him off jumping up easily. The tarpon snorted pawing the ground so I caressed his large shoulder soothingly. I curled back down into the carved out bed letting memories lap over the present and the past. A man was above me removing my clothes, admiring my breasts. I looked over the Sterncastle deck at the blackening sky nervously.

A storm was coming up the Busillus Waterway echoing off of the Aeterno Mountains with deafening thunder claps. I cast a look at the shear mountain cliffs that surrounded us trying to judge if rocks would tumble down beneath the harsh winds. Prologue The music blasting through the club was assaulting to the senses. The bass so thick it pulsed into the very bones of my body. My eyes flicked over the dance floor hunting for the right one from my balcony perch. The door opened releasing a cold wind around the humidity stifled dance floor gratefully.

A group of giggling women entered and in the middle of the flock I. Lost Frost. Lost FrostPrologue It was the night of the winter solstice, the coldest, darkest day of the entire year. Christmas was just four days away. The snow fell in big fluffy flakes covering the already pristine ground with a fresh coat of that Winterland white everyone seemed to crave. I knew just beneath the surface the dirt lingered, it always lingers beneath the things that seem so pretty and flawless.

I sat watching the twinkling Christmas lights wondering for the umpteenth time what the poin. Second Star.

Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 1/23/

Second Star Prologue The balmy night air came in through the window on a breeze caressing the sheet over my body with an unsettling intimacy. I stretched out beneath the suddenly stifling summer heat tugging the thin material up. I felt the weight settle against it and lifted a hooded gaze down my body at the black shadow that knelt over me.

My eyes blinked fighting to open beneath the heavy weight of sleep. My heart thudded tightly in my chest as I tried to fathom what I was seeing. Remember the Dark. Prologue I remember laughing. I remember turning the radio up louder. I remember the song, I love Rock and Roll. I remember approaching the intersection. I remember the truck. I remember the screeching sound of metal being collapsed, the sound of glass shattering. I remember being spun, jerked against the seatbelt, smashing my head into the steering wheel.

I remember the sickening pop of my femur breaking as the door and dashboard pinned it excruciatingly. I rememb. Cross Paths. His chestnut eyes flicked to the drawing. He was a strange little mix of a lion cub and a black bear wi. Tell Me A Story. Prologue The silver crescent moon hung low in the autumn sky. I pulled the cloak tighter around my chilled body as the carriage rocked and swayed over the rocky terrain. Tears stung the backs of my eyes as I fought to remain serene. Prologue Lightning streaked the sky with eerie blood red light as the volcano erupted around it. It was like a watching a war between the heavens and hell as bolt after bolt hit the fiery lava pool that cascaded down the mountainside.

This was just the beginning of the end. One act of natural disaster was the signaling that the world was in peril because it was with that act o. The copper scent of blood filled my nose when I entered the small room. My eyes dilated trying to make out what I was seeing. An angel was chained down to a table by his wrists and throat.