Thursday, January 14, 2016

Superman: Birthright

Superman: BirthrightSuperman: Birthright by Mark Waid
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

"Here it is, the support group for people who hate fictional characters."

I walk in, sit down, and patiently wait my turn.

This is your first time here, right? Why don't you stand up and introduce yourself.

"Hi I'm Terence and I hate a fictional character."

Hi Terence the group says in unison.

"Hi, so the fictional character I hate is Superman."

Gasps, shocked faces, and the rustling sound of people sucking air sharply through their teeth is all I hear.

"Oh come on I can't be the only one. I mean yes you feel for old Kal-El when his parents send him away to save his life as a baby, but after that it's all downhill with Mr. Perfect."

The group stands up and file out of the room as though I said the place was rigged to blow.

"I mean come on, his disguise is glasses and a slumped posture. For all the technology available in the comics, facial recognition software apparently isn't one of them."

Superman: Birthright was touted to me as the best of the best Superman comics. Unfortunately I am predisposed to highly disliking hating Superman. I agreed to give it a try and I found what I always find when I experience Superman, I didn't like all. Superman as a character has always been disinteresting to me because he's practically perfect. It grates at me deep within my soul and I can't ignore my frustration. For me the only time I want to read about Superman is when he's fighting Doomsday or Darkseid so that Mr. Perfect can have a real challenge.

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Sword of the North

Sword of the North (The Grim Company, #2)Sword of the North by Luke Scull
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So rather than gaining freedom the city of Dorminia has traded one magelord tyrant for another. Shockingly the new tyrant, The White Lady, cares even less about the people of Dorminia than their old tyrant Lord Salazar. While her public appearance is graceful and caring she's far more depraved than Salazar. She quickly moved to dispatch all threats such as the arrogant Davarus Cole while working him out of the narrative of Lord Salazar's downfall.

The Sword of the North at it's best for me left me feeling indifferent. I had one brief moment that my pulse raised and I wanted to see what would happen next, but the majority of the time I wasn't concerned for the characters or the events of the book. Please don't misconstrue what I'm saying as though the author Luke Scull is a bad writer because I don't believe that's the case. My problem with this story is that if every character except perhaps Brodar Kayne were to fall down a well, I wouldn't even waste the energy to secure a rope to throw down to them. It's hard to care about a story when the thought of the point of view characters dying just makes me want to shrug my shoulders.

The overall creativity that Scull has infused into his story is disturbingly intriguing. I found the increased knowledge of the White Lady's handmaidens unnerving in a good way. The overall plot that the world has been ruined because the magelords killed the Gods is interesting conceptionally although I often can't help but wonder if they could die then how could they be Gods.

The Sword of the North isn't a bad story and I'm certain anyone who likes the characters will enjoy it more than I did.

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