The Dark Tower: Gunslinger
I’ve tried to listen to this novel a few times but have had a tough time getting started. From what I have read, it’s a pretty interesting story but it’s a bit more complicated than I’ve been able to get into right now. I think I’ve just had a bunch of things going on since the water heater problems so I haven’t been able to focus enough to catch all the nuances of what’s going on in this book. There’s a desert and wandering. A man in black and a gunslinger. A kid and a piano player. Things seem to be happening in a dream or in reality, or in the past, or future – I haven’t been able to fully understand what’s going on. And I’m pretty sure it’s me, not Steven King who’s having the issue right now. So, after a few tries, I’m gonna put this book on the shelf for the moment and try something else. I looked back through my recent reads and found one that I rated an A and that is part of a series and found Gateway by Frederick Pohl. This is part of a Science Fiction series called the HeeChee Saga that looks like it has 5 books, and I decided to start up book 2 – Beyond the Blue Event Horizon. Hopefully this’ll be a bit less confusing and I can reset my reading brain – I’ll get back to The Dark Tower another time.
Captain America & the Falcon #5
This story had a pretty shocking ending and while I’m not going to get fully into it in this brief ramble, I kinda felt abused by what went on. Captain America and the Falcon just came back from Guantanamo where they captured a Super Sailor the Navy had been keeping secret. He had gone rogue and the heroes had to be called in to get him. When they get back to America, they basically hide the sailor and then meet with Nick Fury, the CIA, and the Navy, and are threatened with arrest for performing their mission. But wait a minute, they’re not gonna arrest Captain America because that’d look bad…they try to arrest the Falcon, who by the way is African American. In any case, I just got a whole lot of “not so right” feelings about the whole issue. Sure, it’s part of the Avengers Disassembled story arc, but it really felt like the government was bad, Cap and Falcon were bad for disobeying orders, there was racism, secrecy, and misinformation, and no one really seemed to be completely in the right. This was not my favorite issue but I wonder if these are some common themes from this time in comics.
I’ve seen a few of these episodes and while I’ve enjoyed them, I wanted to take a slower look at what was going on to hopefully better understand them. To that extent, I’ve downloaded the episodes onto my iPad and started watching parts of them during breaks. I wont be watching a whole episode at a shot, but I’ll be able to break one into a few breaks so I can get a better feel for the story.
First off is the “Coming to America” segment of episode 1. I really liked this feature of the episode and I know it’s continued in the other stories as well. It’s a good way to introduce the various gods and how they made their way from the old world to America. This first one is pretty dramatic – lots of death and mutilation, blood and sand. This tale takes place in 813 CE, and I wasn’t sure when people started using CE, but looked it up on Wikipedia and saw that Christians started using it in 1615. In any case, the Vikings were in search of new lands back then and stumbled across America. Their first steps, grateful that they made landfall, were cut short by a flurry of arrows once they tried to step from the sand into the vegetation – and boy, there were a ton of arrows.
Prevented from moving inland by the natives, the Vikings decided to leave but had no wind to get their ship out to sea…so they asked their god for help. And apparently their god wasn’t paying attention. To enlist his aid, the travelers started first by building an idol, then by poking out one of their eyes, then by human sacrifice, and finally by a shirts vs skins battle royale to the death. Finally the survivors got some wind and were able to leave the cursed America.
Years later when their descendants came back though, their god was there already and things were much better on that expedition.
I think this gave me a good idea of what to expect from the series:
One thing I really liked is that this showed that we’re quite possibly gonna learn something. With America being a land of immigrants there are gonna be a lot of gods that have been brought over from the rest of the world and each will have their own story.
I’m definitely looking forward to watching the whole series.