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review 2017-07-22 21:43
If you're looking for dark visuals and super-serious Batman then you're in the wrong place.
All Star Batman Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy (Rebirth) (Batman - All Star Batman (Rebirth)) - Scott Snyder,John Romita Jr.

If you're looking for dark visuals and super-serious Batman then you're in the wrong place. This is a massive road trip with Batman taking Two-face to find a 'cure' but thanks to Two-face's intervention everyone (villain, friends, and strangers) is trying to kill Batman and free Two-Face.
The artwork is okay but strange in places. But the colouring is great. Bright and inviting compared to other Batman comics I've read.

 

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review 2017-07-21 21:12
Love & Gelato
Love & Gelato - Jenna Evans Welch

So first of all, thanks to Jessica for picking out this book for the last book swap.   Secondly, I was out at lunch with my mom and I had this book on the table.   The woman who took our plates started up a conversation about it after seeing Gelato, because she loves Italy, so she might read this now!

 

I truly enjoyed this book, about overcoming grief, finding meaning in life, and love (and gelato, of course), and all this happens in Italy.   When sixteen year old Carolina - pronounced Caroleena, although she goes by Lina - loses her mother, she's sent to Italy to spend time with a man named Howard.   This is a man who she assumes is her father, especially since her grandmother tells her so.   Howard says so.   Except why did Lina's mother only start talking about him only when she found out she was dying?

 

And why did her mother send her a journal about her story in Italy?   See, Hadley, Lina's mother met Howard in Italy when they were both graduate students.   And yet the journal implies that there is much more to the story than Hadley told Lina. 

 

Meanwhile, Lina is torn between two foreign high school students: Thomas, who has model-good looks and makes his interest in Lina known immediately, and Ren who makes Lina feel comfortable, even when talking about her mother, and when no one else has.   (No one except Addie, Lina's best friend, who is unreachable at times due to being back in Seattle.)  Ren has a girlfriend, and is weird, but as Lina spends more time with him, she also finds herself being drawn to him more and more.   

 

One of the things I like about this novel is how it treats Lina's grief.   It doesn't sideline it, or act if finding a man, or a father figure, will fix everything.  It never gets so overwhelming that it turns this whole thing into a depressing read, but it does treat the grief realistically, rather than a reason for insta-love.   

 

It was warm, fun, funny, and also touching.  I cried a little, but I also laughed a lot, and was cheering Lina on as she found out more about her mother and where she came from, as well as where she was going.   I'll be looking for the second book when it comes out next May, I believe.   

 

 

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review 2017-07-20 17:48
Feels like this needs a more solid direction
Suicide Squad (2016-) #21 - Rob Williams,Adriano Lucas,Eddy Barrows,Eber Ferreira,Gus Vazquez

One of the things I loved about the original suicide squad was how political it was.   How it created strong female characters.   It had things to say, and it said them, and I think this might be why it felt so directed.  Pointedly so.  

 

I'm loving this incarnation of the Squad, but I think parting Flag and Harley up was a mistake.  It's things like that which make me feel like this has no direction.  I see the purpose of it narratively, but there seems to be no larger direction, no larger statement about the world and its politics, and that makes it feel like a bit like a ship at sea with no rudder to me. 

 

I'm hoping this pulls together soon.

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review 2017-07-13 01:32
Eh...
Batman (2016-) #26 - Tom King,June Chung,Mikel Janin

I feel like so much more could be done with this war, and I haven't seen it yet.   I'm liking this series enough to continue, but it's definitely has it's ups and downs.  

 

Still, a three star down isn't bad.   

 

I do hope this storyline pulls together into something cohesive, something that I care about, and that Bruce gets less whiny about the people he couldn't save.   Or the Batman/Catwoman relationship gets less weird in this. 

 

And that there's less 'woe is me, no one gets me.'  

 

Blah.  

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review 2017-07-13 00:41
Suicide Squad needs a new leader
Suicide Squad (2016-) #20 - Rob Williams,Stjepan Sejic,Otto Schmidt

So, I wasn't on board with Flag/Quinn, not completely.   It just seemed too weird a pairing to work, and I never really felt that chemistry.  I did like that he didn't treat her as badly as The Joker did, but I also never really felt that someone like Flag would be able to completely look past Harley's insanity and sadism.   

 

Still, it's a fascinating character study to see Quinn with Flag gone.   He'd been helping, not as much as she needed, but still helping.   And without him, well, Quinn is reverting.  I do wish Quinn wouldn't revert to a character who needs a man, or is codependent at all.   When paired with Ivy, she seems to need someone less.    That is: she's more confident.   She doesn't fall apart when they're apart, and is okay with them being on again and off again, especially since Ivy can feel too crowded, even with Quinn.   They both appreciate each other for, and despite, their obsessions and faults.   And they both encourage one another to be better, and that recognize that they deserve someone good to them, and good for them, when they're together.   

 

And this is relevant to this issue, because people tend to write Quinn as codependent, without fully appreciating that she not only doesn't have to be - but can be a fully fascinating character without being codependent.   It feels easy and lazy and while I appreciate this insight into her, I do tend to prefer her not quite this bad.   (I also question if Ivy will come into this.  Even when Quinn doesn't reach out, Ivy does tend to come back when Quinn really needs help.  I suspect not.   Ivy seems to be on and off partly because it's convenient to be that way: this story is about Quinn being codependent and Ivy's calming aspect, and reassurances that Quinn doesn't need anyone more than she needs to be mentally and emotionally safe - as much as possible for her - would ruin that storyline.)

 

This was less action and more about Waller's behind the scenes manipulations as well as deciding who will be the squad's new leader.   Still, it was fascinating and I continue to love this series.

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