Runaways: Battleworld

 

Runaways Battleworld

Publisher: Marvel
Released: December 15th 2015
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Rating: 3 kitty rating

 

Noelle Stevenson (Lumberjanes) and Sanford Greene (Uncanny Avengers) team up to give us this unique story. Runaways: Battleworld is set in the Secret World (the one where Doom is basically god and controls everything). Battleworld is basically a school for all of the gifted (superhero, mutant, etc) kids to go and train and learn the way of Doom (sounds super creepy when you put it like that, doesn’t it?).

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Accell Vol. 1: Home Schooling

Accell Vol 1

Publisher: Lion Forge
Released: November 21st 2017
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 2 kitty rating

I received a copy of Accel Vol. 1 from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Accell Volume one is one of the newest graphic novels out from the Catalyst Prime series from Lion Forge. There’s a lot of pressure being put on this franchise right now, as many fans are hoping it’ll establish a world capable of competing with industries with larger universes, like Marvel and DC.

I loved the cover right away; it’s different from the other covers one typically sees out there, making it stand out (as well as being more memorable, which is a bonus for establishing a new universe). I’ll admit I was surprised that the color palette seen on the cover is carried over into the comics – it’s all very bright with mostly prime colors and the like (intentional pun perhaps?).

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Faith and the Future Force

Faith and the Future Force

Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Release: Dec. 6th 2017
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 3.5

I received a copy of Faith and the Future Force from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Faith and the Future Force is a miniseries based in the same world that Valiant has already created, and it certainly came out swinging. Jody Houser (Mother Panic, Star Wars: Rogue One) is the writer, and she’s backed up by Stephen Segovia (Action Comics) and Barry Kitson (Fantastic Four). I’ll say this upfront; I’ve only read the first issue of Faith, but despite that I had no problem keeping up with what was going on (though I’m pretty sure I did get some spoilers for future volumes; no pun intended). So if you’ve been looking at this series and debating about trying it out, this may be a good way to get your toes wet (though I loved volume one, so I say just go back and read that one).

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Superman Vol. 4: Black Dawn

Superman Vol 4

 

Publisher: DC Comics
Release: December 5th 2017
Received: NetGalley
Issues: Superman (Rebirth) 20-25
Rating: 3.5

 

I received a copy of Superman Vol. 4: Black Down from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

Written by Peter Tomasi (known for Batman and Robin, The Outsiders, Green Lantern’s Blackest Night and Brightest Day) Superman volume four, Black Dawn has Superman back, along with his family, Lois and Jon. Tomasi’s writing is supported wonderfully by Patrick Gleason’s (Green Lantern Corps: Rechareg, Aquaman, Batman and Robin, Brightest Day) artwork, which is bright and flashy and pretty much exactly what I would hope for from a Superman comic.

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Darkhawk #51: Teasings and Hope Rising

Darkhawk

I’m going to take a minute and do something slightly different here, and talk about a single issue instead of a full volume.

A couple of months ago I was perusing Marvel’s upcoming releases, when I spotted something out of the ordinary; Darkhawk #51. This took my brain a moment to comprehend, though I immediately had two thoughts following it; 1.) Has Darkhawk been rebooted and I somehow magically missed fifty freaken issues! (my poor heart!) 2.) Is this the first of a Darkhawk reboot, has that moment finally come?

As it turned out, my second thought was more accurate than the first (thankfully I had not been so oblivious as to miss 50 whole issues). The Darkhawk so many of us know and love (please tell me it isn’t just me that fangirls over him?) is back, but it isn’t a full-fledged reboot (yet). Titled ‘the Return’ it’s part one of a one part story; meaning it’s the only new issue of Darkhawk…for now. If one were to say…flip to the second to last page in the issue, they’d see a rather large (and sad) announcement talking about how there’s nothing next after this (my heart!) BUT, and please bear with me here, you can do something about that! Included below the heartbreaking announcement is an e-mail (MHEROES@MARVEL.COM) as well as a hint (or rather, instructions) to send an e-mail titled ‘OKAY TO PRINT’ to said address, gushing about the latest (and hopefully not last) Darkhawk issue.

Now, being the huge fangirl I am, I want to do more than that. So here I am, lighting the Fires of Isengard. I implore you, if you have ever been a fan of Darkhawk, or would like to become a fan, pick up this issue (money talks after all), and send them an e-mail! Write a blog post, talk about it on facebook, pester your friends about it. I know I’m probably more hopeful than I should be about a Darkhawk reboot; but seriously, I’ve been waiting years, YEARS to see what happens next to Christopher Powell. It isn’t the first time I’ve gotten my hopes up either; I completely freaked out by his walk on appearance in the Runaways, and I was also so sure that would lead to something else..but alas.

I know I’m not the only one who would love to see this actually go somewhere. So do me a solid, and give the series a try (fun fact: all of Darkhawk’s past exploits can be found on Marvel Unlimited, so it’s pretty easy to hunt everything older down).

I should also mention they’re test piloting (I’m assuming that’s what’s going on here) four more other series; Master of Kung Fu (#126), Not Brand Echh (#14), Power Pack (#63), and Silver Sable #36) so if you’re a fan of any of those series, I strongly urge you to follow the same instructions as mentioned above.

 

Now that I’ve finished begging and whining…I suppose I should actually review the issue I’ve been talking so much about. I think this one would work pretty well for both long term fans and new fans. While a brief backstory is mentioned (an adequate summary for those that haven’t read the previous 50 issues), it isn’t a smothering level and isn’t all dialogue.

Christ Powell is back on Earth, though you wouldn’t know it from his dreams; they’re still tormenting him with visages of the Tree of Shadows, his Amulet, and the Raptors (as in, the Fraternity of Raptors). It’s easy to think you’d be able to control your dreams, when it isn’t happening to you. Obviously Chris would love to make these dreams go away, he’d love to be able to fully integrate himself into this life he has (it’s not like he was missing being Darkhawk after all).

It’s been a year since his amulet worked; enough time for Chris to start thinking that maybe it never will again, maybe it is all over. Maybe even time to give up the amulet? (Not to just anybody of course, he’s not an idiot). But still…

I love the irony that is Chris Powell; he always wanted to be a hero, ever since he was a child. But unlike many children, he wasn’t imagining a superhero when he said that; he was picturing his dad (well, until the truth came out on that one), he was picturing the police. So it doesn’t surprise me at all to see Chris doing what he always wanted to do (what being Darkhawk prevented him from doing); he’s joined the police. Though he’s got more superhero intel and contacts than the average police officer does, obviously.

Chris’ true self shines during the following confrontation with a few…less than clean…officers. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones present, and things change pretty rapidly from here. Two Raptors, Canorus and his brother Aceptar have come to collect Chris (well, most of him) and bring him to Lord Talonar. Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for us fans) this sets off a chain of events that brings Chris back to the point many of us were more familiar with. Here’s hoping it’s not the end.

For more single issue reviews, check out my posts over on Comic Bastards.

Darkhawk (2017) #51
Publisher: Marvel
Released: November 29th 2017
Received: Own
Rating: 5 Kitty Rating

 

 

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The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden

The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden

 

Publisher: Del Ray
Release: December 5th 2017
Received: Bookishfirst
Rating: 5 Kitty Rating

 

I received a copy of The Girl in the Tower from Bookishfirst in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

I’m going to say it right now; I think this book has officially made it into my favorite books of the year list. I absolutely loved it!  The cover alone is utterly stunning, and if I’m being honest that is what caught my attention to begin with. I’ll confess that I had not read the Bear and the Nightingale before reading this (I didn’t know it was a trilogy until after I started, and by then I was too into it to put the book down), but honestly it’s so strong and informative that it stands up very well on its own (though I’m definitely going back to read the first novel next!).

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Red Hood and the Outlaws, Vol. 1: Dark Trinity

Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol 1

 

Publisher: DC Comics
Released: May 2nd 2017
Received: Own
Issues: Red Hood & the Outlaws (Rebirth) 1-6
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Red Hood and the Outlaws – but I’ll be honest in saying that I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular (I’m more of a Nightwing fan, personally). Man was I surprised! Red Hood and the Outlaws is probably one of my new favorites from the Rebirth of DC (it tops up there with the Green Lanterns/Hal Jordan for me). On top of enjoying the plot I also found myself liking the artwork – it was similar to the style used in Batman comics, but with some slight changes (enough to make the series distinct).

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Champions Vol. 1: Change the World

Champions Vol 1

 

Publisher: Marvel
Released: May 3rd 2017
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: Champions 1-5
Rating: 3.5

 

I’ve read the backstory on most of the characters that are in the Champions. That includes the “guest star” they had in the last issue. I honestly think you could read this series regardless of that though. So if you haven’t read most of the kids’ stories, I think you’ll be ok; though obviously you’ll get more about their abilities and personalities if you read their individual series. The events in Champions follow the events in Civil War II, as it made obvious by some subtle and some not so subtle comments throughout. Civil War II isn’t required reading however, as long as you understand that the war had ramifications among the heroes and on how the public views said heroes.

In a series like this I anticipate the teams to change, so I’m going to list the current lineup: Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), the Totally Awesome Hulk, Nova (the kid), Viv Vision, Cyclops, and our “guest star” Gwenpool.

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Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo

Manga Classics Count of Monte Cristo

 

Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Released: April 1st 2017
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

I received a copy of Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

When I saw that Manga Classics had done a version of the Count of Monte Cristo, I knew right away I had to read it. The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorite classic novels, so I was very curious to see how well it would handle being adapted into a manga version. I’ve read classics that have been converted into manga by Crystal S. Chan before, so I had no worries about her competence in this case. Though I’ll admit when I was reading her notes on the back I was incredibly impressed (and a little jealous) to see that she had actually done research on location in some cases.

I love the amount of research and effort that is put into the manga classics. There are little details that were included that I also greatly appreciated – such as the family tree of characters at the back, which neatly explained whom was connected to whom and why.

The Count of Monte Cristo is by no means a small novel, coming in at nine hundred and twenty-eight pages (depending on which print version you buy, of course). It must have been no small feat to condense it into a mere four hundred pages. It is understandable that after cutting out five hundred-odd pages from the novel that the pace would change dramatically. Traditionally the Count of Monte Cristo is a slow building story, with actions that don’t fully make sense until the reasoning is revealed towards the end. In the manga version the pace is sped up a bit, so the reasoning is explained in more rapid succession. I still greatly enjoyed reading the manga version – just be aware that it is a different experience to be had.

The artwork for the Count of Monte Cristo is phenomenal. There are so many characters to have to create designs for, and to then have them all be distinct and immediately identifiable. I’m sure it was a challenge, but one that Nokman Poon met with great success. I actually believe that this cover may be my favorite out of all of them – if a print of it was available I can assure you I’d be tempted to buy it and hang it up someplace (again, Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorite novels).

 

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Throwback Thursday: Runaways Vol. 11: Homeschooling

Runaways Vol 11

 

Publisher: Marvel
Released: September 8th 2010
Received: Own
Issues: Runaways 11-14 and What if the Runaways become the Young Avengers?
Rating: 3 kitty rating

 

I’m finally caught up in the Runaways! Unless you count the Runaways: Battleworld event that follows this (it’s on the list!). Volume eleven has two new authors and two new writers, so once again things get changed up. The final issues are by Kathryn Immonen and Sara Pichelli, and the theoretical “What if the Runaways become the Young Avengers?” is by C.B. Cebulski and Patrick Spaziante.

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