Posted in Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: Devil at Bay (Daredevil Vol. 1) by Mark Waid, Marc Guggenheim, and Chris Samnee

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*No Spoilers*

Daredevil has headed West, and he now protects the Golden City’s streets from evil — both as a costumed hero and as blind lawyer Matt Murdock! But big changes are in store for Matt as old haunts and familiar faces rise to give the devil his due. The Owl is back, and he isn’t working alone. But old enemies are small potatoes compared to Matt’s new “friend”: the would-be hero known as the Shroud! As one of DD’s oldest enemies is permanently redefined, deadlier than ever, Kirsten and Matt find themselves sharing a volatile secret. But who will crack first?

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I have reviewed Daredevil comics in the past, and I love this street-level superhero! The Netflix series was what introduced me and millions of others to this underdog in the Marvel Universe. So let’s see what’s up with Daredevil in Devil at Bay!

We first see Daredevil in San Francisco rescuing a detective’s daughter that was kidnapped earlier. Daredevil aka Matt Murdock, is able to track down where the kidnappers are keeping the daughter and save her.

Afterwards, we get some background on what happened to Matt’s long-time friend Foggy Nelson. The rest of the volume goes into this story-arc, and I thought it was nice getting some character building between Matt and Foggy.

Overall, I enjoyed liked this volume of Daredevil. There was a good mix of action, character development, and an overall good story. I would recommend this novel for Daredevil fans, as well as Marvel fans. If you have been missing Netflix’s Daredevil series, this gives you a good taste of that kind of action.

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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, 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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Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Arsenal: Full Metal Superhero (Full Metal Superhero #1) by Jefferey H. Haskell

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*No Major Spoilers*

Amelia Lockheart can’t walk, but she can fly. As the armored superhero-Arsenal, she has the power of a small army at her disposal. Fourteen years ago her parents disappeared after a horrific wreck which left her wheelchair bound. With thieves salivating to steal her armor, and supervillains trying to kill her, Amelia must learn to trust her new team if she wants to survive long enough to learn the truth.

This novel caught my attention because of the cover, the series name, and the concept. With the Marvel and DC movies battling it out at the theatres, one might hesitate to go into a superhero series without drawing connections to previously established characters. However, I felt that this would have been unique enough to be entertaining on its own two feet.

I felt like Amelia was amazing in the facts that she doesn’t let others tell her what to do just because she’s a handicapped woman. She is brilliant in what she can build and create with just enough imagination and determination.

At first, her thoughts about what really happened to her parents sounded like a coping mechanism. When something tragic happens, you naturally want to blame it on someone or something. Blaming her parents’ disappearance in the company they worked for is logical and reasonable.

As you go through the battles and struggles with Amelia and her new friends you find that there is something more going on than meets the eye. Is someone trying to set them up to fail? Who is really after Amelia’s armor? These questions and more are what drives this story and the over-arching plot forward.

I couldn’t help myself but draw connections between this novel and Marvel superheroes. It never took anything away from the novel, but it was kind of fun to be like “oh this guy sounds like Doctor Strange”. Or “This sounds like a combination of Captain America and The Hulk”. I found that instead of being direct rip-offs, they were their own unique identity.

The final battle shows how determined and how brilliant Amelia truly is and how her cool head and thinking under pressure is more valuable to the team overall. She is able to do just as much when she is Arsenal, and when she’s just Amelia.

I know this was meant to be an adult novel, but for some reason, I couldn’t get the thought of this being a Young Adult novel out of my head. Something about how Amelia is portrayed had me thinking she was a teenager instead of being in her early 20s.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, it was a breath of fresh air to have some new superheroes to read about. I felt like this novel is appropriate for everyone of all ages to enjoy. If you like underdog stories and superheroes, then this book is for you!