It's not as predictable as one would think, putting The Punisher and Wolverine together. They are actually very different. One is methodical and rigid
It's not as predictable as one would think, putting The Punisher and Wolverine together. They are actually very different. One is methodical and rigid in his application of violence. The other is very emotional in his application of violence, and not quite as dogmatic about the application of justice and judging others.
This book has a very pulpy feel to it. That's not necessarily bad, since we are dealing with hardened criminals (and some not-so hardened, but shady all the same).
I don't like this incarnation of the Punisher as much as the Rucka variation, but he is true to his character. Wolverine is always Wolverine, and you like him for who he is (good and bad). However, their dialogue between them gets hilarious, and the laconic dialogue about crime and punishment is descriptive of their individual paths and how they intersect in this book.
I liked the different point of views of the various criminals, more of a spectrum than you would think.
I didn't love the artwork, honestly. It was a bit blocky for me. This Wolverine is pretty homely, and the Punisher looks like a Mack Truck.
Not my favorite, but pretty good. A nice team-up comic....more
This series is definitely for fans of Gothic vampire stories. Andrew is the reluctant monster, a morally good vampire fighting the dark aspect of hisThis series is definitely for fans of Gothic vampire stories. Andrew is the reluctant monster, a morally good vampire fighting the dark aspect of his nature and using the power it gives him to do good. There is no question of his power and his determination, and the force of his love. Yet, his fatal flaw is his love for Mary, self-titled the Queen of Blood. She embraces all the darkness that becoming a vampire has created in her, and wants her vampire species to rise up and decimate humanity, while Andrew wants to protect them. Andrew travels in her wake, seeing to derail Mary's plans. Along the way, he gains allies in his fight against the bloody vampire uprising.
I enjoyed this book a lot. The artwork is dark and not very colorful, other than the red tones of blood. I think the art is a bit murky for my tastes, but I understand that author wanted to add to the dark, Gothic feel of the storyline. One real advantage of this art is it captures motions so effortlessly. The writing is excellent, and I appreciate the shifting POVs between Andrew, Mary, and other pivotal character.
While I wouldn't exactly call this scary, it definitely has sense of suspense and thrills to the storyline. The ending is quite a cliffhanger that makes the reader want to run for the next volume. I'll definitely keep following this series....more
I found this one a little darker and edgier, but still too much talking. I am just about ready to give up on this series, but recently someone talkedI found this one a little darker and edgier, but still too much talking. I am just about ready to give up on this series, but recently someone talked me into giving the next books a try....more
I confess that I started reading this series out of order. I can't say if that affected my rating. I will say I was disappointed with this first readI confess that I started reading this series out of order. I can't say if that affected my rating. I will say I was disappointed with this first read of Constantine in the graphic novel format. I have read a novel with him Hellblazer: War Lord, and I liked that more.
In all honestly, I am completely square when it comes to free love sex, drugs, and alternative religions. None of that are things I would choose for my life. Yes, that's an obstacle with this book, because they play a big part in this story. However, I believe all humans are equally worthwhile, and I care about the connection you form with a character, even if I don't necessarily agree with their choices.
John Constantine is on the run, implicated in a series of brutal murder with occult elements (when he actually saved the world in that situation and didn't kill those people). He runs into a group of earth-religion practitioners and bonds with a strange young girl with precognitive abilties named Mercury. Her mother Marj, is the poster child for an aging flower child/hippie chick. Her friends are all good-hearted, kind people who have a penchant for psychedelic drugs, earth spirituality, and living off the land. They generously take in Constantine, and he bonds with them. Constantine has led a rough, cynical life, but I get the impression that he is a kind person at heart, and goes out of his way not to harm others. When Mercury is kidnapped, he vows to get her back, even though it takes him back into the eye of the dark, occult storm he is trying to escape.
My biggest issue with this story was the graphic violence and the horrible murders that took place. I admit I am sensitive to that kind of thing. Ritual murders and stuff, and pretty much any kind of heinous murder or violence like that disturb me. This was all done by the bad guys, of course. So it's perfectly warranted to dislike them. ( I wish they had gotten more comeuppance in the end.) The Fear Machine concept was interesting, but stomach-turning. I think fundamentally, I hate when people's fears and weaknesses are manipulated, and I certainly hate innocent people getting harmed for whatever reason. Also, some aspects were confusing and didn't translate in the visual medium well. I had some question marks, even when I finished this book.
Constantine himself, is a likable character, what I'd consider an amiable rogue (and I do have a weakness for them and antiheroes). I think ultimately he does save the day, but I wish he had done so a little sooner, and the methods he used were kind of questionable and didn't make a lot of sense to me. I love the graphic novel format, but I feel that prose would have worked better for this storyline, and I might have liked this more.
Will I keep reading this series? Yeah. I really like occult detective stories. And while I didn't like some aspects of this particular volume, I am hoping that I will find other storylines that appeal to me more than this one did. Your mileage may vary....more
This was a fantastic book. I read it because my sister raved about it. She was right. Never thought I'd think of a Nazi guy as a hero. But, Koontz manThis was a fantastic book. I read it because my sister raved about it. She was right. Never thought I'd think of a Nazi guy as a hero. But, Koontz managed to get me to feel sympathetic towards a Nazi, of all things. Loved the concept of time-travel and the romantic element. My second favorite Koontz book....more
Wow, I am tempted to give this five stars because I felt like Brubaker/Phillips have done something so outstanding and distinctive here. I think thatWow, I am tempted to give this five stars because I felt like Brubaker/Phillips have done something so outstanding and distinctive here. I think that for superhero/villain fiction lovers, you don't really get tired of the genre, but at the same time, you want something different. Seeing these concepts through a distinctive lens is vital and refreshing. That's definitely what Brubaker/Phillips are doing with this series. I'm not a huge fan of crime fiction, but there is something appetizing about seeing the viewpoint of a supervillain who essentially parted ways with his old life and has forged a new one, not exactly certain about who he is meant to be. However, he realizes he doesn’t want to be the man he used to be. He’s not comfortable in that skin at all anymore. He looks back at things and sees the horror evident on a daily basis in his past life, things that wouldn’t have bothered him in the least or pricked his moral compass. He’s developed a conscience and he cannot go back to being immured to the ugly deeds of his cohorts, which he finds out the hard way when asked to go undercover and retrieve an SOS operative who went native.
But Zack faces the dilemma that I imagine many reformed criminals face. He isn’t allowed the clean slate he would hope for. People don’t give him a chance to be the new person, but the old cronies don’t want him back either.
This graphic novel is really deep beneath all the obvious violent and off color content. It’s a character story wrapped in a fast-paced, superhero action-thriller. Zack still isn’t the nicest guy, but there is something very sympathetic about him in his journey from villain to would-be antihero.
I had a horrible shock of realizing that there is no third volume in publication. I heartily hope that it’s in the works because I need to know there is more and things don’t end the way this volume ended. Zack’s journey is far from over, and this reader is not ready to disengage just yet.
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars.
PS. If they make a movie, Jeremy Renner should play Zack. ...more
I can see how this book might appeal to some readers, but it didn't really work for me. It took a while for me to get into the story (granted, I wasn'I can see how this book might appeal to some readers, but it didn't really work for me. It took a while for me to get into the story (granted, I wasn't able to read the first two books). The storyline was too gritty, and the main leads were downright unpalatable more times than not. Also, the plotting wasn't as tight as this concept needed. I admit the ending had some good suspense.
This was an interesting and enjoyable read. Vincent is an intriguing hero who thinks he feels nothing, but clearly has never gotten over his childhoodThis was an interesting and enjoyable read. Vincent is an intriguing hero who thinks he feels nothing, but clearly has never gotten over his childhood of emotional neglect. He does some pretty bad things because he is exacting revenge for his brother's suicide. However, he does have a turnaround and truly does repent as his love for Larissa changes his heart and melts the layer of ice that encloses the little-used member. It's a very good Christmas read that captures the elements of A Christmas Carol but also gives them a romantic aspect missing from the famous and well-loved Dickens tale. There is no magic here, well, other than the magic of love transforming a heart. Larissa is way too sweet, at least until her heart is broken. But even then, she manages to find the way to forgive Vincent, with a little help from her father. A good read to get you in the mood for Christmas....more
I'm not sure I can say I like this. The subject matter is quite unpalatable, really. I do have this attraction to occult detective stories, and that'sI'm not sure I can say I like this. The subject matter is quite unpalatable, really. I do have this attraction to occult detective stories, and that's Hellblazer in a nutshell. Constantine is not what I'd call a good man. His compass is flawed, but in his own way, he does try to make things right or do the right thing, even if it's for selfish reasons. He considers himself neutral in the good versus evil war. However, his acts more often than not add to the good side of things. If not, I probably would write him off. The tragic thing about Constantine is that he has left a trail of destruction in his wake, people whose lives were destroyed or taken due in part to a connection to him. I think that this weighs on Constantine, but it doesn't seem to motivate him to change his crooked ways. I did like how he manages to manipulate demons who think they have the upper hand. I wouldn't ever recommend making deals with demons, mind you, but it's amusing that Constantine does and always pulls a fast one over them.
The artwork is vivid, but it doesn't really appeal to me (a lot of yucky imagery), although I like Constantine's looks. Sometimes he looks like Billy Idol, sometimes more like a young Sting. I can see how inspired Joss Whedon was in his crafting of Spike and Giles' characters. Spike has Constantine's punk, don't care leanings, and his use of British insults. Giles' youthful peccadilloes seem very much like Constantine's youthful dabblings in the occult.
I'll keep reading this series, but I think this is one I will have to take regular breaks in between. However, I'm enjoying getting Constantine's background, especially since I am loving Justice League Dark, and since NBC is having a Constatine series starting up this fall....more
This was my favorite in the Valorian Chronicles series, probably because I thought that Lyra and Theron had a close connection that drove the book. IThis was my favorite in the Valorian Chronicles series, probably because I thought that Lyra and Theron had a close connection that drove the book. I have found that these Nocturnes are just too short. There is not enough room to get anything accomplished, so the storyline can be a bit rushed. I didn't find it quite as noticable in this book, but I do feel like it could have delved deeper if the book could have been about 75-100 pages longer. But for a shorter book, it was very good. I like antiheroes, so Theron appealed to me. He had a dark side, a history of casting black magic spells that backfired on him. To be honest, it could have been worse, but for Lyra, who was a white witch, that could have kept them apart. Fortunately, Lyra went with her heart and believed in Theron despite the obvious fact that he was hiding part of himself from her. Lyra is an appealing protagonist. She's nice, intelligent, but is certainly no plaster saint. I liked her dialogue with her deceased grandmother who hovers over her as a spirit, and gives Lyra guidance whether Lyra wants it or not. It was also nice to revisit the CSU team, and catch up with Caine and Eve and Jace and Tala, from the first two books. Again, this was a good book and I enjoyed it. I just wish that it was longer and more in depth....more
This was more creepy than Baltimore: The Plague Ships, and that's saying something. Baltimore is still on the hunt for his one-eyed, scarred vampire nThis was more creepy than Baltimore: The Plague Ships, and that's saying something. Baltimore is still on the hunt for his one-eyed, scarred vampire nemesis, but he comes across a cult of demented nuns who follow an occultist bent on rebirthing a powerful sorceress.
I think this series is for readers who loved the Monster of the Week type programs such as Night Gallery or Thriller, or even episodic television like The Incredible Hulk where our lone hero conquers a different situation each week. I could see this as a good television adaptation in the right hands.
The artwork is as beautiful as The Plague Ships, and the writing just as atmospheric. Although this was more scary. It delves deeper into the themes of diabolism and occult dealings with dark entities, and this town that Baltimore goes to is full of a sense of wrongness, death and murky secrets. I did read this at night and I didn't have nightmares, but that was because I read something else before I went to sleep.
Baltimore has to balance his selfish need for revenge against the greater good, and he teams up with an American journalist who is writing a book about vampires after discovering they were real in the Great War. I thought the reporter looked a lot like Edgar Allen Poe, and I wouldn't be surprised if that was a deliberate choice of the creators of this graphic novel. Part of the narrative even includes as passage from "The Bells" by Poe.
I think this was just as good as The Plague Ships if not better, but it's more disturbing and disarming than that prior book in the series. I know that's because it focuses on occultism, black magic, and people who trade the lives of others for ultimate power. Those subjects are inherently more affecting to me than, say zombies and vampires.
Baltimore is a very effective dark hero with an antiheroic bent. He is the dark hero that fights against the darkness, and strives to recover his own lost soul in the process. Those kinds of heroes always get me.
Four stars is well-earned for this book. It did take a while to read, but it was a good mix of action and character development that I enjoyed readingFour stars is well-earned for this book. It did take a while to read, but it was a good mix of action and character development that I enjoyed reading. I love the game of chess played out by General Drakon and President Iceni. I definitely want to continue this series!