Graphic Novels, Comics and Manga

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Perdy Volume #1

Thanks again to Edelweiss+ for providing me with a copy of this!

This is a very different style of comic to anything I usually read. Firstly, it’s an old Western style comic. It’s also kind of a comedy; tons of dodgy jokes and sexual innuendos throughout. There’s also a lot of swearing and crass language.

The main character is Perdy, a woman a little past her prime, who is released from a 15-year prison sentence at the start of this book. As the cover suggests, Perdy is a big fan of sex. She uses her womanly charm to seduce men – or teach them a lesson, depending on the situation.

The story gets interesting when we meet Rose, a young woman running a flower shop in Petiteville. She also happens to be the daughter of Perdy. She is pursuing a new-found love interest when her mother returns to the scene, interfering with her relationship. As Rose becomes exceedingly irritated by her mother, we see into her past life. The book ends with Rose planning to get rid of her mother again.

I liked the sketchy style of the panels, as well as the handwriting-style font. The ‘voice’ of Perdy is really well-developed, and I am definitely interested in what’s happened between Perdy and Rose. I’m giving this 3.5 to 4 stars.

wp-15355502208221

Advertisements

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Prism Stalker Volume #1

Another copy I received via Edelweiss+.

This volume collected the first 5 issues of Prism Srtalker. In these we meet Vep, a young Inaman refugee. She is taken from her current residence upon an asteroid and enrolled in an academy on a new planet. There are dozens of different species here, as well as members from other Inaman tribes. Vep tries to help several times, but soon finds that help is not always welcome.

The students in this academy are taught how to manipulate the energy upon the planet, as well as their own physical form. I got a little bit lost on this part, but it seemed pretty cool. Vep struggles with it, worrying she’s ‘missing’ some vital part of herself. She is picked on by several other students, but soon manages to make some friends within the academy.

I was very much reminded of Shade: The Changing Girl during the first part of Issue #1 of this, where Vep is sort of communicating with her ancestors, learning the ancient language of her tribe. And of course, the art style is incredibly similar. The colours are amazingly vivid, with tons of geometric shapes and lines throughout, as well as a lot of fluid movement and forms. It was really gorgeous to look at; at the start, where Vep is learning her tribe’s language, there is a lot of tribal influence in the art, which I thought was wonderful.

I really wanted to like this, but I did get a bit too confused. I just couldn’t quite catch on to the story. Still, I appreciate the art and the originality of the concept. 3 stars.

Graphic Novel/Manga Review: Undead Messiah Volume #1

Another fantastic opportunity I’ve been presented with thanks to Edelweiss+.

Tim Zachariah Muley is a 15-year-old gamer who is slightly obsessed with zombies. His classmates mock him, and his parents often reprimand him for playing video games all night. But who would ever have thought that Tim’s PlayStation addiction could save lives?

Zombie stories always seem to be about gamers who are ‘prepared’ for the apocalypse, and this was no different in that department. However, it wasn’t as cliche or predictable as a lot of similar stories I’ve read. The first zombie Tim meets is a lot closer to home than he’d expected, and his usual plan of ‘kill on contact’ is out of the question. With the help of his childhood bestie, M-Kay, Tim decides to pursue a cure for this strange new infection. The pair find something quite different to what they were expecting…

I loved both main characters, and the pair of antagonists that were briefly introduced seriously intrigued me. It ended on a massive cliffhanger! I really want to read on! It’s funny, super enjoyable to read, and actually pretty sad in places. I think it’s fantastically written (even if there are a couple of grammar mistakes) and the art is superb. I really, really enjoyed this. 4.5 stars.

Graphic Novel Review: Xena: Penance

Another ARC I received from Edelweiss+.

Xena, the Warrior Princess, has left her life of war and violence behind. She has dismissed her army, and seeks forgiveness for the destruction and death she caused in the path. She comes across a villager in need, Gabrielle, being attacked by a former member of her own army. The ex-warrior, Jax, makes it clear that he has not forgiven Xena for dropping the army.

Gabrielle joins Xena on her journey, determined to ‘help’. However, she turns out to be far more trouble than she’s worth, especially when someone wants to show Xena how it feels to lose someone.

Yet again, this novel is led by some fanatastically strong women. Their relationship with one another is comical yet sweet, and I could see Xena beginning to care for Gabrielle throughout the stories.

The writing was great, and the art was classic and clear. I am intrigued about Xena’s past, and would definitely be interested in more of this series. 4 stars.

Graphic Novel Review: Dejah Thoris Volume #1: The Gardens of Mars

This novel follows Dejah Thoris, princess of Helium, a Red Martian civilisation. Since hearing about the legendary Gardens of Ephesyium at a young age, Dejah is determined to find it. Martians constantly fight over water, but legend says Ephesyium holds the secret to being able to create water. Surely this would end all the fighting?

Despite everyone strongly discouraging her, Dejah manages to set out into the deserts of Mars with a small group of scientists. (But not before accidentally releasing a prisoner, and being caught stealing one of her father’s ships.) However, she is immediately made aware of the dangers that lie in the deserts, and quickly learns the true responsibilities of being a leader.

Dejah Thoris is a great character; she is so strong and powerful, and refuses to obey orders she does not believe in. I did think her design was rather sexualised, though, which was quite disappointing. The art was, overall, really lovely, though. I loved the warm colour scheme.

The story itself was really enjoyable. It was exciting and included unexpected twists, keeping you interested throughout. There were a few noticeable grammar mistakes/typos, and the writing wasn’t as fluid as it could’ve been at time, but nothing overly bad. I didn’t feel much emotion/connection between characters, though. Relationships seemed almost nonexistent.

Again, thank you to Edelweiss+ for providing me with a copy of this novel. 3.5 stars.

Graphic Novel Review: Barbarella Volume #1: Red Hot Gospel

I found this graphic novel available for download on the site Edelweiss+, so a huge thanks to them for providing me with the opportunity to read this!

This was absolutely fantastic! The first three issues in this volume focused on a storyline where Barbarella is arrested by Parosians for having a vagina. Yep. For having a vagina. In Parosia, it is regarded a sin to have fully functional sex organs. Sexual desire is believed to be a physical sensation, and so being physically altered is supposed to ‘rectify’ this. Barbarella is altered upon arrest, and is not happy about it. When in prison, she encourages fellow inmates to feel lust and desire and pleasure. She soon meets Jury Quire, a spy/agent from Earth, sent to prevent an unknown weapon being used by the Parosians. However, things aren’t all that they seem.

The story was great, and I genuinely didn’t expect the twists that occurred. Barbarella is a fantastic, strong leading woman, and she openly discusses sex and pleasure. She has a lovely sense of morality, and strongly fights to stop the Parosians all being mutilated against their will.

In the fourth issue, Barbarella meets an Empath, whom she proceeds to make love with. But yet again, things aren’t all that they seem; Kei’s Empathy abilities mean no-one on board the ship can be sure what they’re feeling is actually theirs.

The art was lovely, quite classic/traditional feeling, and there was a great sense of humour throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and would definitely be interested in continuing reading this series. 4.5 stars.

Manga/Graphic Novel Review: Natsume’s Book of Friends

Several of my friends are into manga and so I have an extensive to-read list compiled, yet I found this on a whim instead. As Midorikawa mentions in the little asides throughout this book, it is an episodic manga. This made it a nice quick read to pick up on impulse, and not too much of an investment.

As it is episodic, there is no singe plot to really summarise. The main gist is Takashi Natsume seeing strange creatures – yokai – that nobody else can. After inheriting his deceased grandmother’s strange notebook, he discovers that she had the same ability. Due to being such an outcast amidst her village, though, she takes her frustrations out on the yokai. Natsume’s Book of Friends – the book Takashi inherited – is basically a collection of contracts signed by various yokai pledging their ‘devotion’ to her. Owning this book gives Takashi complete power over them, and naturally many of the yokai are eager to take it. Instead, Takashi sets out to return the names of all the yokai. He is accompanied by one yokai who he accidentally freed from a shrine, Nyanko Sensei – who, after being trapped inside a ceramic cat, usually takes the form of a cat. Takashi likes to remind him of this frequently (and Sensei is definitely not amused).

The episodes can each be read as a standalone, though they do connect in some ways. Takashi slowly begins to understand what he’s doing, and the relationship between him and Nyanko Sensei develops somewhat. While most of Takashi’s interactions are with yokai, there is one particular chapter in this novel where he meets another human who he can relate to. There is also a touching chapter – the final in the novel – where Takashi helps a yokai to meet the human that saved her in her past life.

The art is lovely and the relationship between Sensei and Takashi is really amusing. There isn’t a huge amount of character development or depth due to the episodic nature of the novel, but Takashi is likeable and kind. I would definitely recommend it for a quick/light read, and I may have a look for the rest of the series. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. #3: Quest for Hope

Last year I was actually up to date with this series as it came out weekly, so I’ve read this story arc already. I reread it again quickly today in order to review it.

I’m quite a big fan of the Lanterns, and I really enjoy the banter between Hal and Kyle. This arc was particularly good. The ending – the revelation about Sarko, the ‘enemy’ – was fantastic. I know what happens in the next issues from this volume and I can tell you it’s pretty great.

I’ll try not to talk too much about the next issues, but this volume is definitely a superb setup for some really interesting stories. The Green Lantern Corps and Sinestro’s Corps are finally united as one force, though some members aren’t so happy about it. Guy Gardner goes about it in his own way, as is expected – nearly getting himself killed, but eventually becoming friends with Arkillo. We also see into Guy’s childhood, which was interesting.

NetGalley Badge

Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

The Corps’ are attacked by forgein constructs, that Kyle believes to be his own creation from when he was wearing Krona’s Gauntlet. This is where Sarko, the villain of the story, comes in.

I think this is a great arc, and I just love the chemistry amongst the characters. 4/5 stars.

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: The Justice League of America Volume #1: The Extremists

I finished this last year (it feels so odd to saort one as I want to get a headstart on this year’s reading challenge and have a healthy TBR pile beside me…

I must say the the Justice League comics aren’t my favourite. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’m far more attracted to Suicide Squad and Batman and Batgirl comics. Although it is nice to see all these characters together – especially with former villains such as [Killer] Frost on the League – I wasn’t particularly wowed by this volume. The most interesting part, I found, was the development in Frost’s personal story and the possible discovery of a “cure” for her condition.

NetGalley Badge

Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

The plot of Extremists is Lord Havok and his gang – the aptly named Extremists – coming to Earth to create ‘peace’. As is often the case, his vision of peace is more like complete control and dominance over the world, which the JLA aren’t going to let happen very easily. So the battle begins, while Havok goes around taking countries under his control, starting with Kravia.

The plot isn’t bad and there isn’t really anything wrong with this book, but it just didn’t feel all that exciting or special. 3 stars.

Graphic Novel/Picture Book Review: The Little Red Wolf

35905318This is only a very short book, so the review will be short too. It’s based on the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood (as you may have guessed from the title). It’s a beautifully illustrated novel, with a really sweet message about love and friendship between humans and animals.

It follows a similar story to the original fairytale, but where the child captures the little wolf while he is delivering a rabbit to his hungry old grandmother. The child sings a song, which is gorgeously illustrated by Fléchais, which tells the tale of a woman and man falling in love, but the man then losing his wife to wolves. This, she says, is why her and her father hunt and kill wolves – because they are evil beasts that bring nothing but pain.

The little red wolf’s father comes to the rescue – without killing the girl or her father – and tells his son about the version of the song he knows – where the woman is friends with the wolves, weaving them capes (like the one the little red wolf wears) and the man accidentally shoots her himself. I found this to be really quite touching, and I really did like this interpretation of the fairytale.

pro_reader

Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

I don’t think the chapters were necessary for such a short book – they didn’t mark the end of a “chapter” in any way for me, but just felt like they’d been randomly placed throughout the story.

Overall, this is definitely a lovely story for children to read, even if it is a little sad. The art was really lovely, and it told the story beautifully. 4 stars.

P.S. Sorry about the awful quality of the pictures. My laptop has a red light filter on and just doesn’t do the art justice at all.

866A98B32CBD639D32E20CEBF70E4491