I picked this up because of the mention of Stormwatch in another graphic novel I had finished, and partially because Martian Manhunter is in it. I tho...moreI picked this up because of the mention of Stormwatch in another graphic novel I had finished, and partially because Martian Manhunter is in it. I thought it might be an interesting story. I had no previous information about this book going into it, and I feel that newbies might be confused with this first book. It's a reboot of the series, since DC Comics absorbed Wildstorm, and as a result of the New 52, DC Comics-wide reboot.
It's pretty good, but I was left pretty confused about what was going on. The cast is intriguing, and it sort of reminded me of the BBC show Torchwood a little, although it's not exactly like it.
Things I liked:
*I liked the idea of a motley crew hanging out in hyperspace and going on missions to protect the galaxy and more specifically Planet Earth.
*There is a pretty diverse group of folks in the group.
*Since I am a bit of a sucker for swordsmanship, I liked that one of the crew was the Eminence of Blades, pretty much the Master of all Swordmasters.
*For those who like a little bit of GLBT, there is a love at first sight scenario between Apollo and Midnighter.
*Apollo's power of absorbing solar energy and using it to give himself super strength was pretty cool.
*Jack Hawskmoor can essentially communicate with the spirit of all cities. That was kind of neat.
What I Didn't Care For:
*I was confused about what going on. The writing essential drops you in the story in media res, with no background and limited revelation on characters as the story goes along. The sketches at the end told me more about the characters than I learned reading it. I don't think that's a good strategy since the whole New 52 is about introducing new readers to tried and true imprints.
*The layout was awkward and contributed to my feeling of confusion about what was going on. The artwork didn't speak to my soul very much. It wasn't bad, with the colors being bright and appealing, but not really that impressive. As a side note, I couldn't tell if Midnighter was supposed to be black and that Jenny Quantum was Asian.
**As an aside, I looked this up on New 52 and I think they took a pretty different direction with the story from what it was in the Wildside comics. It seems much less edgy that it once was. That's neither here nor there.
Overall, this was okay. Not bad, but not that impressive. I might pick up later volumes, but it's not a huge priority at this point. (less)
I liked this one better than the first. I don't know if it's because it gives us some background on Alec and in particular how his fate became entangl...moreI liked this one better than the first. I don't know if it's because it gives us some background on Alec and in particular how his fate became entangled with Abigail. The battle between the Green and the Rot feels epic. In this book, we see that the battle also involves the other vital force, the Red, which is the animal primal nature.
I really like the concept of plantlife being powerful and sentient. I think it's because I love plants and I am a keen gardener. I feel like that part of me that loves plants connects to Alec as a hero. And the part of me that is a healer instinctively rejects the Rot. I like that Abigail's fate isn't predetermined. That Alec fights for her and she fights against it herself. I feel that bad her brother had chosen the darker path.
This series is definitely more horror than anything else. Lots of disturbing imagery, but the artwork is in its own way very beautiful. I think this one has earned four stars from me. I will keep reading!(less)
This is my least favorite out of the Daredevil Visionaries volumes. I think the storylines were less compelling and didn't make up for the dated natur...moreThis is my least favorite out of the Daredevil Visionaries volumes. I think the storylines were less compelling and didn't make up for the dated nature of the artwork. Also, there wasn't nearly enough Elektra in it for me. I don't like Heather Glenn as Matt's girlfriend. I think that it's a misalliance. Plus, the villains were pretty campy in my opinion. "Guts" was a lot of fun. Foggy Nelson, Matt's law partner, goes off on his own adventure to investigate arms dealing for Heather, and gets a reputation as a formidable assassin. Daredevil goes along as his invisible backup and does all the butt-kicking dirty work for him. I was sad when it ended. I also liked Matt's what if Elektra hadn't died. The story about Matt as as SHIELD agent wasn't as successful. Oh, and I liked how the Punisher shows up. They are good contrasting characters, and in some ways mirror each other, although make different choices for the 'good.' Although I find Matt a very likable, sympathetic lead, part of me really respects the Punisher's ethos. I think when I'm upset with all the injustice and cruelty in the world, having a cypher like the Punisher is good catharsis for me. In general, I think I am generally more aligned with Daredevil's ethos, but sometimes, The Punisher gets the thumbs up from me.
I did like that I was able to catch up on Daredevil's story. Now I'm glad that I can read some newer comics about Daredevil and Elektra and get some more updated artwork and storylines. I don't doubt the influence that Frank Miller and his coworkers have had on this character, and I am grateful for these older books in the series. I'm glad I was able to read these from the library.(less)
I became acquainted with the "Under the Red Hood" storyline via the animated movie, and it is definitely a very dark part of the Batman history. I hav...moreI became acquainted with the "Under the Red Hood" storyline via the animated movie, and it is definitely a very dark part of the Batman history. I have recently embarked on exploring the Batman graphic novels, and decided to give this one a swing. This was very good.
This serves as a bit of a prequel to when the Red Hood enters the Gotham scene. It's not about Batman. It's about Jason Todd, who was found in the ruins of the warehouse that the Joker brought down on his head after beating and torturing him nearly to death. Initially, Jason is catatonic, but Talia Al'Ghul sees him as a pawn in destroying Batman and mentors him into the dangerous and murderous vigilante/assassin he becomes. He learns everything that Batman doesn't teach him about the darker Arts of War, with the goal of getting revenge on Joker (and peripherally Batman). In the process, he realizes that deep down, he still believes in fighting for good, but is willing to use extreme methods to deal with evil that Batman would never countenance.
This feels like a credible action/suspense story. Jason goes deep into the darkest pits of corruption and criminality, learns the skills he needs for his ultimate quest, and finds he can't turn a blind eye when innocents are harmed, or the tutors that Talia acquires for him turn out to be reprehensible in their habits. He also realizes that not all the means are justified for a desired end. Jason has a phenomenal brain and the incredible acrobatic and martial arts skills that demonstrate very clearly why he was Batman's Robin. Ultimately, I don't see that he has departed to far from the path that Batman sent him down. Maybe he is lost, but I think he will find his way. I need to read Batman: Under the Red Hood soon!
This volume doesn't feel as cohesive as previous volumes (and I'm not merely speaking of the variety of stories). The Jonah Hex narrative doesn't seem...moreThis volume doesn't feel as cohesive as previous volumes (and I'm not merely speaking of the variety of stories). The Jonah Hex narrative doesn't seem to go as well together, although I do appreciate getting Hex's backstory. I can see why he's so grumpy. However, I still liked this a lot. Tons of rip-roaring action, and it has a nice Gothic twist as a certain Mr. Hyde arrives in Gotham to wreak havoc. There's even a nice shoutout to Jane Eyre that made this fan smile. I have a feeling the writer had a lot of fun with these stories, although they are really quite dark, moreso than previous volumes, in my opinion. As usual, I really enjoy the artwork in this series. It's interesting how the male faces tend towards rugged to sometimes ugly, but the females look like dolls. Not an insult. I like the way the artist draws women. They look very pretty, even Tallulah Black, with all her facial scars and eyepatch. (since my interest is drawing/painting women, that stands out for me). The historical fiction story about the Native American freedom fighter, Tomahawk made me sad. One of the darker moments of American history (along with slavery and centuries of institutionalized racism against black Americans), and one that we need to be reminded of, although it's never pleasant to consider the systematic extermination of the Native peoples. Tomahawk is an angry man, and I can see why he's angry. While it was well-written, its inclusion doesn't fit the rest of the book very well at all.
This series never fails to appeal to the western action lover in me!(less)
I don't have a frame of reference for this book, since all I know about it is the really cheesy movie that came out many moons ago with Adrienne Barbe...moreI don't have a frame of reference for this book, since all I know about it is the really cheesy movie that came out many moons ago with Adrienne Barbeau. I did read an older Hellblazer, where Swamp Thing pops in at the end, but that's about it. Overall, this was pretty good, but the subject matter is pretty icky. I did like the concept of nature being sort of neutral when it comes to good and evil. While Alec has always felt an affinity towards plants, he doesn't look at the green kingdom as a soft, fluffy, harmless place. Instead, he is aware that plants can be in their own way predatory and vicious. It's an interesting thought, and I see the truth in it. Case in point, a Clover vine that almost smothered my Crepe Myrtle bush and caused it to be susceptible to fungus that nearly killed it. That vine might seem harmless, but it certainly wasn't. Let's not even talk about Kudzu. Anyway, I digress. In this storyline, nature is a balance between the Red and the Green. The Red is animal life and the Green is plant life. And then there is the Rot. The dark spirit of decay and destruction. Now that is a creepy idea. The fact that those who have this power (of the Rot) can find the tiny spot of necrosis in you and cause it to overtake and destroy your body, turn you into this horrible, shambling zombie who spreads this corruption. And the only thing that stands between the Rot taking over and destroying life is the champion picked by the Parliament of Trees. Too bad Alec Holland is a reluctant hero.
I liked the Romeo and Juliet type feel between Alec and Abigail, since they are seemingly on different sides. It appeals to the romantic in me. What turned me off was the ick factor with the Rot. This book has some very disturbing imagery. I think it's the healer and lover of life in me. I am repulsed by the idea of decay and rot, so this book hit me where I love. This is a visceral read. The imagery jumping off the page at you. the ending is a huge cliffhanger, so you pretty much have to keep reading it. I'll definitely follow the series, but not in a row. I need a breather.
It's a good read, but some scenes are not fun reading, so I'd give it a 3.5/5.0 stars.(less)
I love this series like crazy. Rucka brings it. He shows all the angles on the Punisher and his partner, Rachel Cole-Alves. How they don't lack morali...moreI love this series like crazy. Rucka brings it. He shows all the angles on the Punisher and his partner, Rachel Cole-Alves. How they don't lack morality, but have an extreme sort of ethos that drives them to do what they do and not to be swayed by anything.
The heat is on as the Avengers are put on the trail of the Punisher. They all demonstrate varying levels of being conflicted about taking him down. Some feel that what he does is absolutely valid, and others feel that his murdering is no better than other criminals.
This story arc makes me think about vigilantism and why people feel warranted to take the law in their hands. I won't go into my own thoughts, but I will say that Rucka makes me support Castle and Cole-Alves and their endeavors, and I am firmly on their side. I think that that's good storytelling where you can become a part of the character's story and process what they are doing and going through.
As always, the artwork is beautiful. The artist's ability to capture expression and action effortlessly is impressive.
I hope to see more Punisher stories by Rucka in the future.