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review 2017-05-20 13:01
Good message, told in forced dialogues
Constance & Nano: Engineering Adventure #1 - Kelly Thompson,Nicoletta Baldari

So, I really kinda love this comic.   It's about Constance, a girl who lives in a town where flooding happens more and more often.   This flooding is a great cause for concern: her friend got hit by a car when the street he used to get to school was flooded, and Constance herself almost gets hit until she's saved by the local superhero, Nano.   When she asks her teacher why the street gets flooded, he sets up a meeting between the girl and his friend - a woman - who's an engineer.   Constance not only learns about what's happened, and what's being done to fix this problem, but she also learns about Nano's secret identity and figures out why her mom's garden is flooding.   She uses her newfound knowledge about engineering to fix the garden problem, because she can, and she knows the town is working on fixing the bridge.   This comic is put out by the Society of Women Engineers (or SWE) and it's a great message: women are engineers, and if we want more women engineers, we should foster that curiosity young.   (I'm also glad that this doesn't skew only to women engineers.   That is obviously the focus, but you see women and men working together when there are panels showing what the engineers are doing - like surveying - to start to tackle this problem.   It's subtle, but the message is there: men and women are working together to fix this.)

 

Everything, from Nano's identity to the big problem of the flooding of the town to the relatively smaller problem of the garden flooding are dealt with and wrapped up, as much as they can be in this short comic.   (Solutions are presented, but the changes don't happen immediately, because realistically it just won't be fixed with the snap of a finger.   Nano says she trusts Constance to keep her secret, which seems weird since they just met and Nano doesn't have any real basis for believing that a young child would have the necessary willpower to keep this secret.)

 

If only the dialogue didn't feel so stilted and forced.  I understand: the message was the points and it came on so strongly.   Which again is a great message, encouraging and empowering girls to learn about engineering.  But the message overtook any plot, any natural dialogue, and I kind of cringed at this fact.   Still, the importance of the message really overtook any reservations I had.     I'll take it, stilted dialogue and all.   

 

The art is bright, highly stylized and just excellent.  Adorable, very cartoonish, this fit the message, and the people this message was intended for, so very appropriate here.   Love, love, love the art.   

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review 2017-05-20 12:49
Freebie this week
Spider-Man (2016-) #12 - Brian Bendis,Sara Pichelli

Each week, Marvel gives away a free digital copy with your purchase, if you redeem the digital comics.   (It's the same across the board, so if you buy everything, you only get one additional comic.   Still, bonus in addition to the free digital copies, so I can't really find a reason to complain!)

 

I'd read the Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen crossover, and still found myself confused when this exactly happened: so much of the time switches from before to after made me feel like it was placed before, then I realized they were talking about it, so it had to happen after.  I'm not sure why this didn't work for me, but I suspect that it's because I felt like the time switches didn't really serve a purpose: there were some funny lines, but I knew Miles was close enough to Ganke to tell him about this, and the other kid in there I guess?   They didn't add anything the comic though, so what was the big deal?

 

That being said, I think I'm over Bendis.  I still find him hilarious and he tells a good story, a story that makes me feel, but they all feel the same.   I'm bored.   He's writing more and more Marvel, and that's making it feel like the same.   Action, some quips, bada bing, bada boom.  Others - Soule comes to mind, and quite frankly less so Ahmed if only because he's only writing one Marvel comic and only ever has - seem to be doing something different.   (Black Bolt is amazing, but it's hard to tell how Ahmed would write other characters and if his tack would be different without him having written them.  Soule?  I've read a lot of his work and it seems to feel different depending on which character he's writing.)  

 

And I obviously still enjoy Bendis.   I got this for free, read it, and enjoyed it, but I don't subscribe to Bendis' series, and I've stopped looking forward to him writing new series.   Anyway, this is basically a recap of Miles and Gwen finding Miles' father, but not really the whole story.   Just up to a certain point.   It was fun, but I knocked off one star for the ennui I've got going with Bendis.

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review 2017-05-20 12:34
Love, love, love
Daredevil (2015-) #20 - Charles Soule,Ron Garney,Mike Deodato

I'm loving Garney's work on this series; his art feels very much like it lines up with Daredevil's storyline, a little dark, a little gritty, a little street.   Daredevil always gets involved with street level justice: smaller crimes than the world being put in danger by magic, or aliens.   (And yes, he's had storylines where he's been involved in such things, or similar things, but a staple of his character is that he looks over a certain part of a town, or a town, and he gets involved in the abuses of the characters of that town, or part of town.  Physical abuse, drugs, assaults, robberies, and the list goes on.)   Like Green Arrow, Luke Cage, and at some points Spider-Man, Daredevil is very much a street level hero, and Garney's artwork reflects this: the darkness that lurks in the streets, while the colorists tend to brighten things up for Daredevil's day life as Matt Murdock, prosecutor.   (Since Daredevil is active a lot during the nights, this is a little easier to do.)

 

The Purple Man/Purple Children storyline comes to an end.   I'm continually surprised by this: I expect certain things to happen, and other things do that make far more sense.   I'm also liking that a nod is given to Daredevil's faith, and his Catholic guilt, which makes up so much of why he does this, and why he feels so responsible for the people around him.   The moment at the end with him talking to the priest was touching and has stayed with me, more strongly than some of the big reveals.   It was a small moment that was so, so big for me.

 

A really nice addition to this series. 

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review 2017-05-20 01:03
This just gets more brutal
The Punisher (2016-) #12 - Becky Cloonan,Matt Horak,Declan Shalvey

And I'm loving it.   It seems like the first story arc is complete, which makes sense: twelve issues would make two graphic novels.   Everything has been wrapped up nicely, although almost everything ended up differently than I expected, starting early on.  This started out brutal, and while it might not necessarily outdo itself each issue in physical violence, it just absolutely savages the characters mentally when it's not doing it physically.   Then again, this is Punisher, and it's not a series I read for sunshine or puppies.   This is supposed to be a bloody path to punishing criminals when the police, or other law enforcement, can't.   (Or won't in some cases.)   When the legal system works too slowly or is inadequate to the situation, Frank Castle steps in with his guns, knives, or if necessary fists.   He doesn't flinch, he doesn't hesitate, and he doesn't let anything like getting stabbed or shot get in his way. 

 

I just can't seem to say much about this.   The art is perfect: clean style, efficient, and a little grittier than some comic book art, but it fits the series. 

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review 2017-05-20 00:53
So, this, then...
Royals (2017-) #3 - Al Ewing,Jonboy Meyers

Oh, Al Ewing, I still think you're a mediocre comic book writer - which is why I'll never tweet my reviews at you, or read your Rocket series unless it's dirt cheap/free from the library - but I kinda like how fucked up this issue was.   Like how Maximus and Black Bolt's parents pit them against each other in so many ways, or used them, or experimented on them, because whose children were the expected to experiment on if not their own, hmmm?   (Yeah, they actually had a conversation that asked that question.   Because clearly not experimenting on any children was just out of the question, I guess.)

 

I mean, I thought nothing was going to get weirder than Batman, and then this.   It's better than Ewing's usual fare, but, y'know, not that much.   And I only liked this because twisted, and I can get behind that.   Also, the tie in to Black Bolt in which Maximus goes over how he tricked everyone into believing he was Black Bolt, and why they can't rescue Black Bolt now.

 

But the art, man.   Ugh.   The art seems to be getting worse. 

 

 

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