About Anne

Reading, reviewing, making cakes, and herding children.

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 4

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 4Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 4 by Charles Soule
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Definitely not required reading.
Legends of the Dark Knight 4 is just a mish-mosh of Batman tales by different authors. A few are decent, some are just trippy, and a few downright suck.
But none of them are great.

I Hate it When He Does That tells how (a much too) young Bruce Wayne learns the art of fading into the shadows. He and Alfred find a girl in Thailand, help rescue her from corrupt government official, and she teaches him the Ways of the Force.
Why did Alfred ever agree to any of this bullshit? Toss that kid on a plane, and get the hell out of that cesspool!

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Riddler in the Dark is a decent story by Charles Soule. Unsurprisingly, Soule has written one of the better issues.
Riddler needs Batman to help him, but just can’t bring himself to ask the nice way.

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The Pain Cellar is about a childhood memory of Bruce’s that resurfaces, Arm Candy is about another new girlfriend, and The Notebook is about a reporter who’s shadowing Bruce for the day.
All of these are written by Frank Hannah, only a few pages long, and all make one (issue?) interconnecting story arc together.

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The Beautiful Ugly is a dark and depressing Two-Face story.
No redemption for you! <—That was me doing my Soup Nazi voice, btw.

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Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 3: Spider-Verse

Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 3: Spider-VerseAmazing Spider-Man, Vol. 3: Spider-Verse by Dan Slott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hey! It’s a crossover event that’s actually FUN!

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I’ve been getting burned out on these events lately, but Spider-verse has more going for it than some of the other stuff I’ve read.
Now, I haven’t read all of the other titles in the crossover, but I had already read Edge of Spider-Verse, Spider-Woman, Vol. 1: Spider-Verse, & Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 2: Spider-Verse Prelude. Which was enough for me to feel like I was getting the lion’s share of the story.
I may go back for some of the other titles later. Maybe.

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The gist is that there is this family called the Inheritors who live on (I think!) Loomworld.
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Their sole purpose is to suck the life force out of Spider Totems (read: Spider-men, Spider-woman, Spider-bots, Spider-animals, & Spider-babies).
Spider-ham! Yuuuuum…

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Anyway, this is the volume where it all comes together! The final battle between the Inheritors & basically every Spider in the multiverse!
Boom! Pow! Sock! Ka-blam-o!

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Yeah, yeah…sounds goofy, but there really are some awesome moments in this thing!
Including a showdown between Otto and Peter, as the Superior Spider-man tries to prove he’s got what it takes to lead in the future.

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This is the conclusion of Doc Ock’s time as Spider-man, so fans of that title may want to read this in order to get one last glimpse of him.
sniffle

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Also, a pretty touching moment between Pete & Gwen…

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Everyone’s favorite Ultimate Spider-man, Miles Morales, shows up, too! Among other things, he takes a trip to (what appears to be) the Cartoon Universe.
Dawwww! How cute!

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And best of all?! THIS:

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I don’t want to spoil how it all goes down, but there were plenty of things about it that made this one a great load of fun to read. At least, it was for me.
And visually? It was Amazing<–of course!
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Now, if your aren’t into Spidey, then this may not be for you. It could be very confusing for someone who isn’t familiar with any of these characters, so I’m definitely not recommending this as a jumping-off point for any newbies. I honestly think it would be overwhelming unless you’re somewhat familiar with these characters.

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However, if you do know a bit about these guys? Yeah, go for it! Spider-verse was highly entertaining, so I’d easily recommend it for hardcore fans.

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Saga, Volume 4

Saga, Volume 4Saga, Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

 

WARNING: Potential Spoilers Ahead!

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You can really see how this family is going through the growing pains in this one. And, once again, Vaughn and Staples create a fantasy world that is so incredibly not fantasy.
This volume? This is a real marriage.
Can we please fight about it in the morning?

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Ok, so now that they aren’t running for their lives, the mundane existence of taking care of a family sets in…as it does with a lot of marriages.
Alana is working full-time as an actress on this space soap opera, and Marko is staying home with Hazel.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage…
But they don’t tell you what happens after that, do they?

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Yep. You aren’t really married till you’ve practiced your alibi in the mirror, at least once. Now, at some point, you’ll both laugh about how you ran into each other at Home Depot, looked into each other’s shopping carts, and saw that you were both buying tarp and duct tape.
But till then, you’ll go through that rough period known as:
Those Couple Of Years We Gutted It Out For The Kids.

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Continue reading

Bitch Planet, Vol 1: Extraordinary Machine

Bitch Planet, Vol 1: Extraordinary Machine (Bitch Planet, #1-5)Bitch Planet, Vol 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

So, I loved the feminist slant, and I loved the in-your-face attitude of the comic. Especially the stuff about body image. LOVED IT!

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But as far as the actual plot went, I was a little disappointed.
Maybe because I’d read so much hype about this one? I’m just not sure.
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In dystopian future women are arrested and imprisoned for being non-compliant. Just about anything from being overweight to outspoken can result in incarceration on (what is commonly called) Bitch Planet.

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There’s lots of nudity in this, but it’s not the kind that pays service to drooling fanboys. It takes all the Women in Prison movies, embraces them, and then turns them on their ear.

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Even the obligatory sexy shower scene, gets a brand new twist.

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Although, the best part (to me) was reading all of the hilarious advertisements in the back of each issue. Make sure you don’t pass these up!
Spicy Cinnamon Taco douche…for the girl adventurer!

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And that’s where this volume shines. It was all the small things that it called BULLSHIT on, that made such a huge impact on the story. These are the things that women are told to worry about every day!
Does your vag really need to smell like some sort of a chemical flower? I’m gonna step out on a limb, and say…no.

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It deals with different body types, weight, color, and the general diversity in women, but it also deals with the attitudes towards women with…um, attitude. If you’re outspoken and opinionated does that make you a bitch? Yeah, maybe. shrugs
But is that a bad thing?
Again, going out on that limb to say…no.

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Alrighty, as far as the story?
A group of these Bitch Planet prisoners are going to compete in some sort of game, as the Female team. It’s apparently being done to add spice to this Olympic Gamesish competition (Of course, the deck is stacked against them, there’s a conspiracy with the higher ups in government, and public opinion is not in their favor.
But the ladies may be able to make a statement (and/or kill a bunch of people in charge) if they make it to the final round of the games.
I THINK.
Hopefully, I’ll get the opportunity to keep reading this one, and maybe by the next volume the main plot will be a little more defined.
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Overall, though, I thought the message in this was very cool. Recommended for boys and girls of all ages over 18.

I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publishers.

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Superman/Wonder Woman, Vol. 3: Casualties of War

Superman/Wonder Woman, Vol. 3: Casualties of WarSuperman/Wonder Woman, Vol. 3: Casualties of War by Peter J. Tomasi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

 

I think the art totally ruined the story for me.

Did Wonder Woman get hit in the face with a shovel?

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Stop it, Edward. You already have a girlfriend.

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Ok whatever. I just didn’t care for the way the faces of these characters were drawn. Maybe it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but it was really annoying (for me) to look at the speech bubbles dribbling out of these mouths.
Do you understand what I’m saying?

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The actual story was fine. It shows how the Power Couple first met, and then flashes forward to them in the present. They’re still trying to understand each other and make their relationship work, all while juggling their other responsibilities.

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There’s a new/old villain who’s been re-imagined for the purposes of this volume, plus one of Wonder Woman’s longtime Greek nemesis pops up to cause problems.

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Since this is a Superman/Wonder Woman story, it’s less about the bad guy, and more about the impact it has on them as a couple. They’ve gotta trust each other to not only do the right thing, but also to be able to take care of themselves. And with both of them being such powerhouses, and both of them used to being the one to rush in and save the day, it’s definitely interesting to explore that side to their relationship.
Plus, it’s just cool to see them beat the shit out of each other.
Magical Mind Control, FTW!

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Awww. Aren’t they the cutest?
I have to admit, I’m not as blown away with this title as I was in the beginning. I’d say it’s still decent, but unless they switch up the artist, I’m outta here.
*barf*

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I received a digital copy from NetGalley & the publisher.

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Superman, Vol. 6: The Men of Tomorrow by Geoff Johns

Superman, Vol. 6: The Men of TomorrowSuperman, Vol. 6: The Men of Tomorrow by Geoff Johns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

Say what you want about Geoff Johns, but he definitely knows how to pump new life into iconic characters.
This was FANTASTIC!

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The biggest downer was the art, but I may be the only person who isn’t in love with John Romita Jr’s stuff. It’s not horrible, but I miss Kenneth Rocafort. Sorry, I just think his stuff is pretty to look at, and while JRJ is a beloved illustrator, I’m just not into him.

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Other than that, there’s simply nothing wrong with this volume, though.
Ok, you know how I constantly bitch about crossovers & events hijacking every single title out there? Yeah. Well, it doesn’t happen here! This is literally one cohesive story!
What the what?! I didn’t even know they did that anymore?!

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This next bit might be a mild spoiler, but I don’t think so, because it happens on the first few pages, and is alluded to in the blurb.
Continue reading

Green Arrow: Archer’s Quest Deluxe Edition

Green Arrow: Archer's Quest Deluxe EditionGreen Arrow: Archer’s Quest Deluxe Edition by Brad Meltzer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

Porn-Buddies.
Yeah, that’s the basis for this book. Do you know what a porn-buddy is?
It’s that friend who, if you die, goes into your house and burns/deletes every last scrap of whatever embarrassingly deviant things you might have left behind…before your family finds it.
I know what you’re thinking…

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Only Ollie doesn’t need anyone to burn his porn stash for him.
Get it? Porn Stache! Goddamnit, I’m hilarious!

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Whatever. I’m funny.
Anyway, Ollie had a contingency plan to protect his family & friends in the event of his death. Someone he trusted was to find all of his Green Arrow memorabilia and get rid of it, before it could be used to ferret out the secret identities of his loved ones.
And wouldn’t you know it? He did die.

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But like all good superheroes, he’s baaaaack!
So. Now, he’s got to find out if his wishes were fulfilled. And if so, he needs to collect his stuff.

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This is a really cool Road Trip story for Green Arrow. Basically, he and Arsenal go out and hit all the important highlights of Ollie’s life while they search for his missing collectibles.

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Remember, at the time this was written, both Hal & Barry were dead. So, this is also sort of his goodbye to each of his best friends, and there were some pretty touching moments as a result.

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Plus, he’s got to come to terms with the fact that the men who replaced his friends maybe aren’t so bad. Maybe.

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Not only does he want to find his goodies, but he wants to try and rectify some of the things that he didn’t do right the first time around.

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Alrighty, I thought this would have been a great Green Arrow story even without the twist Metzer added to the end.
But with it, he transformed Oliver Queen’s entire backstory, and made us all think twice about everything we thought we knew about the Emerald Archer. Good stuff!

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Definitely recommended for anyone who calls themselves a fan of Green Arrow.

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Review: Spider-Man: Dying Wish

Spider-Man: Dying WishSpider-Man: Dying Wish by Dan Slott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

 

4.5 Superior stars

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THIS is the prequel to Superior Spider-man. I’ve been wanting to find out how the hell Doc Ock managed to shove his mind into Peter Parker’s body for a long time, and if there’s anyone else out there like me, you might kind of confused as to what you need to read.
Ta-da!

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Continue reading

Review: Convergence

ConvergenceConvergence by Jeff King
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

Ok, let’s get started!
*rubs hands together gleefully*
Kidding, kidding… It’s not that bad. Well, it is, but it’s also probably going to be required reading for DC fans.
Sorry, kiddos.
Warning: Spoilers!
But I’m not even really sure what happened, so…*shrugs*

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Basically, DC wants to use all of the different versions of all of their characters across the multiverse. Because we were all clamoring for them to Bring back the multiverse!
Well, no. But I think New 52 wasn’t working out as well as they’d hoped, so why not go back in time 30 plus years, and re-do a re-boot. Specifically, Crisis on Infinite Earths, which originally wiped out DC’s bloated multiverse, and gave things a cleanish slate. Sorta like…New 52.

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And that’s pretty much what this is about.
Yes, hardcore geeks will certainly be able to go into the specifics of what I missed, but for those of you who are only casual readers, all you need to know is that DC can now tell any story they want to, from any Earth, with any version of any hero that ever existed. Sorta.
And the continuity of the New 52 is still in play.

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Does Convergence, as a story, make for good reading?
Hahahahahahahahahahaha!
*wipes tear*
Oh, you’re funny. I like you!
No, as a matter of fact, there are plot holes you could drive a truck through, clunky dialogue, and a weird plot line that gets more and more confusing as it goes along.
But who cares?! Suck it up, buttercup.
Remember, it’s required reading.

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Some guy from a {random planet} gets tricked into being Brainiac’s stooge…
Hey you know what? Just think of the Silver Surfer/Galactus origin story, and you’ll get what’s going on with this Telos character.
It’s exactly like that, minus the surfboard.

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Most of the story focuses on the Earth 2 heroes, but eventually things branch out to include more and more of the other characters from the multiverse.

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How, why, when, where?
Long story short, Brainiac has trapped everyone…like entire cities… (still not sure how he’s done this) on a living planet controlled by Telos. Then he wanders away to do something off-page.
Telos loses sight of his Prime Directive, and starts pitting cities and their heroes against each other in a Battle Royale-style fight for survival.

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Of course, there’s an evil sorcerer (Deimos) who is planning to rule the world, sorry, worlds. And has managed to eat a bunch of Time Lords… or something. Then Earth 2’s Dick Grayson has a heart-to heart with Telos, and then Telos talks to Brainiac, and then they all cry and get emotional. It’s…you know what? Fuck it. It’s amazing, they all burn their bras and talk about which brand of tampon is the most absorbent. Next thing you know, good triumphs over evil, and the multiverse is restored.

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Ok. that’s it, kids. You can all go back to your regularly scheduled comic books now.

Edit: Everyone is telling me that THIS is definitely NOT required reading. As long as you know that it happened, you can mosey along without ever having to touch this sucker.

I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 2: Spider-Verse Prelude

Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 2: Spider-Verse PreludeAmazing Spider-Man, Vol. 2: Spider-Verse Prelude by Dan Slott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

Ehhh. It’s ok.
I wasn’t expecting perfection, though, so that probably helped.

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This is (duh) the prelude to the Spider-Verse event, and I’m determined to finish at least one of Marvel’s mother fucking events this year. And, honestly, this might be the only one I actually get to, because… Well, because!

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Also, I love Spider-man, and all things Spider-related!
Plus, Dr. Octopus! Yes, Otto shows up in this one!
How, you ask?
Well, remember that time he got blown upish, but then he somehow miraculously showed up alive?
*nods head*
Ok! This is what happened when he sorta-kinda disappeared/blew up!
He actually time traveled into the future. 2099, to be exact!

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I see you nerds in the back getting all excited!
Yes, 2099 is where when Miguel O’Hara (view spoiler) is from, and since he is currently (as far as this comic is concerned) in our timeline, the universe tried to correct itself; hence, Otto ends up in the future!
I’ve always wanted to use hence in a sentence…*squee*

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Anyway, Otto (sort of) figures out what is happening with these Spider Hunters, and starts collecting Spiders from all over the multiverse to help him fight.

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There’s more to this than just Otto, though. Peter has a team-up with Ms. Marvel that ushers in his first glimpse of what’s happening to the Spider-verse. It’s cute. Nothing amazing, but fans of Kamala will be excited to see her meet Spidey.

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Add to that some extra stories from the other Spider-men, and it isn’t a bad collection.

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I’d probably only recommend this one to people who want to read the Spider-Verse event, though, because I’m not sure this would be a good stand-alone volume for casual fans.

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