Friday, July 3, 2015

Animal Man (New 52) Vol. 1: The Hunt by Jeff Lemire

Animal Man (New 52) Vol. 1: The Hunt by Jeff Lemire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 144 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by DC Comics

New 52
Animal Man: The New 52 (Vol. 1)

I am a complete noob when it comes to Animal Man, never having come across him or knowing anything about him. This is my first introduction to him and this book seems to be taking place parallel to Swamp Thing Vol. 1 which I just reviewed the other day. Holland doesn't appear in this but he is mentioned and an imminent meeting between the two is mentioned. This volume jumps in with where Buddy Baker is with his life now so it took me some time to get the lay of what was going on with him and his family. The plot concerns The Red being invaded by The Rot, having already read Swamp Thing I understood the plot but here in Animal Man the whole premise of The Red, The Rot, and ever so slightly, The Green, is explained in full detail. These two books definitely need to be read together to get the whole story. One without the other is only half a tale. I like Buddy, but his wife is completely annoying. The art is totally whacked out. It's pretty gross with everyone's guts on the outside and veins and bloodstreams and things representative of life chains roaming around, nothing is perfectly clear, but it suits the theme of the book and pairs well with the psychedelic "green" life art in Swamp Thing. I'm certainly continuing with both these series which are totally unrelated to the DC Universe at this point but pretty cool horror-type stories.

Noragami: Stray God 5 by Adachitoka

Noragami: Stray God 5 by Adachitoka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Published June 23rd 2015 by Kodansha Comics
first published in Japan, 2012

Noragami: Stray God (Vol. 5)

This manga continues to deliver! The evil behind Bishamon is at work and the ultimate showdown between her and Yato draws near. We learn the story behind the hatred she has for him and where loyalties lie. Great plotting and exciting coming this far in the story but 'waaaaa' the ending! OMG, so totally devastating if what appears to happen really happens. Waaaaa! Need. next. volume!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Flash (New 52) Vol. 3: Gorilla Warfare by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato

The Flash (New 52) Vol. 3: Gorilla Warfare by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by DC Comics
first published November 1st 2012

Flash: Vol. 3
New 52

I'd just finished writing a review for Vol. 6 when I noticed that somehow I'd managed to skip over reading Vol. 3! So I went hunting the shelves and pulled it out. A bit weird going back to all the gorilla stuff now but a fun volume. Ties up all the gorilla storyline with a big showdown involving Grodd and the Rogues team-up with Flash in saving the world. There are some teasers for the next volume, Reverse Flash (which I've read) as well.

Ratman Volume 1 & 2 by Sekihiko Inui

Ratman Volume 1 by Sekihiko Inui
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published March 24th 2015 by VIZ Media: VIZ Select
first published 2007

Ratman (#1)

A superhero story! Plenty of humour in this world that comes across as a pastiche of the American superhero. It's a corporate world protected by corporate-owned superheroes and 15yo Shuto wants to be a hero more than anything else. Only problem is he's short, not even 5 ft tall, and shrimpy. It took me about half the book to get into as I couldn't get comfortable with who the intended audience was supposed to be: it was funny and even cute at points feeling like a kid's book but in no certain terms was it as the language was highly mature teenager-speak and while there is no sex, it is sexualized and up-skirt shots are common. At the half-way point, the plot actually set in and kind of grabbed me. I don't like the main character at this point, but the minions (called Jacky) are awesome). There is a theme running behind the scenes attempting to ask the question "just what is a hero really" which I hope becomes a bigger part of the plot. Will certainly move on to volume two hoping for more development.



Ratman, Volume 2 by Sekihiko Inui
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published April 2015 by VIZ Media: VIZ Select
first published 2008

Ratman (#2)

This volume is pure action with Ratman getting involved in everything whether he's been sent out on a villain's mission or he takes on a hero's mission of his own volition. Lots of fun! I found it a speedy read. And I love the minions called Jacky!!I did find Ratman's ideological speeches rather annoying as if violins would start playing at any time, and more suited to an elementary situation, not this one with its frequent use of mature language. I'll probably read on at some point but just not now.

Swamp Thing (New 52) Vol. 1: Raise Them Bones by Scott Snyder

Swamp Thing (New 52) Vol. 1: Raise Them Bones by Scott Snyder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 168 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by DC Comics

New 52

This is the very first time I've ever read Swamp Thing; I know his basic story though from somewhere (perhaps there was a cartoon in the old days?) Anyway, really glad Scott Snyder was at the reigns as he's one of the best writers and did a good job with a very strange and yet typical story of someone (well two someones) being called to be the saviour of a kingdom. Here we have The Green vs The Rot which I found similar to the good vs evil in King's Stand and thus the Biblical good/evil. This is a set-up story re-imagining Dr. Holland's story of how he became The Swamp Thing and both his and the current plot's background story. Although Superman shows up on the first pages looking for Holland there is no tie-in with the rest of the DC world. I could get into this; it's pretty dark and violent and very different from everything else I've read in The New 52 to date.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Flash (New 52), Vol. 6: Out of Time by Robert Venditti


The Flash, Vol. 6: Out of Time by Robert Venditti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 208 pages
Published June 23rd 2015 by DC Comics

New 52
The Flash

Another new writer and illustrator bring Flash into a new story arc, one that sees him traveling the speed force. A lot of things are happening plotwise which gets a bit confusing especially when we add in time travel. The book starts five years in the future, zips back to the present and continues in that manner, at one point reaching as far as twenty years in the future. Some old characters briefly return (Gorilla Grodd) and some characters we haven't seen in this series make an entry (Wally West) bringing an exciting Flash read but the story was a bit all over the place for me to actually firmly hang my hat on. We'll see where it goes from here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Flash (New 52), Vol. 5: History Lessons by Brian Buccellato

The Flash, Vol. 5: History Lessons by Brian Buccellato
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 144 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by DC Comics

The New 52
The Flash

Very good! Starts off with two one-offs establishing Buccellato as the new writer with different illustrators. The Green Lantern one was good while the other was only okay. Then the book finishes up with the main entry, the titular story commencing Zircher on art. A great mix of noir detective and paranormal as a ghost from the diamond mining 1800s returns, crosses paths with a modern day serial killer and Flash finds clues to his mother's death as help comes along from, one of my favourite DC characters, Deadman. Fun book, that turns the tide for Flash from the previous volumes in the New 52.