This book intrigued me with its fusion of manga formatting and structure, its X-Men roots and reimagining, and story following Kitty Pryde as the newThis book intrigued me with its fusion of manga formatting and structure, its X-Men roots and reimagining, and story following Kitty Pryde as the new girl at school. I liked the idea of an X-Men story following Kitty Pryde as the misfit fish-out-of-water struggling to find her place in a school of misfits—the ideal waters for a mutant teenager to fit in and find their limits in a relatively safe, supportive environment. I hoped that crossing this kind of coming-of-age story X-Men comics do so well, with a high school manga artistic style and setting, would be as amazing as its potential.
I was disappointed.
While harem stories aren't my favorite in manga or anime, when done well the reader (or viewer) gets to know every character well not just as their trope, but as an individual with depths beyond their general role within the harem.
Moreover, while the harem's object of interest is not always the most compelling character, she (or he) is far from a wallflower, and being in over her head with said harem doesn't mean she won't fight tooth and nail to be heard and respected as her own person where it counts.
But this Kitty was a timid observer in her own life: easily led and swept off by the "popular" boys club, and caged by her boyfriend's emotionally abusive and isolating behaviors. I didn't believe in her as a character, much less as Kitty Pryde.
Her manga-esque emotional roller-coaster moments were only moments, specifically used for chibified "aside" art jokes, and her justifiable anger and frustration at many points were over along with the chibi panel displaying them.
The Hellfire club members were barely distinguishable from one another in personality and artistic rendering beyond clothing and hair. Bishounen were everywhere, but little was done to distinguish them.
To me, this was an excellent mashup idea with poor execution.
Two volumes aren't nearly enough to explore that potential to the extent that I think is needed. That only two were planned, and the series was cancelled after this first volume, makes sense to me. There was no room for the manga to find its feet—or itself, or its place, if you will—as a unique fusion of Marvel's X-Men universe and shoujo manga story. It wasn't solid enough on either fronts, so their union fell through too....more
I read this because the movie was fun, and I wanted to see how it differed from the comic. (Answer: the movie was better, and had little in common witI read this because the movie was fun, and I wanted to see how it differed from the comic. (Answer: the movie was better, and had little in common with this book.)
2/5 stars: This comic book was okay. Its comparison of the aliens invading Earth and the Americans invading Native American lands was entirely lacking in subtlety. This parallel was pushed to the reader's attention repeatedly through imagery and layout; the phrase "filthy savages"; the claiming of land already occupied; a rant by a cowboy about the injustice of aliens pushing them all off their land (Earth) through use of superior firepower--a rant he abruptly ceases when he realizes he's speaking to a group of Native Americans who clearly see the irony; and, at the end, the tacked-on romances of two "savages" and two "exotic" settlers (Native American Man/White Woman, White Man/Alien Woman). The parallel between natives and settlers was handled to great effect in the prologue, but after that point I think the story suffered for it.
Finally, while the twist ending helped explain the alien ship's initial crash, it added a level of intrigue unsupported by the rest of the story, and cast unresolved doubt on all previous actions of one of the main characters.
I wanted to like this comic more, but despite a great prologue, the rest of the story didn't live up to that initial, epic promise. Still, "cowboys and aliens" is an interesting premise, and I hope people continue to play with it....more
Blood Work is a fun graphic novel and a fast read. I was immediately intrigued by Harrison's use of vampires, witches, and the social dynamics of paraBlood Work is a fun graphic novel and a fast read. I was immediately intrigued by Harrison's use of vampires, witches, and the social dynamics of paranormal societies as they police their own and try to integrate peacefully (well...) with the mundanes.
Although this graphic novel didn't conclude every mystery it raised, it's the first of a series, and also acts as a prequel to Harrison's series of novels about the same characters.
Having caught a glimpse into Rachel Morgan and Ivy Tamwood's investigative partnership, I'm greatly looking forward to reading Harrison's novels about the two. Because while the world intrigues me, I'm fascinated by Rachel and Ivy: their well-rounded, determined personalities; their (sometimes grudging) respect for one another and evolving relationship; and the ways Harrison shows each to be strong without sacrificing character for stereotype....more