I mistakenly read Spider-Gwen, Vol. 1: Greater Power before Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0: Most Wanted? Did they really have to make Vol. 1 the 2nd volume? SoI mistakenly read Spider-Gwen, Vol. 1: Greater Power before Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0: Most Wanted? Did they really have to make Vol. 1 the 2nd volume? So needless to say I was extremely confused throughout the entire novel. Not to mention, Gwen meets the other Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, in an alternate universe, which is slightly confusing because I haven't read Spider-Verse or Spider Woman, Vol. 1: Spider-Verse. That's the problem with reading certain comic book franchises. Even if you start with the very first book in the series, unless you read all the side comics simultaneously, lots of things don't make any sense. I did some research online, and I connected that Gwen was given a watch that allows her to travel through different dimensions. That is pretty cool, but perhaps the book could have done a better job at explaining that.
I have since read vol. 0 and vol. 1 makes much more sense, which helped me enjoy the novel more because I didn't spend so much time scratching my head trying to figure everything out. Overall vol. 1 feels slightly better than vol. 0. The characters feel more concrete and the story is easier to follow along. I enjoyed the addition of a black female Captain America. They made her origin story really silly though, I mean she fought Nazis on the moon that were transformed into rats and called Ratzis? I mean that in itself describes the tone of this novel. It is silly and light-hearted, and meant to be something fun to read, but then it is confusing because the novel tries to be serious at the same time. I know the writers are probably having fun being silly and creative, but if they could tone down the silliness just a notch, I think the novel would be much more enjoyable.
The only other thing I am confused about is why the art style is so different in issue #5. It is always jarring when art styles change mid novel. It is just not my thing, and I prefer cohesive art for cohesive story telling.
All in all, I still recommend Spider-Gwen, Vol. 1: Greater Power. It may not be the best comic ever, but it is entertaining and Gwen Stacy is an intriguing character. I look forward to reading the next one, and that is always a good sign....more
Gwen Stacy is one of my favorite characters in the Amazing Spider-Man series. She is intelligent, caring, and brave, and when I first read about herGwen Stacy is one of my favorite characters in the Amazing Spider-Man series. She is intelligent, caring, and brave, and when I first read about her death during the Spider-Man: Clone Saga my heart tore in two. So when I heard they were making a Spider-Gwen series, where not only is Gwen Stacy alive and breathing, but she is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains Spidey powers, I was giddy with glee.
Overall, I was pleasantly pleased by Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0: Most Wanted? It may not be the best comic book I have ever read, but it is a welcome addition to the Spidey-verse, and if you're a fan of Gwen Stacy or female superheroes in general, you will enjoy this book.
The book itself is very light-hearted and comical, which makes sense because she is taking on the Spider-Man role, who is famous for cracking jokes to distract his archnemeses, and perhaps distract himself from the pain of his role as life-long protector of New York City. Spider-Gwen is basically the same as Peter Parker in the original universe; the only difference is she is a girl (obviously), she has a love/hate relationship with Mary Jane (which makes sense!), she is an amazing drummer in a band, and her father is a police lieutenant (so she has a lot of cop sense). Also, she is not a photographer for the Daily Bugle, which makes sense because I think they want Gwen's character to be her own persona; however, if that is the case, why would they make her so silly? On the one hand, I like her jokes, and some are pretty funny and clever, but I wonder if her character would have improved if they gave Spider-Gwen her own identity that is separate from Peter Parker. Perhaps there are too many similarities between the two to make her truly unique.
The pluses of the book is the art is really neat! You can tell the artists were really inspired by Pop Art, where each page is extremely bright and colorful. The main color palette focuses on purple and green: pretty much every panel has either purple or green in it, which gives the book a cohesive feel, and the green will often pop on the page. Also, Spider-Gwen has one of the coolest superhero costumes I have ever seen.
The story is interesting. Gwen Stacy goes through a lot of emotions trying to come to terms with her responsibilities, and her difficulties with her father, and her band, not to mention coming to terms with Peter Parker's death. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, Peter Parker died. The comic mentions you can read more about that in a previous Spider-Woman issue, but I'm not sure which one they are referring to. In this book we learn what happened to Peter and the impact it has on Gwen. It is kind of sad, but for some reason, I didn't feel myself being choked up. Perhaps they tried too hard to make the book funny and silly, that when they got to the more serious scenes, I wasn't in that mindset to allow myself to feel for the characters. And that's another thing, if Gwen is struggling so much with dealing with her father, friends, and Peter's death, why is she so jolly and light-hearted while fighting? That in itself makes her character less believable in my opinion.
I definitely recommend checking Spider-Gwen out! It may not be the best, but it is a good read. I look forward to reading the rest of the series, and I hope they tone down the silliness a little. I would love a serious take on the Gwen Stacy universe. Of course, probably lots of other people would disagree with me, so to each his or her own! :)...more
This is the final installment of the Batman and Robin New 52 series, and what a remarkable journey! I still remember my first time reading Batman andThis is the final installment of the Batman and Robin New 52 series, and what a remarkable journey! I still remember my first time reading Batman and Robin, Vol. 1. I remember becoming completely immersed in Damian Wayne's character and his relationship with his father. I never had a very good relationship with my father, and it was interesting seeing how Damian and Bruce's relationship starts off rocky at best. However, as the series progresses we are able to experience their relationship maturing into something quite incredible. Superman may be the strongest Justice Leaguer on the planet, but I don't think there is anything stronger than Bruce's love for his son.
In Robin Rises Batman goes to Apokolips and faces The God of Evil, Darkseid himself, in order to bring to life his son and return him to Earth. Like Demeter going into the Underworld to rescue her daughter Persephone, Batman goes to a dark, hellish planet to bring back his son, and he must be willing to sacrifice life and literally go through hellfire in back in order to succeed. What is interesting, however, is that Batman does not make this journey alone, and I wonder why the writers did that. It would have been much more noble and climactic of a story if Batman had to forge the journey alone. In grand literature, there is no other way; however, the writers decided to have Cyborg, Bat Girl, Red Hood, and Red Robin aid him. Perhaps they wanted to emphasize that Bat Families stick together? I suppose that is a nice sentiment, but I feel like it breaks apart some of the integrity of Batman's quest, and perhaps that is why Robin Rises feels like a 4. Don't get me wrong, the battle on Apokolips is quite incredible. I just think it could have been improved upon if Batman had to go through the emotional and physical journey alone.
As you probably know already, Batman ends up bringing Damian back to Earth and restoring him to life. If that feels like a spoiler you probably didn't notice the title of this book is called Robin Rises after all. What you might not know is that Robin encounters a metamorphoses of sorts upon his rebirth, and it is pretty epic to say the least. Think Superman, only in kid-form. I found it all really interesting, and I was curious where the story was going to head after that. It ended up headed exactly where it made the most sense, and I am very pleased. Those last few pages of #40 are satisfying to say the least. Also, I know this is the end of the series, but I just want more! I suppose that's only a good thing, to end a series with the reader wanting more, but instead of just being satisfied and moving on, all I can think of is what happens next???
All in all, Robin Rises is a solid 4 stars. It is a fine ending to a generally great series. Sure, the series had some low moments (I'm talking about Vol. 2 in particular), but Batman and Robin New 52 absolutely redeemed itself and then some. I mean, come on! I was almost in tears in Vol. 4! Honestly, this is the first (and so far only) New 52 series I have read all the way through. I guess you can say I was hooked! So good job, Tomasi and Gleason! You did a fine job! And from a newly converted DC fan (I literally had not read a DC comic before New 52), thank you so much!...more
This review is based on an outdoor theater performance of The Winter's Tale by Shakespeare in Delaware Park in Buffalo.
The Winter's Tale is a comedy.This review is based on an outdoor theater performance of The Winter's Tale by Shakespeare in Delaware Park in Buffalo.
The Winter's Tale is a comedy. There are funny one-liners delivered by all characters. I especially love the witty banter between men and women. As far as wit of words, Paulina is a force to be reckoned with. She is intelligent, wise, honest, and unafraid. She is also the only one in the play to stand up directly against the king, and the audience loved her for it. After Paulina's scenes, the audience clapped and cheered.
There are also some great physical comedy moments during the second half of the play that takes place in Bavaria. In the first half, I wasn't sure the kids would enjoy the play, as there is much dialogue that would go over their heads, but in the second half, I felt a special glee in my heart when I heard the children in the audience laughing with delight during the scenes with the shepherd and the clown. I don't want to spoil what happens, but let's just say I was laughing nonstop too.
I also laughed in parts because they were unintentionally funny. In Act I, Hermione says to the men, "I am not prone to weeping, as our sex commonly are." This line makes sense to Shakespeare's time when it was common to ridicule women for their "emotions." I suppose even today things like this still fly, but to most people, I am sure, those words are absolutely ridiculous. To me, Hermione's line comes out comical in today's world, so much more when you realize it is the king who does most of the weeping ironically.
Speaking of weeping, The Winter's Tale is also a drama. There are many scenes I am incredibly moved. There is so much sadness and loss due to Leontes's actions. How can a person be so heartless to ruin the lives of his own wife, son, and daughter? Shakespeare makes us feel these issues, and we feel so strongly because he covers such strong human emotions: anger, jealousy, pain, sorrow. Unfortunately it is all too common, even today, for family members to wish such pain on their own family. There is one line that really hits home when the shepherd says to his future son-in-law, "If I might die within this hour, I have lived / To die when I desire." I get chills from that line. To desire death? That is the epitome of pain, and the line becomes more powerful because after saying it, he immediately exits the stage. The shepherd is gone, but his words and his sorrow linger in our hearts.
All in all, I really liked The Winter's Tale, and I think I liked it so much the more because the performance was incredibly well done with great staging and actors. I also really commend them because of how diverse the play is. It is filled with tension and drama, but it is also filled with laughter and joy. In a nutshell, The Winter's Tale encapsulates life.
I would definitely watch The Winter's Tale again, it is funny and sad, and incredibly well written, and Shakespeare makes much social commentary that fits even today. The Winter's Tale is a story about injustice, something that we can all relate to when the system seems corrupt, and people in power can do whatever they want. We can relate so well, and despite being centuries old, the story feels timeless. The Winter's Tale is not perfect. It has flaws with certain scenes and characters, especially in the final act. Despite this, it is worth seeing because it is a play of beauty and wonder that we can all relate to....more
I was in my local bookstore looking for a book on leadership. I found this book instead. Perhaps The Great Work of Your Life does not teach you how toI was in my local bookstore looking for a book on leadership. I found this book instead. Perhaps The Great Work of Your Life does not teach you how to be a better leader of other people, but it does teach you how to be a better leader of your life, and that probably was what I was looking for, without even realizing it.
The Great Work of Your Life is written by Stephen Cope. He is the Senior Scholar-in-Residence and Ambassador for the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. He lives a life of spiritualism, particularly that which is found in yoga, dharma, and the Bhagavad Gita, and fortunately, he is also an excellent writer. dharma is a complex concept and the Bhagavad Gita is a complex text, but Cope breaks down these concepts and organizes them in a way that the information is allowed to freely flow into my mind and soul.
Stephen Cope can describe dharma much better than I can, but in its simplest term, dharma is what you are meant to do in life. For example, the 26 year-old kindergarten teacher, who loves children, learning, teaching, and wakes up every morning excited to see the happy faces on her students, she is following her dharma. The counter example, the 42 year-old doctor, who spent his life becoming a doctor because his parents wanted him to, and has the condo apartment, and holds extravagant parties every other weekend, but is unhappy in his life, he is not following his dharma. Perhaps his dharma was to become a painter, but he never followed that path because of how he was raised, which emphasized medicine over art, which would be great if his life calling was to help sick people, but perhaps his true calling was to move to Japan and paint water lilies, and become the best painter of Japanese gardens on the planet.
I know a lot of people would like this book, and that is because a lot of people are like me and feel stuck in life, like we are 30 years old but we still haven't decided what we wanted to do when we grow up. There are also people out there who have decided, but it doesn't feel right, it doesn't resonate with their life, and they can benefit from this book too. The Great Work of Your Life may be the book for you!
If you are looking for a step-by-step model, full of worksheets, and quizzes, to help you find your path, this is not for you. The Great Work of Your Life focuses on concepts more than concrete steps. That may turn off some; however, if you are the type who can find meaning from personal stories, religious texts, and historic figures, and then apply those meanings to your life, you will relate to this book.
The Great Work of Your Life is a book that I can see changing my life. I already see the ripple effects as I went to the used bookstore and bought books by Thoreau and Gandhi, two figures Stephen Cope writes about in this book. I also find myself talking about this book frequently with friends, and that is because the discussion of dharma comes up so frequently, but we just might not have a name for it. What do I want to do with my life? How do I find happiness? What was I meant to do? Where is my life headed? The Great Work of Your Life can help guide you to the answers to all of these questions and more. It can help you make sense of your life.
Did The Great Work of Your Life work for me? I believe it has, but only due to hard work done by myself. I know some of you might be saying, "You mean this book just doesn't feed me all the answers?" No, I don't think it does. I think it gives you the tools, but then you have to put in the hard work and effort to use those tools and figure things out on your own. I know, right? Hard work? Who wants to do that? But if you do want to do that, then this book can help you, and I strongly recommend it.
Is this book perfect? No. I feel like The Great Work of Your Life does not fully acknowledge that people can have multiple dharmas within a given time period. The book talks about the man who is meant to become a pianist, but what about the woman who is meant to be a yoga instructor, mom, gardener, and weekend painter? Also, I feel like this book encourages people to work incredibly hard towards their dharma to the point that it can drain that person's life force. I feel like there needs to be a balance. We need to do our life's work, but we also need the break where we can relax on the couch and watch TV every once and awhile. That is just my humble opinion, and perhaps there are many of you out there that disagree completely. "Why waste time watching TV when you can be out saving the whales! Or feeding children in India! You are meant to do God's work! Not be lazy and waste your life away!" That's fine. That's what some believe. However, I believe there needs to be balance in life, but I also believe I need a kick in the pants every now and again too, and I feel like this book is the perfect kick in the pants, which is important because life can be short, and life can be squandered if we let it be so.
All in all, The Great Work of Your Life is one of those life-changing books for me, and so much the better that it is well-written. Stephen Cope has a gift, and he has found his life calling, which is teaching others how to find their life gifts. And I probably should mention, this book is so much more than helping individuals improve their lives. Dharma is more than just improving your life. It is about improving all lives. That is because the world can only be harmonious if we are all pursuing our life's paths. We are all interconnected, so your life affects your family's life affects your neighbor's life affects your coworker's life and so on and so forth encompassing the world. What I'm trying to say is that this book is more than just the personal, it is about the universal, and that is important to keep in mind when we live in a society that is all about, "How can this benefit me?" when the true question should be, "How can this benefit the world?"