Category Archives: comics

Doctor Who and Batman Too

Doctor Who - Wheel of Ice

Doctor Who – The Wheel of Ice by Stephen Baxter

I haven’t read much in the way of Doctor Who fiction, just a few comic books and a young adult novel.

When I picked this book up from the library, I wasn’t even sure what incarnation of The Doctor was staring in this story. The back cover didn’t make it clear, but I was sure it was going to be a great read anyway. The cover art is absolutely gorgeous. I love how it looks like the book itself is frozen.

It turns out that this story is set in the second Doctor’s reign. Jamie and Zoe are his companions and together they are drawn toward a time disturbance on a mining colony on one of Saturn’s moons.

The miner’s uncovered something that should have made them stop operations. But the powers-that-be ignored the discovery, pretended it didn’t exist, and kept on mining. Of course, this has some pretty terrible consequences – consequences that the Doctor and his faithful companions must not set right,

Wayne of Gotham novel

Batman: Wayne of Gotham by Tracy Hickman

I have read a lot of Batman novels and short stories over the years. I’m not sure what happened to those old books. I have had to purge some of my collection over the years due to moves so that’s likely what happened.

This story runs parallel in two different time periods. The first one is in the present day and focuses around Bruce Wayne / Batman. Of course, the things that he faces now are a direct result of events that his father was a part of many, many years ago.

I enjoyed this read, but I am not sure I like the ending and what it means for the saga of Batman. I would write about that in detail but it would be a spoiler. I try not to do that in these book review posts.

My List of 2016 Reads – my annual reading log

Women Heroes in the Comics

Princess_Leia_TPB

Star Wars – Princess Leia

This comic takes place just after the events in Star Wars IV: A New Hope.

Princess Leia’s homeworld has been destroyed. But there are all sorts of survivors of Alderaan that need guidance and leadership. Unfortunately, The Empire wants to see them all destroyed, especially Princess Leia.

This was a great mini-series spanning 5 comic book issues.

Ms Marvel Vol 1 No Normal

Ms. Marvel Volume 1 – No Normal

Kamala Khan is a Muslim who struggles with her family’s faith and the demands of being a teenager in this day and age. She sneaks out of the house to go to a party, but everything backfires on her. She gets teased for her heritage and didn’t win the points she thought she would with her friends and peers.

Several blocks get covered in a strange fog. perhaps it was the Terrigen Mist. Whatever it was, Khan is transformed. She looks like Ms. Marvel has has miraculous new abilities. She is still able to transform back to her normal self as well.

Ms Marvel Vol 2

Ms. Marvel Volume 2 – Generation Why

Wolverine teams up with the new Ms. Marvel in this issue. They are similar in a number of ways and make a perfect tag-team. She likes to fight her own battles and has a healing power too.

She’s begun to figure exactly how it works too. It turns out that she can heal only when she refrains from using her morphing abilities. It also requires her to eat a lot to capture the energy needed to do so.

She thought she was a mutant, but Wolverine suspects that she is an Inhuman. After their successful mission, he contacts some of his Inhuman friends. Medusa then sends Lockjaw to be her companion. Who wouldn’t love an over-sized super-hero dog?

Ms Marvel Vol 3

Ms. Marvel Volume 3 – Crushed

Being Muslim means that there are strict protocols in place when it comes to companionship. Kamala disregards them and lets herself be swept up in her first crush.

Things don’t end so well in the relationship department for her, however. But it is a great tale of first romance, the difficulties of maintaining faith despite romantic feelings, and the trouble of balancing a secret super-hero life with regular family life.

I have really enjoyed the first three trade paperbacks of Ms. Marvel. It’s always nice to see great female super-hero characters. The stories are great and the art compliments the feel of the book perfectly.

It is a great read and one that I highly recommend.

My List of 2016 Reads – my annual and continually updated reading log

 

The Amazing Spider-Man is Back!

Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 - The Parker Luck

The Amazing Spider-Man: Vol 1. The Parker Luck

Doc Ock had control of Peter Parker’s life for nearly two years, but Parker is back now and has a new lease on life. He isn;t taken anything for granted. A lot of things have changed in his absence. He now has a doctorate, his own company, and a girl-friend he doesn’t know about. But perhaps, just perhaps, he is the luckiest guy on the planet.

Spider-Verse

The Amazing Spider-Man: Vol 2-3. Spider-Verse

I already wrote about this mega-event here. 

Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 - Graveyard Shift

The Amazing Spider-Man: Vol 4. Graveyard Shift

A villain has invaded Parker Industries and he is intent on not only destroying the building but also the company. But with all the Spider-Man tech in the building, he is sure to have a fight on his hands.

Amazing Spider-Man - Spiral

The Amazing Spider-Man: Vol. 5 Spiral

This graphic novel collects the special side story that ran in Amazing Spider-Man 16.1 – 20.1. It is a sequel to the Shadowland arc that started in Daredevil and had huge repercussions in the Marvel Universe.

Everyone is trying to establish a strong-hold in the world of crime due to Kingpin’s absence. Black Cat is really angry at Spider-Man for how he treated her when Doc Ock was in control of his body. Peter is still trying to see the good in her and in his super-hero friend, Wraith. But maybe his vision is a little blinded here.

My List of 2016 Reads – my detailed annual reading log

Spider-Verse – The Ultimate Spider-Man Battle

Spider-Verse

Spider-Verse 

The Inheritors are an evil family that prey on the essence of Spider-totems. It turns out that there are hundred of Spider-powered super-heroes in different dimensions and realities.

Everyone knows the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker. We also know Miles Morales who took up the mantle when he died. And of course, The Superior Spider-Man who is really Doc Ock trapped inside Peter’s body.

Fortunately for everyone involved, The Superior Spider-Man was drawn into this conflict. They really needed his perspective and leadership to have a fair chance against such a dire threat.

All of the Spider-Men, Spider-Women, and spider-powered animals come together to fight this ultimate battle.

Apparently, the story covers every Spider-Man character that has ever appeared in any media. It was hilarious to see the 1960s animated version of the character make an appearance and really cool to see dozens of the heroes fighting side by side,.

This hardcover edition collects Amazing Spider-Man 7-15, Superior Spider-Man 32-33, Spider-Verse 1-2, Spider-Verse Team-Up 1-3, Scarlet Spiders 1-3, Spider-Woman 1-4, and Spider-Man 2099 6-8.

That is not the complete story, however.

Edge of Spider-Verse

Edge of Spider-Verse

This trade paperback collects five issues of the limited run series. Each story focuses on one of the alternate reality Spider-totems. The highlight of this collection is the one-off Spider-Gwen story.

Spider-Gwen

Spider-Gwen

Spider-Gwen turned out to be a fan favourite in the Spider-Verse. The public pretty much demanded this series.

In the original story, Peter Parker is surprised to see that Gwen Stacy is still alive in an alternate universe. She died tragically in the original comic years and years ago. As such Peter is very reluctant to put her in danger again.

In her universe, Peter Parker tried to follow her lead and be a hero even though he was never endowed with super-powers. He ended up dying tragically and it has haunted her since she began her quest as a super-hero.

Gwen is a regular teenager in this story and is a drummer for an all girl band. But she is targeted by a few different bad guys and her family gets caught in between.

It was a great read and one that I wish would have continued. Unfortunately, her solo title only spanned five issues.

it was interesting seeing all the different Spider-powered super-heroes. Some were male, some were female, a few were animals, and one was a cartoon.

This was a pretty good event. You can get the main story from the run in Amazing Spider-Man but the companion books really help draw it out and tie up some loose ends.

My List of 2016 Reads – updated all year long with each new title I read

The Superior Spider-Man Is . . .

The first four volumes of Superior Spider-Man were very well done and I thoroughly enjoyed them. These last two issues bring the story to its natural conclusion.

Superior Spider-Man Vol 5

Superior Spider-Man: Volume 5: Superior Venom

Flash Thompson has been able to use drugs and his will to keep Venom under his control, or so he thought. When the alien symbiotic leaves him to rejoin Spider-Man, Otto Octavius believes that he can control him as well. He relishes the new power, but perhaps he is not greater than Peter Parker and will fail to control the alien as well.

Superior Spider-Man Vol 6

Superior Spider-Man: Volume 6: Goblin Nation

Doc Ock has been living as Spider-Man for years now. He has done his best to rid the city of the criminal organizations that have terrorized it for years. He didn’t realize, however, that the Goblins had grown to form an entire nation right under his nose.

Meanwhile, Peter Parker has fought to regain consciousness and take control of his body, and life, once more. This is the final battle between them. We will find out who the Superior Spider-Man is after-all.

My 2016 Reads – my annual reading log

Miles Morales is Back as Spider-Man

The first series featuring Miles Morales as Spider-Man was brilliant. I did not want to see come to an end. Thankfully, we got a second series featuring the new web-crawler.

Miles Morales Spider-Man Vol 1

Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man – Volume 1: Revivial

It turns out that the Green Goblin isn’t dead . . . and neither is Peter Parker. Things get very confusing for Miles Morales in the second volume of his very own series.

Fortunately, Parker doesn’t intend to go back to his old super-hero life just yet. He leaves the mantle to Morales. Miles’ father even reappears and has quite the explanation as to his absence.

Miles Morales Spider-Man Vol 2

Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man – Volume 2: Revalations

Miles decides to tell his girlfriend that he is Spider-Man. Little does he know that she has been brought up in a Hydra household, a terrorist organization meant to bring down S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Ultimates.

Spider-Men

Spider-Men

Peter Parker and Miles Morales team up in a story that takes place before this arc. They are both impressed with each other and make a great team. This was a very enjoyable read. Too bad that it was a one-off story. The good news though, they will fight side-by-side again in the Spider-Verse story. Stay tuned!

My List of 2016 Reads – my annual reading log

The Death of Ultimate Spider-Man

Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 2 - New World

Ultimate Spider-Man: Volume 1 – The World According to Peter Parker

The Daily Bugle has gone completely digital, Peter Parker is working at a fast food joint, and Gwen Stacy is living with him and his aunt. To make matters even more complicated, Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch and Bobby Drake aka Ice Man have moved in as well. Aunt May loves having all these teenagers in the house. They pose as her nephews and have to refrain from using their powers (house rules). And Mysterio is back trying to take over the Kingpin’s criminal empire.

Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 2 - Chamelion

Ultimate Spider-Man: Volume 2 – Chameleons

One of Peter Parker’s neighbours develops mutant powers of teleportation. But it turns out that his was chosen to have these powers for a very specific purpose. Meanwhile, the Chamelion twins are up to no good. They have captured J. Jonah Jameson and have been impersonating him for a while now.

Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 3- Death Prelude

Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 3 – Death of Spider-Man Prelude

Kitty Pride gets teased in the cafeteria and uses her mutant powers to just let the thrown food phase through her. Mary Jane gets the incident on video and wants to use it to show how unfair people are being towards mutants. Meanwhile, Spider-Man gets captured by the Chameleon twins. This is bad news for the entire city.

Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 4 - Death

Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 4 – Death of Spider-Man

S.H.I.E.L.D. decides that Peter Parker needs training to continue fighting crime. Iron-Man tries to give him a few lessons, as does Captain America. But when The Ultimates are called to avert a huge disaster, The Green Goblin capitalizes on that very moment to bring about an end to his foe.

It was very sad to see Peter Parker die in front of his family and friends. He gave everything he had to protect them. And it was a fitting end for the series.

I know that I read these Spider-Man comics out of order. I should have read this before the Miles Morales story line. But it was good either way.

My List of 2016 Reads – with links to every title I read this year.

Daredevil Joins The Avengers

New Avengers 16 DD

The New Avengers # 16-34 (2011-2012)

Daredevil joined The New Avengers in issue number 16 of the ongoing series and made a spectacular debut. He stayed on the team right up to the very end of the series as well.

His debut was brilliant. The single issue revolved completely around my all-time favoruite super-hero. It was very well done. I highly recommend reading that first appearance.

I started reading the series with this issue and was pleasantly surprised to see that it pretty much revolved around the heroes of Hell’s Kitchen. If you are a fan of the Netflix universe, you will really enjoy this read.

Luge Cage is the leader of the team and his wife, Jessica Jones, doesn’t want to bring up their child in this environment. He tries his best to balance super-hero life with his home life.

This was the second volume of The New Avengers title. Daredevil was part of the team in the first volume as well, but he was really only featured in a handful of issues then.

I enjoyed reading the series and seeing Daredevil being part of The Avengers. I think I might need to read the first volume of the series now too.

My 2016 Reading Log – coming next week!

The Last Graphic Novel Reads of 2015

Hydra Ascendant TPB

All New Captain America: Hydra Ascendant

Sam Wilson aka The Falcon has taken on the mantle of Captain America. Although, he still has his wings and hasn’t quite mastered how to target the shield effectively.

His first mission doesn’t go exactly as planned either. He’s unsure that he deserves to be Captain America. He knows he needs to soldier on though. But when he learns that Hydra has affected all of the super-hero teams, including The Avengers, he is not sure who to tun to for help. And to make matters worse, Hydra has a plan to sterilize all of humanity.

This was an interesting read and a fairly good start to the new title and hero. I felt a little out of the loop at points, not having read the Marvel Now version of Captain America before, but it does seem to tie into what has happened in the cinematic and television universe.

I’m not completely won over by Wilson as Captain America. He’s a good hero, but he is also good as The Falcon. I guess time will tell how long he holds the mantle and the shield.

Peaceful Warrior Graphic Novel

Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

Dan Millman wrote a screenplay for the movie version of his popular book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior. That script, however, was not used for the film. This graphic novel is pretty much the same as the movie and story we all love. It is the vision for the film that Millman originally planned. And he gets to share his love of comics with us too. It’s a win-win.

Secret Origins

Secret Origins: Volume 1 – The New 52

Origin stories are a staple in comic books. They get told again and again. Sometimes, necessarily so. I really love how Frank Miller retold the origin of Daredevil and then how Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale told the same origin to explain the yellow costume. Brilliant stuff.

For people unfamiliar with some of these characters, it’s a nice starting point. But if you already know the stories of Batman, Superman, Supergirl, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow, you can skip this one.

They do have an origin of Harley Quinn though. That can get us all prepped for the Suicide Squad movie that comes out next year. There are several other origin tales in this trade paperback as well.

My List of 2015 Reads – now up to date and complete

A Graveyard, An Ocean Planet, and A Lost Space Shuttle

The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The story starts out with a baby escaping more than just his crib. He wanders into a cemetery and is taken in by the ghosts who live there. They keep him safe from the killer who murdered his family.

As the only living being that resides in the graveyard, he is given the power to see and converse with all of the spirits who reside there. He learns how to fade, to generate fear, and to pass through objects.

It’s a coming of age tale unlike anything I have ever read. That is probably one of the reasons it won the Newbery Award for Children’s Literature. I really like the afterword by the author as well. I enjoyed this read and hope you will too.

Ocean

Ocean / Orbiter: The Deluxe Edition

The first story is this graphic novel takes us to one of the moons of Jupiter. It is essentially an ocean under a very thick coating of ice. A moon that is compatible in size to that of the Earth. And one that has something sinister hiding under its icy surface.

The second story gets a little creepier. A long lost space shuttle returns to earth after an unexplained ten year absence. The ship seems to have had some alterations made to it. A team tries to make sense of the whole thing.

Both stories deal with exploration and the dangers involved. But there is also potential and a glimmer of hope in each. The last tale has me wanting more. I wonder what happens next. That’s the question that drives exploration after all, isn’t it?

Want to Explore More Books?

Check out My 2015 Reading Log (50 books and counting)

Flashpoint – One Moment Changes Everything

flashpoint

Flashpoint

One day, Barry Allen is completely surprised to see that his mother is still alive. Everything in his universe has changed. No one has ever heard of The Flash. There is a huge war threatening the whole planet. And worse still, Allen doesn’t have his speed anymore.

Convinced that the Reverse Flash has altered the timeline somehow, Allen tries to recreate the conditions of the accident that turned him into The Flash in the first place. He gets his speed back and tries to restore the timeline.

This is a heart-breaking story that affects the entire DC universe. That is why there are some companion books and tie-ins to it as well.

flashpoint - superman

Flashpoint – Superman

The world has not heard of Superman in this universe either. That is because the government captured him as a baby and has kept him locked up for years. He is a scrawny kid who has never seen the sun, and therefore never developed all of his super-powers.

The Flash knows that he needs Superman to help him set the timeline straight and stop the brutal war that is waging between the Aquaman and Wonder-Woman’s people.

But this is not the Superman he knew in the original timeline and things might be a bit harder than he thought to get him on side and fighting the good fight.

flashpoint - the flash

Flashpoint – The Flash

In the new timeline, Captain Cold is the hero of Central City and he is known as Citizen Cold. He gets his own story in this trade paperback.

Cyborg, ex of the Teen Titans, is Earth’s mightiest hero. It seems that he has taken the place of Superman in this new darker world. He does his best to keep the peace, but just can’t seem to mobilize all of heroes into one team.

But with Flash’s help, he gets Batman on side and they are set to get the world back to how it should be.

The Verdict

I really enjoyed the original graphic novel of this story. It was a great tale that was both heart-breaking and heart-warming.

I’m not sure the companion books were really all that necessary, but they are worth the read for die-hard DC Comics fans.

My List of 2015 Reads – with links to every title I have read this year

 

Hawkeye – An Avenger or a Weapon

Hawkeye Vol 1 - My Life as a Weapon

Hawkeye: Volume 1 – My Life as a Weapon

When I first heard of this title, I really had no interest in reading it. After all, he is probably the least exciting member of The Avengers. But the praise for the book has been strong, so when I saw it on the shelves of the public library, I had to pick it up.

I must say that I really enjoyed this read. The humour in it is priceless. It’s along the lines of what was done in The Avenger films as well. If you loved those, you will probably enjoy this book too.

This looks like it will continue as a solo title. The library had the next several volumes as well. They are now on my to-read list.

Maybe you can find something you’d like to read on one of my annual reading lists.

My List of 2015 Reads

My List of 2014 Reads

My List of 2013 Reads

The Walking Dead – Finally Home?

I just finished watching Season 5 of The Walking Dead and saw these graphic novels in the public library. Pretty soon, the television series will be completely caught up with the books. I wonder what will happen then?

I try to write my reviews without spoilers, but if you are a big fan of the books, you might not want to read any further today. (Spoiler Alert)

Walking Dead Volume22

The Walking Dead: Volume 22 – A New Beginning

The survivors of the zombie apocalypse have rebuilt society. They have a village that is reminiscent of the pioneer times we learned about at school. It’s incredible to see things starting to come together.

There is still work to be done, however. Giant heards of the undead travel en mass. A team has been dispatched to steer them away from the village. Unfortunately, they drive a heard directly towards another group of survivors.

Walking Dead Volume23

The Walking Dead: Volume 23 – Whispers Into Screams

Carl wants a job in the new society, but he wants a very specific one that will have him working quite a distance away from his dad. Rick is very reluctant to let him go. He is a little unweary of the new settlement and falling into a life that seems to be returning to normal.

Meanwhile, on a mission outside of the village walls, a team swears that they hear the walking dead whispering. They seem to be smart and communicating with each other. It is absolutely terrifying, more so than usual.

They also welcome a young lady into the village and Carl is completely taken by her. But is there more to her than what he sees?

I am really enjoying this series, both on television and in the graphic novels.

My List of 2015 Reads – 40 titles and counting

The Great Machine Rules the City

Ex Machina Vol 7

Ex Machina: Volume 7 – Ex Cathedra

The mayor of New York is an ex-superhero. He fights the good fight in politics now instead of being a vigilante. He still has his powers though and is able to communicate with machines. Unfortunately for him, someone has figured out how to reverse the lines of communication. Now, they will try to use him as a pawn. Could the Great Machine become a machine for someone else? No spoilers here. All I will say is that it is a good chapter of this on-going series.

Ex Machina Vol 8

Ex Machina: Volume 8 – Dirty Tricks

The first story in this collection is a stand-alone that has a long-deceased ancient civilization trying to communicate with the mayor. It’s a great story that deals with racism in our modern age. I loved it.

After that, we have a five issue arc that focuses on a mysterious woman who seems to have her own political agenda and tries to take a page from The Great Machine’s history.

Ex Machina Vol 9

Ex Machina: Volume 9 – Ring Out The Old

This issue is priceless. The mayor is getting his own graphic novel biography and it stars the writer of this series, Brian K. Vaughan. He pokes fun at the convention of comics and a few fellow creators.

exmachina3

I also love that one of the characters mistakes him for Brian Michael Bendis. It’s hilarious.

Ex Machina Vol 10

Ex Machina: Volume 10 – Term Limits

The saga of The Great Machine comes to an epic conclusion in this volume. I really wasn’t expecting that.

I don’t think the mayor was expecting to put his old costume on again either. It turns out though, that The Great Machine was needed for one final mission. It feels a little too final though. Mayor Hundred completely abandons the costumed hero game and continues to set his sights on the political realm.

I would love to know what happens next, but this is the final story of this graphic novel series. It’s too bad too, it was a great read.

My List of 2015 Reads – an online reading log with links to every title I read

 

 

The 2003 Power Blackout Explained

ex-machina-power-down

Ex Machina: Volume 6 – Power Down

This series is absolutely incredible. I read the first five volumes a while back and decided to binge read the next five, since they were sitting on the library shelf practically begging me to.

The story revolves around a former super-hero. He has the ability to communicate with machines. He can hear them all the time and even give them commands. He’s the world’s only costumed super-hero and goes by the name of The Great Machine.

During the September 11th attacks, he was able to thwart the terrorists and prevent the second tower from falling. He was championed as a hero, but soon hung up his wings to move into politics. Now, he fights for his city in a different way, as the mayor of New York City.

This story this time around deals with the 2003 blackout and it wasn’t as simple as we were lead to believe. Unfortunately for our hero, this blackout also affected his powers.

The 2003 Power-Blackout wasn’t fully explained in this issue, but an interesting character popped up who just might have had something to do with it, however inadvertently.

I love the what-if style of this story. It feels so believable, like an alternate version of what we could be living right now. The writing and art is also incredible. I can’t wait to read the next issue and see just where this story arc takes us.

My List of 2015 Reads – a detailed reading log with links to every title I read

Daredevil Secrets from Fan Expo Toronto

I love going to FanExpo in Toronto every year. It’s pretty much the last event of the summer and is always a great way to wrap up the season.

Daredevil Hat Balck

I was really hoping to find a Daredevil baseball cap this year. I’ve wanted a DD hat for my collection for years. I was very happy to see this one at the convention. I bought it right away.

DD Sketch Off Duel

I was also really excited to see Alex Maleev in this sketch-off duel.

He talked about how he kicks everyone out of the house when he works. He said that his place is small and that he likes to work on the floor. I have never heard another artist say that before.

It was also surprising to hear that he never read comic books in his youth. The first time he even saw a comic was when he came to the United States in the 1990s.

He managed to get a job after only being here for two months. Apparently, he threatened to jump out the window if they didn’t hire him.

He was incredible to listen to during this panel. He took a number of questions from the audience as he worked on the challenge piece. Both artists needed to draw Doctor Doom.

Dale Keown is a penciller but Alex Maleev is also, an inker and painter. He managed to ink his drawing in the short forty minutes the two artists had to work.

Alex Maleev Sketch

This is Alex Maleev’s finished piece. They raffled it off, but I was not fortunate enough to win it.

I knew that I wouldn’t be able to attend the autograph signing session he had later in the day because it conflicted with the Doctor Who panel I was going to. I really wanted his autograph though.

Alex Maleev Autograph

My son approached Alex as soon as the panel was done and he asked him to sign my hat.

I couldn’t believe it. There were only two things I wanted to get at Fan Expo this year; a Daredevil hat and an autograph from Alex Maleev. I got them both in one item. How crazy is that?

Daredevil Hat Red

I saw this red hat and bought it too. I don’t ever want to wear the signed one now. It’s just too awesome.

Daredevil Hats

I need a bigger shelving unit for my collection now.

Daredevil HeroClix

I also bought this little HeroClix guy.

FanExpo was a lot of fun this year. I’ll post about the Doctor Who Adventures we had as well.

Stay tuned to Silent Cacophony for more!

Latest Graphic Novel Reads

Spider-Man - Matters of Life and Death

The Amazing Spider-Man: Matters of Life and Death

I haven’t been reading Spider-Man comics in the correct order. It’s not because I didn’t want to; it’s because I get whatever is available at the public library at the time.

This one takes place slightly before the last one I reviewed here. In this story, Spider-Man has to battle an army of Spider-Slayers who want to destroy everything J. Jonah Jameson holds dear. Spider-Man defeats them, but at quite the cost.

A new Venom is also introduced in this volume and he’s awesome. And after the main story, Spider-Man has to content with a hostage situation with a very cold and calculated killer. To close off the book, there are a few bonus Fantastic Four stories to read as well.

Ender's Game - War of Gifts

Ender’s Game – War of Gifts

Ender’s Game is an amazing novel that has spanned dozens of sequels, prequels, comics, and even a feature film. This latest addition to the cannon features four stories, one of which is has never been told before.

The first story shows what Valentine had to put up with in middle school while her younger brother was off at battle school. Her older brother made a suggestion for her that set them both on the path to becoming influential writers online. It’s a nice origin story of characters that we have come to know in the original series.

The title story revolves around another child at battle school and a internal battle about the right of religious practice.  Overall, this is a nice companion piece to the Enderverse saga.

Star Wars - Shadow of Yavin

Star Wars – In the Shadow of Yavin

This graphic novel features the original characters of the films we all fell in love with as children. The story takes place right after Episode IV and continues the events that led up to Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

The Rebel Alliance is looking for a safe base of operations. They have already lost several bases and are worried that there is an Empire spy in their midst. That’s why Princess Leia sets off on a secret mission to establish a new one.

The story shed some light for me on the Hoth Base seen in The Empire Strikes Back. It makes sense that they are on such an inhospitable planet. They were being hunted mercilessly and had to constantly be on guard.

This is an on-going series that is a reboot of sorts. Apparently, they are not going to be bound by what happened in the original trilogy. It’s a great idea that has worked in the animated series, The Clone Wars, bridging the latest trilogy of films. As such, this series could be quite good. I look forward to reading more.

My List of 2015 Reads – my annual reading log

You Can’t Handle Shakespeare’s Power

Kill Shakespeare Vol 3

Kill Shakespeare: Volume 3 – The Tide of Blood

This comic features a fictional world where all of the characters of the Bard’s work exist in one time and place. It is a brilliant concept and executed perfectly. This is the third edition of the on-going trade paperback collection.

(Spolier Alert)

William Shakespeare is one of the characters in this series. Many people believe that he is a myth, but a few know that he is real and want to seize his power. They believe that with his pen they can be the ultimate ruler of the universe.

Prospero captures Shakespeare near the end of this comic and steals his quill. They both leave the fictional world and crossover into the realm in which Shakespeare creates, and it wasn’t what Prospero was expecting.

Shakespeare's The Airy Nothing

Shakespeare call this realm “The Airy Nothing”

Kill Shakespeare - All is Nothingness

Prospero is ultimately lost in the world of the blank page. It’s overwhelming. He tries to create something, but fails. What he envisioned for his perfect creation in the world, he simply can’t make happen in the chaos of nothingness.

This was such a powerful scene and a great payoff for reading three collected editions of Kill Shakespeare. I was expecting the series to conclude because of it. It was a perfect ending point.

It turns out, it was only the end of the chapter, not the series. Just like the works of Shakespeare, the works of this comic are strong and bound to continue for sometime.

My List of 2015 Reads – novels, comics, non-fiction, and more!

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Comic Series

Robots in Disguise Vol 1

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Vol 1

Robots in Disguise in an on-going comic book series that picks up right where the television show Transformers: Prime finished off. If you have never seen that show though or read the previous comic book series, don’t fret. This is a great read and shows just what is possible in the Transformers Universe. The storytelling is brilliant, the characters are well-developed, and the art is amazing. It is exactly what I want from a Transformers comic.

The story is set on the newly restored home world of Cybertron. Transformers from all over the universe are returning home to find a brand new government, one that is lead by Bumblebee. It is supposed to be a non-partisan group. It is neither Autobot or Decepticon and is meant to serve both as well as any NAILS(Non-Aligned Indigenous Life-forms)

In the absence of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee does his best to try and unify the robots in peace but has his work cut out for him. Certain Autobots and Decepticons still have a mistrust of each other and would like to return to the old ways of warfare when things were more black and white. Ushering in a new golden age is certainly going to be a challenge.

Robots in Disguise Vol 2

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Volume 2

Optimus Prime resigned as leader of the Autobots prior to this series starting and now goes by Orion Pax. He left Bumblebee in charge of governing the homeworld to go on a mission to capture one of the most evil Decepticons, Shockwave. Meanwhile on Cybertron, the Dinobots are back and tensions are still high as Bumblebee tries his best to make the new government work.

Robots in Disguise Vol 3

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Volume 3

Optimus Prime continues his mission to track down the rogue Decepticon but uncovers an ever greater mystery. Meanwhile on Cybertron, Metrotitan arrives back home and discovers an ancient buried city. Starscream also starts working with the new government.

Robots in Disguise Vol 4

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Volume 4

Megatron is back and intent on destroying the peaceful alliance that Bumblebee and Starscream have been working to achieve.

Robots in Disguise Vol 5

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Volume 5

We find out some of the origin story of Shockwave in this volume. This backstory was really cool. It explains why he looks different than other Decepticons and why he is so cunning and determined. It also shows how he has been the kingpin of the story so far.

I look forward to reading the next two trade paperbacks of this title and the Dark Cybertron series it leads in to.

2015 Reads – My Constantly Updated Reading Log for the Year

Fables – Great Comic Book Series

fables-18

Fables: Cubs in Toyland

Volume 18 of Eisner Award winning series focuses on Therese, one of Snow White and Bigby Wolf’s young cubs. She’s not happy with the toy boat she got for Christmas. But one night, it starts talking to her and encourages her to take it to the lake. When she does, it grows to a full-sized boat and takes her to Toyland. At first, she is happy for the adventure but she quickly find out that the broken toys need her to be their queen and won’t allow her to leave.

Fortunately for her, one of her brothers followed her and is determined to bring her back home. When her father, The Big Bad Wolf, discovers them both missing, he stops at nothing to track them bothbles down. But he gets some very bad news on his quest. A soothsayer tells him of the terrible fate that awaits him.

fables snow white

Fables: Snow White

This issue collects the short series, A Revolution in Oz, before continuing the main story that got started in the last issue. It’s a humourous tale that starts with the Bufkin being hanged for treason. Fortunately the rope refuses to cooperate. It was treated with the powder of life by Bufkin’s girlfriend Lily and follows them around for the rest of the tale.

Meanwhile, Bigby Wolf crosses realm after realm searching for his lost cubs. Unbeknownst to him though, there is a very serious threat at home. Prince Brandish is back and claims that Snow White is still legally married to him. And no one is able to fight him off because of a spell that reflects any injury that happens to him right back onto Snow White.

Bigby returns home and the ultimate fight to the death ensues. Could the prophecy he heard last issue come true?

Fables Camelot

Fables: Camelot

Snow White’s sister, Rose Red brings forth a new Camelot and begins assembling a new round table of knights to protect the kingdom. She enlists the help of Brandish and this puts a divide between her and her sister.

Meanwhile, Geppetto is scheming to find a way to get access to the Sacred Grove. He comes up with a brilliant plan that might just do the trick.

A Great Read

I have tried to do a brief synopsis here without giving away any of the major spoilers. Suffice it to say that I have really enjoyed all 20 collected issues of this series. The graphic novels are simply brilliant. They spin the magic and wonder of fairy tale characters into a very real and modern world. I highly recommend reading them. You can find them at your local comic shop or at the public library. Happy Reading!

My List of 2015 Reads – 22 titles and counting