Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bigfoot Boy: The Sound of Thunder by J. Torres

The Sound of Thunder by J. Torres & Faith Erin Hicks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bigfoot Boy (3)

And so concludes the Bigfoot Boy trilogy; a fun romp for the elementary grades. This book picks up the story from the previous books and assumes the reader knows what is going on as it jumps right into the dilemma with our characters, along with the creatures of the forest, as they set out to save the woods. I automatically read anything Hicks draws and this entry in the series is just as exceptionally drawn as I've come to expect from her. Her characters have that distinct style that is recognizably Hick's own and the Bigfoot Boy series gave her a chance to branch out into drawing animals and nature which I've really enjoyed her approach to as well. This story jumps right into the action and never stops until the satisfying ending. A fun ending to a fun series for the 8-12 age group

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Outlaws of the Marsh Volume 1: Spirits and Bandits by Wei Dong Chen

Outlaws of the Marsh Volume 1: Spirits and Bandits by Wei Dong Chen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Outlaws of the Marsh (1)

The first of a twenty volume series retelling a medieval Chinese legend. Set during the Song dynasty demons and fiends have been set free upon the world allowing chaos and lawlessness to run rampant. In this volume we are introduced to two outlaws, one who fights with honour and one without. Jin Shi is a young man who trains to become one of the greatest martial artist while Major Da Lu starts with good intentions but his drunkenness and temper bring him quickly to murder and mayhem. This is an exciting fast-paced story which I really enjoyed. It has the same format as "Three Kingdoms" starting each chapter with a map showing what area the story takes place and a summary of events to come. "Outlaws" is a different kind of story though, than the historical "Three Kingdoms", it's humorous and over-the-top in a tall-tale kind of way. This is a fun story and has that fairy tale/legend feel to it though it is very violent. The art is stylistic and very Chinese, not what we are used to seeing in Western comics of today or even manga; it is more similar to perhaps eighties cartoons. I really enjoyed this, probably better than "Three Kingdoms" and I am a great fan of Chinese tales.

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Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't have a lot to say about this. It's for a younger audience than Telgemeier's previous two books and not anywhere near as good. An enjoyable but mediocre story of the dynamics between typical sisters. This is again biographical like the author's first book, Smile, and takes place concurrent with it as well. The girls learn a few things about their family and themselves but the only real plot of mention is that of a pet snake that escapes. Not bad, but only fair to middling compared to the author's previous work.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Kings Watch Volume 1 by Jeff Parker

Kings Watch Volume 1 by Jeff Parker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dynamite's Masked Men: Flash Gordon

Another great title from Dynamite! This is a vehicle for Flash Gordon and an origins novel for him and The Phantom. Phantom has a history with Mandrake but they meet up with Flash and Zarkov who are just getting started out on their space exploration but their first foray has mixed up the plans of The Cobra who just happens to be working for Ming. Along with Dale and Lothar this group travels to Africa to foil Ming's merciless plot to take over the Earth. This is my first time reading Flash Gordon, though I'm a big fran from the serials of the '30s and the cult '80s movie. Even though Gordon is most definitely the centre of attention here his world is entwined with The Phantom's and thus it satisfies my "masked hero" love at the same time. This was my first intro to Phantom's world and I loved it. He and Mandrake have a supernatural element about them using real magic giving Africa an even more exotic feel to it, just like the original comics these guys are based on. A fun romp with monsters and mayhem, crossing Africa's jungle dangers with space travel and evil alien empire lords. The art was fantastic and the story was pure pulp. Loved it!

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vinland Saga, Omnibus 4 by Makoto Yukimura

Vinland Saga, Omnibus 4 by Makoto Yukimura
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Vinland Saga (Book 4)

Outstanding! I continue to say the same things volume after volume with this series. It is one of my highlights when a new volume is released. The art is just of such a high calibre that it is almost incomparable in manga circles: detailed, intricate, realistic, gorgeous. This is a pivotal book in the series with some plot conclusions and some turning points. I won't go into any details here as this is a major point in the story's plot but I will say there are some surprising deaths! The plot so far has been focused solely on two things, the Danish invasion of England and Thorfinn's revenge for his father's death. This was a fast-paced and exciting read. The ending leaves me entirely intrigued upon what direction the plot will now concentrate from this point on. A top-notch manga series for the serious reader.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Flash Vol. 4: Reverse by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato

The Flash Vol. 4: Reverse by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

New 52: The Flash

I'm glad I've stayed with this title, as this volume really steps up the character and story a notch. With Gorilla Grodd out of the picture this is a much more serious storyline and I really liked the focus on the Speed Force. While everything plotwise is wrapped up in this volume in preparation for the writing team to take over, we have Reverse-Flash and Dr.Elias in the wings for possible returns. I'm not big on Teen Titans but I enjoyed Kid Flash's cameo and the information on his background. Barry Allen is probably my favourite hero out of costume and his personal life story is as much a part of the plot as Flash's, though I'm glad to see Patty getting jealous and hoping he and Iris get together soon. Finally, the volume ends with a pre-Flash Barry and Iris story set in the Batman Zero world which featured Harvey Bullock. Best volume for The Flash so far and I can't wait to see where the story goes with the new writers.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

The Flash, Vol. 2: Rogues Revolution by Francis Manapul

The Flash, Vol. 2: Rogues Revolution by Francis Manapul
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

New 52: The Flash

I liked this better than vol. 1 but it's still missing something in the plot department. Now I'm only just getting to know Flash, previously I'd only read him in Justice League and pre-52 I'd read the odd comic with him against Gorilla Grodd or Mirror Master. So this book starts by getting Flash away from Gorilla and back to earth. Then the rest of the book has the Rogues Gallery working against Captain Cold and the Flash interfering with their troublemaking. I really enjoyed this part as I'm a big fan of team-ups whether they be hero or villains. I'd never heard of any of these guys before, except Mirror Master and we got a really good introduction to them all here, though some more than others of course. Then near the end the Gorilla's land on earth looking for Flash. The volume ends with an origins issue which mostly explains Flash's background and relationship with his father. Did his father kill his mother, or not? Liking this, but still hoping for more.

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