Adam Graham's Blog: Christians and Superheroes

November 19, 2021

Book Review: JLA, Vol. 2

JLA, Vol. 2 JLA, Vol. 2 by Grant Morrison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The second volume is a bit of a mixed bag. The first several issues start off as Lex Luthor starting a new Injustice Gang and quickly become a prefiguring of Final Crisis.I have mixed feelings on the story and where they went from there.

Then we have the Justice League disbanding...except not really. And then there's an attack on the Watchtower that feels like an overkill right after the previous story.

Then the book concludes with the JLA/Wildcats crossover that's borderline unreadable. Even if I had any understanding of what the Wildcats are about, I don't if I could get much out of the crossover.

For me, this isn't bad, but it's a bit mediocre.



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Published on November 19, 2021 19:46 Tags: grant-morrison, jla

November 4, 2021

Book Review: Squadron Supreme

Squadron Supreme Squadron Supreme by Mark Gruenwald

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Squadron Supreme is a pastiche of the Justice League from an alternate universe. After a catastrophe caused by them being taken over by a supervillain, the vast majority decide to remake the world and solve all of its problems. Yet some of their members question what they've done and are determined to stop their undermining human rights and free will no matter what the cost.

This was actually an interesting book with solid art, some well-drawn and emotionally characters and some really good moral conflicts. The characters are typical bronze age superheroes, but to me, this is a positive. I actually got into this and engaged it with more than Watchmen. Because as a fan of this era in superhero comics, the conflicts and situations seemed more closely related to the Superhero comics of the time rather than trying to redefine the genre.

The one Captain America comic was a bit of a filler issue, and at least one of the villains seemed more like a pastiche of Doctor Doom than a DC villain. Still, this was a really solid and vastly underrated maxi series that takes a look at well-intentioned characters and the cost of crossing moral lines to fix the world. Overall, an engaging and memorable read.



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Published on November 04, 2021 23:16 Tags: squadron-supreme

October 28, 2021

Book Review: The Flash Vol. 15: Finish Line

The Flash (2016-) Vol. 15: Finish Line The Flash (2016-) Vol. 15: Finish Line by Joshua Williamson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Reverse is taking on Barry Allen, battling him for the future and for his present. To do that, he's drawn together Barry's foes throughout his years. Will the Flash and the Family

Joshua Williamson came on writing the Flash after Rebirth and I won't say that it hasn't been a bumpy ride at times, with a lot of ups and downs. Fifteen volumes, 101 issues. But it's been a lot more smooth than rough.

Finish Line is a near perfect finish to the run. I loved the first volume and the last volume is its equal. It's a celebration not only of Williamson's run, but of the Flash and the Flash Family. The book is a fan-pleasing rousing fight to the finish with so many fun moments and great Easter eggs. Overall, a perfect end to a very good run.



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Published on October 28, 2021 23:24 Tags: josh-williamson, the-flash

October 25, 2021

Book Review: Red Prophet: The Tales of Alvin Maker, Volume 1

Red Prophet: The Tales of Alvin Maker, Volume 1 Red Prophet: The Tales of Alvin Maker, Volume 1 by Orson Scott Card

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This adaptation of Orson Welles' Alvin Maker series has a lot going for it. It's got interested characters and does a good job of setting up a solid alternate history, and giving a mystical setting. The big problem with the book is that it was too darn verbose. Each page is covered in narration. There's very long blocks of dialogue. There were decisions that needed to be made for this to work in the graphic novel medium. Unfortunately, it didn't happen and we end up with a challenging read and not in a good way. The included "Ender's Game" universe story is fine. It suffers some of the same deficiencies as the main story but its less notable. Overall, not a great read.



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Published on October 25, 2021 22:47 Tags: alvin-maker, orson-scott-card

October 24, 2021

Book Review: Superman, Vol. 4: Mythological

Superman, Volume 4: Mythological Superman, Volume 4: Mythological by Brian Michael Bendis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This 9-issue book wraps up Bendis' run on Superman and it's...not horrible. It features a lot of people talking about Superman, analyzing Superman, Superman even gets analyzed. The first few issues are kind of blah. A big problem is raised with the United Planet, it becomes the focus of reporters and federal investigators...and it's kind of handwaved away.

And then we get the main mythological arch which is kind of interesting but is really not the sort of story you end a run on, although I do like some of the sentiment and character stuff for Lois.

So overall, not bad, but still kind of disappointing.



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Published on October 24, 2021 20:49 Tags: brian-michael-bendis, superman

October 23, 2021

Book Reveiw: Avengers: Hawkeye - Earth's Mightiest Marksman

Avengers: Hawkeye - Earth's Mightiest Marksman (Hawkeye (1994)) Avengers: Hawkeye - Earth's Mightiest Marksman (Hawkeye by Chuck Dixon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


We get three different sections of Hawkeye comics from the 1990s.

First, we have a four-issue story where Hawkeye has left the West Coast Avengers and is brooding and gets drawn into another adventures involving the Secret Empire and is determined to solve it all by himself (after getting help from War Machine.) As far as these sort of stories go, this was okay.

Then, US Agent decides he's not happy where things ended with Hawkeye and tracks him down to tell him the West Coast Avengers became Forceworks. This wasn't horrible but felt pointless.

Then we get into the Kurt Busiek era on the Avengers and he's helping train Justice and Firestar when an old enemy comes calling. I though this was fine, maybe the best story in the book.

Overall, these felt like somewhat random Hawkeye comics. If you enjoy Hawkeye a lot (I like him okay), you may enjoy them more. But this book felt very random.



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Published on October 23, 2021 23:17 Tags: 1990s-comics, hawkeye

October 16, 2021

Book Review: "Spider-Man: The Next Chapter Vol. 2

Spider-Man: The Next Chapter Vol. 2 Spider-Man: The Next Chapter Vol. 2 by Howard Mackie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This volume feels like a book I should like. There's Mysterio's scheme and Flash Thompson finding himself in a world where he's superhero, the return of Venom and the Sinister Six and a good mystery to boot.

Yet, there's a certain joylessness about the whole affair that gets wearying and drags the book down particularly in the way that Mary Jane is written and her reaction to Peter's lie to her about Spider-man (a contrived problem meant to create drama) .

Thus you've got a more meh feel than the plot elements really would indicate. This isn't bad, but it's just not a fun read.



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Published on October 16, 2021 08:43 Tags: 2000s, spider-man

October 15, 2021

Book Review: Batman, Detective Comics, Volume 6: Road to Ruin

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 6: Road to Ruin Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 6: Road to Ruin by Peter J. Tomasi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Peter Tomasi is a good writer, but even he's not a good enough to save his premature exit from Detective Comics. There's a lot of interesting stuff such as the Mayoral election and Damian and Bruce have some good moments, but there's a shoe-horned villain, a nonsensical plot, and another attempt to teach Batman a lesson, as well as a guest appearance by most of the Bat-family that's not handled well.

Overall, this is okay, but just underwhelming and below par for Tomasi.



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Published on October 15, 2021 22:38 Tags: batman, detective-comics, peter-tomasi

October 10, 2021

Book Review: Batman and the Outsiders, Volume 2: A League of their Own

Batman and the the Outsiders, Vol. 2: A League of their Own Batman and the the Outsiders, Vol. 2: A League of their Own by Bryan Edward Hill

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Batman and the Outsiders is what happens when a small book gets caught up in the larger events that drive a comic company. The idea for the Outsiders is entirely incompatible with the direction the larger Batman titles were going. So we get a rushed conclusion to the Ra's Al-ghul storyline and then a decent annual involving Katana and Black Lightning.

This book is ultimately not so much a good comic but a symbol of what's wrong with the industry. The big two are obsessed with telling multiple universe-shaking/status quo-overturning storylines every year, they struggle to do the basic thing: put out an entertaining monthly comic mag. The result is a rushed resolution where no character ultimately receives justice.



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Published on October 10, 2021 22:07 Tags: batman-and-the-outsiders

October 9, 2021

Book Review: Static Shock!: Trial by Fire Vol. 1

Static Shock!: Trial by Fire Vol. 1 (Static (1993-1997)) Static Shock!: Trial by Fire Vol. 1 (Static by Dwayne McDuffie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This collect of the first four comics with Static has some good stuff for fans of the character but is a bit of a mess in some ways. We really don't get to any sort of point to the Fourth issue where our hero faces a trial and of his heroism in dealing with the anti-hero Holocaust from the Blood Syndicate book. The writing is average and the art is okay initially but actually seems to get worse in later issues. This is a book for superfans of Static Shock only.



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Published on October 09, 2021 22:56 Tags: milestone, static-shock

Christians and Superheroes

Adam Graham
I'm a Christian who writes superhero fiction (some parody and some serious.)

On this blog, we'll take a look at:

1) Superhero stories
2) Issues of faith in relation to Superhero stories
3) Writing Superhe
...more
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