I assumed my Snow Monkeys were dead in the water following their fourth straight loss but, as it turns out, they have one more shot at making the playoffs in the last week of our R.I.P. Stargate fantasy football league regular season. Three teams are deadlocked at 6-6, fighting for those last two playoff spots and two of those other teams play each other. All the Snow Monkeys have to do is win and they move on to post-season play. A loss and they’re eliminated on the tie-breaker. On the surface, it looks like an easy enough task since we’ll be up against the 1-11 Reagan’s Raiders but, unfortunately for us, his wide receivers and running backs are looking at some terrific match-ups against the NFL’s bottom-ranked pass and run defenses. If we win, it’s going to be a hard fought victory.
Show your support for the team by purchasing official R.I.P. Stargate League Snow Monkeywear and proudly displaying the Snow Monkey logo!
I officially started my Christmas shopping today and, when all was said and done, wound up purchasing more stuff for myself than anyone else. I picked up some books, dvd’s, desserts, and one of those little gadgets that froths up milk. I was tempted to get a waffle-maker as well until Akemi pointed out I’d have to source pearl sugar to make a proper liege waffle (according to waffle expert Rob Cooper, it doesn’t melt like regular sugar, caramelizing the outside of the waffle but also remaining a half-melted whole inside), but apparently the stuff is harder to track down than D.B. Cooper. I head back downtown tomorrow for round #2 as I have yet to cross mom and sis off the list. As for Akemi – well, it looks like she may need to go visit her family soon so I think I’ll use my points to get us a couple of flights to Tokyo. Better late than never.
On the comic book front, I checked out another three titles last night…
I had heard a lot of very good things about this series going in and it lived up to the hype. Really interesting, varied artwork – shifting in style and palette – compliments an unsettling little mystery involving the disappearance of some local children. I know nothing about this new Batwoman (outside of the fact that she is very, very pale), but she’s an interesting character and the civilian elements in this book are as fascinating as the superhero throughline. I’m not a huge fan of stories with a supernatural angle, particularly in the Bat universe, and even though it looks like this one is headed that way, I’m reserving judgment until all is revealed.
Verdict: Great. Definitely on my pick-up list.
ASTONISHING X-MEN #41-44
Wow. What a difference 30 years make. When I first started collecting comics, I couldn’t get enough of the X-Men. Today, I’m having trouble finding an X-title that really appeals to me. Chalk it up to personal taste and my unfamiliarity with the copious backstory. Granted, part of the problem is that, unlike DC’s New 52 that make it easier for new readers to get in on the ground floor, much of the Marvel titles I’ve been checking out are ongoing. The first issue of Astonishing X-Men I read for instance, issue #41, is the conclusion to a pre-existing story. I was able to follow well enough but the thing that struck me as strange was how different the characters of Wolverine and Emma Frost were in comparison to their depiction in other, equally recent X-titles. Very quippy and surprisingly light. The next issue I read, #42, was for some strange reason the conclusion to another storyline. The ensuing issue offers a standalone story involving a character I do remember from Whedon’s run, after which we commence a brand new story in issue #44 – and I was back to being confused.
Verdict: My quest for an X-title continues.
Given the book’s premise and coming off Green Lantern New Guardians, I really wasn’t expecting to be all that impressed with Red Lanterns, yet impress me it did. Writer Peter Milligan crafts a smart and involving narrative that packs a surprising emotional punch in its depiction of the human costs of war and the consequences of allowing our passions to get the better of us.
Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m very much looking forward to the next issue.
For those keeping track, that’s 20 titles read (at least 3 issues of each) – 11 of which I’ll be continuing to read for the time being and 9 of which I’ve dropped.