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

January 24, 2020

Book Review: The Flash: Year One

The Flash: Year One The Flash: Year One by Joshua Williamson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Joshua Williamson sets to write a post-New 52/DC Rebirth origin for the Barry Allen Flash and it actually works quite well. It's not over the top great, but it's an enjoyable read that incorporates the sort of time travel hi-jinks that have been part of the Flash books for years and at the same time pays tribute to the classic origin of the character. I like the fact that the Big Bad for this book is the Turtle, just like in the Silver Age. Williamson to make the turtle a solid threat without compromising the character.

Overall, this is a worthy take on the Flash's origin that's well worth reading.



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Published on January 24, 2020 21:50 Tags: dc-comics-rebirth, the-flash

January 19, 2020

Book Review: Justice League International, Vol. 1

Justice League International, Vol. 1 Justice League International, Vol. 1 by Keith Giffen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The 1987 relaunch of the Justice League with a team that includes Guy Gardener, Captain Marvel (Shazam), Batman, Mister Miracle, Black Canary, Doctor Fate, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, and Martian Manhunter is really good. While there are some funny moments (including more wisecracks than Batman had since the Golden Age), the book doesn't turn anyone into an idiot (other than Guy Gardener) who arguably was that.

The stories are interesting. The book leaves me at a place where I want to read more but am also not sure how the new direction will work out with some roster changes. Overall though, a pretty fun read, and an intriguing start.



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Published on January 19, 2020 22:49 Tags: justice-league-international, post-crisis

January 18, 2020

Book Review: Luke Cage, Power Man Masterworks Vol. 2

Luke Cage, Power Man Masterworks Vol. 2 (Power Man (1974-1978)) Luke Cage, Power Man Masterworks Vol. 2 (Power Man by Tony Isabella

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Issues 17-31 represent a shift for Luke Cage from the Heroes for Hire to the name of Power Man but continuing the same shtick.

The first ten issues in here are really good. We get a crossover with Iron Man, a trip cross-country where Cage runs into an abusive small town in typical 1970s fashion, a meeting with the crime circus that also includes the introduction of Black Goliath, and we also meet Cottonmouth. You also have to love a book where Cage was given the name "Power Man" and someone forgot that a minor villain had the name, so they square off and battle in a movie theater.

The last five issues by Bill Mantlo on fill in and Don Macgregor aren't nearly as good. I don't think they had a great grasp of the character. Piranha Jones and Cockroach Hamilton are good eyes for villains for Cage, but their first appearance doesn't work me.

Overall, this is still pretty decent Bronze Age marvel stuff, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first volume.



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Published on January 18, 2020 10:55 Tags: bronze-age, luke-cage

January 17, 2020

Book Review: Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook

Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook (Mycroft Holmes #1-5) Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


After reading Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's excellent text novel about Mycroft Holmes, I picked this up. What a mistake. The story is set with a much younger Mycroft who is called in by the British government to solve some massively convoluted problem.

This book left me wondering how much Abdul-Jabbar's co-author contributed to the novel because this is bad. The character of Mycroft is totally unrecognizable. We get scenes of Mycroft having sex with the wife of one of his professor even though he's barely of age. The story is convoluted, the art is weak, and the story could feature any random Victorian guy and would probably be better if it did.



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Published on January 17, 2020 22:08 Tags: mycroft-holmes

January 13, 2020

Book Review: Faith: Hollywood and VIne

Faith Volume 1: Hollywood & Vine Faith Volume 1: Hollywood & Vine by Jody Houser

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Emerging out of the pages of a super team comic, Faith Herbert (aka the Zephyr) emerges in a solo book. She's a pop culture blogger often at odds with her editor when she's not being a superhero. She's on the case when psiots (psychically powered heroes) start disappearing.

To be honest, there's nothing really special or unique about the plot of this book. Its pretty standard superhero fare. What makes is stand out is its lead character. Faith is likable and fun. In addition, the book uses a great amount of humor, and has some great heart.

While Faith came from the pages of Harbinger, you can read this book without having read the other series and understand things pretty well. Overall, a fun volume and I hope to read more in the series.



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Published on January 13, 2020 22:16 Tags: faith, valiant-comics

January 12, 2020

Book Review: Dan Dare: Mission of the Earthemen, Volume 1

Dan Dare: Mission of the Earthmen Vol. 1 Dan Dare: Mission of the Earthmen Vol. 1 by Eric Eden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


As a matter of full disclosure, this is the first Dan Dare story I've ever read. I picked it up because I listed to the B7 Media Audio Dramas.

This book collects two stories, both have great artwork and beautiful reproductions of the original magazine stories.

The first, "Mission of the Earthmen" is a bit tedious as Dan Dare and his sidekick Digby crashland on the planet and get involved in trying to end a war. The characters are uninterest, the story is pretty tedious and unimaginative.

"The Solid Space Mystery" is more like it as Dan and Digby have to solve a mystery back in their solar system as ships are being destroyed to invisible "solid space" and it's up to Dan to get things sorted. This is a really fun, sci-fi adventure and the type of thing I expected when I picked up Dan Dare.

Overall, the greatness of the second story more than compensates for the first lacklustre installment and the art is consistently good on both.



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Published on January 12, 2020 23:03 Tags: classic, dan-dare

January 11, 2020

Book Review: Spider-man: Identity Crisis

Spider-Man: Identity Crisis Spider-Man: Identity Crisis by Todd Dezago

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The follow up to Spider-hunt finds Spider-man a wanted man unable to step outside with a $5 million price tag on his head, so therefore Peter assumes new secret identities...in fact, four of them.

This isn't bad, but it wasn't as good as Spider-Hunt. Don't get me wrong, there are some fun ideas in here. The idea of each of the existing Spider-men books having Peter in a different identity and each of those identities playing into his an aspect of his character is cool. And I love the one story where he worked out so all four identities appeared in the same fight. But man oh man, the realization of these characters were uneven. I think it was hurt by the fact that he only got 2 issues as each of these alternate characters. I think three issues would have made it better as the storylines would have had more room to breathe.

As it is, the book is okay with a few portions being really good, and a few being sub-part. It's a big hit and miss, but I'm glad I read it.



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Published on January 11, 2020 22:30 Tags: 1990s, spider-man

January 10, 2020

Book Review: Spider-Man: Spider-Hunt

Spider-Man: Spider-Hunt Spider-Man: Spider-Hunt by Todd Dezago

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is during an era when Norman Osborn was alive, owned the Daily Bugle and was making Peter Parker's life miserable while pretending that he wasn't the original Green Goblin. In the course of
this, he frames Spidey and puts a five million dollar bounty on Spidey's head. Spidey has to fight off all comers and when Norman's grandson (and Harry Osborn's son) goes missing, Peter has to find some way to help him.

I thought this was actually really good. The situation is used to press Spidey to his limits and really this highlights the nature of his character. At the same time, all the characters who show up hunting for him and the rewards are mostly pretty fun. While this book does suffer at times from being a 1990s comic, with some of the artistic excesses of that era, this was a fun adventure that crossed over between Spidey's books.



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Published on January 10, 2020 22:33 Tags: 2000s, spider-man

December 15, 2019

The Thing Classic, Volume 2

Thing Classic Vol. 2 (The Thing (1983-1986)) Thing Classic Vol. 2 (The Thing by John Byrne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Ben Grimm is the last being on Battleworld as the heroes have departed except for him as he has the power to be Ben or the Thing. However, he founds the world inhabited and very much in need of a hero and it gets one in a comic odyssey, the writers call, "Rocky Grimm Space Rager."

These are swashbuckling Buck rogers style stories of Ben Grimm exploring this strange world along with a mysterious woman and facing a mysterious antagonist. It's fun reading, certainly moreso than the angst-ridden first volume.

This volume was being published at the same time as Secret Wars and had to avoid spoilers for that and also Grimm couldn't leave the world until the end of Secret Wars. The book also does feature a Fantastic Four crossover that's disappointing for most readers. For those reading Fantastic Four, the book gave a few updates on the FF, but took the majority of its time focusing on Ben and was a tease to get people to by the Thing book. For those readers of the Thing, it meant going out and buying another comic to get details on how a storyline ended.

Still, if you can get past such gimmics, this is a fun read.



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Published on December 15, 2019 00:29 Tags: secret-wars, the-thing

December 11, 2019

Book Review:52, Book Two

52, Book 2 52, Book 2 by Geoff Johns

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The exciting conclusion to the saga. It does its job really nicely as each plot takes a lot of turns towards a big conclusion in the final two issues. There are a couple, sinister gruesome turns, but mostly this books works great and the two volumes together make for a massive unforgettale saga,



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Published on December 11, 2019 23:29 Tags: 52, fifty-two

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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