Posted in Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki


*No Major Spoilers*

Harleen is a tough, outspoken, rebellious kid who lives in a ramshackle apartment above a karaoke cabaret owned by a drag queen named Mama. Ever since Harleen’s parents split, Mama has been her only family. When the cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood, Harleen gets mad.

When Harleen decides to turn her anger into action, she is faced with two choices: join Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join The Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This graphic novel caught my eye at the library, and I thought I’d give it a try. I do like Harley Quinn as a character and since this was going to be a new take on her origin story I thought this deserved my attention. So let’s shatter this review of Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass!

First off, I love the diverse cast of characters involved. Ivy is African American and even though her parents are an active part of the community they still struggle with fighting the gentrification of the neighborhood. Ivy spends a lot of her high school days protesting the school’s film club’s non-diverse movie club. I think seeing her fight for justice as a whole and not just environmental issues makes her a more relatable character.

Harley is as chaotic as always. She’s picking fights with boys she calls ‘boogers’ and teaches them a valuable lesson about not messing with her or her family. She behaves like she’s in middle school and not in high school, which got on my nerves a bit. Harley quickly falls in love with her found family and seeing her defend them was heartwarming.

I was glad this novel wasn’t 100% focused on Harley and Joker. I do enjoy seeing the friendship dynamic between Harley and Ivy no matter what story or universe. Joker is more of a background character up until the final climax. He is still somewhat rational, and Harley even sees that eventually.

I don’t really have any major gripes with this story except Harley’s immaturity and the overuse of the word ‘booger’. Again, this is supposed to take place during high school not middle or elementary school. Just a small nitpick on my part.

Overall, I really enjoyed this fun graphic novel. It was a fresh take on Harley Quinn’s backstory and I thought this was a great found family story also. Even though Harley’s insults toward boys could’ve been more diverse, I think this suits Harley as well.

Posted in Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels

COMBO REVIEW: Comic Book Edition


*No Major Spoilers*

Batman vs Bigby: A Wolf in Gotham by Bill Willingham

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I like the video game, A Wolf Among Us and I think it was interesting to see two great detectives go head to head on a case. Small learning curve is involved because of the video game being mentioned, but I think the comic explains itself pretty well. There are a lot of literary references scattered throughout the story and I enjoyed the Easter Eggs.


The Death of Doctor Strange by Jed Mackay and Lee Garbett

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I like how the comics and movies aren’t carbon copies of each other. The comics and the movies are their own separate universes. But enough about that. I have read different eras of Doctor Strange and I loved the character before I saw Benedict Cumberbatch’s interpretation of the Sorcerer Supreme. After I finished the story, I watched a video that explains the story just to make sure I understood it. The narrator seemed ‘meh’ on the story, but I thought it was fantastic. Not too much of a learning curve if you have basic knowledge of Doctor Strange, and what I didn’t know about the character was explained well in the story itself.


Lady Mechanika Vol 1: The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse by Joe Benitez

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I received this comic from 2019’s Free Comic Friday, and I never got around to reading the issue at the time. I get easily distracted by other books, so it’s difficult for me to stick to a regiment of reading. Nonetheless, the world of Lady Mechanika is terrifying yet fascinating. In the story, there was a cirque visiting the outskirts of the town, and even though they were involved in the mystery, I would’ve like to see their show.


D.C. Bombshells Vol 1: Enlisted by Marguerite Bennett

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I liked having a women-driven story. Seeing Batwoman play baseball, and deal with haters makes it seem like not much has changed between WWII and today. Learning that in this story Batwoman is Jewish and part of the LGBT+ community made her a relatable character in my opinion. I like how no matter the story, Harley Quinn will always find Poison Ivy, just like how Harley always finds the Joker.

Posted in Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Green Arrow: Quiver by Kevin Smith

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Collection of Green Arrow (2001) #1-5

*No Major Spoilers*

The original Green Arrow, Oliver Queen, reemerges after years of being assumed dead. But many people, including Black Canary, his ex-lover, Arsenal, his ex-partner, Connor Hawke, his son and temporary successor and Batman, the Dark Knight Detective, want to know how Green Arrow survived the airplane explosion and where he has been.

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Superman and Batman having an intense discussion during Green Arrow: Quiver.

I love Green Arrow! Not the one that is on TV, the one(s) in the comic books are better. I was excited to find this graphic novel at my library, and I’m excited to share my thoughts with you today!

A lot of casual comic book fans like me, feel intimidated at times when selecting a graphic novel. Overarching stories, major events, and other things that cause comic books to become confusing can make selecting a stand-alone story to be difficult. However, I felt this graphic novel explains things that happened previously, in a nice way so I didn’t feel like I didn’t know what was going on throughout the story.

I felt the story was well written and well put together. Even though the story gets “trippy”  about midway through, I was still able to follow along and came out satisfied.

To elaborate on the “trippy” aspect of the story, it kind of reminded me of the Doctor Strange comics at times, with the likes of supernatural beings and realms it gave an interest to the story I didn’t really expect coming out of Green Arrow. Green Arrow is usually a traditional story without supernatural elements, but this one was a nice change of pace.

One downside I found is, there’s not much action, it’s more of deep thinking and philosophying with splashes of magic and kicking butt.

Overall, this book was a good read, the art style fit the moods really well when necessary, the story kept my interest, I would definitely recommend it for the casual Green Arrow fan as well as the comic book aficionado.

Posted in Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Batman: Gordon of Gotham by Chuck Dixon

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*No Spoilers*

Collects BATMAN: GORDON OF GOTHAM #1-4, BATMAN: GCPD #1-4 and BATMAN: GORDON’S LAW #1-4.

Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon stars in this new collection of crime stories from the 1990s that stars the colorful, determined cops of Batman’s home town.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

The first story in this volume, Batman: Gordon’s Law, Commissioner Gordon has stumbled upon a coverup of a huge money laundering bust, the only trace is the few remaining $1,000 dollar bills.

However, Commissioner Gordon refuses Batman’s aide. Thus, he starts his mission to bust up the corruption within the Gotham Police Department.

I felt like this novel set the tone for the rest of this collection. It was gritty, rough, and brought Gordon into a light not many others get to see. He might be the commissioner of Gotham City, but he’s still a cop no matter what politics may dictate.

Seeing him take on this case without much of Batman’s aide, makes you truly see how rough and corrupt not only the Gotham Police Department is, but Gotham City as a whole. Gordon is just one man, but he’s doing his best to clean up the police corruption.

The second story, Batman: GCPD includes three stories from three of Gotham City’s finest detectives. I have read some of the comics surrounding the GCPD, and I have enjoyed them. It’s interesting to see an inside look into Gotham’s police department.

The story starts when Sargent Harvey Bullock beats up a costumed low-life and his partner goes to request a transfer. Commissioner Gordon grants her the transfer, and so he reassigns Bullock a new partner. All while Harvey is dealing with a rampant serial killer, Internal Affairs breathing down his neck, and his partner getting kidnapped on her new case. As well as another set of detectives on the hunt for a string of high-stakes thefts.

I found Sargent Bullock’s case the most interesting, someone in Gotham is going around killing seemingly random men and only leaving them with a teddy bear dressed up as their profession. The mystery was entertaining and intriguing.

Overall, I enjoyed this second story in this collection. I would say the writing was good, and the characters had interesting storylines and characteristics.

The final and main story: Batman: Gordon of Gotham is as fantastic as the other two stories in this epic volume. The story is about Gordon opening up to Batman about a time in his past when he was a beat cop in Chicago. He shares a story about an assassin who got away.

I love how Gordon is telling Batman a story about his past. Both are lonely characters and to see them bonding in this way makes me happy. I just figured the this was just Gordon getting something off of his chest. Boy, was I wrong!

After storytime is over, Batman tells Gordon something he already knew he had to do: go get sweet vengeance.

Overall these three stories, I enjoyed each of them for different reasons. I would highly recommend this collection for lovers of crime dramasCommissioner James Gordon, and of course Batman. Even though Batman doesn’t have that much of a presence in this collection, it’s not Batman’s story, it’s the hard-working detectives at GCPD who make this collection worth reading.

Posted in Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels, Manga, Marvel Comics

Free Comic Book Day Review!

So this year’s free comic book day was a good selection of graphic novels. My fiance and I mostly picked the ones rated Teen and Mature. I will list the titles in which order I read them, and hopefully, this will make sense.

Shibuya Goldfish by Hiroumi Aoi – This manga is about alien goldfish that invade Japan and start devouring the citizens. It is up to Hiro, to guide the others to safety. I first discovered this Manga through a Facebook group I casually follow. So, when they had a free preview of this I instantly grabbed it and couldn’t wait to read it. I found the preview to be interesting and definitely couldn’t wait to read more!

Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro – A cyborg soldier readies himself for battle against Alita and her friends. Who will come out of this match alive? This free preview of this manga caught my eye by the cover art. I am a country girl at heart. This issue was brief and I am curious to know more, but I wasn’t sold on the plot. I would recommend reading the whole story.

Aposimz by Tsutomu Nihei – In this futuristic dystopian land, the land is frozen solid, disease rampant, and it’s up to one small group of survivors to survive. I enjoyed this preview into this manga. I liked the art style, it brings how desolate and barren the world is. I will definitely be checking out this manga in full volume.

Frankenstein by Junji Ito – A re-imagining of the famous story by Mary Shelley, this is from one of the most famous horror manga writers, so get ready for this terrifying story! I personally enjoyed this preview. I haven’t read the original story by Mary Shelley, so I can’t compare the two. However, I did enjoy this and I would recommend this for sure!

Jughead: The Hunger #1 by Frank Tieri – In this Archie Madhouse Comic Spinoff Series, beloved character Jughead Jones discovers his family’s curse, and is on the run. Betty: Werewolf Hunter along with Archie is hot on Jughead’s trail to stop the destruction their friend is causing. I’m not familiar with the Archie Comic Universe, however, I enjoyed this horror take on a classic and beloved series. Seeing Jughead handle the consequences of running away is heartbreaking. I would definitely recommend checking out this series.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953 #1: Phantom Hand and Kelpie by Mike Mignola – Hellboy is in the 1950’s with his friend and the owner of the mansion. The supernatural goings-on has killed and maimed the guests of the mansion, and it’s up to Hellboy to destroy whatever is causing this mayhem. I am not familiar with the Hellboy comic series. However, I found that this comic gave me a good idea about what Hellboy is all about. He fights paranormal evil.

John Constantine: The Hellblazer #1 by Neil Gaiman – This issue starts off with a dead homeless man wandering through the London underground. Meanwhile, John Constantine has his own problems to sort through. I love John Constantine. He is an awesome character that fights the monsters that go bump in the night as well as help others. I will definitely be reading more Constantine graphic novels in the future.

So, in conclusion, here are the graphic novels I’m going to be reading in the future!

  • Shibuya Goldfish by Hiroumi Aoi
  • Aposimz by Tsutomu Nihei
  • Jughead: The Hunger by Frank Tieri
  • John Constantine