Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga

REVIEW: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Vol. 1 by Akira Himekawa

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* No Major Spoilers*

Link, now a Hylian Knight, serves Princess Zelda at Hyrule Castle. When Shadow Link kidnaps Princess Zelda, Link once again must prepare himself to defeat the forces of evil. To do so, he needs the legendary Four Sword, but getting it means releasing and then battling the ancient evil power Vaati. The Four Sword also splits Link into four different versions of himself, and these new Links aren’t team players! Rescuing Zelda, beating Vaati, and getting his wild alter-egos under control isn’t going to be easy!

I enjoy the lore behind The Legend of Zelda series. However, I find most of the games to be boring. I prefer to watch someone else play the games in the background while I sleep. So I have been wanting to review one of The Legend of Zelda mangas for a long time now, so let’s dive into this adventure series!

First off, I watched a collaborative let’s play on YouTube with some of my favorite YouTube personalities. It was fun watching them trying to cooperate with each other. The four of them with their own unique playstyles trying to figure out the game and its puzzles were interesting and brought me a lot of joy.

Now back onto the book. The first thing I noticed and really enjoyed was that they actually gave Link a vocal personality and that he had the title of a Knight in Hyrule and his dad was the one in charge of the Knights of Hyrule. This change of pace from the games was something of a refreshing take on the series outside of Link and his “HYAA! HEY! YAA!”

With all of the aspects of the various personalities of Link unleashed by the Four Sword, Green Link, the original Link, has to keep the 4 of them from getting side-tracked. The other three Links outside of the Green one wore a different color tunic and hat. the red one had more of a laid back personality, the blue one was really angry and feisty, and the purple one was more of the nerdy researcher if I understood that right based on the descriptions. With these personalities, they had to work together to save the Princess, a very arduous task considering that Dark Link kept antagonizing by trying to separate them.

If you want to know more about the story than what I’ve put here, then you’re just going to have to pick up the book and read it. This is a good read and I’d definitely recommend it to any Legend of Zelda fan and or a fan of manga.

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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.

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.

Now, without Batman’s help, by Commissioner Gordon’s request, is a man on a mission to set things right and bust up the corrupt cops involved.

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 say.

Seeing him take this case on without much of Batman’s aid, makes you truly see how rough and corrupt not only the Gotham Police Department 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 she 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, Another set of detectives are 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. 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.

Check Out My Review of Gotham Central!

Check Out Some of the DC Comics I’ve Previously Reviewed!

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga

REVIEW: Onibi: Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunter by Atelier Sento

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*No Spoilers*

Part fantasy, part travelogue, Diary Of A Yokai Ghost Hunter follows the adventures of two foreign visitors as they tour Japan. When they buy an antique camera along the way, they discover they can capture images of Japan’s invisible spirit world. The forgotten spirits they meet can be kindly, mischievous, and some, downright dangerous.

Everywhere they go from forests to Shinto temples to fishing villages they are met with Yokai, the Japanese word for supernatural monsters, ghosts, and demons. The subject of Yokai is wildly popular right now and is featured prominently in books, websites, and online videos. Google receives thousands of searches on the topic daily.

Readers 10-18 who cherished books like Cool Japan Guide and Diary of a Tokyo Teen will delight in this comic book style adventure. The graphic novel format will appeal to diehard anime and manga fans while stressing the importance this ancient spirit world is to the Japanese culture.

I enjoyed this manga, it has a different art style for sure, but don’t let that detour you away from this graphic novel. The art style looks like it was sketched with colored pencils. It makes the adventure feel realistic.

I enjoyed seeing all of the different areas of rural Japan, and how unique and different each town or village can be. It’s amazing at how a small island can have so many different environments. From mountainous forests to the sulfur flats and fishing areas. This manga covers the gambit.

I never felt like the main characters were in any real danger. The only time I ever felt uneasy is when the locals were being creepy and telling the two main characters about the Yokai that had been spotted in the area.

However, I still enjoyed the manga and all of its whimsical adventure. I would highly recommend this for lovers of legends, folklore, traveling, and mangas.

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: Spider-Man: Noir (Spider-Man: Noir #1-4)

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*No Spoilers*

It was 1933 and the Great Depression was just getting started. And so was the corrupt mob boss The Goblin. When embittered, angry Peter Parker meets a spider and its life-changing bite, he may have just inherited the force to honor the phrase, “If those in power can’t be trusted, it’s the responsibility of the people to remove them.”

People who know me, know I love film noir. I’ve also been wanting to dive into the Marvel Noir series for a while. When I saw this at my library, I knew I had to read this.

I still haven’t seen Into the Spider-verse yet. I only recently learned that this version of Spider-Man was in the movie. I think Spider-Man in 1920’s New York is interested in the fact that Spider-Man is a “glass half-full” kind of hero. Even though Spider-Man has faced tragedies he is still hopeful and optimistic about the world around him.

Here, with the Great Depression, and The Goblin having control of the entire city, Peter Parker has a dour view on life. He is more vigilante than a hero. In that, he murdered one of Goblin’s henchmen that were after Aunt May. This caused Aunt May to be outraged by the pure violence that Spider-Man displayed and claimed she could take care of herself.

The artwork is dark and gritty. Throughout the novel, it is constantly snowing, and the art style makes the pure, white snow seem dirty and unclean.

I would recommend this graphic novel to lovers of Marvel Comics, Film Noir, and Spider-Man in general. This graphic novel definately scratched my itch for the Film Noir genre, and I think this novel might be perfect for you!

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga

REVIEW: Giant Spider & Me: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale Vol. 1 by Kikori Morino

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*No Spoilers*

In a world that has flooded, Nagi lives deep in the mountain. When she happens to run across a giant spider, they make an unusual pair. Needing each others company, and enjoying home-cooked meals. Join them in this strange friendship as they spend their days cooking and enjoying life in the wilderness.

I found this manga series on an app called “Manga Rock” where you can read mangas for free. I thought this would make for an interesting and quick read. So I gave it a try!

I am afraid of spiders, especially tarantulas. I’ve had a fear of spiders ever since I can remember. So this manga gave me the major creeps. Somehow, the art style and design choices made me tolerate this spider friend.

I love how each chapter is not only centered on this unusual friendship but on the meals they share together! I love the cozy and homey feel of this story.

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As Nagi waits for her father to return from his latest adventure, it is comforting to have a friend in a world filled with beauty and danger. Nagi can rely on nature to provide her the ingredients she needs for her home-cooked meals, but there are wild dogs in the forests around Nagi’s home. Seeing the spider friend protect her makes the desolate world a better place overall.

I thoroughly enjoyed this simple manga. It has heart, character, and yummy recipes to enjoy for yourself. I would recommend this manga for lovers of “Slice of Life” and home-cooked meals with a story attached to them.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: Daredevil: Back in Black Vol. 4: Identity by Charles Soule

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*No Major Spoilers*

**This volume has some PG-13 language**

There’s a bounty on Daredevil’s head and it’s big enough to bring out every contract killer in New York City. You’ll never believe who the client is – or who takes on the hit! Then, we find out how Matt Murdock put his double identity genie back in the bottle. What price did he have to pay? And who got left behind in the process?

Netflix introduced me to the superhero known as Daredevil. I find this character to be complex, and believable. He has a constant inner conflict with himself. He wants to believe he’s doing good, but at the same time, he’s putting the people he cares about in harm’s way.

I’ve enjoyed the Daredevil comics I’ve read so far. You can tell that the Netflix series took the source material to heart. I felt like I was back to watching the Netflix show again. The art symbolizes the differences between New York City (dark, muted tones) and San Fransico (bright, crisp colors).

I felt like this story was well written on its own. I didn’t feel the need to read the previous volumes in this story. Not a lot of graphic novel volumes are that way. It was concise and easy to follow and understand.

The main villain in this story was a surprise. I did not see it coming and I was blown away. ‘Wow! How is Daredevil going to get out of this one?’ I asked myself.

I would definitely recommend this graphic novel to lovers of Marvel Comics, Daredevil, or superheroes in general. I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel, and I will be reading more of Daredevil in the future!