As I sat reading them I was so excited to have kids of my own one day, so I could read these to them. But then I realizThese books are the best thing.
As I sat reading them I was so excited to have kids of my own one day, so I could read these to them. But then I realized they're pretty spoilery, and would I rather have my kids enjoy these when they're kids OR watch their faces as it is revealed that Darth Vader is Luke's father?
Thank god I have many years to figure out the answer. ...more
I don’t understand people who have a favorite superhero that’s NOT Captain America (no, I lie, I do understand it, I just think they’re totally wrong)I don’t understand people who have a favorite superhero that’s NOT Captain America (no, I lie, I do understand it, I just think they’re totally wrong).
I mean, how can he not be your favorite? He’s a downright good man (not just man, human) in a world that rewards goodness with disdain and scorn. Do you know how difficult that is? How much shit you have to put up with? How does one look at the world and find it worth saving day after day? That’s a power worth having.
Anyway, that is a debate for another day. If you’ve seen the latest Captain America that might be why you’re reading this, it’s certainly why I came about finding it. It’s the main story ark the movie is based on (I suppose, I didn’t research it), and I must say they’ve done a pretty good job adapting it to the big screen. There are changes, of course, but the core plot between Cap and the Winter Soldier remains largely the same, and then who the hell cares what else is going on?
I didn’t care much for the overall plot involving Hydra and the cube, but the Winter Soldier fascinates me and that part was at least well written.
I would’ve given it 4 stars if it hadn’t been for the art. I can’t explain why, it just irks me so much. Some panels were very nice, but often they felt too polished for my taste, and sometimes the faces just looked ridiculous. The only time I really liked it was in the interlude story about Jack Monroe. That artist did a good job, the others just managed to make Steve look, I’m sorry to say, like a prettier Arnold Schwarzenegger, it was awful. I couldn’t take him seriously at all, absolutely hated the way they drew him. They did alright with everyone else, but Steve was consistently a disaster.
I don't think that is a real expression at all.
What happened to his head? Could it happen to mine too? And look at all those ~emotions~ on his face.
Other than that, it’s a pretty decent read. (I like the movie better, but maybe that’s because Sebastian Stan and Chris Evans actually portrayed FEELINGS with their FACES, but I'm only guessing)....more
This continues the daring escape of Alana and Marko in a sentient tree-based spaceship, now with the presence of Marko’s parents onboard. Things are cThis continues the daring escape of Alana and Marko in a sentient tree-based spaceship, now with the presence of Marko’s parents onboard. Things are complicated.
It gives us more of a look into Alana and Marko’s backgrounds and how they met each other, it’s pretty much exactly what you’d imagine and then again it’s not. There’s also some added assassin action and we get to meet some new kick-ass characters.
I rated the first and second vol. the same, and this really is every bit as good as the first one, perhaps even better. It gets more personal, with our understanding of their backgrounds and meeting some of the family (and a bit of someone’s past slowly catching up to them), and in many ways more emotional, so the readers involvement only grows. Hell, you even feel a little sympathetic towards one of the hired killers (not the Prince, he’s a d-bag).
The art is still amazing, and especially the interior of the spaceship is beautiful.
I really have to get my hands on vol. 3 one of these days. If it continues like this, it’ll be a truly great series. ...more
You should read this. Oh, but you don’t read graphic novels, you say? Read it anyway. You don’t like fantasy? Read it anyway. You don’t like inter-speYou should read this. Oh, but you don’t read graphic novels, you say? Read it anyway. You don’t like fantasy? Read it anyway. You don’t like inter-species romance and star-crossed lovers on the run from assassins, because they had a baby and it could bring PEACE and who wants that? Read it anyway.
This first volume covers Alana and Marko as they try to escape the planet of Cleave with their newborn daughter. Their love is, even without a baby, a crime, an atrocity; their two species are at war and have been for lifetimes, but love doesn’t give a shit, and you have to hold on to it when you find it, even if it means running for your life.
Brian and Fiona don’t rely on action-packed sequences or larger-than-life and heroic actions to bring their story to life, despite the fantasy setting and otherworldly characters much of the story is surprisingly normal. It’s simply two brand new parents trying not to fuck it up too hard, all the while staying alive and being true to each other. They’re not heroes, they’re just two people in love, wanting to live a peaceful life. It clashes perfectly with the other side of the story, the war, the violence, and the ridiculous chase for these two people, because their love is a threat. It’s completely senseless, but war often is.
On top of having a very original story, with instantly likeable (or the opposite) and brilliant characters, it is paired with a beautiful visual presentation. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are a match made in heaven. I think I read somewhere that they don’t think this could ever work as anything but a graphic novel, and I agree.
The art and the writing go together so well, and complement each other in a way you don’t see very often. They’re symbiotic, they belong to and benefit from each other.
I gave this 4 stars and not 5, because I felt these stories were a bitI did a combined review of this and 'My Life As A Weapon', you can find it here.
I gave this 4 stars and not 5, because I felt these stories were a bit more difficult to follow.
However, this is still an amazing series that absolutely needs to be read. It's cleverly written, with a humor, warmth and honesty that would be really difficult to conjure up with any other superhero (save perhaps Peter Parker).
It's just, all in all, a very touching portrayal of a superhero that so many people underestimate and disregard. And it makes me wanna put my fists in the air to know that Matt Fraction and co-conspirators have made a series that is so dedicated to showing us who Clint Barton really is when he isn't busy being an Avenger and overshadowed by his fellow superheroes.
I'm not particularly into comic-books and rarely read them, unless they manage to truly catch my eye. These did, and I can't recommend them highly enough. Even if you don't read comics, I'd say you need to read these. ...more
The thing that always struck me about Hawkeye – Clint Barton – is that he is very well aware of the fact that he isn’t a superhero. He hardly even thiThe thing that always struck me about Hawkeye – Clint Barton – is that he is very well aware of the fact that he isn’t a superhero. He hardly even thinks of himself as a hero. He is hyperaware of his own humanity and his lacking any ‘super’ skill. His aim is perfect, because it has to be. To quote a different comic altogether, he says this: “And if I miss, it means I'm just another dude with a bow”, in this one, he puts it like this:
“You cowboy around with The Avengers some. Guys got, what, armor. Magic. Super-powers. Super-strength. Shrink-dust. Grow-rays. Magic. Healing factors. I’m an orphan raised by carnies fighting with a stick and a string from the Paleolithic era.”
He belongs and doesn’t belong at the same time. Other than his bow and arrow, he’s got no special skills, without those he’s just a regular guy. He constantly gets into trouble (in way over his head), perhaps because his everyday exposure to super-enhanced heroes makes him see himself in a rather fatalistic light, or because he feels he’s got something to prove, or maybe… because he simply can’t look away from someone needing his help.
These comics aren’t really about Hawkeye, actually, they’re about Clint Barton.
Because cowboying around with The Avengers, being a superhero – or even just a hero – isn’t exactly something you shrug off once you come home. You can’t simply take off your mask, lay down your bow and be a regular guy, even if you feel like – and in many ways are - one. That isn’t how it works.
The genius and popularity of this particular run is the play on the fact that Clint doesn’t have magic or super-strength or healing powers. Neither does Kate or anyone else they meet and fight in these stories. Sometimes they’re up against big baddies, sometimes local thugs, but it’s never Hawkeye, The Avenger, we follow. It’s Clint Barton, bruised, battered, just-a-guy Clint Barton, who’s too good to back down from a fight for the right cause (precisely because you don't leave your morals or your heroism with your mask, you take them with you everywhere), but not quite good enough to win it alone.
Of course he’s not alone, he’s got Kate Bishop (who takes over his handle as Hawkeye for the Young Avengers), and to quote Barton himself,
"She is without a doubt the finest and most gifted bowman I've ever met but she's like nine years old and spoiled rotten. She's pretty great."
I’m not an avid comic book reader, so I’d never met Kate before, but it’s true, she is really great. Her and Clint’s interactions are often the highlights of the stories, and besides wielding the same superhero-handle from time to time, there’s honest friendship between them. I could gush about Kate Bishop for ages, but I won’t. I’ll simply say I love their interactions and the obvious respect and admiration they have for one another. It’s not an easy thing to write a relationship between a man and a young woman that makes them appear equal, but they hit the nail on the head.
Matt Fraction and the others understand that it isn’t the big explosions or the scale of the battles that matter, it’s the emotional involvement of your audience. And trust me, you’ll get involved. The genius of this series is that it acknowledges Clint's apparent lack of super skills, but constantly gets himself into trouble regardless and it shows us how much heart he’s really got. He might mock himself incessantly, but Clint is, when he’s not off shooting arrows and hitting everything he aims for, a good guy, trying to do the right thing....more
What makes this worth reading is not the story. The story is that of a dying man creating what he wants to b“The world is always ending for someone.”
What makes this worth reading is not the story. The story is that of a dying man creating what he wants to be his legacy, working on that one last thing relentlessly, finishing it and then passing away... it's not the first time it's been done. Although this does add something more, it adds the sense of story and real life blending together. Life mirrors art mirrors life. Faced with death we stop making distinctions.
What makes this worth reading is the art and the words. Not how the words create the story, but the words on their own, and the pictures on their own. Every panel is gorgeous to look at and haunting to read. It is not the whole of it that makes it worthwhile, it is the individual parts. It is the journey, truly, that you have to cherish.
I admire both Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, the former for his gift with words, the latter for his artistic talent, and how he can create such a tangible atmosphere with only pictures.
I wish I owned a physical copy of this. I had to read it on my computer and it simply isn't the same. It deserves the full glory of a hardback copy. ...more