Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dragon Ball (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 13, 14 & 15 by Akira Toriyama

Dragon Ball (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 5: Includes vols. 13, 14 & 15 by Akira Toriyama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dragon Ball (Vol. 13, 14, 15)

Vol. 13: Piccolo Conquers the World - Whoa! Things are pretty serious now as we come to the final volumes of the original series. Not a lot of humour now as it's become quite dark and tense as the demon Piccolo takes control. More of our heroes die and all the tough guys try their hand against Piccolo. Both he and Goku have increased their strength and the volume ends with a major, major battle between the two. Good stuff! (5/5)

Vol. 14: Heaven and Earth - Beginning exactly where we left off the battle between Piccolo and Goku continues and takes up a large part of this volume. Goku is so strong he hardly takes any hits at all until finally Piccolo lets loose with everything he's got. After the battle, ends are tied up and this current arc comes to a close. Goku is sent to Heaven for more training and 3 years go by until everyone meets up again at the "Strongest Under the Heavens" contest again. This goes quickly and the volume ends with the final rounds about to start. Very fast-paced page-turning read. (5/5)

Vol. 15: The Titanic Tournament - The penultimate volume! Complete and utter battles as the finals of the contest get underway. Everyone has special attacks and some have secret identities. Fantastic pairing off for the duels and I love when our friends have to battle each other so it ends up with us really not knowing who is going to win the round. Quite a bit of excitement mounts as the last battle with the Demon Son is abruptly stopped mid-battle as the Volume ends. Looking forward to the last volume! (5/5)

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3 Titles in the BATMAN STRIKES! Series by Bill Matheny

In the Clutches of the Penguin! by Bill Matheny
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Batman : Batman Strikes: #1


Here's a Batman comic for young fans. This is based on the WB cartoon series and aimed at youngsters. From a grown-up point of view this is the least "Batman" like series I've read but in an age where comics are no longer for kids, this fits the bill nicely. Batman seems to be in his mid-twenties (it's been 20 years since his parents died) and he is a younger, hipper guy than the dark broody vigilante we are used to. Penguin is the villain here and he's drawn nothing like we are used to seeing him; I kind of liked it but over all the art is very stylized and cartoonish, not what one usually expects for Batman. The story was simple but fun and introduced a new character in this TV universe, GCPD Detective Ellen Yin. Good for the kiddies who want some Batman they can read. This is a reinforced library edition of the first issue of 50 comics. The first 21 are available in digital format.

*****


Joker's Wild! by Bill Matheny
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Batman : Batman Strikes! #3

This one didn't do anything for me. Yes, it is aimed at the little kids but that doesn't mean it has to be dull. You have your basic Joker steals from Batman (oh no, his mother's necklace was taken), then the Bat tracks him down and they have a bit of a fight and you-know-who wins. Not feeling any Bat love for this one It is, however, perfectly suitable for the little ones, 10 and younger, as long as cartoon punching and fisticuffs doesn't bother you. This is a reinforced library edition of the 3rd issue of 50 comics. The first 21 are available in digital format.




*****


Bane on the Rampage! by Bill Matheny
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Batman : Batman Strikes! #4

The only thing that saves this from two stars is that Bane is a pretty cool bad guy we don't get to see all that often. Bane breaks out and goes straight for Batman. The rest of the issue they battle it out with each other until, well, the same guy always wins at the end of these comics. Every book is a happy ending for the Bat. Not much here for adults. Little ones looking for a fun Batman they can read have found their match with The Batman Strikes! This is a reinforced library edition of the 4th issue of 50 comics. The first 21 are available in digital format.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Toto Trouble #1: Back to Crass by Thierry Copee

Toto Trouble #1: Back to Crass by Thierry Copee
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I didn't finish this, reading 40 of 66 pages, but it's just the same thing over and over so I've read enough to comment on it. This is a strange selection for Papercutz. This has no plot but is a collection of one page comic "jokes" but I'm not really sure the intended original French audience would have been children. It's about a little boy and his school life and at home but he's quite snarky and a lot of the jokes could be considered off colour. There are several "dead" jokes: a dead dad, some dead pets, a dead teacher, one I read was suggestive, others are just a tad on the black humour side and could be offensive to a wide variety of audiences. Personally, as an adult, I wasn't offended, though I don't find dead pet jokes in good taste, but I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with my little kid or a sensitive child reading these. I thought they were all mostly worth a snicker but they did get tedious one after another. If it was a daily newspaper comic, I'd probably read it. I like the art though; it's very Calvin and Hobbes-ish.

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Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns

Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ick. I very much disliked this. Usually I love everything by Geoff Johns. I don't even get the point. I'm confused. Published in 2012, which is after the New 52 started, this is *another* re-imagining of the origins of Batman?! It is a stupid story; I hated all the characters especially Alfred and Harvey Bullock. The only thing good I can say about it is that the serial killer was pretty nifty.

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi

Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed Bertozzi's book on Lewis & Clark so was greatly looking forward to this one. I'm a great reader of polar exploration and very familiar with this tale. I enjoy graphic biographies a great deal, not because I expect them to necessarily bring anything new to the table (this didn't) but because I enjoy experiencing the story in various formats: biography, memoirs, film, and graphic novel just adds another dimension. but frankly, I simply found this effort dull and since everyone was all bundled up it was hard to tell the characters apart except Shackleton who wore a distinctive hat much (but not all) of the time.

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Arkham Asylum: Living Hell by Dan Slott

Arkham Asylum: Living Hell by Dan Slott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Batman Universe

There is always time for a Batman villain showcase and "Living Hell" was literally a riot. I had such a great time with this gallery of "bad guys" that I couldn't put it down. The story isn't exactly heavy duty and there are a few arcs running through at the same time but it's all in the name of a grand romp and pretty crazy creepy at the same time. Most of the famous villains make little cameo appearances but the focus is more on not-so-well known villains or ones created just for this volume. I really liked these lesser known dudes such as Jason Blood and the demon Etrigan (why are they not in Justice League Dark?), Humpty Dumpty (his whole back story is told) and the Great White Shark (this book's main arc is Warren White's tale of how he became the villain). Batman shows up a couple of times and Batgirl a little bit more often, with Harvey Bullock getting some good page time as well. There are more powerful, deep reads out there but this is just some plain villainary (so not a word!) fun. I really liked it. The art is good too, though it's old style and been a while since I've read anything with that newsprint-ish look but it brings back the good old days after awhile. Fun!

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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1: Rita Repulsa's Attitude Adjustment by Stefan Petrucha

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1: Rita Repulsa's Attitude Adjustment by Stefan Petrucha
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am so excited Papercutz is doing the original Power Rangers! This book was so much fun and I can't wait to read more! The art is great; everybody looks just like they should and the colour is really vibrant, especially when it gets to morphin' time. The story isn't exactly riveting but it's a fun story and leaves you waiting just the right amount of time for Rita to make her first appearance. This is just the basic cast here too, without Tommy, so plenty of room for the excitement of the whole story to be told and all the favourite villains to make appearances. What I especially loved is the photographic section of the real actors introducing each ranger and the back essay on the history of the Rangers. Good start!

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