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  1. #2701
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    Asadora v3 - I really liked Pluto and 20th Century Boys by Urasawa. But I'm done with this series. If people think Bendis is decompressed, Jesus, read this series. A 30 page story stretched out to almost 200 pages. Like, I'm glad Bendis stretched out Amazing Fantasy 15 over 7 issues of USM, so I'm fine with letting moments breathe and explore nuance. But this is just silly. We're 3 volumes in and the main monster hasn't even shown up yet. 4/10

    Fatale OHC v1-2 - this was the latest in my series of "Brubaker's doomed whiteboy protagonists!" rereads. I thought it was fine. It gets pretty repetitive with men falling for Josephine and it ending badly. And I never fully empathized with her, though she's a more empathetic version of Jessica Jones' Purple Man. I understand the book is a riff on the usual noir femme fatale trope. But I don't know. Like, at the end, am I supposed to be happy she got to grow old on the beach while the hapless protagonist is locked up? Fantastic artwork throughout though. 6/10

    Incognito OHC - the next stop on the Brubaker reread. Once you've read enough of these noir stories by him, you see a lot of tics and similarities. This feels like a companion piece to Sleeper, which I thought was far superior because I actually liked Holden there and wanted him to succeed. Here, same as with Fatale, the protagonist is interesting and so you're drawn into the plot. But after I put it down, I didn't feel anything for anyone. Still, great art! 5/10

    Witchlight / Amelia Erroway / the Daughters of Ys - three "cartoony artwork" books; the first two are YA, the latter more adult. When it comes to whimsical storytelling, there's "magical" (see: Amulet) and then there's inane, which I felt these three veered into. I didn't even finish Witchlight & Amelia. Scenes go on for too long, motivations just "happen", and so after a while the "well sure, that just happened" just doesn't cut it. 4/10

  2. #2702
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    After a series of disappointing reads...

    Star Wars - Doctor Aphra omnibus- Fan-freakin-tastic! Spinning out of Gillen's excellent Darth Vader series, this was really damn good. Shades of John Constantine, with the protagonist being a smartest-person-in-the-room con man (woman) who gets into trouble and their friends usually end up dying because of it. I really like the Aphra character. There's humor but also really great characterization and plot twists. The two murderous droids are excellent! And I greatly enjoyed the escalating plotlines that lead Aphra right back to Vader's doorstep. Dun dun duuuunnn! Highly recommended not just for Star Wars fans but for anyone that enjoys space shenanigans! 10/10
    Last edited by newparisian; Yesterday at 04:32 PM.

  3. #2703
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    Fantastic Four (Millar/Hitch)- some amount of ink has been spilled over the years examining why this run wasn't super well received, given the creative team's pedigree. The problem I've always had with Millar's writing on anything is that I can picture him as a writer, sitting there at his desk, laughing at what clever plot twists he's cooking up... like, this ain't your daddy's superheroes fanboy, or, You didn't think about so and so's powers being used like THAT, did you; or, did you see that twist coming??? Etc. It always takes me out of the story. Like, when every Morrison story eventually veers into meta commentary, I don't mind it because it's woven in well and I'm immersed in the narrative. Not so, here.

    There are charming moments here, like the first arc ending with Reed & Sue going back in time to watch themselves meet for the first time on an anniversary date. Or the final issue ending with Reed and Ben talking in a bar as friends. But even with the run ending with another creative team pitching in (Ahearne/Immonen), Millar's series of escalations and plot contrivances just felt more artificial than usual. Like, Ben getting married? We know that's not gonna happen or last. Doom has a master? I wonder if Victor will really bow down forever. The first arc builds to this giant robot trashing every superhero, so everyone's waiting for Reed to come back and save the day. But, what allows him to do it? Not his genius, but that his ex Alyssa had programmed the robot to not hurt Reed (among others). Ho-hum. And then Alyssa opines (as Millar knows fanboys have done so over the decades) about why Reed is with Sue and not someone more his speed in the brain dept. (or vice versa, why hasn't Sue left Reed for Namor or something). And Reed of course says it's because he loves Sue. That's not really an oomph answer, nor a thread that really needed to be unraveled. But as with most FF writers, the characters sort of reset at the start of every new run (i.e. Reed ignores Sue because of science, Ben feels he's ugly and has a beef with Yancy Street, Johnny is immature, etc.). Reading those tropes yet again didn't work for me, especially when mixed in with tired "well you can see where this is going" plot threads, like the new nanny turning out to be the yet-unseen character another group is talking about, or Johnny fooling around with a supervillain.

    Hitch's art is top notch. But like I said, Millar's fingerprints are just too visible and they read not-great coming from this particular set of characters. Some of it is downright cringy. For example, in one scene Johnny is racing down the street in an expensive car. His manager (Johnny was trying to be in a band or something which, like Sue starting an all-female team or a new Defenders team being introduced, didn't go anywhere) is telling him to just park the car and fly over. And Johnny says "Are you nuts? What if some fat chick breathes on it and jinxes me"? hahaha Jesus H! About as bad as "Who's the daddy now, Mr. Osborn?", though not as bad as "Do you think this A stands for France?" 4/10.
    Last edited by newparisian; Today at 02:38 AM.

  4. #2704
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    Radiant Black v1- good opening arc. I'm intrigued enough to come back for v2. A very "what if someone in the real world got powers" rather than, I assume, someone with an innate sense of responsibility like Spider-Man. 6/10

    Marvel 1-6 / Marvels: Snapshots / Wolverine: Black, White & Red- anthology books are always a grab bag. There were some really good stories here, especially Snapshots: Captain America and Snapshots: X-men. The Cap one is excellent as it does a great job of mixing social commentary with superheroes without being jarring. Some stories have artwork that didn't appeal to me, or in the case of Bachalo's story in Wolverine, was downright indecipherable. Overall, there were more segments amongst these three series that I thought were average or unappealing than ones that really grabbed me. 5/10.

    Wolverine epic v1,v3- Logan is my favorite comics character. But other than the Puck arc in epic v3, most of this didn't appeal to me and read very average. Basic Wolverine on a Tuesday stories with dated writing and artwork. Nothing special here as far as plot developments or characterization. I found myself skipping pages in v1. Hama's run didn't really get going for me until Kubert came onboard anyway. 3/10

    X-men Reload v1-2- Claremont's third time at bat (4th if you count X-Treme). Right from the cover and the opening baseball game, it didn't say "classic" to me; it said "safe". I'm not saying anything new by saying sometimes you can't go home (again!). The highlight is the Rachel Grey issue where the entire Grey lineage gets killed, which felt very un-Claremont to me. Then the series goes into Excalibur & Mojoverse characters which have never appealed to me. 3/10 overall, 8/10 for that Rachel issue.

    Chasing Echoes- great book about a Jewish extended family going on a vacation to Europe to trace their roots back to WWII. This was fun and heartfelt, with good art. Very slice of life, but with purpose and good characterization. 7/10

    Yasmeen- wrenching story about a Muslim girl that gets kidnapped into becoming an ISIS bride. The art was too BOOM Studies-y for such a story, but overall it was done well, especially the Muslim family's attempts at integration in the U.S. 7/10
    Last edited by newparisian; Yesterday at 04:42 PM.

  5. #2705
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    Hitch's art is top notch. But like I said, Millar's fingerprints are just too visible and they read not-great coming from this particular set of characters. Some of it is downright cringy. For example, in one scene Johnny is racing down the street in an expensive car. His manager (Johnny was trying to be in a band or something which, like Sue starting an all-female team or a new Defenders team being introduced, didn't go anywhere) is telling him to just park the car and fly over. And Johnny says "Are you nuts? What if some fat chick breathes on it and jinxes me"? hahaha Jesus H! About as bad as "Who's the daddy now, Mr. Osborn?", though not as bad as "Do you think this A stands for France?" 4/10.[/QUOTE]

    I think there should be jokes like the ones you mentioned. Not all the time, but here and there. The ultimate Cap joke was hilarious.

  6. #2706
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    You mean the fat chick line? Even taking the, I guess, body shaming or whatever out of it, how is that a funny line? Are big girls known to be jinxes?? I honestly don't know if that's like a saying or something.

    And the Spidey "daddy" line and the Cap line weren't intended as jokes in-story, but rather as badass beatdown moments. They're funny to us in hindsight because we're laughing AT it, but I'm sure that's not what Millar was fully intending with those.

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