This features the Tenth Doctor post-Journey's End, travelling on his own, encountering Dalek bounty hunters in a separate time track that comes from GThis features the Tenth Doctor post-Journey's End, travelling on his own, encountering Dalek bounty hunters in a separate time track that comes from Gauda Prime, one that he shouldn't be on since it crosses the Daleks timeline. Timey-Wimey. The Doctor and the hunters are captured (hey, it's in the title) and find themselves at the mercy of the very fascinating and dangerous 'Dalek X'. ...more
Be warned, despite all appearances, this is not a stand-alone prose novel about Natasha Romanova, AKA: The Black Widow. Nope. It is a YA adventure/ThrBe warned, despite all appearances, this is not a stand-alone prose novel about Natasha Romanova, AKA: The Black Widow. Nope. It is a YA adventure/Thriller designed to launch a new ongoing Marvel comic book series. The Widow is in this book, but she's not the star.
That would be seventeen year old Ava Anatalya Orlova, Marvel's latest "nuanced teen female superhero" set to debut around mid-October, 2015 in an exclusive sneak peek in the back of Marvel’s one shot, Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1.
Ava was nine years old when she was rescued from a Russian mafia version of 'the Red Room' by the Black Widow. Romanova promised Ava she would return for her, but she never did. Ava was ultimately brought from Ukraine to the United States by S.H.I.E.L.D., who kept her under lockdown in a pretty crappy safe-house for five years. Ava picked up knowledge from living with spies and escaped custody on her fourteenth birthday. She's spent the last three years living homeless and on the run in the streets of New York.
Margaret Stohl, the author of this book is also the writer of the Red Widow comics series. In an interview with The Mary Sue, Stohl said this about the character:
The Red Widow is a powerful new female superhero for the Marvel universe. In many ways, she’s the opposite of the Black Widow—she actually chooses to become the Red Widow—but both Widows share a mysterious bond and a history, and will change the course of each other’s lives, moving forward. And of course, this is just the beginning for this enigmatic and deadly new character. I couldn’t be prouder of both Widows—and of Marvel Comics, for being so supportive of the two of them.
So, yes, while this is technically a Black Widow book, she is mainly a plot device. The book is a pretty standard young adult novel designed to launch the character into her own monthly comics series. It includes most of the tropes of the genre: angst, unresolved anger at a parent/adult, a new mission, a call to duty, a romance, etc, etc... not my cuppa. I've certainly read my fair share of YA books, but I didn't choose this book based on that. I was lead to believe it was a Black Widow book. The two Goodreads 'celebrity' reviews I read for it didn't mention that it wasn't. So, yes, okay, I'm a wee bit bitter that I paid money to buy a prose ebook about the Black Widow and instead, I got a YA adventure/thriller. Is it bad YA? No, certainly not. It's not great either, but it's not bad. I just feel a little cheated, but mostly disappointed in myself for not doing more due diligence (like googling "Red Widow"), and literally not judge a book by its cover. I don't blame the author or turn my nose up at teen superheroes, or YA books.
So, anyway, this is me, just saying that despite the awesome cover and the title, this is not a prose Black Widow book, this is a YA thriller about a new teen superhero connected to the Widow. Now you know. Read it. Skip it. Borrow it. Steal it (no, don't steal it). Whatever, just, now you know what the book actually is, which is more than I did when I bought it. ...more
This was a free Comixology download from Marvel as part of a promotion for their upcoming Jessica Jones Netflix series. It's by the creative2½ stars.
This was a free Comixology download from Marvel as part of a promotion for their upcoming Jessica Jones Netflix series. It's by the creative team from the comics Epix/616 universe version of Ms Jones, but this is the Marvel cinematic universe version of the character. If you feel you have to read it before watching the series, then by all means, it's free (for a limited time) and a quick read. But my recommendation would be to skip it. It adds nothing, and it feels every bit of the contractually obligated cross platform promotion that it very clearly is....more
This is the novelization of DC Comics 52, Vol. 1 by Greg Cox, one of the best and most reliably entertaining professional Media Tie-In writers workingThis is the novelization of DC Comics 52, Vol. 1 by Greg Cox, one of the best and most reliably entertaining professional Media Tie-In writers working. The original comics series, now bundled into several volumes of Trades, was a herculean yearlong series published by DC from May 2006 to May 2007.
The story takes place between the events of Infinite Crisis and the One Year Later story-lines of Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman.
"It was a year without DC's greatest heroes. There would be others to take their place."
While Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman appear occasionally throughout the story, the main focus is on the rest of the DCU as it functions without its iconic heroes, devoting most of its time to second and third string characters, including some who had been all but abandoned at the end of The Silver Age. While plot lines and various characters flow in and out of each other, there are three main plot threads that weave throughout the book. They are (minor spoilers ahead):
Glory-seeking hero from the future, Booster Gold, attempts to become the next big name superhero in the absence of Superman. This completely unravels as newcomer Supernova captures the public's attention. Meanwhile, his robot companion, Skeets begins to suffer from continual temporal distortions, forcing Booster to turn to Rip Hunter (the time traveling hero) for help.
Former GCPD Detective Renee Montoya, vacillating between alcohol and hook-ups to ease the pain over the death of her partner Crispus Allen, is recruited by The Question to investigate the expanding activities of Intergang. Their journey together becomes just as much about saving her from herself as it does the rest of the world from this new Super Crime Syndicate.
The semi-reformed semi-immortal super-villain, Black Adam continues to rule over the nation of Kahndaq where he begins a new war against crime by publicly (and very messily) executing any super criminal that comes within his borders. Things begin to change though as decides to build his own version of Billy Batson's Marvel family. They try to convince him to follow a less bloody path.
If you're familiar with the comics series, you may be disappointed to know that Cox's novelization leaves out some important story-lines. Specifically (again, minor spoilers, though not for this book): Luthor's Everyman Project; the Religion of Crime; the Great Ten; Ralph Digby's revenge quest and eventual decent into alcoholism and madness; the space heroes; Steel and Natasha, and Metal Men creator, Will Magnus. For me, the Digby story was the one that I most missed, and I think the book suffers a little for it, but unless they wanted to cut it into two mammoth door-stops, these cuts had to be made.
Fast-paced, well-written and great characterizations, especially for Montoya. The book is completely stand-alone and beyond knowing the bare bone basics of the DCU, you don't have to have any prior knowledge of the events in the comics in order to enjoy 52....more