26 February 2014

Faster than a DC Bullet: The Houses of Mystery and Secrets, Part XIV: House of Mystery: Safe As Houses

Comic trade paperback, n.pag.
Published 2011 (contents: 2010)
Borrowed from the library
Read January 2014
House of Mystery: Safe As Houses

Writer: Matthew Sturges
Artists: Luca Rossi, Werther Dell'Edera, José Marzán, Jr.
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Todd Klein
Short Story Artists: Cristiano Cucina, Brendan McCarthy, Phil Noto, Esao Andrews, Carine Brancowitz

Like Under New Management, this book actually has its own discernible plot, which is a definite plus. I didn't always understand Fig's actions, and I think the return of the princess from "Familiar" in Room & Boredom is pretty random, but on the other hand, Tursig the gay goblin, who's pretty much just been a background bar patron up until this point, really comes into his own in this volume, and I also enjoyed the second look at Poet's origins, this time taking us to the Crimean War. I do think Cain is kind of squandered here-- why did Sturges bring him back if he's going to have so little to do with anything?

Overall, it's one of the better volumes. Things I loved: the explanation for why time travel in the DC universe is always a spiral with calendar pages going by, as seen in so many Legion of Super-Heroes tales; the short story "Long Strange Trip" by Matthew Sturges and Brendan McCarthy, where a Vietnam soldier becomes a sorcerer while tripping on LSD (best line: "I'm not enlightened-- I'm just tripping my ass off!" or "I learned the true names of stones and flowers and soybeans and hamsters and copper wires and jeeps and cups of coffee. It was a lot of fucking names." or the last one, which I won't spoil); Tursig's rendition of the classic goblin folk tale, "The Story about a Goblin Who Loved Babies and Also There Is a Hunter in It"; and the short story "Lotus Blossom's Theory of Names" by Matthew Sturges and Carrie Brancowitz, which is three pages of handwriting, but perfectly readable and has a foreseeable but still effective "twist."

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