Superman Smashes the Klan, a phenomenal story that follows in the footsteps of Morrison (and Waid in Birthright) in restoring Superman back to his proper characterization after the godawful John Byrne/Bryan Michael Bendis dull Superman characterizations.
The story is...okay? I find the narrative style (not the narration, but the syntax itself) to be a bit clunky or overly expository at times. I also feel like all of the characters I've come across so far have come from the Crime Thriller Checklist™. The narrator herself has a wonderful voice, but considering the story is meant to take place in Boston, having a British narrator just seems a weird choice. How am I supposed to really get the feeling this is in Boston when some of the "rougher" characters come out cockney?
"Motherless Brooklyn" by Jonathan Lethem. It centers on Lionel Essrog a young man looking to find out who killed his mentor/father figure, Frank Minna. The big hook is he has Tourette's syndrome and has numerous tics or habits he has to indulge in. The book is told mostly from his point of view as he works the case. Edward Norton is adapting the film and made the decision to move the setting from the 1990s to the 1950s. He noted that everybody has an anachronistic feel to them, calling this take on Brooklyn a time capsule that never moved on which is something the book actually acknowledged. Because it's told from Lionel's perspective it becomes more about his inner struggles on how to live life without Frank's guidance. That forces him to confront several misconceptions he had about Frank and how he was raised so I'm curious how the movie handles it.
"Doctor Sleep" by Steven King. It's the sequel to the Shining (1977) and focuses on an adult Dan Torrance. He became an alcoholic to deal with the trauma of the first book and to suppress his psychic abilities. Eventually, he hits rock bottom and decides to build back his life. He joins AA and becomes an orderly at a hospice, eventually using his powers to help people pass on (hence the title). The core plot centers on Dan mentoring a young girl with similar powers named Abra. In turn, she is hunted by the True Knot a group of psychic vampires (this sounds scarier than I make it sound). Dan, Abra and the True knot are all introduced separately which creates suspense as to how all three are gonna crash into each other. It's a good read but it can drag in the first 200 pages.
"The Sandman universe presents Hellblazer" is a one-shot comic reintroducing John Constantine to the Sandman Universe. It's written by Si Spurrier a veteran Hellblazer scribe and also worked on The Dreaming. The Dreaming waxes on about the nature of storytelling and this issue is a take on the nature of reboots.
"A basketful of heads" centers on June Branch a woman with a mystical Norse ax that seeks to avenge someone close to her. The first works as an inciting incident showing us June before she got the ax.
Really enjoying it so far. I actually read part of the story online a year ago, I think. The prose is solid, the magic system is interesting, and it's actually a pretty short read. My only complaint is that there are no scene breaks for the last half of the book, but that's mostly because finding time to just sit down and read lately hasn't exactly been in abundance.
I finished reading the Shining(1977) a week ago. It doesn't drag as much as Doctor Sleep did and I don't think being spoiled ruined it for me.
"Far Sector" is written by N.K. Jemisin and the art is by Jamal Campbell. It focuses on Rookie Green Lantern Sojourner "Jo" Muellin an ex-cop from New York. She is tasked with solving her first murder but it's on an alien planet with three separate alien species who shut off their emotions. It's a fun new character with a cool plot and great worldbuilding. pS. Jo looks like Janelle Monae (I see you DC ;) ).
"Folklords" is written by Matt Kindt and the art is by Matt Smith. It focuses on Ansel a kid living in a fantasy world but fascinated by ours. Like he made his own wristwatch out of wood and that's cool. In his home, every 18 years old goes on a quest as a right of passage. Ansel wants to go find us but we are myth called the Folklords and are mostly considered ridiculous. So it's fun light-hearted fantasy but it has a cool spin to me.
"Excalibur" is written by Tini Howard and is an X-men title focusing on mutant magic (i guess) and a place called Otherworld, which is a parallel version of Earth that never left King Arthur's time. Plus Rogue and Gambit are married, Apocalypse is trying to influence Psylocke who stops being a ninja but becomes the next Captain Britain. It's bonkers and totally great- can Capcom tap her to do DMC?
"Hellblazer" (2019) follows the Sandman Universe special while still being its own thing. John Constantine is back in London but it's 2019 so London is totally the same but feeling pretty different. The key hook with this run is John is in a new version trying to rebuild his life without his extensive list of contacts (superhero/villians/ex-lovers etc) to fall back on. John Constantine has been accused of being trapped in the past and Spurrier plays with that brilliantly as John's old methods don't work as much as he'd like.
Started and finished A Christmas Carol today. Strange that I've never read it, before. I've been meaning to for years, recall people reading it aloud and hell only knows how many adaptations I've seen (movies and school plays when I was a lot younger) but it was incredibly satisfying to actually read the source material. Kind of put me in the holiday spirit, which is...well, never as strong as it was in childhood. Definitely need a physical copy, though. Something tells me it'll be all the more satisfying (since I'll probably re-read it often).
On my third book this year. The first was Circus Phantasm by Naomi P. Cohen, and the second was Vardaesia (final book in the Medoran Chronicles) by Lynette Noni. Both, sadly, were sort of "meh" reads for me (I liked them, but they just didn't wow me).
Third book is...
Given how much I loved The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, I'm pretty sure this will make up for what my other 2020 reads so far have lacked.
Just read Issues 1-4 of V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince (graphic novels) back to back. Now I'm on:
I'll probably stick to graphic novels for the next couple of days, since they're pretty quick to get through and not overly time-consuming (which is good right now, since I'm trying to spend as much time with a certain someone as possible before he leaves for the next 7 weeks...)