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Thread: Comic Thread 3

  1. #1
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Comic Thread 3

    Damnit. Here are reviews of some of the better graphic novels:

    Well, here I am, reading another foreign comic set in the Middle Ages. You'd think that 300 pages (and yes, I read every single one of them) of The Story of Malemort would turn me off, but I started reading Borgia, written by Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Chilean filmmaker. I wasn't aware of his comic work, but apparently, he's done a great deal of it over the past 35 or 40 years. Borgia is the story of the House of Borgia; you know the family. Murders, simony, popes, prostitution, incest. There have been countless miniseries, series, movies and video games covering them. And as of 2004, this comic:


    Alejandro Jodorowsky - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Borgia (Updated) (download torrent) - TPB


    There is something delightfully evil about a man who says that he is the word of God on Earth, and they don't get more evil than the Borgias. Jodorowsky is as talented a storyteller as there is out there, and his skills are on full display in this wonderful graphic novel, which gets my highest recommendations, *****. This, of course, is not a novel for the young or the faint of heart; Borgia is full-on pornography, and as graphic a comic as I've come across.

  2. #2
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I thought I'd give a few Marvel comics a try, so I opened up Invincible Iron Man, Volume 1: The Five Nightmares. It's seven 25-page issues following the story of a global terrorist group with surprisingly advanced weaponry. Well, I guess if Iron Man/Tony Stark was going up against a bunch of mujahadeen with muskets, it'd get boring quickly. So, of course the terrorists have advanced weapons, but who is manufacturing them, and who is the mystery man with super-powers?

    The Invincible Iron Man - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Invincible Iron Man (UPDATED) (download torrent) - TPB

    The artwork in the series is superb, and there are appearances from The Fantastic Four, Thor and other Marvel superheroes. The relations between the superheroes aren't as cut and dry as in DC Comics, where they all get together in a clubhouse and fight crime. Iron Man works owns a corporation, for instance, and although the superheroes do get together from time to time, they aren't defined by that organization.



    What I really appreciated was the seventh issue of Invincible Iron Man, featuring Spider-Man. I don't want to give away too much about what happens, but sometimes the ending isn't the end, and issue #7 is a nice appendix to the series, which I greatly enjoyed. I found myself reading two issues back to back at times, and The Five Nightmares was a lot of fun. ****1/4.

  3. #3
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I picked up some Will Eisner a few weeks ago... I don't know. Maybe last week or the week before. I reviewed Eisner's version of Moby Dick, and I didn't thinnk it was terribly great at ***1/2. I just finished A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories, which is the first graphic novel ever created. Eisner saw beyond the limitations of comic strips and began to create comics for a more sophisticated audience. A Contract With God is perhaps his masterpiece.

    A Contract with God - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Will Eisner Collection (download torrent) - TPB

    A Contract With God was a quick read, and enjoyable, too. It touches upon themes of poverty, loss and death. Although it's a "graphic novel," it's really four short stories you can read in 10 to 15 minutes each. They all take place in a tenement in New York City, 55 Dropsie Ave. All four stories are quality; they're funny and heart rending at the same time. I really liked it. ****3/4

    And what would A Contract With God be without its two sequels? All three are sold in a 500+page collection for just over $20 on Amazon, and I'll be reviewing the second book here, A Life Force. The first thing I noticed when I started reading it was the text breaks. Every 20 pages or so, the comic stops, and there's a page full of newspaper clippings. It totally disrupts the flow of the graphic novel, and in general, even though A Life Force is much shorter than A Contract With God, it takes longer to read.

    A Life Force - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    A Life Force is a connected series of events, really a novel in the traditional sense, unlike A Contract With God. It's very good, but not as good as the original. ****1/4

  4. #4
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Dropsie Avenue is the third and final book in the trilogy; it came out 18 years ago, 18 years after A Contract With God was first published. Will Eisner is dead now, but we can still enjoy the works in sequential art he left for us, and it doesn't get better than Dropsie Avenue. Dropsie Avenue is a century-long look at the history of the fictitious Dropsie Avenue, from its beginnings as the Dropsie farm to its endings as a bombed-out wasteland.

    Dropsie Avenue - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Dropsie Avenue is the best of the three Contract With God books, and a fitting tribute to a great graphic novelist in his final years. Made half a century after Eisner redefined comic books with Spirit, Dropsie Avenue is a masterwork by arguably the greatest master to dabble in comic books. It gets my highest recommendations. *****

  5. #5
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I've been meaning to read the entire Death of Superman storyline arc since I first got into comics a month or two ago, and I just finished the first "book" in the arc, The Life and Death of Superman: Approaching Doom. Approaching Doom is really just a collection of five regular Superman comics that end with Doomsday punching a wall with the tagline, "Doomsday is coming!"

    The Death of Superman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Death and Return of Superman (download torrent) - TPB

    I'm not a huge Superman fan, but when the whole Death of Superman angle came out years ago, I was intrigued. I just never got into the whole storyline arc. I'm not terribly keen on these five stories, but they weren't terrible or anything. ***

  6. #6
    HIGH ENERGY Harry Lime's Avatar
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    Rubio how many stars do you give "Dark Knight Returns"?
    "My own .50 cal cawk." -Constantine bragging about his half inch dick.

    "I was at my peak and had at least 60lbs on her. i started it not wanting to bash her; she tore into me like she wanted me dead. didn't dismantle me entirely, but out-punched me, out-boxed me, surprised me and embarrassed me." -Jimmy β

  7. #7
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I started reviewing the comics I read right after I finished Dark Knight Returns, but I really liked it. I gave Year One ****1/4, and I'd probably give The Dark Knight Returns ****1/2.

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    HIGH ENERGY Harry Lime's Avatar
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    Nice. That was my favorite comic when I was a kid, but I haven't looked at it in many years. So I have no idea if I just have great memories of it because I was a kid. I remember it was very influential, and most writers or artists in interviews put it as one of their personal favorites (Wizard always asked these stock questions: "what is your top..."). But feel like I also read some backlash at a point - but I think that was from elitist $mux types.
    "My own .50 cal cawk." -Constantine bragging about his half inch dick.

    "I was at my peak and had at least 60lbs on her. i started it not wanting to bash her; she tore into me like she wanted me dead. didn't dismantle me entirely, but out-punched me, out-boxed me, surprised me and embarrassed me." -Jimmy β

  9. #9
    Mr. Muninger's Avatar
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    -A Message From The Clergy

  10. #10
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Well, there are a number of reasons I didn't give it *****. The lettering was a little annoying, and although the artwork was unique, it wasn't the greatest I've seen. I got some shit from Tam-Tam for giving Batman: The Killing Joke only ***3/4, but I genuinely enjoyed The Dark Knight Returns, and although I have a feeling that The Killing Joke is a better comic, I just didn't like it, despite how well it was structured, written and drawn.

  11. #11
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Qadhafi is the latest comic book I found on my Kindle; it's about the history of the Libyan people. It's short at 48 pages, but honestly, how many people are going to want to read a long, detailed history of Libya in comic book form? How many people are going to want to spend half an hour to an hour reading about Libya in the first place?

    Muammar Gaddafi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Qadhafi (download torrent) - TPB

    It turns out that Qadhafi was first released in France in 1980, as during the late 1970s, when Qadhafi first took power, he was seen as a socialist hero, and not a terrorist petro-dictator. Now, I'm a socialist, but I don't really go for the third-world dictatorships that make a few land reforms and call themselves heroes of the people. The author of Qadhafi obviously does. Not that this is a bad thing. Leni Riefenstahl and Sergei Eisenstein made some great propaganda films, not to mention John Ford.



    We often forget that there was a lot of good in Qadhafi's regime. The veil was outlawed, women were given rights, infrastructure was built and poverty was combated. Qadhafi does a good job of showing what was good in the early Revolution. It also shows the movement toward Arab Unity. Still, it's tough to get past the dick-sucking of a guy who was a terrorist with nuclear ambitions. ***1/2

  12. #12
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I've pretty much stopped reading comics on my Kindle, although I simply can't afford to read at the rate I did a month or two ago. One or two a week, I can afford. I get 20% off most comic books because I'm a teacher, and I buy a number of them used. I picked up Dante's Divine Comedy by Seymour Chwast, a nice hardback book. I really don't know what to think about it, because it's not the most engaging graphic novel out there (Logicomix was about mathematical logic, and it was ten times as engaging). It's short at 127 pages, and only covers the basis of The Divine Comedy, the various circles of hell, the layers of purgatory and the like.



    I am only ranking it ***3/4, but a lot of graphic novels I've given the same rating have grown on me, and Dante's Divine Comedy is one of those books that grows on you. That being said, it's just too easy. It doesn't challenge you to find the irony, to study the references the way the original does. I showed it to a waitress at a Greek restaurant, and she said the artwork looked like Keith Haring's. There's just something very good about this book that I can't put into words, and something kinda' bad about this book that I can't put into words. I guess it's that Chwast is a true graphic artist, and not of comic books proper. He designed the first Happy Meal boxes for McDonald's back in 1979.

  13. #13
    beatfarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fists of Palm View Post
    Qadhafi is the latest comic book I found on my Kindle; it's about the history of the Libyan people. It's short at 48 pages, but honestly, how many people are going to want to read a long, detailed history of Libya in comic book form? How many people are going to want to spend half an hour to an hour reading about Libya in the first place?

    Muammar Gaddafi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Qadhafi (download torrent) - TPB

    It turns out that Qadhafi was first released in France in 1980, as during the late 1970s, when Qadhafi first took power, he was seen as a socialist hero, and not a terrorist petro-dictator. Now, I'm a socialist, but I don't really go for the third-world dictatorships that make a few land reforms and call themselves heroes of the people. The author of Qadhafi obviously does. Not that this is a bad thing. Leni Riefenstahl and Sergei Eisenstein made some great propaganda films, not to mention John Ford.



    We often forget that there was a lot of good in Qadhafi's regime. The veil was outlawed, women were given rights, infrastructure was built and poverty was combated. Qadhafi does a good job of showing what was good in the early Revolution. It also shows the movement toward Arab Unity. Still, it's tough to get past the dick-sucking of a guy who was a terrorist with nuclear ambitions. ***1/2
    Surprisingly, the Benghazi comic book is over 1,000 pages.
    Fresh as lettuce and Bangin' dem ho's.

  14. #14
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Louis Riel is a graphic novel by Chester Brown about the history of the Red River Settlement, which became Winnipeg, Manitoba. Louis Riel, the person, was the insane leader of the ill-fated revolution against the sale of the Red River Settlement by the Hudson Bay Company to Canada.



    If you're looking for mindless entertainment, go elsewhere; Louis Riel takes a bit more effort, but it's worth it. It's funny, it's well drawn, and it's a very interesting look at an oft-forgotten moment in Canadian history. Shay's Rebellion and similar episodes in America don't make it into the history books, so knowledge of the Red River Settlement is virtually unknown in the United States. The novel comes with very high recommendations. ****1/2

  15. #15
    Dark Noof Returns

  16. #16
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I picked up Jamilti by Rutu Modan off Amazon; I've previously reviewed her graphic novels The Property and Exit Wounds. Jamilti is a bit of a departure as a publication, as it's a collection of short stories in graphic form. The stories date back to as far as 1999 to as recent as 2008.



    All of the short stories are in color except one, and I can't emphasize how much I love Modan's work. The artwork is very similar to Modan's other work. As I've mentioned before, the lines are a little stiff, but the color and attention to detail is fascinating. The artwork can be rough at times, but then you notice the fabrics, or the number of stripes on a policeman's shoulder. But the real power in Jamilti is the storylines. You can see Modan grow from a good storyteller into a statesman for her nation. She becomes the premier Israeli graphic novelist, and I've seen quite a few. ****1/4

  17. #17
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I picked up Jamilti by Rutu Modan off Amazon; I've previously reviewed her graphic novels The Property and Exit Wounds. Jamilti is a bit of a departure as a publication, as it's a collection of short stories in graphic form. The stories date back to as far as 1999 to as recent as 2008.



    All of the short stories are in color except one, and I can't emphasize how much I love Modan's work. The artwork is very similar to Modan's other work. As I've mentioned before, the lines are a little stiff, but the color and attention to detail is fascinating. The artwork can be rough at times, but then you notice the fabrics, or the number of stripes on a policeman's shoulder. But the real power in Jamilti is the storylines. You can see Modan grow from a good storyteller into a statesman for her nation. She becomes the premier Israeli graphic novelist, and I've seen quite a few. ****1/4

  18. #18
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Really, the best work I've seen this year is Blankets by Craig Thompson. You can download it and three other of his works here. I didn't like Goodbye, Chunky Rice, and Carnet d'Voyage was average, but Blankets and Habibi were both among the best I've read.

    As most of you know, my sister came out of the closet this year, and I gave her Fun Home and Are You My Mother by Alison Bedchel. Both are recommended for the dyke in your life.

  19. #19
    ebeneezer's Avatar
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    Try some Judge Dredd



    These are the complete case files. It's a nice introduction to the character and contains some classic Dredd stories like "Judge Child" and "The Day The Law Died"

    Judge Dredd - The Complete …cbr (203,14 MB) - uploaded.net

    Judge Dredd - The Complete …cbz (147,43 MB) - uploaded.net

    Judge Dredd - The Complete …cbz (217,78 MB) - uploaded.net

    Judge Dredd - The Complete …cbz (230,85 MB) - uploaded.net



    The complete Batman/Judge Dredd. Some tremendous artwork and fine storytelling make this one of the better comic crossovers you will ever read.

    Batman _ Judge Dredd Collec…rar (101,83 MB) - uploaded.net
    .

  20. #20
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Nice. I'll put them on my Kindle, but I have a lot of reading to catch up on.

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    Borgia is full-on pornography, and as graphic a comic as I've come across.

    Sold.

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  23. #23
    Olive Privilege SPQR's Avatar
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    I'll have a look at the Borgia comic. They do have an English version right?
    Toxically masculine.

  24. #24
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I got off my ass and started reading this morning. I started Batman: Dark Victory some months ago, but only finished three of the 13 chapters. Today, I finally read the rest, and I really liked it. Dark Victory is a year-long story of Batman and Jim Gordon trying to catch a mysterious "Hangman Killer." There are many suspects, but who could it be? The series also involves a complete rogue's gallery, plus the Dick Grayson/Robin backstory.



    Dark Victory gets **** because of the artwork, the dialogue, the story and how damn readable it is. I remember my thinking when I bought it; it was nearly 400 pages and under $20, before my 20% teacher discount. And it was Batman. I hadn't heard of the story before, but I knew of Jeph Loeb, who was involved in making Batman: The Long Halloween and a few others. Definitely recommended.

  25. #25
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I've continued reading only graphic novels that I've paid for - I got a few for Christmas, and I bought a bunch last month - but I'm back at reading at least one graphic novel a day, so at this rate, I'll run out of comics to read in about a week. Last night and this morning, I read J.L.A., Volume 1 by Grant Morrison and company. Morrison was the author of All-Star Superman, which I thought was terrific.



    J.L.A., Volume 1 is a run of nine J.L.A. issues, plus a bonus comic. It isn't one continuous comic, but a run of comics. Several run together in continuous storylines, there is an Elseworlds issue or two, and there are a few one-off or two-off stories. Some of the storylines are familiar, like the space starfish that stick to people's faces and control their minds, and some are totally new.



    This is an excellent collection, and Grant Morrison should be proud of what he has accomplished. The artwork is spectacular, and the storylines are engaging. There is even a little bit of humor thrown in. In fact, I suspect that Morrison intended more of the stories to be humorous than the average reader (including myself) can really grasp. It's that type of series. ****3/4. I can't recommend it enough.

  26. #26
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I have a lot I want to read right now, and a few manga series I'd get into before Hajime no Ippo.

  27. #27
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    While my son was in camp this morning, I read Batman: The Long Halloween; I should have read it before Batman: Dark Victory, but oh, well. It has a similar format to Dark Victory, which is really the sequel of The Long Halloween, as is Catwoman: When in Rome. On each holiday, a different criminal is executed using a .22 pistol with a tapered handle and the serial number filed off. There's a rogue's gallery of villains that comes into play, and aside from the mob criminals, the metacriminals are of course, suspects as well.



    The Long Halloween is superior to Dark Victory, and I'm giving it ****1/4. It begins and ends strong, with enough meat in the middle to keep you guessing. It's far from a perfect limited series, though, and the ending is a bit of a clusterfuck. Some have complained about it being a "mediocre mystery drawn out over 13 issues," and I have to say that the mystery element of the novel is hardly that good, but there are clues, false leads and entertainment enough to keep you reading.

  28. #28
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Catwoman: When in Rome is a six-issue limited series in the Long Halloween storyverse. It's less than half the length of The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, which are 11 issues plus two double-issues each. Basically, it covers the middle part of Dark Victory, when Selina Kyle (the Catwoman) goes to Italy following her breakup with Bruce Wayne on New Year's Day. The six issues are named for days of the week, but the story takes place over six months, which I see as kind of a weakness.



    Still, I liked When in Rome. Catwoman travels with Edward Nigma, who is the Riddler, and the two work with each other and against each other. If you're going to read The Long Halloween, you should probably read Dark Victory, and you should probably read When in Rome as well. It's a **** collection, but not really worth more than the $10.49 price on Kindle. Next: Batman: Haunted Knight.

  29. #29
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Meh.

  30. #30
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Batman: Haunted Knight is the fourth Jeph Loeb/Time Sale Batman limited series, and it's short, in three parts, the same size of Catwoman: When in Rome. Again, you can get the paperback for $11.33 including shipping here, but I didn't feel like waiting for what could be weeks. The first part is a three-chapter story about the Scarecrow, then a two-chapter story about the Mad Hatter and finally a one-chapter story about the Penguin that ends up being a "Three Ghosts of Christmas" tale.



    I didn't really like the final story; I mean, come one. How many times do people have to rip off Dickens? But I really got into the storytelling and the artwork by Loeb and Sale, respectively. I do rate The Haunted Knight ****, but as entertaining as the Loeb/Sale comics are, they don't really grab me. I hate to damn their over 1000 pages of work with faint praise, but all-in-all, those pages were just a way for me to kill a day or two.

  31. #31
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I really liked Justice League Vol. 1: Origins - The New 52. It's a typical origin story featuring Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, the Green Lantern, Cyborg, Aquaman and the Flash. Mysterious boxes are turning up all around the world, unleashing demons and the super-villain, Darkseid. The superheroes have to work together even though they don't know each other; there are egos involved, and they jostle for leadership.



    The pencils and the colors are absolutely great, and Origins is as visually stunning a comic as I've come across so far. There are plenty of extras, and at under $4, this is a great buy, and I do suggest you buy as many comics as you can. My only complaint is that the story gets wrapped up a little too quickly. You have this super-powerful Darkseid, who's able to teleport anywhere he wants, and he just gets sent back to where he comes from. I see that as a major problem. Why doesn't he just build more boxes and come back? Maybe he does in the next issue. The comic gets ****1/4 because it's very good, but far from perfect.

  32. #32
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I just finished J.L.A. Volume 2 by Grant Morrison, Howard Porter and John Dell. It follows a similar formula to Volume 1, but only moreso. Let me explain. There have been over 100 J.L.A. comics, and they periodically get put into collections like this, only with extras. J.L.A. Volume 1 contained nine J.L.A. issues plus a J.L.A. Secret Files issue that isn't available anywhere else. J.L.A. Volume 2 has seven J.L.A. issues (at least one is a doulbe-issue), a J.L.A. Secret Files and a WildC.A.T.s double-issue.



    I really liked the collection, except for the WildC.A.T.s double-issue, which I thought dragged on; it was uninteresting compared to the rest of the collection. The heart of the publication is J.L.A. issues #10 through #15, which form a continuous story involving the Injustice League and Darkseid. While I was let down by the ending of the Darkseid story in Justice League: The New 52, Volume 1: Origins, this was fully on task, and a wonder. Then there was a J.L.A. Secret Files and J.L.A. #16, a double-issue. Those two involved a new super-villain, and it was good, too. I'm still giving this collection ****1/2 because even though I was let down by WildC.A.T.s, it was an excellent read, over all. I was tempted to buy the digital copy for $13.99, but ended up paying full price at a comic book store for $24.99; I think I'll continue buying the series in print.

  33. #33
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I downloaded a bunch of comics from DC's The New 52 series. Most of them were $3.99, but I paid $9.99 for Justice League: The New 52 Volume 2 - The Villain's Journey by Goeff Johns, Jim Lee and Scott Williams, the same team that brought Volume 1 of the same series. There are some differences between Justice League and J.L.A., of course. In J.L.A., Superman has died and been transformed into a being of light, with all new super powers. Oh, and Diana's mother is now Wonder Woman. It's nice to see just regular old superheroes for once.



    I really liked the "editing" and pace of Volume 2. In a lot of ways, it is superior to Volume 1. Heck, it's better in just about every way except for the main antagonist, Graves. Again, there are a few issues that don't get wrapped up, including a "ghost" storyline that doesn't really go anywhere. And it's only $3.99 on Google Play (I paid $9.99 on Kindle, unfortunately), so if you have a Google Play-ready device, you should go for it. ****1/2

  34. #34
    HIGH ENERGY Harry Lime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fists of Palm View Post
    I hate to damn their over 1000 pages of work with faint praise, but all-in-all, those pages were just a way for me to kill a day or two.
    Rubio, I like your threads, but I just realized.. you've never worked a hard days work in your life.
    "My own .50 cal cawk." -Constantine bragging about his half inch dick.

    "I was at my peak and had at least 60lbs on her. i started it not wanting to bash her; she tore into me like she wanted me dead. didn't dismantle me entirely, but out-punched me, out-boxed me, surprised me and embarrassed me." -Jimmy β

  35. #35
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I'm going back to school in a couple of weeks, to get my technical writing certificate. It's a 21-unit course, and I should be finished by Spring of 2015. I picked up Wonder Woman Volume 1: Blood (The New 52) for $3.99 on one of my e-buying sprees, and I had some time to read it today. It's the story of Wonder Woman protecting a slutty girl who has sex with Zeus and gets pregnant. A few of the Greek gods, including Zeus' wife, Hera, don't like this and plot to kill the girl.



    Volume 1: Blood is good enough that I bought Volume 2 for $3.99, but not good enough for me to seriously recommend to anyone but die-hards. The price has since gone up to $5.20, which is still really cheap. The coloring and penciling are good, but not great. I give it ***3/4, which is still a good rating, because the story is engaging. It just seems a little too typical for me.

  36. #36
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    Another comic I got for $3.99 is Green Arrow Volume 1: The Midas Touch (The New 52), realized by a host of authors and illustrators too numerous to name here. It starts by establishing the character as a billionaire crime fighter, running a mega-corporation while chasing bad guys wearing a mask. A group of evil meta-humans set up a trap for the Green Arrow, and of course he springs the trap and beats them all up. It's basically a collection of one-offs, some of which are connected. There's no overarching storyline, and we forget that these are comics, after all.



    Green Arrow: Volume 1 is just good old fun, nothing great, nothing terrible. *** is a fair rating, as it's worth reading but not really worth buying for more than the $4 I paid; it's barely even worth that. The strength in the collection is when Midas appears, which is about 2/3 in. Not too much is revealed about who he is or what he is, and I have to admit I'm kinda' interested to find out.

  37. #37
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    Tonight's reading includes The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Part 1. It was on sale on Amazon for $3.99, and of course, Volume 2 is $9.99, making the series as a whole a ripoff. It's basically a Justice League meets Victorian England superhero, with Wilamina Harker nee Murray (from Dracula), Captain Nemo (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, Allan Quartermain and the Invisible Man.



    Victorian England is hardly one of my passions, and I wasn't familiar enough with the era to get all of the in-jokes, but I saw in it a great deal of planning and research. Moreover, the structure of the novel is superb, with mini-adventures in assembling the team in the two parts of the novel, coming together in parts 3 and 4, the latter of which reveals the overarching plot, with parts 5 and 6 leading toward a resolution. It's simply better than what I've been reading recently, and not by a small margin. *****

  38. #38
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    I've never been much of a Marvel guy except for the Incredible Hulk. As a kid, I thought he was cool. One time, I even punched Spider-Man because I thought he wasn't as cool as the Hulk - long story, it was some sort of parade at the local Toys R' Us. Craig/Tam Tam mentioned that the Red Hulk was penned by Jeff Loeb, and when I saw Red Hulk, Vol. 1 on sale for $3.99, I went for it, despite negative reviews the series got.



    The series revolves around the Red Hulk and the mystery of who he is. He fights all sorts of Marvel heroes and beats them, and of course gets his identity revealed at the end. Oh wait, he doesn't. I guess I'll have to buy the next collection, and I'll be doing that oh, probably never. ***1/4 because it is worth reading, although it only took me an hour to do so. The whole collection is on sale for $3.99 a volume. And heck, you don't read a Hulk comic book for scintillating dialogue.

  39. #39
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    Nightwing Vol. 1: Traps and Trapezes (The New 52) collects issues #1 through #7 of Nightwing, and on one of my buying binges, I picked up the first three volumes. The story starts with Dick Grayson moving back to Gotham, where he fights crime as both Batman and Nightwing, and the circus is in town, his old circus. He pays his old friends a visit, but on the way, he's attacked by a super-villain who says Grayson is the most dangerous killer in Gotham. Grayson as Nightwing has to find out who paid the killer to find him, and why. But meanwhile, he has circus business to attend to.



    There's an interesting tie-in to The Court of the Owls which I haven't read yet, and Nightwing is always an intriguing protagonist. The collection is good at ****, but it's a weak ****, bordering on ***3/4. The ending featuring Batman is good, but it still felt a little wanting. I still can't grasp what one of the antagonists' motives were, and there were a lot of questions left unanswerable. Still, it was a great introduction to an underrated character. Nightwing has been pushed out of the mainstream by Green Arrow, who has taken his place as the second non-meta-human Justice League member.

  40. #40
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    I post these on Tam-Tam's forum as well.

    Well, I didn't feel like sleeping tonight, so I think I'll read Nightwing, Vol. 2: Night of the Owls (The New 52). It collects issues #0 and #8 through #12. Issue #0 is basically the Dick Grayson backstory, issues #8 and #9 deal with the Court of the Owls storyline, and issues #10 through #12 are the "Republic of Tomorrow" storyline, with a few issues that are touched upon in the earlier issues. I haven't read the Batman series on the Court of the Owls, but I was still able to appreciate the volume for what it was.



    I hate to nitpick, but when Nightwing goes to "the best tattoo artist in town," that tat artist should have a clean room. And why do they go to that tattoo artist to get their tattoos "removed" instead of covered up? That's what a really good tattoo artist does. Overall, it was a decent, ***3/4 collection. There's a continuing story of the circus, and I have to admit that while the series isn't great, I'm kinda' hooked.

  41. #41
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    Nightwing Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52) is the final Nightwing collection until this summer, when Vol. 4 comes out. It includes Batman, issue #17 and Nightwing, issues #13 through #18, and it deals with the Joker trying to kill all of the Bat-folk ("Death in the Family" is a cross-platform storyline), but in this series, he's going after Nightwing and Haly's Circus, which has found itself a permanent home in Gotham City.



    I think this is the best of the three collections, and it really shows that Nightwing is more than Batman-lite. He has relationships, people turn on him, he has losses. I'm giving it a solid ****, but at times I get the feeling that the authors are going out of their way to make Nightwing different from Batman. Grayson grows as a human being, and he bounces off the other Bat-heroes pretty well.

  42. #42
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    Blue Beetle Vol. 1: Metamorphosis (The New 52) collects Blue Beetle, issues #1 through #6, and it's on sale for the Kindle at $3.99. It's the story of a Latino teenager from El Paso who finds a blue suit that gives him superpowers. There's a neat relationship between him and the suit, as the suit itself has a backstory. First, the suit wants him to kill his enemies, but he only wants to incapacitate them. Then, the owners of the suit, the other Blue Beetles, come after him.



    I liked The Blue Beetle, Vol. 1 because it's different; it's a shame the series only had a run of 17 issues before it got cancelled. Vol. 2 collects the remaining 11 issues, #0 and #7 through #16, but let's focus on Vol. 1. It has a strong beginning and ending, although the appearance of the main antagonist comes a little late for my taste. There's a lot of questions left unanswered, which lead me to want to buy Vol. 2, which is a little pricey at $11.49, but bear in mind that it's nearly twice the length of most of The New 52 TPBs. ****1/4.

  43. #43
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    Supergirl Vol. 1: Last Daughter of Krypton (The New 52) was given high ratings and has an interesting plot, so I thought I'd give it a go. At $3.99, it collects issues #1 through #7 of Supergirl. She crashes on an asteroid in Siberia as a young adult, speaking no English and no Russian, wearing a "Supergirl" uniform in the freezing cold. She is immediately confronted by giant robots that she easily dispatches, and then Superman arrives. But Supergirl is determined to go her own way. She faces a variety of antagonists, including the Worldkillers, Kryptonian monsters with the power of Superbeings.



    I had low expectations of Supergirl, and I can say that I was happily mistaken. Sure, overly powerful heroes tend to be boring, but Supergirl's flaws are emotional in nature. She's untrusting, she's lost everything she ever loved, and everyone around her tries to take advantage of her, or so she presumes. See, the boring thing about Superman isn't that he's all-powerful; it's his attitude. He's just a jolly do-gooder who never has a care in the world. Supergirl isn't like that; she's Kara, a struggling teenager who's suddenly gone through a change (and it isn't puberty). ****1/4.

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    this is almost as gay as your sex and the city review

  45. #45
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    Aquaman time. Aquaman Vol. 1: The Trench (The New 52) collects issues #1 through #6 of Aquaman, although only the first four issues concern "The Trench," with issues #5 and #6 covering the aftermath and beginning a new arc. I was surprised by the fact that Geoff Johns was given the task of updating Aquaman, because he's become one of the top-tier writers of The New 52, penning the Justice League series, but let's face it. Aquaman became a running joke during his Superfriends run, a guy who talks to fish? Come on. But Aquaman has found new life in The New 52, and I'd like to explain why.



    Aquaman is completely rebooted in the first five pages of the comic, and his character is strongly established. He has super-strength, bullets bounce off his shirt, and he doesn't talk to fish. In fact, in a pretty funny opening scene, he appears at a seafood restaurant. But moreover, the artwork is above standard for The New 52. Someone behind the scenes has taken a keen interest in making this one of the best of the new series.



    I genuinely got the chills when Aquaman and Mera finally enter the trench and find out what's going on. In Aquaman, issues #1 through #4, Aquaman faces a semi-intelligent (?) race of aquatic humanoids, and they're hungry. The conclusion is a little inelegant, and issue #5 is just plain boring. Things pick up in issue #6, and the TPB leaves the reader itching to read more. At ****3/4, this is by far the strongest collection of The New 52 that I've come across. Highly recommended.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stealth View Post
    Hey rubes, you read any of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" stuff?

    That movie looks like a it's going to be a huge flop.
    I've heard good things about the 2008 comic reboot of the series, but I just don't read as much Marvel as I should, and I'm not familiar with any of the characters. I think that'll be a major weakness when it comes to the film. They've got a shitload of financial backing, and as long as it has a halfway decent ad campaign, it should do okay. What they really need to do is introduce the audience to the characters. McDonald's shit, and stuff like that. Marvel's hot right now when it comes to the movies, and I think they have the formula down.

  47. #47
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    Aquaman Vol. 2: The Others (The New 52) continues the story started in issues #5 and #6 of Vol. 1 and includes an origin story, issue #0. Issues #7 through #13 see Aquaman facing a less chilling but more intelligent adversary in Black Manta, who Geoff Johns paints in a much better light than in the Superfriends days, where he was basically a guy in a scuba suit who talked weird.



    Vol. 2 focuses on a group of B- (Aquaman) and C-list superheroes called the Others, and it's not particularly engaging compared with Geoff Johns's other work. I do admire the pacing and the way the backstories are told throughout the battle between the Others and Black Manta, and the psychology of Aquaman; suddenly he wants to be alone because he doesn't want the Others and Mera to see the dark side of him. He says that he wants to "protect" them, but really he wants to protect himself from their judgement. Still, I'm giving this collection, even though I didn't enjoy it as much, a ****1/4 rating because there is a lot of good in it.

  48. #48
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    Supergirl Vol. 2: Girl in the World (The New 52) collects Supergirl, issues #8 through #12 and #0, an origin story. In the aftermath of her battle with the Worldkillers, Supergirl finds herself surrounded by the military. She's saved by Siobhan, a young woman with her own super abilities, and they get into all sorts of adventures together. As you might be able to guess, it kinda' sucks. The novelty of Supergirl wears off pretty quickly; either that, or as the caffeine wears off, I just don't like these TPBs as much as before.



    I just didn't like this collection, and reading it makes me think that Vol. 1 wasn't very special, either. At least that collection didn't have the gaping plot holes this one had. Supergirl befriends someone who happens to speak Kryptonian, whose father happens to find her after looking for 10 or 15 years on that very same fucking day. This is what a ** TPB looks like. It made me wistful for The Red Hulk, and the only reason why I rated it as highly as I did was that I liked issue #12. The rest was junk.

  49. #49
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    I went ahead and ordered Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's Choice for $3.99 on the Kindle. It's the first five issues of Chew, which is the story of Tony Chu, a cibopathic detective who gets psychic information from whatever he eats, so he's constantly eating dead bodies. The story takes place in America, after a bird flu necessitated a Constitutional amendment banning the sale of chicken, and Chu moves from being a beat cop to working for the most powerful law enforcement agency in the world: the USFDA.



    Chew is something that can get really old really fast, but surprisingly, it doesn't. It portrays a world of sadistic, marginally effective bureaucrats who have nothing but disdain for Tony Chu and his abilities. But what is behind the mystery of the avian flu? There's more to the story than meets the eye, and I sure got a couple of belly laughs out of it. ****1/2

  50. #50
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    The two collections, Justice League Vol. 3: The Throne of Atlantis (The New 52) and Aquaman Vol. 3: The Throne of Atlantis (The New 52) are basically the same collection. The former contains Justice League issues #13 and #14 (a Cheetah story), the latter contains Aquaman issue #0 (an origin story), and they BOTH contain Aquaman #14 through #16 and Justice League #15 through #17, the Throne of Atlantis storyline. Moreover, Amazon.com misleads the reader, saying that Aquaman Vol. 3 contains Aquaman #14 through #18. It doesn't. Moreover, Aquaman Vol. 2 was supposed to have Aquaman #0, and it didn't.



    But lets get to the stories. Aquaman #0 is a decent origin story, but the real strength in Geoff Johns's writing is in his overarching stories. The Cheetah story was pretty good, and it paints Cheetah as an interesting and more powerful villain, but the two issues are mired in soap-opera stories, such as Green Lantern leaving the Justice League, Superman and Wonder Woman kissing, Green Arrow trying to join the Justice League and finally Shazam! getting his super powers, although the Shazam! stuff is pure gold.



    For those of you buying individual comics, the Throne of Atlantis story goes AM 14, JL 15, AM 15, JL 16, AM 16 and JL 17, and the story is highly recommended. Someone diverts Tomahawk missile tests into the ocean depths, targeting Atlantis, which counterattacks. Meanwhile, the creepy sea creatures from The Trench have escaped, and they're hungry. Geoff Johns really comes through with this story, but I didn't like it nearly as much as I did Aquaman Vol. 1 or Justice League Vol. 2. ****.

  51. #51
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    Green Lantern Vol. 1: Sinestro (The New 52) collects the first six issues of Green Lantern. It starts with Hal Jordan not only out of the Justice League, but out of the Green Lantern Corps. Not only that, but Sinestro is a Green Lantern again. Will Hal Jordan, unemployed and homeless, make a deal with Sinestro to get his life back? The series is penned by Geoff Johns, author of The New 52 versions of Aquaman and Justice League, so I had high hopes for it.



    There's a lot going on in this series, and I'm curious to see where it goes from here. Johns has totally rebooted Green Lantern and Sinestro into reluctant superheroes and partners. They don't like each other, and they never will, but it doesn't fall into the buddy-cop genre, or even close. I didn't absolutely love the TPB, but I like the way the characters play off each other. ***3/4.

  52. #52
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    Although I was somewhat disappointed in Geoff Johns's treatment of Green Lantern in Vol. 1, after hearing that it was his true wheelhouse as far as DC comics are concerned, I decided to turn around and read Green Lantern Vol. 2: Revenge of the Black Hand (The New 52). The first thing I noticed was all the fucking ads. Fuck me, when I turn the page to see what happens, I DON'T want to see those idiots from The Big Bang Theory. Anyway, Sinestro's back, and he needs Hal Jordan's help again. This time, they're after the Indigo Tribe, and a mysterious "Third Army" who are out to replace the Green Lantern Corps.



    I've always been drawn to the grandiose nature of Green Lantern. He's never saving a kitten stuck in a tree; the universe is usually at stake. There are a few surprises in this collection, which is superior to Vol. 1. No, Sinestro and Hal Jordan aren't the greatest tag-team since the British Bulldogs, but they are interesting, and the mystery of the Indigo Tribe along with the Black Hand/Black Lantern storyline that pops up in the final two issues, this comes out as a pretty good collection. ****1/4.

  53. #53
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    Green Lantern Vol. 3: The End (The New 52) finishes the storylines that have been going on in Geoff Johns's Green Lantern series for the past nine or 10 years. It collects nine issues: #0 and #13 through #20. Issue #0 is about Simon Baz, the Muslim Green Lantern that was first introduced in the 1970s, and how he becomes a Green Lantern. Issues #13 through #20 start with Baz's quest and continue on, wrapping up the storylines that have been going on for years.



    I was a little bit at a loss, because I only started the series with The New 52, but I was still able to enjoy Vol. 3: The End. The story ties in with The Green Lantern Corps and, Green Lantern - New Guardians, two other series, so I got even more confused. This TPB is a book for hardcore Green Lantern fans, and I'm just a newb, even though I've always liked the character. My favorite parts of the series revolved around Simon Baz, who's coming out as a very interesting superhero. ***3/4 if you're like me and only read The New 52. I just couldn't grasp the main antagonist's motivation, although this might have been dealt with somewhere else.

  54. #54
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    The Flash Vol. 1: Move Forward (The New 52) is a nice TPB collecting the first eight issues of The New 52 version of Central City's most famous denizen, penned by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato. The first thing I noticed was that like most of the other titles in The New 52, The Flash has a "Teen" rating, so we have to read about the Flash getting a girlfriend and having a life. See, with Nightwing, it's important to the character's development that he should get laid every now and then, but unless there's a "fastest man alive" joke about him having premature ejaculation (there isn't), I'm not interested. See, the Flash is an ultimate good guy. Unlike Batman, he won't break the laws because he's a criminalist.



    It takes a little while for the story to mature, and I wasn't very patient with an obvious math error. The story circles around Project Bellator, a secret government testing protocol designed to create super-powerful warriors, and they all look like Chiek Congo. No, not really. An E.M.P. has plunged Central City and Keystone City into darkness, so the police and the Flash have to battle angry mobs and escaped prisoners as well as try to solve the mystery of the Bellator fighters and why they keep dying. Moreover, there's Captain Cold and the possibility that the Flash's powers are tearing apart the universe.



    I really didn't like this collection. The antagonists were all pretty boring, and the Flash simply didn't stand out as an interesting character for me. On the plus side, it's an eight-issue collection, but there's no flow through the TPB, and it jumps from one situation to the next without really resolving the storylines that get started. **1/2.

  55. #55
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    I was interested in Shazam! Vol. 1 (The New 52) for a couple of reasons. It's written by Geoff Johns, who I've generally liked aside from his Red Hulk series; also, some of the Justice League comics have had little Shazam! intro comics in them as well, and I kinda' like the direction they're going with the character. Shazam! is the story of Billy Batson, a 15-year-old orphan boy who gets super powers. And he's a jerk.



    After a pretty long study of Batson, the boy finally gets his powers, but of course, there's Black Adam, who was released from an ancient tomb by a mad professor in northern Iraq, and he's out to kill the Wizard who gave Billy his powers, and Billy, himself. I liked this TPB, quite a bit. I mean, what does a 15-year-old do when he's suddenly a super-strong adult? He buys beer and tips over cars. This is a spectacular collection, funny, exciting and engaging. My only complaint is that the conclusion seemed to drag on. Highly recommended. ****1/2

  56. #56
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    Earth 2 Vol. 1: The Gathering (The New 52) collects issues #1 through #6 of Earth 2, which is the story of the Justice League in an alternate universe. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are dead, so the Justice League in Earth 2 have to soldier on without their three most powerful members. Bear in mind that it's an alternate universe, so there's a different Flash, a different Green Lantern (he's gay). Vol. 1: The Gathering details not only the death of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, but also the origin stories of several superheroes.



    So, a gay Green Lantern? Shouldn't he be a Pink Lantern? I might have to pick up a non-e-copy of this to give to my sister. The weakness in the TPB lies in its lack of an overall arc. Solomon Grundy and the Grey arrive in the third or fourth issue, and cause havoc, but while I appreciate the timing of his arrival, there is no real antagonist prior to him trying to destroy the Earth aside from Apokolips, who isn't treated very well. It's far from a perfect collection, but it's readable and in its own way, groundbreaking. ****

  57. #57
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    Earth 2 Vol. 2: The Tower of Fate (The New 52) is an eight-issue collection, comprised of Earth 2, issues #7 through #12 and #0, plus D.C. Presents, issue #0 (double issue), in case you're like me and want to read more about the gay Green Lantern. Vol. 2 continues the story of the "wonders" with their newly found superpowers, coalescing as a team, or at least trying to.



    I wasn't terribly smitten by the primary antagonist of the series, Steppenwolf; I think that the World Army is a better antagonist. I really think that there's too much dialogue and not enough action. I did really like the penciling and the coloring, which are always spectacular. I'm giving the collection ***1/4, because I do like the overlapping storyline arcs. I didn't really enjoy this TPB, but I finished it wanting to read more, which is always good.

  58. #58
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    ]J.L.A. Volume 3 is a nice, big book, collecting issues #18 through #31 of J.L.A.. I actually kinda' liked the fact that Volume 1 and Volume 2 included comics outside of J.L.A., such as J.L.A. Secret Files and WildC.A.T.s, even though those were some of the weaker issues at times, and often done by different authors. Still, 14 floppies for $24.99 before my discount is a decent deal; I'm buying certain series in TPB instead of Kindle format, which includes some major deals, such as Greg Pak's 300-page World War Hulk for $3.90 and the 572-page From Hell by the esteemed Alan Moore for $3.99.



    But I digress. Issues #18 and #19 are a pretty good story about a man who tries to alter probabilities for his own gain. Issues #20 and #21 see the Justice League enslaved by one of its own comrades, Adam Strange, but all is not as it seems, of course. Issues #22 and #23 are the "It" story, about star-shaped creatures that affix themselves across people's faces, and it's the heart of the collection, and as cool as it is, it gets resolved a little too quickly. Issues #24 through #26 are about portions of the American government trying to create their own superpowers club. Issue #27 features an android with all the powers of the Justice League, and finally, issues #27 through #31 are a four-part series about the Crisis.



    Overall, the collection's a mixed bag. I would have preferred to see at least one overreaching storyline arc, instead of a bunch of two- and three-issue stories. The artwork is beautiful, and it is a fun read, but Volume 3 simply doesn't compare with Volume 1 or even Volume 2. I like some of The New 52 Justice League series better than this collection. ***3/4, although I will be buying Volume 4 in print.

  59. #59
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    Chew Volume Two: International Flavor collects issues #6 through #10 of Chew and sees F.D.A. Agent Tony Chu partner up with John Colby, yet another person who hates him. He travels from the Arctic to the island of Yamapalu, famous for its lax laws on the cultivation of chicken, which is outlawed throughout the rest of the world. There, he meets Lin Sae Woo, a deadly operative for the United States Department of Agriculture. She hates him, of course.



    I love the detail of Chew; the reader is constantly drawn to the details of the comic, such as a sign that reads, "DO NOT URINATE ON HOTEL WALLS," or the contents of an informer's apartment. Volume Two wasn't quite as funny as Volume One, which had me laughing so hard that I couldn't hold the Kindle straight enough to read it, but it is good, very good. ****1/2

  60. #60
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    There, he meets Lin Sae Woo, a deadly operative for the United States Department of Agriculture.
    Because when I think "deadly operatives", I think of the Department of Agriculture.
    Toxically masculine.

  61. #61
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    I think you'd like Chew. It details a future world where a devastating bird flu has led to a government crackdown on the poultry industry, making the U.S.D.A. and the U.S.F.D.A. the most powerful law enforcement agencies in the world.

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    I've always liked Captain Mar...er, Shazam! and I agree with your review.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fists of Palm View Post
    I think you'd like Chew. It details a future world where a devastating bird flu has led to a government crackdown on the poultry industry, making the U.S.D.A. and the U.S.F.D.A. the most powerful law enforcement agencies in the world.
    That is so ridiculous that it's interesting.
    Toxically masculine.

  64. #64
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    Spider-Man Blue is a TPB collection by one of my favorite comic duos, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, whose works I've reviewed earlier in this thread. In short, their Batman and Catwoman work is superb, but Jeph Loeb's Red Hulk? Not so much. I returned to Loeb's Marvel work with a little trepidation, seeing as he's best known for what he's done in the DC universe. Each of this series by Loeb/Sale is a different "color." The Hulk: Gray, for instance, is dominated by gray tones, while Spider-Man Blue is dominated by blue tones in the beginning and end of each of the six issues.



    I really liked Spider-Man Blue, and read it in one go even though I didn't feel like reading. There's an overall storyline arc, with enough adventures to keep you guessing; plus, there's a love triangle. The romantic sequence isn't overbearing, but it's always there, and gets wrapped up nicely in the end. ****

  65. #65
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    I was about to read Batwoman Vol. 1: Hydrology (The New 52) when I read that it was basically a sequel to Batwoman: Elegy, which predates The New 52 relaunching of the DC empire. No, Batwoman isn't Batgirl all grown up; that's Barbara Gordon. Batwoman is Kate Kane, a rich, Jewish, lesbian West Point drop-out (she is forced out because of "Don't Ask/Don't Tell") who lives in Gotham City with her father and takes inspiration from Batman. The TPB collects Detective Comics issues #854 through #860.



    I liked the chemistry between Kate/Batwoman and her father, who is an active-duty colonel that helps her fight crime. Now, the Batwoman comics have gotten rave reviews, but I tended to like the scenes involving Kate as herself better than the action sequences of her as Batwoman, and I liked the flashback sequences more than anything else. The TPB starts slow, but it gets better as you go along. I just don't get all the rave and ***** reviews it gets, but I was happy enough to give it ***3/4

  66. #66
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    ... and what would Elegy be without Batwoman Vol. 1: Hydrology (The New 52)? Vol. 1 collects issues #0 through #5 of one of the more interesting series in The New 52. Do not read Vol. 1 without reading Elegy first, as the former is a direct sequel of the latter. Issue #0, in fact, is the final flashback of the series that begins with Elegy, and Hydrology proper begins with issue #1. Another thing that intrigued me about this TPB is that it's rated "Teen Plus." What the fuck does that mean? Sure, we get some side boob, and it's a little more sexual than Nightwing and other "Teen" rated series, but "Teen Plus" is just stupid.



    I'm a "hot" writer when it comes to comic books, and when I review them, I like to give my impression immediately upon finishing them, and sometimes while writing them. But in a way, I review series by the way I read their sequels; I review authors by the way I read their further works. Through Hydrology proper (issues #1 through #5), Batwoman takes on a partner and finds someone she cares about.



    Batwoman is good. Elegy is good, and Hydrology is very good. There's a lot to read, and if that bothers you, you should go somewhere else. Her Jewish ancestry is underplayed, and her lesbianism is overplayed. She's a woman more than anything; she cries, has friends, gets laid and has a cocktail or two now and then. No, Batwoman: Vol. 2 isn't something I'm immediately going to read - the "Hydrology" story got wrapped up a little too quickly for me - but there's an overall story arc involving the D.E.O. and Batman, Inc. that's got me hooked. ****

  67. #67
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I decided to read more pre-The New 52 DC comics, starting with Batman and Robin, Vol. 1: Batman Reborn by Grant Morrison. It follows Batman R.I.P., in which Bruce Wayne finally dies. Batman and Robin sees Dick Grayson, the original Robin, take over the mantle of Batman, and Damian, Bruce's son from Talia al Ghul, as Robin. Jason Todd, whose death I covered last year, meanwhile, has been re-animated by Ra's al Ghul, and has returned as Red Hood, replete with sidekick, Sasha. On top of that, the 18-year-old Tim Drake is Red Robin. Confused? You won't be after next week's Batman and Robin!



    Anyway, here's the order you should read Grant Morrison's Batman series, in case you're interested:
    • Batman and Son
    • The Black Glove
    • Batman R.I.P.
    • Final Crisis
    • The Return of Bruce Wayne
    • Batman & Robin (three volumes plus a fourth volume not written by Grant Morrison)
    • Batman, Incorporated

    Adding to the confusion, the "volumes" of Batman and Robin don't always correspond to the volume I'm covering. The four volumes, of which this is the first, make up "volume 1" of Batman and Robin (2009-2011), while "volume 2" is made up of the Batman and Robin from 2011 to the present, starting with the rebooting of the DC universe as The New 52, which features Bruce Wayne returning as Batman. Batman and Robin, Vol. 1: Batman Reborn includes issues #1 through #6 of volume 1 of Batman and Robin. You'll often see different "volumes" of series abbreviated as "v." For instance, Plastic Man volume 4, issue #5 would be abbreviated as, "Plastic Man v4 #5."



    I liked this collection, and I really like Damian. He's an annoying little shit that you want to strangle sometimes, and there isn't Bruce Wayne to reign him in. Dick Grayson has to stop him from torturing a suspect, and Damian blows him off. It's okay to dangle someone off the top of a building, but not okay to bash his brain in, I guess. Like always, the artwork is great, and unlike the Batwoman series, this is a quick read. At ****1/4, it's highly recommended, like reading a Batman movie. Of course, it's not without its faults; although most of the arcs do converge at the end, with a few ends left loose for the next volume, they do seem to clutter the TPB at times.

  68. #68
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    I didn't really feel like sleeping tonight, so I picked up Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth (The New 52), which collects Suicide Squad issues #1 through #7. The Kindle version is on sale on Amazon.com for $5.20. The concept is simple: you take a bunch of B-list super-villains, turn them into super-heroes a la The Dirty Dozen and sex up the ladies (Harley Quinn and former fat hag turned sexy leader, Amanda Waller) to get a "Teen Plus" rating.



    This is a fantastic TPB, and I'd like to explain why. No one's safe, there are no rules, and down deep, the members of Project X A.K.A. the Suicide Squad are merciless killers. They don't go on superhero missions. They get to do the dirty stuff. On top of everything, there's a Harley Quinn origin story in issues #6 and #7. I'm really excited to see what they do with her character in the next volume. This is far and away the best I've seen out of The New 52. ****3/4. I love it.

  69. #69
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    Batman and Son collects issues #655 through #658 and #663 through #666 of Batman, and it begins Grant Morrison's epic run of Batman comics. Over a decade earlier, Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul, drugged Batman and had sex with him. She became with child, and raised their son, Damian, in Ra's al Ghul's League of Assassins. She captures Batman, and leaves him alone with their son, for him to continue raising. And as I mentioned earlier, he's an annoying little shit, privileged, evil, violent but brilliant. Tim Drake (Robin) finds himself the odd man out, a ward confronted with a son who wants to replace him.



    The TPB is dark, and even funny at times, at least the first four issues. Issue #663 is a prose story, and issues #664 through #666 are a kinda' boring arc involving three ghosts of Batman. Basically, I loved the first half of the TPB and didn't even like the second half, although the epic issue #666 almost makes up for it. Overall, the collection gets ***3/4, because it's a mixed bag.

  70. #70
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Batman: The Black Glove collects issues #667 through #669 and #672 through #675 of Batman, and continues Grant Morrison's epic run in the series. The first story arc sees Batman reuniting with a bunch of C-list crimefighters called the Club of Heroes, and someone is killing the heroes off, one by one. The second story arc is about former police officers pretending to be Batman and causing trouble.



    This is a more consistent collection than Batman and Son, and it does have a scene or two with Damian in it. It's not as good as the best of Batman and Son, but I still liked it. ****.

  71. #71
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    There are several collections of Batman R.I.P. out there. The collection I bought has issues #767 through #781 of Batman, but a prelude of sorts is in D.C. Universe issue #0, which unfortunately isn't available on Kindle. Batman R.I.P. brings together a lot of the themes of Batman and Son and The Black Glove; his relationship with supermodel Jezebel Jet, the Black Glove, Tim Drake and Damian. Gotham seems to be mostly cleaned up of meta-criminals, but Batman's obsession with the Black Glove has grown to an almost paranoid degree.



    This is the best so far of Grant Morrison's Batman graphic novels. It's a little weak on structure, seeing as it was an ongoing series, but that didn't stop my enjoyment of it. There is a cast of interesting villains, and the story ends with one of them making a startling revelation. Should we believe it, even if Batman doesn't? ****1/4

  72. #72
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    ... and finally, Final Crisis. Final Crisis collects the last four pages of DC Universe issue #0, Final Crisis, issues #1 through #3, Superman Beyond 3D issues #1 and #2, Final Crisis: Submit and Final Crisis issues #4 through #7, in that order. The collection, which is very long, begins with one of the New Gods, Orion, being found dead. One of the other New Gods, Libra, has made a pact with the Legion of Doom, and Darkseid is coming.



    Final Crisis isn't easy to read. The artwork and story are spectacular, but the dialogue and overall plot are rather weak. It's sweeping in nature - gods, Alpha Green Lanterns, multiple universes - and the strongest superheroes are nowhere to be seen for much of the story. What I found annoying is that the first half of the TPB seemed to cut from story to story without much rhyme or reason; I was genuinely relieved when four issues into the TPB, the Superman Beyond story began.



    I'd like to explain why this is a ****1/2 TPB. No, it's not always readable, and not everything that starts in the beginning gets wrapped up neatly in the end, but Final Crisis is a reflection of life and its inconsistencies. It includes the death of Batman and a few other characters; these of course became null and void when The New 52 rebooted the franchise. If you want to read it, first read other DC comics leading up to it. If you want to enjoy it, keep reading until the end.

  73. #73
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    Batman and Robin, Vol. 2: Batman vs. Robin continues the story of Dick Grayson as the new Batman with Damian Wayne as the new Robin, and it collects Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin issues #7 through #12. The TPB starts out with the Grayson Batman in London; there are a few characters from earlier in the Grant Morrison series, along with Batwoman, my favorite Jewish Lesbian crimefighter.



    This collection is a lot more readable than Final Crisis, and it's a lot more satisfying. It obviously doesn't have the sweeping nature of Final Crisis, and the conflict is of a more mundane nature. There's no real mystery, but there is an underlying story: Bruce Wayne is still alive. I absolutely loved this collection, and I give it my highest recommendations, ****1/2, but it doesn't stand alone too well. You have to read Grant Morrison's entire collection.

  74. #74
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne collects Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, issues #1 through #6, and is 224 pages long. I read Morrison's Batman issue #700 as well, which is a double issue focusing on time travel and Batman Beyond. Much of it is an art gallery. The basic story of The Return of Bruce Wayne is that Batman, instead of dying in Final Crisis, was sent back in time.



    Caveman, witch-hunter, swashbuckler, gunfighter, detective, weapon - Bruce Wayne travels through time, and he must not return to the 21st century. Mostly, this is just stories about how Wayne adapts to life in different time periods, but it's also about how the Justice League tracks him down and well, resolve the story. You know Bruce Wayne isn't going to die by the name of the limited series, but that doesn't detract from it at all. ****1/2

  75. #75

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    nice, they ripped off twilight zone and quantum leap

  76. #76
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    Batman and Robin, Vol. 3: Batman and Robin Must Die! collects Batman and Robin issues #13 through #16, plus Batman: The Return issue #1. Issues #13 through #15 are a Doctor Hurt and Joker story, and #16 involves the return of Bruce Wayne. Batman: The Return furthers this story and lays the plot for Batman Incorporated, an extension of the Batman brand that continues on into The New 52.



    Vol. 3 wasn't my favorite of Grant Morrison's Batman work. I kept hearing the Scooby Doo theme song in my head as I read it. Doctor Hurt and the Joker kind of cancelled each other out. Hurt was turning into a great villain, but he was Canelo Alvarez to the Joker's Floyd Mayweather. All that being said, Vol. 3 wasn't bad, and it definitely got better as it went along. ****.

  77. #77
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I read another one of Chester Brown's graphic novels, The Playboy. It details his obsession with Playboy magazine as a teen and a young adult, starting from the first issue he buys until when the collection was first published in the pages of Yummy Fur in 1990. Like all of Brown's works, it comes with obsessive notes that I mostly ignored.



    This is what I love about comic books. It's funny and all-too real, neurotic and obsessive. I mean, who didn't have a dirty magazine as a kid and jerk off over it repeatedly? Brown writes about how he hides his addiction and finds other people with similar neuroses. It's 200 sparse pages you can read in an hour, which would be my only complaint. ****1/4

  78. #78
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I finally finished Batman, Inc. by Grant Morrison, a longer work consisting of issues 1-8 of Batman, Inc plus the triple-issue Batman, Inc: Leviathan Strikes. It's a collection of mostly one-off issues about various Batmen around the world, some good and some very good, with an overall story of Leviathan attacking Batman, Inc. Bruce Wayne still dons the Batman uniform now and then, but by now, he lets his cronies do most of the work.



    I found the Leviathan arc to be somewhat weak, and it takes away from introducing the various Batmen, Batwomen, Robins and Batgirls. My favorite story was of Man of Bats, a Native American Batman who drives a run-down truck painted black. The stories were good enough that I plan on getting some of the New 52 Batman, Inc. Grant Morrison is still in top form, and as long as the writing keeps the quality of the original Batman, Inc., I'm sure I will enjoy it. ****

  79. #79
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    ... and the end, What Ever Happened to the Caped Crusader by Neil Gaiman finishes the run of Batman/Detective Comics. All the DC comic series were given a reboot with The New 52. A part of me would've liked to have seen Grant Morrison finish the series - as he'd been running it for years - but you simply don't get a bigger name in comics than Neil Gaiman. It's a short TPB, with the last two issues of Detective Comcis, the story of Batman's death. Then there's a short black-and-white story of the Batman and the Joker, a Poison Ivy mini and a final mini about a TV crew trying to interview the Joker in order to get ratings.



    The TPB as a whole was very good, ****1/4, but there was no deep storyline arc that has characterized the Batman comic for the past two or three decades. Also, the mini-comics were of varying quality, although I found them quite readable. "The Gentleman's Gentleman's Tale" within the first issue is absolutely fantastic and worth the cover price alone. I found it to be spectacular stuff, but not everything else was as good. Still, a worthy castoff of the character, and about a one-hour read.

  80. #80
    Have any of you read JoJo's Bizarre Adventure? I've heard quite a bit about it but I'm always skeptical of mangas, I've only read one that I really loved (Lone Wolf and Cub). Is it worth the time/effort? I assume Kid is the most likely to have read it.

    JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Manga - Read JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Online at MangaHere.com

    EDIT: I get the feeling I asked this question already before the board received its last dose of chemo.

  81. #81
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I've tried reading manga, and I have a lot of respect for it. Right now, I just have a lot to read, and don't have time for it. Grant Morrison's Batman run nearly killed my interest in comics, but besides being excellent and a character I love, it's just too long.

  82. #82
    Those jap fucktards don't know how to draw humans.

  83. #83

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    Although the series has been in decline for years now, Berserk is still the best manga I have ever read. The English translations are pretty shitty though.

  84. #84
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    J.L.A. Volume 4 is the largest collection of J.L.A. comics by Grant Morrison. It includes a whopping 15 issues, issues #32 to #46 (there are 125, total). It has a few one-offs, plus two major storylines, "World War Three" featuring Mageddon, and "Tower of Babel" featuring Ra's al-Ghul. It's grandiose, of course, with the Earth at stake most of the time, and very enjoyable.



    I was surprised to read some mixed reviews of this edition, because I loved it. Mageddon was a much different villain, and the "Tower of Babel" storyline is nothing short of epic. The action is intense, and there's even a joke or two. Anyone who's read my reviews has seen how much I like the J.L.A. series, and this was by far my favorite. ****3/4.

  85. #85
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    To put it simply, you can no longer get a whole story in one of The New 52 TPBs. For a long time, DC was publishing the same issues over and over again (one Batman comic was included in almost half a dozen related TPBs). To wit, I am reviewing Justice League of America, Vol. 1: World's Most Dangerous, which includes issues #1 through #7 of Justice League of America, and Justice League Vol. 4: The Grid, which includes issues #18 through #20, #22 and #23 of Justice League, just because they overlap so much. Here is the preferred reading order:

    • Justice League issues #18-#20: The Justice League auditioning new members
    • Justice League of America issues #1-#5: The Justice League of America forming and the beginning of the Trinity War
    • Justice League issues #22 and #23: The Trinity War
    • Justice League of America #6 and 7: The Trinity War




    Of course, I am simplifying the storyline so that you can read it in only two TPBs. The story continues in Justice League Dark issue #22, Forever Evil #1, etc... In general, Justice League of America, Vol. 1 was better received than Justice League, Vol. 4, but I saw them as more or less equal, with perhaps people expecting more out of Justice League than of the less star-packed Justice League of America. The very talented Geoff Johns penned both TPBs, and he has developed a sterling reputation as one of the premier authors of The New 52 following his epic Green Lantern run. This is good stuff, without a doubt, but I have trouble ranking it higher than ***1/2.

  86. #86
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I'm growing less and less enthused about The New 52, but I still download them every week off the Pirate Bay. I really think that "The Trinity War" was a failure of a storyline because it's designed to get the reader into reading lesser titles, like Justice League of America, Justice League Dark and Forever Evil. The two TPBs I covered above only contain four of the six parts of "The Trinity War," and for some reason, I've gotten in the habit of reading The New 52 in TPB form. For a while, I'd even buy them off Amazon, but I've fallen from that ideal.

    I review them in TPB form in the hope that people download the best of them, and perhaps even buy a comic or two. I do buy comics, but I haven't bought much of The New 52, except for $3.99 editions of TPBs online. The New 52 still has some good in it, I believe; the TPBs are in general easy to read, well written and well drawn. On to my next TPB:

  87. #87
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    Green Lantern, Vol. 4: Dark Days starts with a new writer; Robert Venditti replaces Geoff Johns. Venditti is best known for the graphic novel series The Surrogates, which was made into a major motion picture. The TPB collects issues #21 through #26, #23.1: Relic and Green Lantern Annual #2. It runs 200 pages, and it details the aftermath of the different colored Lanterns all coming together in Geoff Johns's climactic yet ultimately disappointing final run, finishing in The New 52. Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner are putting back together the Green Lantern Corps.



    I liked this TPB. It had one continuous story with a beginning, a middle and an end. No stupid crossovers to other comics. I like the new direction in which the series is going, as well. The Lanterns are learning that using their power depletes the universe, although of course the White Lantern becomes a deux ex machine. Still, ****.

  88. #88
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    Suicide Squad, Vol. 2: Basilisk Rising collects Suicide Squad issue #8, Resurrection Man issues #0 and #8, and Suicide Squad issues #9 through #13, but like before, to get the complete story, you need to read more of Resurrection Man. Here's what I read:

    • Suicide Squad issue #8
    • Resurrection Man issues #0 and #8
    • Suicide Squad issue #9
    • (not included) Resurrection Man issue #9 (important to the storyline) and #10 (not important to the storyline)
    • Suicide Squad issue #10 through #13




    Aside from the annoying cross-over, this is great stuff, and I really like the rebooted Suicide Squad. Yeah, it's kinda' annoying to suddenly have Amanda Waller as a sexy badass, and my least favorite bits were with her. I strongly recommend this TPB even if Resurrection Man #9 isn't included. ****1/2

  89. #89
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    I Never Liked You is a comic-strip narrative by Chester Brown, originally published in issues #26 through #30 of Yummy Fur. It's a coming-of-age story about Brown as an adolescent, dealing with the institutionalization and death of his mother, and his horrific failures in love, despite a few girls' best efforts. He's skinny, awkward and somewhat religious; he gets bullied by both boys and girls, and he's generally an outcast.



    I gave good reviews to Brown's The Playboy, Louis Riel and Paying for It earlier in this thread, but I Never Liked You blows them away. It's just perfect. While Brown became as socially-awkward an adult as he was as an adolescent (see Paying for It), his naivete with girls as a teen is much easier to relate to. It's funny, poignant and sad; it lays the groundwork for his other work. *****

  90. #90
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    Whats a good reader ? I tried calibre.

  91. #91
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    So, I stayed up reading comic books instead of texting the girl I'm trying to fuck. Chester Brown would be proud. So would his friend Seth, who's written a number of autobiographical comics, as well as Wimbledon Green. It has half as many pages as I Never Liked You, but takes twice as long to read because Brown uses sparse imagery with only a few panels per page, while Seth is heavier on dialogue and uses up to 20 panels per page. Wimbledon Green is the story of the world's most famous comic book collector, the comics he collects and his adventures.



    While this is great stuff, my main complaint is that it lacks a beginning, a middle and an end, like good stories do. Wimbledon Green wasn't serialized to my knowledge, and if it had been, it would be about an issue too long. I found myself hoping that there would be 10 or 20 pages of footnotes, like in some of Chester Brown's work. Still, Seth's portrayal of the comic collector craze is poignant, funny and engaging. ****

  92. #92
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flibb View Post
    Whats a good reader ? I tried calibre.
    What's your operating system? I use Comic Book Reader on Windows 8.1:

    Comic Book Reader app for Windows in the Windows Store

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fists of Palm View Post
    What's your operating system? I use Comic Book Reader on Windows 8.1:

    Comic Book Reader app for Windows in the Windows Store
    windows 7, using cdisplay.

    I like "The Wolf Among us" and thought about giving the comics a shot.
    Deutschland über alles !!!- Le Peste le Beste

  94. #94
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    The Gotham Central, Vol. 1: In the Line of Duty TPB collects issues #1 through #5 of Gotham Central; I thought I'd read it because it was recommended to me by Tam-Tam, and because Warner Brothers is making a cartoon out of it. For me, Gotham Central was a hard sell, Batman without the Batman. Then I found out that the writers were Ed Brubaker (Catwoman, Captain America) and Greg Rucka (Whiteout, Batwoman), and I was hooked. I was a little disappointed that the series wasn't available in Kindle format initially, but in the past month or so, it has been available on Amazon.com.



    I would recommend this to any fan of Batman or Greg Rucka, for sure, but then again, who isn't a Batman fan that reads comics? In the Line of Duty is a simple but effective detective story that keeps the reader guessing. While there are Mr. Freeze, Firebug and Batman in the background, the overall arc, from the opening panel to the end of the TPB is a kidnapping case with a few interesting twists and turns to keep you guessing. ****1/4

  95. #95
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    I'm on it. Gotham Central Vol. 2: Half a Life collects Batman Chronicles issue #16, Detective Comics issue #747 and Gotham Central issues #6 through #10, in that order. I've complained about crossovers before, but I don't know how important the two crossover issues are to the story, as they're not collected in the OHC edition of Gotham Central, Vol. 1: In the Line of Duty, which simply collects issues #1 through #10 of Gotham Central. They were included because Renee Montoya and Two-Face, the features of Half a Life are the main character rather than Batman, and they are good, but not connected to the Renee Montoya/Two-Face storyline, which features her being outed as a lesbian (touching on a theme Rucka would feature prominently in Batwoman and dealing with Two-Face, who falls in love with her.



    I actually didn't like the tie-ins as much as the main story, but they were relevant to the characters. When my sister came out of the closet last autumn, after leaving her husband of six years, I gave her a few lesbian-themed comic books: Fun Home, Are You My Mother? and Batwoman: Elegy. Earth 2's Green Lantern is gay, and he goes through losing his boyfriend in a train crash. Workplace discrimination of homosexuals has been done in The Shield and Playmakers, and Law and Order: Los Angeles had a lieutenant who was a lesbian. There's something more politically acceptable about lesbianism than male homosexuality in the comic book world, mostly because the readers are boys and men.



    I've never given a DC/Marvel/superhero comic *****, but that's simply what this deserves. I get frustrated about some of the comics of The New 52 because of the cross-overs, the incomplete books and getting the same issues in TPB after TPB, but I think I've lost that frustration because I'm taking time away from The New 52. That being said, I am invested in several of The New 52 series. Here's what I'll probably keep reading, in order of what I'm most interested in to what I'm least interested in:

    • Aquaman
    • Nightwing
    • Justice League
    • Suicide Squad
    • The Blue Beetle (cancelled, unfortunately, but I have another TPB to go)
    • Shazam!
    • Green Lantern
    • Earth 2
    • Batwoman
    • Batman, Inc (haven't started reading it yet)
    • Batman (haven't started reading it yet)
    • Batman and... (haven't started reading it yet)

  96. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by Fists of Palm View Post
    I'm on it. Gotham Central Vol. 2: Half a Life collects Batman Chronicles issue #16, Detective Comics issue #747 and Gotham Central issues #6 through #10, in that order. I've complained about crossovers before, but I don't know how important the two crossover issues are to the story, as they're not collected in the OHC edition of Gotham Central, Vol. 1: In the Line of Duty, which simply collects issues #1 through #10 of Gotham Central. They were included because Renee Montoya and Two-Face, the features of Half a Life are the main character rather than Batman, and they are good, but not connected to the Renee Montoya/Two-Face storyline, which features her being outed as a lesbian (touching on a theme Rucka would feature prominently in Batwoman and dealing with Two-Face, who falls in love with her. I actually didn't like the tie-ins as much as the main story, but they were relevant to the characters. When my sister came out of the closet last autumn, after leaving her husband of six years, I gave her a few lesbian-themed comic books: Fun Home, Are You My Mother? and Batwoman: Elegy. Earth 2's Green Lantern is gay, and he goes through losing his boyfriend in a train crash. Workplace discrimination of homosexuals has been done in The Shield and Playmakers, and Law and Order: Los Angeles had a lieutenant who was a lesbian. There's something more politically acceptable about lesbianism than male homosexuality in the comic book world, mostly because the readers are boys and men. I've never given a DC/Marvel/superhero comic *****, but that's simply what this deserves. I get frustrated about some of the comics of The New 52 because of the cross-overs, the incomplete books and getting the same issues in TPB after TPB, but I think I've lost that frustration because I'm taking time away from The New 52. That being said, I am invested in several of The New 52 series. Here's what I'll probably keep reading, in order of what I'm most interested in to what I'm least interested in:
    • Aquaman
    • Nightwing
    • Justice League
    • Suicide Squad
    • The Blue Beetle (cancelled, unfortunately, but I have another TPB to go)
    • Shazam!
    • Green Lantern
    • Earth 2
    • Batwoman
    • Batman, Inc (haven't started reading it yet)
    • Batman (haven't started reading it yet)
    • Batman and... (haven't started reading it yet)
    Looks like atwoman's giving twoface a handy.

  97. #97
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I've been slowly collecting the Y: The Last Man series, picking them up for $11 each on Amazon. Finally, I realized that I had eight of the 10 books, but I hadn't finished the first one; today I finished reading Y: The Last Man 1 - Unmanned. The story of the series is that every male mammal in the world suddenly dies except for a drifter/loser named Yorik and his pet Capuchin monkey, Ampersand. In Unmanned, Yorik and Ampersand get matched up with Agent 355 and go in search of... well, a lot of things.



    It's hard to really describe Y: The Last Man in a pair of paragraphs because so much is going on. It isn't littered with references to pop culture, but there are a few, and while the target audience for this series seems to be about 30 or 40, I've had a few younger people come up to me while I was buying it or reading it and tell me how much they like it. Unmanned is really good at tapping into the emotional center for the reader, and I keep hearing about what an emotional ride it is. ****1/2

  98. #98
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    I Killed Adolf Hitler by Jason is a Norwegian-French comic about time travel; I received it as a gift, and I didn't have high expectations for it. At 48 pages long, it's basically a double-length comic sold as a short TPB. Among the themes of I Killed Adolf Hitler are murder-for-hire, time travel, relationships and alternate reality.



    What makes I Killed Adolf Hitler so intriguing is that it doesn't go heavily into any of those themes; it just is what it is, and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. In fact, I ordered a used version of one of Jason's other short TPBs. Jason really has his own style, akin to Art Spiegelman's Maus. Recommended, ****.

  99. #99
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    The Golem's Mighty Swing received quite a bit of acclaim when it was first released by Drawn and Quarterly Publications in 2001. Time Magazine named it "2001 Best Graphic Novel." It's the story of a struggling minor-league baseball team called The Stars of David. They have a winning record on the field, but are in constant financial distress. The solution? Have the team's lone black player pose as a golem for just one game. This is the story of the team, that fateful game and the aftermath.



    This is a short TPB at 100 pages, but it tells a meticulously-crafted story with fine artwork. Racism in the 1920s was pretty real, and no doubt teams like The Stars of David pushed the boundaries of sports entertainment to make a little extra money. The characters are very believable, and their characterization is perhaps the high point of the graphic novel. ****3/4

  100. #100
    Ronald McDonald Fists of Palm's Avatar
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    Y: The Last Man 2 - Cycles is the second TPB in the Y: The Last Man series. It sees Yorik, Ampersand, Dr. Mann and Agent 355 traveling across country to California, stopping in Marrisville, Ohio, a town with a secret. They're being chased not only by the Amazons, a crazy Russian and the Israeli government, but by everyone who hasn't seen a man in months.



    Yorik is an intriguing protagonist, strictly monogamous in a world where everyone wants to sleep with him or kill him, and this is another rewarding installment of the series, featuring his sister, Hero, who is one of the Amazons intent on putting him to death. ****1/4.

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