Adam Graham's Blog: Christians and Superheroes

June 10, 2022

Book Review: Avengers Epic Collection Vol. 21: The Collection Obsession

Avengers Epic Collection Vol. 21: The Collection Obsession Avengers Epic Collection Vol. 21: The Collection Obsession by Danny Fingeroth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book has a lot going on it.

Deathtrap - The Vault is where it starts with a Supervillain jailbreak and the Avengers and other heroes going in along with a somewhat more dodgy group of ex-Supervillains including the Blob and Mystique. You don't hear much about this graphic novel and that's a shame because it's good. No, it's not an all-time classic, but it gives you what you want with a giant group of heroes and villains doing battle, some good moments and plot twists.

The Subterranean War storyline collects five annuals of slightly interlinked stories and it's a bit inconsistent with some fairly good issues and some weaker ones. Still it makes me appreciate the sort of crossover event that brings heroes together across annuals as opposed to derailing multiple books.

The Collector's Obsession Storyline is actually very good. While the art already is showing some classic 1990s touches, there's a good sense of who each of the Avengers are and there are some really good twists on who the villains are and what's really going on.

After that, the book continues for another several issues of the Avengers when some issues both good and bad including a take on police brutality that would have been released right after the Rodney King beating.

Overall, this is a bit of a sleeper collection with some fun and unnderatted comics.



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Published on June 10, 2022 19:45 Tags: 1990s, avengers

June 1, 2022

Book Review: Nova Classic, Volume 3

Nova Classic, Volume 3 Nova Classic, Volume 3 by Marv Wolfman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book includes the last five issues of the Nova series as well as its wrap-up in Fantastic Four Magazine...or the Earth-part of it.

This is a tough book to rate. On one hand, we're treated to a grand space opera with the Sphynx, Galactus, the Skrulls, and more. It's a really engaging tale.

On the other hand, it's less than satisfying from a Nova perspective. The book is hurt by the absence of the crossover with Rom, Spacenight which is key to wrapping up Nova's story, but even with that...Nova is barely in the Fantastic Four stuff, While I don't think Rider was well-realized, he did deserve better than what he got. Still, the book is definitely enjoyable for what it is.



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Published on June 01, 2022 22:14

January 9, 2022

Book Review: Superman, Action Comics, Volume 4: Metropolis Burning

Superman: Action Comics, Vol. 4: Metropolis Burning Superman: Action Comics, Vol. 4: Metropolis Burning by Brian Michael Bendis

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


In Metropolis Burning, Metropolis is under attack for reasons as the Legion of Doom, Leviathan, and Invisible Mafia are all somehow involved.

This is...not a great read. Brian Michael Bendis can be a great comic writer but he has bad habits and unfortunately they dominate the book: You have too much dialog that adds nothing to the story, convoluted plotting, and a non-linear story telling for no purpose, and convoluted plotting.

The best thing about the book is the inclusion of Young Justice and how the events in Superman make the meeting between Clark and Connor go smoother than it ought. Still, that's about all I can say about it.



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Published on January 09, 2022 23:18

Book Review: Superman, Action Comics, Volume 4: Metropolis Burning

Superman: Action Comics, Vol. 4: Metropolis Burning Superman: Action Comics, Vol. 4: Metropolis Burning by Brian Michael Bendis

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


In Metropolis Burning, Metropolis is under attack for reasons as the Legion of Doom, Leviathan, and Invisible Mafia are all somehow involved.

This is...not a great read. Brian Michael Bendis can be a great comic writer but he has bad habits and unfortunately they dominate the book: You have too much dialog that adds nothing to the story, convoluted plotting, and a non-linear story telling for no purpose, and convoluted plotting.

The best thing about the book is the inclusion of Young Justice and how the events in Superman make the meeting between Clark and Connor go smoother than it ought. Still, that's about all I can say about it.



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Published on January 09, 2022 23:18

January 7, 2022

Book Review: Transformers/Back to the Future

Transformers/Back To The Future Transformers/Back To The Future by Cavan Scott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Transformers/Back to the Future is one of those stories that just seems so ridiculous, but somehow is a fun and satisfying. The plot is simple enough: after getting back from the future, the Decepticons find a way to get access to the Delorean and wipe out most of the Autobots and then set out to rule the Earth with Biff Tannen playing a major role (of course.)

This is just a bizarre and fun back that works in the wackyness of Marty McFly and Doc Brown helping humanity and a few surviving autobots battle the Decepticons. The strength of the story is its commitment to its premise and its big ridiculous ideas. The book doesn't have a whole lot of character insight or some great emotional connections. At four issues, it doesn't really need it. It just tells an audacious concept combing two great eighties franchises in one comic. If the possibility of combining these two universes intrigues you, this is worth checking out.



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Published on January 07, 2022 22:39 Tags: back-to-the-future, transformers

January 6, 2022

Book Review: Silk, Vol. 1: Threats and Menaces

Silk, Vol. 1: Threats and Menaces Silk, Vol. 1: Threats and Menaces by Maurene Goo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Threats and Menaces sees the return of Silk in a 5 issue Mini-series, as she investigates strange goings on for J Jonah Jameson's new magazine Threats and Menaces, as Cindy Moon investigates a series of gangland killings and also finds herself playing bodyguard as silk for J Jonah Jameson.

The new "big bad" is an interesting character who really could end up playing well against a lot of Marvel's heroes. The plot is good and there's a great number of twists and turns. Cindy is likable and fun to read.

My one complaint is that they did try to shove in a storyline regarding her therapist and I don't think the book was long enough to do it justice. Still, this was an intriguing read and I'm disappointed we won't get to read more of this writer's work on Silk. Still, if you were intrigued by the original books with Silk in them, this is a good read.



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Published on January 06, 2022 22:42 Tags: cindy-moon, silk

January 5, 2022

Book Review Rocket Raccoon, Volume 1: Chasing Tale

Rocket Raccoon, Vol. 1: A Chasing Tale Rocket Raccoon, Vol. 1: A Chasing Tale by Skottie Young

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Chasing Tale collects the first six issues of the Rocket Raccoon series. The titular story arc Chasing Tale has a lot going on. Rocket is wanted for murder, with footage showing someone who looked like him committed the crimes, we get the terrifying prospect that Rocket not be alone in the Univers. At the same, he's also being chased across the galaxy by a string of angry exes with heavy weaponry. It's an entertaining story with a lot of fun and energy.

Then we get two one shots. One has them around the fire when Groot wants to tell the story and he does, with all the dialogue being characters saying, "I am groot." in some form. It's a funny gag.

Then in the final story, he's teamed up with a reformed war robot who wants to find some kidnapped friends and only speaks in binary. It's a bit silly, but it's still a good story.

Overall, I enjoyed this volume. A good Rocket Raccoon story has got to have a sense of the absurd and really be fun. If you like Rocket and off the wall superhero stories, this one is well-worth reading.



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Published on January 05, 2022 22:48 Tags: marvel-comics, rocket-raccoon

January 1, 2022

Book Review: Doctor Who Classic, Volume 9

Doctor Who Classics, Volume 9 Doctor Who Classics, Volume 9 by Richard Starkings

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This collects and colorizes several stories from Doctor Who Magazine:

In Time and TIde, the Doctor arrives on a doomed continent on an alient world where the inhabitants treat life as worthless because they know they're doomed. The Doctor has a plan to escape even though he's lost the TARDIS. There's only one person who seems interested and faces a tough choice. The art is good, and the story has a nice Noah vibe. Grade: C+

In Follow that TARDIS, two hoods who happen to be in pursuit of the Meddling Monk hitch a ride on the TARDIS to catch them, and they chase him throughout history and the thugs create all sorts of complications for the Doctor. It has some funny moments, but not enough to make it anything more than a throwaway story. Grade: C

Invasders from Gantac is a bog-standard story in which aliens have invaded present-day Earth. Their gimmick is that they do everything according to preassigned "orders." The Doctor knows something they don't though. The story has one redeeming grace, the homeless character named Leapy. He makes the story worth reading and is very well-written, enough to cover the general saminess of the story. Grade: C+

In Nemesis of the Daleks, after appearing in several back-up features, Absalom Daak comes face to face with the Doctor and they're forced to join forces in order to stop the Daleks. Daak is a great character and even though I 've not read his prior stories, this was easy to get into and understand his origin. At times, he feels like he's the main character. The story features some of the best art of the McCoy-era comic stripes. A very strong installment. Grade: B

in Stairway to Heaven, the Doctor meets a strange creature and stumbles into another one and begins a journey through to find out what's going on. He soon learns it's an appalling experiment and is determined to give those responsible what for. This is a very preacher story. It was told in a single issue and really , in those preachyness should be kept to a minimum. I can't help but think this would have been better if this had been a three-part story where the mystery built and the actual perpetrator not identified until the final part. As it is, the ration of preachyness doesn't work and the casual reader doesn't care about events , Grade: C

Hunger from the End of Time is a non-entity of a Doctor Who story. The Doctor lands on a space station, there's a monster, and he gets involved for the hunt for it. It runs for two issues and that's pretty much it. The monster does look interesting, but is just not given a good story or anything interesting to do. Grade: C-

The Doctor meets up with Sarah Jane and he pledges to take her to a concert. Instead, they find themselves involved in an alien plot on a strange train. Sarah Jane Smith is nice to see and is very well-drawn, but she has no ties to this alien and the story gives her few opportunities to impact the plot. She does have a nice conversation with the Doctor that's a good character moment, but that's not enough to justify the length or her inclusion. I love Sarah Jane, but I'd love it more if she actually impacted the story. Grade: C

So overall, despite having a few good guest stars, this book collects some hit and miss comics. The only really good story was Nemesis of the Daleks, but even in Black and White, the Panini collection may be better for collecting all the Daak stories.

Overall, a weak collection to end this reprint series.






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Published on January 01, 2022 23:26 Tags: comics, doctor-who, seventh-doctor

Book Review: Birds of Prey, Volume 1

Birds of Prey (1999-2009) Vol. 1 Birds of Prey (1999-2009) Vol. 1 by Chuck Dixon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Surpisingly good. Many comic fans talk about Gail Simone as the first and last word for the Birds of Prey, but these stories: One-shots, a mini-series, oversized graphic novel length books, are actually quite good.

Most of the stories are focused on Barbara Gordon as Oracle teaming up and providing support for the Black Canary, who was dealing with teh death of teh Green Arrow and finding herself. The stories have good action, decent mysteries, and really more than a few surprises. There's an interesting dynamic and relationship between Black Canary and Oracle, even though Oracle knows who Black Canary is but not vice versa.

The weakest story in here is the mini-series in which Black Canary teams up with Huntress and Catwoman and even that's not bad, although the idea that this adventure primarily caused by a man standing them up and the villains are bit unengaging. Still, it's a decent mini-series.

Overall, there's a lot of really rubbish comics from this era. This isn't one of them. It's intriguing, it lays the groundwork for things to come and it's well-worth reading.



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Published on January 01, 2022 00:04 Tags: batgirl, black-canary, oracle

December 29, 2021

Book Review: Spacehawk: The Complete Collection, Volume 1

Spacehawk: The Complete Collection Part 1 Spacehawk: The Complete Collection Part 1 by Basil Wolverton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This free collection from the Digital Comic Museum provides a good introduction to Basil Wolverton's only real "Superhero" work Spacehawk.

Really, in terms of Golden Age Sci Fi Superheroes, Spacehawk is top notch. He's powerful and mysterious. His dialogue is very well-done for the era, and the villains are interesting, and his aliens are well-drawn and stand out from so many Golden Age comics which used predictable designs.

The book does lose steam towards the end. Spacehawk was being published by a small publishing house who decided every hero had to get involved in the War including the guy from space who defeated foes that were more dangerous than the Nazis frequently. Later on, entertainment companies would realize that people craved distraction from the War and would stop putting every comic character on war footing all the time. Sadly, this realization wouldn't come soon enough for Spacehawk.

However, the first part of the book is intriguing and a must-read for Sci Fi comic fans.



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Published on December 29, 2021 23:03

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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