World Comic Book Review

A Deep Six’d Publication

27th May 2022

Burn the Oracle

“Thriller” 1-8
Writer: Robert Loren Fleming
DC Comics, 1983

Review by DG Stewart, 16 March 2016.

thriller-sevenseconds

The early 1980s is an interesting time to revisit in respect of prophetic visions. Science fiction writers like William Gibson, Robert Heinlein and others predicted the internet. Gibson also anticipated the rise of the importance of biotechnology. Politics and culture were more difficult to predict – Heinlein in his novel “Friday” mapped out the Balkanisation of the United States, and Gibson in “Neuromancer” followed the flock in respect of the inevitability of nuclear war, albeit one tactically confined to a German theatre. Samuel Huntington in his book “The Clash of Civilisations and the Remaking of World Order” (1996) noted that the antipathy between Christian-based civilisations and Muslim civilisation dates back centuries and vastly overshadows the ideological fight which had occurred (and by that stage concluded) between the West and the Communist bloc. But no writer in the 1980s, peering into the future, seriously considered the perils of xenophobic Islamism as a potential flashpoint. Except one.

In 1983 a talented writer named Robert Loren Fleming had an innovative concept about an extended family of highly usual people, set in the near future. It was entitled “Thriller” (and pre-dated American pop singer Michael Jackson’s music album of the same name by a month).

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The Fine Line Walked

DC Comics Bombshells #1 [review]
(DC Comics, October 2015)
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Review by DG Stewart, 1 October 2015

American publisher DC Comics have recently released a series of statues of some of its female characters under the brand “DC Comics Bombshells”, each with a bishoojo style appearance. “Bishoojo” is the Japanese word for “beautiful girl” and is a term used to describe characters of youthful, attractive appearance in Japanese manga. Bishoojo style has become increasingly sexual over the years. The DC Comics Bombshells statues themselves are a mix of sugary innocence and provocative sexuality, orientated towards a certain demography of collectors.

Which is why the first issue of DC Comics Bombshells is a surprise. DC Comics had, a few years ago, abandoned the World War 2 origins of many of its major characters and realigned its continuity for the 21st century. But DC Comics Bombshells takes the reader back to the 1940s. The writer, Marguerite Bennett, reasonably explains the focus on exclusively female characters in the book by noting that all men in the 19040s United States were at war (albeit an early war – Ms Bennett postulates a reality where the United States joined England and France in fighting Nazi Germany pre-Pearl Harbour). The story captures the 1940s nostalgia of Roy Thomas’ All-Star Squadron (1981-1987) but with more fun, and the sassiness of Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer (1982) but with more class.

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