Saturday, August 1, 2015

March Grand Prix: The Fast and the Furriest by Kean Soo

March Grand Prix: The Fast and the Furriest by Kean Soo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 144 pages
Published Aug 1st 2015 by Capstone Publishing
Source: Netgalley

March Grand Prix: (omnibus, 1-3)

Kean Soo finally comes out with a new graphic novel since the Jellaby books. Like those, this is adorably illustrated but unlike Jellaby, Grand Prix is mostly suited to the younger audience; Jellaby was also for children, but it had a second level that appealed to the adult audience. March Grand Prix is all for the kids. This is a bind-up of three books available separately.  A lovable set of rabbit siblings, each has a special talent hobby though the family shares an interest in car racing with March Hare being a professional driver. The first story is how he wins his first race. These are good entertaining stories, three in all, which are independent of each other though they do briefly mention events from prior stories. While I do think the stories are fun and entertaining each one does unmistakably have a lesson to teach without trying to hide that they are. Soo is a great cartoon-style artist and I'm thrilled to see this Canadian bringing out another series as it's been a long wait since Jellaby.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Arkham Manor, Vol. 1 by Gerry Duggan

Arkham Manor, Vol. 1 by Gerry Duggan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 144 pages
Published July 28th 2015 by DC Comics
Source: Edelweiss egalley

Batman

An entertaining read but nothing special. There are way too many quick cameos by the villains but I did enjoy the group therapy sessions. Mr. Freeze had to be my favourite part of this trade. The serial killer story was pretty freaky and gross but it did end with a lot of loose ends that weren't wrapped up. I did not like the artist's rendition of Batman at all, he was downright ugly! One thing I did like though is the new identity for Batman. Like his "Matches Malone" disguise when he goes undercover with the criminal gangster element he now has a "Jack Shaw" identity he can go undercover with the criminally insane element and it will be interesting to see if anyone ever uses it again.

O.M.A.C. (New 52) Vol. 1: Omactivate! by Dan DiDio

O.M.A.C. (New 52) Vol. 1: Omactivate! by Dan DiDio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by DC Comics
Source: Kindle Store

New 52

I loved this! Taking place at the same time as the second story in Frankenstein Vol. 1, these are the same events from OMAC's point of view and the continuing story involving Checkmate. I like Kevin Kho and his OMAC alter ego. This whole book basically covers his origin story and the time he's being controlled by Brother Eye. Both Checkmate and Cadmus are interesting organizations, which I'd like to see more of. There are some interesting battles and villains OMAC goes up against, including a guest appearance by both Frankenstein and later Superman. OMAC is an anti-hero to begin with but Kevin begins to regain a small amount of his own thoughts while under control and the ending brings him into his own right as a superhero and this is, unfortunately, where this series was cancelled. But not to worry, as he pops up here and there in the 52 universe again from this point on.

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Men of War (New 52) Vol. 1: Uneasy Company by Ivan Brandon

Men of War (New 52) Vol. 1: Uneasy Company by Ivan Brandon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 24th 2012 by DC Comics
Source: Library

New 52

This is a bit weird, but I liked it. I was expecting war stories and got that but mixed in with meta-humans and supervillains. Joe rock is the grandson of the famous "Sgt. Rock" and he is the lead on a special force which gets sent out basically on black ops nobody else knows about. These end up having some kind of weird villain involved. The book is comprised of a couple of arcs which are completely unrelated to the DC universe and they were quite good once I got the feel for it. Especially the last one, which hints that this state of affairs has been going on even since "Sgt. Rock's" days and leaves us with a lot of intriguing questions, but then the series was canceled ... The book then ends with a bunch of random one-off's which have no connection to anything except they are war related to some point. Some were good, especially Matt Kindt's knife fight story. There was even a Frankenstein of S.H.A.D.E. WWII story by Jeff Lemire but none of the others had any characters connected to anything, simply short stories. A good read if you like war stuff but totally unnecessary to read within the New 52 continuity.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., Vol. 1: War of the Monsters by Jeff Lemire

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. (New 52) Vol. 1: War of the Monsters by Jeff Lemire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by DC Comics

New 52
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. (1)

So-so. It could have been better than it was. I've met all the major characters before in my New 52 reading but am not really familiar with any of them except Ray Palmer. I like Jeff Lemire as an author, but the writing is actually pretty dumb for the first story which takes up most of this book. Towards the end of that arc I started to get into the S.H.A.D.E. team and then the plot and writing was much better for the second arc. Has a lot of little tie-ins and references to the whole DC 52 universe that made it fun. The ending is a cliffhanger that makes you want to read some more and I've got the next one so will continue on.

Friday, July 24, 2015

One-Punch Man, Vol. 2 by ONE

One-Punch Man, Vol. 2 by ONE
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2015 by VIZ Media
first published 2012
Source: Edelweiss egalley

One-Punch Man (1)

Oh, this is even better than the first one! So silly and yet it follows your standard shonen plot. Bad guy/battle then repeat. But the dialogue is hilarious and I find One-Shot adorable. This isn't cutesy, though, it's pretty violent. One-punch had to fight a bunch of bald guys who totally pissed him off for taking his look (they did deserve it, they were really bad guys) and I'm anxious to see if Genos will lose his hair too after all the training. LOL. Can't wait for next book!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

One-Punch Man, Vol. 1 by ONE

One-Punch Man, Vol. 1 by ONE
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Expected paperback publication: September 1st 2015 by VIZ Media
first published 2009

One-Punch Man (1)

I love One-Punch!!! I've read chapters of it here and there in Weekly Shonen Jump and have really wanted to get in on the manga from the beginning. What is there not to love about One-Punch? I think he's so adorable. This is probably first and foremost satire of the shonen genre, but it's done so well it's a great one harkening back to the days of the greats. It's got comedy, action, battles and more battles. We get Saitama's backstory and a wide range of emotions along with his adoring sidekick. Seeds have been sown for the greater story arc. This is good, plain, battle-action fun with its tongue firmly set in the cheek.