ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG: Far Far Away by Fred Van Lente and Pere Perez has the immortal party animal Armstrong and straight-arrow Archer breaking into Area 51, then getting sucked into the world the other side of the Bermuda Triangle, along with Archer’s adopted sister and dream girl Mary-Maria. Amidst the lost settlers of Roanoke, can they stop Douglas MacArthur (or a reasonable facsimile) from leading a battalion of Greys in their flying saucers to wipe our heroes out? A lot of fun with some great lines (“Who’s leading the international communist conspiracy now?” “My parents say it’s an Indonesian Muslim named Barack Obama, but I’m not sure they’re a reliable source.”).
THY KINGDOM COME: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America by Randall Balmer doesn’t work as well for me as Making of Biblical Womanhood because Balmer’s covering stuff I’m already familiar with — that evangelicals broke bad in the 1970s after segregated Christian colleges lost their tax-deductible status; while motivated initially by racism, they soon expanded to abortion, gay marriage, support for theocracy and a willingness to ignore issues such as torture, war and poverty that would require going against Republican orthodoxy (surprisingly outside of abortion there’s little discussion of the religious right’s deeprooted misogyny). This came out 15 years ago, but age hasn’t made it less relevant; definitely worth reading if the material isn’t familiar.
Marguerite Bennett’s second volume of ANIMOSITY: The Dragon has Jesse, Zandor and a handful of other friendly animals encounter a malevolent lammergeier whose organized a cult of hungry beasts into preying on everyone who comes into their territory; in between dodging danger, everyone discusses religion, life goals and how take care of a kid like Jesse in this strange new world. Strikes me as Kamandi: The Early Years, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.My brother’s birthday gift to me included DAVID NIXON’S BOOK OF MAGIC, a childhood gift to me and my sister that my bro stumbled across somewhere. I don’t remember Nixon, a stage magician and TV personality, but I do remember his puppet-fox sidekick, Basil Brush, who gets a couple of humorous stories in this book. Along with the stories there’s a bio of Nixon, some tips on magic and a few tricks, and several puzzles and games. Amusing nostalgia, and sooner or later I’ll try Nixon’s method for identifying the card someone selected.
#SFWApro. Covers by Perez and Jack Kirby, all rights remain with current holders.