Monday, April 11, 2016

Mini Reviews: Comics I've Read Recently- Winter 2016

Well, I see to be a little behind in my monthly reading and after a busy weekend, I haven't been able to catch up. So I don't have a review ready for today. But what I have been reading a lot recently is comics and graphic novels. I'm still pretty new to comics and some of the bigger titles intimidates me . However I thought I would share a few I have read recently and enjoyed.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples 
Vol. 1
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

Collects Saga issues #1-6

My Thoughts:
I am woefully behind on this series desppite the fact that it has been on my list even before I started reading comics. It's up to Volume 9 now and I've only read the first volume. I need to catch up and read the rest of them because this series is so good. The art's really good and it's very readable. Like a lot of comics it has a cinematic feel. It's reads a lot like an action movie with explosions, shoot out, and lots of gore.

But to be entirely honest, this is a very weird comic. The plot is pretty high concept Science Fiction. I mean there are characters who have TV's for their heads and a  tentacled multiple-eyed bounty hunter. But when I got used to it, I really enjoyed that aspect of it. It's unique and engaging and I would definitely recommend it, especially if you are not a huge fan of comics but you like science fiction. But this one is more on the adult side of things. I wouldn't say that if you're not into sex and violence you should avoid this but be warned that there's a lot of that here.

Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschel
Vol. 2: Calamity 

Synopsis: Gotham Academy is haunted!

At the beginning of the term, Olive Silverlock returned to Gotham Academy a shadow of her former self. But thanks to her new friendships and their Detective Club sleuthing, Olive was finally starting to feel whole again.

Then, abruptly, Olive’s mother died—or, she seemed to. In the weeks after the funeral, Olive begins seeing her mother around the school. An Arkham Asylum patient with a deadly dark side, Sybil Silverlock was a powerful and complicated woman. Could her spirit be reaching out from beyond the grave? And if so, is it motherly Sybil who haunts Olive—or her deadly alter ego Calamity?

Plus, the kids hunt a werewolf on campus and Maps teams up with the Academy’s newest transfer, Damian Wayne!

Writers Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher team with artists Karl Kerschl and Mingjue Helen Chen for GOTHAM ACADEMY VOL. 2: CALAMITY. Collects GOTHAM ACADEMY #7-12 and DC SNEAK PEEK: GOTHAM ACADEMY #1.

*** I received an advance copy of this comic from the publisher via Netgalley. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

My Thoughts:
The last time I talked about comics here I talked about Gotham Academy. I read volume 1 last and really liked it so I was so excited to continue with the series. I'm definitely a fan of these characters and my favorite, Maps, got to take a more central role here which was great. But that being said, I did want more with the characters. The first volume I think was more character heavy and while we did get to dive into Olive's psyche a little and spend some time with Maps, I still wanted more. And the art is absolutely gorgeous and is so intricately drawn. It has a real fluid movement to it and that unique flow makes it really fun to read and look at.

 It has the same dark tone as Batman and while characters from his series make a cameo (like Batgirl!), it's really its own unique story. It feels like some of the YA mysteries that I enjoy with tons of suspense and intrigue. I love that it ties in really well with the DC Universe but you don't need to know a lot to follow the story. This is definitely a comic I would recommend to someone who is new to comics but likes Batman.

We Are Robin by Lee Bermejo, Jorge Corona, and Khary Randolph
Vol. 1: The Vigilante Business
(Amazon /Goodreads)

Synopsis: A modern spin on the original teen superhero!

In a Gotham City ravaged by the Joker, Batman alone is not enough to keep the peace—and just one Robin isn’t nearly enough to back him up. Now, teenagers who want to make a difference are coming together in droves and adopting the “R.” They’re not a gang. They’re not sidekicks.

They are Robin.

When Duke Thomas is recruited by the mysterious Nest to join teens from all different backgrounds and walks of life in the Robins, he hopes that they can help him find his missing parents. Instead, they find something much more nefarious—an underground conspiracy that threatens to bring down Gotham.

Now it’s up to these untrained teen vigilantes to save the city from a mysterious evil force. But being Robin is dangerous. Robins die. Will these new heroes face the same fate?


*** I received an advance copy of this comic from the publisher via Netgalley. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

My Thoughts:
I actually picked up We Are Robin because of something that happened in Gotham Academy, I though it might tie in. It doesn't. But I am extremely glad that I did pick this up. It's similar to Gotham Academy in that it ties in to the larger DC Universe but it can be read without much knowledge of it's minutia.

And while it pulled from Batman, it also felt like a really unique and interesting story. And the synopsis is totally accurate. It's a really modern story. Batman usually has a very timeless almost futuristic feel but here it felt very of the time in both the issues it was dealing with and the characters. And I really liked the characters. We only got the barest introduction to most of them but they all have really interesting backstories that I'm excited to explore as the series develops. It was definitely a fun and unique new comic that I would recommend to DC fans.

Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, and Matthew Wilson
Volume 1
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: From Brian K. Vaughan, #1 New York Times bestselling writer of SAGA, and Cliff Chiang, legendary artist of WONDER WOMAN, comes the first volume of an all-new ongoing adventure.

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

Collecting Issues #1-5

*** I received an advance copy of this comic from the publisher via Netgalley. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

My Thoughts:
And finally, my favorite in the bunch. For one thing it's got amazing art. It has that 80's feel with the bright technicolor which is cool but it's also one of those comics where there is a lot to look at in each panel but it's not overwhelming. It also had really great characters that are fantastic, strong female characters subverting gender norms while they do their thing.

But my favorite part was the plot. Paper Girls is exactly what you expect it to be and nothing like what you expect it to be at the same time. It's very Ready Player One in that it is full of 80's nostalgia and is still very much a science fiction story that you would expect from Brian K. Vaughn. On the whole the plot development is just brilliant. It starts off as a very different story as the girls are delivering papers and then shit hits the fan and it really builds to a conclusion and cliffhanger that had me desperately needing the next book, something comics rarely do to me.

I would without a doubt recommend Paper Girls to everyone. Whether you're a big fan of comics or you just want to try something different. It's a great story and beautifully drawn and I think everyone will get something out of it.

And those are all the comics I have read in the past few months. Have you read any of these comics? What did you think? Do you have any comics or graphic novels that you would recommend to me? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

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