Adam Graham's Blog: Christians and Superheroes, page 7

August 3, 2018

Doctor Who Series III, Vol. 3: Sky Jacks!Doctor Who Series III, Vol. 3: Sky Jacks! by Andy Diggle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book contains two stories.

The first, Sky Jacks! has Clara waking up in the TARDIS and seeing a sign telling her not to press a button which she then presses. She fall through a hole and find herself in a world with a lot of stranded sky ships and the 11th Doctor.

This story isn't horrible, but it doesn't really offer anything special. It's hurt by weak art and also the lack of definition for Clara that plagued the character during Season 7B.

The second story, the one-part In-Fez-Station by Comics legend Len Wein which features the Doctor, Amy, and Rory arriving at a musical festival, where the Fez, that headgear most synonymous with the 11th Doctor but which he rarely gets to wear, is required. But when Amy and Rory put on the Fez something weird happens, and there's an old enemy behind it. This one is decent, fun, and a nice little diversion.

Overall, an okay, but unremarkable collection of Doctor Who Comics.

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Published on August 03, 2018 00:02 • 38 views • Tags: 11th-doctor, doctor-who, idw

July 31, 2018

Patsy Walker: HellcatPatsy Walker: Hellcat by Kathryn Immonen

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book collects a 4-part story from Marvel Comics Presents 1-4 and then the mini-series Patsy Walker: Hellcat.

The 4-parter is a bit weird and interesting as Patsy goes on a date but her date is distracted by various version of herself that appeared in print. It's not great, but it's not horrible either.

The mini-series is set after Civil War with the 50-state initiative and she gets sent to Alaska where she gets charged with bringing the rebellious daughter of a Native shaman family. The story seems like it's supposed to be zany and hilarious, but to me it just comes off as weird and bordering on the incomprehensible.

I'm not certain who this was writen for, but overall, this book tries to be funny and fails and after that there's not much else to this book.

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Published on July 31, 2018 23:48 • 56 views • Tags: hellcat, patsy-walker

July 30, 2018

Nightwing, Vol. 5: Raptor's RevengeNightwing, Vol. 5: Raptor's Revenge by Tim Seeley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nightwing's world begins to collapse around him as the community center faces a funding crisis (because a Senator said something randomly), his ex-supervillian friends are mad at him, his police contact thinks he's into her after she gave him mouth-to-mouth, and to top it all off, Raptor is back to punish Bludhaven to get even with Dick, leading him to try and team up with the town's new boss, Blockbuster.

The first issue is a bit frantically paced and has some silly moments in it. However, once you get past it, the events really come together and the story builds to a solid conclusion for Tim Seeley's run. It's a true finale story with high stakes and a lot being dealt with. The story does feel slightly rushed as if there were how Seeley intended to end things, but that DC changes had forced him to move in this direction prematurely.

Still, Seeley had a decent run, and this wraps up nicely despite a few problems.

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Published on July 30, 2018 23:27 • 118 views • Tags: dc-rebirth, dick-grayson, nightwing

July 29, 2018

The Shadow/BatmanThe Shadow/Batman by Steve Orlando

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Second crossover book between Batman features some decent art as well as a few interesting ideas. If Batman and the Shadow existed in the same world, it'd certainly make sense for the Shadow to be Batman's mentor. The book gets bogged down a bit because of an overpowered supervillain and far too much navel-gazing in the Shadow plot. Overall, not bad, but not as good as we'd expect from a combination of these two legendary characters.

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Published on July 29, 2018 05:57 • 58 views • Tags: batman, shadow

July 26, 2018

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows Vol. 3: Eight Years LaterAmazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows Vol. 3: Eight Years Later by Jody Houser

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book fast forwards eight years to Annie as a teenager. It collects Issues 13-18, with two three issue stories.

The Eight Years Later story is okay, but not great. The art is decent and the story is fine. There's some clunky exposition that's required and the story's nothing special. It features Peter trying to teach Annie a lesson (as if for the first time) that's so basic that it's impossible to imagine he hadn't taught it before.

Fast Times at Midtown High finds Annie in high school and mortified by Peter taking a teaching job When two kids develop superpowers, she lies to her parents, designs her own costume, and takes them under her wing. It's an interesting story that shows the potential of what a teenage Annie can bring to the series as we can explore her character as she tries to find her own way in life and establish her own identity. Overall, a good story.

Despite, some bumps, this was a fun collection. Looking forward to Volume 4.

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Published on July 26, 2018 17:00 • 69 views • Tags: amazing-spider-man, renew-your-vows

July 19, 2018

Mighty Mouse Vol. 1: Saving The DayMighty Mouse Vol. 1: Saving The Day by Sholly Fisch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Young Joey is a fan of Mighty Mouse and also an artist. These provide comfort to him as he bullied. One day while rewatching Mighty Mouse cartoons on TV, he's drawing, and Mighty Mouse comes out of his television and shakes up Joey's life. However, if Joey doesn't figure out how to get Mighty Mouse back to Mouseland, they'll be overrun by an alien invasion.

This is a cute book. I don't know how many kids watch or are even aware of Mighty Mouse (which makes this is a risky project for Dynamite to take on), but Sholly Fisch has produced a light and colorful comic story. We've seen this sort of story before but Fisch does it with flair. There are some great gags about cartoon physics and how Mighty Mouse has to be instructed not to do things that would kill people in the real world.

I also like how the book makes it credible that Joey would like Mighty Mouse. Before reading this book, I didn't get the appeal, but I see it better now. This isn't a great book, I'd give it 3.5 stars and say it's great for younger kids, for a relaxing innocent read and for adults who have a soft spot for Mighty Mouse.

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Published on July 19, 2018 17:32 • 93 views • Tags: mighty-mouse

July 18, 2018

The Amazing Spider-Man: Origin of the HobgoblinThe Amazing Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin by Roger Stern

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book collects the earliest appearances of Roderick Kingsley and the Hobgoblin in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-man Issues 43, 47,48 and 85 and Amazing Spider-man 238, 239, 244, 245 and 249-251.

Thoughts on the individual issues:

(PPSS #43, 47, and 48): A crime story with Spidey hunting down the villainess Bella Donna. It's got a Noir bent to it as Peter tries to stop him. We meet Roderick Kingsley who seems unlikely to emerge as a supervillain, but we learn, he's selfish, cowardly, and absolutely ruthless in pursuit of what he wants. Enjoyable, though not essential to understanding the Goblin.

(AS #238 and 239): In a situation that has some parallels to the death of Uncle Ben, Spidey catches three of four bank robbers but decides not to chase after the fourth for fear that he'll get lost in the sewer and him wanting to retrieve his film. Unfortunately, this leads to the hood discovering Norman Osborn's stockpiles of Goblin supplies and going to a man in the shadows and telling him about it and that man becomes the Hobgoblin and Peter has some responsibility for it. We also get the first battle between Spidey and the Hobgoblin, and though the Goblin gets away he learns you need more than a creepy costume if you're going toe to toe with Spider-man. Peter is left to wonder whether Hobgoblin knows his secret identity.

(AS #244 and 245): A somewhat ho-hum robbery with Spider-man catching the bad guys takes on a whole new level danger when it's revealed Hobgoblin's involved and plans use stolen information from Osborn Manufacturing to make himself stronger. Has a nice fake-out cover for Issue #245 as it looks like the identity of Hobgoblin will be revealed. Even though what happens on the cover actually happens in the book, we don't get what readers thought they would get when they picked up the book..

(PPSS #85):After framing and killing a hood as Hobgoblin, Hobgoblin has created a formula to make himself stronger. The book features that, but is more about trying to show the challenge in the love affair between Black Cat and Spidey as Cat wants to be part of Spidey's Adventures but Spidey is worried about her being hurt, leading to a confrontation with Hobgoblin where they spaz a lot. Really could have been any villain. Kind of dubious step by writer Bill Mantlo (only issue in this book not written by Roger Stern) though there's a legitimate point about the problem in their relationship that he was trying to raise. I'll talk about that in a review of their larger ark in PPSS one day.

(AS #249-251): Hobgoblin decides to take advantage of Norman Osborne's file to blackmail members of a club to which Harry Osborn, Wilson Fisk, and J. Jonah Jameson belong to. For Harry, the blackmail centers around revealing the truth about his dad. For Jonah, the blackmail comes down to Norman's knowledge about Jameson being involved in the creation of the Scorpion. There are things to nitpick such as it not making much sense for Hobgoblin to pursue blackmail as his first big crime after so much fighting and building up muscle. What there is to like about this is everything else. We have Kingpin saving Spider-man, and we have one of Spidey's greatest fights ever on Hobgoblin's battle van without his Spider-sense. In addition, the story puts J. Jonah Jameson at a crossroads and finally has to make a decision about facing the consequences about some of his shennanigans in pursuit of Spidey, and you have Spidey rightly calling him on the carpet. It's three really great issues that are the crown jewel of the book. It also includes the 250th Issue (cheekily advertised on the cover as a normal sized 250th issue.)

Overall, these showcase some really good work by Roger Stern, along with a below part issue by Bill Mantlo before delivering a stunning finale. Great read for fans of Spidey and the Hobgoblin.

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Published on July 18, 2018 19:43 • 144 views • Tags: hobgoblin, spider-man

July 15, 2018

Essential Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 11Essential Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 11 by Roger Stern

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book collects Issues 231-248 of Amazing Spider-man, along with Annuals 16 and 17. An overview of the issues.

AS #231 and #232: A solid Cobra and Hyde story. Rating: B+

AS #233-236: The story involes the Brand Corporation, includes Will o' the Wisp and the Tarantual. Rating: A-

AS #237: Stiltman wants respect and to seriously upgrade his supervillain status. Nice character piece. Grade: B+

AS Annual #16: This introduces Monica Rambeau as the new Captain Marvel. Spidey becomes a guest character in his own book. Monica's story is okay and introduces a black female Captain Marvel, but this is probably now how you do that well. Grade: C+

AS #238-239: The story introduces the Hobgoblin and also draws some parallels to the death of Uncle Ben. Good start. Grade: A-

AS #240-241: The Vulture returns and we finally get an origin story that actually makes him somewhat sympathetic. Grade: A-

AS #242: A ho-hum fight with the Mad-Thinker highlights an issue that focuses on Peter Parker's life. Ends with Amy Powell giving him an unwanted kiss, just as Mary Jane Watson comes walk into his apartment. Grade: C+

AS #243: A better character-driven piece as Peter debates whether he should continue in post-grad school. Well-done debate as he weights all options and makes a tough decision. Well-written. Grade: B+

AS #244-#245: A somewhat hu-hum robbery with Spider-man catching the bad guys takes on a whole new level danger when it's revealed Hobgoblin's involved and plans use to stolen information from Osborn Manufacturing to make himself stronge. Has a nice fake-out cover for Issue #245. Rating: B+

AS #246: Learn everyone's Daydreams. Not a whole of surprises, Felicia Hardy's is pretty funny.
Provides s0me character insights. Grade: B-

#247-248a: Spider-man tries to stop a robbbery. Has to fight Thunderball. Hard to care too much this one. Grade: C-

#248b: The Kid Who Collected Spider-man. A tearrific story as Spidey tells all to a kid. A classic Rating: A-

Annual 17: At his high school reunion, Peter finds a classmate who's an up and coming writer who is in trouble with the underworld and tries to help. A very noirish story, hurt a little by a self-righteous ending. Grade: B

Overall, this is a solid read from a good run. Whether Roger Stern's run is the equal of the great runs from the 1960s is another matter, but this book is not only enjoyable in its own right, but contains issues that set the pace for Spidey books for years to come. I only wish Issues 249-251 had been collected, so we could have all of the early Hobgoblin stories in the same book. Still, it contains some very exiciting and fun Spidey comics. Definitely worth a read.

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Published on July 15, 2018 23:23 • 73 views • Tags: 1980s, spider-man

July 14, 2018

Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 5: A Lonely Place of LivingBatman: Detective Comics, Vol. 5: A Lonely Place of Living by James Tynion IV

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book collects Issues 963-968 of Detective Comics and contains two arcs.

The first four-issue arc is about the return of Tim Drake who doesn't have much time to save a member of the team from the Batman of the future--Tim Drake. This one is a decent return. The story is something we've seen before (most recently in the New 52 Flash, but I liked what was done here and how it reflected the spirit of Tim Drake so well.

The second two-issue arc has two storylines going and is set before the events of the first arc which were dictated what was happening with Mr. Oz in Action Comics. At any rate, Stephanie Brown is going deeper into the world of Anarky while an attempt is being made to cure Clayface. Both stories were pretty good, though I liked the Stephanie Brown story better as she came to some realization about herself that were overdue.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and thought it made strides after a couple volumes I found disappointing.

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Published on July 14, 2018 06:23 • 98 views • Tags: batman, dc-rebirth, detective-comics

July 3, 2018

Green Lanterns Vol. 5: Out of TimeGreen Lanterns Vol. 5: Out of Time by Sam Humphries

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sam Humphries great run on Green Lanterns wraps up with this volume that collects Issues 27-32 of Green Lanterns.

The five-issue story Out of Time is a great finale for Humphries. It manages to deal with a lot of big ongoing plot threads that have been in the book since its second volume. It also serves as a nice capstone to the character arcs for both Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz.

The single story House Party is a simple story but a lot of fun. It addresses Simon's issue with his estranged best friend while serving as yet another good character piece for these two great Lanterns.

Overall, this is a very good conclusion to Sam Humphries time as the writer of Green Lanterns. Both the characterization and art remained consistently good throughout the series. I'd never heard of these two before reading Humphries run and he's given these characters a great life and made them relatatable to readers. Here's hoping the new writer can build on that strong start.

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Published on July 03, 2018 22:21 • 59 views • Tags: dc-rebirth, green-lanterns

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
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