Monday, April 29, 2013

105-106: 07-Ghost V2&V3 by Yuki Amemiya & Yukino Ichihara

07-Ghost, Vol. 2 by Yuki Amemiya & Yukino Ichihara
07-Ghost, (Vol. 2)

Rating: (3/5)

(US) - (Canada)

2006, Feb. 6, 2013, viz media, 193 pgs
Age: 13+

"In a gambit to steal the power of the Eye of Mikael, a force that has helped the Seven Ghosts keep evil at bay for centuries, the Barsburg Empire sends a most unlikely pursuer to the Barsburg Church after Teito—his best friend Mikage."

Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

I'm finding this story hard to get into.  The plot is somewhat scattered; things happen and seem to drift off.  I'm not really sure where the bad guys are coming from or why.  However, I like the characters.  The two Bishops are a lot of fun and their bickering with each other makes them my favourite, even above the main characters.  Teito is interesting as well and I like him; he;s real having both fear and attitude.  I'm going to give this series one more volume to see if it hooks me as I'm intrigued.  But if volume 3 doesn't get the plot onto more of an even keel for me, I'll put the series aside as not my thing.

07-Ghost, Vol. 3 by Yuki Amemiya & Yukino Ichihara
07-Ghost (Vol. 3)

Rating: (4/5)

(US) - (Canada)

2006, Mar. 12, 2013, viz media, 195 pgs
Age: 13+

"While Teito trains rigorously to pass the Bishop Examination and gain worldwide travel privileges, a crime perpetrated by one of Ayanami’s henchmen rocks the Barsburg Church. When Frau is framed, can Teito put aside his quest for answers to save the one person who has shown him the true meaning of sanctuary?"

Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

This is where the story really picks up!  I found this volume to be fast paced and I got a handle on both the characters and the plot.  Time is spent here also giving us some much needed background on various major characters which really pulled things together for me and I found myself enjoying the story to such an extent that I'm actually eager to read the next volume at this point.  I still find the battle scenes a little confusing but they tend to be explained *after* they are completed.  This book was very much character driven and focused on the various friendships that have developed.  I agree with the publisher's Teen 13+ rating but not because of violence, there isn't any beyond battle scenes that aren't graphic in the remotest, but more because of the use of profanities (mostly d*mn & b*st*rd).  I'm definitely going to continue on with volume 4!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

104. Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Rating: (3.5/5)

(US) - (Canada)

2012, Scholastic, 233 pgs
Age: 13+

"Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she's a terrible singer. Instead she's the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that comes once the actors are chosen, and when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!"

Borrowed a copy from my local library.

When I was in high school I was on the "House" committee for the drama club: basically we took care of the audience each performance, intermission, etc. and this book brought back some fond and some not-so-fond memories of that time.  It is a really fun quick read but not anywhere near as good as "Smile".  There is too much teen angst and crushes going on for my tastes but I'm sure the intended audience will be just fine with that.  Though I do think the author should have set the book in high school rather than middle school.  She even mentions in her note that school is when she participated in drama club.  The emphasis on crushes, both hetero- and homos*xual, in a frivolous manner makes it hard for me to recommend for the intended audience though.  Nine to twelve year olds have much better things to do with their time and energy, imho, than be encouraged to carry crushes and date.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

103. Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Vol. 13 by Hiroshi Shiibashi

Conflict by Hiroshi Shiibashi.
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Vol. 13

Rating: (4/5)

(US) - (Canada)

Feb. 5, 2013, viz media, 192 pgs
Age: 13+

"Rikuo trains for a rematch against the yokai Tsuchigumo, who has his friend Yuki-Onna in his clutches. To get him up to par, Gyuki of the Nura clan has ordered Rikuo to attain a technique worthy of the Lord of a Hundred Demons in just three days. But time is running out and Rikuo hasn’t gained anything but bumps and bruises. Will he be able to save Yuki-Onna?"

Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

At this point, vol. 13, in a series my reviews can't not but contain a spoiler or two.  I always find it a little hard to get going with each volume in this series and I think that is because there is such a huge cast of characters that I'm not exactly remembering them all until they've been around for several volumes.  And sometimes characters don't last that long ...  But, usually, as with this volume, by the end I'm totally engrossed and ready for the next volume!  One of my favourite minor characters hasn't been around for some time but he's back in this volume, Aotabo, and we learn his history.  Rikuo finally learns his Yokai battle power and wow! is it amazing and well worth waiting for.  As I always say battle scenes are not my favourite part of shonen manga but Tsuchigumo is an awesome yokai and opponent; the art of his battle scenes is amazing and great fun.  Lots of talk about Hagoromo-Gitsune but she doesn't show up; looking forward to seeing her next volume as she's a great villain and this volume brings about the death of a minor good guy.  Loving this series!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

74. Mind MGMT: The Manager by Matt Kindt

Mind MGMT: The Manager by Matt Kindt. Foreword by Damon Lindelof
Mind MGMT: Volume 1

Rating: 5/5

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

Apr. 23, 2013, Dark Horse, 152 pgs
Age: 18+

"Reporting on a commercial flight where everyone aboard lost their memories, a young journalist stumbles onto a much bigger story, the top-secret Mind Management program. Her ensuing journey involves weaponized psychics, hypnotic advertising, talking dolphins, and seemingly immortal pursuers, as she attempts to find the flight’s missing passenger, the man who was MIND MGMT’s greatest success—and its most devastating failure. But in a world where people can rewrite reality itself, can she trust anything she sees? Collects MIND MGMT #1-#6."
Received an egalley from the publisher through NetGalley.

Perfection!  I just loved this.  Having read Kindt's "Revolver" and enjoying it very much, the plot summary of this book had me anxious to read.  A bit hard to pinpoint a genre to it but I suppose it falls under paranormal though its main theme covers espionage/spies/secret agents, that sort of thing.  A riveting read that kept me spellbound for the entire journey and I'm so excited that this is just Volume 1.  What the heck can happen next?!  Meru, a successful author of a debut true-crime book, is the main character but she has amnesia that goes back two years, when her memories start, and hasn't written a word since.  This is the character we follow throughout the book as we meet many more strange and mysterious people she becomes wrapped up in the secret, dangerous world of the organization called Mind Management.  It is a roller coaster of a ride which reads an awful lot like a spy thriller in the vein of the Bourne Identity with the added strangeness of the unknown and special powers of the agents.  A perfect read for fans of Lost or those who don't mind an X-Files element in their thrillers. A fun bonus at the end of the book is three short stories which take place prior to the events of book, giving the reader some background information on characters and plot. Loved it! And Kindt's watercolour artwork is too gorgeous not to call special attention to as well.

Monday, April 22, 2013

100. Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, Vol. 12

100. Child of Light by Hiroyuki Asada
Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, Vol. 12

Rating: (4/5)

(US) - (Canada)

Feb. 5, 2013, viz media, 200 pgs
Age: 13

"As the ferocious Gaichuu Cabernet closes in on the capital of Amberground, the Letter Bees form an army to stop it. Lag is paired off with a novice Bee who informs him that he’s become a legend in the Beehive. But Lag’s reputation as the “Child of Light” won’t do him much good against the terrifying power of Cabernet…or the dark secret he’s discovered about his hero, Gauche Suede."

Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

At this point, vol. 12, in a series my reviews can't not but contain a spoiler or two.  This is an intense volume and we are on the verge of the series taking a different direction in its plot, even though at this point we still do have some plot points hanging.  Gauche/Noir has taken off. Largo Lloyd has arrived at Reverse. A new letter bee is introduced in an epic way.  A major battle that has been building up has been fought. But as everything comes to a conclusion things twist and we're not sure where things stand.  Secrets are promised to be revealed in the next volume.  I really enjoy this series; it's one of my favourites that I'm reading but at this point I'm feeling like we need some forward motion.  The secrets of the sun, Reverse and the government need to be reveled and the ultimate quest started.  I just hope this isn't going to be one of those 30+ vol. series; I like closure.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

97-98. (2) Young Justice titles by Art Baltazar (DC/Capstone)

97. Haunted by Art Baltazar & Franco. Art by Mike Norton
Young Justice (#1)

Rating: (4/5)

(US) - (Canada)

Aug. 2012, Capstone Publishing, 24 pgs
Age: 10

"It’s moving-in day for Superboy and Miss Martian as they choose their rooms at their new headquarters! But the Boy of Steel is haunted by the Cave’s memories and strange visions of his past."

Received review copy from Capstone Books.

Based on the cartoon show. The start of a comic book series which quickly gets underway and has the reader enticed with the plot after only a few pages.  While many characters are shown and have speaking parts, Superboy and Miss Martian are the main focus of this volume.  Absolutely love the artwork.  Great, edgy takes on the teen-age superheroes.

98. Hack and You Shall Find by Art Baltazar & Franco. Art by Mike Norton
Young Justice (#3)

Rating: (3/5)

(US) - (Canada)

Aug. 2012, Capstone Publishing, 24 pgs
Age: 10

"Robin’s a bit jealous of Superboy’s abilities. But when they have to rescue the inhabitants of a burning building, The Boy Wonder might learn that one doesn’t need super powers to be a true Super Hero."

Received review copy from Capstone Books.

Based on the cartoon show. Not having issue 2 on hand, it is convenient that this issue starts with a "meanwhile the rest of the gang" type of beginning.  Superboy and Miss Martian are absent doing whatever it is they are doing and Robin has hacked into the system to find out that an important reporter has a hit out on her so Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad take it upon themselves to save her but are met by  some formidable foes.  Action, action, action right from the beginning keeps the reader hooked tight and fast to the cliff-hanger ending.  This is a promising new series which features both Young and regular Justice League members.

These are library editions of the regular comic book issues and I'm tempted to buy the trade pbs of this ongoing series!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

94-95. (2) Tiny Titans Comics by Art Baltazar

94. Tiny Titans vs. the Fearsome Five by Art Baltazar & Franco
Tiny Titans (#8)

Rating: (4/5)

(US) - (Canada)

Aug, 2012, Stone Arch Books, 25 pgs
Age: 5+

"The Fearsome Five have arrived, and they have their eyes set on the Tiny Titans playground! Plus, Beast Boy has a crush on a rock throwing lass and Cyborg helps bake a cake."

Received review copy from Capstone Publishing.

I've always wanted to try this series from DC/Capstone and am pleased to finally get the chance.  Written for the youngest crowd, these are easy to read and feature multiple 1-4 page vignettes like the olden day "kiddie comics".  While none of the stories are actually related there are a couple of themes that run through some of them.  One being the appearance of the Fearsome Five trying to cause our heroes some trouble and the other is stories which feature Terra and her love for Superman vs Beast Boy and his crush on Terra.  Cute little stories.  Great art.  I'm always pleased with Art Baltazar's work.  Lovely intro to comics for the beginning reader.  Listed at a 2.5 RL.

95. Tiny Titans: Sidekick City Elementary by Art Baltazar & Franco
Tiny Titans (#9)

Rating: (3/5)

(US) - (Canada)

Aug. 2012, Stone Arch Books, 25 pgs
Age: 5+

"Aw yeah, Titans! See what life is like at Sidekick Elementary and meet the new staff! Follow the madness that ensues when Beast Boy gets a puppy friend! Witness what happens when the girls meet a pink stranger with a melted ice cream cone! Find out what makes Cassie such a trendsetter!"

Received review copy from Capstone Publishers.

Not quite so entertaining as the previous book I read "Tiny Titans vs. the Fearsome Five".  Follows the same format of 1-4 page vignettes as found in old "kiddie comics".  This volume however has no unifying theme between the stories except that some of them take place in the school room and there is one running joke that is replayed later in the book.  Still ... the stories are cute, we get to know the characters, their relationships and personalities.  Great art as usual from this team.  Lovely intro to comics for the beginning reader.  Listed at a 2.5 RL.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

60. Jerusalem: The Story of a City and a Family by Boaz Yakin

Jerusalem: The Story of a City and a Family by Boaz Yakin. Illustrated by Nick Bertozzi

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada)
April 16, 2013, First Second Books, 400 pgs
Ages: 16+

"Jerusalem is a sweeping, epic work that follows a single family—three generations and fifteen very different people—as they are swept up in chaos, war, and nation-making from 1940-1948. Faith, family, and politics are the heady mix that fuel this ambitious, cinematic graphic novel. With Jerusalem, author-filmmaker Boaz Yakin turns his finely-honed storytelling skills to a topic near to his heart: Yakin's family lived in Palestine during this period and was caught up in the turmoil of war just as his characters are. This is a personal work, but it is not a book with a political ax to grind. Rather, this comic seeks to tell the stories of a huge cast of memorable characters as they wrestle with a time when nothing was clear and no path was smooth."

Absolutely outstanding!  This chunkster of a graphic novel is a gripping read that I could not put down once started.  It is one I already plan to re-read.  Starting off with a map and couple pages of text we are given an historical background of Israel/Palestine up to the starting date of the book post-WWII 1945.  Follows is a one page text background of the fictional family featured in the book up to this date as well.  The reader is then fully immersed into the chaotic, war-torn life of a Jewish family whose members have differing viewpoints on the issues surrounding them.  Very much a family story but heavily grounded in its political background. If, like me, you know of this conflict only from modern times, you will find the historical background of the making of Israel a compelling story.  The author manages to give an even presentation showing no bias to either Jew or Arab, only coming off as being extremely anti-war and biased totally against the former British Commonwealth.  The family story is heart-wrenching; there are moments of levity but mostly it is a dark tale of hatred and love.  The b/w artwork is beautifully realistic though at times the realism of the atrocities of war can be painful to look at.  A stunning book which I wouldn't be surprised to see on a few award lists for 2013.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

91. Legends From China: Three Kingdoms, Vol. 3: To Pledge Allegiance by Wei Dong Chen

To Pledge Allegiance by Wei Dong Chen. Illustrated by Xiao Long Liang
Legends From China: Three Kingdoms, Vol. 3

Rating: (3/5)

(US) - (Canada)

Jan, 2013, J R Comics, 171 pgs
Age: 16+

Received an egalley from the publisher through Net Galley.

"With Zhuo Dong gone and a weakened Emperor Xian in exile, a power vacuum has opened in the lands ruled by the Han Dynasty. Soon, Cao Cao, Shao Yuan, and Bu Lu are jockeying for position in the race to rule the land. Provinces will change hands, allegiances will shift, and the law of the land will change in ways no one could have imagined."

Continuing on in the same format as the previous volumes, the story in volume three is very political centering  around battles and scheming between the various warlords.  Warlords Bu Lu and Cao Cao are the central figures in a myriad cast of uncountable numbers.  Characters are labeled with their name upon their first appearance and usually more than once before it is assumed you have recognized who they are.  This is *very* helpful when dealing with this number of characters, with non-English names and often similarly written names such as Bu Lu vs Bei Liu.  On the whole I really enjoy this series as I love Chinese history but this volume was pretty heavy going as I'm not a military-minded person.  I prefer the personal stories over the military planning and battle action but it is of course an important part of the story and the main characters' personalities are developing for the worse as power takes a hold of them. This volume has none of the romantic or violent graphic scenes found in the previous two volumes but I'm keeping my age recommendation the same as unless the child has an intense interest in ancient military strategies the reading will be too dense for youngers.  I enjoyed the first two volumes best, but at this point I'm still eager to read on.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

89. Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Rating: (2.5/5)

(US) - (Canada)

2003, Oni Press, 168 pgs
Age: 12+

Borrowed a copy from my local library.

"Raleigh doesn't have a soul. A cat stole it - or at least that's what she tells people - or at least that's what she would tell people if she told people anything. But that would mean talking to people, and the mere thought of social interaction is terrifying. How did such a shy teenage girl end up in a car with three of her hooligan classmates on a cross-country road trip? Being forced to interact with kids her own age is a new and alarming proposition for Raleigh, but maybe it's just what she needs - or maybe it can help her find what she needs - or maybe it can help her to realize that what she needs has been with her all along."

Having read the Scott Pilgrim series, I saw that O'Malley had written only one other book so I decided to see if it was any different than the Scott books.  It certainly is. This is the story of a girl on a journey, a road trip and her immense angst as she tries to figure out what her life means.  She feels she has no soul and searches for it in a cat.  Very strange with lots of crazy symbolism if you want to take the time to try and analyze it.  But, to me, just random wanderings of an existential nature.  I got bored halfway through, but carried on and did have a laugh at the chasing of cats at night as Raleigh tried to stare into their eyes looking for her soul.  One thing I may not have mentioned before though is that I do enjoy O'Malley's art; it has a manga vibe to it but is definitely Western and the simple facial expressions show a lot of emotion.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

87. Graphic Classics, Vol. 24: Native America Classics

87.  Native America Classics edited by Tom Pomplun, John E, Smelcer & Joseph Bruchac
Graphic Classics, Vol. 24

Rating: (3.5/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

Mar, 3, 2013, Eureka Productions, 144 pgs
Age: 12+

Received a review copy from Eureka Productions.

"Native American Classics presents adaptations of early stories and poems by Native American writers including Charles Eastman, Zitkala-Sa, Alex Posey, E. Pauline Johnson and George Copway. Artists include Timothy Truman, Robby McMurtry, Jay Odjick, Daryl Talbot, Toby Cypress, Weshoyot Alvitre, Roy Boney Jr., Tara Audibert, Marty Two Bulls, Terry LaBan, Afua Richardson and John Findley. The volume is co-edited with noted Native authors John E. Smelcer and Joseph Bruchac, who each contribute a piece to the collection."

The latest book in this series is rather unique in that it focuses on Native Literature written mostly in the mid-late 19th century.  The stories have been adapted to the graphic format and from what I can tell most of the writers/artists involved are either Native or of Native descent.  Several poems are also presented; a few one-pages, others more epic in their telling.  The collection of stories throws a blanket of bitterness these "Indians" felt toward the "white man" and make some depressing reading.  In contrast, when reading African-American literature of their impoverished hard times there often seems to be a point of redemption, some qualifier that not all of one race are evil or oppressed, there are exceptions.  However, the first half of this book was "us against them" and bitter reading.  At page 54 the stories started to introduce myth like elements, humour, not so dark tales and the "white man" who wasn't the source of all evil.

My favourites were "How the White Race Came to America", which shows how the Devil can enter one's heart and here even the Devil laments at his great evil.  "Prehistoric Race" is a comical "turtle/hare" type of plot but quite different, great illustration and laugh out loud ending.  Same thing goes for the hysterical "Itsikamahidish and the Wild Potato".  Funny farting myth with hilarious art.  The art throughout the whole book is fantastic, not a single artist I didn't get on with.  My only complaint is that too many of the stories focused on the bitter history of the Native-American.  While certainly necessary and appreciated in the collection, more diversity mixed with the successful man and family today, along with the myth like tales would have made for more diversified reading.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

86. True Colors by Brian Smith

True Colors by Brian Smith. Art by Jacob Chabot
Voltron Force, Vol. 6

Rating: 5/5

(US) - (Canada)

Feb. 5, 2013, VizMedia, 96 pgs
Age: 8+

Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

"All of the Voltron Force’s enemies from past battles—The Drule twins Zora and Roza, Daggor, Kai-Borg and Prince Nebulax—have joined forces with King Lotor for the ultimate battle of good versus evil. And this time, Lotor is in command of something he’s never had before—the Voltron Lions!Could this be the end of the Voltron Force?"

A fantastic conclusion to this 6-volume series!  Bringing back all the former villains from the previous stories, this becomes an action-packed story as they join forces with Lotor to finally take over Voltron.  A satisfying ending leaves our main characters at a point of accomplishment but the storyline is also left at a point where it would be easy to follow up with a second series.  I really enjoyed these characters and found this and the other stories well-written.  There are also two confident, major female characters which will bring the series' appeal to girl readers as well, even though it is certainly going to be favoured by boys.  A great ending to an all around fun series for the younger crowd.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

85. Redakai: Conquer the Kairu, Vol. 2, The Tiger Terror by Terrance Griep & Mike Raicht

85. The Tiger Terror by Terrance Griep & Mike Raicht. Art by Zack Turner and Write Height Media
Redakai: Conquer the Kairu, Vol. 2

Rating: (2/5)

(US) - (Canada)

Feb. 5, 2013, VizMedia, 96 pgs
Age: 8+

"Team Stax brings home a strange new energy source, a tiger idol infused with kairu and something else that attacks...Master Boaddai! Now Ky, Maya and Boomer are going to have to use all their training to save their teacher! Plus a bonus story, "Four’s a Crowd." Is Connor trying to join Team Stax? That can’t be anything but trouble! "

Can't say this impressed me much. I think you must have to be a fan of the show to enjoy it and "get" it properly.  Like the first volume, the majority of the book is divided into chapters telling the titular story and then the book finished with a short story.  I enjoyed the short story but was quite bored with the main tale.  It  contained an awful lot of endless "battle-mode" action and meaningless plot.  Dialogue wasn't helpful either. Here's a sample from the last page of Chapter 2:

"Now we can... we can... ...Hooboy..."
"Whoa! What is this place?!"
"Ky? Ky, you'll want to see this."
"Wow, this place is ..."
"What should I..."

Meaningless dialogue, repetition of the word "Kairu" ad-naseum, battle mode, repeat.  Will not be continuing with this series.

Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Monday, April 8, 2013

84. Poseidon: Earth Shaker by George O'Connor

Poseidon: Earth Shaker by George O'Connor

Rating: 3/5

(US) - (Canada)

Mar 19, 2013, First Second, 78 pgs
Age: 9+

"In the fifth installment of the Olympians series of graphic novels, author/artist George O'Connor turns the spotlight on that most mysterious and misunderstood of the Greek gods, Poseidon: Earth Shaker. Thrill to such famous myths as Theseus and the Minotaur, Odysseus and Polyphemus, and the founding of Athens—and learn how the tempestuous Poseidon became the King of the Seas."

The most stunning feature of this volume is the art.  Of course, every book in this series contains great artwork but O'Connor really outdid himself with Poseidon and probably because story was lacking here.  Not O'Connor's fault, since Poseidon does not have many stories in which he features as the main character but rather appears very often in tales concerning other popular heroes and gods.  For this reason O'Connor changes tune with this volume and has Poseidon telling us his story in the first person.  We see how Poseidon is connected to Medusa, Odysseus, Theseus, Minotaur and others.  Enjoyable storytelling but not as good as the previous volumes simply because Poseidon does not excite us the same way the other gods' story's do.  While I've read countless retellings of Homer and didn't expect to learn anything new in this brief adaptation, I was particularly delighted with the artwork and the unique depiction of the cyclops. Not the best one, but still an enjoyable book in the series.  The back cover tells us the next volume will feature Aphrodite! I can't wait!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

81-83. Comic books: 2000 AD Prog. 1809-1811

Judge Dredd Universe

81. Prog 1809, 12 Nov 2012 (3/5)

This issue includes:

Judge Dredd: The Cold Deck, Part Four - Behind the scenes politics at headquarters as we see who in charge is on the bad side.  A necessary filler piece (3/5)

Low Life: Saudade, Part 5 - A strange flashback to the past then back to now and Frank being tortured to find out what he really knows ... which is nothing. (3/5)

The ABC Warriors: Return to Earth - Very weird episode has Hammersmith in an army surplus store window with another robot for a year. (1/5)

**not enjoying the issue much so far.

Brass Sun: The Wheel of Worlds, Part Ten - Wren and the boy are captured and brought before the head of this land where we learn that many people are no better than slaves or serfs.  This is what Wren and co. are assumed to be.  They play their cards right but end up getting discovered by a house servant.  More intrigue.  (4/5)

The Simping Detective: Jokers to the Right, Part Six - Point continues to play his role at the Church of Simpology and they put him in a strange machine which seems to make him see the logic behind the insanity of it all; as he contemplates this in his room he is attacked by a ninja!  (3/5) 

82. Prog 1810, 21 Nov 2012 (3.5/5)

This issue includes:

Judge Dredd: The Cold Deck, Part Five: We understand why Point was attacked by the ninja and now Dredd and the insider have a major showdown. Action-packed. (4/5)

The ABC Warriors: Return to Earth - Now that war has been outlawed by the UN, the first leader vs leader combat battle is on, Hammerstein is off to be destroyed but is reprieved at the last moment and given a new mission.  This series bugs me.  One issue I haven't a clue what's going on and the next I actually enjoy the story. (3/5)

Low Life: Saudade, Part 6 - Lots of action as Dirty Frank takes down Mr. Overdrive and makes his getaway.  Probably one of the grossest illustrations as Frank spends the entire episode in nothing but his Y-front briefs (ick) - (4/5)

Brass Sun: The Wheel of Worlds, Part Eleven - We find out a bit more about this world and Wren turns things around getting the servant to help them in their quest. (3/5)

The Simping Detective: Jokers to the Right, Part Seven - Totally psycho episode.  Will have to read next installment to make more sense of this! (3/5)

83. Prog 1811, 28 Nov 2012 (3.5/5)

This issue includes:

Judge Dredd: The Cold Deck, Part Six - The bad guy, the leader of Godcity, is in full attack mode. Dredd is hurt real bad but he has one trick left and he utters a secret code word.  It ends on a note letting us know the last episode will conclude next issue in a story entitled "Trifecta". (4/5)

Brass Sun: The Wheel of Worlds, Part Twelve - This is the final episode but only the end of Book One so we know the story will return in the future.  Conductor 17 meets a long lost conductor on this world and the Empress of this world is told about the existence of all the other worlds and suggestions of her invasion of them hinted. I've really enjoyed this story but don't like to be left hanging like this for an ending!  (4/5)

The ABC Warriors: Return to Earth - Back to the present on Mars, the other robots thank Hammerstein for the interesting story of his time on Earth and they all gather and set off to ask Tubal Caine to join them.  I don't really get much of what they are talking about here and the series ends with this episode.  Obviously the story will continue again at some point.  I should try reading the trade collections of this as it is really necessary to understand the backstory to enjoy this one properly.  (2.5/5)

Low Life: Saudade, Part 7 - Opens with Dredd sending his code words and flips to Dirty Frank receiving it and finally his memory block has been removed.  A flashback scene of how and why Frank was sent to the moon by Dredd and then a few short pages as Frank tries to get himself out of his current mess.  Again we are told the story will end next issue in a story entitled "Trifecta" (4/5)

The Simping Detective: Jokers to the Right, Part Eight - Point figures out that Godcity's hand has been pushed and the dumbing down of the masses is taking place right now so he puts a cog in the works and plans to split.  We see how Dredd and Frank brought about the "kink" in Godcity's plans.  Once again we are told the story will end with next issue's "Trifecta". (3/5)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

78-79: Superman Adventures (1&3) Art by Rick Burchett

Superman: Adventures
July 1, 2012, Stone Arch Books
32 pgs, Ages 8+

78.  Men of Steel by Paul Dini. Art by Rick Burchett
Superman Adventures (#1)

Rating: (4/5)

(US) - (Canada)

"Angry over Superman's destruction of his Lex Skel 5000 battle suit, Luthor creates a Superman android to take his revenge on the real Man of Steel."

Based on the TV cartoon. Superman is new in town and still an unknown quantity.  Luthor wants rid of him for destroying one of his 'bots so he sets out to discredit Superman.  Lots of action and it's always fun to see Superman fighting a double of himself.  Some of the panels were too heavily inked but overall a fun new start to Superman.

79. Distant Thunder by Scott McCloud. Art by Rick Burchett

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada)

"As the light from the explosion that destroyed Krypton reaches Earth, the humanoid supercomputer Brainiac sets out make sure he's the only possessor of Kryptonian knowledge by destroying Superman!"

Continuing on with stories of an early Superman where no one knows who he is.  Here he remembers the destruction of his home planet and how he came to Earth.  Brainiac escapes and demands the orb containing the Krypton memories.  He attacks with cat robots that can merge and morph into giant cat robots.  Lots of action and Superman fights to save the day. Not crazy about Burchett's art on this series but great story.

Monday, April 1, 2013

76-77. Batman Adventures (1&2) by Ty Templeton

Batman: Adventures
July 1, 2012, Stone Arch Books
32 pgs, Ages 8+

76. No Asylum by Ty Templeton & Dan Slott. Art by Ty Templeton & Rick Burchett

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada)

"The busiest day of Batman's life begins as someone breaks into Arkham Asylum, intent on hunting down everyone from The Joker to Poison Ivy. Batman must protect and recapture his biggest foes all at the same time — even though he's just been outlawed by Gotham City's new mayor!"

Based on the TV Cartoon.  This volume starts with Penguin having been elected mayor and having it in for Batman.  When trouble goes down at Arkham Asylum we are in for a ton of fun as numerous Batman villains make an appearance such as: Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, Two-Face, The Joker, Harley Quinn and more.   Finishes with a short story. A riot of fun! Great start to a publisher's new series.

77. Free Man by Ty Templeton & Dan Slott. Art by Ty Templeton & Rick Burchett

Rating: (3/5)

(US) - (Canada)

"Hunted mercilessly by shadow assassins, The Riddler turns to Batman for help — but even a Riddler on good behavior can’t resist playing games with the Dark Knight."

Continuing the story started in the previous volume, this one concentrates on the Society going after The Riddler who is currently out of prison and "cured".  Batman helps him out but doubts his cure.  Finished with a short story about Batman and The Penguin mayor.  Another fun story though nothing out of the ordinary.