Thursday, February 27, 2014

Green Lantern: The Animated Series Comics

My reviews for these books disappeared into the great beyond after a computer crash. So instead I'm giving you a book feature on this series. I thoroughly enjoyed them all. I haven't seen the cartoon so can't compare the two but these were all fun enjoyable action comics with morality tales attached that kids will be sure to enjoy. Makes a good introduction to Hal Jordan's space adventures.


Bounty Hunter by Art Baltazar and Franco.  Illustrated by Dario Brizuela (buy)
Green Lantern: The Animated Series (3)


Stone Arch Books, July 1, 2013
Pages: 32
Ages: 7+
Rating: 4/5

Received a review copy from the publisher.

"Hal Jordan and Kilowog find adventure on a new planet! Razer is almost kidnapped by a Spider Guild bounty hunter! Aya, the ships computer, takes her new robot body for a spin!"





*****

Counterfeits by Art Baltazar and Franco.  Illustrated by Dario Brizuela (buy)
Green Lantern: The Animated Series (1)


Stone Arch Books, July 1, 2013
Pages: 32
Ages: 7+
Rating: 4/5

Received a review copy from the publisher.

"Hal Jordan faces his greatest challenge onboard the Interceptor when he faces off against a captured Red Lantern and his own mentor, Kilowog! Has their trip to the outer reaches of Guardian space driven Kilowog mad? Has their rage-filled prisoner influenced him to rebel against the Guardians' will? Hal can't believe his eyes, and neither will you!"


*****

Trouble in the Arena! by Art Baltazar and Franco.  Illustrated by Dario Brizuela (buy)
Green Lantern: The Animated Series (5)


Stone Arch Books, Jan 1, 2014
Pages: 32
Ages: 7+
Rating: 4/5

Received a review copy from the publisher.

"The tyrant Malvir, who wants to be accepted into the Red Lanterns, kidnaps the Green Lanterns and forces them to fight monsters in his arena!"

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

ZATCH BELL Vol. 6-7-8 by Makoto Raiku

80. Zatch Bell!, Vol. 6 by Makoto Raiku   (buy)
Zatch Bell, #6

Rating: (4/5)

2006; VIZ Media, 208 pgs

Ages: (13+) T

"Still in England searching for clues to Zatch's past, Kiyo and Zatch meet a girl named Djem. Djem's partnership with her mamodo had had tragic consequences for her family...Can Zatch and Kiyo help her? Plus, the return of Parco Folgore and Kanchome!"

Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

Zatch and Kiyo finish off their trip to England during this volume.  While here they battle several more mamodo, though one is not really a battle.  It is a really cute little guy who loves his master more than anything in the world.  Then a re-appearance of Parco Folgore, the Italian singing heart throb, and his mamodo makes for a fun venture that also tugs at the heartstrings while being hilarious.  The evil Brago returns and once back home in Japan they find they have the cutest little stowaway who loves everyone except viciously attacks Kiyo.  LOL.  This is a fun volume because of all the returns of previous characters and emphasizes how much emotion this series has.  There are some truly touching scenes amongst the battles and hilarity.

*****


86. Zatch Bell!, Vol. 7 by Makoto Raiku   (buy)
Zatch Bell, #7

Rating: (5/5)

2006; VIZ Media, 183 pgs

Ages: (13+) T

"Back in school after an intense summer vacation, Kiyo notices that Suzy is acting a little strange...and is covered with bandages. What could be causing these bizarre injuries? Later, Kiyo encounters a mysterious traveller named Apollo, and another intense mamodo challenge seems imminent."

Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

Another emotional entry into this series.  The mamodo's have been whittled down now considerably, number is not mentioned but we must be at least at half by now.  So the most vicious are not popping up all the time now.  Mamodo's have their own stories, effecting their behaviour, not everyone is out to be the next king; we also have some human characters showing their sensitive sides as well.  Everyone is concerned about Suzy for acting strange but we find out she's just being her usual caring self.  Zatch Bell on his way to finally take down the neighbourhood playground tyrant ends up in quite the opposite position and a nasty mamodo learns what it means to be loved.  The good side of people comes out in this volume and is one of the things that keeps me reading.  The immense mix of emotions combined with the humour and battles.  PS, there's still plenty of awesome battles in this volume.  This one ends on a bittersweet note with no sense as to where the story will pick up next volume.  Looking forward to continuing!


*****


89. Zatch Bell!, Vol. 8 by Makoto Raiku   (buy)
Zatch Bell, #8

Rating: (5/5)

2006; VIZ Media, 188 pgs

Ages: (13+) T

"Nothing says fun more than a trip to an amusement park, but Zatch and Kiyo's hopes for a day of rides and relaxation are quickly dashed when they're confronted by not one but two sets of mamodo and their book owners. Will their friend Tia and Megumi - who were supposed to come along but are mysteriously late - show up in time to make this a fair fight?"

Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

Oh, I'm loving this series and volumes like this one is why.  So full of emotion!  Starts off with a very rapid battle scene that reads very fast, turning pages quickly and while battles continue through the volume this ones focus is on relationships.  Kiyo and Zatch meet up with Megumi and Tia at an amusement park and a friendship is blossoming between these four that even hints at possible feelings more than just friends.  Tia is a mamodo and a hilarious riot. What a temper!  The second half of the book sees Zatch and Kiyo making another strong friendship and the plot breaks for a sidestory about a star-crossed pair of lovers which is very tender and heartwarming while at the same time creating great battle scenes since the girl's father is a mobster.  Just loved this couple and the man is a mamodo, the first one we've seen who has a human form.  He has the same outlook on the mamodo battles and kingship as Zatch.  These alliances/friendships being made are going to certainly have an affect on the final outcome when the mamodos are supposed to fight until the last one standing.  Loved this volume, I really fell for the two lovers.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK Vol. 1, 2, 3, by Peter Milligan & Jeff Lemire

77. Justice League Dark (New 52), Vol. 1: Into the Dark by Peter Milligan. Art by Mikel Janin (buy)
Justice League: Dark (New 52), Vol. 1
New 52

Rating: (4/5)

Oct 16, 2012; DC Comics, 144 pgs

Ages: (16+)

"• The Enchantress has unleashed a wave of chaos across the globe! Shade the Changing Man, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Zatanna, Mindwarp and John Constantine may be our only hope – but how can we trust beings whose very presence makes most people break out in a cold sweat?

• Collecting JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1-6!"

Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.

So here I am coming into this one totally blind.  I haven't a clue who any of these (superheroes?) are, nor am I sure I want paranormal superheroes in the first place.  But since I'm reading JL, I figured I'd give it a try at least and OMG! I absolutely loved it!  These guys are fantastic.  Why have I never heard of them?  K, I love Deadman the best, just totally awesome and I couldn't believe when his girlfriend was Dove!  What was she doing here?  I'm not sure about Xanadu; she seems a bit cagey and might not be on the up and up.  John Constantine, wow! and Shade are cool characters.  Zatanna is OK and we didn't really get to know Mindwarp much yet.  Andrew Bennett doesn't show up till the end.  The story was just great, page-turner, freaky, just a little gruesome.  Yeah, I really like these guys.  The art on the other hand didn't wow me, just OK.  Can not wait to read Vol. 2!  Plus I have to figure out if/which of these guys has their own series!

*****

90. Justice League Dark (New 52), Vol. 2: The Books of Magic by Jeff Lemire. Art by Mikel Janin (buy)
Justice League: Dark (New 52), Vol. 2
New 52

Rating: (5/5)

Jul 16, 2013; DC Comics, 224 pgs

Ages: (16+)

"Collecting issues #0, 7-13 and ANNUAL #1! As vampires across the world attack anything with a pulse, Madame Xanadu mobilizes the team to intervene. But everything they know about how to slay a vampire is useless in this strange new world."

Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.

I really enjoyed Vol. 1 and was pretty excited to see the writer change to Canadian Jeff Lemire starting with this volume.  This is a doozy of a story with tons of plot points, character, and a huge cast of characters.  As I said for Vol. 1, all these guys were new to me so I'm just starting to get a feel for them with this book which was a nice long one that involved some serious writing.  I really like this team.  Deadman is by far my favourite and I've ordered DC Presents Vol. 1 which tells his New 52 backstory.  Xanadu doesn't get a lot of page time in this volume but I've figured her out since Vol. 1.  I love Shade, though he disappears half way through.  Mindwarp is not present though mentioned so who knows what's up with him.  Andrew Bennett doesn't get much page time here either but I like him, he's not nice but I'm getting an Angel vibe from him anyway.  The two original members I don't like are Constantine (an obnoxious, arrogant jerk) and Zatanna (how lame is backwards spell magic and it never works!).  New people are introduced in this book and popping out of the woodwork wherever you turn.  My favourite new member is Black Orchid, very cool!  It was even nice for me to see some familiar faces make an appearance: Batgirl, Amethyst, Felix Faust and there are even more.  So if you like books with tons of heroes and villains this is sure to please.  Great story though too.  I won't say much but very intricate as the various people, groups and allegiances search for the books of magic.  Not everyone ends up to be trustworthy and the ending is quite a shocking cliffhanger.  When I first started JLD, I wasn't sure I'd like the superhero/paranormal mix, but this one has me hooked and I like getting to know a whole new-to-me cast without any preconceived notions.  Really looking forward to Vol. 3

*****

114. Justice League Dark (New 52), Vol. 3: The Death of Magic by Jeff Lemire & Ray Fawkes. Art by Mikel Janin et al (buy)
New 52
Justice League: Dark (New 52) Vol. 3

Rating: (5/5)

Feb 4, 2014; DC Comics, 192 pgs

Ages: (16+)

"Transported to another dimension by the Books of Magic, Tim Hunter and Zatanna awake in a world where magic once ruled until mad scientists forced all magical creatures into exile. And while they explore this strange world, the remaining members of JLD follow them and find that the rules of magic here are very different and very deadly. Collecting issues #14-19 of the hit series!"

Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.

When I first started out I wasn't even too sure I wanted to read JLD.  Superheroes with magic? I wasn't sure.  But, boy, am I ever glad I got into this because it is one of my favourite series!!! This volume is fantastic.  So much is going on and I'm going to have to give a SPOILER alert just in case I let too much slip from previous volumes or even this issue.  So don't read any if your afraid of learning more than you might want!  OMG!  I love Deadman.  He is my absolute favourite guy on this team, DC, please don't kill him off and if he has been already, don't anybody tell me!  I hate Constantine, he's a conceited jerk but it sure looks good on him when the magic world messes with him and he can no longer lie, that was funny.  Things get really intense in this volume.  The whole Books of Magic story line is wrapped up with some stunning conclusions but we have the introduction of two new heroes from other groups: The Flash & Swamp Thing (I have never read ST in my life).  This series is taking me places I've never been before in the DC Universe.  Flash ends up kind of liking working with JLD, he likes the camaraderie the have here as opposed to his always in-fighting JL.  The stage is set though with the various JLs, there is tension in the air, vying for leadership roles, lots of dissension against Steve Trevor, sorry don't like him can't get past hearing Lyle Waggoner every time he speaks LOL. And just what are the Justice League groups going to look like when this is over.  Can't wait for Trinity War (on pre-order) for March.  Then I'll get up to date with the Trinity of Sin books/Pandora/Phantom Stranger, man, this is wicked stuff.... I'm hooked, I'm a fan!  Call me a Leaguer!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

AQUAMAN New 52 Vol. 1 & 2 by Geoff Johns

73. Aquaman (New 52) Vol. 1: The Trench by Geoff Johns. Art by Ivan Reis (buy)
New 52

Rating: (5/5)

Sep 11, 2012; DC Comics, 144 pgs; Kindle Edition

Ages: (16+)

"AQUAMAN has renounced the throne of Atlantis – but now, from a forgotten corner of the ocean emerges…THE TRENCH! • Collecting AQUAMAN #1-6!"

Purchased the Kindle edition during a half-off sale.

I was one of those nerds who liked Aquaman in the 70s, as a kid, but I never really got into him much after that so I was really looking forward to this one, especially with Geoff Johns at the helm.  I really loved it.  This one is going to be added to my lists!  Excellent story of some vicious deep-water humanoid/marine life-forms that rise above their depths in search of one thing, food, meat - that is. A great story, scary looking bad guys, some empathy going both ways and a story that concludes in this volume but leaves a trace element behind to start the next story arc.  Aquaman is a funny guy; I like him.  The book has plenty of humour at his expense as he's talked about as "nobodies favourite superhero".  Well, I'm joining his fan club, he's cute, ripped, blond and I like orange! LOL Aquaman's background is ventured into with flashbacks of him and his father, Mr. Shin is still around and we learn his background with Arthur and most of all Arthur and Mera's relationship is explained enough that we get where they've been.  Mera is awesome.  Probably my favourite female I've met in the New 52 so far.  She is 100% female, feminine, loves her man with passion *and* can kick but just as good as he can, only she doesn't need to have a very good reason to .... so don't mess with Mera!

*****


87. Aquaman (New 52) Vol. 2: The Others by Geoff Johns. Art by Ivan Reis (buy)
New 52

Rating: (4/5)

May 21, 2013; DC Comics, 160 pgs;

Ages: (16+)

"Aquaman joins up with his old teammates, The Others, to learn who destroyed Atlantis! But as they seek the truth, Black Manta is stalking them all—and Mera learns some dark truths about Aquaman! 

• Collects AQUAMAN #7-13"

Borrowed a copy from my local library.

I'll start by saying I liked the first volume better but once I got adjusted to all the new characters introduced here I started keeping up with the plot.  Number one excitement was to find Black Manta back in action right from the beginning.  A favourite AQM villain for me.  This whole Others plot was a bit confusing, not that I didn't understand it, just that it is all back story mixed with current events, bringing together AQM's past team together with the current crisis Black Manta is causing.  (It does all ties together)  Mera, does not know this part of Aquaman's past and by giving her the story, we the reader get to listen in and find out what started the hatred between Black Manta and AQM.  We learn Aquaman was a different person in his past, love has changed him.  Perhaps the same can be said about Dr. Shin, the future will tell.  The Black Manta got away, of course heehee, but there are also secret Atlantians plotting against the Aqua duo that perhaps will be revealed next issue.  I'm loving the art with this series.  Arthur conveniently gets his fish plate armour reduced to shreds often enough to enjoy his man muscles. :-)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Justice League Unlimited #6 & #7 by Adam Beechen

75. Justice League Unlimited #6: In the Dimming Light by Adam Beechen. Art by Carlo Barberi & Walden Wong (buy)
Justice League Unlimited, #6

Rating: (3/5)

Jul 1, 2013; Stone Arch Books, 32 pgs

Ages: (8+)

"John Stewart and Green Arrow encounter an old member of the Green Lantern Corps as they fight a trio of alien invaders. Will this elderly Lantern be able to help them defeat their foes, or is he too out of touch with reality?"

Received a review copy from the publisher.

Based on the Cartoon Network animated series "Justice League Unlimited".  This is a fun story for fans of Green Lantern as he and Green Arrow take centre stage with Red Tornado and Fire assisting.  The first ever Green Lantern shows up fighting his archenemies The Triptych but Zibar really should be in retirement.  Fun battle; I enjoyed the input of the two lessor known sidekicks in this story and we also get a morality tale of knowing when to give up and not having shame when we've done the best we can.

*****

76. Justice League Unlimited #7: Darkseid's Inferno by Adam Beechen. Art by Ethan Beavers (buy)
Justice League Unlimited, #7

Rating: (4/5)

Jul 1, 2013; Stone Arch Books, 32 pgs

Ages: (8+)

"The Justice League is assembled to help Orion and the New Gods stop Darkseid from unleashing his new weapon: the X-Cannon, which is powerful enough to destroy the Source Wall and give Darkseid access to the one thing he wants above all else: the Anti-Life Equation!"

Received a review copy from the publisher.

Based on the Cartoon Network animated series "Justice League Unlimited".  Almost the whole League shows up to fight Darkseid this time.  Whenever all the heroes or bad guys get together it's always going to be an action-packed story and this one is.  Trying to stop Darkseid from breaking the wall that separates us from the ancient beings (thus the source of life) everyone puts there best effort forward.  But Supergirl takes the spotlight as the story opens with her complaining about her adoptive parents (the Kents) and her later learning a life lesson about what it's like for someone to have truly unloving and/or abusive parents.  Good battle, good message.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New 52: Wonder Woman Vol 1 & Flash Vol. 1

72. Wonder Woman (New 52) Vol. 1: Blood by Brian Azzarello. Art by Cliff Chiang (buy)
New 52

Rating: (4/5)

Jun 5, 2012; DC Comics, 160 pgs

Ages: (16+)

"The first six issues of the critically acclaimed new WONDER WOMAN series are collected in hardcover! Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, has kept a secret from her daughter all her life – and when Wonder Woman learns who her father is, her life will shatter like brittle clay. The only one more shocked than Diana by this revelation? Bloodthirsty Hera – so why is her sinister daughter, Strife, so eager for the truth to be told?"

Purchased the Kindle edition during a half-off sale.

I wasn't sure if I was going to read this series; I haven't been a fan of WW since the 70s version, but when Kindle had a $5 sale on Volume 1s I couldn't resist picking up the volumes of the characters in the JL and Batman Family I didn't already own.  I like Greek mythology a lot so was interested to see where the new 52 would take Diana's story.  This first volume is heavily mired in Greek mythology and other than Wonder Woman all the other characters are Greek Gods.  I really enjoyed it.  I'm not really familiar with her background story except for the Amazon/Paradise Island connection,so don't know if this whole Gods history is new or not but I looove it!  Diana's family is both broken apart and expanded here while we (and she) learn the truth of her background and why she leaves Paradise Island for good.  She has already taken the persona of Wonder Woman when we meet her and she goes off to be WW, no longer Princess Diana, with a current responsibility to protect a certain young human girl and in cahoots with a few of the Olympians to get back at Hera.  I absolutely adore the representation of Hades, totally awesome depiction!  This ends with Hades ticking WW off and the next volume promises to have WW going to Hell to face off with him, so I am definitely off to the next volume.


*****


79. The Flash (New 52) Volume 1: Move Forward by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato.  (buy)
New 52

Rating: (3/5)

Nov 13, 2012; DC Comics, 168 pgs

Ages: (16+)

"In this first DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 collection of THE FLASH, Mob Rule wages a campaign of crime across Central City, plunging the city into darkness! The only way The Flash can save his city is to make his brain function even faster than before – but as much as it helps him, it also comes at a steep price. 

• Collects issues #1-8 of the original monthly series."

Purchased the Kindle edition during a half-off sale.

I was so looking forward to this one.  Flash is one of my favourite Justice League members.  I like his humour and light-heartedness especially.  Boy, was I disappointed.  Flash here is so serious and there was virtually no humour.  For the plot, it was pretty boring for the most part delving into ... sheesh, I read this yesterday and am having a hard time even remembering most of it today.  So, the plot delves into how his speed works and whether his brain is as fast as his body.  The Mob Rule as bad guys was pretty lame but there is a second storyline that comes into play partway through that perked my interest.  Captain Cold shows up and references to certain other Rogue members are made.  Yeah!  Then a very interesting background story is introduced about Gorilla Grodd.  While I didn't like (and can hardly remember) the first part, the second part makes me want to keep going with the series and we'll just have to see how it develops.  BTW, this is fantastic art by Manapul which helped me get through the boring parts.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

68. Bleach (3-in-1) Vol. 19-20-21 by Tite Kubo

Bleach (3-in-1) Vol. 19-20-21 by Tite Kubo (buy)
Bleach (Vol. 19, 20, 21)

Rating: (4.5/5)

Jan 7 2014, VIZ Media, 608 pgs

Ages: (13+) T

"It’s the day of reckoning and Ichigo must fight Byakuya Kuchiki one on one, whether or not his bankai is battle-ready. Meanwhile the mastermind behind the chaos in the Seireitei is about to be revealed, but will the truth spell the end of the Soul Society?!"

Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

May contain spoilers of previous volumes.

Vol. 19: The Black Moon Rising -  The volume begins, and a good large portion of it follows, with switching between a few different battles finally ending on the one with Ichigo and Rukia's brother.  This actually got rather tiresome for me.  Then towards the end we entered into the plot again and a bombshell was dropped that made the whole volume worthwhile in the end!  Cliffhanger ending. (3.5/5)

Vol. 20: End of Hypnosis - And that concludes this whole current story arc.  Wow!  A fast-paced page-turner.  I did not see that coming.  Betrayal, traitors, murder, a friend's death.  Great stuff.  Where will the plot go next?  (5/5)

Vol. 21: Be My Family Or Not  - Man, I love this manga!  Everybody is back home again and I'm just loving the interaction between the major characters again.  I love all 4 of them!  Ichigo is back to battling hollows and that's a lot of fun; I sure missed that aspect while all the intrigue of the last arc was going on.  But BAM!, this volume doesn't wait long to bring in some shockers and from the title we have have family issues,  father issues to be exact.  Two characters' fathers have big reveals for us.  Woohoo!  Love this.  (5/5)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

New 52: JL V.1 & Justice League International V1 &2

For the next little while my focus here will be to get up-to-date with the New 52 Justice League books I currently own along with some series featuring specific Justice League members.  I also have some kids' DC Comics that I'll be reviewing in amongst those as well.  So get ready for a stream of DC reviews over the next weeks.

64. Justice League (New 52) Vol. 1: Origin by Geoff Johns. Art by Jim Lee (buy)
New 52
Justice League: New 52, Vol. 1

Rating: (5/5)

May 8, 2012, DC Comics, 192 pgs

Ages: (15+)

"In a universe where Super Heroes are strange and new, Batman has discovered a dark evil that requires him to unite the World Greatest Heroes! Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg unite for the first time to form the JUSTICE LEAGUE! Don't miss the thrill-a-minute hardcover collecting the first six issues of the best selling comic!"

Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.

Not really a review as this is a re-read for me as I embark on reading the Justice League series from the New 52.  Last time I read this was an e-galley from Edelweiss, but I enjoyed it so much I bought myself a copy and with this reread enjoyed all the extra back matter missing from the egalley.  My first read through I was interested in the Batman aspect and got caught up in the plot and the Cyborg's creation story.  So this time I decided to pay more attention to the other characters and see if my opinion on them changes.  The only one, I had been wanting to read earlier was Aquaman.  Reading through this time I liked the camaraderie between Green Lantern and Flash and I do want to read Flash.  GL is such a complicated character and he's never appealed to me, but I feel a little warmer towards him now.  So a great read, even the second time, where I think I picked up on much more than I did the first time through.  Read my original review here.

*****

70. Justice League International (New 52) Vol. 1: The Signal Masters by Dan Jurgens. Art by Aaron Lopresti & Marco Castiello (buy)
Justice League: International (New 52), Vol. 1
New 52

Rating: (3/5)

May 15 2012, DC Comics, 144 pgs

Ages: (15+)

"In this title collecting the first six issues of the DC Comics – The New 52 series, the United Nations brings together Batman, Booster Gold, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, August General in Iron, Fire, Ice, Vixen and Rocket Red to form a new group called Justice League International! With the growing presence of super beings around the world, the JLI are charged with promoting unity and trust. But can they discover the mystery behind the giant alien Signalmen who are appearing all over the globe without killing each other first?"

Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.

This was cancelled after the second volume and I can understand why.  My first impression was that the art was pretty lack-lustre; then the members of JLI were introduced and (besides Batman) the only one I knew was Booster Gold, though not very well.  I found the first two issues pretty boring, none of the characters made any kind of impression on me except Booster and I have to admit the stereotypical Russian-ness of Rocket Red did endear him to me as the book went on.  The plot picked up in issue three and got better as the book went on, culminating in a tragic ending leaving us with the possibility that one or many of the members may have been killed.  I have the second volume so will read that, but unless any of these characters show up later on in the New 52 universe, it's hardly worth reading.  Not bad, but not good either.

*****

82. Justice League International (New 52) Vol. 2: Breakdown by Dan Jurgens & Geoff Johns. Art by Aaron Lopresti, et.al (buy)
Justice League: International (New 52), Vol. 2
New 52

Rating: (4/5)

Jan 8 2013, DC Comics, 200 pgs

Ages: (15+)

"The plan was for the JLI was to be Earth’s official protectors. But once Breakdown and the Burners attacked, that all came to a swift end.

• Plus: It’s the JLI vs. O.M.A.C.!

• Collects JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #7-12, THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN #9 and JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL ANNUAL #1."

Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.

Really happy with this one but am glad I knew it had been cancelled before I started or I would have been upset.  While I'd heard of Booster Gold he was a new character for me and I really like him.  Four new superheroes are added to the team whom I also had never heard of except one, though I know nothing about any of them and this one volume certainly wasn't enough to form an opinion on them yet.  Blue Beetle, Olympian, Batwing and O.M.A.C. are the new guys.  For most of the book they are fighting a team of bad guys who are really cool, especially the leader, Breakdown.  I really enjoyed this story, though I did get pretty confused with the "Fury of Firestorm" crossover issue as I was once again in totally new waters with the character.  There was a final ending of sorts that laid this chapter of JLI to rest but these guys are not down for the count.  At the very end Booster Gold is visited by his future self and told to visit the JLA and talk to Steve Trevor.  Now JLI may be at an end but the stoy has been tied into the whole Justice League universe and I'm hoping to see some of these guys again.

Friday, February 14, 2014

62. Rogue Trooper: Tales of Nu-Earth 02 by Gerry Finley-Day

Rogue Trooper: Tales of Nu-Earth 02 by Gerry Finley-Day, Steve Macmanus & Ian Rogan. Art by Cam Kennedy, et al (buy)
Rogue Trooper (2)

Rating: (5/5)

Nov. 12 2013, 2000 AD, 400 pgs

Ages: (15+) A

"Book two of Dave Gibbons classic series! 
Nu-Earth, a planet ravaged by war, its atmosphere poisoned by chemical weapons. In this battle-scarred landscape, the Norts and the Southers fight where only the Genetic Infantrymen can survive unaided. Rogue is one such soldier and these are his tales...

As the war between the Norts and the Southers continues to rage across Nu-Earth, the lone Genetic Infantryman known as Rogue Trooper wanders through the battle-scarred landscape in search of the Traitor General who betrayed him and his comrades. As their final confrontation approaches only one is sure to survive!"

Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Brilliant!  One of the finest characters to come from 2000 AD, Rogue Trooper is at his best throughout this volume.  There is a decidedly deeper plotting involved with the stories presented in this collection.  The issues they were originally released in are almost entirely back-to-back, making a fairly continuous storyline.  Rogue and his buddies: Helm, Gunnar & Bagman continue to wander across Nu Earth in search of the Traitor who was responsible for the death of the entire battalion of GI's, leaving Rogue Trooper as the single survivor.  Gone from volume one is the light-hearted one-off episodes.  There is a bit of humour still present but Rogue is much darker now than in earlier stories.  He doesn't stop for the heck of it to help out just because any more; his mission is too vital now.  But there are some two or three episode stories where he does stop, or is stopped, to help for the greater good.  Rogue's character develops, no matter what his buddies' opinion, in the end, Rogue cannot kill for the sake of it and takes innocence into account.  There is a climax and culmination to Rogue's current situation in this volume which is very exciting and satisfying.  This then leads to a new plot, a new quest, and we end the volume with our team headed in a new direction.  A very good, science-fiction, post-apocalypse read.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

36. Sherlock Holmes and the Vampires of London by Sylvain Cordurie

Sherlock Holmes and the Vampires of London by Sylvain Cordurie. Illustrated by Laci (buy)
Sherlock Holmes

Rating: (3/5)

Feb 11 2014, Dark Horse, 96 pgs

Ages: (18+)

"Sherlock Holmes died fighting Professor Moriarty in the Reichenbach Falls. At least, that’s what the press claims. However, Holmes is alive and well and taking advantage of his presumed death to travel the globe. Unfortunately, Holmes’s plans are thwarted when a plague of vampirism haunts Britain."

Received an egalley from the publisher through Netgalley.

I'm a sucker for a Sherlock Holmes pastiche and love a good vampire story as much as the next person.  However mixing Holmes with the paranormal seldom works and while this is a good story and written well, the vampire angle just doesn't fly, imho.  Holmes is too logical to so nonchalantly accept that vampires are real and Holmes' analytic character is the foundation of his persona.  The era was quite authentic and the author's voice was well-written also.  Interestingly, the author avoided having to capture Watson's writing style, by having Holmes himself the narrator recording the events of this story.  I enjoyed the art and have a distinct appreciation for French comic art.  Overall,  good fun Holmes story minus my personal objections I already noted.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

24. Half Past Danger by Stephen Mooney

Half Past Danger by Stephen Mooney  (buy)

Rating: (3/5)

Feb 11 2014, IDW Publishing, 200 pgs

Ages: (18+)

"Set in 1943, Half Past Danger finds Staff Sgt. Tommy “Irish” Flynn on a remote island in the South Pacific, where he teams with an enigmatic British agent, a U.S. Marine captain and a mysterious Japanese operative in a race against time involving an army of Nazis and, yes, dinosaurs."

Received an egalley from the publisher through Netgalley.

A decent world war II historical spy thriller with an unusual element ... dinosaurs!  Yeah, and they are the man-eating kind too so this makes for some fun gobbling scenes.  While totally unrealistic, the spy story and plot was pretty good with a double twist thrown in for added shock value.  I found it pretty easy to figure out what was going on but I read a lot of thrillers.  Mix together Nazi's, spies, and dinosaurs with a team consisting of a  British femme fatale, a Jamesons'; drinking Irishman, a turncoat Japanese operative and a bullet-proof US Marine and you know you're in for a good read.  I found the art a little off though, the background, nature and animals were fine but some of the close-ups and head turns of the human facial features looked rather canine to me.  Not fantastic, but still a fun, entertaining read

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Old-School Battle Manga LEGENDZ Vol 1-4 by Rin Hirai. Art by Makoto Haruno

54. Legendz 1: The Tornado Comes! by Rin Hirai. Art by Makoto Haruno (buy)
Legendz, Vol. 1

Rating: (4/5)

2005, VIZ Media, 208 pgs

Ages: (8+) A

"On his first day at school, Ken is challenged to a battle by Hosuke Dekai, a top Legendz player. Armed with his gigantic troll, Hosuke can't wait to teach Ken a lesson in humility, but even more, he wants to win the school's Legendz tournament--and the prized Golden Soul Figure--by any means necessary!"

Borrowed a copy from the local library.

This is a short (4-volume) old-school manga series, that focuses on a battle game ala Pokemon.  It's rated A as suitable for All Ages.  Both my son and I found this a fun light fantasy diversion. The name of the game here is Legendz where everyone has a Legendz to care for and do battle with (these are like tamogochi's and the series was created by the same people).  They are all legendary creatures such as trolls, mermaids, werewolves, dragons, etc.   Ken is new at the school, a battle game freak, but one who plays with honour and a conscience.  He teaches the kids a new kind of respect for their legendz.  Ken ends up being the rightful owner of the "Golden Soul Figure" but doesn't want it as he's vowed to only play with his beloved Winddragon.  And that's where the book leaves us.  Lots of battles and just pure fun, nothing heavy, but a good read and lots of great old-school battles.  The last page leaves a collection of cards showing all the stats for the Legendz who fought in the volume.  This would make a great beginning series for a youngster!

*****

56. Legendz 2: Burnout! by Rin Hirai. Art by Makoto Haruno (buy)
Legendz, Vol. 2

Rating: (4/5)

2005, VIZ Media, 208 pgs

Ages: (8+) A

"Ken's classmates Ririko and Hideaki are kidnapped by students of a rival school as bargaining chips for the coveted Golden Soul Figure, and it's up to Ken and the top Legendz players at Ryudo to save them Trapped on the top floor of Kokuryu Elementary, the hostages can only pray that their friends have the power to fight their way up floor by floor--past hordes of Hades hounds and other nasty surprises--and liberate them."

Borrowed a copy from the local library.

Continuing on from the last volume Ken must first battle to save his kidnapped friend.  Then battles abound in glory one after another as Ken goes to the Legendz Carnival, only the evil Leo is out to destroy all the Legendz so he can crystallize their energy into crystal form and use it for his own Legendz.  As we leave the story, a crystal has been formed and Leo sets off after Ken to retrieve it.  Plot is being added here to make the story more than just battles, but still it is very heavy-duty battle-game manga.  The younger kids will love this and my 13yo ds and I are simply having fun with the mythological creatures and old-school battle-game manga.  Nothing deep, just fun.

*****

58. Legendz 3: Necrom Menace by Rin Hirai. Art by Makoto Haruno (buy)
Legendz (3)

Rating: (4.5/5)

2005, VIZ Media, 224 pgs

Ages: (8+) A

"Ken and his rival Kaoruko recover the mysterious crystal that will prove her scientist father isn't a crackpot. But Leo, the ringmaster of the Legendz Carnival, has other ideas and will do anything to get his hands on it. Their explosive duel finally releases the true power of the Golden Soul Figure, but will it be enough to stop the forces of Darkness that are closing in on Ken and his friends?!"

Borrowed a copy from the local library.

The plot really picks up with this volume.  There is a twist in the plot and we found out who the real bad guy is, a famous mythical creature that made me squee with glee.  Relationships develop all around, Ken and his Windragon get some pretty cool powers and of course very heavy on the battle scenes.  Quick-paced, certainly not a deep story but fun for the younger crowd or those looking for some old-school battle-game manga.  Ririko, the girl featured on the cover of the volume, has managed to get herself kidnapped once again and the volume ends with a secret revealed and our gang poised to rescue friends and defeat the enemy.  Since the next volume is the last one, I'm expecting a pretty fast rushed ending but the whole series so far has been a fun whirlwind with this one bringing us to the brink of the climax.

*****

60. Legendz 4: Legendz Become Legends by Rin Hirai. Art by Makoto Haruno (buy)
Legendz (4)

Rating: (4.5/5)

2006, VIZ Media, 224 pgs

Ages: (8+) A

"Ken, Kaoruko and Leo set off for South America to rescue Leo's sister and Ken's friend Ririko from the forces of Darkness known as Necrom. Their quest takes them deep inside Necrom Palace, a place crawling with dark Legendz of enormous power. There, Ken and his friends will face the greatest test of their abilities in the battle to stop the resurrection of Jabberwock, the lord of Necrom!

Final Volume"

Borrowed a copy from the local library.

The final volume concludes with a lot of emotion and loads of high stakes battle scenes.  All four elements (earth, wind, water & fire) have been assigned to a specific child and as the saga of that element they can combat with their legendz along with the special powers they have received from this "evolution".  Sibling and friend relationships are explored, the plot deals with sacrifice and the series comes to a satisfying conclusion.  All somewhat rushed, it's a fast-paced series that is over all too quickly in four volumes but it was an enjoyable read and perfect for this age group. Kids wanting to read real manga, but parents having a hard time finding something suitable that doesn't have the frequent sexual innuendo of most T rated series will find perfectly clean and fun.  Viz is making a lot of it's backlist available digitally and this would be great to see available again for this age range.  It also would make a nice 4-in-1 omnibus edition.  But for now, it's out of print and you'll have to seek the library or secondhand market.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Voice Over! Seiyu Academy Vol. 2 & 3 by Maki Minami

51. Voice Over! Seiyu Academy Vol. 2 by Maki Minami (buy)
Voice Over! Seiyu Academy (2)

Rating: (3/5)

Dec 3 2013, VIZ Media, 208 pgs

Ages: (13+) T

"After their successful first lunchtime broadcast, Hime and the other Stragglers are looking forward to their next chance to wow the school and prove they have what it takes to stay in the program. But the scriptwriter they were counting on to pen their piece has lost her creative spark. Can Senri and Hime work together to jump-start her imagination?"

Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

I'm trying to broaden my horizons and find some shoujo that I like.  The first volume was funny and sweet, with the voice acting theme being quite interesting.  This second volume didn't follow through for me.  I found the Ume's crushes to be silly and just didn't connect with characters, except Takayanagi, the boy who can't talk to girls, who I have to admit is cute all around.  The students worked on dubbing an anime which I found interesting but then the story took a turn and I will not be continuing the series.  One of the female characters is going to start living as a boy and I do not like girls pretending to be boys (or vice verse) plotlines.  I do have the next volume though, so I'll give that a fair read and then move on to something else...

*****

65. Voice Over! Seiyu Academy Vol. 3 by Maki Minami (buy)
Voice Over! Seiyu Academy (3)

Rating: (3.5/5)

Feb 4 2014, VIZ Media, 192 pgs

Ages: (13+) T

"Hime just got her first big break in voice acting, but it means she has to move out of her house and pretend to be a boy! Her new manager, Yamada, is willing to put in the extra time to train her personally, and Hime’s hope of being a voice actor seems close to being fulfilled. But Yamada insists he’ll only use her for male characters. Will she have to give up on Lovely ♥ Blazers to see her dream come true?"

Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

I didn't think I was going to like this too much what with the girl-pretending-to-be-a-boy theme introduced last volume and the pink cover this time.  BTW, I loooved Vol. 2's cover!  So, I was surprised to find I did enjoy this volume.  I really do like the characters in the spotlight this volume, they are so sweet.  I really like Hime, she's so fresh and naive (but in a refreshing way).  When her gruff voices come out it is so cute.  The end of this book had an interview with some real voice acting students which was very interesting; that theme was what drove me to try this series in the first place.  The plot here concentrates on the only two boys (plus her manager) who know she is pretending to be a boy so I wasn't faced with any of the stuff I didn't like.  The middle section dealt with a lot of romantic feelings between Hime and various boys and off-scene ex-girlfriends as well.  This did get quite confusing for me as I'm just too old to appreciate this sort of highschool heart-throb stuff.  Perhaps if one is a vampire or such, maybe?  LOL.  Anyway, this is a decent series, cute and so far totally clean.  I'd recommend it to the intended audience but it is just not my thing and I will not continue any further, though I did enjoy my peek into the series.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

50. Into the Volcano by Don Woods

Into the Volcano by Don Woods (buy)

Rating: (3/5)

Oct 1 2008, Scholastic, 176 pgs

Ages: (10+)

"Don Wood, creator of such children's classics as The Napping House; Quick as a Cricket and King Bidgood's in the Bathtub, now applies his artistic genius to the graphic novel genre. In 176 full-color pages of spellbinding, astonishing art, readers follow the island adventures of two brothers, Sumo and Duffy, as they overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Wood takes readers on a journey to the center of a wild and unexplored volcanic island where only the brave survive.

In this coming-of-age story, the two brothers must face their personal fears and the treachery of family members who have torn apart their relationships in search of treasure that will bring them astounding wealth.  When Duffy falls down a perilous cliff, Sumo must come to grips with his role in the incident — and whether or not he can rescue his brother. "

Borrowed a copy from my local library.

This started off pretty rough and I almost put it down but since the author is a Caldecott winner I decided to keep going.  The dialogue is pretty bad, unrealistic and painful to read at the beginning.  Sumo is such a whiny, moany, lazy crybaby that he is a painful character at first also.  However, as the story gets over its initial hump the action starts and it is pretty much non-stop from that point on.  The point of the story is that Sumo's character changes; he gains more confidence in himself as he faces life & death situations and finds he is able to rise to the occasion changing his whole outlook.  Belief needs to be suspended as the outlandish adventure unfolds but danger and action keep the story quite riveting and fast paced.  While the island and volcano setting/theme ends up imparting quite interesting information along the way too.  For a Caldecott winner I thought the art was just ok.  Fast-paced, action adventure.

Monday, February 3, 2014

48. Vinland Saga Book Two by Makoto Yukimura

Vinland Saga Book Two by Makoto Yukimura (buy)
Vinland Saga, Vol. 3-4

Rating: (5/5)

Jan 21 2014, Kodansha Comics, 432 pgs

Ages: (16+) OT

"The foolish King Ethelred has fled, and Askeladd's band is one of hundreds plundering the English countryside. Yet victory brings no peace to the elderly Danish King Sweyn, who worries that his untested, sensitive son Canute will never be ready to take the throne. The king's attempt to force his son to become a man places the young prince within the grasp of the gleeful killer Thorkell! Whoever holds Canute holds the key to the thrones of England and Denmark – and Askeladd has his own reasons for joining the fray!"

Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Superb!  The first thing that blows me away as I open this book and start reading is the stunning art.  Intricate, detailed, realistic, with a just a few traditional manga catchings; it is honestly the most gorgeous piece of manga of read to date.  This book heavily concentrates on the Danes attack of England; there is much battle and that is the main action throughout as they cross England, Wales and Mercia.  A lot of character development is undergone especially concerning our main character, Thorfinn.  I've become emotionally tied to him but it is impossible to think of him as a hero at this point as his ruthlessness and vengeance are still prime in his mind.  The plot thickens with the character of Askeladd, I looove that name.  Intrigue, plotting, deviousness is coming into play with new characters also introduced including a joyfully killer warrior named Thorkell and the Royal Prince, Prince of Denmark, Canute.  This is an intense historical title and I'm learning a lot about the time period as well as simply enjoying the story.  At some point in my reviews of a manga series I make mention of age suitability and at this time now find I am in complete agreement with the publisher on their OT (16+) rating.  There is extreme violence (this is medieval warfare in all its gory glory), not much language but when it is used it goes right to the most vulgar words, this volume contains a rape-for-fun scene and that is the type of thing that can be expected in future.  So, no, I will not be passing this on to my 13yo.  I myself though cannot wait for the next volume to come out especially now that things have become exciting!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Classics Illustrated: Poe's Raven & Shakespeare's Hamlet

46. The Raven and Other Poems by Edgar Allen Poe.  Illustrated by Gahan Wilson (buy)
Classics Illustrated, #4

Rating: (3/5)

2009, Papercutz, 56 pgs

Ages: (8+)

"The Raven, Annabel Lee, Eldorado, The Sleeper, The Haunted Palace, The Conqueror Worm, the City in the Sea. These are some of the world’s most fascinating, best-loved poems. Edgar Allan Poe’s verses – masterpieces of mystery, horror, melancholy, and haunting melody – grip the imagination and fuel the emotions. World-famous cartoonist Gahan Wilson, whose work finds the eerie in the most common of situations, brings the perfect, surreal touch to Poe’s elegantly dark poems."

Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

I love Poe's stories and I love three of his poems: The Raven, Annabel Lee and The Bells.  I kind of like Eldorado.  I was disappointed to find that The Bells was not included in this poetry collection, but not surprised as it was omitted from the last graphic compilation I read too.  I wonder why it's not as popular as I'd like?  Hmmmm.  The poems here are Poe's original text.  They are written in a slightly larger than normal font, with double spaced lines and the type is bolded making it feel more accessible to younger readers.  Also many pages have only one or two stanzas so as not to overwhelm with pages of full text.  I've always loved Gahan's illustrations ever since I came across a wonderful book when I was very young called "Harry and the Sea Serpent".  I was more than pleased with his combination of creepy but cartoony illustrations.  The selection of poems was less pleasing; other than the first three listed below that I knew (mentioned above) i hadn't read (or more likely did but don't remember) any of the others and they didn't do anything for me.  Included are:

  1. The Raven
  2. Annabel Lee
  3. Eldorado
  4. Lines on Ale
  5. The City in the Sea
  6. The Sleeper
  7. Alone
  8. The Haunted Palace
  9. The Conqueror Worm (ok, I know this, but don't like it)
*****

47. Hamlet by William Shakespeare by Steven Grant.  Illustrated by Tom Mandrake (buy)
Classics Illustrated, #5

Rating: (4/5)

2009, Papercutz, 56 pgs

Ages: (10+)

"William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is one of the most revered and loved plays of all time. The story of a young man who strives to avenge his father’s death has been performed and read constantly ever since it debuted at London’s Globe Theatre over four hundred years ago. Madness, family, and revenge are only a handful of universal themes found in this tale that still hold great meaning to us today. Tom Mandrake’s art combined with Steven Grant’s adaptation truly realizes the dark nature of this story. Each character from Laertes to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is recreated in this adaptation in a unique form, making it a wonderful graphic novel for readers old and young alike."

Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

Hamlet is my favourite Shakespeare, and probably why I now love good books where everybody dies at the end.  I enjoyed Mandrake's art here very much.  It's very rich and full, filling the entire page and suits the atmosphere; the lines have an ethereal curvature to them lending to the ghostly theme.  When I started to read I was surprised to find that this adaption consists of actual Shakespearean text; I don't know why.  I shouldn't have been, since Papercutz has proven itself to be very committed to preserving the content of the original books they are presenting in this series.  I'm an odd duck, though, and think Shakespeare is best read by the masses, unless you are a scholar or poetry freak, in ordinary English.  I enjoy the plays in the original vernacular because, well, plays are meant to be heard/watched not read.  That's just how I am.  Back to the book.  If you want an original text adaptation this is very good, all the famous quotes are here and the story hasn't been watered down.  All the racy bits are here too.  But most children won't understand most of the language as there are no footnotes to explain the abundance of 16th century vocabulary.  However, they'll get the gist of what is going on by putting the phrases together with the pictures and multiple reads will further expand the enjoyment.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 4, 5, 6 by Konami Kanata

38. Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 4 by Konami Kanata (buy)
Chi's Sweet Home, #4

Rating: (5/5)

Dec 21 2010, Vertical, 146 pgs

Ages: (5+)

"In the fourth volume of Chi's Sweet Home, Youhei's actions at the end of volume three has motivated his parents to look for a new home for their kids.  Chi is moving to a new address; someplace where cats can play to their heart's content without having to worry about nosy managers and mean hungry bully cats.

But moving alone will be something of an adventure for Chi.  While the Yamadas can handle changing their environment now and then, for a kitten their home means much more than just a place to sleep in.  When the old apartment starts to disappear, suddenly Chi starts losing all of her favorite toys and her naps spots.  She knows they should be in specific places, the smell is still there, but her nappy spot is gone and so are her favorite scratching areas.  And what are all those boxy things?  Why are they all stacked so high up?  And what's up with all the noise around them?  Are there dogs behind all of this?!?"

Bought a new copy from an online retailer.

This is a hilarious volume!  The Yomadas move to a new home where they are allowed to have pets and the focus of the entire volume is Chi's reaction to moving.  If you have ever moved with a cat you will relate to Chi's total freak-out at all the new-ness she has to deal with.  Extremely funny.  As far as the plot, the move encompasses the entire book though two new characters are introduced who will most likely continue on.  There is a rambunctious dog living next door to the Yamadas and one over from them is a long-hair regal, queen/king of the world cat (complete opposite of Chi!).  Looking forward to the next volume.

*****

40. Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 5  by Konami Kanata (buy)
Chi's Sweet Home, #5

Rating: (4/5)

Feb 22 2011, Vertical, 160 pgs

Ages: (5+)

"Chi is completely settled into her new home and it is now time for some real
adventures! With so many new furry and feathery comrades around she is bound to have at least a few opportunities to explore this new world of hers...Or so she thought. 

Instead Chi might end up becoming more of a house cat than ever before. Despite living in a pet friendly building, Chi still has not had too many chances to go outdoors. Instead her fellow feline neighbors come visit her in her turf. Furthermore these posh and pomp kittens are not really the like  that would appreciate a wild romp in the park or dumpster diving in a dark alley. Nope these cats would much rather lounge and be pampered by doting humans.

That is not the lifestyle Chi was looking forward to in her new digs. So when given the chance she decides to embark on the outer reaches of her apartment--including the  upstairs office and bedroom--before taking off towards the backyard and beyond. Once she has scaled the stairs to visit to find Mr. Yamada's office empty, Chi does what a kitten does best and she completely tears up the place!."

Bought a new copy from an online retailer.

More of the same and that's a good thing.  The quality of this series continues and expectations are met.  Chis is still getting used to her new home and now she ventures off out into the world from this new home for the first time.  Rather than cute, funny episodes; this time Chi has some shocks, scares and wonders at new unusual things as she gets used to the world around her.  Not laugh out loud funny this time but more endearing as we react to Chi's feline nature and reactions to the human world.  I'm also enjoying the peak inside daily Japanese family life as well.  Chi gets to know new friends better and meets up with an old one.  Lovely, series that will surely last as a classic.

*****

42. Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 6  by Konami Kanata (buy)
Chi's Sweet Home, #6

Rating: (4/5)

Jun 28 2011, Vertical, 160 pgs

Ages: (5+)

"In the latest volume of Chi's Sweet Home, the titular kitten takes to the streets with unbridled curiosity. Exploring her new surroundings she encounters countless new friends, including another young feline named Cocchi. This new kitty comrade opens up a whole new world for our star. Prior to this encounter she had a mild awareness of what it was like to be a cat. To Chi, she was Chi and the Yamadas were her clan. But now with another one of her kind clearly there, she is more willing than ever to accept that a cat's world is one that she should be and will eventually be a part of. So while on a rare night excursion, our furry heroine reunites with an old friend and is introduced to a world where a whole community of cats of all shapes and sizes congregate in the twilight. This reunion with her mentor Blackie allows Chi to slowly move closer and closer to that long awaited reunion with her own cat family. Even if she is no longer searching for her own original home it is suddenly closer than it's ever been.."

Bought a new copy from an online retailer.

It's getting hard to say anything different about each volume as each one is as pleasing as the last.  There is no plot, nothing really happens other than a series of events but it is all so sweet, realistic, cute and amusing.  I've gotten used to Chi's character now and don't actually laugh out loud anymore but I'm still smiling and chuckling to myself at her realistic feline reactions.  This volume mostly takes place outside as Chi explores the neighbourhood meeting up with the neighbourhood pets and Chi is introduced to another kitten who isn't as friendly as she is.  When in the house Chi is becoming quite active now and causing quite a bit of trouble.  Chi is not just lovable anymore either; she has an angry side which frequently shows its face this volume but she's just as cute when she's angry!  Four more volumes to go in the series but taking a little break now so I can come back to them refreshed.  Highly recommend this series though.