Joker ,
by Brian Azzarello

This is brilliant. The whole story is told from the point of view of a common crook who gets in way over his head when he starts working for the Joker, who has just been released from Arkham. His character narrates the whole story like classic film noir, and shows us the dark and twisted world that the Joker inhabits, and what he does on a day to day basis.

In fact, you can tell that Heath Ledger got a lot of his inspiration for his Joker performance in Dark Knight from this book. This Joker isn't the goofy trickster of the past, but the scarred, scary, insane, violent psycho.

The most intriguing part was that we get a first-hand look at Gotham's complex world of crime, told through the eyes of the criminals themselves - not through Batman's eyes, like we usually do. In fact, Batman is barely in this, though his presence is felt throughout.

Batman: The Black Glove , by Grant Morrison

First half was great. It's the classic trope: a bunch of people are called to a strange mansion in the middle of nowhere, and have to solve a mystery as they're all killed, one by one. Except in this case, Batman is there, and everyone else is almost as good as he is. There's a lot of history here, but even if you've never heard of the other heroes, you can pick up enough of their backstories to enjoy this book.

On the other hand, the second half is...meh. It's pretty scattershot, and I'm not really sure how these stories are supposed to connect, or IF they're supposed to connect. There's a lot of stuff that gets touched on in Batman: R.I.P., but it's even more confusing and hard to follow than that was.

The first half shows how great Morrison's writing can be. The second half shows how damned difficult Morrison's writing can be.

Green Lantern:
Rage of the Red Lanterns,
by Geoff Johns

One of the better GL books. Previous books I've read have focused far too much on huge battles and fighting massive, unstoppable foes, and it quickly overloads your senses. But this had much greater focus on the characters themselves, and how the GL Corps functions, which I thought was great.

That said, you pretty much need to read the Sinestro Corps War books before this, and you should probably read this before you read the Blackest Night event.

Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? , by Alan Moore

Stopped in to the library today to check this out. I paged through, and found out that I had already read it. I read the main, titular story a few months ago. The second story, featuring a dying Superman being helped by the Swamp Thing, I read in Moore's Saga of the Swamp Thing series. The third was remade as an episode of the Justice League animated series.

All of it is quite good, and definitely worth a read.

Jack of Fables: The
(Nearly) Great Escape,
by Bill Willingham

I didn't have very high expectations for this spin-off series, but I was pleasantly surprised. Jack's selfish arrogance is played up for comedic effect, and there are tons of new Fable characters introduced (like Dorothy's gang, Humpty Dumpty, Paul Bunyan, Black Sambo), and a few old ones return too. I'll definitely be checking out the rest of the series.

fMRI used to read signals in visual cortex and reconstruct them into video

Wow, this is quite a surprise. This type of research is extremely interesting to me, because it shows how close we're getting to recording our vision, thoughts, and dreams - not to mention controlling computers with our minds and broadcasting thoughts to other people.

Imagine a future where people walk around with recording devices implanted in their heads, saving everything they see as video or streaming it onto the internet. Then imagine being able to review your recorded memories at a later time. That would go a long way toward fixing the problems we have with our faulty, imperfect, malleable memories. Add that to the recent findings that people are relying on computers (or smartphones) to remember things for them, and it looks like biological memory storage may one day become obsolete.

Examining DC’s New 52

When DC announced that they were effectively “rebooting” their entire comics lineup, I admit I was a little disappointed. I finally started getting familiar with the DC universe’s considerable backstory, and now they were going to toss much of it away? Argh.

But I can see why they do it, and if they can do it well, I’m more than happy to play along. Having a major jumping-on point can be quite useful to a lot of people, especially me.

Anyway, I decided to check out every single new Issue #1 that DC is publishing – all 52 of them – and offer my thoughts on each one. Many of these characters are unfamiliar to me, or they’ve changed, or whatever. But some I’m very familiar with (hello, Batman) and I could be pretty irritated if they change too much. Let’s take a look.

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Ex Machina: Term Limits,
by Brian K. Vaughan

Wow, the ending to this series does not disappoint...much. Most of the storylines that've been building up come to satisfying conclusions, except for one or two things we don't get answers for, and one or two things that have unsatisfying conclusions.

Holy crap, that's vague, isn't it? Yeah...what can I say that won't give away the ending, or will actually make sense to anyone who's not familiar with the series? Bah.

Read this series. Now. Review over.