Zero to Hero 12

zero-to-hero

I spent my Zero to Hero time on Sunday reading and commenting on Tolkien blogs. I am glad I did that, since yesterday’s assignment was to take something from a thread that I commented on and turn it into a post.

So, here is a comment from a discussion of “What You Make, I Mar,” a short but very well-written post at All Things Tolkien.

Eric: Also, without Aule making the Dwarves, we wouldn’t have Ents. And to top that off, Yavanna claims that the Ents were part of the Music. “Yet it was in the Song.” So if Ents were created by Yavanna to counter the Dwarves AND Ents were also in the Music, I guess we could conclude that Dwarves were also in the Music?

Or at least that the Music changed to include Dwarves thus paving the way for Ents. We can see that the Song is still happening in the next couple of paragraphs.

I love gray areas.

This comment prompted me to pick up The Silmarillion and read “Of Aule and Yavanna” very carefully, and I do not believe the Song is still going on in this chapter. Here is the relevant passage:

‘Yet is was in the song,’ said Yavanna. ‘For while thou wert in the heavens and with Ulmo built the clouds and poured out the rains, I lifted up the branches of great trees to receive them, and some sang to Iluvatar amid the wind and the rain.’

Then Manwe sat silent, and the thought of Yavanna that she had put into his heart grew and unfolded; and it was beheld by Iluvatar. Then it seemed to Manwe that the Song rose once more about him, and he heeded now many things therein that though he had heard them he had not heeded before. And at last the Vision was renewed, but it was not now remote, for he was himself within it, and yet he saw that all was upheld by by the hand of Iluvatar; and the hand entered in, and from it came forth many wonders that had until then been hidden from him in the hearts of the Ainur (p. 45-46).

As I read this, Manwe is having a sort of vision or flashback to the music. He is remembering it, and things are being revealed to him that he did not take note of when the music was being played. The key word in this passage is “seemed.” And, in the very next paragraph, we see Manwe waking up. I think he’s clearly fallen into a reverie.

Also, after scouring this entire chapter multiple times, I don’t see any evidence that the Dwarves were in the music, but I do have to wonder how the Ents could have been in the music without the Dwarves being there, since it is clear that the Ents come about as a result of these conversations between Aule, Yavanna, and Manwe. Gray areas.

Here are a few other blogs that regularly publish interesting work about Tolkien:

The Leather Library

A Tolkienists’ Perspective

All Things Tolkien

The Real LOTR

Sweating to Mordor

Feel free to drop links to any other blogs that write about Tolkien on my comments threads. I am trying to meet as many Tolkien bloggers as possible.

There’s also a Facebook discussion group. It’s small, but conversation is good, and a few of the members just started reading The Silmarillion.

My Tolkien Bibliography.

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Review: Detective Comics #27

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By Jeremy DeFatta

I’m finally getting around to reading this, and since I mentioned it in my first Batman post, I thought it would be a good idea to review it. The book is a small trade paperback unto itself, with a quality cover and spine. It runs 96 pages. It contains seven stories of varying lengths, including Brad Meltzer and Bryan Hitch’s retelling of the first appearance of Batman from the original Detective Comics #27. It also contains a great deal of unassociated artwork worth seeing.

Though Meltzer’s retelling of “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” is an interesting, modern take on the story, it feels a bit out of place tone-wise with the way Batman has been portrayed in recent years. John Layman and Jason Fabok’s first chapter to the new “Gothtopia” storyline is also included and looks like the beginnings of a trippy psychological thriller worthy of being a Batman detective story. My picks from the issue, though, are “Old School” by Gregg Hurwitz and Neal Adams, “The Sacrifice” by Mike Barr and Guillem March, and “Twenty-Seven” by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy.

“Old School” is a fascinating romp through the ages exploring how Batman’s appearance and demeanor have changed over the years while trying to stay relevant. Adams’s art, which is always a treat, is doubly so in this issue as he not only revisits a period in his own career, but successfully pulls off convincing versions of other artists’ styles (including Frank Miller’s, believe it or not).

“The Sacrifice” hit me right in the emotions (or the feels, if you will). Narrated by the Phantom Stranger, in this chapter Batman is given a glimpse of how Gotham City would turn out if his parents had never been murdered and he had never become Batman. His own life is heavenly, but I think you can tell where this goes by the title.

“Twenty-Seven” is the portion of the book I was really looking forward to and it (appropriately enough) comes right at the end. Though it has some weaknesses, I’ve enjoyed Scott Snyder’s run on the main Batman title and I was eager to see how he foresaw Batman’s twilight years going. He did not disappoint. I don’t want to spoil anything here, but this is a great little science fiction story and it seems straightforward and logical once you finish it. This is definitely my main recommendation from the collection.

This issue is likely still available through your local comic shop, so go look it up. I highly recommend it to any established Batman fans or anyone who wants to become one; this isn’t too continuity-heavy for new readers to get into.

Let me know your thoughts below! Tweet me @quaintjeremy.

image: Detective Comics #27 cover art by Greg Capullo

Annie-Blog: In which I wax embarrassingly poetic about a kids’ show…

– This is Annie’s first post from Part Time Monster. When we published it, we were just getting started. I am reblogging it here, because I think some of you who have just discovered us in the last couple of weeks might enjoy it.