Review: Secret Avengers, Vol. 3: God Level

Secret Avengers, Vol. 3: God LevelSecret Avengers, Vol. 3: God Level by Ales Kot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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God Level is where Kot wraps up his 3 volume run on Secret Avengers and really starts to get his weird-on. Usually that’s where I get off Ales’ crazy train. But not this time folks. Enjoyed the shit outta this title right up to the end.

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Funny that MODOK, a character I previously thought was oh-so-lame, ended up being one of the best parts of this book. Bunch of great moments including him drunk texting Deadpool, gettin’ all Rambo, and rockin’ out in an apron. Liking Snapper (heh) as well. Go figure. Who would’ve guessed a guy like me would end up diggin’ a dude named after a woman’s hoo-hoo? I would’ve appreciated a bit more Wade Wilson, but only because I think Ales really nails him.

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Some other highlights of volume 3 included Black Widow and Lady Bullseye on the run, Hawkeye taking out 17 hired guns all by his lonesome, Deadpool’s cameo, and the debriefing interviews at the end of the book.

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Much respect for Michael Walsh. The guy owned this series and deserves as much credit as Ales for gettin’ me hooked. He crushed whatever it was that Kot’s crazy-ass script called for. I’m guessing that he’s also personally responsible for some of the awesome “little” moments that made this book so damn good. Tradd Moore’s covers were pretty bangin’ too.

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This type of Avengers story might not be for everybody, but boy did it kill for me. Plenty of action with just enough kookiness and unconventional story-telling to make it fresh. Kot jumps around a bit while getting to where he’s going (linear just ain’t his thing) and it really worked here. Pair him up with a talented guy like Walsh and Marvel created a run that’s among the best that any Avengers title has seen in a while. Bravo boys, hate to see this joy-ride come to an end. Anybody that’s enjoying Fraction’s Hawkeye, Soule’s She-hulk, or Waid’s Daredevil should probably give this title a shot.

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Review: Rat Queens: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth Vol. 2 by Kurtis J. Wiebe

Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'rygothRat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth by Kurtis J. Wiebe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Introduction:

After reading the first volume of “Rat Queens,” I just took my little ole self to the library and grabbed the second volume of this fantastic series “Rat Queens Volume Two: The Far Reaching Tentacles for N’Rygoth,” since I really enjoyed the first volume so much and I wanted to see where our lovely Rat Queens would end up at next!


What is this story about?

In this volume, the Rat Queens are celebrating their victory from the events of the first volume and they now each have a love interest that they spend their time with (except Dee, it appears). Meanwhile, a mysterious and disturbing force is coming to their city and a vengeful ex-partner of Sawyer’s has kidnapped him!


What is this nightmarish force that is terrorizing the city and will the Rat Queens save Sawyer from this disaster?

Read this volume to find out!


What I loved about this story:

Kurtis J. Wiebe’s writing: Wow! This volume was just as good as the first as the characters are still highly entertaining to read about and the threats just keep getting bigger! I loved the way that Kurtis J. Wiebe developed the mysterious conspiracy that was hinted at in the first volume as we actually get our first look into the evil demon N’Rygoth and the mayhem it caused for the characters and their hometown. I also like the fact that this volume was much darker and intense than the first volume as the stakes are higher for the main protagonists and the ancient conspiracy actually takes center stage in this volume. Kurtis J. Wiebe also did a fantastic job at developing each member of the Rat Queens, especially Dee and Hannah as we find out more about their background history, especially with Dee and her history with the demon N’Rygoth. I also like the fact that Sawyer and Hannah’s relationship with each other is developing in this volume as it shows that Hannah truly cares about Sawyer when she found out that he got kidnapped and tried everything in her power to rescue Sawyer.

Roc Upchurch and Stjepan Sejic’s artwork: The combination of Roc Upchurch and Stjepan Sejic’s artwork really brought so much creativity to this volume as Roc Upchurch’s artwork continues to be just as amazing as the previous volumes, while Stjepan Sejic’s artwork is even more gorgeous with the characters’ faces looking so realistic and fitting in with the more intense atmosphere of this volume!

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What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

For anyone who does not like nudity, gore and strong language, this volume contains quite a bit of all of the above. The nudity is especially dialed up in this volume as we see many characters completely nude and performing sexual acts that might not go over too well with some readers. Also, there are many images of characters being cut in half or being stabbed to death, which are all shown in graphic detail and that could be disturbing for some readers.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Rat Queens Volume Two: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth” is definitely one volume you should check out, especially if you have been enjoying the “Rat Queens” series as much as I have and want to see more adventures from everyone’s favorite tough as nails girls!

5 pows

Review: Batman R.I.P by Grant Morrison

Batman R.I.P.Batman R.I.P. by Grant Morrison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Introduction:

At this point, I have been reading many “Batman” comics and so far, I had been enjoying every single one I had read…until I came upon this comic. I mean, “Batman R.I.P” had a pretty interesting premise written by Grant Morrison and gorgeous artwork by Tony S. Daniel, who slightly rivals Jim Lee’s artwork, but the story itself was a bit too slow and confusing for me to really get interested in.


What is this story about?

Batman has always trained himself to withstand any threat that comes his way, but there is one organization that will try to defeat him mentally and that is the Black Glove. The Black Glove’s plan is that they will try to find a way to make Batman go insane, so that way Gotham City’s criminals will unleash unbearable mayhem on the city itself while Batman is losing his sanity. Will the Black Glove succeed in their plans or will Batman find a way keep his sanity?


What I loved about this story:

The premise: The premise for this story, which was the Black Glove trying to make Batman go insane, was pretty interesting. I did like the way that Grant Morrison wrote the scenes of Batman going insane and how the story just starts becoming cluttered because of the insanity that Batman was suffering. It really brought a chaotic feel to the story, which I usually associate chaos with insanity, so the story really fit that feeling extremely well. I also loved the way that Grant Morrison wrote the Joker as being insane as well as being calculating in his schemes against Batman since the Joker is honestly one of my most favorite “Batman” villains to date!

Tony S. Daniel’s artwork: Tony S. Daniel’s artwork was fantastic as the characters are drawn realistically and the colors are so vibrant. I really loved the way that Tony S. Daniel drew Batman himself as Batman looks extremely muscular and threatening at the same time.


What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:


Okay…where was this story going?

Confused

While I like the premise of this story and the artwork, the story itself was average for me because it was both too confusing and slow for me to follow. I understand that the story was basically the Black Glove manipulating Batman, but the plot just got so cluttered up once the Black Glove’s plan was announced that I just got so confused about what was really going on, especially when the plot was jumping all over the place. Also, there were moments where the story started slowing down and my interest in the story started to go down, the more I read this comic. There were various conversations that the characters had in this book that I was wondering to myself about what do they have to do with the story at hand?


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Batman R.I.P” may have an interesting premise about Batman going insane and gorgeous artwork, but the story is average at best since the plot is too confusing and the pacing seems to slow down in many places that it was difficult to read through.

3 pows

Review: Batman: Long Shadows by Judd Winick

Batman: Long ShadowsBatman: Long Shadows by Judd Winick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Introduction:

Now to be honest, I have never read DC Comics’ major event “Final Crisis,” so I am not familiar with Batman (or Bruce Wayne in this case) being dead during this event and this comic book “Batman: Long Shadows” takes place after the events of “Final Crisis.” However, despite not reading “Final Crisis,” I still thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel (although being a huge Dick Grayson fan also helps)!


What is this story about?

After the events of “Final Crisis,” Batman (Bruce Wayne) is pronounced dead, but in order to prevent the world from knowing that the real Batman is dead, Bruce Wayne’s protégé Dick Grayson decides to take up the mantle himself. Unfortunately, Batman’s old nemesis Two-Face notices that Batman is not himself and he sets out to murder the new Batman!


What I loved about this story:

Judd Winick’s writing: Wow! Can I say that I was truly impressed with Judd Winick’s writing of this short story that takes place after “Final Crisis?” Now as it is known by now, I am a huge Dick Grayson fan and the fact that I am reading another “Batman” comic that stars Dick Grayson taking the mantle from Bruce Wayne (the first comic I read that had Dick Grayson as Batman was “Batman: The Black Mirror”) is just so exciting to me! I loved the way that Judd Winick wrote this story as we actually get to see how Batman’s immediate family (his butler Alfred, Damian Wayne and Dick Grayson) react to Bruce Wayne’s death and how they are trying to cope with the legacy that he left behind as Batman. It was pretty interesting to see how Dick Grayson tries to upheld Bruce Wayne’s legacy as Batman while doing things his own way and I loved how the other characters often commented on how Dick Grayson was a lot more friendlier as Batman than Bruce Wayne was and it was a nice change for the characters, especially for Alfred. I really enjoyed the relationship that Dick shares with Damian Wayne and Alfred as he treats Alfred like a father figure and he tries to get through the hard headed Damian Wayne. Judd Winick’s portrayal of Dick Grayson was fantastic as Dick continues to crack jokes throughout the story while showing great concern and compassion for his mentor Bruce Wayne and that just made me love Dick Grayson even more!

Mark Bagley’s artwork: Mark Bagley’s artwork is truly fantastic, especially during the battle sequences! I loved the way that Mark Bagley made all the explosions look extremely realistic and effective as I really felt the chaotic mood of the battle scenes that Dick Grayson gets involved in. I also loved the way that Mark Bagley drew the expressions on the characters’ faces as they look expressive and I actually felt the same emotions that the characters felt through certain situations, like the sadness that Batman’s immediate family felt when Bruce Wayne died.

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What made me feel uncomfortable about this story

The reason why I took off half a point from the rating was because the beginning tended to drag on for a while before the story got exciting and I will admit I was a bit bored with the beginning until I got into the actual story as it went on. Also, for anyone who does not like gory violence and language, this comic does have a fair share of violence and language.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Batman: Long Shadows” is an excellent graphic novel for fans who want to see Dick Grayson take up the Batman cowl and own it like no one else!

4.5 pows