I'm really tired of hearing the phrase "Arctic Blast." Yesterday, I was huddled in my living room, under 2 layers of sweaters and a blanket and that's with the heat on. To say my apartment gets cold when the wind picks up and the temps are well below freezing is an understatement. I did read some comics, though my fingers got numb and my hands were shaking. ;)
Bitch Planet 1-2
I missed getting this when issue 1 first came out, bought issue 2, then read them both after issue 1 was reprinted. All I can say is "Wow." Kelly Sue DeConnick reaches new heights with this book and the art by Valentine De Landro is perfect. This is a smart, sassy -- and yes, bitchy -- book, a feminist manifesto in comic book form, and all too appropriate and needed given today's attacks on women's rights. Feminism, for those who believe the stereotype and propaganda, is not about women taking over or being forced to give up staying at home to raise children; it's about treating all people as equals, male and female and anything in between, however people define themselves. It's about more than equality based on sex identification, but also across race and religion. It's about all of us being in this together, all us humans. Bitch Planet takes the concept that women should comply with societal norms to an extreme, but given the political reality these days, not much of an extreme. Extremes are the bread and butter of science fiction, the way literature/art often makes a point. In this case, it's an important point, one that's wrapped in a darn good story. Women who don't comply are sentenced to the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost known colloquially as "Bitch Planet," a prison where the inmates are recorded and broadcast for the entertainment of Earth viewers. The characters we've met so far come alive in just a few panels and I'm looking forward to spending time with each of them, every month.
Harley Quinn: Valentine's Day Special
Conner and Palmiotti continue their series of Harley Holiday Specials, complete with dream sequences to allow wonderful fill-in artists to help out with the art chores and give the book some extra oomph. The overall story has Harley trying to win a date with Bruce Wayne during a charity auction. Fun as always.
The saga of Kate Kristopher and her mysterious family gets even weirder, but we finally get to the actual mystery. Only some members can access the magical Porticullis Hypnos of Prof. Harold Rathborn. In the next issue, we get to see where it takes her and her wacky and dangerous sister she never knew she had, as they go through the porticullis to find Kate's mother, who might be the key to finding their father, and.... Just trying to describe this story gives me a headache, but it's fairly fun. Keatinge is a decent writer and Del Duca's art is appropriately weird. I just hope the story's payoff is worth it.
Carol returns to her ship -- well, Stark's ship -- only to find Tic and Chewie missing after an attack by Haffensye ships. For some reason, the Haffensye think Chewie can help them fight Mister Knife. I can't wait for the next chapter. DeConnick shared writing chores with Warren Ellis, and David Lopez's art is a dream. I love Carol's facial expressions.
Astro City 20
Continuing the tale of aging heroes, filling in more backstory, while being an excellent character study. The thing I most love about this series is how real the characters feel. You can actually believe they're real, that superpowers exist and the heroes with them are just like us. Busiek is a master and Anderson's art is wonderful. And it's hard to beat Alex Ross on covers.