Review: Invincible: Ultimate Collection Volume 3 by Robert Kirkman

Invincible: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 3Invincible: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 3 by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Invincible


Introduction:

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.


Final Thoughts:

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!

Rating?

5 pows

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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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Review: Invincible: Ultimate Collection Volume 2 by Robert Kirkman

Invincible: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 2Invincible: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 2 by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Brief Introduction:

After reading the first volume of Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker’s classic superhero comic “Invincible,” I just had to read the second volume of this fantastic series and see more of Mark Grayson and his family after the explosive and tragic revealation at the end of the first volume! “Invincible: Ultimate Collection Volume Two” is definitely one volume you do not want to put down!


What is the story?

After the tragic events in the first volume, Mark Grayson is starting to look at life in a different light now and must take over his father’s job of protecting Earth from villains. Throughout this volume, Mark will have to face various foes that he has never faced before, while trying to graduate from high school and make it to college!


What I loved about this comic:

Robert Kirkman’s writing!: As with the first volume, Robert Kirkman’s writing is just fantastic as not only are we shown more action scenes than we were shown in the first volume, but we also get so many emotional moments from the characters themselves. I loved the way that Robert Kirkman actually explored the turmoil that Mark and his mother suffered after what happened in the first volume (I really do not want to spoil the ending of the first volume since I want everyone to check this series out, but let me tell you, it truly was a shocker). Just seeing both Mark and his mother become so upset after the events of the first volume and trying to cope with the situation the best they can truly shows that these are characters who strongly relate to any person. Even though most superhero comics do deal with your typical super heroic action scenes, this was one of the few times I have actually read a superhero comic that actually explores a character’s emotions on a certain situation (okay, I actually read emotional content from some of the X-Men comics) and it was a truly sad experience to sit through when I was reading this comic and I often found myself sympathizing with Mark and his mother. I also loved the way that Robert Kirkman created many action scenes in this volume so that way you can stay interested in the storylines and enjoy the constant action scenes being shown in this volume! Again, I loved the way that Robert Kirkman wrote Mark Grayson’s character as Mark is shown to be an average teenage boy trying to juggle his time with high school and being a superhero and I love how he shows enthusiasm in being a superhero while trying to stay close to his friends despite his constant superhero duties.

Ryan Ottley and Bill Crabtree’s artwork: Done in about the same style as Cory Walker’s artwork in the first volume, Ryan Ottley has done a brilliant job at doing the artwork for this volume as the characters look a bit realistic and the facial expressions that shows whenever a character is upset or shocked is extremely well done. Bill Crabtree’s coloring is just as brilliant as before as the characters are brightly colored and I also loved the dark coloring being done whenever the characters are shown during the night time.


What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:

Like the first volume, there are many scenes of blood and gore, especially with various killings in this volume where characters are ripped apart and their insides are showing. Also, one small nitpick I had with this volume was that there were so many different stories being shown all at one time. In the first volume, we had one storyline that had several small events happening to the characters while each event led up to a bigger storyline that was unfolding. In the second volume, there are so many storylines going on at the same time such as Mark and his mother dealing with the tragic events of the last volume, Mark almost being married to the Queen of the Underwater Kingdom, and a time traveler named Angstrom Levy trying to save his timeline from a catastrophe. All of these events happening in one volume is often confusing and sometimes, half of the storylines do not really wrap up, which is irritating if you want to see the storyline all the way through.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Invincible: Ultimate Collection Volume Two” is a truly brilliant follow up to the first volume and anyone who is a huge fan of Robert Kirkman’s works or is a huge fan of superhero comics will definitely get a kick out of this series!

Rating?

5 pows

Black Magick, vol. 1: Awakening, Part One

Black Magick, Volume 1: Awakening, Part OneBlack Magick, Volume 1: Awakening, Part One by Greg Rucka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Received from Netgalley for review.)

Really interesting. I’ve liked most of what I’ve read by Rucka, so I requested this book without really investigating what it was or what it was about. I probably would have requested it anyways. It’s a blend of police procedural and Wiccan-flavored magic, and at least in this volume, it works rather better than it probably should. Main character Rowan Black is a cop, and a witch, and she’s being hunted. The question of who, or what, is hunting her and why is the central mystery of the series at this point, and it isn’t resolved at the end of the book. I’m more than interested enough in seeing how this plays out to look for volume two, when it’s released.

There are flaws, mainly that I’m having trouble connecting with the characters. The stellar art more than makes up for those minor flaws. I’m especially in love with the limited color palette, primarily shades of grey with color being used to indicate magic. It looks great, and it gives the book a look of its own, always nice things.

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Review: Invincible: Ultimate Collection Volume 1 by Robert Kirkman

Invincible: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1Invincible: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Invincible


Brief Introduction:

For a long time now, I had always believed that the only comic book companies that created superhero comics were Marvel and DC and it is true that they have been creating superhero comics for many years now. However, when I found Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker’s latest creation and Eisner Award nominated series “Invincible” from Image comics; I was actually shocked that an independent comic book company would produce a superhero comic! “Invincible” is a superhero comic book to be sure, but it was one superhero comic that had many plot twists that you would not normally see in any other superhero comic book and those plot twists really made this graphic novel truly unique and exciting to read!


What is the story?

Mark Grayson was a normal teenage boy who goes to high school, has crush on girls and has a dull after school job like everyone else. However, what makes Mark different from everyone else is that his father, Omni-Man is the world’s most powerful superhero and Mark seems to have inherited his powers! After Mark discovers his powers, he finds the life of being a superhero fun; but then once a dark secret is exposed, Mark’s life will soon change forever!


What I loved about this comic:

Robert Kirkman’s writing!: Now, I am not too familiar with Robert Kirkman’s work since “Invincible” is the first comic I have read by him, but now that I had just finished reading this graphic novel, I am totally hooked on Robert Kirkman’s writing style! Robert Kirkman has done a brilliant job at developing the characters to the point where we can really sympathize and care about their situations. I loved the character portrayal of Mark Grayson as he is portrayed as being a free spirited character that enjoys having superpowers while trying to balance his life at school and I loved seeing that side of Mark as he knows he has responsibilities, but he still wants to enjoy life. I also loved the way that Robert Kirkman would make parodies of superheroes in this comic such as the superhero team “Guardians of the Globe” being a slight parody of the Justice League and yet, these superhero teams are not like carbon copies of the superheroes we see in Marvel and DC as they seem to have qualities that separates them from the other superheroes.

GuardiansJustice League

Robert Kirkman also did a fantastic job at providing humor in this story as I found myself laughing at the statements being made by the characters, especially by Mark Grayson when he made comments about finding out about his powers for the first time and he just casually told his parents about his powers like it is no big deal. What I really loved about Robert Kirkman’s writing is his ability to provide plot twists to the story and the plot twists were done extremely well as I was literally shocked at the various secrets that were exposed about the characters.

Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley’s artwork: Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley’s artwork is a bit unique as it has a simplistic look and yet during the action scenes, is drawn in an effective way. I loved the artwork of the characters’ expressions whenever they are confused about something as their eyes are drawn as little black dots instead of having their normal eye shapes which really brings out the humor in the situations. I also loved the coloring done by Bill Crabtree as the artwork looks extremely colorful and I loved the shadowing on the characters’ faces whenever they are in dark places such as being outside during the nighttime.


What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:

This graphic novel is surprisingly gory as there are many scenes of characters being torn apart and you can see blood squirt out everywhere and their innards being pulled from their bodies. Anyone who does not like seeing gore in any graphic novel might want to skim over these scenes.


Final Thoughts:

“Invincible” is not your average superhero comic as it contains more humor and a lighter tone than what I usually see in superhero comics, but this is definitely one of the most unique and interesting superhero comics I have ever read and I am sure that many fans of superhero comics will definitely enjoy this graphic novel!

My Rating?:

5 pows

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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Where is Jake Ellis?

Where is Jake Ellis?Where is Jake Ellis? by Nathan Edmondson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

(Received from Netgalley for review.)

Disappointing, after the first volume. This one felt far less polished, and the characters seemed somewhat dumbed down. Jon in particular makes incredibly foolish mistakes early on. Yes, I know that Jake was always the brains of the operation, but he does something that’s so jaw-droppingly absurd that it took me out of the story. Because, under these circumstances, why would you ever approach an American embassy for help? What happens is exactly what you would expect to happen, and it’s so frustrating that Jon never even considers that option, especially because he’s endangering others.

It’s more than that single narrative misstep, though. I’d loved the first Jake Ellis book because it ran smoothly on ever level, and this one just sort of stumbles around on all the same levels. Which is quite disappointing, because I was excited about this book. The one new and interesting thing that this volume does offer is the blind operative on the other side of the fence from Jake and Jon. I would have liked to see more of this character, but obviously there wasn’t quite enough room for that here.

This isn’t the follow up that I’d been hoping for. It isn’t terrible, just terribly disappointing. Then again, maybe I wouldn’t feel quite so let down if I hadn’t been waiting so long for it to show up.

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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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