Tagged: Civil War

MINDY NEWELL: Great Books! And 1 Movie!

So what are you reading?

Fellow ComicMixer Bob Greenberger recently talked about To Kill A Mockingbird a couple days ago as he prepares to teach his class. To Kill A Mockingbird is, as I expect all of you to know, a masterpiece of American literature concerning the racial tensions and bigotries of a small town in Alabama during the Depression – but more important, it is a study of the nature of good and evil, of both the morality and immorality inherent in all of us.

Starring Gregory Peck as the lawyer Atticus Finch who defends the black man accused of raping a white woman, the movie is a landmark picture, and – in my opinion – a touchstone for how to adapt a brilliant novel to the screen. Also my opinion: Peck’s greatest role.

But don’t just watch the movie. Read the book itself. One of the things that just driiivvvess meeee crrrrrazzzzy is when I ask someone, “did you read….” and what I get back in response is, “I saw the movie.”


Here’re some books that have been turned into movies. Some good, some bad, some just “eh.” But do yourself a favor – read the book. You might learn something.

Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind: Yes, it’s one of the greatest movies ever made. Yes, adjusted for inflation it’s made more than any other movie. Yes, Vivien Leigh, Olivia DeHavilland, Hattie MacDonald Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, are the living embodiments of Mitchell’s characters. In fact, it’s about the most perfect casting ever, in my opinion. But Scarlett is not just the selfish bitch that the movie portrays.

In fact, as you read Gone With The Wind, you realize that Scarlett Katie O’Hara embodies both the Old and New South, the gentry who will not dirty their hands and the hard-scrabbling immigrant who will. Even her mother and father represent this coming battle, with Ellen O’Hara a symbol of the old landed gentry who live by rituals and rules, and Gerald O’Hara the hard-scrabbling immigrant who will do anything to succeed. And her men are symbols, too, as she clings to Ashley as a representation of an idealized world of chivalry and manners, and of the pampered childhood she has lost, while simultaneously being drawn to Rhett, the realist, the adult, the symbol of the “New South” and the future. Every main character in Gone With The Wind are the embodiments of the Civil War, of the battle between yesterday and today, of what was and what can be. Melanie is not just the selfless and perfect Lady of the antebellum South. Rhett is more than a lusting hedonist who marries Scarlett because he can’t have any other way. Ashley is more than just a beaten Confederate. Mitchell’s characters within the book come alive because they are all, well, alive.

The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Okay, technically this wasn’t a movie; it was a mini-series on TNT starring Julianne Margulies and Angelica Huston. It was promoted as the story of Camelot from the “women’s side.” The mini-series was a disaster. I could understand if no one’s curiosity was piqued enough to read the book. But do it anyway. But it’s so much more.

It’s the story of the introduction of Christianity into Celtic Britain, of how one great religion was usurped and demonized by another. It’s a story, again, of the fall of one civilization and the rise of another. Of choices, of the roles between women and men, of what is good and what is evil and what is in-between. Of what is magic and what is faith, of what is real and what is not. All, as I said, set against the backdrop of one of the most romantic and glorious legend of all, King Arthur, Lancelot, Guinevere, Morgan Le Fay, Mordred, Merlin, and the Round Table.

Giant, by Edna Ferber. Ferber was a brilliant novelist whose historical fictions also criticized the social mores and woes of America. Giant deals with the struggle for power between the great cattle barons and the growing oil industry in Texas from the 1920s to the 1950s. It’s the story of cultures at struggle against themselves and each other: Leslie Lynton Benedict, from the East, against her husband, Jordan “Bick” Benedict, born and bred in the Southwest. It’s about of racism and bigotry, of how both the cattle barons and the oil tycoons built their empires on the back of Mexican-Americans… sadly, still an incredibly relevant story today, as illegal immigration continues to be at the forefront of our politics. (Hello, Arizona!) It’s even about the role of women in a society, as Leslie, raised to think for herself, fights to retain her individuality in a society where women are sidelined and controlled by men. Most of all, it’s a story of generational war, as the old must give way to the young.

Okay, Kelly Clarkson just sang the Star Spangled Banner. I gotta go.

But just in case you think I’m a total book snob, there is one movie that totally exceeds its origins. That’s The Godfather, parts I and II. Read the book. It’s good…but the movies are better.

Kelly’s done. The game is on. Go Big Blue!

TUESDAY: Michael Davis… or Gold writes about hockey. One or the other.

Barnes & Noble Announce Nook Tablet; Launching With Marvel (and ComicMix) Graphic Novels

And the other shoe drops. Marvel Entertainment announced today that the long-anticipated Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble will offer readers access to  a digital library of Marvel graphic novels.

“This is a huge opportunity for Marvel—and the entire comics medium—to reach a wider audience than ever before thanks to Barnes & Noble’s exciting new NOOK Tablet,” said Peter Phillips, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Marvel Digital Media Group. “Barnes & Noble is committed to offering customers a broad array of Marvel graphic novels, both digitally and through their massive in-store selection, which can only help bring fans into our exciting world of Super Heroes and unparalleled storytelling.”

Users can purchase digital copies of their favorite Marvel graphic novels through NOOK Bookstore™, with a selection including such hits as Civil War, Invincible Iron Man, Captain America, Thor by JMS, Astonishing X-Men, New Avengers, Marvels and more! These graphic novels will also be available on the highly-acclaimed NOOK Color™.

“We’re excited to bring NOOK customers the largest available digital collection of graphic novels from Marvel Entertainment,” said Theresa Horner, Barnes & Noble’s Vice President of Digital Content. “The high resolution of our VividView color touchscreen makes the action virtually jump off the page, and takes graphic novels to a whole new level of entertainment.”

This is as good a time as any to note that ComicMix also has graphic novels available for the Nook platform, starting with the Harvey Award nominated EZ Street by Robert Tinnell and Mark Wheatley. More titles will be announced shortly.

MARC ALAN FISHMAN: “Super-heroines,” Get Back In The Kitchen!

So after a few weeks of daydreaming and being all cutesy-wootsie, I figure it’s about time I stir the pot a little. Let me get behind this wire mesh wall, force field, and don some protective gear. There. Safe and secure. Ahem…

Marvel’s female superheroes suck.

Don’t believe me? OK. Name the first few Marvel superheroes that come to mind. I’ll give you a minute. Who did you say…Spider-Man? Thor? Captain America? How about Iron Man? Hmm. No double X chromosomes there. The last big event to revolve around a woman? Oh yeah! House of M. The one where Marvel showed that a chick who ain’t barefoot and preggers goes crazy and resets the universe at will. Now there’s a feather in a feminists’ cap.

When I say “important women of Marvel,” aren’t they are always the yin to the yang of a more powerful man? Pepper Potts. Sorry Matt Fraction, you can put a repulsor in her chest, you can give her a code name, but she’s still just Tony’s secretary. Mary Jane Watson-Parker-Watson-by-way-of-a-retcon? Face it tiger, she’s just there to fall off buildings. Maria Hill? Nick Fury’s assprint hadn’t even cooled off before she was ousted back down to who-cares-ville. And when we open the discussion to those ladies who carry the hero badge? It doesn’t get any better.

Sue Storm, the matriarch of the Future Foundation. The soul of the Fantastic Four. Completely boring and useless without her husband. The best writers of Sue have always pegged her as a strong and independent woman. But take her away from Reed, Ben, or the children and the only bullet point left on her resume is part-time booty call for Namor.

Black Widow: slut with guns. How about Ms. Marvel? I’ll be completely honest. I don’t know a thing about her. Best I could tell? She was brought in because Marvel has no Wonder Woman, so they threw her on the Avengers. Beyond that I assume they keep her around because cute girls can show off their butts by cosplaying as her. What of the X-Men? Well, Jean Grey has died only 17 times, and has changed names to various permutations of “Phoenix,” all to what effect? She’s Cyclop’s gal. She maybe did Wolvie in a closet while Slim was waxing his car. And in the Ultimate Universe, maybe she did Charles too.

Let’s not forget Storm. She was married off to Black Panther so they could make super-black-babies that will invariably land on some future iteration of the X-Avengers. Not because they’ll be well written mind you… but they will add that “affirmative action” flavor John Stewart was used for back in the JLA.

I say this obviously not just to be cranky. I openly yell to the heavens for someone to come in and make the women matter again. Joss Whedon put Kitty Pride and the White Queen front and center in his amazing run on Astonishing X-Men. More than that, he made them more than worthless eye-candy in butt floss. He gave them dimension, and class. They weren’t in peril for perils’ sake.

Given Whedon’s pedigree for good female characterization, it didn’t come as a surprise. Whedon aside, other Marvel writers certainly have the know-how. Matt Fraction, Brian Michael Bendis and Jonathon Hickman are all amazing writers who know the ins and out of nuance. They’ve each made the females in their books (yes that includes Pepper in the aforementioned Iron Man series) very potent. But my gripe remains the same.

It’s not enough to write a woman as powerful, smart, and put-together. It’s the act of writing them as such that they are more than decoration. Throughout Marvel’s recent history, it’s been a literal boys-club. Civil War? Captain America and Iron Man fighting in the sandbox. Secret War? An excuse to make Norman Osbourn king of the playground – until sales dipped, and people stopped caring. And now we have Fear Itself, which as far as I can tell is only an excuse to half-kill Thor, and dress everyone up in Tron-stripes.

I yearn just once to have a female character in any of these situations stand up and set the world straight. Not to say it’s happened in the DC ever… but I actually believe Marvel has the smarts to actually do it. In this day and age where the DCnU turns Starfire and Catwoman into sultry sluts with no character trait beyond their cup size… I look to the House of Ideas to set the industry right.

When DC was making up Kryptonite and the color yellow the ultimate weapons against its heroes, Marvel figured out that debt, responsibility, and a guilty conscience was far better. Let us hope that in the coming times, they take the next step and realize that women are more than tits and tiny costumes. They are the fairer sex, the stronger characters, and perhaps the last untouched resource for superior fiction.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

Review: “The Warrior’s Way”

Mixing genres can be fun. Take a traditional western story and set it in outer space. Take a submarine thriller and set it during the Civil War. Transplant a samurai to the western frontier. Should work, right?

The Warrior’s Way, a modestly budgeted flop from last year, is such a collection of joyless clichés that a sure-fire gimmick fails to impress, let alone entertain. The film, coming out this week from 20th Century Home Entertainment, had the makings of something fun or compelling or something instead of arriving limp

Yang (Jang Dong Gun) is an assassin for a clan in blood feud with a rival group. Without expression, he slices and dices his way through the opponents, turning the Japanese roads red with spilled blood. All that now remains is an infant girl and rather than kill her, he takes the babe with him and heads east to America. Somehow, other members of his clan find out this innocent child remains breathing and fear a renewal of the rivalry if she’s allowed to live, so they sail in search of Yang.

The stoic Asian arrives in a late nineteenth century town to seek a friend, who has died. Encouraged by Lynne (Kate Bosworth) to reopen the laundry, she teaches him how to wash clothing and a bond slowly forms. The oddball town has the local drunk with a past, Ron (Geoffrey Rush), and a carnival in residence, its misfit performers led by Eight Ball (Tony Cox). Life settles down and Yang becomes part of the fabric, enjoying the simple things such as planting a garden and delighting in the baby’s development.

Lynne, though, is a tortured soul, having seen her family gunned down by the corrupt ex-Army colonel (Danny Huston) who tried to rape her a decade earlier. When the Colonel returns to town, Lynne tries to exact revenge but is endangered. Yang is then forced to unseal his katana and defend her. The act, though, lets the sword sing, a sound heard leagues away by his clan who come seeking the baby.

After that it gets messily predicable until the end credits. We’ve seen the archetype characters before, all better written and the American cast has certainly done better work in similar roles. Even the wire work felt familiar and uninspiring. There’s little wonder the $42 million film grossed barely over $11 million worldwide. Been there, done that and done far better. This is neither clever or original, funny or a touching homage to what’s come before. This is just a clear misfire from the first frame forward.

I will give the video transfer props for looking great and the score sounds lovely. There are scant extras: a two minute production montage and 12 minutes of mildly interesting deleted scenes.

Interview: Chris Claremont on ‘X-Men Forever’, part 2

Interview: Chris Claremont on ‘X-Men Forever’, part 2

This is the second part of a very long interview with Chris Claremont that started on the topic of X-Men Forever and branched into a number of other areas. Part one of the interview is here, and we recommend reading it to get up to speed. Warning: plot points are discussed up to X-Men Forever #5 at least, do not read this interview if you want to be spoiled.

ComicMix: X-Men Forever– this isn’t just you taking your old X-Men script from 1991 and picking up where you left off.

Chris Claremont: No. The point is that I took my concepts from 1991 and sat down and looked at the team and rethought the whole thing.  The difference is that the scripts in 1991 were a whole series of arcs that in more than a few cases had ended up being echoed, if not outright adapted, by subsequent writers.

CM: In the same vein, since your initial run on the X-Men, a lot of your work and your own style has been adapted in other places; for example, your creation of Kitty Pryde has been cited as an inspiration for Joss Whedon on Buffy. Let’s not even get started on what people have been drawing on for Heroes and Lost.  So now that people know your tropes and it’s become mainstream, what’s next? How do you go beyond that now that the rest of the world is catching up with you?

CC: Well, theoretically the rule we’re running with is if I’ve done it before, I can’t do it here. One of the rules that Mark and I are using is to try as much as possible not to take a story in directions that people anticipate. We’ll see what happens. Part of it is the nature of the characters themselves. My original impulse was to excise Cyclops from the cast because I wanted to focus on someone else– and he just wouldn’t go! Every time I wrote him out, he’d write himself back in. Some part of my brain refused to accept that perception of the X-Men’s reality; its vision was that Cyclops is a key and essential character. There comes a point, as a writer, when you have to listen to that part of your instinct, to ask “why is is saying this?” And once you find the answer, go with it. I am throwing everything up in the air. There are major changes to the eight characters in the series…

CM: Those being Storm, Rogue, Nightcrawler–

CC: Let me start at the top. Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, Beast, Kitty, Gambit, Rogue, Nick Fury, and two others to be named later.

CM: Nick Fury’s a mutant, or just showing up a lot?

CC: Nick Fury’s a member of the cast. He’s the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., but we don’t have a S.H.I.E.L.D. book, so we can use him. His rationale for being there is the X-Men are a critical facet of the world community, just because of the power that mutants represent, and they need a minder. That, plus concerns he’s about to have in terms of S.H.I.E.L.D. itself, make it more convenient/essential for him to stay on scene with the X-Men to figure out what’s going on.

CM: Since you mention Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde…

CC: They were in Excalibur, yes; they are coming back to the X-Men.

CM: A lot of people have been asking that very question.

CC: The opening circumstances of the book, as seen in the preview, are that this is taking place subsequent to the memorial service for Magneto, where all the X-Men have gathered. There’s one panel on page four where you see the group shot of whole bunches of mutants out back. That explains what they’re all doing there.

CM: So you’ll have all of the X-Men there, you’ll have X-Force there, you’ll have Excalibur…

CC: Those who wish to honor Magneto. Some of them may decide they’re not coming. Anyway, things start to happen from that point on. Essentially, for issue 1, Charlie temporarily closes the school and sends everybody home. He gathers a core team of X-characters to go out after Fabian Cortez, who killed Magneto, to bring him in, and to turn him over to S.H.I.E.L.D. and end this disaster before it gets any worse. Fury is there, saying this: You’re living in a dream world. Magneto threatened the world, and some of you X-Men helped him–you were mind-controlled, but you helped him. The rest of you X-Men stopped him. What makes you think the world’s going to stand back and accept the fact that you guys are unaffiliated, independent operatives and let you go on from there? You represent far too much power.


Marvel vs. DC: E3 Edition!

Marvel vs. DC: E3 Edition!

In case you’ve been under a rock, or don’t pay any attention, this week the Electronic Entertainment Expo has been showcasing some fancy new titles due out soon for the current generation (that being the Sony Playstation 3, and Microsoft Xbox 360… sorry Wii-Heads) of video game systems that should tickle comic lover’s thumbs.

From DC’s mighty utility belt comes Batman: Arkham Asylum. Produced by Rocksteady Studios, and published by the fine folks who gave the world Lara Croft’s shapely rear end life, Arkham Asylum lets wanna-be detectives put on the digital cape and cowl for a rousing round of villain destruction. Falling somewhere between Splinter Cell‘s stealthy kill-em-up, and God of War‘s thumb-destroying beat-em-up, the game features an original take on the Grant Morrison penned graphic novel. Players will take Bats through multiple levels (all inside the aforementioned loony bin) in what appears to be a final fracas with the clown prince of crime. Voice actors from Bruce Timm’s seminal animated series provide audible lift to what easily appears to be the best iteration of the Dark Knight’s digital gaming experience. While hands on reports mention some sloppy camera work still be worked out, the game is slated for release at the tail end of August… giving them enough time to work out the kinks. Let’s just hope there’s no multiverse twist at the end, eh?

From the House of Idea’s comes another sequel in the celebrated ‘dungeon-crawler’ epic: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2: Electric Boogaloo. OK, it’s not an electric boogaloo… but what UA:2 is, is a continuation of Vicarious Vision’s long running franchise that’s looking to make the true leap to the next generation from its Playstation 2 / Xbox roots. UA:2 takes place in the current-ish comic storyline (Civil War anyone?) and allows players to take the reigns on some of Marvel’s most popular characters. Want to smash and bash as the Hulk? Go ahead. Want to pilot some mighty armor as Iron Man? Hit the X button pal. Not a fan of the classics? No problem. UA:2 brings Matt Gargan’s Venom, Deadpool, and the mighty Juggernaut as potential playable characters. Players will get to make their own teams, and take them into battles across several Marvel stalwart environments, from Latveria to the Barack Obama-Spider-Man-fist-bumping Washington D.C.. While Activision is hush-hush on an official street date for now, look for the Ultimate Alliance 2 to hit your local gaming emporium in the fall.

For more information on E3, and the scads of games being played by people more important than us, feel free to head to the official site.

Bendis & Maleev to adapt ‘Waiting For Godot’ for Marvel Classics

Bendis & Maleev to adapt ‘Waiting For Godot’ for Marvel Classics

Waiting For Godot, the classic Samuel Beckett play of futility and alienation, is coming to Marvel Comics, courtesy of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev.

“It’s a natural,” says editor-in-chief Joe Quesada. “In all my years in the business, I have rarely seen a more natural fit of talent and material.”

Godot, for the edification of comics fans who haven’t heard of it, is the story of two men, Vladimir and Estragon, who wait at length for the arrival of a third, the unseen but much-discussed Godot. Their conversations are circular and repetitive, often ending with exchanges like, “We can’t leave.” “Why not?” “We’re waiting for Godot.” Godot never shows up, and we last see the two leads after they decide to leave, but remain standing in the same spot, doomed to remain there forever.

In an interview, Bendis wrote, “I am tremendously excited about this project. I learned all I know about dialogue and dramatic pacing from the play, and have long done whatever I could to bring its intensity and suspense to the superhero genre.”


‘Secret Invasion’ So Far: The Main Story

‘Secret Invasion’ So Far: The Main Story

So we’re more than half-way through Secret Invasion, the event that’s supposed to be the biggest thing to rock the Marvel Universe since Civil War, where the question was “whose side are you on?” Secret Invasion’s question is “who do you trust?”, which is almost the same question as Civil War’s but not as grammatically correct ( it’s "whom", people!) and concerns the revelation that several Skrulls (shape-shifting aliens who’ve had their asses kicked many times) have secretly been living among us for a while. This story is the brain-child of Brian Michael Bendis, who has been praised for his series Powers and his run on Ultimate Spider-Man and who has been writing New Avengers and Mighty Avengers since both titles were created.

This plot has been done before to lesser degrees. In the early 90s, the Fantastic Four discovered that the Human Torch’s wife had been impersonated by a Skrull since before they were even engaged. And a couple of years later, the X-Men found out that Wolverine had been replaced by a Skrull who then died because he didn’t know he didn’t have Wolvie’s powers too (idiot).

But there are three major elements that mark this particular invasion story as different from what we’ve seen in comic books a million times over. The first element is that what’s left of the Skrull Empire has now taken up religion. Their holy texts tell them that Earth is theirs by right and they have become quite creepy by habitually saying “He loves you” to everyone they attack. Secondly, they’ve learned how to infiltrate us in such a way that they are now beyond the detection of super-powers, magic and technology – very scary in this post-9/11 world. Finally, the Skrulls have finally figured out how to produce super-powers on a large scale. Where once the Super-Skrull and Power Skrull were unique, now there are thousands of Skrull warriors who have the combined powers of many different villains and heroes.

But how’s the execution? Well, in a nutshell, the main series started off very strong and has recently picked up steam again full force. Even when it was slow, it had some great scenes. But these are over-shadowed occasionally by pages of wasted space and repetitive recaps. And out of the eleven tie-in issues Bendis has written so far, eight of them can be ignored or have a smidge of substance that’s surrounded by filler pages.

But if you are one of those unfortunate souls who bought all the New Avengers and Mighty Avengers tie-ins and then realized you’d wasted over twenty bucks, don’t worry! Just do what I and my good friend Lisa McMullan did. With a little creativity, you can take those pages and make yourself a very smart looking jacket! Now you’re not a sucker, you are actually quite fashionable!

Don’t believe me? Just look at this photographic evidence, nay-sayer! All you need is scissors, tape and maybe an hour of free time.

And when people ask you "How did you think to make such a snazy and debonair sport coat?", you can simply say "I got the idea from those crazy guys at ComicMix and Alan ‘the Sizzler’ Kistler. He’s one nutty guy, that Sizzler."

Not a bad series, but I definitely have some criticisms. Hmmm? What’s that? You want more detail about what my problems are with the main series and the Bendis-written tie-ins? Not a problem, folks. That’s what I get paid for.

By the way, folks, if it pleases you, feel free to check out my old list of the Six Worst Moments in Skrull History!


Millar and Harris Talk ‘War Heroes’ and Kirkman

Millar and Harris Talk ‘War Heroes’ and Kirkman

Laura Hudson (Publisher’s Weekly, Comic Foundry Magazine) interviewed writer Mark Millar and artist Tony Harris at Midtown Comics.

Along with discussing their new series, they also shared their thoughts on Robert Kirkman’s recent video concerning creators pursuing original characters.

MILLAR: "To me, it just seemed exciting, the idea of doing a no-holds barred super-hero war comic. I touched on a lot of this stuff in The Ultimates 1 and 2. And a lof of theses ideas I was going to bring in to The Ultimates 3 but we thought, we’re never getting away with this … We just thought, why not just go out and do our own thing? And he same thing happened with Wanted … That started off life as a proposal for DC Comics … We took risks that we wouldn’t have done with company-owned characters … Our time’s finite. We’ll always own Kick-Ass. We’ll always own Wanted … I do think there are a couple of good reasons for working at Marvel and DC. Kick-Ass would not sell … if we weren’t the Ultimates guy or the Civil War guy."

Go to Laura Hudson’s own blog to check out the full video interviews.

‘X-Factor’ and Event Fatigue

Though you can’t go to a comics convention panel without hearing some fan decry crossovers, it’s readily obvious why they keep appearing and tying up comics series: Crossovers sell.

As editors and creators quickly point out, slapping an event label on a comic cover can immediately boost sales by a healthy margin. And when books are struggling for readers, those opportunities are hard to pass up.

But for those who closely follow a particular series, crossovers certainly have the potential to seriously gum up the works, which is made evident with perfect clarity in the two issues of X-Factor released last week.

The issue from the main series has the main team in Detroit, sort of teaming up with She-Hulk to take down a Skrull attacker. The other, a Layla Miller special, has that character still stuck in the future, having some very strange adventures and knowing stuff.

The series proper has been one of my favorites since it started up again a few years ago, with Peter David knocking out  some of the best superheroics seen this decade. His scripts are smart, funny and well crafted, and continued reading makes clear how good he is at plotting stories out in the long term.

But the past two Secret Invasion tie-in issues have been easily the worst of the run, in part because of sub-standard art and in part because the Skrull situation feels as forced as it is. Even Jamie Madrox’s patented monologues lack their usual flair.

This is then highlighted (or perhaps lowlighted) by the brilliant Layla Miller issue, which is clearly Miller in more unadulterated form. Layla — herself a deus ex machina from House of M, another event/crossover — has been a driving force of X-Factor. But for now she’s relegated off to an alternate future, not coincidentally by the last X-Men crossover, Messiah Complex.

All told, the past year and a half of X-Factor has seen it cross over with three events (Civil War being the only one I haven’t mentioned yet). For fans of the series, all we can do is wonder what the book might have been if David had been left to his own devices.