Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Finished Them!

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I finally finished the last of those three anthologies I was trying to read simultaneously. I finished the Space Battles one first, then the Superheroes book. Last night, I finished the G.I. Joe anthology Cobra Wars.

I think I failed this experiment of mine miserably. I figured reading three short-story collections each with a different theme and setting would make for a nice change back and forth between worlds. Turns out I didn't like that aspect of it at all! With the space-based stories in Space Battles, each of them put me in a mood to continue reading more space combat stories. With the superhero stories in Masked and the G.I Joe stories in Cobra Wars, I wanted to keep reading in the hopes the next story would be more comic-book-y and fun.

The collection of stories in Space Battles was mixed: some were great, some were good, some were just okay. The stories in Masked were often dark, and overall didn't really convey the fun world of superheroes to me. The Joe stories were, overall, okay but, to me, didn't capture the flavor of the comics. Granted, it's been years since I read a G.I. Joe comic book. I kept expecting some flavor to the characters, something to make them interesting and stand out. It seemed the only characters that actually had any depth were the civilians and other characters created by the authors for their invidual stories, whereas the Joes were just place-holders for real characters. That's sad, because these characters can and should be very interesting.

To be fair to the Joe stories, there were a couple of times where a characters thoughts would get deep about the incidents going on around him, but I believe that served more as the author's point of view on the topic than on the stories. Also, these Joe stories were loosely connected. A couple of times, later stories would reference an event in an earlier story - even though each story was written by a different author. That being said, I'd absolutely love for there to be more G.I. Joe anthologies or novels, though. It's a world rich for prose story telling, if they can give some depth to the characters.

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