Wednesday, September 13, 2006

On 7 September, 2006

Reading music: Dusk Till Dawn: The Best of Capercaillie

--Warning: Spoilers ahead--


The All-New Atom #3: The greatest philosophers have, as a general rule, been philosophers, haven't they? I suppose it's fitting that Dr. Ryan Choi, also (supposedly) a great scientist, finds himself in the age-old war between science and faith. In this particular conflict, Ryan finds himself on neither side. On the side of reason (sort of) are the strange creatures with perplexing grammar; and on the other is M'Nagalah, a vile sewer-dwelling Cancer God who has brainwashed many an Ivy Town resident. Naturally, Ryan is fighting both factions. (And he has an arch-nemesis lurking in the background, no less). While he trusts in empirical science ("I believe in reason. I believe in science," Ryan insists to M'Nagalah), he is certainly open-minded enough to accept certain unbelievable things, such as the fact that a monster can live in the sewer and convince otherwise intelligent people to worship it and dress oddly besides.

So Ryan is in the middle. He's on that bridge between science and religion. He is a philosopher, of sorts, or at least he could be. Now, if only he can save that town...

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes
Do I Care? Yes


Marvel 1602: Fantastick Four #1: The Fantastick Four, strangely enough, doesn't appear much in this issue. Six pages involve Grimm (mostly in disguise), and the the very last page is devoted to Reed and Susan. John does not appear at all. Instead, Fantastick Four tells the story of the Most Frightful Four (here it's the Wizard, Sandman, Trapster and Medusa), their battle at sea, their discovery at the end of the world, and their eventual alliance with Count Otto Von Doom.

The language is archaic, but only just enough to give it the proper Shakespearean flavor, I think. I'm sure it's not perfect, but it's not painful to read, either, and that's what really matters here, isn't it? And, hey, it's a fun set-up issue, even if the Four are a bit lacking.

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes
Do I Care? Kind of


Snake Woman #2: Jessica's reptilian side comes out in full force, with lots of hissing, eye-color-changing, strange cold flirting with Raj, and raw bacon eating. Needless to say, Jessica is confused and scared by the whole thing. The mysterious Brinkley describes her well:
Changed inside, from the serpent's glare
No longer small, nor kind, nor fair
But I'll protect my maiden, though she wishes me ill.
Now that the snake has made her first kill...
Jessica isn't the only one dealing with a dual identity. The major players here are all (I think) souls reincarnated who know a surprising amount about their past lives. Harker, the key villain (or one of them) embraces his, and knows how to awaken, what, ancestral memories(?), in others. And, of course, there is the enigma that is Brinkley. Maybe Jessica's human instincts just aren't that good. Jessica maybe be Brinkley's "maiden," but Brinkley is also 68 (whatever that means), and who is Snake Woman to him? This is one heck of a mystery, and it probably deserves a longer, more in depth analysis. There's quite a bit packed into this little comic...

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes
Do I Care? Yes

Week's most memorable moment: This panel, from All-New Atom #3, should speak for itself.

Tentative checklist for 13 September, 2006
(*Indicates a title I've preordered.)
Civil War Files #1
*Ms. Marvel #7
Wasteland #3


Cole Moore Odell said...

Boy, the new Atom comic looks like a lot of fun. I've been trying to curtail my comics buying lately, but I'm thinking of making an exception in this case. The line about "believing" in science seems a bit fuzzy to me--what makes science distinct from belief systems is that the scientific method doesn't rely on belief but on observation and testing. Without context, I don't know where Simone is going with that--and maybe that contradiction is an important part of Ryan's character. Still, based on Brave New World and write-ups like yours, the book looks like one I should be reading.

Canton said...

Well... Science does rely on belief to a certain degree, inasmuch as scientists assume that their world is real and that their observations are at least reasonably accurate. That's where the need for other people to repeat experiments comes in, but we could still get into all kinds of debates about that, and throw around ten dollar words such as Epistemology and Metaphysics. By saying that he believes in science, maybe Ryan is just acknowledging those underlying assumptions.

Or maybe it means something totally different. Maybe it means he believes in what science and reason can accomplish? He's arguing with a self-styled "god," after all, and "belief" could just be a good buzzword in an argument with a god...

Hard to say. But, yeah, Atom is a good read on whatever level. And for the record, I do believe in science. ^_^