Adam Graham's Blog: Christians and Superheroes, page 5

February 8, 2021

Book Review: Avengers: Vision and the Scarlet Witch

Avengers: Vision and the Scarlet Witch Avengers: Vision and the Scarlet Witch by Steve Englehart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book collects the very busy Avengers Annual where the Scarlet Witch and Vision are married, and then collects their four-issue mini-series.

The annual is decent, although there's a lot going on and it feels like there's a lot you'd miss if you're not up on all the ends and outs of 1980s comics.

The mini-series doesn't tell a complete story in and of itself, rather it teases what a series might be like. Issue 1 is kind of a standard affair with them moving into a house on Halloween and hijinxs ensuing. Issue 2 is more interesting in that it brings back the Whizzer who was at one point assumed to be the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver's father. Wanda doesn't have the heart to tell him the truth and they try and help him free his actual son from an institution with tragic results.

Issue three features Wonder Man, from whom Vision's personality was drawn, coming to help a wounded Vision out. Issue 4 features a visit to Pietro to encounter Magnetto and learn a key fact about the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver's life.

Overall, this is a solid volume. While it's not spectacular and there's ongoing arc, it nonetheless discloses some key moments for the character and is a worthy read for Marvel fans.



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Published on February 08, 2021 22:56 Tags: scarlet-witch, vision

February 6, 2021

Book Review: The Adventures of Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty

The Adventures of Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty The Adventures of Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty by Fabian Nicieza

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book contains two Captain America mini-series.

The first is the Adventures of Captain America, which is a 1990s retelling of Cap's origin and earliest adventures with a lot of details expanded. Overall, this was a likable story with solid art, particularly for the era that managed to mostly remain consistent with what had come before. While not every change worked, I thought most did. This is a fun look at a little less experienced Captain America.

Captain America: The Newspaper strips is an attempt to rectify the lack of Captain America newspaper strips being published during the golden age of comics like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman were. This works fairly although the art definitely more reflects the style of the early 2000s when it was written rather than the 1940s. I also felt the plot wasn't that great, particularly given that this was the only story that would told like this. Still, it's a nice read if you're a fan of the Golden Age cap tales.





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Published on February 06, 2021 00:26 Tags: captain-america

February 4, 2021

Book Review: Young Justice, Vol. 3: Warriors and Warlords

Young Justice, Vol. 3: Warriors and Warlords Young Justice, Vol. 3: Warriors and Warlords by Brian Michael Bendis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This book collects the final eight issues of Young Justice. The plot with Superboy in the last volume is taken care of in the previous volume and then we get a bunch of individual issues that fill in continuity.

Overall, this wasn't bad. The art was pretty consistent and the stories had some interesting moments, but this didn't go anywhere and it was a little frustrating that a big defining for the team happened outside the book I was reading. This was okay, but I hope Young Justice returns with a bit more focus.



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Published on February 04, 2021 00:11 Tags: young-justice

January 30, 2021

Book Review: Event Leviathan

Event Leviathan Event Leviathan by Brian Michael Bendis

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


The Leviathan Event isn't a bad idea. There's a new shadowy threat called determined to bring order at any cost. Lois Lane decides that what's needed to solve the case is to bring together the DC universe's greatest detectives. This is good...in theory.

The problem is that this is a case of way too many cooks. There are simply too many detectives running around, essentially clustered together in large groups, with some dominating and some just contributing enough banter that we can say, "Yeah, that character was in this comic."

Instead, we get a lot of build up and a few plot points about how dangerous Leviathan is and it's hard to care about any of it. The solution to the case is unsatisfying which makes this a pretty disappointing miss for Brian Michael Bendis.



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Published on January 30, 2021 22:39 Tags: leviathan

January 29, 2021

Book Review: Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men, Vol. 7

Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men, Vol. 7 Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men, Vol. 7 by Steve Englehart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Set after the X-Men went into reprints and before Giant X-men #1 made them legends, this book collects a guest appearances by individual X-men in Amazing Spider-man and the Incredible Hulk, and also multiple X-Men guest-starring in Marvel Team-up.

The comics are okay. Marvel Team-up #4 is probably the best story and the X-men do take the lead since Spidey's out of commission for most of the book. The Beast's solo series is not bad, but what he was going through felt very derivative of what the Incredible Hulk's set-up. Still, it's worth seeing in order to find out how the classic Hank McCoy changed to his more beastial form. Although his changing of color from gray to blue is not well-explained.

It's not terrible, but you can see why the X-men were in a no-man's land.



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Published on January 29, 2021 22:58 Tags: the-beast, x-men

January 25, 2021

Book Review: Spider-man: Miles Morales, Vol. 3

Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Vol. 3 Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Vol. 3 by Brian Michael Bendis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book collects seven issues of Miles Morales' Spider-man. The first half of the book features Miles' mother learning about his secret identity. I thought his mom's reaction to this was very realistic and had a nice human element to the story. This also leads into a teen hero facing off against Hammerhead and then Miles coming after him. Bendis put some thought into Hammerhead and the complexity of organized crime fighting heroes in the Marvel universe. All the other supporting characters are very well-written and characterized.

Then the book takes an odd swing with Miles going off to Japan in an effort to find himself. The story is interesting for what it does, sets up a big battle as well as a potential future for Miles that I'm not necessarily thrilled with. Still, this is a solid collection.



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Published on January 25, 2021 23:49 Tags: brian-michael-bendis, miles-morales

January 23, 2021

Book Review: Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 4: Cold Vengeance

Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 4: Cold Vengeance Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 4: Cold Vengeance by Peter J. Tomasi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book collects eight issues of Detective Comics by Peter Tomasi:

This starts out with the titular story, "Cold Vengeance" which ties into Lex Luthor messing around with things and giving villains gifts. In this case, Mr. Freeze is given a chance to cure his wife Nora. This doesn't go quite as planned and there are a number of good turns along the way. This story was definitely entertaining.

Then we get the one shot story, "Orphan" guest written by Tom Taylor that deals with problem at an orphonage named for Bruce Wayne's mother. This one packs an emotional twist and Robin (Damian Wayne) is involved and gives another dimension to that relationship. It's simple and heartfelt.

Finally, we have the two-parter, "Dead of Winter" which involves someone strange pagan rituals around Christmastime. It's a good seasonal tale that while not great, is still a fun read.

Overall, this is another solid book in a good run for Detective comics.



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Published on January 23, 2021 23:31 Tags: batman, mr-freeze

January 18, 2021

Book Review: Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men, Vol. 6

Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men, Vol. 6 Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men, Vol. 6 by Roy Thomas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This is a decent enough collection of X-Men comics, collecting the final 13 issues (#54-66) from the late 60s and early 70s prior to the X-Men becoming a reprint title until Giant X-Men #1.

The book features the Introduction of the Living Pharaoh and of Scott Summers' (Cyclops) brother Alex (aka Havok), the return of the Sentinels, a trip to the Savage Land, staving off an alien invasion, and meeting the Hulk.

The book is uneven. I enjoyed the Sentinel story and I thought there were some clever twitsts in the Savage Land story that made it interesting. The constraints of the book being divided between telling Angel's origin story in the Living Pharaoh issues does slow that down and it's not as interesting. The surprise return of a deceased character is clumsily handled and I don't know what was trying to be accomplished with the Hulk story.

The art helps with Neal Adams and Don Heck being among the artist featured. So overall, this book is okay, but not really great.



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Published on January 18, 2021 22:48 Tags: x-men

January 10, 2021

Book Review: Superman, Vol. 3: The Truth Revealed

Superman, Vol. 3: The Truth Revealed Superman, Vol. 3: The Truth Revealed by Brian Michael Bendis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Truth Revealed collects four Issues of Superman and two special issues.

The first issue has a reunion between Jon and Damian as the later considers an offer to join the Legion of Superheroes.

The rest of the book centers on Clark's decision to reveal his secret identity. The topic is one suited to Bendis' style as he loves to do stories with a lot of character conversations and talks from even the man on the street and this is a topic where that fits. So while the entire book is a bit pro forma in setting up the new status quo for Superman, it's still an engaging.

My only complaint is the presence of the infected Supergirl in the villains issue. That was rather pointless and a reminder of how DC so badly mishandled this character.

Other than that, it's a solid read.



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Published on January 10, 2021 00:33 Tags: brian-michael-bendis, superman

January 2, 2021

Book Review: Avengers: West Coast Avengers: Sins of the Past

Avengers: West Coast Avengers: Sins of the Past Avengers: West Coast Avengers: Sins of the Past by Steve Englehart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This collection of West Coast Avengers comics (the second volume of the ongoing series) actually works pretty well. While the Thing's disappearance from LA ast the start of the book is a bit abrupt, the story moves along with a lot of decent villain battles including Master Pandemonium and the return of Graviton. We also get a goofy West-East Avengers baseball game that's interruppted by the entire team being arrested for treason based on information provided by a traitor. In this case, it's not a big suprise to me who the traitor was.

Of course,, team books are made up of the personal stuff going on with the team. I actually thought Steve Engelhart handled this cleverly. While the books have a few issues like Hank Pym adjusting to being a non-hero support of the Avengers and Hawkeye's struggle to establish leadership, the big through line in all these issues is Tigra who's cat powers leave her vulnerable to suggestion and to falling for every man who shows any interest in her. It creates some real dilemmas that also also tie into the stories on several occassions.

Overall, this wasn't great but was still pretty good, with some decent humor, some good battles, and solid key personal arc that goes through all these issues.



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Published on January 02, 2021 22:37 Tags: marvel-comics, west-coast-avengers

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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