Friday, April 29, 2016

Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comics Series by Mark Verheiden

Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comics Series by Mark Verheiden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 184 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Dark Horse Books
Orig. 1988
Source: egalley via Dark Horse

Absolutely outstanding! Originally written after the release of the movie Aliens this series continues the plot taking place some years after the movie's end concentrating on the characters Newt, Hicks and Bishop. This was considered part of Alien canon until the release of Alien 3, this now being the first time this original series has been reprinted. It's a fascinating story and an interesting look back now as an alternate history in the Alien saga. The black and white artwork is gorgeous and as described, in both the introduction and afterword, is done in a technique no longer used since the advent of digital illustration. Such exceptionally gorgeous art that made me enjoy looking at the book as much as reading it. A must have for Alien fandom. Contains issues #1-6 plus Dark Horse Presents #24.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fairy Girls, Vol. 2 by Boku

Fairy Girls, Vol. 2 by Boku
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Review copy from Penguin Random House Canada

Fairy Girls (Vol. 2)

A lot of fun! This picks up where book two finishes and personally I'm much more comfortable with the world as I've now read Vol. 1-10 of the main series. I now have met Juvia in the main series so know who all four of the main characters are and the whole Fairy Tail gang makes cameos all over the place for lots of fanservice. The book starts off quick with the girls taking on a job vacation they thwart and is over too soon. Lots of fun! Then the rest of the book turns quite dark as Wendy is stalked and kidnapped along with the other girls, accidentally, by a black guild who wants nothing but to replicate the power of the dragon slayers to sell to the other dark guilds and become rich. Some lessons learnt here by a new character about the means not justifying the ends. Then the book ends with a silly bit of girly fun.! Loving this series with its focus on the girls in the lead but they never forget about their favourite guys and it's all a total Fairy Tail Fun Fest with some good side quests for the girls to solve without Natsu or Gray trying to steal the show. LOL

Fairy Tail Master's Edition, Vol. 2 by Hiro Mashima

Fairy Tail Master's Edition, Vol. 2 by Hiro Mashima
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 976 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Review copy from Penguin Random House Canada

Fairy Tail (Vol. 6-10)

This is just one of the best fantasy series out there and the omnibus editions are gorgeous and huge! I love the magazine size presentation which though making them hefty tomes also makes them a pure delight to read. Volume 2 Master's Edition contains Vol. 6 to 10 of the original series and covers a lot of story. I won't go into much detail so as not to spoil the plot but after finishing off the storyline from where things were left in vol. 5 a new story arc is started and completed within this edition involving an all out war between the Fairy Tail Guild and the Phantom Lord Guild. Natso finally meets another dragon slayer and three characters get storylines of their own giving us backgrounds on them and lots of character development: Lucy, Loki and Erza. Tons of battle action, some pretty dark storylines and of course plenty of humour and silliness. This is a very full book and even though you are binge reading 5 volumes in a row it took me several days to read the whole thing since there was so much coming at me; I needed to savour it all and not just gobble it up. So excited waiting for the next volume.

Your Lie In April 7 by Naoshi Arakawa

Your Lie In April 7 by Naoshi Arakawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Review copy from Penguin Random House Canada

Your Lie In April (7)

Oh my! Bittersweet and tear-jerking! This volume had me near tears. The overall theme throughout is loss. Kosei finally says goodbye to his mother through his music. This is an intense emotional part. Then the plot concentrates on his relationship with Kaori which is very sad but has lots of humour with them bickering all the time and uses lots of chibi. Then my favourite and most moving part has Tsubaki struggle with her feelings for Kosei. What an emotional ending that tugs at your heart-strings!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Nichijou: My Ordinary Life, Vol. 1 by Keiichi Arawi

Nichijou: My Ordinary Life, Vol. 1 by Keiichi Arawi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Published March 29th 2016 by Vertical Comics

Nichijou: My Ordinary Life (Vol. 1)

I can't express how smitten I am with this. Extremely quirky with dry humour and subtle wit while the outrageous is happening. Not what I had expected from Japanese humour, at all. It's a slice of life high school story where most, though not all, of the characters, are girls. Not so much of a plot other than recurring day to day school issues. This is off-beat, strange humour and just the thing that tickles my funny bone. I adored it! The best part was when the principal goes at it with a deer in the school yard. One girl is a robot made by another girl who is a bit of a mad scientist. Another girl is quite normal but when she gets angry she takes out imaginary guns and shoots people in the head. There is a boy who is the eldest son of his family "The House of Something" and he dresses like an Edwardian man, comes to school with a manservant, riding upon a goat, but is really only the son of a farmer. There is a smart, book-reading girl who doesn't see the point of games and how she takes the fun out of it for everyone when forced to play makes me love her, as I feel the same way. LOL. Looking forward to reading the next volume.

Danganronpa: The Animation, Volume 1 by Spike Chunsoft

Danganronpa: The Animation, Volume 1 by Spike Chunsoft
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Dark Horse Manga
Source: egalley via edelweiss AND purchased print copy amazon.ca

Danganronpa: The Animation (Vol 1)

I had never heard of this before but was very excited to read it after seeing it. Monokuma, an evil robot teddy bear principal is probably the "Ultimate Weirdest Villain" ever! LOL. The plot of being locked up and each one gets killed has been done before (and I love these types of stories!), however, Danganronpa brings a crazy psycho, a bunch of kids who must kill each other, and a court case trial together after each death. The deaths are weird; as are the motley collection of students. The book concentrates a lot on character and obviously we're going to get to know those who stick around a lot better than the ones who die early, but also the court cases bring out character issues. I need to keep reading this series. So far, I'm hooked!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Batman: Europa by Brian Azzarello

Batman: Europa by Brian Azzarello; illus by various
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 144 pages
Published April 13th 2016 by DC Comics
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Batman & Family

This is a dark and broody Batman story, my favourite kind. It's not set in the current timeline but rather back in a time when Batman was simply the Dark Knight and Joker was his raison d'ĂȘtre. They have both been infected with a virus that will kill them in one week. They must team-up to track down the cure and who poisoned them by travelling across Europe. Dark storyline and former communist and war torn countries are atmospheric, the art follows the pair's descent into madness by becoming more unstable as the book progresses. One section makes you feel like you need those old blue/red 3D glasses. The book examine's The Bat's need for Joker as an enemy by putting them together as a functioning team. Interesting take and a fun story of the broody variety!