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Showing posts from 2016

Legends of RED SONJA by Gail Simone Vol. 1

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I have no idea who Red Sonja is, to be honest, and that means I had to go online to research about the character's origin and publication history as a comic book series. From what I understand overall, she was a character created by Marvel Comics around 1973 when she first appeared in a Conan the Barbarian issue. There was also a movie about her at some point. She's the quintessential pin-up fantasy heroine from comics. What made me want to read this more recent Dynamite comics title is because Gail Simone (from DC's Batgirl) is the writer of this particular line-up. Also, there is something nostalgic about warrior women for me. I did after all grow up to Xena: the Warrior Princess (but I was nine and I don’t remember specific things about that show except that Lucy Lawless rocked and kicked ass). And so reading Red Sonja definitely gave me that kind of nostalgia.
The first volume of this revamped version from 2010 to 2012 entitled Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues reads more of …

Rachel Rising by Terry Moore

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The last graphic novel I reviewed just a week ago is about a woman who cannot be killed (Lazarus), and now I'm doing another one about yet another female character who is resurrected from the dead. It's a playful coincidence. The two stories have nothing much in common except that basic premise, however, and if I'm to be honest I think I much enjoyed Lazarus although that doesn't actually mean that Terry Moore's Rachel Rising doesn't hold up well as a series. If the first volume is any indication of how certifiably creepy and atmospheric everything is, then I will surely pick up the second volume someday.
Rachel Rising is about the titular female character who was strangled and left for dead as she was buried in a shallow grave next to what seemed to be implied as a land where witches used to live and do evil stuff? It's all speculative for now. The very first pages opened with Rachel walking out of said grave with fragmented memories as well as possessing l…

LAZARUS by Greg Rucka Volume 1

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Comprised of the series first four issues, this debut volume written by Greg Rucka, and illustrated by Michael Lark with the colors done by Santi Arcas, is a dystopian science fiction story that definitely holds promises. 
I actually liked it even if it's only a hundred pages long. My review for this graphic novel collection is positive enough although I can't say yet what is in store for the rest of the series, seeing as the four issues of Lazarus felt like watching a pilot for a TV show. With that comparison, I believe these issues hold enough weight on their own both as separate installments and as a singular story that unfolds efficiently well. Action-packed and well-balanced when it comes to exposition and dialogue, Lazarus: Family is something readers can easily consume in one sitting but it's also a substantial serving which would make them come back for more.
Speaking of TV pilots, this series might actually be adapted for a television show, and based from what I hav…

Webcomics Watch: CUCUMBER QUEST by Gigi D.G

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There are a lot of wonderful adventure-fantasy webcomics out there, both popular and obscure, and some of them are long-running series that stretched out for years already that keeping track of their multiple arcs can be a hassle especially if you are more of a casual reader (and more so if you barely get internet access). This ongoing fluff yet sublime webcomics story written and drawn by Gigi D.G is still in the earlier stages of its hopefully long run in years to come, so there is definitely more time to catch up and get yourselves invested in the amusingly enjoyable characters and the literal candy-colored worlds of Cucumber Quest
The collected printed volumes for this webcomics has the Prologue and Chapter 0 as the first volume, Chapters 1 as its second, and Chapter 2 as its third. Currently, the fourth chapter online is about to be concluded. I managed to finish until the third chapter last night, and man it has been such an utter delight. The good thing about Cucumber Quest is…

NOVEMBER List of Readables

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"No one's love is truly unconditional"

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I have been a fan of Eliza Victoria since coming across her novel Dwellers which is one of the most exciting psychological supernatural thrillers I have read, and it spanned only for less than two hundred pages! A year later I stumbled upon this, her latest book, and as fates would have it, I only carried enough money with me that also happens to be the exact amount that had enabled me to purchase this treasure. And it is one for the collection!

The reasons why I get excited about reading Eliza Victoria are (1) I don't usually connect with female fiction writers for some reason, save for Virginia Woolf and the CLAMP mangaka; (2) she is a Filipino author and a very talented one at that; and (3) the genre she writes in, which is urban fantasy, is something I believe she brings a lot of freshness of ideas into, particularly on the mythology of supernatural creatures and several folklores. 

Wounded Little Gods touches upon the polytheistic religion of Filipinos from the old times. Befor…

X/1999 by CLAMP Volumes 1-9 review Part 1

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If you have ever read a CLAMP manga, chances are you're a cynical romantic masochist. And yes, that's a thing and if you have ever fallen in love with any CLAMP work, you know deep inside that you fucking are a cynical romantic masochist. It'd be easier to just blow past it now and accept facts. This particular manga series known as X, and then changed to X/1999 because there was also a Western series with the same name, is the famed 'unfinished' work by CLAMP that is more or less a magnus opei. It went on a very, very long-term hiatus since 2003 and in doing so, left the story lacking any real conclusion TO THIS DAY. Concerns about its increasingly violent scenes have been the issue why the series has been discontinued by the magazine it was published in because they're a bunch of sissies. 
In any case, X/1999 definitely deserved better because it was simply brilliant with layers that would make this possible for several readings. Also, this has to be the most …

LOW by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini

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The last Rick Remender graphic novel I read had been actually scheduled as the last X-Men series I read earlier this year for my X-Men comics diet. Suffice to say, I wasn't charmed by it so I only got to finish the first volume because I lost interest easily in the way the story was told. It just didn't click for me, is all.  
Now that was back in April or so, and now here I am just a few months later reading another work of his. As soon as I finished this, I have to say that this is comparably an improvement from Uncanny Avengers. That comparison would be unfair though, since they are of different genres, and I could tell (given the Afterword for every issue of this series) that Remender is quite passionate and proud about this work. I do think he should be.
LOW is a sci-fi comic book story set in an underwater world. It's also billions of years into the future, where our sun in the solar system has expanded to a toxic level of radiation, so it is more or less about to wipe…

Flex Mentallo by Grant Morrison

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I don't know how to begin reviewing this graphic novel mostly because there is too much context that one needs to know if they ever decide to read this blindly, which I did, and it affected how I enjoyed the story a lot. The point is I could not recommend this to someone who is just getting into comics, because this is essentially a compilation inspired from another comics line which was Doom Patrol and which Grant Morrison himself has written for.
From what I can discern when I researched this story, Flex Mentallo as a character came from that series, created by Morrison himself in an issue, and who was then expanded as more than just a side character he originally appeared to be as. Now two years ago I had the distinct pleasure of reading through Morrison's semi-autobiographical book called Supergods, tracing the superhero myth and contextualizing it with his own experiences as a professional writer in the industry. I mentioned this book since it is critical in further explai…

OCTOBER List of Readables

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

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This is honestly a very daunting novel to review, more so to finish reading in the first place, and not just because of its 600+ pages but the quality of its prose which is painstakingly detailed in ways that are often not necessary at all. I can only think of two reasons why I could recommend reading this, and even then I could only recommend it to a specific type of people, and not to your average casual reader. Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is a 2000 book that is in many ways a historical fiction about the Golden and Silver Age of American comic books. This subject matter is what got me so interested in it when a good friend of mine recommended it (and purchased me a copy as a Christmas gift last year).

~MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD~
The paperback is actually close to seven hundred pages and is divided into six parts which chronicled the lives and struggles of cousins Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay, the titular heroes of this novel. They are aspiring comic book …

SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING by Alan Moore Volume 1

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"It seems where demons fail and monsters falter, angels may prevail."
I'm coming to this version of Alan Moore's the Swamp Thing without any knowledge of his original creation by Len Wein, except of course with the brief appearances he had made during the Jamie Delano for Hellblazer: John Constantine. That being said, it had been a neat introduction to a comics icon. It was a rather baffling start at first, but one that is also beguiling enough to see through its finish. 

This first volume had tons of spectacular potentials to be the masterpiece that I sure hope it would become by the next volumes. There are four volumes of Alan Moore's Saga of the Swamp Thingto look forward to reading, but for now I will content myself with the fact that I was able to read this installment which wasn't anything that I expected it to be. Monster stories, especially those steeped in classical roots, have been a lost art especially with the kind of horrors my generation respond m…