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text 2018-07-10 22:59
2018 Hugo Ballot: Best Graphic Novel
Black Bolt (2017-) #1 - Leonard Bacon;Joseph Parrish Thompson;Richard Salter Storrs;Henry Ward Beecher;Joshua Leavitt;Henry Chandler Bowen;Theodore Tilton;William Hayes Ward;Hamilton Holt;Harold de Wolf Fuller;Fabian Franklin;Christian Archibald Herter,Saladin Ahmed
Bitch Planet Volume 2: President Bitch - Kelly Sue DeConnick
Monstress Volume 2: The Blood - Marjorie M. Liu
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters - Emil Ferris
Paper Girls Volume 3 - Brian K. Vaughan
Saga, Volume 7 - Fiona Staples,Brian K. Vaughan

This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so.

 

I'd only read 2 of these in advance of the finalist announcement. Two more are properties I'm familiar with from earlier volumes.

 

  • Black Bolt, Volume 1: Hard Time, written by Saladin Ahmed, illustrated by Christian Ward, lettered by Clayton Cowles (Marvel) - 3.5 stars, loved the art and liked the writing. Still laughing that his name is Blackagar Boltagon. 

 

  • Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro and Taki Soma, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, lettered by Clayton Cowles (Image Comics) 4.5 Stars, this one I adored to much to even put into words.

 

  • Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood, written by Marjorie M. Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image Comics) -  4 Stars, a stronger book than the first one in terms of pacing, and with the same gorgeous art.

 

  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters, written and illustrated by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics) - Interesting concept, but very slow. I didn't actually finish this book.

 

  • Paper Girls, Volume 3, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher (Image Comics) - 3.5 Stars, did not love.

 

  • Saga, Volume 7, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics) - 3 Stars, fine, but kind of a low point for the series so far.

 

So Bitch Planet is definitely at the top, followed by Monstress and Black Bolt. The other three could go in any order, but maybe I'll just leave them off because I don't really feel strongly about them at all. 

 

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review 2018-07-08 22:41
Review: Black Bolt, Vol 1.
Black Bolt, Vol. 1: Hard Time - Saladin ... Black Bolt, Vol. 1: Hard Time - Saladin Ahmed

Great color palette and good story. I only knew this character as one of the Marvel Puzzle Quest options. One of my favorite parts of the writing in this volume is just how many times Ahmed manages to mention Black Bolt's full name, Blackagar Boltagon. Reader, I laughed every time. 

 

The plot is a fairly straightforward story where the protagonist learns to see the world in less black and white terms, but where evil is still easily identified. A good diversion that I might read more of, but not something I'm running to the comic shop to follow up on.

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review 2018-07-08 02:12
Excellent start to this series
Death Of The Inhumans (2018) #1 (of 5) - Donny Cates,Kaare Andrews,Ariel Olivetti

The variant cover I have is very misleading, as it has a grave of a certain character on it and I suspected they wouldn't die - yet.   There is death in this issue, as promised, and I"m a bit devastated over it, but I'm willing to see where this goes. 

 

I am unhappy that they're killing off the Inhumans, but I'm hoping they'll get a good death of story arc.   I also know that as soon as it becomes convenient, Marvel will bring all these characters back.   

 

The Kree come back to Earth with a message for Black Bolt: join or die.   And they will burn everything he loves, and everything he feels responsible for, until he begs to join them.   

 

And to do this, they create something new, something less human than the Inhumans, to deliver their message. 

 

I'm more than happy to continue with this series. 

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review 2018-07-08 01:32
Eeeeh
Inhumans: Judgment Day (2018) #1 - Mike Del Mundo,Al Ewing,Daniel Acuña

I saw a lot of this in Black Bolt, and the whole 'see it from someone else's point of view' only plays if you show something new.   This felt word-for-word the same; since the dialogue has to be...

 

It didn't add enough from Medusa or Black Bolt's point of view for me to appreciate this retelling. 

 

The emotional content felt flat, but this is after reading the Jenkins/Lee run, Soule's amazing run on a bunch of Inhuman series, and Black Bolt.   Ewing's one-shot just doesn't hold up or do them justice.   I'll be honest: Ewing gets a lot of play and love from the fans, and I'm usually left wondering why this is the case.   

 

Glad I read it to get the full story, because I'm a completist like that, but this isn't even a favorite Inhumans title. 

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review 2018-07-07 13:39
Cutest mini-series!
Lockjaw (2018-) #4 - Daniel Kibblesmith,Ulises Farinas,Carlos Alberto Patino Villa

Awwww!   Lockjaw was just unbearably cute in all of this.   All of it.  

 

I love how he finds his family - and what happens to his poor, tortured sibling.   Just the perfect ending.  I was wondering how D-Man would fare after this, and how they would deal with separating Lockjaw and D-Man.   Giving the dog to D-Man makes sense.  

 

Also, I was unhappy with the revelation that Lockwas a dog, not a member of the royal family - which would have tied up a plot hole I had with Karnak and his parents.   However, there was a moment here that made this just as heartbreaking with just as much of a story to tell as my obviously wrong theory. 

 

I'm still a little bitter they didn't go to the other way because I still think it had more narrative potential, but something like this goes a long way to making me happy with the way it turned out in the end. 

 

I would read a doggy series written by Kibblesmith.  Let me be particular: I would buy this ongoing with this team for as long as it ran.   

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