This is sort of a slice of life police procedural. I've always wondered how the Gotham City P.D. feel about Batman. I mean, I know there's tension theThis is sort of a slice of life police procedural. I've always wondered how the Gotham City P.D. feel about Batman. I mean, I know there's tension there, and it's been shown in the comics. But sometimes I wonder how a typical day, a typical case, is like for them. I wasn't disappointed by what I read. Gotham's finest are presented here as dedicated (or the ones that have appeared so far).
They try to deal with a city where they're ill-prepared to deal with someone like Mister Freeze, where they feel they want to take care of things, to be the one who brings these lunatics in, but in reality, they know that, sometimes, they're resigned to Batman's help. They want to serve and protect. They do serve and protect. They're not bumbling. They may not be on Batman's level, but they're not incapable. Despite Batman making many high profile busts, they still have small victories with "lesser" criminals and crimes, but feel eclipsed by Batman's deeds. And in their own way, they want to impress Batman just like Batman's little family does. They want to show him they're competent, and they want him to acknowledge the work they do. Batman can't be everywhere after all. They have such a thankless job. ...more
Long Review: I have been wanting to try a GraphicAudio production, which describes itself as a movie in your head, for quite some time. Among books listed there include many comics and books such as Mistborn, Dante Valentine, and Cemetery Girl. All their books include a full multi-voice cast, music, and action sound sequences.
I was impressed with the quality of the story that I decided listened to, which was the novelization of The Death of Captain America. I chose that book as a safety measure. This is my first venture into GraphicAudio, so I decided to go with content I was familiar with. I am very familiar with Marvel’s Civil War that led to the eventual death of Captain America. That is not a spoiler, so don’t get your underwear in a bunch. It’s right in the title, and it’s not some clever word play. Captain America’s death is not the denouement of this story. It’s a catalyst. His death plays a vital role in the emotions and decisions of those closest to him. It makes them face who they are and who they want to be in the wake of Captain America’s death. It shows their loyalty to one another even in precarious situations because something of the Captain lives in them all.
Before I get to the meat of the review, let me just make dying whale noises about Captain America while I emotionally spin in my chair.
What do you mean am I crying? I’m not crying. You’re crying. Leave me alone.
I read The Death of Captain America graphic novel, and I loved it. I enjoyed the audio narration of the events just as much. This audio presentation just filled out moment for me, adding more depth to an emotionally tense moment. I especially loved Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier), Sam Wilson (Falcon), and Sharon Carter’s (Agent 13) role in this story as they dealt in their own ways with the tragedy from dignified acceptance because that’s what Cap would’ve wanted to outright wanting revenge against the people who they blame for his death (Tony Stark) while trying to pull together as support. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Civil War angle, but I credit it with being the story that made me love Captain America without question. He went from being more than just an unwaveringly good guy and really became a hero in my heart. I still get goosebumps when I think about his iconic stand where he says he’s not the will of the government but the will of the people.
His death during Civil War was monumental for me, even though I knew Marvel would never allow him to actually stay “dead.” This story still meant a lot to me and touched my heart, and this book managed to capture so many of my feelings. The idea of Captain America in his final moments still trying to be that pinnacle of heroism while holding on to that empathy that still made him able to forgive even in his final moments. The fact that, even though he fought Tony, he never thought less of Tony or didn’t consider him a friend or someone he trusted beyond doubt. (Even though to it took me a long time to stop hating Tony Stark’s damn guts thanks to Civil War and again in Avengers vs X-Men) I’m going to quote something from my review of Captain America: The Chosen by David Morrell, which sums up how I feel about Captain America:
But part of, maybe even a large part of, the traits that make Captain America who he is doesn’t have to do with physical conditioning, but his indomitable will and the virtues he holds close to his heart, and this was something he had even before he became Captain America. This is something that anyone can have and extends beyond beliefs, race, citizenship, etc. Captain America knew this and admired the people who didn’t have his conditioning, but performed their duties every day. He questioned if ordinary people could go out there and risk their lives to help others, what made him any different? What made him better? Just because he may be physically superior to them didn’t make him better. You don’t have be Captain America to embody the virtues of courage, honor, sacrifice, and loyalty. You can find these same “hero” traits in doctors, teachers, farmers, any average person in the world. Everyone has the potential to be a Captain America. It’s not always the strength of body that makes a hero.
And this is Captain America in his purest form, who he’s always been. Captain America has always did his very best to embody virtues that everyone has and encouraged these same virtues in others. He’s not perfect, but he believes in standing up for what’s right, even when it’s not what others may want. Scenes like this touched me to my core with and reminded me why I love Captain America so much:
This audiobook continued to solidify what made the character special for me. Even in death, Cap’s influence is everywhere, leaving behind a legacy that tries to remind his friends and family that they don’t have to stoop to the level of their enemies to make a change. There were lovely scenes where Cap’s friends would basically ask themselves and each other, “What would Captain America do?”
An example. Bucky finds himself in a bar brawl after a veteran said that Captain America didn’t deserve a service funeral, that he was a traitor that hated his government and disrespected the uniform. After Bucky vented his frustrations on the guy with his fists, Sam asked him if that’s what Cap would’ve wanted. Bucky admits that Captain America would’ve stood up to the man and told him that if we always listened to our government we’d still have slavery and women wouldn’t have any of the rights they’ve fought so hard for and continue to fight for and he would’ve walked away from the man because Captain America was a stand up guy who followed his own advice: “It wasn’t about blindly supporting your government. It was about knowing what your country could be, what it should be… and trying to lead it there through your example.”
This was a well produced piece of work. The voice actors were excellent. I’m sort of bad about having a hard time getting over voices if they don’t sound like their actors in their cartoons or movies.I didn’t have that problem here. Sin’s maniacal laughter was so great and just fit her personality perfectly, and Sam’s voice gave me flutters. It was action packed and emotional. The only complaint I have, and this is a complaint I usually have for full productions like this, is that sometimes the music and action noises can make it hard to hear the dialogue. That’s only a little annoyance over the overall story. Another small little annoyance for me, which isn’t exactly this story’s fault, is that it doesn’t hold the same emotional impact it did when it’s graphic novel counterpart originally came out because, well, Captain America alive and well now. Also, as with any comic, especially comics from one of the Big Two, there’s some corniness here that might make you roll your eyes, but it’s not prevalent. Caveat: I can’t recommend this story to those who aren’t familiar with Civil War (and I may do something crazy and start a Road to Civil War read through since the next Avengers movie will take elements from it). You’ll miss a lot of context by trying to read this. Excellent work on this, though....more
Lois Lane: Cloudy With a Chance of Destruction is a short story tying in with Gwenda Bond's novel Lois Lane: Fallout, which was released May 1st. This story takes place right before Lois, who is an Army brat, and her family moves to Metropolis where she'll set root to become the Lois Lane that you love and/or hate. In a high school chemistry class, Lois finds herself in the middle of a turbulent love affair of two of her teen classmates, Mike and Sophie. What love affair at that age isn't turbulent?
Sophie has decided that she's had enough of Mike and his stupidity and dumps him during their lab project, and Mike tries to cajole Sophie into taking him back because their grade counts based on group effort (and Sophie is apparently something of an honor student), which he's not willing to make if she's not willing to take him back. In an effort to win Sophie back, Mike decides to bring an "awe-inspiring" experiment to school the next day to impress Sophie. Lois' current residence is full of scientists, including Mike's dad, and she has a bad feeling about what he's carrying around in the bag.
I know Young Adult books are all the rage right now, but I'm not fond of them at this age (used to love them when I was younger) and I'm very particular about the ones that I read. I'll be the first to admit that I can be harsher on them than I should be. That's not to say that I haven't read Young Adult books that I absolutely adore, but they are few and far in between. However, this was a cute story. I loved the burgeoning attitudes of the Lois that I've come to love in the comics. However, this still wasn't really for me, and that's because of two words: Clark Kent.
He's not called out by name, and Lois only knows him from message boards they both frequent. I'm not the biggest Superman fan in general for various reasons, but my personal reasons for not caring for the character are not the reasons why I disliked his place in this short story. I wanted to read a story where Clark doesn't factor into Lois' life. True, I love Lois and Clark as a couple in DC Universe when they become adults, but what made me excited about reading a story about a young Lois was seeing her develop outside of Clark. Even in this story, Clark is her go-to texting buddy about all things science instead of allowing her be the little investigative reporter that lives in her.
Clark has been allowed to live his life before and even after Lois. Sure, she eventually shows up in many of his stories, too. However, he's been still allowed to shape himself without Lois while in this story Lois immediately runs to him for help. That turned me off to this short story and has made me decide that I'll pass on the novel as well. I don't want a story where Clark is her secret internet buddy that gives her the answers she needs. I want a story about Lois showing her true skill and wit without having to send texts to Clark for science help.
Despite that, I do recommend this for fans of Lois Lane who want a spin on her story and how she became the biggest force The Daily Planet has ever encountered. I found this highly imaginative, and I loved seeing Lois Lane snarking and being "in-your-face" when it came to Mike's craziness and gross behavior. She also showed that she's fearless and can come up with solutions on the fly. I'd probably be more excited for reading the novel if it wasn't for that one annoyance.
This short story was provided to me by Capstone through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own....more
Full Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided to me by Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Following the events of the first book, the womenFull Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided to me by Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Following the events of the first book, the women are now seen as heroes and the overlords of Palisades would like to keep it that way through–what else–throwing large sums of money at them for their help. However, there is still a menace lurking in Palisade and Dee’s religious and personal life catches up to her in this latest volume as they once again find themselves being the good guys. First, let me say: T E N T A C L E S! YES!
This book delved a little more into the personal lives of the Queens, specifically Violet, Dee, and Hannah. I’m starting to think that Betty just fell from a happy pagan tree screaming, “Give me candy!” and there’s not a thing more to her than that (right now). I still love her, though. She’s double comedy relief, and I imagine her to be a female Ryback. FEED ME! FEED ME MORE! (Wrestling joke. Leave me alone, okay.)
Hannah’s story still left so much mystery to her character while being telling all at the same time. I really look forward to reading more about her, especially after she revealed a piece of herself that she never meant to because of the implications that doing so would mean something monumental in terms of that particular relationship, and she showed how vulnerable and scared doing so made her. There was just the right amount of telling and pulling back with Hannah.
I was really glad to know a little more about Dee’s religious background as well as her personal background. In the last book while everyone else was getting their freak on Dee shied away from any interest shown in her, and you sort of find out why that is in this book. She also struggles more with her faith and what she believes before deciding what’s truly right for her as far as her faith goes.
Violet’s personal story left me a little on the fence. On one hand, I thought it was really great, but on another hand, bits of it felt more shallow than I was expecting from her story. No, shallow isn’t the right word. It’s was more like they condensed it so much that some of the important bits felt missing like, as a reader, I could feel something more was going on there, but then, it managed to move on to parts that felt smaller than what they were really trying to get across with Violet. I still enjoyed it, though. Especially this scene where Vi asked another lady dwarf why she shaved her beard:
I absolutely adored this book much like the last one. The ending was a little more hurried than I would’ve liked, but I anxiously await more on these ladies’ adventures.
Also, I have to end this with Gary because nobody wants to be Gary.
I still love you, Gary, but please, don’t be a Gary. ...more
Friendship to the max is what this book promises and is also one of the mottos for Miss Quinzella Thiskwin PenniRead more reviews @ The Bibliosanctum.
Friendship to the max is what this book promises and is also one of the mottos for Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. Five friends go into the woods after camp curfew after encountering an old lady outside of their bunk that turns into a bearwoman. Of course, they had to investigate, which ends in an epic fox fight where they’re warned by the three-eyed foxes to “Beware the holy kitten,” but not before one of the girls totally punches one of the foxes into stardust or something.
For their effort, they’re scolded by their bunk leader, Jen, who takes them to their camp leader, Rosie, where they recount their adventure in true teenage girl fashion. They’re not punished for breaking eight camp policies, which is a relief because who wants their parents called.
I don’t even know what’s going with this one, but it seems fun. There’s already a strong message of friendship and adventure in the book. I’m going to keep reading it for that reason alone. I think there is a first volume out, so I plan to read it soon because I think this could end up being the type of book that my daughter would enjoy, too. Also, there’s a soundtrack at the end of the book, so that’s important.
“Well, I would love to tell you that the world ends due to some beautiful cosmic event.”
The world is in chaos, overrun by female zombies who attack men thanks to a (third-rate) cosmetics company who thought it would be idea to start messing around with pheromones for a project. Judith and her little brother, Buddy, are wards of the state. A brief backstory reveals that they’d always fended for themselves. Their mother was a drug addict, and after she overdosed, Judith was bounced from home to home for a while before settling in one. Buddy, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky. After being preyed on twice and defending himself, he ends up in juvenile hall where he won’t be paroled until he’s eighteen.
This is a zombie story. I hate zombies. I hate zombie stories. Correction, I usually hate zombie stories. There have been exceptions to this, as with anything else. I tend to like zombie stories that seem to be more about the people of the story rather than the zombies themselves. The Walking Dead for instance, I enjoy that because of the characters and the stories they have to tell. I’m more interested in how people are shaped by a zombie apocalypse than the actual zombies. I also enjoy stories that provide some interesting take on zombies such as a virus being the actual cause or have some technological basis rather than death or give some interesting perspective from the zombies’ POV.
This book doesn’t go too much into Judith’s role in this story. It only serves to give us a glimpse of what’s going on in the world and where Judith comes from. These are important things we to know since we need to know how the virus started and we need to know what factors will motivate her to do something about the situation she’s in now. Despite there being an interesting premise of cosmetics being at fault, I’m a little on the fence. I’m curious, but it’s not the type of curiosity that would compel me to pick up another book....more
I love Gwen Stacy, and I wanted to love this book. It's not a bad book, but I was just expecting something a little more spectacular. The rating for tI love Gwen Stacy, and I wanted to love this book. It's not a bad book, but I was just expecting something a little more spectacular. The rating for this book comes mainly from the fact that I really love what they've done with some of the characters, like Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane, and Frank Castle, from the normal timeline. Other than that I'm only lukewarm toward the story itself....more
3.5 stars mainly because I caught the feels about Harley.
Coming hot on the heels of my last journey into a DC comic is the first volume of Suicide Squad. The squad is comprised of Deadshot, a merc for hire, Harley Quinn, King Shark, a shark man hybrid, Black Spider, a vigilante who fights bad guys but still ends up in prison, El Diablo, a Latino gang member (I guess he’s supposed to be a gang member, anyway) seeking redemption who controls fire through an unusual method, and Voltaic, a kid who controls electricity. Deadshot serves as their unspoken leader.
Each member of the team is serving prison time. They’re offered the chance at shortening their sentences by becoming Amanda Waller’s pawns and completing suicidal missions in ways that heroes wouldn’t even consider. Even though this is an opportunity for these criminals to have time shaved off their sentences, they’re still treated as criminals and contingencies are put into place for the criminal who would entertain going off script. If you’re a Marvel fan, think of this as being sort of the equivalent of the old Freedom Force, but with a much sinister and cooler name. Readers follow the team through a series of missions from securing important cargo that would help the general population to hunting down their own team members who have gone rogue.
This was a mostly fun book full of fun and mayhem. It was like reading the comic book version of The Expendables with villains complete with dramatic team shots, stealth missions being bumbled with over enthusiastic members wanting to get right to the good parts, some sexy tension between characters, explosions, and corny one-liners. After a while the various strategic panels that managed to make eyes hover to Harley’s crotch in cut-off jean shorts and the general campiness of El Diablo started to grate on my nerves a little.
Speaking of Harley’s shorts, as far as sexiness in comics goes, I’m not against it if it doesn’t feel gross. Comics can use sexuality much like weapon of its own in some respects and just to be, well, sexy. The context of it influences whether I see its merit or not. Harley is sexy, and part of her arsenal of attacks includes her sexuality and femininity to control her situation. This isn’t her only means of attack as Harley is an accomplished brawler who gives as good as she takes, but she’s not beyond being the ditz, the seemingly harmless “girl,” the bouncy bruiser, the focused fatale, or the sex kitten. Her usage of femininity reminds me of a line from my favorite Emilie Autumn song "Fight Like A Girl": I’m giving you a head start. You’re going to need it ’cause I fight like a girl.
Much like Joker, Harley molds herself to what she feels the situation calls for. You have to remember that she was a psychiatrist, and she has an understanding of how to be whatever she needs to be for her environment. However, there seemed to be a need to focus eye attention to Harley’s cutoffs that you don’t get when she’s wearing her normal costume, which also includes shorts. There’s a panel here of Harley buttoning up her shorts. A panel there of a slip of pink panties being shown behind unbuttoned shorts. A butt jutting out there to remind you she has on cutoffs while everyone stares. A scene of viewing someone from right between her legs looking like a terrified bystander who is about to be attacked by a maneater. She has a vagina, and vagina’s are magical. I understand as the owner of one myself. I guess they were going for that weaponized sexy there, but it was a little annoying for me. More on Harley later.
Let’s talk about El Diablo. Don’t get me wrong about El Diablo. For the most part I liked him, and while I realize they’re trying to be deep with his character where he might otherwise have been shrugged off as just a thug and want to remind readers he is a man of color who has a culture all his own that tempers him, it’s a little hit and miss there. Sometimes, he’s brilliant as a character, but sometimes, he’s hokey, very hokey.
Something feels slightly off at times in his characterization as if they’re trying too hard with him and the background he comes from on top of trying way too hard with this redemption angle. I can’t say that I don’t like the concept of him or how his powers work, though. I just hope they level him out more in later comics and make it feel less like they’re saying, “Hey, guys, we have this diverse group of people.”
For the record, Black Spider is a black man and while I wished he’d gotten more face time, I feel like they did an admirable job with him without making me feel like they had no idea what to do with his character. Marvel and DC both seem to flounder a bit in the creativity department to me when dealing with male characters of color.
What I enjoyed most about this book was Harley Queen (despite the crotch shots) and Amanda Waller. They are the reason I ended up rating this as high as I did.
Amanda Waller is my hero, and she always has been. Say what you want about The Wall but she gets shit done, and she doesn’t kowtow to many people if any. My first experience with Amanda was when she was still a stout woman pre-DCnU when she put Batman in his place and dropped the mic on him. From that moment forward, that sealed a love and respect for her character, even when I didn’t always agree with her. When talking about kickass women in comics, Amanda is deserving of a place as a woman who isn’t a conventional hero or villain. She’s surrounded by super types while having no powers of her own, and she’ll still look them in the eye without cowering. She uses her wits to her advantage where she may lack in powers.
This book marks the first time I’ve encountered her since they gave her a new svelte body in DCnU. She reminds me of Angela Bassett who played a milder, kinder version of The Wall in the Green Lantern movie with Ryan Reynolds. I can’t be the only one who watched that movie. New body, same Amanda. I’m still pleased with her, as of this book. She’s the type of woman who has a backup plan in place even if that means her own life might be forfeit. If she’s caught unprepared, she manipulates a situation to the best of her abilities, but she still has her “throw everything but the kitchen sink” card.
She’s not ruffled by much. Her unofficial theme song (because I said so) is “I Don’t Get Tired” by Kevin Gates because I can so see her saying, “Get it. Get fly. I got six jobs. I don’t get tired.” Sure, she has outbursts of anger, but even when losing control of a situation, it’s always going to be The Wall who wins in the end. Think of her as Olivia Pope (from Scandal) with more guns and an attitude that says she’s not beyond doing whatever is necessary without wavering much in her resolve. I could see her using two of my favorite Olivia Pope power phrases: “Shut it down!” and “It’s handled!”
Despite this, there is a moment that shows Amanda’s capacity for affection. There are things and people she cares about, even if she doesn’t show it often, as witnessed in this scene:
Nerve gas is considered a weapon of mass destruction and is a terrible way to die, and even for those who manage to survive, the neurological damage is substantial. This scenes proves her willingness to do whatever she has to to control the situation, even signing her own death warrant.
Back to Harley. A few months back, there was discussion going on among comic book fans on Tumblr about how writers were starting to evolve Harley as a character beyond the “comically” abused companion of Joker. Instead she was beginning to show layers of her personality that betrayed how she has suffered because of the nature of the relationship, the depth of her emotional attachment to her abuser, and how she struggles with conflicting feelings to be more than Mistah J’s girl while wanting to be only that as well.
It’s long past due for this for Harley, and I think it’s an important step to take for her character and the relationship. So many readers and people who know casually of the relationship from pop culture think it nothing more than a comical relationship where Joker is only a little mean to Harley. It’s treated like slapstick comedy and romantic. You hear people saying things such as, “I want a relationship like Harley and Joker. I want a Joker to my Harley. I want a Harley to my Joker.” When you strip away the “haha” nature of the relationship, there’s nothing charming, comical, or endearing about it at all. It is an emotionally and physically abusive relationship that’s rarely explored for what it is.
This book reinforces that as it begins to paint the relationship and Harley’s muddled feelings into the most troubling picture. That is initially what prompted me to read volume one of her own series, which fell a bit flat with me. This book, however, gives a heartbreaking glimpse into Harley’s emotional state culminating into a chilling scene where she uses Deadshot, whom she expresses mild interest in, to vent her frustration, love, and fears about the failed relationship.
That’s not to say that Harley isn’t good, ol’ Harley in much of this, but they start to shape her as more than just the comedic punching bag. I’m curious to see more of these pivotal scenes for Harley.
I’d been meaning to read this much sooner than now, but you know how it is when you have so many books and comics to read. You have to pick your reading battles. This was an enjoyable read for the most part, and I look forward to continuing their misadventures....more
Silk #1 is worth a mention. There are too few mainstream books with women of color placed squarely in the center. (CindCrossposted @ The Bibliosanctum
Silk #1 is worth a mention. There are too few mainstream books with women of color placed squarely in the center. (Cindy Moon is Asian-American.) Not only do I feel this book is important for that reason, but this is really a good female-led comic despite a few bumps I’ll talk about later. (Skip to the bottom for the TL;DR version.)
Before I talk about the book itself, here’s the gist of how Cindy Moon got her spider powers. I apologize that this is probably not going to sound like the greatest story when condensed down to these few lines, but it is what it is. The spider that bit Peter Parker also managed to bite another person, Cindy Moon, giving her the same powers. (More importantly, she can weave clothing from her fingertips. Aesthetics.) Instead of having the free range that Peter Parker had, a man named Ezekiel Sims kept her in isolation for 10 years until Peter found her. Yes, that’s a fairly small view of what happened, but to talk about this in any more detail will require an aside just for this purpose.
This book starts with Cindy fighting a fairly cartoonish villain, named Dragonclaw. She equates to a Pokémon. (Side note: I freaking love Pokémon!) While fighting him, her powers begin to short out whether this relates to her decade in isolation or not is unknown, but things start to go downhill from there. She’s helped by your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man who jokingly accuses her of not calling, but their interactions say there was something there and something might still be there.
I enjoyed this book, especially that I’m usually not the biggest fan of Spiderverse, but I almost always love the Spider-Women of that verse. Cindy joins Jessica Drew and Anya Corazon (Araña) in my heart. Her story focuses a bit on her past and her present, giving readers a brief glimpse of who she was before she became Silk and who she is now, shifting between a brilliant, headstrong teenage girl on the edge of adulthood and a socially awkward adult woman who’s trying to find her place as a person and a superhero. Despite the funnier moments in the book, Cindy is a woman lost, a woman struggling with her past for various reasons, a woman who wishes things were “quiet,” and a woman who still doesn’t completely understand her own strength. I’ll pause to compliment Thompson for managing to catch the nuances of a teenager butting heads with her parents over love, sports, and school without seemingly being over-broody or over-cheesy. There is a fair bit of cheesiness in this book, though, but Cindy even mentions that she’s got to work on her quips.
Pop culture features prominently in this book. That can be a good or bad thing depending on your tastes. However, much like the pop culture Marvel has used in other newer titles, I find it chuckle-worthy and well-timed while being a tad more finely clever (if such a statement can be used with memes) in terms of wit with this book. We don’t get doge memes here, which many people don’t know, instead we get my personal favorite #AskingForAFriend, which is easily understood in the right context because we’ve all had those “asking for a friend” moments. Not that I’m downing the doge meme. Sure, some of it won’t stand the test of time when my kids read this 20 years later, but it adds a little fun to the book. Also, kudos to this book for that Sleepy Hollow/Supernatural mash-up shout out. Robbie Thompson writes for Supernatural, and Orlando Jones, one of the stars of Sleepy Hollow, is known to tweet avidly about Supernatural and mashing the two shows up.
Next up: I loved the art in this book. It’s fun. There’s an anime-ish quality about it while making me think of the Teen Titan cartoon (the 2003 show, not Teen Titans Go to be clear). Yes, I can accuse it of being a little “girly” at points, but it’s not done in a way that makes me feel like someone went heavy on the glitter because this is a girl (and all girls like pink and glitter, duh). It’s subtle, it’s pretty, and it fits the feel of the book. It manages to be both bright and dark, if that makes any sense, and it’s so busy. Okay, maybe “busy” isn’t what I meant. I mean, the panels feel like they move and flow with their actions. It feels active.
Now, to get the “bad” out of the way. One thing that sort of bothered me is that, while Peter definitely doesn’t overshadow Cindy in her book, I didn’t really like her following in Peter’ footsteps by working for JJ (okay, she’s technically not working for him, but you know), using her own secret identity for stories. I understand why they did it in context of the story, but it felt like they could’ve given her something more unique than that. It’s a small complaint really.
Next, I will concede that Silk might be a little confusing for newcomers because it does require some knowledge that you’ll likely have to Google for (or ask me!). It’s not nearly as new reader friendly as Squirrel Girl. It was a little disjointed for me, so I can only imagine how it might make someone new feel. However, I think this book is still worth the effort of reading after you have a grasp of her background. I just feel like they were just trying to cover a little too much ground this issue. I’m hoping subsequent issues will be less harried.
Overall, did Tiara love this book? I think one panel can sum it all up my feelings:
TL;DR: In the words of the esteemed Daniel Bryans:
Let's hope Spider-Gwen inspires me as much when I read it (later today). <33...more
Buckaroo, Oregon has the distinction of being the place where sixteen of the world’s most atrocious serial killers hail from starting with a killer knBuckaroo, Oregon has the distinction of being the place where sixteen of the world’s most atrocious serial killers hail from starting with a killer known as the Book Burner to their most recent nicknamed Nailbiter for the fact that he targeted people who chewed their nails. He would kidnap them, let their nails grow out, and chew them down to the bone before murdering them.
Army Intelligence agent, Nicholas Finch, travels to Buckaroo at the behest of his partner, Eliot Carroll, who believes he’s solved the mystery of Buckaroo and its serial killers. However, when Finch arrives, Carroll is nowhere to be found. Instead Finch meets Sheriff Crane who says that Carroll’s been meeting her every morning for coffee, except the morning of Finch’s arrival. Crane says that nobody minded Carroll snooping aside from “THE OBVIOUS,” Edward “Nailbiter” Warren who has been acquitted of murder.
This book has me morbidly curious, especially since such a gross killer is out and about. It would be too easy to assume that he had anything to do with Carroll’s disappearance, but you just know that he’s going to become that source they reluctantly consult with as they try to find out what happened to Carroll.
I’m wondering if we’ll learn more about Warren’s past or if they’ll only build up on him as he is now after his acquittal. Either angle could be interesting. My main concern is that they won’t be able to continue to keep me curious. A story like this feels there’s only so much they can do with it to keep it fresh, but I could be wrong. I have been in the past about things like this.
“My name is Sam. I’m a bad buy. I know how to blow things up, how to shoot people, how to play them. I know how to destroy. I seem to enjoy it.”
“My name is Sam. I’m a bad buy. I know how to blow things up, how to shoot people, how to play them. I know how to destroy. I seem to enjoy it.”
A man wakes up in a sleazy hotel. He doesn’t remember his name, where he’s from, or where he is. He gets a mysterious phone call that tells him to run. He may not remember anything, but he remembers how to survive. The men chasing him use the name “Sam” to call after him. He knows that he has to be Sam, but the name means nothing to him. He instinctively does things that he doesn’t remember knowing. He equates this experience to watching a movie of a man, a man named Sam, someone he’s supposed to be but can’t remember. As he continues to play this game with the men chasing him, he realizes that a part of him is relishing in the chase, in the the disaster he’s causing.
His abductors eventually catch up with him, but instead of being killed he’s sent out on a mission after being given a choice. Sam calculates his odds and goes with what he believes to be the best course of action and the one he feels will bring him freedom. However, Sam doesn’t count on men not dying when you blow their heads off. He learns you can’t kill what’s already dead. That includes him, and Here is the place he’s stranded. Some like to call it Purgatory, but everyone else sticks to Here.
This started out like your typical crime story with the dark, gritty art. I liked Sam’s perspective of himself in the beginning as he uses knowledge he didn’t know he had but seems like instinct when pitted against his need not to die. Then, this subtly veered off into the supernatural world without making things too fantastic and hurting the story’s rough edged theme. It manages to combine the crime element and the supernatural element in a clever way that doesn’t make it feel garish or out of place in the crime setting.
I’m a big fan of stories that play on theological beliefs. The old Heaven vs. Hell story and everybody’s the bad guy is right up my alley. Purgatory has been divided into rival factions. We’re not told who these rival groups are. It seems like you’d want to assume it’s Heaven’s agents and Hell’s agents competing for souls, but this doesn’t seem to be the case as Sam is contacted by an agent who claims to work for God and they have a job for him. I’ll curiously wander into the next book.
Earl Tubb returns home to Craw County, Alabama after being gone for four decades. He’s been tasked with cleaning out his old familial home after his uEarl Tubb returns home to Craw County, Alabama after being gone for four decades. He’s been tasked with cleaning out his old familial home after his uncle is sent to a nursing home. Throughout the comic we see slips of what life was like for Earl as a child growing up with a father who was the despised sheriff juxtaposed against the ugly, gritty reality of every day life in his small town in the present.
Earl comes from a place where college football is more than just a sport and Paul Bear Bryant’s autograph was on the bat his father used to beat down a group rednecks with. There’s nothing idyllic or charmingly southern about this book as we’re introduced to the cast of characters.
This book struck a chord with me that I did not expect. I’d heard praise for this series, but it wasn’t until I read this #1 that I realized what I was getting myself into. This is the beginning of a true Southern Gothic tale. It’s brutal, it’s ugly, and it’s tinged with just a touch of wry southern humor where a drawled “That’s nice…” is synonymous with “Fuck you!”
Nothing resonated more with me and this book the final page from Aaron and Latour on being southern and loving the south. I’m a southerner, so I feel their words on a visceral level when they write about what it feels like to be southern and what the south means to them. Jason Aaron summed it up poetically in only the way a southerner can:
The south is more peaceful than any other place I’ve ever been. But more primal too. More timeless. But more haunted. More spiritual. More beautiful. More scarred. And that’s what this series is about. A place you can love and hate and miss and fear all at the same time.
I look forward to learning more about Earl, why he seems so angry, and how that will play out in his hometown where he’s already starting to make waves with all the wrong people.
Kate was an explorer. She came from a long line of explorers. She explored an earth far more fantastic than our own with her father. She’s faced alligKate was an explorer. She came from a long line of explorers. She explored an earth far more fantastic than our own with her father. She’s faced alligator men, large sea fish, dragons, and tentacle-y, er, things. She’s even walked on the moon which was so boring for her. However, now, at 27-years-old, Kate has stopped exploring. There’s no reason given why at this point, but a couple of possibilities do come to mind while reading this book. While visiting her father’s grave, Kate is given interesting information about her family, information that will bring her out of retirement.
This was a very fast paced story. I felt like I blinked and it was over. I liked the premise of it with earth being this wonderful placed filled with strange things just asking to be explored. It made me wish there were just a couple of more pages to reveal just a little bit more to me. It ended right when I was really starting to connect with the story. Also, the art in this book is amazing.
I’m intrigued, but I kind of feel like this is the type of story I’ll have to pick up its volumed edition. Some stories, like the next one I’ll be talking about, have that pacing that makes you want to pick up each book as its released. However, some stories I know I won’t be able to truly enjoy until a whole arc is completed even if I think it’ll be very good. There’s something about the pacing that tells me this is one of those books. Since volume one is already out, I’ll be picking it up soon.
Hijinxs and mayhem ensue when one of Harley’s former patients leaves her real estate in Brooklyn. Packing up the few possessions she owns and hoppi
Hijinxs and mayhem ensue when one of Harley’s former patients leaves her real estate in Brooklyn. Packing up the few possessions she owns and hopping on her bike, Harley (with her pal Bernie the Charbroiled Beaver) leaves Gotham in favor of greener pastures. She becomes the owner of a sizable building on Coney Island that houses a few businesses and a menagerie of live-in tenants who mostly work as sideshow attractions.
Harley immediately takes to her new family, especially a dwarf by the name of, wait for it, Big Tony, and they take a liking to her because she’s strange like them and likable. Nothing good comes without a catch, though. Harley is expected to find gainful employment to cover the cost of owning the property (back taxes, insurance, upkeep, property taxes) because her tenants and businesses only cover about 45% of that cost.
Honestly, a 2.5 from me is a very generous rating considering how I feel about this book. I really wanted to like this. I tried to rationalize it as much as I could to fit a narrative that appealed to me, and I just couldn’t. That’s not to say there aren’t things that I like about it, but it feels that what I didn’t like far outweighs what I did like. I felt a little defeated, disheartened, after reading this. I wanted to be treated to a really great Harley story because I love Harley. I expected this to be quirky and fun with a touch of macabre–the misadventures of Harleen Quinzel.
Yes, we’re treated to many misadventures as Harley learns to navigate her new city, avoid overzealous assassins, and seek money sources (including actual employment) to keep her new home while attracting the kind of chaos only Harley could. However, there were so few moments that really struck me as brilliant with this book. Mostly, the story felt a bit forced and too much like someone was saying, “This is funny. I made a funny… right?” This after such a promising start where Harley muses that she wishes there was a comic book all about her.
My review could effectively summed up by a panel where the owner of the wax museum housed in Harley’s building asks her to stop humping the Joker statue. With that panel, all I would’ve had to write was: “That’s it. That’s the whole book.” It was a nonstop barrage of bad puns and Harley exclaiming “Hooooleee [insert choice word that may or may not vaguely rhyme with “holy”].” Things that you’d expect from Harley, but hardly executed as well as they should’ve been.
Parts of the story felt problematic to me as well. I know sometimes humor can help temper some problem themes. This book is full of stereotypes jokes (the ranting Russian who loves America because of “ze bread” and capitalism, the Jewish granddad that putters around yelling in Yiddish, etc.) and “That’s what she said” type jokes. Granted these can be used in ways to really point out the irony/problems of a situation in humorous ways, but I don’t think that’s what they were going for here. There were moments with this book where, if you take away the glibness, they are gross and troubling with no real merit. It was disappointing to see that.
Despite my complaints, Harley is clearly no one’s victim, and she won’t stand for anyone trying to make her one. I did appreciate that about this book. I appreciated her friendship with Ivy, which was meant to be mockingly sapphic, but I still read it as two women who support each other wholly, two women who’d do anything for the other because their bond is strong. Harley’s love of animals was very endearing, and she often exhibited a compassionate side that wanted to protect those weaker than her the best way she knew how–by pulling out Beatrice (her large hammer).
While reading this, I questioned where was the Harley that argued that she could be whatever she wanted to be without Joker. She could be smart. She could be dumb. She could be sexy. Or she could choose to be all of those things. Sometimes, that really showed in this book, but most of my time reading this was spent grimacing. If it hadn’t been for a few key moments in the book and the really beautiful art and variant art pages/covers that featured a wealth of drawing styles, this book might’ve received a much lower rating.