Rogues Revenge was in the works before Final Crisis, and it shows. It still works as Rogues: Rebirth, but now I think the FC connections hurt more than they help.
Revelations is a much tighter story that weaves in and out of issues 2 & 3 (if not seamlessly), picking up the Crime Bible & Vandal Savage and showing the early stages of Darkseid's takeover. I didn't read it originally, but I'm glad I finally got around to it.
After listening to the audio version, I re-read Final Crisis, Rogues Revenge & Superman Beyond, plus read some of the tie-ins for the first time.
- Superman Beyond is essential.
- Submit (Black Lightning/Tattooed Man) adds a lot by showing the personal impact of the event, plus fills in plot.
- Resist (Checkmate) broadens the scope but can be skipped. (I do like using the captive villain AIs as a way to get around the ALE's control of communication channels)
Three-Body Problem ch 21
I don't quite buy the game as a recruiting tool.
They're supposedly all about replacing human society with the aliens' (one way or another), but the game doesn't tell you much about that society except that it's persistent, can hibernate for eons, and coming for us.
It conveys key facts about their environment and biology, but doesn't present a culture to emulate. Unless it's in the chapters Wang misses?
Three-Body Problem ch 17
I love the idea of using NPCs to simulate a computer in-game. It reminds me of the working CPU models made in Minecraft with redstone, except more creative because NPCs aren't designed for circuitry.
I also like the way the author mixes up the narrative structure, with documents, a personal statement, and of course the game interspersed with the regular narration.
Yesterday, I was cringing at the pronunciation of "Ultima Thule" in the audio adaptation of Final Crisis. Today I discovered (by accident) that they were pronouncing it right, and I've been pronouncing it wrong for years. 🤦♂️
A lot of that is probably the novelization it was based on (it credits the story only to Greg Cox, with no mention of Grant Morrison or any of the artists, which seems a shame), but I don't think it would work well as a book.
The voice acting, music and sound make up for a lot of the lost visual punch and visual structure of the story, and it needs more than just the words.
Finished listening to the Graphic Audio adaptation of FInal Crisis. It actually flows better than the comic, especially toward the end, when the comic starts fragmenting the narrative (which is great metatext, but there's a lot of "what just happened?"). Scenes are fleshed out, and the multi-flashback structure of the last chapter is made linear instead.
Three-Body Problem, through ch.11
Now that I've gotten through another cycle of the VR game story, it's become more intriguing. Presumably we're going to work through a bunch of cosmological models as it goes on.
I'm also really curious as to how the trick with the cosmic background radiation is supposed to have been managed.
And of course, is the countdown really leading to something, or is it, as Shi suggests, just a way to mess with Wang's head?
One of the weird things about the Final Crisis audio book is that it incorporates *some* of the tie-ins, but excludes the one that sets up Mandrakk. Scenes showing what's happening to Batman in the Evil Factory are included, and all of the Black Lightning/Tattooed Man story from Submit...but nothing from Superman Beyond. It (or the novelization it's based on) actually replaces the Monitor who recruits Superman with Braniac 5, sending him off to L3W but not including it!
In Final Crisis, the Anti-Life Equation is able to compel the surrender of free will. Those who have submitted spout slogans about how it justifies anything, how it's so much easier than the struggles of life and love.
It's insidious, because in some ways it *is* easier to offload tough decisions to a schedule, a policy, a leader, etc. The brain likes taking shortcuts around cognitive load. But people want to be *able* to make choices when they want to.
Another interesting thing about Final Crisis is how much damage Darkseid does just by existing. He doesn't do any traditional super villain things in the entire story. No battles, no plotting. He just sits on his throne, yaking advantage of a battle he already won, imposing his will on an entire planet. He spends most of the story sitting on an underground bunker, but his presence presses down on the whole world.
But wow, I'm really seeing the parallels with Dark Knights: Metal even more strongly than when I was just comparing to memory.
Barbatos, like Darkseid, takes over the world between issues, and we jump to a handful of heroes mounting a desperate resistance. The lynchpin of the multiverse - conveniently the main DC Earth - is in danger of being pulled "downward" into an unending hell.
They're a lot more alike than any of the Crisis events are to each other or to Metal.
I'm also listening to the #audiobook of Final Crisis, which is adapted from the novelization rather than directly from the #comicbook. It fixes a lot of the choppiness and sparseness that made the original hard to follow at times. Narrative fills in which details you need to glean from the artwork.
And of course having it all together avoids the problem of delays between chapters that plagued the original release, though that's true of the collected edition too.
Three-Body Problem ch5-7
The mystery, the questions about the nature of fundamental laws of physics (i.e. are they actually fundamental?), and the countdown have all been fascinating.
I'm up to the introduction of the VR game that lends its name to the title, and for the first time I feel like the story is getting bogged down.
I know it's symbolic. I figure it's a way to get ideas across to the players without discussing them openly. But it's still dragging.
Three-Body problem ch1-2, Silent Spring
To clarify: I don't disbelieve it. I would not at all be surprised if it had actually been portrayed this way, particularly knowing China's environmental record.
I'm just saying it's a weird contradiction. One more thing I have to wrap my mind around to read a story set during the cultural revolution.
Three-Body problem ch1-2, Silent Spring
I find it bizarre that a book that criticized excesses of capitalism would have been characterized as counter-revolutionary, capitalist propaganda.
But of course both capitalism and communism are quite capable of environmental destruction. Rapacious state, corporation, or individual, it's a universal human failing, like the image of an iceberg in the ocean that Wenjie imagines, independent of ideology.
My original plan was to move on straight to the sequel, which came out earlier this summer, but I'm really intrigued by The Three Body Problem, so I'm probably going to pick that up so that I'm not *too* far behind all the other #sffbookclub discussion!
A place for sharing and discussing books. After suggesting a Mastodon-based book club and getting a lot more interest than I expected, I decided to make a place specifically for facilitating that. So this aims to be a home for creating and organizing book clubs and read-alongs.
Not just for clubs, though. Like books? Want to talk about books and read about what other people are reading? Congrats, you're welcome here.
Well, with some restrictions. No hate speech, threats, etc. See our rules/code of conduct for more of that and general posting guidelines.
Not looking to join a new instance but wanting to join in the discussion anyway? No problem, just look for and use the hashtags.
This instance also now has its own Patreon page to help with the basic costs and maybe even (if I'm being very optimistic) help it grow into more. Check it out if you're willing/able to consider helping me out that way.
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