My rating: 2 of 5 stars
What in the world is this story?
On paper, I agree it seems like a great idea…Darkseid vs another evil titan and this conflict taking place on Earth.
But the reality was more like…
(Received from Netgalley for review.)
I requested this on a whim, mostly because I really liked the cover. It’s such an unusual style for a Big Two cover. And I was at least somewhat familiar with this version of Lucifer, from Sandman. As it turns out, not nearly familiar enough. It seems to continue directly after the end of the previous Lucifer series, and I do mean directly. I never read that series, so the book keeps going back to things that happened before. I wasn’t necessarily lost (maybe a bit confused at times), because Black did a fairly good job of trying to explain what she’d brought in from previous books. Even so, it’s like hearing something third hand, so I can’t be sure I really understand all the nuances that she may or may not be playing off of. I can imagine that having read the previous incarnation of the series would be enormously helpful, especially early in the book.
The story itself is a bit meandering at times. When Lucifer and Gabriel go to Dreaming, it felt almost like a digression (though maybe that was intentional) and not an integral part of the story. I’m not sure if Black felt obligated to enter Dream’s realm, or just really wanted to, but either way it felt more like a time out from the story than a continuation of it. Things get really interesting in the last couple of issues, enough so that I’ll probably read the next volume, when it comes out. And interspersing the story with scenes of humans kind of puzzled me at first, but I ended up becoming really attached to them. Overall, there’s some rough spots here, and I think I probably wasn’t quite prepared for the book, but it is good.
The Greek pantheon was probably a poor choice of theme. The DC versions simply aren’t very interesting, especially since Buccellato seems to only remember that a handful of them exist. He didn’t even touch on all twelve of the Olympians, much less the plethora of more minor gods and demigods that Zeus should have been able to use. But I guess Apollo, Artemis, Nike, Eris, and Phobos are all on vacation or something. I’m not saying they all needed speaking parts or even panel time, just… maybe mention they exist? Of course, DC’s version of the Greek pantheon can’t sustain an entire year of Injustice, so the New Gods are brought in to actually make a story. That’s when things finally get interesting. On the bright side, it looks like the next year will be villains, and the issue that sets that up is really good, probably the best issue of the year. This year was just a misstep in theme. I think the book would have been much better served if it had been entirely New Gods
“Beware the Court of Owls,
That watches all the time.
Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch,
Behind granite and lime.
They watch you at your hearth,
They watch you in your bed,
Speak not a whispered word of them,
Or they’ll send the Talon for your head!”
So, when I heard that DC Comics was doing a reboot on all of their comics, I will admit that I was pretty hesitant about trying out any of the rebooted comics, especially after I heard so many bad things about DC’s New 52 series (and it turns out that the backlash was understandable, especially with how some of the later titles in the New 52 turned out to be horrible, according to some of the fans). But, there was one series in the New 52 that fans felt was always consistently good and that was Scott Snyder’s run on “Batman!” So, when my fellow Batman comic buddies recommended me this title, I will admit that I was pretty interested with this volume and I ended up being quite impressed with how this volume turned out!
What is this story about?
Gotham is Batman’s city and he will not let any criminal ruin his town…until the Court of Owls came in. The Court of Owls is a mysterious organization that has been around Gotham ever since it was first built and their plan is to retake Gotham City for their own. The only obstacle in their way is none other than Bruce Wayne and they plan on killing Bruce Wayne to reclaim Gotham City.
Is the Court of Owls connected to Bruce Wayne’s ancestors in some way and will they break Batman in order to obtain their goals of claiming Gotham City?
Read this volume to find out!
What I loved about this story:
Scott Snyder’s writing: I have read Scott Snyder’s previous works on “Batman: The Black Mirror” and the “American Vampire” series and I have always loved his unique and intense writing style. His writing of this “Batman” story is no different and I just loved the way that Scott Snyder made this “Batman” story even more intense than the last! I really loved the fact that since this is a reboot of the “Batman” comics, we actually get to see new villains in the form of the Court of Owls and it was interesting trying to figure out what their true goals for Gotham are and how they knew about Bruce Wayne himself. It really made the Court of Owls such interesting villains and the fact that they were one of the few villains to give Batman a hard time was really different and intriguing for me as a “Batman” fan. But what really made me squeal with true fangirl anticipation was seeing Dick Grayson appear in this comic along with Damian Wayne and Tim Drake! When I saw all the former Robins together on one page, I was seriously excited at this moment since I enjoy seeing all the Robins come together to be with Bruce Wayne, their mentor! I also loved the way that Scott Snyder wrote Bruce Wayne’s relationship with Dick Grayson and Alfred as this reboot shows that Batman still has a close relationship with Dick Grayson and Alfred and I really enjoyed their moments together.
Greg Capullo’s artwork: Greg Capullo’s artwork perfectly captures the dark and gritty nature of this series and I loved how scratchy the ink work is as it gives the story an intense feeling. I also loved the fact that Greg Capullo’s artwork reminds me a bit of the artwork in Frank Miller’s “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” comic book, which slightly gave this volume a retro feel, especially if you are an old school “Batman” fan!
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
The reason why I took off half a star from the rating was because the story tended to be a bit slow in some parts and there were times where I was wishing that the story would have moved at a faster pace to keep me interested all the way through. Also, for anyone who does not like bloody violence in comics, there are some moments in this volume where the violence can get pretty bloody, especially whenever the characters get stabbed by knives.
Overall, “Batman: The Court of Owls Volume One” was a pleasant surprise for me as it made me really enjoy what was being done with this reboot of “Batman” and I hope that the series continues to get better with each volume!
Or at least that is what I think of when I read this story since both main characters (Wolverine and the Bride) had to go to Japan to fight off their rivals.
When I was looking through the comic book boards and I wanted to know what the best “Wolverine” story was, many fans declared that “Wolverine” which was written by Chris Claremont along with artwork by Frank Miller was considered the best “Wolverine” story out there. So, I went out and got this graphic novel and I have to agree with the fans that this was indeed one of the best “Wolverine” stories out there! This also features the first four issues in Wolverine’s new solo series during the 1980s which I was so impressed at seeing for the first time! Never have I have seen so much drama, romance and action contained into one graphic novel and because of that, “Wolverine” has remained to be one of my all time favorite “X-Men” stories about Wolverine!
What is the story?
Wolverine heads off to Japan to find the love of his life, Mariko Yashida, who is the daughter of Lord Shingen who is the Lord of the Clan Yashida, but discovers that his lover has married someone else, which breaks his heart. Along the way, Wolverine meets up with a mysterious assassin named Yukio who seems to know about Lord Shingen’s plans to take over all of the major crime gangs in Japan. Wolverine must put a stop to Lord Shingen’s evil plans to rule as the ultimate crime lord of Japan before it is too late!
What I loved about this comic:
The premise and Chris Claremont’s writing: I will admit that when I heard about this graphic novel, I did not know what to expect from another book about Wolverine and I actually thought that we would get another “Wolverine” book that is all about the fighting and Wolverine acting tough. However, in this graphic novel, what we got was an extremely thought-provoking and heartwarming tale about Wolverine’s romance with Mariko and his inner struggles with dealing with his “animal” side. I loved the way that Chris Claremont has shown us a more sensitive side to Wolverine as he struggles to get the love of his life back while dealing with the customs of her family, which the importance of honor and pride plays a huge role in his story. I also loved the intense kung-fu atmosphere of this story as it gave this story a more creative approach to Wolverine’s time in Japan and made the story exciting to read through. Chris Claremont has done an excellent job at writing this story from Wolverine’s point of view on the situation as we are able to see how Wolverine reacts to the situations he gets involved in Japan whether he is confessing his love for Mariko or fighting ninjas out to get him. It was also interesting seeing how Wolverine viewed himself and Chris Claremont does a brilliant job at portraying Wolverine’s insecurity about being seen as an animal as he usually uses violence to solve his problems. I really enjoyed the tone shift that Chris Claremont had provided when he introduced the other X-Men (Colossus, Storm, Cyclops, Kitty Pryde and Nightcrawler) in the second story that was apart of “Uncanny X-Men” as Wolverine’s solo series was dark, while the “Uncanny X-Men” storyline was a bit light toned.
Frank Miller and Paul Smith’s artwork: When I heard that Frank Miller was doing the artwork for this graphic novel, I was actually blown away by this information because before I read this graphic novel, I was reading “Batman: Year One” which was a graphic novel that Frank Miller wrote himself and I was surprised that Frank Miller has actually done some artwork during his time at the comic book industry. Frank Miller’s artwork was fantastic as they greatly captured the fight scenes in this story. I loved the colorings that were done whenever the characters were in shadows as there are dark colorings shadowed on the characters’ faces which really gives off a foreboding feel to the situation. I also loved Frank Miller’s artwork on the fight scenes, especially the scenes where Wolverine is fighting a group of ninjas and the scene where Wolverine is punching the ninjas is effectively done. In the “Uncanny X-Men” issues of this graphic novel, Paul Smith did a brilliant job at detailing the fight scenes and the characters’ facial expressions and I loved the way that the colorings are much brighter in these issues than in Frank Miller’s artwork in the “Wolverine” issues.
What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:
The only problem that some readers might find with this graphic novel is that there is some violence in the fight scenes. The violence usually has Wolverine cutting into another character and you can see some blood squirt out of the wounds. Now, the violence is actually pretty low-key here as sometimes the blood is not as realistically shown as it usually is in current comics, but the scenes of Wolverine cutting into people might upset some readers.
Overall, “Wolverine” is definitely one of the best stories dealing with Wolverine and anyone who is a fan of Wolverine or the X-Men in particular; I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this graphic novel to any comic book fan!
After reading the first two volumes of Robert Kirkman’s fantastic superhero series “Invincible,” I was dying to read more from this brilliant series and I finally managed to get my hands on the third volume of the “Invincible: Ultimate Collection” and man, did this volume really blew me away!
What is this story about?
After the tragic events of the second volume, Mark Grayson has been trying to move on with his life which includes dating his loving girlfriend Amber and still saving the world on a day to day basis. One day, however, Mark gets a call from an alien planet that needs his help and he realizes that his father (you know, the guy who beat him up in the first volume) is ruling the planet and he wants Mark to help him defeat his own alien race, the Viltrumites, who are coming to the alien planet to take care of Mark’s father!
Will Mark help his father stop the Viltrumites or will he let the alien planet die out of spite?
Also, this volume contains the fourth issue of “The Pact” with artwork by Jason Howard, which contains the adventures of Invincible, Shadowhawk, Zephyr and Duncan fighting lava monsters that are terrorizing the world!
What I loved about this story:
Robert Kirkman’s writing: Once again, Robert Kirkman has proven that he can write a brilliant superhero series that not only contains full throttle action, but plenty of character development! I loved the way that Robert Kirkman wrote each character; especially Mark Grayson who is shown to be an extremely optimistic yet slightly tortured character. I actually felt sorrow for Mark’s predicament for his father as he felt a betrayal like no other and I can relate to Mark’s confused feelings about his father as he still loved him, but he cannot forgive his horrible actions in the past. I also loved Mark’s relationship with Amber as he is extremely honest with her about his superhero antics and it was a bit interesting seeing a strain in their relationship as Mark is having a difficult time trying to maintain his relationship with Amber as he is always out saving the world. I also loved the various different stories going throughout this volume as we have storylines that involve Mark meeting up with his father and the return of Angstrom Levy and they all managed to tie up into one storyline that affects Mark!
Ryan Ottley’s artwork: Ryan Ottley’s artwork is truly brilliant in this volume as the artwork is a cross between being realistic and being a bit scratchy, which really brought out the gritty nature of this story while at the same time, bringing out some humor to the story. I also loved the way that Ryan Ottley drew Invincible’s costume as it is shown in blue, yellow and black colorings, which I think made Invincible really stand out as a superhero in this series!
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
For anyone who does not like gory violence in graphic novels, this volume definitely has plenty of bloody violence that involves characters getting ripped apart and being punched to death and that might be a bit discomforting for some readers.
Overall, “Invincible: Ultimate Collection: Volume Three” is a fantastic volume of the “Invincible” series and I am definitely looking forward to reading the next volume of this awesome series that caught my eye from the beginning!
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Unpopular review time!
Am I the only one who wasn’t that impressed with this volume?
Scrolls through friends’ reviews
To clarify, it wasn’t bad, I just thought it didn’t live up to the first two volumes of the series. Or the last. Not all of it, anyway.
I imagine that this will get compared to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but I was reminded far more of Warren Ellis’s Planetary. I loved Planetary. And I think I could have loved this book, too. I love the premise of a secret organization of mythical characters keeping the myths that run the world going. And there’s some solid characterization here, plus the book largely looks really good. It’s just that the plot quickly falls apart. Here, I think the problem mostly because there’s too much story squeezed into too few issues. Because there isn’t really any major issues in the plot structure itself, it’s just missing the incredibly important factor of motivation. We never really get to know the villain/s, on any level, not even enough for me to be sure if it’s a singular entity or a conglomeration in charge. Nor are there any clearly defined motivations. It’s a shame, because there’s an interesting idea in here.