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!

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, 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!

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson

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*No Major Spoilers*

Who is the Inventor, and what does he want with the all-new Ms. Marvel and all her friends? Maybe Wolverine can help! If Kamala can stop fangirling out about meeting her favorite superhero, that is. Then, Kamala crosses paths with Inhumanity — by meeting the royal dog, Lockjaw! But why is Lockjaw really with Kamala? As Ms. Marvel discovers more about her past, the Inventor continues to threaten her future. Kamala bands together with some unlikely heroes to stop the maniacal villain before he does real damage, but has she taken on more than she can handle? And how much longer can Ms. Marvel’s life take over Kamala Khan’s?

I have been wanting to start delving into the Ms. Marvel series for a while. I love that she’s a minority in the fact that she is Middle Eastern and Muslim. It is nice to see Marvel making their heroes into minorities. I feel like this is a step in the right direction for equality in the Superhero world.

The story is good, Ms. Marvel is still trying to figure out who she is. Is she a mutant? An Inhuman? She is on a journey to find herself. She is also struggling to balance family life and her superhero one.

Favorite character, hands down, is Lockjaw! He’s a member of the Royal Family of Inhumans. He is sent to look after Ms. Marvel by Medusa. He has amazing teleportation powers that he uses throughout the graphic novel. Being a dog lover myself, but never being around large dogs, I’m not sure how I would react if I met Lockjaw in real life!

Overall I really enjoyed this story. I’d recommend this to fans of Ms. Marvel, the Inhumans, and stories with a minority protagonist.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol.2: Squirrel, You It’s True by Ryan North

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*No Major Spoilers*

In this collection of “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl,” we see Squirrel Girl come across new allies as well as new enemies. Before you know it the world, including the Avengers, is thrown into chaos. It’s up to Squirrel Girl and her new allies to save the day!

I love how quirky and humorous this is written, I’ll say even just the concept of a girl being able to communicate with squirrels is humorous in itself. Another part about this book that I enjoyed reading about and learning about online was the fact that there’s a Norse god who is a squirrel. I found that to be a rather interesting concept to incorporate into this story.

One of the scenes I really enjoyed was when Doreen (aka Squirrel Girl) had to recruit The Avengers for an almost impossible mission. When she arrived they were under the Norse god’s spell, arguing about meaningless and stupid things and Captain America calling the team “Giant Diaper Babies”.

I loved this story so much and the art style I couldn’t really find anything to nitpick about other than that Squirrel Girl kind of looks like Sandy Cheeks from “Spongebob Squarepants” 

If you want an enjoyably funny comic then this is the one for any comic lover! I got such a kick out of it that I’d almost buy a second copy!

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: She-Hulk: Law and Disorder (She-Hulk Vol.1) by Charles Soule

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*No Major Spoilers*

Jennifer Walters is a lawyer by day and a superhero when she’s away from the courtroom. In this graphic novel, she leaves her job at one of the big law firms and starts her own private practice.  Her first client? The son of Doctor Doom, she has to help him with getting asylum in the state of New York. As the case wraps up a much larger case comes along to unfold that has conspiracy and magic written all over it. Will Jennifer and her friends make it out alive?

The first thing I want to touch on that I didn’t really like was the artwork, I didn’t really like how they made her look like a monster because in other comics about her she looks like a tall, green babe, so the consistency wasn’t there for me.

The story, on the other hand, I really did like because of any story involving Doctor Doom is more interesting than any of the Fantastic 4 movies so far. In the story without giving too much away, She-Hulk traveled to Latvaria to fight some of Doctor Doom’s Doombots. She succeeded by destroying Doombot after Doombot and then coming upon Doctor Doom himself and reasoned with him about his son.

With this book taking place in the standard Marvel Universe, this is her own unique storyline that is a different take on the She-Hulk from most of what is out there.

In conclusion, I really did find this book enjoyable overall even though the artwork didn’t really catch my fancy. I would recommend this book to just about any Marvel fan. If you have an interest in the Marvel Universe and you’re more concerned with story than the artwork then this a good story to check out!

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: Spider-Man/Doctor Strange: The Way to Dusty Death by Stan Lee

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*No Major Spoilers*

A saga of life, death and obsession decades in the telling! The sorcerer Xandu is desperate to restore the love of his life to the land of the living – and he needs the Wand of Watoomb! But time and again, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man stand in his way. Xandu’s quest to revive his beloved will involve another arcane artifact – the Crystal of Kadavus – and even drag the Scarlet Witch into the action! But will Xandu’s plan result in all life as we know it crumbling into dusty death?

This graphic novel includes several, complete, and epic stories involving Spider-Man and Doctor Strange teaming-up to fight off the monsters and demons that go bump in the night.

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I enjoyed this collection greatly. The stories were in-depth, and I enjoyed every single one of them! I love Doctor Strange, he is so odd, and yet very kind. His power in the mystic arts is very powerful because he doesn’t use it for personal gains.

The main story I found to be fulfilling and enjoyed the wild ride. The illustration of the other realms was bright, colorful, yet terrifying at the same time. Xandu is a villain who has a reason for being “evil”. His backstory I found to help his character development greatly.

I would recommend this for comic book lovers. I think this is a great start to Doctor Strange, or Spider-Man if you are still unfamiliar with their characters.