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review 2018-06-23 19:02
Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume 0 by Jason Latour
Spider-Gwen Vol. 1: Most Wanted? - Marvel Comics

Title:  Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume 0

Author: Jason Latour

Artist: Robbi Rodriguez

Genre:  Action / Superheroes / Drama / Crime / Music


Year Published: 2015


Year Read:  11/11/2017

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Series: Spider-Gwen #0

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 15+ (Some Language and Violence)

 

 

Spider

Introduction: 

Wait a minute…Gwen Stacy is…SPIDER WOMAN!? And who ever heard of a graphic novel having a volume 0? 

Before you get confused about this (as I was), there was an event called “Spider-Verse” that might explain about all this (except that I haven’t read the “Spider-Verse” event yet, so that point might be moot at this time). Anyway, I have been hearing so many good things about the “Spider-Gwen” series that I had to give “Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume Zero” a shot and I must admit that I actually liked this graphic novel!

What is this story about? 

In this universe, it was Gwen Stacy who was bitten by a radioactive spider and possessed spider powers (not Peter Parker). It turns out that Peter Parker was bullied so much at school that one day he decided to transform himself into the lizard and went on a rampage throughout the city and ended up getting himself killed. Because of this, Gwen harbored a lot of guilt over what happened to Peter since Peter was doing all this to be like Gwen. After this tragic event, J. Jonah Jameson had caused the public to turn against Spider-Gwen by stating that she was responsible for Peter Parker’s death and Gwen ends up being on the run from the law, including from her father Captain Stacy (at least until she tells him who she really is). Now Gwen has to prove to the public that she did not kill Peter Parker and that she is a true hero while also avoiding the people after her including Frank Castle (A.K.A. The Punisher), the Vulture and Matt Murdock himself!

What I loved about this story: 

Jason Latour’s writing: Jason Latour’s writing was quite unique and interesting to read as this universe’s Gwen Stacy is one of the most interesting characters I had ever read! I loved the way that Jason Latour made Gwen Stacy into such a strong female protagonist as Gwen also cracks jokes like Spider-Man, but she can be moody at times due to her guilt over Peter’s death and I loved the way that Jason Latour wrote Gwen’s struggles with trying to cope with Peter’s death as it made Gwen into a truly relatable character. I also loved the fact that Gwen Stacy is involved in a rock band as it adds even more dimension to her character and I just loved the fact that we have a heroine who is into music! I also enjoyed the moments between Gwen and her father, Captain Stacy, as while it was quite intense due to Captain Stacy not wanting his daughter to get in danger, it was nice seeing how much Captain Stacy cares about his daughter and only wants what is best for her. Jason Latour also did an interesting job at giving us a Spider-Man universe where Gwen Stacy is Spider Woman as I never would have thought that Gwen Stacy of all people could become a superheroine. But, this version of Gwen Stacy is so well written that I actually loved the fact that Gwen Stacy makes an interesting Spider Woman!

Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork: Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork was quite creative to look at, especially Spider Gwen’s outfit! I just loved the reddish hues that cover the pages whenever Gwen is performing in her rock band as it makes those moments really stand out. But the best part of Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork is Spider-Gwen’s outfit! I think I have fallen in love with Spider-Gwen’s outfit since it is actually white and pink all over and it makes her look like a savior type being within the pages!

Spider

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating was because I felt that the dialogue was a bit disjointed at times. I was not sure if it was because the dialogue was trying to use street slang to make the characters seem more modern or if it was the writing itself. I often had a difficult time trying to understand what the characters are actually saying due to how the dialogue is being written. Also, if you have not read “Spider-Verse,” chances are you will probably be confused about what is really going on in this book (although this is technically an alternate universe of the “Spider-Man” universe).

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume Zero” is a great graphic novel to read if you want to see a different take on Gwen Stacy!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2018-06-23 17:03
Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale - Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa,Francesco Francavilla

Title:  Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume 1  

Author:  Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa  

Artist:  Francesco Francavilla  

Genre:  Horror / Drama / Zombies / Alternative Universe / Friendship


Year Published: 2014


Year Read:  10/28/2017

Publisher:  Archie Comics

Series: Afterlife with Archie #1

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 15+ (Gory Violence and Some Language)

 

 

 

Afterlife

Introduction: 

Alright, so I will admit that I have not read many Archie Comics where the gang is put into a darker situation that is different from the “wholesale family entertainment” adventures that they are usually in (and this was BEFORE the reboot came along, although the reboot was not as dark as this comic). So, since Halloween is around the corner, I just had to pick this graphic novel up called “Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume One” which is written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa along with artwork by Francesco Francavilla, where Archie and the Gang end up in a for real zombie apocalypse!

What is this story about? 

The story starts out with Hot Dog, Jughead’s beloved dog, being run over by a car and Jughead ends up going to Sabrina the Teenage Witch, to see if she can help his dog. Unfortunately, Sabrina’s aunts tell Jughead that there is nothing they can do for Hot Dog and that he should let Hot Dog stay dead. But then, Sabrina decided to help out Jughead anyway and she ends up resurrecting Hot Dog. Unfortunately, it turns out that when Sabrina brought Hot Dog back to life, Hot Dog became a zombie dog and he ended up biting Jughead, which turned Jughead into a zombie! So, when Jughead went to the school dance, he ended up affecting most of the school by biting most of the students, with the exception of the main cast, which consisted of Archie, Dilton, Midge, Moose, Reggie, Betty, Veronica and many others. The remaining students ended up going to Mr. Lodge’s mansion in order to protect themselves against the zombies, while also trying to see if there are any survivors from the zombie apocalypse.

What I loved about this story: 

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s writing: Wow! I never would have thought that I would live to see the day where there would be a graphic novel series that has Archie and the gang getting involved in a zombie apocalypse! Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has done a fantastic job at giving the usual sweet natured Archie Comics a darker and scarier tone in this graphic novel and it never felt so out of place to me that the Archie gang in this story are portrayed in a much more mature and cynical way, since they are stuck in a zombie apocalypse and it is appropriate for this type of story. I also loved the way that Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa created a different spin for each of the main characters, such as Betty and Veronica being more antagonistic with each other rather than be good friends with a small rivalry with each other, Sabrina and her family being more realistic and intense versions of witches and Nancy and Chuck…well, I will let you find out for yourselves what is going on with Nancy and Chuck in this comic! I really loved the fact that this comic is much more serious and frightening in tone since the gang are facing a zombie apocalypse and I found myself a bit creeped out by some of the moments in this comic, such as the zombified citizens of Riverdale attacking the main protagonists.

Francesco Francavilla’s artwork: Francesco Francavilla’s artwork fits the scary and serious tone of this comic quite perfectly as the zombies in this comic are quite terrifying to look at such as the images of the zombified Hot Dog. I loved the fact that the art style is much more realistic in this comic as it really captures the mature and serious nature of this story. I also loved the way that Francesco Francavilla did the coloring of this book as the colors are mostly in red, black, orange and grey that greatly convey the horror elements of this story.

Afterlife

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

Anyone who does not like language or gory violence might be a bit uncomfortable with some of the gory violence and language in this comic. The language in this comic is not as strong as some of the more mature comics as only the “h” word is uttered in a couple of sentences and as for the gory violence, there are many images of zombies biting into people which is pretty graphic.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume One” is a fantastic graphic novel that anyone who loves both the Archie Comics and zombies will easily enjoy!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-04 19:43
May 2018 — A Wrap Up

 

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Vamps and the City by Kerrelyn Sparks

 

A pleasant surprise! I was expecting the lead couple would jump into bed immediately but I liked how the author took time to let the relationship develop. I also appreciated how they were willing to sacrifice their vamp/human nature for each other but decided on a compromise. I will definitely be reading the others.

 

 

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Undead and Unwelcome by MaryJanice Davidson

 

Funny and sad as usual. Funny because Betsy is so not what everyone expects her to be. She is a monarch who doesn’t wanna control the lives of her subjects. She doesn’t judge people based on their race, gender, sexual orientation etc. Hell, she is friends with the Devil’s daughter. Sad because she remains lonely or “unwelcome” almost everywhere. She is willing to put her trust in people and learns otherwise after they have hurt her (or tried to kill her). Her husband is the king of vampires and even though he loves her, he is still a cold bloodsucking…well vamp! Betsy is a misfit and I like her all the more for it.

 

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Overwinter by David Wellington

 

I don’t do why I keep doing this to myself. These books scare the heck outta me but I just can’t stop reading anything written by David Wellington. The Laura Caxton series was the same way and I finished it. Then, I went after this duology. There is another about zombies I think. I am going to die trying and I don’t even like horror! Oh, and the covers are so delicious.

 

 

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Unseen by Rachel Caine

 

Like it used to be with Jo from the Weather Warden series, Cas is a punching bag. Everybody thinks they can use her and then throw her away. She also doesn’t know when to quit or give up on people. She manages to be a kickass even when she had all her Djinn powers taken away from her. It won’t be a surprise if I said those were also the reasons why I like her so much.

 

Another good thing about this series is how violent things get. The big bad is brainwashing kids, arming them with the power to control the elements, and unleashing them on the world. That means there needs to be violence at a level that suits the events. It horrifies you and makes you sad at the same time. Cas does her best to remember that these kids might be mindless soldiers but they are still kids. Tough line to walk!

 

 

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Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan

 

I love books that show us how love for your family gives strength to face the world. My family has always been my rock, so it figures. This book is about a girl who does her best to protect her family from a supernatural threat. She almost loses the man she loves because of it.

 

I also like the light steampunkish vibes that this series has. In this particular installment, the main characters can’t decide if they actually felt something for each other or if it was due to a demonic deal the guy struck. It was fun to see how they untangled that mess. Oh, and the bad guys are really bad, so that was good too!

 

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Truth by Julia Karr

 

Just as cringe-inducing as the first one and I mean it in a good way. Even so, the writing could have been better. Like the whole feminist agenda could have been handled in a more subtle way. The author promised a third book sometime ago but I don’t think its coming. Well, another series wrapped up…good enough for me!

 

 

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Saving the Sammi by Frank Tuttle

 

A short story set in the same world as the previous book. The protag is a headstrong girl with a chip on her shoulder. She sets off to rescue a family who are in danger of being smashed to bits when their airship crashes. Not bad I’d say.

 

 

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Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

 

This YA series is more about sexual awakening than fantasy. It just doesn’t resonate with me the way I thought it would. The sense of foreboding created doesn’t let up until the very end. But I felt like nothing major happened that would qualify. The main character is constantly bombarded with visions and she fails to connect the dots until she is betrayed by a person she trusts. What I did like was the authentic portrayal of class differences and how vicious teenage girls can be to each other. If you’ve read this series, it won’t surprise you when I say that I didn’t sympathize with any of the characters, including the protagonist. However, I think that was deliberately done and made her feel more real to me. It is the same with her friends: one is rich, shallow, and dealing with effects of sexual abuse; the other is poor, unsure of herself, and constantly dreading her future. I will be reading the next one soon.

 

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The Beauty, Vol. 1 & 2 by Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley

 

Imagine a viral STD that leaves half of the population looking model-like beautiful. Then imagine the rest protesting it as unreligious and unnatural. Sometime later, it is discovered that the virus is causing people to implode. That is the world these comics are set in. They are also full of gory deaths and an evil government. The art is pretty and the message about superficial perfection isn’t subtle. I like it!

 

So, this is what I did in May. What did you read?

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on June 4, 2018.

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review 2018-06-03 22:34
Last Days!!!
Ms. Marvel Vol. 4: Last Days - Marvel Comics

PEOPLE!!!!!
I'm so glad I finally picked up the next volume. I seriously can't get enough of Kamala Khan, she's my absolute favorite. I love everything about her.

 

I think that these volumes are just getting better and better and I can't wait to see were things will go. I need the next volume, as soon as I will get the chance to buy it. I want it right now but well...

 

This volume had so many great moments, that made me squeal and go awww....IT WAS AMAZING!!!!

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review 2018-06-02 19:16
Weakest of the three collected editions
Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman Vol. 3 - Various

I'm giving it three stories for the Cheetah story because that focus on the damage done to non-superheros and highlights the difference between Wonder Woman and Batman. I also enjoyed the stories with Poison Ivy and Superman. First story gets bonus points for the woman in charge.

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