PINK THINK: Becoming a Woman in Many Uneasy Lessons by Lynn Peril takes a similar approach to her College Girls, looking back at what news articles, pop culture, romance novels and advice books said about how to train girls to become the feminine creatures they were meant to be (while simultaneously asserting that they were innately feminine and girly). Topics include the dangers of careers or college making women forget they’re female, the importance of submitting to a husband (as all chicks desire to do), and the virtues of makeup, good china, frilly dresses and girlish manners in becoming Real Women. Certainly rings true to stuff from my tween and teen years (like the insistence a woman should never, ever, ever show she was smarter or more skilled at anything than her man). One of the books I’m using as research for Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book, though worth reading in its own right.
PRINCE OF ANNWN (cover by David Johnston, all rights remain with current holder) was the last book in Evangeline Walton’s Mabinogion quadrilogy, though it’s an adaptation of the Mabinogion’s First Branch. In Part One, Pwyll of Dyved journeys into the underworld to help Arawn triumph in a battle against a new god (a twisted take on Jesus). In Part Two, Pwyll wins faerie wife, loses faerie wife, gets faerie wife back again. Like Song of Rhiannon, this is incredibly eerie in its supernatural scenes. It’s heavy on the glories of mother-goddess/earth-mother worship, but I can live with that.
PRINCELESS The Pirate Princess by Jeremy Whitley, Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt launches a spin off from the Princeless series. When Adrienne rescues yet another princess trapped in a tower, it turns out to be a pirate princess, Raven, whose father turned against her thanks to her conniving brothers. Now she’s free and off to set things right, with Adrienne dragged along in her wake. Solid fun.
LUMBERJANES: Sink or Swim by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke A. Allen is several volumes along from the last collection I read, but it doesn’t lose anything from the gap. This time the girls are working on their knot-tying merit badge under the tutelage of sailor Seafarin’ Karen. Too bad that embroils them in a battle between a werewolf and some selkies, not to mention having to close the dimensional gates popping up everywhere. Cute fun, like the first two books.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: The Extinction Agenda and Outbreak by Bryan Hitch and various collaborators has me once again wondering what the parameters are on DC’s Rebirth: this doesn’t bring back the pre-Flashpoint JLA but also doesn’t soft-reboot them to be more like the older version (as Rebirth: Green Arrow did). In its own right, readable, but too flawed to recommend: both the first volume and the first story of Outbreak leave huge chunks of stuff unexplained and not in the sense of intriguing me either — it’s more like “wow, that’s lazy writing.” And while there are good character touches here and there, the awkward ones (like Flash’s romance with one female Green Lantern) cancel them out. I can’t say I cared for Geoff Johns’ run on JLA, but Hitch doesn’t like he’s going to steer them back to greatness.