School has me superbusy,but I'm still finding the time squeeze in fun reading when I can. Here are some super brief reactions to things recently read. Maybe some spoilers, so be forewarned.
Star Wars: Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber - As much as I love Star Wars, I've always found the novels incredibly boring (people seem to take the gig oh so seriously, bleeding out the fun; also, to paraphrase Harrison Ford, just because you can write this shit doesn't mean you can read it). And I've never been a big zombie fan. But the inevitable mash-up was good ol' pulpy fun, a genuine page turner that provides a decent amount of scares and chilling moment, coupled with just the right amount of gore. And we get to see a couple familiar faces along the way, so even if your only point of entry to Star Wars is the movies, you'll have characters you can latch on to. I was skeptical going in, but I enjoyed the hell out of this.
The Real Great Adventures of Terr'ble Thompson, Hero of Hist'ry - This collection of animator Gene Deitch's obscure newspaper strip from the mid-50s was fun, but also felt a little skimpy. That was inevitable, I guess, seeing as the strip lasted about a year (Deitch was working for UPA in the days and doing the strip at night, but then stopped once he took over the Terrytoons studio), so just as it was trying to find its feet, it was over. But still, it had a fun kid adventure vibe that reminded me a lot of Crockett Johnson's Barnaby, which is always a good thing, and Deitch's artwork brought an animated feel to the comics page that was unlike anything else at the time (or now, really). It's an historical curiosity, to be sure, especially if you're familiar with Deitch's Tom Terrific cartoons that ran on Captain Kangaroo way back in the day (TV's TT borrowed a lot from the strip's TT), but one worth checking out if you get the chance.
The Incredible Hercules: The Mighty Thorcules - Finally getting caught back up on Incredible Herc again, and it continues to be one of my favorite Marvel books ever. Two stories run in parallel in this volume: in one, Amadeus Cho tries to discover the truth behind the Master Mind Excello contest that named him 7th smartest person on Earth and led to the death of his family, while in the other Hercules is duped into passing himself off as Thor to prevent a war and achieve the dreams of D&D fans everywhere by getting some sweet, sweet Dark Elf lovin'. And with Herc pretending to be Thor, you just know you'll eventually end up with Thor pretending to be Hercules, and that's when everything goes silly. Comics should always be this fun.
Power Girl - This nondescriptly named collection compiles the Geoff Johns/Amanda Conner PG serial from JSA Classified #s 1-4 that unfortunately led into Infinite Crisis, as well as the Power Girl origin stories from her run in the original Showcase and an issue of Secret Origins. It was nice to have all that material in one place, with the earlier stories providing some much needed context for Johns'. Man, fans talk about Hawkman, Aquaman, and the Legion of Super-Heroes having some messed up continuities, but Power Girl gives them all a real run for their money. Anyway, if you like the character and her current series, give this a go. Johns' take isn't as fun as the Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray stories, but his usual continuity wank is easier to take with context already provided, and, of course, Amanda Conner's artwork is worth the price of admission alone.