Comic Talk: Hawkeye My Life as a Weapon

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Title: Hawkeye My Life as a Weapon
Artists/Writers Matt Fraction, David Aja (Illustrations), Javier Pulido (Illustrations), Alan Davis (Illustrator)
Published: March 13, 2013
Publisher: Marvel

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064akasa_zpsdf6a064akasa_zpsdf6a064akasa_zpsdf6a064akasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
The breakout star of this summer’s blockbuster Avengers film, Clint Barton – aka the self-made hero Hawkeye – fights for justice! With ex-Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, he’s out to prove himself as one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! SHIELD recruits Clint to intercept a packet of incriminating evidence – before he becomes the most wanted man in the world. You won’t believe what is on The Tape! What is the Vagabond Code? Matt Fraction pens a Hawkeye thriller that spans the globe…and the darkest parts of Hawkeye’s mind. Barton and Bishop mean double the Hawkeye and double the trouble…and stealing from the rich never looked so good.

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I’ve come to accept that I’m a DC girl. I’ve tried to claim that I enjoy both for a little while now, but frankly I favor DC titles over Marvel. That’s okay though, because while I favor DC I still read Marvel and enjoy them. Fraction’s Hawkeye is literally gold. One of my friends had been telling me for months to pick up Fraction’s Hawkeye and I kept putting it off and finding other things to read. Another one of my friends picked it up when we were in the comic book shop, bought it, read it and then slipped it into the pile of trades we were swapping. I stared at it, glowered at it, picked it up and fell in love.

I get it now. My Life as a Weapon has some amazing art. The characters are well drawn, distinguishable and what I found really interesting is the tonal focus in each arc. The trade starts heavy with blues and purples then moves to sepia tones, then in the final arc it’s full of vibrant primary colors (red and yellow to be more specific) which really makes the story even more dynamic. The writing is brilliant. Clint says what everyone is thinking, drinks coffee directly from the carafe of the coffee pot, bemoans inanimate objects and what I like most of all, doesn’t take himself seriously. Kate Bishop is a thing of beauty and I love her and Clint’s interactions and relationship. Her character is written strong and stands on her own against adversaries and Clint’s presence in a scene. What I like even more is the respect that they have for each other.

My Life as a Weapon features three stories that wrap up within the volume, so there’s no cliff hanger. There is a short fourth story featuring Kate when she was with the Young Avengers and how she and Clint first met. This story also maintains the beautiful art and rich color saturation and great story telling as the other three main stories.

Overall pink4
Beautiful artwork, great story telling and amazing characters. I am looking forward to reading more of this series.

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This is exactly why you need to read this title if you haven’t already.

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Top Ten Tuesday! FREE FOR ALL!!

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It’s that time again, for the weekly top ten countdown. This week’s topic is a ‘freebie’ week, meaning we can talk about whatever we want to. And since I’ve got to the comic book side of things, I’m going to talk about my top ten comics/graphic novels that I’m loving right now. Most of these are DC verse with a couple others thrown in. As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Broke and Bookish

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clouds10  Batman: Battle for the Cowl Tony S. Daniel, Fabian Nicieza Who has earned the right? Who thinks they deserve it? Robin? Nightwing? Jason Todd? Two-Face? Catwoman? Batgirl? Who will ultimately win the BATTLE FOR THE COWL?

One of the few Pre-52 volumes that I own and love, Battle for The Cowl is explosive, entertaining and really lays down some great Bat mythos and dynamics.

clouds09 23017989 Hawkeye Vs. Deadpool Gerry Duggan Matteo Lolli Once upon a time, champions emerged to fight the evil plaguing humanity. They fought for all that was good in the world. They were kind, generous and self-sacrificing. They were heroes. These are not those heroes.

I love this comic, and I’ve got a review of it coming soon. Working on a few things, but this is hysterically funny and it’s not really a VS in the true meaning of the word, but more of a team up.

clouds08 17737072 Nightwing: Death of the Family Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows, Andres Guinaldo, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo Joker makes his horrifying return to Gotham City! But even for man who’s committed a lifetime of murder, he’s more dangerous than ever before. The Joker sets his twisted sights on the members of the Bat-Family and attacks them all where it hurts—and for Dick Grayson, that means going after the family he’s built up for the past year at Haly’s Circus!

I’ve got a whole review of the Nightwing graphic novels coming up, so I’m not going to get too much into my feelings about Nightwing here. I do however really love the Death of the Family arc and the Nightwing volume was my second favorite when it comes down to it. Beautiful art, great story line and it really helps define a the Dick Grayson/Nightwing character.

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Comic Talk: Morning Glories

Title Morning Glories Vol 1: For a Better Future.

Publisher: Image comics

Writer/Artist: Spencer, Eisma, Esquejo

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064akasa_zpsdf6a064akasa_zpsdf6a064akasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis: One of the most prestigious prep schools in the country…But behind it’s hallowed doors something sinister and deadly lurks. When six brilliant but troubled new students arrive, they find themselves trapped and desperately seeking answers..and escape from a place where nothing is what it seems to be.

picadillypink This was a little bit of a different read for me. I’m drawn toward stories like this, but usually in standard novels, not so much the comic book/graphic novel world (though most of my manga run along this type of story as well). I really like this volume, and I’m going to read more of this series, I had just gotten distracted by some of the DC story lines. Now that I’m pretty much caught up with the ones that I’m seriously following, I’m going to go back to looking at a few Marvel lines, and some Image.

Morning Glories is a pretty wild ride. The story in this first volume is a little jumpy, often back tracking on itself and twisting into various little side teasers of things to come. The main arc is pretty dense and convoluted–the kids show up at a boarding school, all for different reasons, all having some seriously weird tendencies and all having the same birthday. When they contact their parents, its as though they were never born–one character’s parents end up dying. There’s a lot of layers stuffed into this one volume, and it took me a little while to get into the groove.

What saved this comic for me though, and what made me give it a five star rating is the cast. The characters are well thought out, well drawn and distinguishable from one another, despite being a large ‘main’ cast. Each character has a brilliant flaw, a little (or a lot) messed up, and they’re compelling with really clear motives. We don’t get the full reason why each one is there, but hinted back story of a few of the characters, I’m thinking of two in particular, are freaking awesome. They’re edgy without throwing it in the reader’s face. I LOVE the female characters, they’re intelligent and strong, and often take the lead in group situations. The art is phenomenal inside the volume, I’m not particularly fond of the trade cover.

Overall: pink4 This is not your typical “bad guys v. Good guys’ comic book where the hero swoops in and saves the day. Right now? There’s no hero, just a bunch of flawed teenagers stuck in a really messed up place. I’ve seen a lot of comparisons to Lost (which I didn’t read) but that should give you an idea as to how layered/convoluted this is. Pick it up and read it with an open mind, and resist the urge to spoil yourself. Just read and and go with it.

Comic Talk: Superman Wonder Woman (New 52)

Writer/Artists: Charles Soule, Tony S Daniel

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis: The Man of Steel and the Warrior Princess. An alien and a goddess. They come from two different worlds. But together, Superman and Wonder Woman have teamed up THIS world from all who would harm it.

And they’ve fallen in love doing it.

SO far, they’ve kept their relationship a secret, worried that the world isn’t ready to find out that its two most powerful super heroes are more than just teammates. But secrets have a way of escaping. And the very different worlds that the world’s greatest couple have inhabited are about to collide.

Wonder Woman’s actions on Earth have angered the gods of Olympus, and Superman makes for the perfect target for their revenge. And Superman is not the only being to survive the destruction of his home planet Krypton–the Phantom Zone prison houses an entire dimension full of criminals, killers and worse, yearning to break free.

Gods and monsters alike threaten not just Superman and Wonder Woman, but everyone and everything they care about. Will their love spell doomsday for planet Earth?

picadillypink I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS. I could not put it down, and I’ve got it on order from my local comic shop (I picked this up initially from the library) and the monthlys are on my pull list, because I don’t want to wait for the trades to come out. Their relationship built on respect and mutual respect/affection. The characters of Wonder Woman and Superman for me have always made sense together and I like the draw between them in this series–despite it being set up rather quickly. They gravitate toward each other and round each other out really well. Superman is a little brash/younger in this relaunch and Wonder Woman balances him out. I love that while their chemistry is off the charts–they do argue, and it’s done really well. So much so that Batman (who may or may not steal the comic, but we all know I’m a Batman fanatic) comes in and lays down some hard logic, and is the voice of reason.

Like all good secret relationships, the cover is blown, in a rather cliched way but it doesn’t bother me as much as it normally would. Their response to it is flawless, both Supes and Wonder Woman taking it in stride. Batman on the other hand has a temper tantrum and blows up a monitor broadcasting the ‘reveal’ again and again. As much as I like the relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman, I really like how they both look to Batman as a friend, and for guidance. The power play between the three icons is something that fascinates me and it’s really nice to see them in a positive light here and working together.

There is outside conflict with Zod showing up, and Doomsday making his presence known. But beside this, this trade really is all about the relationship between the two powerhouse superheroes. They struggle to find time to themselves, and for each other. I really loved this.

Overall: pink4 I cannot get enough of this series. The art is BEAUTIFUL, the story really interesting and engaging. I’m curious to see where it goes.

Book Review: Displaced Persons by Derek McCulloch


Title: Displaced Persons
Author: Derek McCulloch
Published: February 15, 2009
Publisher: Image Comics

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
From the Eisner-nominated creators behind Tori Amos’ Comic Book Tattoo comes Displaced Persons, the story of a uniquely twisted and tragic family history spanning the most turbulent hundred years in the history of mankind – the twentieth century saw 99 wars, 19 pandemics, 14 genocides, and one family lost hopelessly in time!

Courtesy of banners04

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I wanted to like this, with splashy art and an interesting story line. I couldn’t get past the bad narrative, slurs and random inconsistencies. I figured there would be a bit of offensive tone to this story considering the blurb, but it’s tasteless and really not something anyone should read. I can’t recommend this at all. Frankly I’m disappointed that I finished it.

Book Review: Kamen Volume 1 by Gunya Mihara


Title: Kamen Volume 1
Author/Artist: Gunya Mihara
Published: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Gen Manga

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
In a world of fantasy and might, a lone warrior emerges. Kamen, a mysterious masked man appears among prisoners of war in ancient Japan and becomes a legendary warrior and defender of the innocent while his enemies rush to uncover his secrets.

Courtesy of banners04

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I loved this, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on volume 2. Set in Feudal Japan, Kamen puts everything upside down and upended, in a wild romp. The art is beautiful and vibrant, the characters well written and fully developed. There’s mystery and a lot of chances for plot development and even more character development arcs.

Kamen is a great shonen manga, which on the surface seems similar to other titles out there, but there’s enough complexity that keeps it from falling into the usual boring trap. It’s got great pacing and great action. I need another volume of this, and I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for it.

Overall: pink4

Book Review: Wasted Lands by Dave Dorman


Title: Wasted Lands
Author/Artist: Dave Dorman
Published: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Magnetic Press.

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
‘Wasted Lands’ is inspired by the high-adventure serials of the ’40s and ’50s and the Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960s, but infused with a contemporary sci-fi, diesel-punk aesthetic.

Courtesy of: banners04

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I wanted to love this, I really did. I like science fiction, steampunk is becoming something that I’m really drawn to, and diesel-punk is a great offshoot of steampunk. However, that’s not the case here. The art is the only thing that I enjoyed. It varied from story to story, but there’s a commonality that didn’t cause any disconnect or confusion.

The stories themselves were the aspect that I couldn’t connect to. The art, frankly is the only reason I read this, making the omnibus a disappointment. I now know that I’m not fond of the spaghetti western genre. I’m not even certain that I’m going to seek out other titles by this author.

Overall: pink2Not my style of storytelling, though the art is beautiful and unique.