Sunday, February 28, 2021

Series Showdown: Silverglass vs Jalav

It's the showdown of foxy female fantasy fighters. Both get increasingly unsexy as you pass the cover, not much fantasy, and not a lot of fighting. Silverglass is more morally defensible, which would have given the edge to Jalav, but Jalav even failed at being trash. Silverglass at least caused no pain, and vanquishes her foe.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Marvel 1964: Captain America

Cap joins us properly through the pages of the Avengers. The amazing coincidence of the Avengers finding his frozen body is compounded by the timing.

The Avengers fight Namor and Hulk in Gibraltar.  Afterwards, Namor swims to the north sea, finds Cap frozen and worshipped by Eskimoes, throws his body in the ocean, where it floats directly into the path of the returning Avengers.

His mental state is inconsistent. His says the last thing he remembers is hitting the water, and he barely remembers Submariner, but he knows that twenty years have passed and the world thought him lost.

It was a weird choice for him to be frozen for twenty years. Presumably it has nothing to do with age, seeing how many WWII vets there are.

Rick Jones is instantly inserted into the situation, with Cap getting a little funny over his similarity to Bucky.

This doesn't go far. Jones is set up to be some kind of emotional heart of the Marvel Universe, or a universal reader surrogate, but they never really commit to it.

Cap has a room, not quite established at the Avenger's mansion yet.  He gets magnets to his shield to explain how it comes back, but these get ditched next year. The shield has not yet been established as unbreakable.

He gets his own half-title, sharing Tales of Suspense with Iron Man, but so far these are just quick set ups to extended one-on-many fights with little character development.

Tales of Suspense 58-60

Collected in Captain America Epic Collection: Captain America Lives Again available from Amazon

Jalav 1: The Crystals of Midas by Sharon Green

 Jalav 1
The Crystals of Midas
by Sharon Green
1982 Daw

Jalav is the war leader of a female clan of warriors in a bronze age-ish world. Some crystals are stolen by city males and Jalav leads an expedition to find them, but mostly people just get tied up and raped.

Jalav and her woman warriors do the raping for the first third, capturing men, tying them up, giving them boner drugs and taking turns with them. Then Jalav and a handful of warriors get captured in town and enslaved. Jalav gets a divine message to put up with it for a while, and the plot kind of meanders from there, with Jalav getting captured and freed ad nauseum.

The crystals are to be used in a device called a comm, which is used to talk to the gods, so we know that this world is a post-apocalyptical reversion to savagery or something, but it's still a big reveal at the end when the female run galactic empire answers the call.

This series is supposed to be a rebuttal to Gor - not going to chime in about which flavor of sub/dom philosophy is more on track, but Green is a marginally better writer.  This is still trash - it's written in first person, with most of the text being a savage's perception of everyday objects so we get "long thin pots" instead of cups every time someone takes a drink. Jalav and her crew don't like the constant rape for reasons of pride, though they're uncontrollably aroused each time.

Like Gor, this fails on a level of exploitation. There is nothing sexy going on at all, just "he used me on the floor, and later I tied him up and used him, and sent him to the use tent for everyone else to use him". A little bit of action, but not enough to trawl through 350 pages of bad prose, non-existent plot, and rape apologia.

Ebook and paperback from Amazon

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Marvel 1964: X-Men

Issue 4 is one year of the class, and issue 7 is graduation. By issue 10 we have our first example of anti-mutant hysteria.

This year sees the beginning of Professor X's habit of dramatically leaving before dramatically returning. Lucifer is set up to be the next big bad (which fizzles out pretty quick next year).

Iceman's change from snow to ice is gradual and without explanation. He stopped wearing boots by issue 5 and was totally ice by issue 10.

Beast is established as a nerd, and joins the surprisingly high ranks of Marvel Superheroes moonlighting as pro wrestlers

On the villain side, Magneto has psychic powers, which I don't believe last long

Collected in X-Men Epic Collection: Children Of The Atom, available from Amazon

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Silverglass by J.F. Rivkin

by J.F. Rivkin
1986 Ace

Mercenary Corson is hired by sorceress Lady Nyctasia to guard her through her travels.  There is an interesting magic system, and I appreciate the approach to gender and sexuality. Woman have roles as soldier or pirate captain without mention or qualification - says a lot about my assumptions as a reader when I had to go back a couple of times because the pronouns confused me. Characters are casually bisexual (at least the women) and polyamorist and society excepts it, to the point of making assumptions that if two women are sitting next to each other they must be banging.

All of this would go well with a fantasy story in which ANYTHING AT ALL happened. The plot is like the beginning of a D&D campaign with adventurers meeting in a tavern, but the DM lost his module and dice and hex sheets and his religious mom keeps coming in the room so no fights or monsters.  There's one brief section in a magical forest that shows there could have been some decent fantasy, but it's mostly hanging out in taverns, hanging out in inns, traveling between taverns, etc.

The single instance of swordplay is played out in less than a sentence, and I'm just assuming there's sex off page because people wake up in the same bed. There's some development with the relationship of the two leads, but you really couldn't call it romance. It's all written enough, but it never gets going.

In ebook, audiobook, and paper from Amazon

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Marvel 1964: Daredevil

Daredevil is introduced to us as very much in the Spider-Man mold - a street level hero with snappy patter.

Murdock graduates one day, opens his law office with Foggy the very next day, that night comes up with the idea of being a masked crimefighter, sews his own costume, and creates his billy club. Not much room for more Year One material shoe-horned in there, I'll have to read that mini-series again.

DD is sporting his yellow and red costume. He adds a hood/backpack in issue 3 to store his street clothes

and stops using it in issue 4, following the Mighty Marvel tradition of workshopping character design in real time.

Daredevil 1-5

Collected in Daredevil Epic Collection: The Man Without Fear from Amazon

Monday, February 15, 2021

Roman U Park

 More footage from Roman U Park. Not that much video from here, probably because only ten people have ever visited. I have yet to see a shot where the staff didn't outnumber guests.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Marvel 1964: Romance

We get the first sense that Hank is interested in Janet, hard to tell if they're really quite dating yet.

Banner has some competetion for Betty in the form of Glenn Talbot.

Everyone digs Jean, but the tragic doomed romance is established with Scott early on.  Xavier's secret longings are quickly forgotten.

Peter starts a surprisingly mature and complex flirtation with Betty Brandt, which ultimately goes nowhere, as happens in life.


Pepper is crazy over Tony, who at first can't be bothered but later whines that being Iron Man interferes with his workplace harassment, and I don't think they hook up for decades.

Thor is still getting c-blocked by Odin. Both Blake and Thor are in love with Jane, to the degree they may or not be different consciousnesses.

Matt Murdock begins his slide into self-pity - maybe he should start with a gal not on the payroll.

Ben and Alicia have a pity-off

Johnny Storm has a completely healthy relationship with Dorrie

I guess Reed and Sue are still dating, not much romance, although things are heating up with Namor

Monday, February 8, 2021

Changi Airport - Singapore

 Amazing airport with a monorail

going through the amazing Jewel with the world's biggest indoor waterfall

and most importantly, a slide between floors