I've been reading this ongoing webcomic since it's first day in 2012, and it's only gotten better over the years. Though I'm sad it will be coming to...moreI've been reading this ongoing webcomic since it's first day in 2012, and it's only gotten better over the years. Though I'm sad it will be coming to an end eventually, I personally prefer completed story arcs to never-ending adventures, so in the end, I think it's a good thing. And the fact that all the comics will be compiled into a published book is the icing on this delicious cake.
I definitely liked this book in the series better than first. It's possible I've just gotten to know the characters more and care about them, or maybe...moreI definitely liked this book in the series better than first. It's possible I've just gotten to know the characters more and care about them, or maybe I read this one faster and was engaged more, or maybe it just had more action and less sit-around-and-wait mystery. Actually, it's probably that last one.
There's still a lot that is confusing. Although we've learned more about Thomas before he entered the maze, and we know how important he is to the creators (who we now know aren't even the original creators, but ones trained by Thomas and friends), there is still a lot we don't know.
There are so many things I don't understand. Why was it so important that Thomas feel betrayed by Teresa? What could that have possibly done that would change anything? How were she and Aris so convincing, too?
Also, Brenda. Was she really just a rando they happened to run into in the City, or was she planted by WICKED? Did she really talk into Thomas' mind, or was that part if his dream? The guy on the Berg seemed to be surprised to see her and Jorge, but we've learned that things aren't always what they seem, and you can't trust anything.
The problem with this is that it leaves us as readers hanging in limbo. Usually you can at leave trust your narrator to reliably tell his experience, but even Thomas' perspective is suspect, when there is so much he doesn't remember or understand. Add to that he has no idea who to trust, and you have us completely confused and lost.
The only conclusion I've come to is this: Thomas is important. They wouldn't have saved his life of he wasn't, and he wouldn't have been separated from the rest of the group at the end if he wasn't.
Now, in the last book, it's time for all the questions to be answered. How exactly is the world ending? How can any of these kids possible help? What was the point of the trials? Why were they necessary? How was Thomas involved or responsible? (hide spoiler)]
Now that the final book is here, I expect answers. Right now, the only person I love and trust and care about is Minho, because that guy has proven time and time again that he is brave, bold, and doesn't take crap from anyone. It's time for the rest of characters, including Thomas, to prove that they are worth my time and emotions.
And if they kill off Minho, or he ends up being a traitorous jerk, I'm going to be pissed. PISSED.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm sad this story is over, if only because it didn't exactly end the way I wanted it to. It's not like I expect all sunshine and roses and happily ev...moreI'm sad this story is over, if only because it didn't exactly end the way I wanted it to. It's not like I expect all sunshine and roses and happily ever afters, where bluebirds sing and rainbows poor out of buckets of gold. I only ask for at least a satisfying reason why people were doing the things they do. But maybe the point is, not everyone always has a good reason for being a jerk, or for loving who they love, or for murdering hundreds and thousands of people.
In case you've read this series and are curious about what exactly I didn't like, let me break it down for you. If you haven't finished the series, you really will not want to read anymore, as what follows will be extremely spoilerific. (view spoiler)[
So. If you've been following my reviews, you'll know that from early on, I thought that Yorick's obsession with Beth was ridiculous. I always had this weird feeling that the whole fated-to-be-together thing was crap. So, you'd think I'd be overjoyed to find out that, wouldn't you know, Beth really was going to break up with Yorick before the world collapsed. She really didn't want to be with him anymore at that point. Of course, when the world changed, so did Yorick, and Beth liked the new man she saw in front of her: the fighter, the survivor. The problem was, Beth hadn't earned the right to stand by that man's side. She hadn't stuck by him and helped him grow into a better, braver person. No, the person who had been by Yorick's side the whole time, unconditionally, was 355.
Of course, we'd all had suspicions that 355 really did have feelings for Yorick. We knew they loved each other in a we-will-always-be-family way, but the question remained: was there something more? And finally, we knew. There was. It was a vision of 355 that brought Yorick out of his suicidal state, that convinced him there was more to live for. And sure, there was a lot to work through in their relationship, but that was the exciting part. They would get to heal together, grow together, live their lives together, open their hearts to one another. 355 finally told Yorick her name. And then YOU, Brian K. Vaughan, ruined everything. Yes, it was a stupid, suicidal, self-obsessed woman named Alter who shot and killed 355 right at what should have been their happiest moment, the turning point, the beginning of the rest of their lives, but you're the one that let it happen, and took away the life that 355 deserved.
Let's talk for a second about the stupid reasoning Alter used to chase Yorick around the world, killing her friends and enemies alike, assassinating both Yorick's mother and his best friend. Because she wanted to be killed in battle BY A MAN. That is the only reason. She wanted to die, and felt like she deserved for a man to kill her and not a weak woman. Are you kidding me? Seriously, are you kidding me?? I can't even compute, it makes me so mad.
The jump to the future doesn't bother me. It makes sense to show us society 60 years down the line. Society is moving on and appears to be thriving, despite the fact that there are still barely any men around. The cloning is finally successful, but as they point out, you can't make an exact clone of someone because we are so shaped by our experiences, it wouldn't be the same person. I was relieved when Yorick instantaneously rejected the idea of cloning 355. She would have hated that, and it would have broken his heart all over again. The clones of Ampersand at least seemed to bring him some comfort, though none of them were like his really little buddy. It makes sense that, given the situation, Yorick would try to make a family with Beth II and his daughter, baby Beth, but I'm not surprised that he ended up wandering most of his life. (hide spoiler)]
In the end, I feel like maybe what this book is trying to tell me is deeper than I really want to dig. I like my brain to be stimulated, but not stabbed with a hot poker and jumbled around. I was honestly going to give this last volume 5 stars, because I really have enjoyed the series as a whole, but after that one thing (you know what), I just can't. And I honestly couldn't even give this ending 4 stars. So 3 stars it is. I definitely recommend this series, though, for an entertaining read and especially if you don't necessarily read comics, but are curious about the medium. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Once again, and hopefully for the last time, I was wrong about the identity of Dr. M. I think I'm either really gullible or easily led, because I have...moreOnce again, and hopefully for the last time, I was wrong about the identity of Dr. M. I think I'm either really gullible or easily led, because I have yet to guess right about that character. Of course, Dr. M turned out to be (view spoiler)[Dr. Mann's father, aka the only other man alive, and the one who believes he started the plague by cloning his own daughter. Is it a coincidence that the second his first clone was born, all the men, save himself, Yorick, and Ampersand, died almost spontaneously? I don't believe this whole "everything is connected" thing, but can there be another explanation? (hide spoiler)] We also find out that Dr. M was indeed responsible for engineering Ampersand and attempting to send him to Dr. Mann, though we now know that the goal was for the monkey to make Dr. Mann sick enough that she lost her own baby-clone. And when the monkey was misdirected, Toyota was sent to literally poison Dr. Mann's food and cause her abortion. So, her clone being born prematurely and dead had nothing to do with the plague.
Somehow, through this all, our team has managed to miraculously survive, with the help of amazing surgeon Dr. Mann's mom. Although seeing Dr. Mann part ways with Yorick and 355 is sad, it had to happen eventually, as their goals and paths diverged. Now that Dr. Mann has Yorick's DNA to clone and a pregnant monkey carrying Ampersand's special genes, she can get to work on cloning men and protecting them with whatever it is in Ampersand's DNA that makes him so protective. And Yorick and 355 head to France to find Beth I. Of course, they have no clue that Paris also contains Hero, Beth II, Baby Beth, and others waiting for him, too. I can't wait for this last volume!
Also of note in this one, as we start to wrap up storylines: Waverly the grave digger, who organizes a gorgeous state funeral for Yorick and Hero's mom, and the reappearance of the rat population. Say what?? Also, I LOVED the commentary of comics being more than just entertainment, and the comic in a comic that is I AM WOMAN, a gender-swapped version of Yorick's story. And I love that he was reading it on the train to meet Beth(s).["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
As this story starts to draw to a close (I didn't realize until I'd finished this volume that there are only 2 left), we are finally making headway on...moreAs this story starts to draw to a close (I didn't realize until I'd finished this volume that there are only 2 left), we are finally making headway on getting all of our main characters in the same location, and figuring out how exactly the men all died in the first place.
We finally know that the "Dr. M" that Toyota works for is not Dr. Mann's mom, like I previously suspected, but Dr. Ming, her dad's once-research partner and lover. Both of those scientists were involved in bio-research and cloning, and since it seems as though Dr. Mann's dad is dead now, the number one suspect for "killed all the men" seems to be Dr. Ming. Dr. Mann's mom now seems like she was actually trying to save the world when she genetically altered Ampersand and sent him off to Dr. Mann.
Speaking of Ampersand, yay, he's back safe and sound! That CanadianPopStar/YazukaBoss was a strange lady, and as much as she kept calling Ampersand her baby, I'm glad they were able to liberate him from her control, considering she seemed a bit unhinged, mentally. All the drugs will do that to you, I guess.
Speaking of babies, it's lucky that Yorick was able to call Hero and tell them he was heading to Paris, otherwise they might not ever have connected again, but it's going to be quite a bit awkward when both sleeps-with-Yorick Beths and Yorick's-baby Beth are all three in the same location. Especially since Yorick doesn't even know about baby Beth. And Beth I has no clue about Beth II.
I'm glad Yorick and 355 had some time in Tokyo to clear the air between them and finally be honest about everything they've been through in the last 4 years. At one point it seemed like they were headed to makeout city, but I'm really glad (hopefully) they didn't take it that way. I think it's been made clear that Yorick and 355 care about each other very much, but not in a romantic way at this point.
We're learning more and more about the history of the main players coming into the final conflict. Dr. Mann's troubled relationships with her mother and father and her broken relationship as a twenty-something, which all led to an even deeper cynicism about love. Alter's soldier obsession after her pacifist sister's death. It'll be interesting to see how things pan out when everyone meets up in Paris, given the wide range of priorities of each character.(less)
I feel like we're finally making progress with whatever the heck is going on in this story. It's been three years since all men (but one*) died, and a...moreI feel like we're finally making progress with whatever the heck is going on in this story. It's been three years since all men (but one*) died, and although there is still no cure, at least we know why Yorick and Ampersand survived, and why Ampersand was so different: she was genetically altered to be that way. By Dr. Mann's mom, apparently. Of course, we still don't know WHY her mom did that, and then tried to send the monkey to a place where Dr. Mann would eventually gain access to her, but I guess we shouldn't be greedy.
Despite Dr. Mann's insistence that monkeys and humans alike are just primates and don't feel things like love or attachment, it seems clear that Ampersand genuinely loved Yorick. Either that, or he could just sense that Yorick was a nice, sweet guy, just like he senses that Toyota is a terrible monster. I was so relieved to see Ampersand escape from her, especially once it became clear how Toyota had been torturing him. The next question is how did he make it to Tokyo, and what is he doing in an android-manned brothel?
We've reached the point in the story where there are just too many Beths. We didn't get to see anything of Beth I this volume, but it was nice to see Yorick's insistence that he be allowed to try and track her down when they were in Australia. It would have been lame if he had just let it go, and sailed away without even looking. And now we know that Beth I really did believe her dream that Yorick is alive, and headed to Paris to try and meet up with him at the top of the Eiffel Tower, something they had joked about during happier times.
Meeting Beth II again was quite the shocker, but I guess it shouldn't have been so surprising. The vatican kidnapping was also a twist I didn't expect, though I guess you have to wonder about women showing up pregnant when there are no men around to impregnate them. Even though he didn't know the situation, I'm glad Yorick suggested Beth II and Hero stick together, because at that point, they both needed a friend, and who better to trust than the EMT aunt of your future baby? Plus, an underground compound in the middle of America with a bunch of doctors seems like a fairly safe place to bunker down. Yorick is going to be shocked when he finds out about Beth III, aka Junior.
Other things of note in this volume: a moment of silence for Congresswomen Mom. I didn't see that one coming. I'd kinda forgotten about the Israelis, to be honest, and that they wanted Yorick for their breeding program. That was it, wasn't it? Of course, the whole world knows about him now because of the photo in the tabloid. Whether they truly believe it or not is the question. Though I suppose it's confirmation for Beth I about her dream, so that's good. We also got some great insight into 355's sad childhood and how she became an agent for the Culper Ring, as well as the unfortunate demise of the previous 355.
This volume moved a lot quicker than the last few have, so much so that I rolled into the next one without realizing. Oops! :) (less)
What do you know, Beth aboriginal-induced-psychic-dreamed her way into figuring out that maybe Yorick's alive. That is, if she actually believes that...moreWhat do you know, Beth aboriginal-induced-psychic-dreamed her way into figuring out that maybe Yorick's alive. That is, if she actually believes that dream. I hope she does. To be honest, we've seen so little of Beth over the course of this story that I never really emotionally connected with her, or was interested in why Yorick loved her. Even these few glimpses into their past together, via her dreaming, have made me understand and like her more. Hopefully, now that Yorick is actually headed to Australia, that means we'll see more of Beth.
So, Australia. The gang was headed to Japan, but of course, their "medical provisions" cruise ship was actually a "heroin drug running" cruise ship. And of course, another woman immediately wanted to keep Yorick and live and sleep with him. I do feel for Kilina, though, I don't get why Yorick being alive means she is no longer the main character of her own life. Like many women we have come across before her, it appears she felt marginalized her whole life, and the plague seemed like a new start to her. Also, when you think your generation will be the last in the world, it doesn't seem to matter as much if you are ruining said world. I'm glad she found a way to save Yorick from being exploded. And they have a new monkey friend to keep them company.
My main question is, considering Yorick's main goal this whole time has been "get to Australia to find Beth," how are they going to talk him into immediately leaving for Japan, without even looking for her, even if it is so they can find Ampersand?(less)
Another super-fun book. I once again really enjoyed how each little story, told from a different kid's perspective, interconnects to the next. This on...moreAnother super-fun book. I once again really enjoyed how each little story, told from a different kid's perspective, interconnects to the next. This one especially felt interconnected, even more like we were seeing a complete story arc, just from different angles.
I liked this one even more than the first one, maybe because I know the characters better and appreciate seeing their deeper connections. This is such a great book for kids because it emphasizes the importance of forgiving people and being open with your heart, without being condescending and self-important about it. I love that Hakata and Thalia end up liking each other because they felt comfortable enough around each other to share their stories, and found a connection. I love that Tak, even though he was sad and jealous, because he liked Thalia first, found it in his heart to forgive them, because he appreciated their friendship. It was also nice to see that the "evil villain" birds didn't necessarily start out that way, and acted the way they did for a legitimate reason. Nothing is ever black and white, or all good or all evil. Also, those security bears were about the cutest thing ever. "So definitely BFF and not OTP?" Lol.
I just wish there were going to be more volumes of this, but I kinda got the feeling at the end that there wouldn't be. But I could be wrong! I hope I'm wrong! I'm gonna cross my fingers and go ask the internet. :)(less)
This comic. I can't even. I was laughing so hard at times. The whole Hawkeye wants to be a normal dude for once and actually move into his apartment a...moreThis comic. I can't even. I was laughing so hard at times. The whole Hawkeye wants to be a normal dude for once and actually move into his apartment and want his tv show without spoilers was cracking me up. And when Grills is calling him Hawkguy. "Just like on MASH." So many lols!
Of course, Clint ends up in some majorly bad crap, too. All the trouble he's gotten in during the previous issues catches up with him, including a giant swarm of tracksuited, vaguely Russian dude bros with bats. Clint seems to have some serious insecurities, and they all appear in a depressed cloud of "no one would miss me" "I'm the worst Avenger" "I don't deserve to be a person" thoughts. Luckily Clint has Kate to smack some sense into him and call him on his crap and not accept his self-loathing-filled excuses. "You're one of the good guys, so be a good guy!" I like Kate. Even when all the other people in Clint's life are telling her to run away, that he'll only drag her down and disappoint her, she tells them to get lost. Even when Clint himself tells her he's no good. She has his back. At least until the end issue... I think... It seemed like she was maybe hooking up with that bad guy (who she didn't know was a bad guy), and then she appears to be leaving, at least from Lucky's point of view from her passenger seat.
That last issue was so great, told from Lucky's perspective. I liked how we are told what he thinks about things and people with the iconography associated with them, how he only understands a few things people are saying, how excited he got when Clint said "Good boy." I'll be curious to see in the next issue if we get to see Clint and Kate's fight from a human perspective. I'll admit, I was as surprised as Clint when Lucky followed Kate out the door. Poor guy. Now even his dog has deserted him.
I really do love the Fraction-Aka combo of writing + art. Also, in my review of volume 1, I mentioned how integral the color scheme is in setting the tone. I was happy to see that continued in these issues, and excited to see the background on his process that colorist Matt Hollingsworth provided at the end on this collected volume. I knew the limited colors were intentional, but it was cool to see how he goes about coloring an issue as a whole, rather than as separate parts and pages.
So, my next dilemma is, do I wait the read the next volume until it is collected in book form and published? Or do I find the individual issues and read them now, like I am tempted to because I need to know what happens next? Decisions, decisions...(less)
I've never read many actual comics from the Marvel universe. My exposure to these characters has mostly been through movies. Following the Avengers mo...moreI've never read many actual comics from the Marvel universe. My exposure to these characters has mostly been through movies. Following the Avengers movie last year, though, I followed a cute comic rabbit down the rabbit hole into tumblrville and ended up following a bunch of cool artists who love comics. I've been wanting to read this particular one, since I first heard about it from Flatbear, a great artist and fantastically skilled pusher of comics. And it was everything I'd want in a comic and more.
First of all, the story and art were both great. Although female comic book characters are still drawn too ridiculously sexy for my taste, at least these were on the less-ridiculous side of sexy. And it helped that they were kicking butt and generally being amazingly awesome while being sexy. The time travel storyline was a little confusing at first, but I appreciated the introduction it have us to who Carol is, and who her heroes are.
The best part, though, is how fantastically powerful and interesting a character Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel is. She fights for what she wants, empowers other women to be who they are, and never gives up. She's certainly a great superhero and role model to all girls and women out there.
I'm looking forward to reading more volumes of this title as they are released. Though I'll probably wait until they are in collected in book form like this one. Makes for more conjoined reading.
By the way, I appreciated the detailed history of Carol Danvers in the back of this book. Not knowing anything about her, it informed me of her past and personal connections without me having to wade through piles of old comics, which would have been quite daunting. Man, she's already had a crazy life.(less)
I'm glad Shin's getting his hand taken care of, after days (weeks?) of ignoring it, but does he really have to go to America for the surgery and rehab...moreI'm glad Shin's getting his hand taken care of, after days (weeks?) of ignoring it, but does he really have to go to America for the surgery and rehab? Seems like an artificial way of creating conflict between Shin and Maria, when there really shouldn't be any left. And then there's the whole "we should break up before I go" stupidity. Dude. You might be afraid of being mean to her, pushing her away, but isn't that her choice? If you love her and she loves you, don't you each have the right to choose to be together, even if it is long distance?
Once again, Yusuke deserves all the hugs. He is indeed resolutely supportive of Shin and Maria's relationship, to an extreme degree almost. I get that he doesn't just love Maria, he also loves the way that Maria loves Shin wholeheartedly, but it seems like he sets himself up for a world of hurt. Who is ever going to compare to Maria in Yusuke's eyes? Is he destined to be forever alone because he'll never get over her?
The next volume is the last, I think, so I look forward to them wrapping up these storylines in a nice package.(less)
This is another title I've been meaning to read post-avengers movie, aka for over a year. Once again, I can thank Flatbear for wanting to pick this on...moreThis is another title I've been meaning to read post-avengers movie, aka for over a year. Once again, I can thank Flatbear for wanting to pick this one up, because she is a superhuge Hawkeye fan, and has been talking about this book for ages. Also, another of my very favorite artists, Noelle Stevenson, aka Gingerhaze, also enjoys a good Hawkeye, especially with Hulk in her case, and the general raving about it on tumblr overall put it at the top of my list. I was not disappointed. Matt Fraction is a great storyteller.
Clint Barton is an amazing character. He's the guy that runs into battle with no super powers, no super suit, and nothing to save him but his own moxie, some fancy specialty arrows, and the occasional Avenger and/or SHIELD agent. But he still keeps doing it, fighting for what's right, trying to keep a normal life, breaking bones left and right. And I can't help but love him for it. I was to give him some band aids, wrap him in bubble wrap, and then make out with him for a while, because perpetually-injured is somehow super hot on him.
The first story in this very first volume is truly remarkable. I love how the story jumps around through Clint's life, giving you pieces here and there until you get the whole story. The writing and pacing is fantastic through the whole thing. I love the flow of the panels, and how the action flows through each box, telling the story at times without even words. One of my favorite pages is right at the start of section 2, when Clint is focusing on shooting while Kate talks to him, and you see time slow down for her as Clint's brain speeds up to shoot. I also love all of Clint's little side comments to himself, especially "this looks bad" over and over again.
I love David Aja's art so much, I can hardly stand it. It's so strong yet simple, and crazy dynamic throughout the frames. I get the feel who Clint and Kate are without having to see every one I'd their features drawn out in photograph-like perfection. Each frame is graphic and vibrant, yet still somehow flat (in the best possible way) and full of contrast. I love the limited color palate and how it sets the tone for the whole piece, with it's blues, purples, and grays, with the occasional red and yellow thrown in. It's something that might seem small and unimportant, but really contributes to the storytelling as a whole.
The section I liked the least is probably the Young Avengers issue. Don't get me wrong, I thought the story was great, and I want to know more about Clint and Kate's backstory, because they have a really interesting relationship. Kate seems like a non-nonsense, take no crap from anyone kind of girl. I honestly just wasn't a big fan of the art. It's ok, I guess, but it just felt stereotypically comic-bookish, in a look-at-this-hot-chick-with-her-big-boobs-and-tiny-clothes sort if way. The characters are somehow unrealistic in how realistic they seem to he drawn. The gradients and color shading are too much, give too much if a feeling of being computer-generated. There are lots of comics drawn this way, and many of them successful; I just personally am not a fan of that style. It also definitely doesn't fit visually with the Hawkeye title style of simple strength. It's just too over-the-top. The art by Javier Pulido for Hawkeye issues 4&5, the Tape storyline, isn't quite as strong or smooth as Aja's, but it still at least fits along side Aja's work.
I'm excited I have book 2 to read right away! And even more excited that Aja is the artist on all but one of the issues in the next book. Yay!(less)