comics

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Death of Love

Another Edelweiss+ copy I downloaded. (There was a deadline on the files, hence the mass of Edelweiss+ reviews posted these past few days. It’s over now!)

Philo Harris really can’t get any girls, so he signs up for some class on being the ‘alpha’ that women biologically desire. He hangs out at a bar after with some other guys who had attended the class, giving the whole alpha thing a go. It doesn’t go particularly well for any of them… Then a stranger turns up offering pills. (Yeah. That’s never good.) Of course, the guys say no. But then Philo gets really, really, drunk, and decides to swallow one.

Bad. Decision.

After that, he can see cupids. Or cupidae. (Whatever.) And… He kills one.

BAD. DECISION.

Now they all want revenge. Philo turns to his friends for help, but they just assume he’s tripping on some dodgy drugs. Or gone crazy. They definitely don’t believe the cupids are real.

Until Philo doses their drinks and they are subjected to the angry little winged men in diapers, too.

Of course, they’re angry. But they don’t have time to argue; they have a HELL of a lot of cupids attacking them. And this ‘boss’ they keep talking about…? Yeah, he is not happy about all the cupids being killed.

This was a really funny novel! It was superbly written, fantastically drawn, and just great fun to read. There was clearly a lot of knowledge on the gods and ancient mythology, which really helped create depth and authenticity to the story. The characters were great, and Philo actually showed remarkable growth as a character. It contained a fair amount of language and some dirty humour, but I think it all fit really well. 4 stars.

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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Twisted Romance Volume #1

I would like to thank Edelweiss+ again for providing me with this book.

This is actually a collection of short stories as well as comics, all of which are separate from one another. I won’t go through every story, but I will talk about a few.

The art of each comic is very different from the last, as is each plot. As the title suggests, every story is a romance of sorts – but not the conventional, boy-meets-girl kind. A majority of the relationships in this are same-sex, and there is even a polyamorous relationship in one. Bondage is discussed – and described – and my favourite story involved a young princess being held prisoner by a dragon, only to be freed by a spider.

Most of the stories had some sort of fantasy or paranormal element, but not all. There were tragic stories, happy stories; all sorts. As can be expected, there were some I liked more than others. Because of this, it is hard to review the book as a whole. For the most part the writing was really good, and most graphics were lovely. (There were a few I wasn’t so partial to, but that’s just personal preference.) Romances are generally not my favourite genre of stories so I wasn’t that enthralled by this, but I do appreciate the uniqueness of this collection and the quality of the stories. Some were really fantastic, and I really enjoyed having so many different things included. 3.5 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/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.

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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.

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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/Comic Book Review: Batman and Robin Vol. #2: Pearl

This is the second volume of Batman and Robin comics in the New 52 universe in DC. It starts with a little flashback to Damian’s early childhood, and his growing up to overpower his mother. We’re then thrown back into the “present” – full of sibling rivalry, father-son moments, and a hell of a lot of fighting.

The relationship between Bruce and Damian will always be great to read. I loved how Damian was so headstrong in this book, but then the ending was so sweet. And I actually really liked him fighting with the other “Robins” – Red Hood, Nightwing and Red Robin – in order to prove himself better than them. Nightwing’s response was definitely my favourite.

There are a good deal of villains in here – Terminus and his army of “scarred” victims of Batman, and a zombie uprising courtesy of Batman’s favourite clown. The action is good, and the “zombie” plot was great. 

And of course, the art was as fantastic as ever. 

4 stars.

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Batman Beyond Volume #1: Escaping the Grave

Batman Beyond (DC Universe Rebirth) Volume #1: Escaping the Grave

Batman Beyond (DC Universe Rebirth) Volume #1: Escaping the Grave by Dan Jurgens – eBook, 146 pages – Published June 11th 2017 by DC Entertainment

Another story from DC’s Rebirth universe, set several decades from now in Neo-Gotham – or Jokerz Town as it’s been dubbed. There’s a new Batman on the streets and a whole gang of Jokerz. Terry, having been trained by the late Bruce Wayne, is wearing the cape and cowl now. The new clown-crazed criminals need to be dealt with – especially when they kidnap Terry’s old girlfriend, Dana.

Terminal, an old school friend of Dana and now the leader of the Jokerz, has a mad plan in action. It involves the original Joker, who everyone believed to be dead.

There are several big surprises in this novel. It’s a really interesting volume, definitely enticing you to read on. The readers aren’t the only one being surprised, though – every character is dealt their fair share of shock in this story!

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I like what I’ve seen of Terry so far, and his relationship with his little brother. I look forward to learning more about them. And I’m super interested to see what happens after the final plot twist was revealed. This seems like a really interesting comic, and I’m giving this issue 4 stars.

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Graphic Novel Guide Review: DC Essential Graphic Novels 2017

DC Essential Graphic Novels 2017

DC Essential Graphic Novels 2017 – eBook, 126 pages – Published January 10th 2017 by DC Entertainment

This is a really useful guide for anyone trying to decide how to get into comics/graphic novels, or what to buy/read next. It provides a synopsis, review quotes and images from 25 of the most “essential” novels from DC to date, as well as a suggested reading order for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Flash, Robin and more.

Some of the most important graphic novels, according to this guide, include Watchmen, Batman: The Killing JokeThe SandmanV for VendettaGotham Academy and Flashpoint. Of course, there are 19 more novels listed, too.

The guide includes stand alone novels, and Vertigo novels. There is a section dedicated to comics inspiring and inspired by TV shows or films, such as iZombie (a personal favourite that I’m dying to read). As well as a backlist for every DC and Vertigo graphic novel, the guide includes a selection of different collectables available.

Everything listed in this book has an RRP included, and the ISBN (and lots of other details) to make it easy for anyone to find and buy. The authors and artists are all credited, too.

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The layout of the suggested reading order pages could’ve been a bit clearer, I feel, but I think this guide served its purpose pretty well. 3.5 stars.

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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Gotham Academy Second Semester Volume #1: Welcome Back

Gotham Academy Second Semester, Volume #1: Welcome Back

Gotham Academy Second Semester, Volume #1: Welcome Back by Brenden Fletcher – eBook, 162 pages – Published by DC Entertainment (first published July 25th 2017)

I absolutely love this comic series! My boyfriend introduced me to the first semester and I just adored it right away. The writing is fantastic – the dialogue between characters is so funny. And the art is always great and easy to follow. It’s just so well written overall, I think. So much action and mysteries everywhere; nothing is ever what it seems at Gotham Academy.

The characters are so well written, and I absolutely adore Olive, Pom and Colton. I’m not so keen on some of the others, but that was probably the intended reaction. Not all characters are made to be loved.

This comic ties into others in the Rebirth universe – such as We Are Robin – and features famous characters like Batman, Damian, Clayface and Killer Croc (not all in this particular volume, though). So whether you’re a big superhero comic fan or not, I think everyone can appreciate and enjoy this comic.

The Detective Club is on their way to discovering the true past of Gotham – and Olive’s real heritage. Unexpected allies and foes are found along the way, including Batman himself – Olive’s least favourite hero of all.

Another good aspect in this is the inclusion of homosexuality – which is brilliantly weaved in without defining the character or affecting the plot. I’m not going to give away who the character is, but I so think they could’ve chosen a better “crush”. (Let’s just say it’s one of my favourite characters falling for one of my not-so-favourites.)

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This has definitely encouraged my new-found love of comics to grow, and I’m going to read on right away. 5 stars. A fantastic comic.

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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Volume #2: Bottled Light

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Volume #2: Bottled Light

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (DC Universe Rebirth) Volume #2: Bottled Light by Robert Venditti – eBook, 146 pages – Published June 6th 2017 by DC Entertainment

Following on from the previous volume, the Green Lanterns are back but Hal is gone. Sinestro has been defeated, but now the Lanterns are defending a planet from an attack by Starro.

While the Lanterns are fighting Starro, Hal Jordan finds himself in some mysterious realm with Abin Sur and other deceased Green Lanterns. The remaining Guardians of the Universe summon Kyle Rayner to try and retrieve Hal.

The Starro attack turns out to be a lure, though – bait. Brainiac is behind it, having captured the Green Lanterns (as well as the entire planet). But who’s behind him?…

It took me far longer than it should’ve to understand the title of this volume…

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This is a really, really good story arc. I like this comic series in general, but this was really enjoyable and interesting. 4 stars. As well as the great plot, the writing is clever and pretty funny.

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