Monday, February 08, 2016

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/6

Hola, muchachos!

You're back just in time for the longest-running feature on this (now very irregularly-updated) blog, the wondrous and thrilling Antick Musings: Reviewing the Mail! In this feature, I, your intrepid blogger, look deeply into a series of packages that arrive in my mail, find wonders within, and share them with you!

(Well, not literally share them -- I tell you what they are. You'll still have to go buy your own copies if you're interested.)

As always, I haven't read any of these books yet, so any errors of fact or interpretation are entirely my fault -- if a book seems like it's almost exactly the thing you want to read next, just assume I got that bit wrong and try it out.

Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free is the second book in Randy Henderson's urban fantasy series about a young man who spent twenty-five years in the realm of the Fey due to a (utterly untrue) accusation of necromancy. After the events of Finn Fancy Necromancy, he's now settling back into the real world, no longer with a threat of death over his head from those old charges, but his world is still weird and complicated, so there's plenty of supernatural stuff to cause trouble. (I'm also told that this series is substantially funnier than the usual run of urban fantasy, if you're looking for that.) Bigfootloose is a Tor hardcover, available February 16.

Also from Tor, also a February hardcover (one week later, on the 23rd), and also the second book in a fantasy series -- who says SFF isn't comfort food? -- is V.E. Schwab's A Gathering of Shadows. This is the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, about several alternate-world Londons and the people that travel between them -- and I'm sure magical shenanigans continue in this book.

I also got a box of trade paperback collections from DC Comics, and I'm hoping they meant to send them to this Andrew Wheeler this time. The cover letter talks about the odder bits of what DC seems not to be calling "the New 52" anymore, so it may be true -- if they're actually trying to get outside the usual superhero-fanboy audience, more power to them.

All of these are coming out later this month.

Catwoman, Vol. 7: Inheritance is the one I'm least likely to dive right into, because, hello, volume seven. It's written by Genevieve Valentine and drawn by David Messina, and collects issues 41 to 46 of the current series -- and it looks to bring crime fiction much higher in the mix than usual for DC, and tone down superheroing somewhat.

Secret Six, Vol. 1: Friends in Low Places collects the latest relaunching of a cult series that I've managed to read hardly ever, in any of its incarnations. (Wait: there was a serial in that odd period when Action was a weekly, and I know I read that.) This time out, it's written by Gail Simone and has art by a whole bunch of people, which usually isn't a good sign when there's only six issues reprinted. And the setup is a bit different from the previous Secret Six series, drawing from Suicide Squad and Thunderbolts and maybe even Judge: this time, six very minor characters (some maybe new) were shanghaied to a mysterious coffin-shaped box-room somewhere, and told to solve strange puzzles by an enigmatic voice, on pain of death. I'm sure, though, eventually they get out into the world and start punching bad-guys, because it's a DC comic.

Batgirl, Vol. 2: Family Business continues the hipster-Batgirl storyline, this time bringing our girl Babs into conflict with the new robot-suit-with-bunny-ears Batman (not the stupidest idea in mainstream comics this past year, but not through lack of trying), who is also Her Father. DRAMA!!!! This is written by Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher, with art by Babs Tarr, including lots of combat-boots-on-bunny-ears action.

Doomed seems to collect a miniseries -- it has no volume number, at least -- that came out of a Superman storyline that brought Doomsday into this latest version of the DC universe. This particular story steals Spider-Man's origin -- young nerd is at high-tech facility, things go wrong, and he has amazing new powers -- with a side order of the Hulk. I assume our kid hero eventually decides he has to fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, again, because DC. It's written by Scott Lobdell with art by Javier Fernandez.

And last is Midnighter, Vol. 1: Out, the comic that exists because I guess DC is shy about having Batman on every cover, and needs a pseudo-Batman to pick up the slack. (OK, Midnighter is gay, which I guess makes him slightly different -- he is still gay, right? DC didn't quietly retcon that? -- and I think he also has a Wolverine-level violent-asshole level, so he's more Jean-Claude Valley than Bruce Wayne. But still: Batman clone in Batman's world. I kid, I kid -- I think there's decent buzz about this in the usual I-love-very-slightly-quirky-superheroes sectors of the internet, so maybe it's not just a "what if Batman beat people to death with metal pipes?" kind of book. It's written by Steve Orlando, with art by a number of people led off by an entity known as Aco.

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