About paranoidmike

A Product Manager sharing experiences on & of the job.

Review: Runaways Vol 1: Pride and Joy by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona

Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride and Joy (Runaways, #1)Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride and Joy by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book years ago – probably when it was still an active series in its early, obsessive days of new wild-eyed fans who couldn’t believe comics could be this good.

At the time I thought it was a little juvenile for my tastes – who would I be kidding, a grown man reading a comic about a group of teenagers? So I think I put it away and tried to forget how skeezy I felt, and returned to stuff that was a little more age-appropriate (or at least didn’t make me think of how many perverts drooled over the teenaged girls in this book). Weird thoughts, but almost certainly among those in my head at the time (along with “Why did I move to this rain-infested town?” and “When will Americans finally figure out how to write an unambiguous date?”).
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Revival volume 2 by Seeley and Norton

Revival, Vol. 2: Live Like You Mean ItRevival, Vol. 2: Live Like You Mean It by Tim Seeley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The more I read of this series, the more I struggle to keep the intrigues and characters’ relationships (hell, even just the characters) straight. It doesn’t get easier – it’s just more disconnected vague allusions to a bunch of small-town politics and melodramas, and I’m realizing that the base premise of this series is just a false promise.

I don’t think Seeley and Norton are doing a horror book or a supernatural thing – I think they’re just stringing up a set of zombie lights to illuminate the ongoing tales of a bunch of people with varying shades of grey cast on their souls, meandering through their varying weirdnesses and minor misadventures. Being weird and unpredictable because they can, or because it’s “dramatic”.

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Review: Letter 44 Volume 1 by Charles Soule, Alberto Alburquerque

Letter 44 Volume 1: Escape VelocityLetter 44 Volume 1: Escape Velocity by Charles Soule

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Short review: great book. Don’t let this linger on your shelf like I did, you’ll regret it.

The longer this story unfolds, the more tense and dramatic it becomes. I’m finding myself genuinely surprised at this – I’ve read a couple of other Soule joints and this level of control, of depth of research, wasn’t hinted at in his previous works. While interesting stories, the only surprises I felt during Strongman were at his adherence to old school Latin self-sacrificing hero dialogue. Whereas here I was surprised by the intrigues, the unexpected plot developments, and the layers to the characters.

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Review: The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple

The WrenchiesThe Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Magical? Mind-expanding? Evocative. All that just from chapter one.

Or maybe it’s just distracted. Tangential. Unfocused.

I keep hearing Keith’s review (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…) in my head, and it keeps haunting me with the promise of some mind-bending insanity. But the more I read, the faster I skim, as I get more and more impatient for something to surprise and delight (or at least unsettle) me.

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Review: White Death by Robbie Morrison and Charlie Adlard

White Death HcWhite Death Hc by Robbie Morrison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m not a huge fan of Charlie Adlard’s work – I find his pencils on The Walking Dead almost as lazy as Kirkman’s phoning-it-in-from-the-beach writing.

Partly it’s because of his sloppy framing and weak portraiture – especially during action sequences – making it nearly impossible to understand who’s who or which direction we’re looking at through each frame. Makes a war comic pretty frustrating – like we’re supposed to genuflect at his feet and take the storytelling burden on ourselves in gratitude for his deigning to grace us with his scrawls.

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Review: Strongman by Charles Soule and Allan Gladfelter

StrongmanStrongman by Allan Gladfelter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not the strongest independent work I’ve read from a writer who’s being hailed as a new champion of comics – or at least, certainly not to my tastes. Which is weird because it’s a simple tale and shallow enough in its ambitions that I should be right there alongside. Maybe it was the oddly squeaky morality (despite some slightly adultish subject matter)?

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Review: Justice League of America, vol 1 by Johns, Lemire, Kindt…

Justice League of America, Vol. 1: World's Most DangerousJustice League of America, Vol. 1: World’s Most Dangerous by Geoff Johns

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I’m getting numb to Geoff Johns’ ham-fisted character introductions. The first chapter of this book went pretty smoothly for me, only a couple of major winced along the way (and god help me with this weak-willed nobody Steve Trevor showing up everywhere in JL land – he’s a milquetoast stooge, a straight man that serves no purpose except to make others feel better. Does he have any ambitions other than to sleep with Wonder Woman? Apparently not according to Geoff Johns)

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Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family by Snyder and Capullo

Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the FamilyBatman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family by Scott Snyder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m coming into this book with a whole lot of expectations. I’ve heard everybody rave about it, call Scott Snyder the heir apparent to biblical powers, and want to bear his children (or at least his heavy MacBook).

Plus I’ve read the earlier Snyder Batman books and liked them, even if I took an unreasonable dislike to his Iron Man Noir story. I generally respect his work and want to like it.

So to say the least, I was ready to be blown away – AND to be punched in the gut by a sweet mess. Hype is such a delicate flower eh? I’ve raved about some books to the point where I winced when friends couldn’t understand me when they hated them so much. I know that feeling, and I braced for a dose of my own medicine.

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Avengers: The Enemy Within by Kelly Sue DeConnick and a large cast of artists

Avengers: The Enemy WithinAvengers: The Enemy Within by Kelly Sue DeConnick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finally. Holy crap am I tired of superheroes who get into trouble and somehow forget that they’re members of a team, – who whine and struggle and fail alone for issue after issue.

When you read a team book, one of them rushes into the room and declares, “Kong the Immortal Man-Gorilla just landed halfway around the earth! I saw him while I was picking up old pouch-infested uniforms in Bohemivaria, and thought you guys would want to know!” Because of course if you’re part of a team and something bigger than you happens, maybe you’d give self-preservation a chance?

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