I started blogging thinking that this is where I would review whatever media I felt like ranting about. It quickly changed direction. So this is my online diary. Comments are welcome.
I'm probably like most people when it comes to finding something great to read. I use the Google machine, right? I like to see what is top selling. I like to see which categories people are reading most often. It gives me a sense of where the best reads are coming from. I also use my Kindle Fire a lot for this kind of research because of its ease-of-use. The Amazon book store practically does all the work for you. Digital is the way people are reading their books now. I get it. I like that I can carry 30 books with me anywhere I want to go to read them. I also like that I have access to them immediately, which is helpful if I'm reading a series.
You know what I like even better than instant access to my must read list? I like reading a real book. Yep, paper cuts and split spines; curled covers and dog-eared pages. I like my favorite books with the old yellow highlighted lines and scrawled notes from past reads. I love the smell from fanning the pages of a book, and the feel of paper between my thumb and index finger. There is something special about turning the page to see what happens next that cannot be replaced by the swipe of a finger (at least not for me).
My love for these things started when I was young. I would flip through the pages of Mom's Danielle Steel books before I could even read what was on the page. When I was in elementary school we had a book fair that would come every year. It was my favorite. New books that we didn't have in the school library would be there. The "If you liked _____, then you'll love _____." lists. The newest Goosebumps book. There were too many reason I loved this time of year, but it breaks down into 1 solid fact about me. I love books.
It is a necessity, maybe a compulsion, for me to browse the book store. I feel at home there. I remember things about my childhood, or silly stories from the past whenever I'm there. Just ask my girlfriend how often I frequent the book store. I'm sure she will say that I spend too much time there. However, the time I spend now is a whole lot less than when we had a big chain store here in St. Joe. I really like the big chain stores. They have anything you want and the ability to get it for you, often at no extra cost. Don't get me wrong, I like the Ma & Pa shops too, but I'll get to that in a moment. The drag for me when I found out they were closing the big store was that it meant I had to accept that people were changing the way they read their books. I didn't like it. Everybody loves to read books the same way I do, or so I thought. Now, done and gone, I find myself still tied to the need to put something in my hands that won't loose power after hours of reading. (I read a lot on my Kindle.) We still have Hastings and that's great, but I find myself browsing the same shelves over and over again, and just...bored. So this is it. I'm going hunting. I'm going to start looking for those small shops, those Ma & Pa stores, to revive my love for finding treasures bound and stapled. I want to hold the stories that others have loved. This is my mission, so if you have any suggestions please comment, and I'll let you know what I find.
I have not played any version of this game from collaborators at DC Comics and Mortal Kombat's NetherRealm Studios. The idea, I felt, had already been explored as the dark side of the Justice League was shown in the not-so-popular fighter game, "Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe." (I would like to state that I thought that game was fantastic.) I personally know fans of the game that are giving it two thumbs up with recommendation. I know. I get it. Superheroes, the "good guys", punching each other. Fantastic. I will add it to my must play list. I'm not here to review this game.
I have been a comic book fan since I picked up my fist telephone volume of Silver Age Superman when I was in high school. Until then the only exposure I had to comics were some oldies my uncle had, like Scrooge McDuck, and something cheap Dad would buy from the second hand store. I remember thumbing through some Bloodshot, Legion of Super-Heroes, Metamorpho, The Outsiders, Blood Syndicate, The New Mutants, Transformers and many more. It was enough to sink my teeth into the art and story telling, but mostly just action. Which was exactly what I wanted when I was 9 or 10 years old. No matter how cool those heroes and villains were, (and some of them were just down right cool) Superman is the one that stood out to me the most. Maybe it's because his legend is instilled in me as an American midwestern boy. Maybe it's because the Super Friends were on Saturday morning cartoons. Whatever the reason I am a life-long fan.
After reading books like Alex Ross' Kingdom Come and Crisis on Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman, Superman was cemented as my favorite character ever. I love the mythology. I'm a huge fan of his sincerity and gentleness; of his versatility and confidence. (Read Superman: Red Son) I am a fan, to say, of Superman - the hero.
Let me be clear Injustice: Gods Among Us is a beautifully drawn and exceptionally written series. See for yourself. Now, Tom Taylor must be an absolute freakin' genius. Through only 35 issues he has managed to break down and dispose of everything I have come to love about my favorite character. So much so that I literally cringe when I see Superman in a panel. I start thinking, "what awful thing will he do next?" And to Mr. Taylor's credit he delivers exactly what you aren't expecting week after week.
I don't want to be one of those reviewers that just summarizes the story for you and then tells you to read it or save your money. I want to be the guy that says, I like super heroes and everything they represent and parody. This is one that actually hits metaphorically without the blatant attempt at satire and it keeps hitting all the way through. This is a story of bad blood and friendship turned sour. This is a story about how the world will end. I am ready to ride this one out. The stories continue to build into what I can only hope is a climax for the record books.
On the skeptic side I am a little disappointed with the lack of character arc. Let's take the seat of a reader with little to no DC or Justice League exposure. There are characters popping in for an issue and killed, or never seen again, that you won't have any story to wrap around them. I understand the reasoning behind this, but at some point I'm afraid we'll look back and ask, "who's left to stop the madness?"
If you want my suggestion I say read it. It will destroy your naive perception of Superman, but it is a good read. You can pick it up on Amazon or Comixology for .99¢ an issue or try a local comic store for the current volume in print.
Thank you Tom Taylor and Jheremy Raapack and those at NetherRealm Studios for bringing my greatest fear to life.
I discovered reading and writing for fun when I was in the 4th grade and I haven't been able to stop. I discovered my musical talent when I was 12 and started a band with my brother and my best friends. I have been on a journey of discovery that has shaped and molded my tastes for music, reading, writing, art, food and extracurricular activities since I was a high school freshman. And I'm not quite finished, so come along.