Category Archives: comics

Doctor Who Comes to Life on the Page

Doctor Who - Weapons of Past Destruction

Doctor Who – Weapons of Past Destruction

I miss the 9th Doctor. This book reminded me of why I used to love seeing Chris Eccleston in the role of the title character. The artwork is amazing and Cavan Scott has penned a tale that feels like a Series One episode. I could hear Chris’s voice coming off of the page. I laughed out loud at few times and reveled in the total experience.

I like that the book tells a story that we wouldn’t have seen in the television show. The special effects are larger than life and would have been quite expensive to produce on film. This is where graphic novels have immense power. The universe is wide-open, as it were. It’s a huge canvas that the creative team of Scott, Blair Shedd, Rachael Stott, and Anang Setyawan utilize brilliantly. I highly recommend reading this. I want to find more of this series and keep experiencing more adventures with the Ninth Doctor.

Doctor Who - Four Doctors

Doctor Who – Four Doctors

Four Doctors, and one of them isn’t the 9th Doctor. We don’t actually find out who this surprise Doctor actually is until late in the book, so I won’t spoil it for you here.

It was nice that the 50th Anniversary television special featured the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi in the final scenes (even if only for a moment). Here, we get to see him interact with the 10th Doctor, David Tennant, and the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith.

This book doesn’t evoke the same feelings I had when watching that television event, however. The story seems a little bit forced and it doesn’t come to life in the same way the book above does.

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Free Comic Book Day – Four Doctors 

Many of the free comics you are able to get on Free Comic Book Day are simply teasers for books yet to be released. Either that, or they give you a snippet of a story so you will have to buy an additional book to continue reading it. This book has a complete story and it features four incarnations of the Doctor. It’s an even better story than the one above. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The only problem with it is that the Doctors don’t interact with each other. It’s one story that takes place over four lifetimes, as it were.

Doctor Who - The Eye of Ashaya

Doctor Who – The Eye of Ashaya

This was a fun book that brings back a few characters from the 10th Doctor’s era. It was really nice to see Christina De Souza again.

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And this book reminded me how much I miss Amy and Rory too.

It was also cool to see a character who was introduced during David Tennant’s run as the Doctor getting the chance to meet Matt Smith’s incarnation.

All in all, it was a nice trip through Space and Time this week as I read brand new Doctor Who adventures.

My List of 2017 Reads – my detailed reading log for the year

Graphic Audio Adventures

Batman – Dead White

This was a dark story, certainly not meant for children. There are several racial slurs heard throughout the book but that is because the evil forces in this story are a band of white supremacists who are determined to reshape the world. Batman has to track down the leader, known as White Eyes but he doesn’t do it alone this time. He gets help from a police officer / bounty hunter.

This story takes place in the first year of Batman’s crime fighting career. He struggles a bit with his role as protector of Gotham. He is haunted by images of the very first costume he wore when he became the Batman. An old lover tries to help him but he keeps his secret from her.

There are times when these audio adventures are a bit over the top. But the full cast narration, sound effects, and general comic book aesthetic are a fun ride.

Earlier this year, I listened to the Flash adventure Stop Motion and the Wonder Woman story Mythos which prepared me for the whole team to come other in the Justice League.

Justice League of America – Exterminators

Several new meta-humans start to appear in one region of the world. Then these super-powered people start to disappear. Could it be related to a threat that the Justice League fought and defeated ten years earlier?  Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter have a nagging suspicion that it is. Batman confirms it and the Justice League goes into action, this time with a new meta-human who might just hold the key to exactly what is going on.

Like the book above, this one has it’s problems. Mostly it is due to exposition. Certain things don’t need to be explained to a comic book audience. However, these stories are meant to stand alone and be accessible to anyone. They are a lot of fun and the audio format make them perfect listening for long drives in the car.

Alternatively, there are print editions of these novels available if you would rather read them with your eyes as opposed to your ears.

My List of 2017 Reads – a detailed reading log with links to dozens of titles

The Punisher – Judge, Jury, and Executioner

Marvel Unlimited offered a free month subscription to its app to celebrate the release of The Punisher TV series on Netflix. I am still working my way through the series but thought that I would use this opportunity to read as much of the comics as I possibly could in a month.

Punisher vs Bullseye

A bad guy who managed to flee from the Punisher has been hiding out for years and has had enough. He wants to feel safe again and shed his ridiculous disguise. So, he hires Bullseye to take him out. Little does he know that these two killers will form a temporary, yet uneasy, partnership that will spell doom for all who cross their path.

The Punisher: Volume 1 – Welcome Back Frank

This is the fifth solo series for the Punisher. It collects the entire 12 issue run that started in 2000 and ended in 2001. I really enjoyed the story. The Netflix television series that introduced the Punisher even took inspiration from it. He captures Daredevil, ties him up, and duct tapes a gun to his hand. The outcome is different here than in the TV series though. The story wraps up perfectly too. It is a great read.

The Punisher: Volume 2 – Army of One

This book kicks off the sixth series of the title. It continues the story started in the last volume and features a special appearance from Spider-man. At one point, the Punisher uses the unconscious webbed hero as shield to absorb some pretty rough blows from a tough opponent.

This volume also features a story where the vigilante goes to a remote island to rescue a prisoner.  While not as good as the previous issue, it does kick off an impressive 37 single issue comics (that are collected in five additional trade paperbacks).

The Punisher: Volume 3 – Business As Usual

Wolverine guest stars in this one and boy do things get brutal. The Punisher is well aware of his self-healing power and dishes up some pretty harsh punishment in order to stop him and complete his mission.

The Punisher: Volume 4 – Full Auto

Punisher stories can be a bit disturbing. This one definitely falls in that category. It deals with a villain who is murdering homeless people. He figures that he will never be caught because no one cares about them. But a social worker finds herself in the middle of the situation and Frank Castle is there to bail her out and set things right.

The Punisher: Volume 5 – Streets of Laredo

This one has a western theme to it. Operating just outside of a small town, a gang trades in military grade weapons but they won’t for long when Frank Castle comes to town. This story also deals with homophobia in some interesting ways. The sheriff is a queer man and is in a relationship with the son of the gang boss. A preacher thinks it is immoral as well. But how will everyone cope when the Punisher gets added to the mix.

The Punisher: Volume 6 – Confederacy of Dunces

Daredevil enlists the help of Spider-man and Wolverine to help take the Punisher out of the picture. He wants to see him brought to justice. Wolverine knows that they only way to do that is to kill him, but Spider-man and Daredevil won’t let him take such extreme measures. And the Hulk to the mix and things are bound to get messy.

The Punisher – Circle of Blood

This was the first solo title for the Punisher and was released in 1986. Frank Castle is in prison for his vigilante crimes, but a secret organization wants to break him out. He is leery to work with them but figures that it is better than being incarcerated. In his first job, he discovers that Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin is dead. In fact, Fisk had merely faked his own death. Castle makes the world believe that he murdered him to help bring other criminals out of the woodwork. This was a limited series that started the nation’s love affair with the violent vigilante.

My List of 2017 Reads – my annual reading log

The March Trilogy is Complete

March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

This is the final book of a trilogy series that focuses on the challenges and horrors faced by those in the Civil Rights Movement as they fought to be recognized as human beings and awarded the rights that go along with that. It is told by one of the movement’s most pivotal figures, John Lewis.

In March: Book One we get to see him finally see the day when a black man could become president. It’s a touching moment to see him interacting with Barack Obama and reflecting on the long journey it took to get there.

The story is horrific and I have a hard time believing that these atrocities were happening only fifty years ago. It’s amazing to see the strides that were made with the non-violent protests that were staged. The men and women who fought the injustice and poor treatment of their race didn’t take up arms. They didn’t retaliate any of the violence that they were shown. They simply stood up and demanded to be taken notice of. It truly is inspiring and I am glad this story has been told.

March (Trilogy Slipcase Set)

The entire trilogy is now available in a slipcase set that includes all three books in a beautifully illustrated case.

My List of 2017 Reads – with links to detailed posts on every title I read this year

Invincible or Infamous Iron Man?

Invincible Iron Man – Vol 1: Reboot

Tony Stark has new armor and it is truly remarkable. There is a stealth mode, it can change colour, and it is incredible easy to get in and out of. Unfortunately Pepper Potts is not at Stark Industries anymore and Tony doesn’t have anyone to rely on to run the business.

Invincible Iron Man – Vol 2: The War Machines

Mary Jane tried to get away from super-heroes. She moved to a city where she thought she’d just could open up a night club and live a normal live. But fate had different plans for her.  A demon invaded her venue and it took Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Victor Von Doom to stop it. That’s right, Doctor Doom. He seems to want to help, but Tony doesn’t trust him at all.

With Mary Jane’s club destroyed, she reluctantly starts to work for Tony, and he is very lucky to have her on the team.

Invincible Iron Man – Vol 3: Civil War II

The second super-hero Civil War is a major crossover event that spans almost all of the Marvel monthly titles. The main story was quite well done, but there are pieces of the story missing if you only read that and then jump into this series.

I wish the book editor had put a few notes in this story to fill in some of the knowledge gaps I had. This volume pretty much assumes you know what is happening in the MCU (Marvel Comics Universe) and I didn’t.

That being said, having read the Civil War trade paperback and the Miles Morales Spider-man arc, I pretty much knew what was happening (for the most part).

I was really surprised to see this series come to an end as well. It will be continued in the next volume of the title and start again with Issue #1. I don’t see why either. This could have continued in an on-going series instead of a limited run volume.

Infamous Iron Man – Vol 1: Infamous

When Tony Stark went undercover and let the world believe he was dead, Victor Von Doom decided to step up and become the new Iron Man. In the three graphic novels above, we can see that he had been trying to turn over a new leaf. But it is hard to trust that he is not up to his old Dr. Doom ways.

Ben Grim aka The Thing of the now defunct Fantastic Four certainly doesn’t trust him and will do whatever it takes to bring him to justice.

I was hoping this title might have been as good as Superior Spider-man when Peter Parker’s arch enemy, Doc Ock took the mantle and was determined to be the best Spider-man yet. It’s not quite as good, but it does have some potential. I am curious to see where this title goes next.

It’s nice to see Bendis and Maleev working together again. Their iconic run on Daredevil is still one of my favourites.

My List of 2017 Reads – my annual reading log (continually updated)

Panels in Space

I borrowed both of these graphic novels from the public library. It’s nice to be able to explore space for free (from the safety of my living room).

Captain Marvel: Volume 1 – Rise of Alpha Flight

I’m not too  familiar with the character of Captain Marvel. I know of her from Civil War II and from her brief appearance in the new series of Ms. Marvel. I also didn’t have any experience reading Alpha Flight comics so this was a new experience for me, as it probably will be for many readers.

It starts out with Captain Marvel taking command of the Alpha Flight Space Station. And it seems like she has moved from active hero to a desk job. But of course, all sorts of problems happen when an alien vessel approaches. Not only does she lose her powers but it seems like everything is connected to how she got them in the first place.

It was nice that we didn’t get a straight-up origin story, but one that helps to establish some of the backstory of the character, throw her into a new role and situation, and anchor a brand new series.

And when the universe has been saved by the end of the story, Captain Marvel’s powers have been restored, and everything looks like it will be business as usual, she sits down at her desk on the space station to relax. Just then, an alarm goes  and she springs back into action. No desk is going to keep her down.

Star Trek – Starfleet Academy

I don’t like the timeline of the cinematic reboot of Star Trek. It doesn’t feel natural for the crew to be all chummy at Starfleet Academy as presented in this graphic novel. As such, it was difficult getting into this story. It felt like the characters were in the wrong place and time. It was hard to get my head around.

The story is centered around a female Vulcan and her days at the academy. These scenes take place right after the destruction of her homeworld (as seen in the first movie).

Interspersed with that story, Uhuru uncovers a message that leads her to believe something is wrong in a quarantined area of space. Of course, these two stories are related and though the two characters don’t actually meet, they help uncover the mystery together. Kirk and Spock are also in there for good measure.

It took me a minute to get into this one because of the time difference, but overall, it was a good read.

My List of 2017 Reads – 27 titles and counting

The Beatles – All Our Yesterdays (Graphic Novel)

The Beatles – All Our Yesterdays by Jason Quinn and Lalit Kumar Sharma

I love The Beatles. What they did for music cannot be understated. They changed the game with their style, sound, and look. Their music still permeates today fifty years after their groundbreaking album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. To help celebrate that milestone, Campfire Comics has released a graphic novel that tells the story of the early days of the band.

The creators of this book recreated images from videos and photos to tell the origin story of the band we all know and love. For people who are not Beatles scholars, this book is illuminating. I did not know that they had a few names before their iconic music pun. I also didn’t know that there were five of them. Both John and Paul played guitar. There was a bass player in their ranks for quite some time before Paul McCartney decided to fill that part of the band himself.  These boys also got up to some shenanigans and trouble in their early days.

The story starts very early on with each of the main members of the band falling in love with rock music as children. It then goes on to show how the band went through different configurations, styles, and outfits before they figured out who they really were as a band.

The art is very well done and captures the youth, imagination, and recklessness that teenage musicians go through. Not much is different today. The graphic novels ends with the release of their first single that was released on Friday October 5, 1962. As as the narration box indicates

“And the hits soon kept coming. The Beatles had arrived., Beatlemania was about to sweep the world and music would never be the same again.”

It would be interesting to read their continuing adventure. I know there are more stories that could be told. Comics are a great medium for this kind of storytelling. It’s the first music origin story I have read in this format, but something tells me it won’t be the last.

This book also comes with a great bookmark in the shape of a guitar. It makes me wish I hadn’t borrowed this one from the library so I could keep it.

My List of 2017 Reads – my continually updated reading log.

My Fan Expo 2017 Haul

Here is my haul from Fan Expo 2017.

This is a special edition 12 inch Daredevil figure that was exclusively available at the Hasbro store.

It comes with various accessories and ways to customize the figure.

The back side of the packaging even includes a braille description. That’s a very nice touch for a blind superhero character.

The front cover art is inspired by the 1998 relaunch of the comic book series.

I also picked up this standard-sized legends figure.

Alex Maleev did the art for the packaging and it is amazing.

I was given this figure for free near the end of the convention. I love how Wonder Woman is standing on her invisible jet.

This pull-back TARDIS model was in a clearance bin. I had to pick it up.

I also got another Pop figure. This one is inspired by the Netflix version of Daredevil and includes attached numb-chucks.

My cousin picked up this deck of cards for me. Thanks, cous!

Finally, I picked up a single issue of the first series of the comic. I prefer the collected editions and hardcovers but this one was old, looked cool, and was a good deal.

Want to see more from Fan Expo 2017?

Want to see more of my Daredevil collection?

Entertaining Fan Expo Panels

I was able to see some of my favourite stars at Fan Expo last weekend. It was hard trying to figure out a schedule where I could see and do everything. But I am happy with how the weekend turned out.

Stephen Amell, who plays Green Arrow in the television series, Arrow really impressed me. He was so down to earth, answered fan questions thoughtfully, and shared memories of growing up in the area.

One fan, called him Mr. Amell and he told the audience that he didn’t like to be called mister or sir. A few minutes later, we heard a voice coming over the micriphone that addressed him as both. It didn’t seem to be coming from the main question microphone either.

The crowd erupted in applause and cheers when we finally figured out what was happening. Amell’s costar, David Ramsey, came out on stage and stayed for a few minutes. It was nice to see them both on stage at the same time.

Matt Smith talked about his time on Doctor Who and his current series, The Crown. There were lots of people dressed up in his version of The Doctor. It would have been nice to see some of the other Doctor Who stars show up, like what happened in the Arrow panel, but that is very rare. It’s hard to organize their schedules to make that happen.

John Barrowman was only in Toronto for a limited time. He actually did more than one convention that weekend. But he took time to connect with the fans, not only during the panel, but during his photo-op and autograph sessions. I wish I could have met him. He is such a larger than life presence and his panels are hilariously entertaining.

Catherine Tate really blew me away. She was provided with a moderator but carried on what was pretty much a one-woman show. She never sat down. Her energy and enthusiasm really stole the show.

I was really looking forward to seeing Billie Piper as she is one of my all-time favourite Doctor Who companions. I haven’t seen her other series but plenty of people had. The conversation touched on all aspects of her career, including her pop star years. I hadn’t even made that connection before. I vaguely remembered the singer Billie, but I didn’t know that the singer and the actor were one in the same.  It was cool to find out more about her in the panel.

I managed to find videos of each of these panels. I you want to see the panels again or watch them for the first time, click the link below.

More Fan Expo 2017 Highlights

Colourful Characters at Fan Expo

There were so many great costumes at Fan Expo this year. I wish I had taken more pictures.

This cosplayer did a great job of The Flash from Earth 2. When I asked for his picture, he went into this pose that made it look like he was running through the convention centre.

These thugs tried to rob me at the train station.

This wasn’t just a clever costume. The Cosplay Medic had everything needed to do small repairs and touch-ups. He even helped my son with his costume at one point.

And I’ll leave you with this picture of dueling sonic screwdrivers.

More Fan Expo 2017 Highlights

Cosplaying at Fan Expo

We had fun dressing up as fictional characters this past weekend at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto, Ontario.

I wasn’t sure my Arthur Dent cosplay was going to work. I was really excited to try it out though since this year I turned 42 years old. It just added an extra layer of meaning to this outfit. I made a book cover so that I could actually carry around The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in my pocket.

My daughter had a great idea to use a safety pin to shorten my pocket so that the “Don’t Panic” text was always visible as I walked around the convention. I’m glad she suggested that. The costume was a bit hit. I had dozens of compliments and comments and one person even asked to take my picture.

We had to get out picture taken with this guy. His costume of The Silence was awesome.

At one point, I stepped out of my TARDIS and was confronted by a Weeping Angel. I didn’t blink once.

I love how both my daughter and I stepped up our cosplay game this year. She looked great as a gender-bent Matt Smith Doctor, complete with the best Fez I saw anyone wearing. And the purple shirt works better than the black one I wore the last few years for my Chris Eccleston cosplay.

My son wanted to cosplay Jason from Friday the 13th. He ripped up some clothes and tried to dirty them up for effect. My daughter also did a steam-punk costume. And I stepped up my Second Doctor cosplay with a better pair of pants, a new bowtie, and a wig to get the mop top hair right.

We went into the Doctor Who Escape Room and solved a series of challenges over the course of an hour. We had a little help from another group of Whovians since each game required eight players. But we worked together and escaped a grisly death from this Dalek.

The weekend was so much fun. I cosplayed four different characters, including a brand new one. My daughter did Mad Hatter, the Eleventh Doctor, and a Steampunk character. My son dressed up as the Scream villain and Jason from Friday the 13th. Small kids were actually frightened by the above costume that dripped blood down the mask.

We all had a blast and can’t wait to do it again next year.

Fan Expo 2017 Panel Highlight Videos

Fan Expo is always the best way to say goodbye to the summer. It’s a special Labour Day weekend comic book, science-fiction, horror, and video game convention in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

I take my kids there every year and we dress up in costumes, visit panels, do some shopping, and get to spend time with some fellow fans and enthusiasts.

One of my favourite panels this year with was Arrow’s Stephen Amell. He is such a cool guy and I didn’t even know he was Canadian. His panel was very entertaining and it made me love him even more.

Catherine Tate, who played Donna Noble on Doctor Who had the entire theatre in stitches. She was hilarious and put on a one woman show that was brilliant. The funny thing is that they provided her with two moderators who didn’t get to talk much at all. She commanded the stage, took questions, and even brought a young cosplayer on stage with her.

Tom Cavanagh of The Flash didn’t have as much energy and enthusiasm as the above two panels but he did drop a lot of behind the scene knowledge on the Flash and the other shows he has worked on.

Matt Smith, the Doctor, always entertains. His panel was a lot of fun. This was the second time we got to see him at Fan Expo and he didn’t let us down.

I was really looking forward to seeing Billie Piper. She played Rose Tyler for the first two seasons of modern Doctor Who and made me cry when she left the series. We tried to see her before at this event but she cancelled her appearance so this one was long overdue. She was a little more laid back than I would have thought, but it was still an entertaining panel.

What can I say about John Barrowman? He is absolutely hilarious and never lets up. His panel was just as entertaining, if not more, than the last one he did for Fan Expo. You never know what to expect from him. Stephen Ammel and Catherine Tate brought him up more than once in their panels as well. He is such a larger than life figure and if you ever go to one of these events and he is there, make sure you see him.

Thank you to everyone who uploaded videos of these panels. It’s nice to be able to relive these moments.

I will post more about Fan Expo 2017 later this week to show you some of the costumes we wore, the items I added to my collections, and the other activities we got to do. It was an amazing convention this year and I can’t wait to do it again in 2018.

Marvel’s Defenders – Ultimate Crossover Event

Marvel is doing an incredible job with its Netflix television department. The stellar first season of Daredevil set the tone for three additional series; Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. And this past weekend, all four of the heroes came together in the eight episode arc of The Defenders.

This series highlights one of Marvel’s strengths; the crossover, big event that spans multiple series and includes many characters. They seem to do this every year in the comic books and have been doing it in their cinematic universe for quite some time now as well.

It was great to see how events that started in the second season of Daredevil permeated into the Iron Fist series and ultimately saw their resolution in The Defenders. While this series was short, it was the perfect length to tell the story, get all of our favourite characters together, and tell a cohesive story that will have many implications for the characters moving forward.

Daredevil is my all-time favourite super-hero but I absolutely love Jessica Jones in this Netflix universe. She is by far the strongest of the heroes and had some great lines of dialogue in this series. The way she connected with Matt Murdock was great too. My favourite scene was a pretty low-key one with both of these characters.

Jessica and Matt went to talk with the teenage daughter of a victim. They wanted to get some clues as to what her father might have been up to. She tells them a story about her dad getting quiet over the past few months and sitting at the piano, not even playing. Matt  recognizes that there is something important about the piano and he asks if she could direct him to it. He says that he did a little bit of playing when he was a kid.

Matt plays up his blindness and bumps right into the piano. He sits down and begins playing. The song he plays is the theme from his TV show. He plays a note and it doesn’t sound quite right. He plays the note again and notice the sounds isn’t clear. Something is obstructing the hammer from hitting the string.

The sound of the note echoing continues even after he stops playing it for Jessica to hear. The soundtrack for this scene is absolutely brilliant. The two heroes discover a vital clue and learn a lot more about each other in this scene.

I love how all the characters got to interact with each other. We can see Luke and Danny (Iron Fist) starting to become the good friends we know them to be in the comic. Jessica and Luke get to catch up on some things as well. And some of our favourite incidental characters are around for the ride too; Stick, Claire Temple, and Misty.

I have nothing bad to say about this series. It was great. And I highly recommend putting it in your Netflix queue.

Superhero Novels (For Eyes and Ears)

Wonder Woman: Mythos by Carol Lay

A couple go scuba diving on their honeymoon in the Bermuda triangle and the man disappears. Wonder Woman investigates and finds that there is a mysterious island that mirrors the one she is from. This one is entirely populated by men and they seem to be under some form of control. Could the God of War, Ares, be behind it? Is the prophecy Diana heard about as a kid coming true?

I am a big fan of audio books. It is a great way to experience a story when you are on the go. This one even has full cast narration. And even better it has the same voice actors from the last Justice League title I borrowed from the library.

Iron Man: The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer

Eoin Colfer is a great writer. I absolutely loved the Artemis Fowl series. He also did a great job writing in Douglas Adams’ voice for a bonus sixth installment of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. That is why I knew his take on this superhero would be worth the read.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot here. I knew nothing about the story going into it and that was a good thing. All I will say is that a teenage girl gives Tony Stark a run for his money in this one. If you are familiar with what is happening in the Marvel comics stories now, don’t worry, this is a completely fresh take on the hero, not related to that continuity, and a completely different girl. Yet it is equally entertaining.

I love how Colfer flips some common conventions of comics and storytelling. You can see he had fun penning this one.

My List of 2017 Reads – an annual reading log, continually updated

The Second Super-Hero Civil War

Civil War II

In the first super-hero civil war, Iron-Man and Captain America couldn’t see eye to eye. The stakes were high and there was no way around it. A clear line was drawn and it left people on opposing sides with no other choice but to fight.

Tony Stark, aka  Iron Man, was hoping that nothing would divide the super-hero community like that again. But a new inhuman with the power to see the future now upsets the balance. Captain Marvel wants to use him to prevent disasters from happening. Stark sees it as profiling and believes it is a wrong. Plus, can the visions even be trusted.

This was a good read that had tie-ins to almost all of the current Marvel titles. The new Spider-Man has a pivot role in this conflict as well. Also, Ms Marvel (one of my new-favourite heroes) and Old-Man Logan make appearances.

My List of 2017 Reads – an on-going and continually updated reading log

This Spider-Man Series is Miles Above Other Titles

Spider-Man: Volume 1 – Miles Morales 

Miles Morales is a great character and it’s nice to see that he now has an on-going series in the MCU (Marvel Comics Universe). It’s not simply a stand-alone title. This new Spider-Man is a member of the Avengers and has a pivotal role in the crossover event, Civil War II.

If you are new to Miles Morales, you might want to check out Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man for his introduction story arc and the second series that followed it. They were brilliant titles that lead into what happens in this arc.

Spider-Man: Volume 2 – Miles Morales 

Miles Morales struggles to be the good student that he used to be while being the superhero he has to be. His parents start to worry about him when they see his report card. They call in his grandmother to help set him straight and she goes as far as hiring a private investigator to figure out why his grades are slipping. She’s convinced that he is on drugs.

In one battle, Spider-Man’s costume gets ripped and a video blogger notices that the hero has brown skin. Miles can’t even figure out why that would be news. He just wants to be Spider-Man, not the black Spider-Man.

I’ve really enjoyed every Miles Morales Spider-Man story that I’ve ever read. I really wished that the new film coming out this week had used him instead of Peter Parker. That would have been brilliant.

My List of 2017 Reads – my annual reading log

Old Man Logan (Superheroes Can’t Retire)

Wolverine: Old Man Logan

Old Man Logan is a new on-going series that focuses on our favourite hero in an apocalyptic future where super-heroes are conspicuously absent and super-villains rule. I read the first volume of this series last year. At the time, I didn’t realize that this story got its start in the regular Wolverine title years earlier.

This trade paperback collects Wolverine: Volume 3, Issues 66-72 plus a giant sized conclusion. And it makes sense to read this one first.

The title sums up where the character actually is in life. He is an old man with a family and has no interest in being a hero anymore. In fact, he hasn’t even popped his claws in years. So when his old Avenger friend shows up, asking for help, he is very reluctant.

Nevertheless, he accompanies Hawkeye on a cross country trip that is sure to be dangerous. He continually tells Hawkeye that he is not a hero anymore and that we won’t fight. Of course, Hawkeye thought this was just lip service and if the situation called for it, the beast would emerge. He had no idea how steadfast Logan could be.

This was a really good read and I think it was even better than the Death of Wolverine series.

My List of 2017 Reads – my annual reading log

Darth Vader Ends It

Darth Vader – The Shu-Torun War

These comic stories take place after the events depicted in Episode IV: A New Hope, but before any of the sequel films. It’s really nice to see Darth Vader trying to figure out who he is and how he fits into the Galactic Empire. He needs to redeem himself in the eyes of the Emperor after the destruction of the Death Star.

In this story, Darth Vader goes to a planet to squash a revolt against the empire. And things get messy.

Darth Vader – End of Games

The cover art for the fourth volume of the on-going Darth Vader series is simply brilliant. I love how the Death Star morphs into his helmet. It shows that he, himself, is a powerful weapon and is still under construction.

I can’t get into the story of this one much without giving away any spoilers. I will say that the title has a ring of finality to it. Perhaps Vader is through playing games. Maybe he is coming into his own and figuring out his destiny as the apprentice of the Dark Side of The Force.

This series is very well done and much better than any of the recent films. I wish comic writers would work on the films. This is a story that would work well. Forget Rogue One, or the new trilogy. This is the story die-hard fans can get behind.

My List of 2017 Reads – my continually updated reading log

Max & Charlie Figuring It All Out

Max & Charlie book

Max & Charlie by Zack Lieberman and Louis Neubert

This was a great read. From the very first page, the artwork captures the imagination of the main characters. It is bright and colourful and stylistically stunning.

The opening daydream shows a young boy pretending to be a space-warrior. His dog, a trusty companion in a mission to save the universe. They make a good team, but you can see that the dog isn’t impressed with all of the imaginary play. He just wants to get outside.

When they do go outside, Max pulls on the leash and basically drags Charlie through the streets and parks on New York City. Charlie, seeing that other dogs are fine off of the leash, decides that Max might be as well. But the second he unclicks the lead, Max takes off. Charlie spends the rest of the book chasing him.

The two main characters discover all sorts of interesting things about the city. Charlie meets a variety of characters who all share their philosophy of life and the universe with him. Themes of cooperation, the beauty that surrounds us, and finding your purpose abound in the work.

It’s one of the stories that when you finally get to the last page and close the book, you have a smile on your face.

For Charlie, the journey might have been long and annoying. It started with a simple mistake that had unforeseen consequences. It wore him down and tired him out. But, in the end, he learned something. It was worth it. The journey showed him something he needed to see and he is now richer for it.

Perhaps that is what life is like for us all. It’s about the journey and what we learn along the way.

My List of 2017 Reads – my detailed annual reading log

 

Spider-Woman – Revamped and Styling!

Spider Woman - New Duds

Spider-Woman: New Duds

Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman has quit The Avengers in order to live a normal life, something she has never really known. Her plan to just be an everyday investigator is turned upside down when Ben Ulrich helps her out of a tough spot and motivates the reluctant hero to take on a missing persons case.

I try not to give away much in my written reviews but if you don’t want to know anything more about this book, skip the next paragraph.

Spoiler Alert ahead

I really enjoyed the premise of the first story.  It revolves around a group of women who have come up with a very creative solution to leave behind their husbands, ex-boyfriends, and lovers of the super-villain variety. Even with good intentions though, they might be going about things the wrong way.

Spoiler Free Section below

Spider-Woman gets a new costume and new sidekicks in this collected edition of the on-going series. We all knew that she wouldn’t have been content with a normal life. It’s not in her. She is Spider-Woman after all.

My List of 2017 Reads – a continually updated reading log for the entire year