REVIEW: Invincible, Vol. 9: Out of This World by Robert Kirkman & Ryan Ottley

Allen the Alien returns to Earth as directed by the Coalition of Planets – he’s come to gather information from Mark about his father – the Viltrumite Traitor. Meanwhile, the Viltrumites have come to Earth to check up on Mark’s progress as the reluctant Viltrumite Agent of Earth. Collects Invincible #42-47

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Remember: Reviews may contain spoilers for previous volumes

The main human point that this installment focuses on is Mark wanting to quit school. He’s failing, barely goes, can’t study. He’s thinking the whole time, “what’s the point?” And honestly, I also can’t see the point. It’s not like he’s going to have a real job after he finishes college. His talent is in defending Earth and helping out other societies in the galaxy.

It’s the humanistic side of the Invincible’s story that really keeps me reading. While I love his adventures. I like to see how he just deals with life. He’s a teenage boy with a government job to protect Earth. He lives in a dorm and occasionally attends classes. But it’s so hard for him. He’s just broke up with his girlfriend and there is this potential with Eve… It’s convoluted just how teenage life should be.

As for Mark’s superpowered adventures, this book covers a few things. A surprising event happens (don’t worry, I won’t spoil you) and more importantly, Mark gets a visit from a lady Viltrumite. She’s coming to check on his progress since he’s the designated Viltrumite of Earth. She informs him that someone will be back, whether it’s five months or five years to see if he’s started organizing Earth’s takeover. A minor fight ensues and Mark is left with a lot of anxiety over the whole thing.

I love the perfect balance of Mark’s personal life plus his life as Invincible. I never knew how much I wanted to see that in a superhero comic. But apparently I did.

Guest Review: Fatale, Volume 1: Death Chases Me by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

The first arc of Image’s surprise hit is collected just in time for new readers to jump on board with issue 6!

Secrets, lies, horror, lust and monsters from the time before time all collide in FATALE: DEATH CHASES ME.

In present day, a man meets a woman who he becomes instantly obsessed with, and in the 1950s, this same woman destroys the lives of all those who cross her path, on a quest for… what? ED BRUBAKER and SEAN PHILLIPS best-selling series will leave you craving more!

Collects FATALE #1-5.

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Tentacle Monster Alert!

If I were going to start worshiping a demon, he’d have to be the sexy kind. Not some gruesome bastard with bad teeth, you know?
Also, I’d want to get some decent perks out of it.
Some sort of useful power would be nice, robes made out of that soft jersey cotton, and (most importantly) I’d like a nice insurance package. Maybe even toss in a 401k and some retirement benefits?
I’m just throwing that out there for any of you who are considering joining a cult. Don’t sell your soul to the first one that comes along.
Negotiate for the best deal.

What I wouldn’t want, for example, is for the highlight of the whole thing to be my head turning into some kind of an octopus/butt…complete with tentacles.
Some of you probably think I’m too picky about which monsters I devote myself to, but I like to think of it as being selective with my time. Devil worship can take a huge chunk out of your day, from what I’ve heard, and I’ve got a lot going on right now.
That means, in all likelihood, I won’t be joining a satanic sect anytime soon.
Although, I’m seriously thinking about giving the PTA a shot, and I’m pretty sure some of those ladies sacrifice animals in their spare time…

That being said, this was a pretty cool little graphic novel. I thought (because I didn’t read the blurb) that this was going to be a straight-up crime noirish thing.
I also thought it might be set near the ocean, since the folks on the cover look like they are being caressed by a squid.
Shockingly, I was wrong about that , as well.
This story fall into the horror/noir/mystery/paranormal crime/graphic novel category, I think.

The plot goes a little something like this:
There’s a guy who meets an irresistible girl, who used to be his godfather’s lover (there’s a story there), but for now she’s in a weird relationship with a crooked cop who love/hates her (which is another story), and the original guy wants to save her…sort of.
Oh, yeah. And she’s immortal or something.
Plus, there’s a group of Octopus-Demon worshipers who need to sacrifice Sexy Girl to their deity, in order to get rewarded with the Power of a Thousand Architeuthis (that means squids, by the way).

The art isn’t what I prefer to look at, since it’s all dark and pulpy, but it kind of grew on me by the end.
I’m doubt this one is for everybody, but I enjoyed it.

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REVIEW: The Secret History of D.B. Cooper by Brian Churilla

The most infamous airline hijacker of all time, D.B. Cooper, remains on the FBI’s most-wanted list almost 40 years after the crime. For the first time, the secret history will be revealed! During the height of the Cold War, a fringe group within the C.I.A. wages a crusade on the deadliest battlefield of all: the mind. Aided by powerful psychotropic compounds, Cooper assists in a campaign of psychic assassination against the Soviets, but are his government’s motives the same as his own or is his true mission something else entirely? Collecting the hit series from visionary cartoonist Brian Churilla (The Anchor), this oversized hardcover offers new insights into Cooper’s multi-faceted quest.

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Borrowed: From my good friend Josh at Capeless Crusader

I don’t know how my friend Josh knew that I love the story of D.B. Cooper but I guess he did. I was over at his house one day and he was going to loan me some of his comics. He handed me some really non-traditional choices. At that time I was just starting to enjoy American comics so I think he was helping me get away from just reading Batman (which is pretty much all I read). He hands me The Secret History of D.B. Cooper and I was stunned that a comic had even been made about him. Now I would like to redefine that thought – I’m stunned that a comic was ever barely based upon the idea of him 😀

That last sentence makes it sound like I didn’t like it. Not true. I actually liked it quite a bit. When I started reading this I had no idea that it was a trippy story about a guy who romps around in people’s minds and assassinates them from inside. I thought it was going to be about a bank robber who hijacks an airplane. More of the former less of the latter.

It’s a totally a trip to read too. I felt so out of my comfort zone while reading this due to jumping back and forth between the “real” and what was in D.B.’s glut journey, the grotesque monsters he fights, and all the secret agent questionable actions. Sound confusing? I thought so too! But you’re supposed to be! Bits and pieces all click together one by one explaining the story at the perfect moment.

If you like weird and very unique reads. I highly recommend this. And while there is some grotesque art(the long titty monster!) it’s still beautifully drawn and expertly colored.

REVIEW: Nightwing Vol 4: Second City by Kyle Higgins & Brett Booth

Kyle Higgins sends Nightwing to the Windy City to track down his parent’s killer!

After the Joker’s attack on the Bat-family, Nightwing finds himself in a new setting with an unlikely ally, The Prankster. Together they are being hunted by the mysterious Mask Killer while Dick tries to find the man who killed his parents, Tony Zullo. Twists and surprises are at every turn in this exciting new chapter of Nightwing!

 

 

 

Caution: Review has spoilers. Read at your own risk.

The Prankster is kind of a boring bad guy. I’m betting everyone guessed that he wasn’t actually going to be a new caped crusader. I saw it a mile away. So you’re asking why I gave it a four out of five stars? I had no idea that Tony Zucco, the guy that murdered Nightwing’s parents, was going to turn out to be a good guy. At least mostly…I really enjoyed seeing his progress from murdering gangster to reformed-ish parent. I liked it.

Advanced Review: Solitary by CW Cooke


From the Kickstarter Page
A superhero story by way of Green Mile. When a hero is wrongly executed on death row, he awakens to find that he may just be immortal.

Solitary is the story of Tim Hill, a man convicted to death row for crimes he didn’t commit. He is executed, and upon being executed, he awakens to find that he is immortal and death row is really going to suck.

I’m lucky to have the opportunity to review this. The creator contacted me after asking for local reviews and my name was put forth by a mutal aquaintence. I had no idea that this was in the making and hadn’t heard about it’s kickstarter. So I’m guessing many of my readers also haven’t heard of it. Well, it’s time.

I was really happy with the premise. It’s not something I’ve seen before in the least. The set up is there is a man in prison for crimes he didn’t commit. Apparently, he was a superhero and then something happened. We don’t know what. But he finds himself in prison for crimes he says he didn’t commit with a warden that has a personal vendetta against him.

He is sentenced to death row and is executed. But here is the kicker, it doesn’t take. So he’s thrown back on death row with the promise of try, try, and try again.

If you read the kickstarter you’ll find that Solitary is the one store that CW Cooke has been going back to his whole life. I want to know what made him think about sending a superhero to the pen since he was a child. How did this idea develop? Regardless, it’s cool and unique.

This first issue is mainly about the situation. Personally, I don’t care too much about the character beyond the events that happen to him and why. I feel like that is usually the case for a good chunk of first issues. That said, I am really excited to find out what happens later on in the story.

REVIEW: Nightwing, Vol. 3: Death of the Family by Kyle Higgins & Eddy Barrows (Illustrations)

After having his face sliced off one year ago, the Joker makes his horrifying return to Gotham City! But even for man who’s committed a lifetime of murder, he’s more dangerous than ever before. The Joker sets his twisted sights on the members of the Bat-Family and attacks them all where it hurts—and for Dick Grayson, that means going after the family he’s built up for the past year at Haly’s Circus!

Collects NIGHTWING #13-18 and BATMAN #17

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** spoiler alert **
This is probably the best volume of Nightwing yet. We see all kinds of terrible things happen to him, the loss of two friends, of his circus and of his brother, Damien (well…I’ll explain that in a bit) and he still remains to be kind hearted and trusting. This is particularly important to the story because Joker thinks this is his biggest weakness while everyone else, including Damien, think it’s his biggest strength and what makes him Dick Grayson. ( I sort of think it’s his acrobatic, smack-talk, fighting that makes him, well, him, but what do I know)

This one is intense because it’s the Nightwing version of Death in the Family arc. Joker is a complete and terrifying ass-hat like normal but with a scarier face mask. (made out of 100% American face!)

The problem with this (and most of the New 52) is when an event is so big, like the death of Damien, that it spans across multiple titles, in most titles you miss out on actually seeing the big event. I’ve now read about his death in Teen Titans and Nightwing but still have not seen it happen or under what circumstance. I get to see a little asterisk that tells me to refer to an issue in Batman Incorporated (I don’t even like Batman Incorporated…. ) and then cut to a tombstone or a ghostly phantom of Damien.

REVIEW: Divergent by Vernoica Roth

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

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I had heard that in the line of epic dystopian YA fantasy, Divergent was not as good. While I don’t think it’s as good as say The Hunger Games, I do think it was really good.

I liked the world of Divergent. The premise of their society being sectioned off into the different traits that each sub-society respected was really interesting.

When I think about real life, I know I wouldn’t be able to fit into one category and don’t know one person that could section themselves off to one trait so they couldn’t fit into a particular group like that.

I would care about others, and being truthful is really important to me but I don’t think I could sacrifice myself so completely or just tell the truth as plainly as I think it in my mind. So I couldn’t even belong two let alone one.

The characters on the other hand seemed slightly flat. I thought all the events that happened to them were really cool but they didn’t handle them just the way real people would. It was a valiant effort to make them seem believable but fell just short of that.

I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.