Category: JC's Reviews
The Great Fables Crossover
J's Review: I love the Fables series by Bill Willingham, but I've never really read the spin off series Jack of Fables, and for no other reason than that I just never got around to it. Willingham has recently written a crossover event for the two series where Jack and the rest of the Fables meet up to confront a mutual enemy.
This one is another high quality story from Willingham, but unfortunately, I felt like I only really understood half of it. Without the background knowledge of the Jack of Fables series, I didn't understand half of what was going on. That said, things do happen in this book that will influence the future storyline of the Fables series, so it is worth a read.
Walking Dead, Volume 11
I just finished reading Walking Dead, Volume 11, and I really enjoyed it. Kirkman goes in new directions with some of his characters, exploring ideas of justice in a world that has gone crazy, and the darkness that inevitably starts to stain each of the survivors. I don't know how he managed it, but this volume seems darker than many of the previous ones, and the emotional impact of some of the events will linger long after you finish reading them.
If you haven’t read any Walking Dead, start with volume one. While I am normally not a fan of zombie movies, I am hooked on this series.
I just recently finished reading Sons of the Jungle by Chuck Dixon. The premise is a rewriting of the Superman and Tarzan mythologies by having a baby Superman crash in the wilds of Africa where he is raised by apes. Meanwhile, John Greystoke is born in Capetown after his parents are shown mercy by the mutineering crew of their ship. As they grow up, they both search for a place where they belong: Superman by looking for his lost civilization, and John by exploring the globe looking for a place that feels like home.
Overall, this was a fun, quick read. I would have liked to have seen it go a bit more in depth with the Tarzan story, and the ending was rushed. But I really liked the modern cartoon artwork, and the rendition of Lois Lane was great.
I just finished Unstoppable, the last book in Joss Whedon's X-Men series. I liked a few things about it - the artwork and Whedon's clever dialogue - but I found it hard to keep track of what was going on, and the entire storyline seemed a bit cumbersome. That said, it did have a really powerful ending that Buffy fans would call quite "Whedonesque." In other words, keep the Kleenex handy.
I've started reading The Ultimates by Mark Millar, and I think it is probably one of the most original revampings of a superhero story I've read in a long while. The story explains how the Avengers began (in the Ultimate Marvel Universe), and introduces Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Giant Man, The Wasp and Captain America. There is a lot of humor, but most of the storylines are quite dark, and volume one ends with quite a shock. So, if you haven't read The Ultimates, give it a shot - it will surprise you.
Set in Rome in the year 1475, Cantarella is a retelling of the historical Borgia family, a family famous for their political intrigues and for their use of a deadly poison called Cantarella. Cesare Borgia is born under a curse - his Cardinal father has sold his soul to the devil for a shot at one day becoming Pope. Unloved by his father, and despised by his brother, Cesare relies on his sister Lucrezia for support, and when she is taken from him, he falls prey to the dark forces surrounding him in a quest for power.
I really liked this manga. The combination of actual historical figures with magical elements was interesting, and the drawings captured the lush costumes and architecture of the time. If you like historical fiction about the Renaissance, try this one out.
I read No Future for You, the second volume of Buffy Season 8. I loved the Giles and Faith storyline, but only liked the Buffy storyline. That said, it was quite enjoyable overall, and there is a Christian Bale reference that made me laugh out loud. So, if you are a Buffy fan, or just like Christian Bale, you should read this one.
I finished reading the first volume of the Scott Pilgrim series called Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, and I loved it. The artwork is deceptively simple, and quite expressive, and the banter between characters is witty and entertaining. This is a great read if you like clever dialogue, relationship humor and a touch of the supernatural.
One More Day
A co-worker of mine let me borrow Spider-man: One More Day, so that I wouldn't have to wait for the library's copy. So, having finally finished, I am ready to write my review.
I'll be honest - I fully planned to hate it. If anyone out there doesn't know what happens, I won't spoil it for you, but a quick visit to Wikipedia will tell you all about it if you want. When the story first came out, the blogosphere erupted in calls to boycott Marvel, and it seemed like extreme displeasure was widespread.
Now that I've read it, I have to say that my reaction isn't quite as strong. Do I think the premise is fresh and exciting? No. Do I trust the reasoning behind it? No. Did I enjoy reading it? Actually, yes. I think J. Michael Straczynski deserves a lot of credit for taking an unappealing idea, and making it emotionally resonate with the reader.
Overall, I was really impressed.
X-Factor - My Reaction
I finished reading X-Factor: The Longest Night, and it has lived up to its dark reputation. The premise is that Multiple Man (Jamie Madrox) has set up a detective agency, and is living in a world where most mutants have been "cured." But at the heart of the story is character development, as Jamie discovers the unpredictableness of being able to separate out aspects of himself and release them on the world. What happens when the part of you that you don't trust escapes? Mix a noir mystery with clever and funny moments (like when we find out how Jamie payed for the detective agency), and end it with a bit of a cliff hanger, and you've got X-Factor: The Longest Night.
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