Here we are... The last volume (chronologically, in terms of publication date) of Frank Miller's Batman stories to date.
What started out as a decentHere we are... The last volume (chronologically, in terms of publication date) of Frank Miller's Batman stories to date.
What started out as a decent mythos, with Miller's "Batman: Year One" and "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns", went sharply downhill with "Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again". Then we have this one, which wasn't AS awful, but didn't really improve Miller's Bat-books by leaps and bounds.
This volume takes place (chronologically, storywise) right after "Batman: Year One" (so I've read). It's even been referred to by some as "Batman: Year 1.5".
This book is violence. This book is sex. It seems like every character we come across is either looking to beat someone within an inch of their lives, outright kill them, or, on the other end of the spectrum, (excuse my frankness) fuck them. Sometimes both.
This Batman is cold. This Batman is mean. This Batman is almost outright insane. This has been explored in many other stories, but this Batman has nearly no redeeming qualities to go along with the madness.
The only redeeming quality of the book itself is that it features stunning art by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair. This art (and all Jim Lee's art) has always been the pinnacle of mainstream superhero comic book. Maybe blame it on my youth and getting into my very first comics when Lee was doing pencils on Uncanny X-Men, if you don't agree... but in my opinion, the art's fantastic.
While this one wasn't awful, I might only recommend it to huge Batman fanatics, die-hard fans of Frank Miller's work, or people who dig Jim Lee as much as I do (just to see the art). This is also, as I had mentioned, the last chapter (to date) of Miller's Bat-books, so an essential read if you're a completist, like me....more
This is yet another one I've read for my own little personal celebration of the 75th anniversary of Superman and also another that folks had voted asThis is yet another one I've read for my own little personal celebration of the 75th anniversary of Superman and also another that folks had voted as one of the best Superman stories of all time.
While I don't know if I, myself, would include it on that list, this is a pretty solid tale and a fun story to read. It's got plenty of guest appearances, plenty of action, and it really illustrates the friendship between Batman and Superman very well, touching on secrets they know about each other, how they view one another, and why they respect each other, despite being seeming polar opposites on some things.
These issues were the first story arc of a now discontinued comics series that started in 2003 and I think this was a great first outing for that series.
Despite being a bit cartoony and the fact that it's not going to be for everyone, I really enjoy Ed McGuinness' art. My opinion is no different here, as he, Dexter Vines, and all involved knocked this one out of the park art-wise.
This would be a great read for fans of either Superman or Batman or any interested in the interaction and great friendship these two seem to forge in ANY iteration of the DC Comics Universe....more
Just a young college student her way home for the summer. Her father picks her up, they'll stop by and see an aunt and an old friend, sBrenda Morris.
Just a young college student her way home for the summer. Her father picks her up, they'll stop by and see an aunt and an old friend, summer will be painfully normal and relaxed, right?
Wrong. For the same day that her father picks her up from school, Brenda learns that her father is a practitioner of magic facilitated by the game of mahjong and the Chinese zodiac...
As many, I think everyone who I've seen write a review for this book has said, the working of the magic and the concepts therein are absolutely fascinating. The battles are exciting, teaching those of us who tend to be astonished by the arcane all sorts of things about the magic contained in the book.
I enjoyed the book, it was a pretty solid read, but if I could have changed anything, it would have been the amount of time that the characters just sit discussing mahjong, the magic, etc. This is definitely a case, for me, of "a little less conversation, a little more action".
That said the last fifty or so pages are a brilliant set up for the sequel and this book has intrigued me enough to the point that I'm off to go grab it in about five minutes.
I'd recommend this to any fans of strong female leads, those interested in astrology, or fans of what I would call urban fantasy.
Another one that I think I might have read a while back as single issues, but am now reading as part of a list of supposed best SupermanHere we go...
Another one that I think I might have read a while back as single issues, but am now reading as part of a list of supposed best Superman stories ever done.
This one is a sequel to the now classic 1980s story "Crisis On Infinite Earths". I have never read "Crisis On Infinite Earths" and intentionally DID NOT read it before reading THIS book this time around just to see how it would stand on its own.
The premise is that there are characters who are sort of other versions of some of those DC Comics characters who are familiar to us and they are from a different Earth, a "parallel universe", if you will. These characters need to save THEIR Earth, but what will that cost this one?
I'm really enamoured by the whole concept of this one. I mean, all sorts of different Earths, with all sorts of events that played out differently, different couples got together, some different heroes died in different ways or lived on another Earth, where they died in this one, superhero offspring, on and on and on. The possibilities are endless.
I do think this story may have been a bit reliant on "Crisis On Infinite Earths", though and it feels like something (although not a very big something) may have been missed by not reading that original Crisis first.
Still, the story is multi-faceted, enjoyable, and fun on its own, with enough of a story that is cohesive enough to at least enjoy with just reading this one volume.
I thought the art was stellar. I love Phil Jimenez' pencils (I always have) and some of the covers (some are variant covers) by Jim Lee, George Pérez, and others are brilliant. NO COMPLAINTS on the art.
In a parting note: I would not have been reading this one now if comic book fans had not voted it one of the best Superman stories on a rather noted comics website recently. I don't think I share their opinion that it is one of the greatest. A decent story, but not an essential Superman chapter.
*- I read this book as single issues #1-7 of Infinite Crisis....more
Except is really isn't a Superman story... Or is it?
It begins by introducing us to a young boy living in KaThis one's a really great Superman story.
Except is really isn't a Superman story... Or is it?
It begins by introducing us to a young boy living in Kansas who is named Clark Kent. His family thinks it's hilarious and buys him every piece of Superman paraphernalia they can find. Classmates mock him and his name, throwing taunts at him.
This Clark Kent isn't really Superman, except for one day... He is. Young Clark Kent, who is based in our "real world", finds himself with Superman-like powers one day all of a sudden.
The narrative in this one is excellent. A lot of the book is just Clark Kent's narration, giving us heartfelt confessions and emotion as he goes through different stages of his life. Such a passionate and beautiful narrative, I've not read in a while.
The art by Stuart Immonen was also a magnificent thing of beauty. From capturing the four-color antiquity of yesteryear to showing us masterful execution of a facial expression at the perfect time. Immonen nailed this one. Absolutely wonderful art.
So... while this isn't a "canonical" Superman story, per se, it's a magnificent one that I'd probably recommend to just about anyone....more
This one was my first 1000+ page book in years. Maybe the first since reading another Stephen King monster: "The Stand".
This one is a bit similar toThis one was my first 1000+ page book in years. Maybe the first since reading another Stephen King monster: "The Stand".
This one is a bit similar to "The Stand". It's massive in page count and features a large cast of characters up against a big, looming problem. In "The Stand", it's a super flu. In this one, the small town of Chester's Mill, Maine is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by a large dome, an invisible force field of a thing that you can't even see or really detect in any way, for that matter, until you would be touching it. It is utterly impenetrable and unrelenting. What can I say? I'm really not surprised that this book was a stellar work. A massive, richly casted work by King: not a shocker that I put away the huge tome in a matter of 12 days. It was really hard to put down.
It was a great work that gave us protagonists to root for, baddies to hate, and a multitude of points to ponder. It was amazing how this little cross-section of society, cut off from the rest of humanity, could exhibit maybe the best and the worst in all of the history of human behaviors just by being isolated for about a week or so. Fascinatingly intelligent writing...
I'd recommend this to fans of King, those new to his work, anyone wanting to prep for the upcoming TV series based on the book, or those simply wanting a nice, long, satisfying read. Good stuff....more
I started out really not wanting to read this book, but being reminded by constant TV commercials that the film adaptation of the book was coming, I gI started out really not wanting to read this book, but being reminded by constant TV commercials that the film adaptation of the book was coming, I gave it another whirl. I had put it down the first time I'd tried to read it.
Well... By about the time I was halfway through, it was very readable and I found myself going back at every opportunity to read a bit of it.
Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have won last year's Hunger Games, a cruel survival exercise imposed by a tyrannical government, where twelve districts each send two people to fight to their deaths. This is the first time where TWO people have won this brutal battle... and that's where we pretty much pick up at the beginning of this book.
What will happen? Will the people finally rebel? Will Katniss' family be tortured or killed if she doesn't comply with the government's plan?
This one was overall a decent story, I guess. It seemed rushed at times to me, but it was entirely readable. I remember really enjoying the first book a lot, and while I don't think I enjoyed this one as much, it's still a good solid read....more
OK, so if I could go, like, 3.5 stars here on Goodreads, that's probably what I would have done. Now, then...
The Hunger Games...
When a book or seriesOK, so if I could go, like, 3.5 stars here on Goodreads, that's probably what I would have done. Now, then...
The Hunger Games...
When a book or series of books causes this much of a fuss, in recent years, I've been inclined to go out and snatch it up to see what all that fuss is about.
I've gotta be honest, it didn't hook me at first. A world where the government is so powerful as to make folks send their children to fight to the death, but not so powerful as to stop a young girl and her hunting companion from illegally killing game for food that they really weren't supposed to have? That and the fact that we didn't know what year this was taking place in really got to me. (Not really sure why the year thing bothered me so much...)
But then I forgot all that and read with joy as I took in pages that were filled with a post-apocalyptic landscape and plenty of survivalist stuff (two of my favorite things).
It did become hard to put down. When reading through the thick of the book, I often sat for long periods of time, devouring chapter after chapter. It's a good solid read and I did really end up enjoying it.
Recommended for fans of sci-fi, post apocalyptic and survivalist tales, and strong female leads. ...more
I hate when people, knowing that I spend over half of almost every day with my nose in a book say, "Here! This book is amazing! Read it!"
It throws meI hate when people, knowing that I spend over half of almost every day with my nose in a book say, "Here! This book is amazing! Read it!"
It throws me off. Being OCD about my reading, I've usually got about the next 10 books planned that I'm going to read, but not wanting to be rude, I often take these thrusted-upon-me books and give them a go.
This is what happened with "The Last Lecture", a book about a fellow who had terminal cancer, knew he was dying, was going to give his last lecture (as a college professor) and write this book as his memoir and as something to leave for his young kids and wife... and being polite paid off.
The book has events from Randy Pausch's (aforementioned terminally ill fellow and author) life. It has trials he went through, battles he faced (both with the cancer and otherwise), victories, defeats, life lessons he wants to leave behind, humor, and everything in between.
I really didn't think I was going to like this one, but I laughed a lot, maybe shed a tear or two, and learned a thing or two from Mr. Pausch's gift that he's left for all of us.
I really think you can take something away from this book no matter who you are, nad maybe especially if you're feeling a bit defeated.
Maybe give it a go the next time you need a nice, quick, humorous, inspiring read authored by someone who seems like he was a heck of a guy.