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Life in every breath.

I’m about to review a book about the dangers of technological addiction on a tablet with Bluetooth keyboard, listening to my iPod on the train, because I’d rather not have to hear anyone else while doing reference work on my smartphone.  I have not spoken to anyone save my wife (mostly semi-coherent mumblings of how the baby slept before I headed out the door), and my 20-minute walk to the train was punctuated by a motorist and a pedestrian yelling at each other on the street over who had the right of way/who was speeding.  In all of this, I find the dystopian future that opens Tokyo Ghost, and I see how easy it would be for us as a society to continue to pursue the ease of tech without the thought of the consequence.  We are shown the idea of Google Glass run amok, with every person abdicating from the real world in favor of the virtual one, ignoring the stink of the physical for the slick, porn-like quality of the ethereal computer realm.  There’s a lot of technology that has been introduced that has claimed to be aimed at bringing people together, yet I can point to several examples of a text starting a fight in my life because of what it lacks in tone and form.  Before the advent of the bow and arrow, if you wanted to kill someone, you needed to be up close and personal with them. You’d have to look at them dying, hear the last breath as it struggled to keep the body going just a little bit longer.  There was no separating yourself from the act, and as we’ve found longer-distance ways to misunderstand one another from farther distances, so too have we developed ways to remove the humanity from death.  If you can't tell, this is a book that will make you think, and it’s pretty kickass, as well.

With prophesy as a guide, is there such a thing as a wrong move?

Things are really moving along with Michael now in Issue #7. He’s truly coming into his power and following his “destiny.”  Michael has found solace in interlacing his life with that of Jesus, with scripture being his security blanket and salve, giving him direction and justifying his every action.  Meanwhile, Adam and Noa are getting to know each other, and some secrets may be too much to handle, once revealed.  Adam and Noa operate in a world where actions have consequences, and Michael now lives in a state where his consequences are the only purpose for his actions.

What do you do when you have a compulsive need to catalog and collect all the planets in the universe, and the slot on your alphabetized shelf between “Db” and “Ea” is woefully empty?  You head for Earth, of course.  And, if you are a super-intelligent (albeit insane) extraterrestrial android named Brainiac, you won’t expect anyone or anything to be able to stop you.

Antaeus Theatre Company recently launched its 2016 season with Caryl Churchill's Cloud 9, unequivocally demonstrating to audiences that its cooperative theatre ensemble intends to break free of boundaries and examine deeply ingrained social inequities with admirable intentionality.  Antaeus and director Casey Stangl rightfully recognize Cloud 9 as a truly great contemporary play, allowing this latest interpretation to not only reflect on the social influences of the time when it was written, but also to speak volumes as to how those same influences still resonate today and what that means for our future.  Through a zestful, yet affecting, performance, Antaeus' cast of supremely talented players envelops the audience in two very different worlds, casting light on the disparities and parallels of social change, then and now.

I love following comics from the #1 issue and continuing to see them grow up.  I find the “one-off” reviews that I’ve done tend to be more unsatisfying than following along with the creators, seeing them take chances, and develop the story, the world, the characters, and ultimately the art.  So, I was happy to pick up Schismatic #2 after reviewing Schismatic #1.

Zar was having a bad day. His ship collided with another, causing him to crash land on an alien planet. The creatures violently “welcomed” him and although he managed to escape, the seed of retaliation was planted. Stewing in a pot of hatred and loathing for 50 years, he plotted his revenge. Now General Zar, he is back with ray gun a-blazing, determined to destroy everything on the blue-green planet known as Earth.

From a time when irony was every story device comes EC Archives’ collection of Issues #1-6 of Shock Suspense Stories. As it turns out, it isn’t just a look back at sci-fi, suspense, and horror stories from the '50s, but a doozy of historical proportions. With a foreword from Steven Spielberg, reading from story to story you see before you the moment when comic books became socially conscious. In 1953 before segregation officially ended, the editors of Shock Suspense Stories had the guts to take on social injustice of African Americans citizens (“The Guilty”), hatemongering towards Jewish citizens (“Hate”), and the cowardice of the KKK (“Under Cover”).

The final issue of the first story arc in Mystery Girl, the story of Trine who can solve any mystery just by being in the presence of something or someone, wraps up but doesn’t quite fulfill - but it doesn’t upset either. It, in fact, leaves you with the prospect of more story and perhaps an even bigger story.

If you read my last review, one of the few qualms I had with this otherwise fantastic book was the lack of recognizable faces from Dragon Age: Inquisition. If I didn’t know how comics were made, I’d be thinking that the creative team on the book was listening to me specifically, because four issues in and the one problem I had with the book has been solved in spades.

Things have shifted gears in this issue. Up until now, it’s been about main character Mali’s journey to accept her destiny: to embrace her role in the eternal war she’s been drafted to fight in and track down and kill the ruthless Tessa, her sworn enemy from the other side of said war—before Tessa can kill her first. Now, however, Mali and Tessa have both rebelled against the war and their respective missions of destruction. Now, instead of enemies, Mali and Tessa have become lovers.

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