Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: She-Hulk, Vol. 1: Deconstructed by Mariko Tamaki

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*No Spoilers*

Jennifer Walters has survived the second Civil War…barely. But, having risen from the rubble, she re-enters the world a very different kind of hero. Fueled by a quiet rage, Jennifer is determined to move forward, to go on with her life, but the pain of the past and all that she’s lost is always there. An undercurrent, a pulse waiting to quicken and trigger Jen’s transformation into the one thing she doesn’t have control over…

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I have read some of the She-Hulk comics in the past. I admire how she can be an awesome superhero and be a successful lawyer for the other superheroes. I think it would be awesome to have someone like Jennifer or Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil) in your corner when you need it most.

We meet Jennifer with an internal struggle. She wants to leave her superhero past behind her and focus on her return to lawyering. However, the past is more difficult to run away from than Jennifer can handle.

When Jennifer returns to her job, her first client is a woman about to be evicted from her apartment. Jennifer investigates the matter, and comes back to inform the client there’s nothing she can do. Things get out of hand fast, and soon Jennifer is forced to make a tough decision.

Overall I enjoyed this story. There are small appearances by Captain Marvel and Hellcat (aka Patsy Walker to fans of the Marvel Netflix series Jessica Jones and The Defenders). And I want to be the friend Hellcat is to all of her friends. She cares about Jennifer in this story, but when Jennifer rejects her help, Patsy gives Jennifer her space. That is a good friend.

In conclusion, I enjoyed She-Hulk: Deconstructed. Even though the overall plot was not overly complicated, this is a great introduction to She-Hulk. I would recommend this graphic novel for Marvel fans or people who love female-driven stories. 

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Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: All-New Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Communication Breakdown by Gerry Duggan

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*No Spoilers*

A new era of cosmic adventure begins! The Guardians of the Galaxy have taken off into space once more on their biggest and weirdest misadventures yet! Kicking things off with the boldest heist they’ve ever pulled, Star-Lord, Rocket, and company blast their way through the galaxy with the peacekeepers of the Nova Corps hot on their tail! And soon enough, they find themselves caught in a war between the Collector and the Grandmaster! Will there be any room to explain why Groot can’t grow any bigger, what Gamora is searching for, or why Drax has sworn off violence?! You bet there will – the all-new Guardians of the Galaxy has space for all your Marvel Cosmic needs!

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My first experience with The Guardians of the Galaxy was their first movie. Ever since then, I have been interested in learning more about them and experiencing the wacky things these misfits can get up to. Now, let’s put on our favorite mixtape, and let’s dive in!

The last Guardians of the Galaxy comic book I read last left me feeling disappointed and hesitant to jump back into the series. However, I am glad I read Communication Breakdown. The story is solid, the characters are loveable as ever, and I finished this graphic novel wanting to read the next volume.

I love that in this volume, Groot is a baby. According to Rocket, Groot has remained small since the incident (assuming it had something to do with Thanos as he is mentioned throughout this story) instead of growing as a proper sentient tree would.

I like that Drax practices pacifism in this story. I think by doing this, we learn that Drax is much more than a mindless grunt. He actually feels guilty of the lives’ he’s taken and is aware that his actions have consequences.

Overall, I think this series is excellent! I don’t want to spoil too much, but let’s just say there are other villains than Thanos and Galactus.

I would recommend Guardians of the Galaxy: Communication Breakdown for Marvel fans, science fiction fans, and those who are wanting another good Guardian of the Galaxy story to enjoy.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Modo: Ember’s End by Arthur Slade

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*No Major Spoilers*

Based on the world of Arthur Slade’s Hunchback Assignments, Modo: Ember’s End follows the titular character on a new adventure. Modo has been trained by the British to be a secret agent and is about to find more action than he can handle in the wild-west town of Ember’s End.

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I was browsing the virtual library, and the cover of Modo: Ember’s End caught my eye. I thought it would make for a fun and entertaining read. Now that I’m finished reading the novel let’s look at this graphic novel.

First off, I am a fan of westerns with a sci-fi twist; steampunk. I have reviewed other novels of this subgenre, which you can check out here when you’re finished reading this review. Modo: Ember’s End makes it’s way to a family-friendly subgenre with plenty of western hijinks and adventure.

One nitpick I had was how Octavia was portrayed as a dumb brutish blonde. I am not familiar with the Hunchback Assignments series, so I don’t know if Octavia is a returning character or if she only appears in this spinoff. However, either way, it’s nothing major that takes away from this story.

Overall I had fun with the story. I loved the humor the author put into this story, and I think this graphic will be fun for the whole family. I’d recommend Modo: Ember’s End if you’re looking for a family-friendly western for all ages.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga

REVIEW: Zodiac P.I. Vol. 1 (Zodiac P.I. #1) by Natsumi Andō

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*No Major Spoilers*

Lili is just like any other girl — except she can foretell the future! This ‘Zodiac PI’ relies on horoscopes and astrology to help her solve crimes and track down criminals. When there’s trouble brewing, she transforms herself into the magic Detective Spica and looks to the stars to guide her way. Before long, she is joined by her childhood friend, Hiromi, who dreams of becoming a detective as skilled as Detective Spica. Soon, no astral investigation is too arduous for this dynamic duo!

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I initially found this manga at a convention I attended a couple of years ago. It caught my eye because the subject matter was something I think everyone becomes interested in at some point in their lives. Combining this with the mystery genre was something I thought would be interesting. Now let’s see if the stars align for Zodiac P.I. 

I found the two mysteries featured in this manga to be intriguing, the first mystery surrounds the death of one of Lili’s classmates. The other is Lili going undercover to investigate this piano school rumored to be haunted. However, ghosts are the least of Lili’s worries once one of the teachers turns up dead in his own classroom.

Lili uses the magical power of a Zodiac ring her mother gave her before she disappeared. This ring brings forth the entities of the Zodiac to provide her with the victim’s horoscope for the day that they died, and the ominous messages help Lili solve the case as Detective Spica.

After the piano school case, Hiromi discovers Lili is actually Detective Spica. We then learn that Lili’s mom was the original Detective Spica before her disappearance. Now that her secret identity has been revealed, Hiromi promises to not reveal Lili’s secret and help her out with future cases.

As much as I want to nitpick this manga to death, I know it’s meant for a younger audience. I still had fun reading this story. The use of the Zodiac and the victim’s horoscope add a new element to old fashioned sleuthing. I would recommend this manga series for lovers of mysteries, Zodiac, and female heroines. This is a series I hope to be revisiting in the future.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: Daredevil vs. Punisher Means & Ends by David Lapham

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*No Major Spoilers* 

*This is a collection of Daredevil vs. Punisher 1-6*

Daredevil and the Punisher vie for the soul of Hell’s Kitchen as half the East Coast’s underworld – in chaos since Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, was deposed – scramble for a shot at the big chair. And as the city descends into chaos – as murder and intimidation become the staples of the day – Daredevil and the Punisher each seek to restore order in their own unique way. For Daredevil this means dispensing justice at the end of a billy club. But for the Punisher, justice at the end of a billy club isn’t justice at all. For the Punisher, justice for these animals is at the end of a shotgun. Featuring more Marvel villains than you can shake a stick at – including Hammerhead and the return of the nefarious… Jackal!

This graphic novel is a must-read if you’re a fan of either Daredevil or the Punisher. They are both on the side of good, they just go about it in different ways. Daredevil believes in the justice system and locking the bad guys up in prison. Punisher has little to no faith left in society and so he only believes in killing the bad guys.

This story is mainly told from the Punisher’s perspective. So if you don’t know anything about the Punisher, the comic will fill you in. This will definitely make you see the flaws in both Daredevil’s and Punisher’s thinking and methods.

One aspect I like about this story is how we find out that the Punisher killed a prominent D.A. and Daredevil said that Punisher crossed the line. When in fact, the D.A. was taking bribes from one of the bad guys. Even though Daredevil finds out the truth later in the story, this shows a major flaw in Daredevil’s beliefs about the justice system.

Overall, if you’re looking for some superheroes fighting each other, even if it’s on a more low-key scale, then this graphic novel is for you. Fans of Daredevil, the Punisher, and Marvel Comics as a whole will enjoy this graphic novel collection.

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