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Reviews Written by
Ivan A. Wolfe "rabidwolfe" (Austin, TX USA)

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How to Read Superhero Comics and Why
How to Read Superhero Comics and Why
by Geoff Klock
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 32.37
21 used & new from CDN$ 17.92

3.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction into Comic academics., April 15 2003
This was a good introduction into superhero comics criticism, but I disagree with a lot of his conclusions. Mackie's Ghost Rider was not poorly written as he claims, and inter-company crossovers are often handled by a publisher's best talent, not by the hacks he claims do them. Beyond that, he claims major events occuring in inter-company crossovers (WILDCats/Aliens is his main example) are rare, odd and unusual. In fact, they are fairly common. No room here to give exmaples, but quite a few inter-company crossovers have had far reaching effects (I'll briefly mention one - the Devil's reign Top Cow/Marvel crossover had far reaching effects in both comics universes).
He also never really fulfills the title - he talks about how to read superhero comics, but never really deals with the "why." He tries at times, but it comes across as half-hearted.
I reccomend this book, but take all of his conclusions with a grain of salt. Either way, a valuable addition to the academic conversation.

The Science of Superheroes
The Science of Superheroes
by Lois H. Gresh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.31
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Okay - but fairly light on actual science., Dec 13 2002
This was a fun read - but it had several problems. When the man (Dean Koontz in this case) writing the introduction says he doesn't read comics, I began to get worried. It would seem to spell trouble if a book on comics couldn't get an intro writer who was at least knowledgeable about the subject matter.
Second - the section on Mutants talks about mutation in general, but enre really applies it to actual mutant powers in the comic books - there is no attempt to talk about the plausibility or implausability of mutations causing super powers.
Then, that same chapter ditches science for an all out attack on creation scientists. Now, creation scientists deserve most of what was said here, but this book seemed an odd soapbox for that attack. I was expecting yet another brief, amazingly general and popular explanation of science as it relates to another comic book concept - and instead we get a "Creationists [are bad]..." diatribe. It was out of place and inappropriate.
Overall, it's an okay book, but I doubt it will ever be a classic.

An Analytical Guide to Television's Battlestar Galactica
An Analytical Guide to Television's Battlestar Galactica
by John Kenneth Muir
Edition: Library Binding
Price: CDN$ 44.04
6 used & new from CDN$ 44.04

5.0 out of 5 stars a great book that dispels a lot of myths!, March 11 1999
This book is the most in-depth on BSG, and most likely it will be the only in-depth book of this nature that will ever be written. It dispels the myth that BSG was a Star Wars [copy] and reveals how Star Trek:TNG probably [copied] some ideas. It is even handed, praising the show where it deserves to be praised, and it is evenly harsh on the show when it's rather obvious any talent they had skipped an episode. The author is obviously a fan, yet he doesn't let it get in his way of being objective. As the author points out, BSG fans are the first to admit the show's many shortcomings. A definete must for any fan, this book is also excellent for libraries. (The only shortcoming is the horrid B&W picture near the beginning).

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