Comic Book Wednesday: Hawkeye #1

Welcome to another Comic Book Wednesday! This is a small, bi-weekly, feature I created to help share some comic love and say what I thought about the first issue of a series, why I bought it, and if I would continue it. Of course, since a single issue is, roughly, 30 pages these posts will be relatively small, but if a series can’t suck you in at the very beginning are they worth continuing?

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Title: Hawkeye #1

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist & Colorer: David Aja (artist) & Matt Hollingsworth (colorist)

Letters: Chris Eliopoulos

Cover: David Aja & Matt Hollingsworth

 Publisher: Marvel (August, 2012)
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The breakout star of this summer’s blockbuster AVENGERS film and self-made hero Hawkeye fights for justice!With ex-Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, he’s out to prove himself as one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!Matt Fraction & David Aja (IMMORTAL IRON FIST) reunite to tell the on-going tales of the Arrow-Avenger! – (Marvel)
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Why I Bought It:
I loved the Avengers movie (2012) and Hawkeye was my second favorite character in the film (after Iron Man), so when I heard a comic series had started recently featuring him I snatched it up. And that was my exciting story for the day (not really).

What I Thought:

In the words of tons of peoples favorite fictional, spunky and wildly red-headed orphan, Annie from the musical Annie, “leaping lizards!” I positively adored this first issue. I have been collecting this series for the character and art (insert blissful sigh), but I haven’t gotten around to reading any of them; which I would be kicking myself for now if I could twist my leg to the correct angle needed for said self-imposed kick. Gah!
The art in this was so spectacular! I loved the designs of the people, the buildings, the cars, the animals and the coloring served to bring everything to fruition – it was really well balanced. It found that happy medium that I really felt brought Hawkeye to life and I really hope the same artist and colorist work on all the future issues.
The writing was also rather awesome. Clint Barton (Hawkeye) was snarky and funny, and has this kind-streak that makes him really endearing, yet with still remaining bada**. The biggest problem I had is that it would change time settings, but gave no real indication of doing so (like writing ‘now’ or ‘then,’ or even more specific times such as ’10:15am: August 26′ in a tiny box or something) and that threw me off a few times. While I found myself checking, at least twice, to see if I missed some pages, I got used to it rather quickly. It probably helped that I had previously watched and enjoyed the anime Baccano! and the live-action television series, Once Upon a Time, which can both also get equally confusing (if not more so) time-wise. Also, did I mention there was a dog?

Would I Continue?:

Is Clint an archer? Of course, I shall continue reading this! I need more Hawkeye in my life.

My Thoughts On: Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vende Velde


Title: Cloaked in Red

Author: Vivian Vande Velde

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Year Published: 2011

Format: ebook

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So you think know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl with the unfortunate name and the inability to tell the difference between her grandmother and a member of a different species? Well, then, try your hand at answering these questions:

-Which character (not including Little Red herself) is the most fashion challenged?

-Who (not including the wolf) is the scariest? 

-Who (not including Granny) is the most easily scared?

-Who is the strangest? (Notice we’re not “not including” anyone, because they’re all a little off.)

-Who (no fair saying “the author”) has stuffing for brains?

Vivian Vande Velde has taken eight new looks at one of the world’s most beloved (and mixed-up) stories. You may never look at fairy tales in quite the same way again. – (Goodreads)

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My Thoughts:

*Since this book is made up of eight relatively short stories, there is probably going to be SPOILERS here.

I’ve been eyeing this book for roughly a year or so, but I could never bring myself to pay the $12 I always tended to see it priced as and I wasn’t much for paying for digital books at the time (I tended to wait and see what I could find on promotion on Amazon for free). It wasn’t until I lent a friend a copy of The Changeling Prince, also by this author (and that I also have not read), and listened to her talk excitedly about it and how she read it three times in about the two weeks she had it, that I caved in getting this book. (It also helped that it was an special promotion in the Amazon Kindle store that month for $1.99). I am very happy that I purchased and read this book as I thought it was rather imaginative, especially since there are eight very different retellings of a single fairytale, Little Red Riding Hood.

1) The Red Cloak – This one is about a shy girl, who prefers to blend into the background, but one day her lovey-dovey dyes her oatmeal colored cloak, a bright, look-at-me, red. She is severely embarrassed about this, so when her mother asks her to deliver dinner to her grandmother, and since she does not want to hurt her mother’s feelings, she wears the cloak on the way, but in order to avoid people seeing her in it she walks through the woods instead of close to the village like normal. This proves to be a bad decision as she runs into some trouble with a woodcutter who wants to kidnap her and use her for ransom. This was a great tale to start off with! I loved how it did a reverse roles thing and made the hero of the original tale the villain and, to some extent, the villain of the original tale the hero.

2) The Red Riding Hood Doll – This tale was very interesting in the fact that Little Red Riding Hood doesn’t start off as a real person, but a doll. A young seamstress, who works with her mother, is unhappy and wishes for a child of her own in hopes the child will love her as much as she loves it. So, in a fit of rebellion the young seamstress, Georgette, makes a life-like doll with a red cloak. Still the doll is not alive, which prompts her to go to a field that she heard had magic powers and she makes a wish to give the doll life. This is a classic example of ‘be careful what you wish for.’ The doll, now a beautiful girl, ditches her creator/mother to go off with some boys. I did not like this tale as much as the first or some of the others as I felt Georgette’s overall reaction to the now girl leaving was rather bland. She put so much heart into making this doll and refuses to sell it, but when it comes alive and simply leaves, she brushes it off almost like it was nothing.

3) Little Red Riding Hood’s Family – This one puts even a more supernatural spin on the tale, it turns out old granny… well, she’s a werewolf. And Roselle (Red Riding Hood)? Yeah, she’s a witch. This one was probably my least favorite out of all eight of these stories. It had great potential, but just sort of turned into a frog at the end. The whole revelation about the grandmother was done poorly and what I mean by this is Roselle knows her grandmother is a werewolf, but before we find out of her granny’s full moon problem, and she enters the house and wonders what all the funny noises are and where her sick grandmother is – it is like she didn’t know at all herself. Not to mention she just turns a seemingly random vampire into a frog… What?

4) Granny and the Wolf – I really loved this tale because it shows how strong and kind people can be. Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, a rich widow, is supremely kind and believes one most show kindness to all. She saves a wolf, which subsequently follows her home, and it leads to problems, but in the end is able to keep the wolf a secret and chase away her gold digger suitor. I just really loved the grandmother in this one so much!

5) Deems the Wood Gatherer – This one is my absolute favorite retelling! It follows the woodcutter instead of Red Riding Hood or her grandmother and mentions other fairy tales like the Three Little Pigs and Hansel and Gretel. Unfortunately, for all the other nice characters involved, the woodcutter has very poor eyesight, and where he thinks he is helping he just ends up ruining the lives of those around him, except for the wolf’s. Those poor pigs… I really enjoyed this one because of that. Here you have this generally nice man helping others, but unknowingly destroying their livelihoods, and thinking they would have been lost without him.

6) Why Willy and His Brother Won’t Ever Amount to Anything – This one also didn’t leave much of an impression on me, like number two. It’s a very quick story about two boys Isolda, Red Riding Hood, and her family know and how they live to completely in a fantasy world that they don’t even really see the actual world before them. They only amount to becoming writers. This story just seemed lacking especially when compared to some of the others, but it did hold slight humorous charm.

7) The Little Red Headache – I felt extremely bad for the wolf in this one! He is so nice, yet because of the speaking barrier, he is unable to communicate is good intentions causing horrible misunderstandings between him and Little Red Riding Hood. He just wants to give her back her basket for crying out loud! I really did enjoy this tale quite a lot. I loved how it played on the wolf just being a misunderstood character.

8) Little Red Riding Hood’s Little Red Riding Hood – This is probably my second favorite tale and it has a Sleeping Beauty feel to it, I suppose. A fairy godmother means to part the gift of intelligence on a newly born girl, but accidental gives this gift to a red cloak, which she then gifts to the baby instead (do to her old age the fairy godmother can only grant one wish per day). The cloak keeps the girl out of trouble through the years, even though she is a total brat, and changes it’s form (lighter in the summer and thicker in the winter) when the need arises. The girl treats it like crap and it eventually slithers away when she unwittingly releases it from it’s bond. Loved it! It even has a very brief and vague reference to Superman. It was great that the cloak was very loyal and duty bond, but was also essentially trapped.

Sorry, that this review had a good number of spoilers, but I didn’t really know how else I could talk about this book. Overall, I found these stories to be very enjoyable and quick reads and would recommend them to anyone who enjoys retellings of fairy tales, Little Red Riding Hood in-particular. However, if you are looking for anything in-depth, I would avoid this work, as there is no real world or character building. They are just pure fun.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Comic Book Wednesday: Quantum and Woody #1

Welcome to another Comic Book Wednesday! This is a small, bi-weekly, feature I created to help share some comic love and say what I thought about the first issue of a series, why I bought it, and if I would continue it. Of course, since a single issue is, roughly, 30 pages these posts will be relatively small, but if a series can’t suck you in at the very beginning are they worth continuing?

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Title: Quantum and Woody #1

Writers: James Asmus

Artist & Colorer: Tom Fowler (artist) & Jordie Bellaire (colorist)

Letters: Dave Lanphear

Covers: Ryan Sook, Andrew Robinson, Tom Fowler, & Marcos Martin

Editor: Jody Leheup

 Publisher: Valiant (July, 2013)
Quantum and Woody were created by MD Bright & Priest.
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Once upon a time, Eric and Woody Henderson were inseparable. Adopted brothers. Best friends. Brilliant minds. Years later, they are estranged siblings, petty rivals, and washed-up failures. But when their father’s murder leads them into the throes of a life-altering scientific accident, Eric and Woody will find themselves with a whole new purpose – and a perfectly legitimate reason to wear costumes and fight crime. Go big or go home, folks! Quantum and Woody are coming! And the action-packed, zeitgeist-shredding exploitation stunt comic you demanded is here at last.

(And, yes, there will be a goat too. Eventually.) – (Valiant)

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Why I Bought It:

I bought this comic because of the adopted brother dynamic. I’ve read many a story involving brothers or half-brothers, but nothing really dealing with adoptive brothers, so that really peaked my interest. Plus, there was a goat promised to come in later issues and I think it may end up being the Quantum and Woody superhero team mascot!

What I Thought:

(I did go a bit more into depth about certain scenes of the comic than I normally do, so if you like to be completely surprised when reading an issue the first time this may take some the surprise out. So, yeah, spoilers, I guess?)

The art was a bit inconsistent for my tastes. At the very beginning there is a flashback to Eric and Woody’s high school days and Woody looks like he could be in his early forties. There is also a point, about halfway through, where the facial styles just seem to change, I believe there was only one artist and colorist working on this issue so it just felt kind of strange. I mean, the change wasn’t that dramatic or anything, it was subtle, but still… I don’t know, it could just be the way the facial expressions are done. There was also two or three times were we only saw the whites of Woody’s eyes which made him look extremely murderous in one case (pg. 13, I believe, when he is being interrogated). I was just meh on the art really, yet I think my biggest reason for that was the facial expressions.

As far as the story goes it was okay, it wasn’t as humorous as I thought it would be and some parts left me going, “really?” For example: Eric is eating at a 24 hour diner and a man walks in, comes up behind a waitress and tells her to give him all the money, and no one will get hurt; Eric acts in a way I think most people would expect a guy like him to act – he incapacitates the supposed threat! However, it turns out that he is the boyfriend of said waitress and was only joking and Eric is kicked out of the joint and threatened by the waitress who says she will call the cops (I am assuming it is the waitress that says this as we only get a glimpse of the aftermath of the incident from what Eric says as he is leaving the diner). Honestly, who pretends to be an armed robber in a public place like that and doesn’t expect any negative repercussions!? Then there is a family photo that was taken when they were in high school after they got in major trouble for a fight that was shown throughout the issue, which I didn’t feel was as bad as the diner fight, but I thought it weird that they would take a photo then.

The rest of the story was decent. It had some mystery and some nice wit from Woody, but there was nothing that really blew me away about it. Quantum and Woody #1 was interesting with the fact that the comic started with what’s to come and ended with how they may have gotten said abilities. It was average overall, yet it just may have a slow start. I can see potential in this.

Would I Continue?:

I think I will give this series another issue, but if I don’t feel like there is an improvement I may drop it entirely or wait for the trade.

Comic Book Wednesday: Adventure Time Candy Capers #1

Welcome to another Comic Book Wednesday (Well, Thursday, I am posting it late. Sorry about that.) This is a small, bi-weekly, feature I created to help share some comic love and say what I thought about the first issue of a series, why I bought it, and if I would continue it. Of course, since a single issue is, roughly, 30 pages these posts will be relatively small, but if a series can’t suck you in at the very beginning are they worth continuing?

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Title: Adventure Time: Candy Capers #1 (out of 6)

Writers: Ananth Panagariya & Yuko Ota

Artist & Colorer: Ian McGinty (artist) & Maarta Laiho (colorist)

Letters: Hannah Nance Partlow

Cover: Magnolia Porter (Cover B – the cover above and the one I have)

Editor & Assistant Editor: Shannon Watters (editor) & Whitney Leopard (assistant editor) 

Designer: Stephanie Gonzaga 

 Publisher: Kaboom! (2013)
Adventure Time was created by Pendleton Ward.
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A SUGARY WHO-DONE-IT IN THE LAND OF ADVENTURE TIME! Something rotten is afoot in the Land of Ooo, and someone’s gotta sniff out what it is! When Finn and Jake are suddenly kidnapped, Princess Bubblegum deputizes two of her most trusted citizens…Peppermint Butler and Cinnamon Bun?! The crime movie homages come hard and fast in the Candy Kingdom that never sleeps, written by acclaimed cartoonists Yuko Ono and Ananth Panagariya (JOHNNY WANDER)! Don’t miss the newest hardboiled addition to the ADVENTURE TIME comic book family! – (Kaboom Studios)
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Why I Bought It:
I really enjoy Adventure Time cartoon on Cartoon Network, so I thought I would try one of the comic adaptions and since this one just started, was a mini-series, and starred Peppermint Butler, I thought I would give it a try.
What I Thought:
When Jake and Finn go missing the Kingdom of Ooo is in trouble, but don’t you worry Peppermint Butler and Cinnamon Bun are here to crack the case behind this mysterious disappearance and save the day! Reading this comic is a lot like watching the show (without the animation, of course) and I liked that about it. It stays true to the series and it’s source material. Candy Capers is actually reminiscent of the episode “BMO Noire,” in which BMO tries to find Finn’s missing sock through detective work – to some degree.
This issue, as I stated above, is what I have come to expect from Adventure Time. Humorous and out there. I find Peppermint Butler and Cinnamon to make a intriguing team: one is innocent and only wants to help, while the other is conniving and underhanded. I find this is a good time to mention that I have only seen most of season one in full and tons of episodes from other series (whatever I caught on Cartoon Network really), so I may have missed an episode where they had worked together, but I found this team dynamic to be a great collaboration so far.
The art is just like what you would find when watching the show and so is the coloring. However, in all honesty, I feel Adventure Time transfers better on screen than it does on paper. The animation just adds that extra something. I admit, this preference could just be because I am so used to watching the series. If you love the show I would recommend giving this comic a go. If you have tried the television series though and you disliked liked it, yet thought of giving the comic a try because it may carry a different feel – I would say avoid it. As I said before, this issue holds a very similar feel to that of it’s source material.
Would I Continue?: 
I do plan to finish this mini-series, but I don’t know if I will buy anymore Adventure Time comics. As I said above, I prefer it animated, but it still holds the Adventure Time charm. I don’t know. It’s 50/50.

My Thoughts On: Yoki Koto Kiku by Koge-Donbo


Title: Yoki Koto Kiku

Author: Koge-Donbo

Publisher: Broccoli Books

Year Published: 2006

Format: Paperback

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In the ancient House of Nekogami, sibling rivalry is a game of life and death. The family patriarch is dead, and his grandson Sukekiyo is the rightful heir. There’s just one problem — Sukekiyo is away at war, his fate unknown. Only one person can inherit the family fortune, and the triplets Yoki, Koto, and Kiku won’t let Sukekiyo’s fiancée, Tamayo, walk away with everything. With a fortune at stake, it’s kill or be killed as the Nekogami clan goes up against demons, thieves, and each other to protect the family — and the cash! – (Goodreads)

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My Thoughts:

Yoki Koto Kiku is a one-shot manga that has been on my shelf, unread, for about as long as it’s publication date in English… I don’t know why. I really enjoyed what I have read of one of Koge-Donbo’s other works Pita-Ten (I’m on volume four), so I had relatively high expectations for this manga. Unfortunately, it fell short.

The art is what I have come to expect from this author’s works – very cute and cuddly characters. I find the character designs to be very refreshing, like a spring time breeze carrying the soft sent of flowers, as it is very dissimilar to the other manga-artists styles I normally read. I will say this, if you don’t like chibi, super adorable, characters then the art in here (or most of this author’s books) is not for you.

The story, while entertaining, was very bland. It follows the course of the siblings as they fight over the family inheritance in order to achieve their own dreams and when I say fight, they are trying to murder each other. Not to mention trying to kill their older brother’s fiancé whilst hoping he dies in war, so he can’t claim the money for himself. The story is broken up mainly into four chapters, three of which focus on each individual triplet. This was a good idea in order to get the reader more invested in the characters, but it just didn’t seem to pan out. The chapters just weren’t long enough and though they were slightly humorous, they just had no development. I was left feeling like everything was disjointed and randomly strewn about, especially when you through in the fourth chapter which mostly follows a soldier who had mistaken Yoki as his sister. Overall, all I liked that chapter probably the most, but it didn’t seem to offer to much to the story as a whole.

So, while I found the art to be candy-coated and refreshing, and the story vaguely comical, it did not offer anything new to the manga scene. I would recommend this manga if you just won’t a quick, light read – something to entertain you for about an hour, but nothing so engaging that you will remember it for years to come. If you don’t read Yoki Koto Kiku you probably aren’t missing much, yet, as I stated, it is an easy, quick-paced read.

Rating: 3 out of 5

My Thoughts On: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan


Title: The Lightning Thief 

Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Book #1)

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books

Year Published: 2005

Format: Hardcover

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Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. – (Goodreads)

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My Thoughts:

I’m going to be perfectly honest right at the beginning – this book took me roughly two years to read and it’s not even that I disliked it. In fact, I really loved it. There is a semi (not really) complicated story behind this. I first started this book, as I said, about two years ago and I stopped reading rather early on when it mentioned Athena having children. Athena is a virgin goddess, she shouldn’t have any demigod kids! I closed the book. Now, I knew this book had a movie adaption, that is actually how I found out about the Percy Jackson series to begin with, so I just decided to watch that instead. Of course, low and behold, I really enjoyed the movie and decided to give the book another shot. It was by chance that before I started again that I found out it was later explained how Athena had her children, instead of the regular way she thought them up and delivered them down to her lovers. I was able to accept this explanation and moved on. Of course, I started to like it so much that I immediately went out and bought the whole series in hardcover (a boxed set; I gave the paperbacks I had of the first two books to my cousin), the Ultimate Guide, what was out of the Lost Hero series, and the Kane Chronicles. Yeah, I went I bit crazy. Then college happened, the book was put aside again, until later in the year when I started reading it with my roommate – we didn’t finish it. Finally, about two weeks ago a picked it up for the last time and completed it. Yeah, that’s my story. Boring, right? Anyway, on to the review.

This book starts off with Perseus (Percy) Jackson who thinks he is just a normal boy, but it turns out he couldn’t have been more wrong. He is actually the son of a god and a mortal – a demigod. He is caught in the middle of an oncoming war between two of the big three, Poseidon and Zeus, and must stop the fighting before a World War III breaks loose. The pacing in the book is great. It has a good balance between action and humor, and it is just plan amazing. This book is also a pretty good way to learn about some Greek mythology if you are interested as well, as Percy is new to the Greek myths and is finding out all about it as the book progresses.

Percy travels with others on his quest, Grover, his best friend, and Annabeth, a daughter of Athena. What I really loved about these characters is that they were so different, so unique in their own ways, but complemented each others so well. If one of them had a weakness, the other was able to make up for it; these character really seemed to teach about working together rather than trying to take on everything alone. Below are my individual thoughts on each of these three special and gifted characters:

Grover – If you’ve seen the movie than I will warn you that Grover is personality is completely unlike what it is portrayed as in the film adaption. In film he is complete confident, a womenizer even. However, in the book he is more timid and unsure of himself and he grows exceptionally throughout this first book. He is certainly the underdog character whom proves himself over and over. You just can’t help but love him or find yourself wishing that he were real so you could hug him.

Annabeth – I didn’t really like her at first and it was not because she was a daughter of Athena, but because she was coming off really stuck up and mean. Really, she seemed to stepped aside to watch the new guy get bullied by some of the other campers just so she could apparently evaluate his skills. So, it took me awhile to warm up to her, but about halfway through the book she really started to show how kind she was. Not only that, but she had every reason to be proud of her intelligence; I think I just needed to see it in action while working as a team rather than the times we see it before these three start traveling together.

Percy – Forget that he is twelve; he has to be one of the sweetest and bravest male leads I ever come across in my reading, which is saying something as he is competing against Charlie (Perks of Being a Wallflower), Harry (Harry Potter), Ponyboy (The Outsiders), and many others. The loyalty he shows for his mother and friends is just awe-inspiring. He also has to be one of the funnest characters in the book and I couldn’t be happier that we are following his point-of-view as he not only comes to terms with something that completely changes his world, but as he fights against all odds to save the most important person in his life. Percy Jackson is a gem among gems and I really look forward to his growth in the rest of the series.

I did have a few problems with this book that prevented me from giving it a full five out five and they my seem like small reasons to others, but they were enough to make me pull back a bit. Two of the reasons actually centered around Annabeth and her reactions to certain things and since the are spoiler-like I am going to put the next bit in spoiler tags, so read them at your own risk. Continue reading

Comic Book Wednesday: Batman ’66 #1

Comic Book Wednesday is a now a bi-weekly, hopefully, feature I created to talk about the comics I am reading. It has gone through many different revisions already, though this one should be the last (fingers crossed). As of now I will be talking about my first impressions on a series after reading the first issue.
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BATMAN '66 #1 CoverLR

Title: Batman ’66  #1

Writer: Jeff Parker

Artist & Colorer: Jonathan Case

Letters: Wes Abbott

Cover: Michael and Laura Allred

Editor: Jim Chadwick

 Publisher: DC Comics (2013)
Rated: E (Everyone)
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Put on your go-go boots and get ready to “Batusi” back to the Swingin’ 60s as DC Comics reimagines the classic Batman TV series in comics form for the first time! These all-new stories portray The Caped Crusader, The Boy Wonder and their fiendish rogues gallery just the way viewers remember them. In this first adventure, The Riddler’s out to steal some valuable artwork from under the noses of Gotham’s police. But Batman gets help from an unlikely source: a certain femme fatale dressed in feline finery!  – (DC Comics)
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Why I bought it: 

It was so bright and vivid. No, seriously. I am so used to seeing Batman in super dark colors and tones (and personality) that when I saw this, I thought I would be blinded. It was awesome!

What I thought: 

Golly gee, this was great! I practically loved everything about this issue from the art and coloring to the dialogue, especially the dialogue:

Batman: Besides don’t you want to make use of that daytime driver’s license?

Robin: I sure do!”

_ _ _

Alfred: To the Alf-Pole, heh-hmh!”

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Batman: Thanks to Catwoman’s Complying with the fire marshal 

and having accessible extinguishers placed in her club!”

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Batman ’66 felt over the top and that was definitely it’s charm – it had me smiling non-stop. Some of the action noises were way out there too, like CAT-ZAM!

I will say, this issue to me longer to read then a single issue usually does, but that was because I adored it so much that I kept rereading pages or just staring at it to admire it as a whole. This comic reads sort of like a children’s action cartoon: light, fun,and bright. It was also inspired by the classic Batman television series (which I’ve seen about five minutes of, yet enjoyed what I saw) and that is probably why I liked it as much as I did. I tend to like things that are considered cheesey and old-fashioned.

Would I continue?: 

Gosh, I couldn’t imagine not continuing this series – it makes me so happy. This one is certainly being added to my pull list on my next trip to the comic book store. I would even say this is a series I would collect all the single issues of (maybe even different variant covers of) as well as the trades. I guess this just proves justice always prevails!

My Thoughts On: Crumbs by Elora Bishop

????????????????????????????????????????Title: Crumbs: A Lesbian Hansel and Gretel

Author: Elora Bishop

Publisher: Smashwords and can also be found on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble 

Format: eBook (2012)

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Greta’s never ventured beyond the refuge of the Heap. Outside, the Ragers lurk, ever hungry and hunting. But Greta and her brother, half-starved and now alone, must risk death for the dream of safety they hope to find within the metal forest. Once there, nothing is as it seems: in the confines of a crumbling old candy factory, the woman who rescues them with sweet words and sweeter treats harbors a dangerous secret.

The novella CRUMBS is the lesbian retelling of the classic fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel.” It is part of the series SAPPHO’S FABLES: LESBIAN FAIRY TALES. – (Goodreads)

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My Thoughts:

I plunged into Crumbs with relatively no expectations and surfaced with mild satisfaction. This novella had a lot of potential that just always seemed to slide by before the story could completely capture it. The characters live in a post-apocolyptic world where Ragers (essentially zombies though with slight differences) roam, looking for fresh flesh and muscle to devour – this aspect of the story isn’t utilized as much as it could have been. Nearly all the ‘I want a human for an appetizer’ action is sacrificed (literally, it just breezes right by) in order for Greta to meet her potential love interest sooner.

This brings me to the romance of this Hansel & Gretel re-imagining, which, for the length of the novella, I thought was decently done. I wish there had been some more suspense or drama though, something that would just make me go, “wow, I really want these two to get together already!” In some respect it was hard to get invested in the relationship (and characters) because everything just flew by like a Peregrine Falcon. Really, there were points that I just wanted more. Maybe a bit more conversation when they were eating the pastries or more of a backfire to Greta’s quick conclusions about the siblings her and Hans are staying with. Just something.

Crumbs is good for what it is, but I can’t help but wish it were longer. I feel if it were longer I may have become more invested in the characters, family relationships, and romance because it would have had that extra stretch to develop. This was most certainly an interesting take on a classic fairy tale and I would recommend at least giving it a go. This novella is part of a series called Sappho’s Fables: Lesbian Fairy Tales and I do plan to check out the rest of them to see how all of them play out, especially Braided (a Rapunzel retelling).

Rating: 3.5 cakes out of 5

My Thoughts On: Iron Man Beneath the Armor by Andy Mangels

Iron Man Beneath the Armor

Title: Iron Man: Beneath the Armor

Author: Andy Mangels

Publisher: Del Rey

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In the age of high-tech warfare, he’s the ultimate smart weapon: man and machine combined for maximum impact. He’s Iron Man, AKA millionaire industrialist and visionary genius turned superhero Tony Stark–and he’s rocketing onto the big screen in the most eagerly anticipated new action movie of the year. Now discover everything you need to know about this sensational superhero, including

• the fascinating history of Iron Man, down through the decades, from 1960’s comic book character to twenty-first-century cinema star
• an inside-out overview of his armor’s design evolution through the years, including special powers and weapons capabilities
• a complete character breakdown of Tony Stark/Iron Man, and everyone in his universe, from Virginia “Pepper” Potts and James Rhodes/War Machine to such villains as Mandarin, Crimson Dynamo, Fin Fang Foom, and many more

Find out all there is to know about this classic character in the only reference that puts the pedal to the metal!  – (Goodreads)

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My Thoughts:

I don’t read many nonfiction books, but when I saw this in the bargain area at the Barnes and Noble by me and with my current obsession with superheroes, especially Iron Man whom this book is about, I just had to have it. As you may know, I am relatively new to these types of comics having been almost strictly into the manga form for around ten years, so finding a book that was solely about my current favorite Marvel Hero, Tony Stark, was pretty much the happiest part of my day. I loved learning about the journey this character has taken; of the struggles and triumphs he made during his many years of publication. Now, this book only goes up to around the year 2009, so it only brushes upon the current movie line (which is the first Iron Man movie, yet to be released) and comics up to that point, but I still feel it was very informative.

It probably won’t offer anything new to those who have been following this character of the Marvel Universe for years and know all the artist, writers, and story lines; however, for people just entering (like myself, kind of) this book is a nice place to start to get some of that back history. It even goes over other characters who generally appear in the world of Iron Man or had played some sort of role in the character’s life like Pepper Potts and Kathy Dare. The book doesn’t focus so much on them (though I was decently satisfied with the info I received on them) as it does the different artist and writers who have worked on Iron Man, his villains, his armor, and his ever altering story. It was just really nice to see how Tony Stark (Iron Man) and everyone else who has worn the suit evolved and changed. As kind of a bonus, I suppose, there was a section about some of the armor mentioning when the particular suit first appeared and the logistics of it, which I must say was neat. (The Prometheum and Extremis armors were very intriguing.)

Since this book is kind of dated now, it has been a good number of years since it’s publication and many things have happened to the Iron Man character (that I know of) during the time between now and then, there is probably a more current and updated one out there. However, I do think if you are browsing a bookstore, online, a yard-sale, or wherever you may purchase your books and you come across Iron Man: Beneath the Armor and it’s not overly expensive, your interested in the rich history of this character, and your a newcomer to the mechanically superior  world that Tony Stark lives in (or even if you just want a bit of a refresher), I think this is a good book to pick up and enjoy.

Rating: 4 out of 5

My Thoughts On: Who Censored Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf


Title: Who Censored Roger Rabbit?

Author: Gary K. Wolf

Publisher: Smashwords (2010, ebook version)

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Gary K. Wolf creates a wonderfully skewed and totally believable world made up of equal parts Raymond Chandler, Lewis Carroll, and Walt Disney. A riotously surreal spoof of the hard-boiled detective novel. Packed with action and laughs. Wolf s cult classic, highly praised novel is the basis for the blockbuster Walt Disney/Steven Spielberg film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. (Goodreads)

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My Thoughts:

I’ve been a fan of the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit since I was little and when I found out it was based on a book, I knew I just had to read it. Unsurprisingly, the book and movie are very different, though they have the similiar type of feel. This is also probably one of the rare cases where I feel the movie is better then it’s book counterpart (which could very well be due to my long standing love of the movie). If you’ve seen the movie, but never read the book because you didn’t want to read what you already saw then you need not worry here.

The two main characters, Roger Rabbit (the toon) and Eddie Valiant (the detective), relationship/partnership remained very close in both of the media outlets, which I felt was nice. Jessica Rabbit, however, was so different I barley recognized her! I ended up really enjoying Jessica’s personality in the book; she was cunning and devious, and really knew how to work her strengths to her advantage. It was interesting to see how things played out between these three compared to its more friendly, I guess, movie version.

The book was pretty much a ‘who killed who and why’ type story and some parts of the mystery I figured out before the big reveal, but there was part at the end that had me a bit blindsided. It was this part that actually had me questioning Roger’s feelings for Jessica. Another thing, which I’ve seen somebody else mention, was the use of thought bubbles for the too characters. The idea was really cool, but at times the execution of it seemed kind of stilted and awkward – something that may have worked better in a visual form.

So, that’s pretty much all I have to say on that really. The mystery was decently predictable, but left some surprises and it was interesting to see such a difference in Roger and Jessica’s romance. I think this book is worth a try at the very least.

Rating: 3 out of 5