Power Girl: Power Trip by Jimmy Palmiotti

Power Girl: Power TripPower Girl: Power Trip by Jimmy Palmiotti

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So…I dived into the latest Shallow buddy-read.

No one better than Power Girl to fulfil the criterion of an embarrassing amount of cleavage on display, am I right? I mean, she’s on the banner and all.
Though at this point it’s gone beyond the event horizon of cleavage…
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Lucifer, vol. 1

Lucifer, Vol. 1Lucifer, Vol. 1 by Holly Black
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(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.

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Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year 4, vol. 2

Injustice Gods Among Us Year Four Vol. 2Injustice Gods Among Us Year Four Vol. 2 by Brian Buccellato
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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

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Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three, Vol. 1 by Tom Taylor

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three, Vol. 1Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three, Vol. 1 by Tom Taylor

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

Yep.

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.
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Mythic, vol. 1

Mythic, Volume 1Mythic, Volume 1 by Phil Hester
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

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Injustice: Year Two Vol 1 by Tom Taylor

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two #1Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two #1 by Tom Taylor

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hmm. This is starting to fall into a soap, rinse and repeat pattern. We have this general plotline where one extra hero who knows nothing about the situation gets introduced, one more exasperating villain is added and lots of people die. Lots.

You knew the Game of Thrones comparison was coming.
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Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year Four, vol. 1

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Four Vol. 1Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Four Vol. 1 by Brian Buccellato
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Received from Netgalley for review.)

Is this what we’re going to do now? Every “year” will have some sort of themed enemy that Superman will eventually vanquish? Last year was magic, and now we’re on to the Greek gods. So seemingly on a whim, the Greek gods have decided that Superman’s rule is a blasphemy against themselves, and so go to war with his side what Batman and company sort of… awkwardly watch? Because they’re very outclassed.

Still, even with slight plot justification, there’s some really fun stuff in here: Wonder Woman throwing down with Superman, the issue centered on Renee Montoya, and lots of scattered character moments that remind me why I look forward to each new volume of this series. There’s still a lot of good in the series, even if I do feel like it’s maybe losing its way a little bit. At this point, I’m kind of glad that the book will be ending after Year Five, because I feel like its losing momentum a bit. Still, that does make it easier for me to stay hopeful. Buccellato ended Year Three in a great way, and maybe he’ll pull something fantastic out for Year Four.

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The Wicked + The Divine, vol. 3: Commercial Suicide

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 3: Commercial Suicide (The Wicked + The Divine, #3)The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 3: Commercial Suicide by Kieron Gillen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Received from Netgalley for review.)

Definitely the weakest volume of WicDiv so far, which is intentional? I guess? McKelvie’s absence from the book (apparently to work on Phonogram) means both a volume full of guest artists who I just don’t like quite as much and an exposition filled volume that almost entirely ignores major plot developments from the last volume. But I knew all of that going in, and I suppose that there was at least a modicum of an effort to keep fan expectations low. Still, maybe not the best way to handle the situation, I don’t know.

So if we don’t get further development on the story, what do we get? A lot of character development. There are a lot of characters floating around the WicDiv universe who are really interesting, but haven’t had time spent on them beyond establishing their basic looks and personalities. And I really did like getting this extra insight, I just think it might have worked better being a bit more spread out through the series, instead of being one giant exposition bomb.

So, good stories, but no real storyline, which is something of a let down. But I’m a sucker for this series, even when it isn’t at its best, so I’ll be back for more. Of course.

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