Sunday, January 27, 2013

Do you read comics?

Recently, I found a resource for some cheap entertainment: old comic books (specifically, the 90s run of Valiant Comics). I have never been a comic book fan, and until this month owned a grand total of two. But that has grown dramatically, and I am discovering that the "reading" is enjoyable, although not "literature" exactly. I began with Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, and have now begun to follow his cohorts occupying the same "universe" of Valiant Comics. I found this article about Turok fun and enlightening. Especially the above article was useful because the publishing history of these characters, and of Valient itself, was pretty confusing to me. They appear, seem to die, then reappear, only to die again, and once more be reborn in a new guise. And that can either refer to some of the comic book characters, or to the publishers. Anyway, my real point here is that I was taken by suprise at some of the sophisticated ideas interwoven in these comics. The depth was quite unexpected, and a nice suprise. Specifically, I refer to a few complex sci-fi ideas. Ideas that I have rarely seen elsewhere. Firstly, artificially-sentient animals. In this case, dinosaurs, which is a rather sensational use of the concept, and is more used to further the adventurous story, but nonetheless it's nothing shallow in sci-fi terms. Second, moving a moon from Jupiter into a habitable solar orbit to create a new planet. Wow, that takes some sci-fi balls. Thrid, an entire nation taking up residence in a space station orbiting Earth, rather than face Earth-conditions. In this case, Japan as an artifical moon. Well, I have a substantial sampling of the Turok series, and I am starting to pick up others, and especially the "armored Visigoth" XO Manowar catches my interest. Actually, pretty much all their character are good, with Magnus Robot Fighter not being ridiculus such as I had feared, and Solar suprising me also.

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