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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 - Francesco Francavilla,Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

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 2017-09-12 01:57
Fowl Language: The Struggle is Real by Brian Gordon
Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real - Brian Gordon

Genre:  Humor / Parenting / Parody / Animals

 

Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  8/12/2017 

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC 

Series: Fowl Language #2

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

Fowl

I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Introduction: 

A couple of years ago, I had read a graphic novel called “Tales from the Crib” which was written by Henrik Drescher and it detailed the struggles of parenting in a humorous way. Several years later, I came across this interesting new graphic novel that I received from NetGalley called “Fowl Language: The Struggle is Real” which is by Brian Gordon and it also details the struggles of being a parent in a humorous way and I enjoyed this graphic novel as much as I enjoyed “Tales from the Crib!” 

What is this story about? 

This graphic novel is basically about the main character, who is a male fowl, trying to deal with his two children and the graphic novel goes into the ups and downs of being a parent such as; trying to get some peace and quiet while the kids are gone, trying to find other adults to talk to after spending so much time with your own children and trying to get your child to go to sleep. Also, this graphic novel shows that despite all the craziness that you are put through when dealing with your children, you still love them in the end!

What I loved about this story: 

Brian Gordon’s writing: Oh my gosh! I still cannot stop laughing after reading this graphic novel! Brian Gordon has done a fantastic job at writing this graphic novel as I really enjoyed the harsh trials of being a parent being shown in a humorous and satirical way! I loved seeing the scenes where the father duck is trying so hard to deal with his children, while trying to get some peace and quiet, whenever his kids are away as it does hit home for many parents who have to cope with dealing with their children’s demands. But at the same time, this graphic novel shows the struggles that parents have to go through with their children in such a hilarious way that I cannot help but laugh at the father duck’s misfortune at dealing with his kids! Probably two of my most favorite moments in this graphic novel was one where the father duck is imagining a parody for the TV series “24” by titling it “21” and the joke here is that the father duck has to find a TV program that his kids would sit down and watch so he can have time to do the chores around the house (luckily, the program that the kids are watching is ninety minutes long, giving him even more time to do his chores). The other moment I enjoyed was the one where the father duck is trying to explain to his kids about what a record player and a CD is since the kids are only familiar with YouTube and it reminded me of the few times where I try to explain to some little kids about what a CD player is since some of them grew up listening to music on an iPhone or through YouTube.

Brian Gordon’s artwork: Brian Gordon’s artwork is both cute and hilarious to look at as are all the ducks in this graphic novel are drawn in a cute squat style and I especially loved the images of the father duck having wide popped out eyes whenever he gets shocked or annoyed by his kids’ hijinks. The simplistic style of the artwork also brings out the humor in the situations that the characters get into as the highlight of the artwork is seeing the ducks’ reactions to whatever hilarious situations they all get into.

Fowl

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

For anyone who does not like strong language, there is some usage of the “f” and “s” words respectively and some readers might be taken aback by the coarse language clashing with the cute artwork displayed in this graphic novel.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Fowl Language: The Struggle is Real” is a hilarious read for adults who are parents or are becoming parents and want to find a book that pokes fun at the tough trials of parenting! I am definitely going to be reading the rest of this series pretty soon!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-12 01:45
The Little Red Wolf by Amelie Flechais
The Little Red Wolf - Amélie Fléchais,Andrea Colvin

Genre:  Drama / Fairy Tale / Retelling / Animals / Horror / France


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  8/9/2017 

Publisher: Lion Forge

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

Red

I would like to thank NetGalley and Lion Forge for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Introduction: 

Now, I have been reading fairy tale retellings for many years and I had read retellings of stories like “Cinderella,” “The Three Little Pigs,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” So, imagine my surprise and delight in seeing this new retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” from NetGalley called “The Little Red Wolf” by Amélie Fléchais and I just had to pick this book up! After I read this book, I have to say that this was one of the most creative and heartbreaking retellings of “Little Red Riding Hood” I had ever read!

What is this story about? 

The story starts off with a family of wolves living in the roots of a tree and the smallest wolf in the family was called Little Red Wolf because he would wear a red cape all the time. One day, Little Red Wolf’s mother wanted him to take a nice plump rabbit to his grandmother, since his grandmother cannot hunt anymore due to her losing her teeth. But just before Little Red Wolf made his journey to his grandmother’s house, his mother warned him about a human hunter and his daughter and that he should stay away from them at all costs. As Little Red Wolf journeyed through the forest, he began to feel hungry and he started eating the rabbit that he was supposed to give to his grandmother piece by piece. When Little Red Wolf ate all of the rabbit, he began to cry since he was supposed to give that rabbit to his grandmother and he had no idea how he will get another rabbit to give to his grandmother. It was then that a little girl came up to Little Red Wolf and said that she could give him a rabbit if he followed her to her home.

Will this girl help Little Red Wolf get another rabbit for his grandmother or does she have some kind of malicious agenda for Little Red Wolf?

Read this book to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Amélie Fléchais’ writing: Wow! Just…wow! I never would have thought that I would ever read a “Little Red Riding Hood” retelling told from the wolf’s perspective (even though I had read a parody book of the “Three Little Pigs” told from the wolf’s perspective called “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs”). Amélie Fléchais has done a fantastic job at retelling the classic “Little Red Riding Hood” story from the wolf’s point of view as the wolf presented here is shown as being more sympathetic than the hunter and the young girl compared to the original story and that is what made this such a unique and creative read for me! I like the fact that the wolf here is presented as a young cub who does not know about the dangers of being around a hunter and is actually innocent of any wrongdoing in this story (well, except for accidentally eating all of the rabbit he was supposed to give to his grandmother). I also loved the mysterious and intense atmosphere that Amélie Fléchais provided in this story as I was sitting on the edge of my seat trying to see if any horrible disaster will befall Little Red Wolf and how he would be able to handle himself (or who would help him out) if he got into such a scary and dangerous situation.

Amélie Fléchais’ artwork: Amélie Fléchais’ artwork is probably the highlight of this book as all the images are drawn in watercolor paintings, which makes the imagery so gorgeous to look at. I also loved the haunting feel that Amélie Fléchais shows in the artwork as the illustrations are mostly in dark colors and it gives the story a mysterious and eerie feel, especially during the scenes where Little Red Wolf gets lost in the forest. But, probably my most favorite image in this book was the image of Little Red Wolf himself as he is drawn in an extremely adorable manner as he has large puppy dog eyes and a small cute nose that really brings out his innocent and adorable nature.

Red

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

For anyone who does not like scary moments in graphic novels or novels in general, there are some intense scenes in this book that might scare younger readers, such as Little Red Wolf getting lost in the forest and the danger of possibly encountering the huntsman and his daughter. 
Also, I felt that the ending was a bit too abrupt and I wished that more was explained about the revelation at the end, rather than just stopping the story as soon as the revelation was being made. All this just made me want to have a sequel to this story so that way, the ending would be made clearer to me than it is now and so that way we can have a more broader expansion on the characters themselves.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “The Little Red Wolf” is one retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” that you should definitely check out, especially if you enjoy hearing classic fairy tales being told from a different perspective! I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the imagery might scare smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-12 01:01
Heathen Volume 1 by Natasha Alterici
Heathen Vol. 1 - Natasha Alterici,Natasha Alterici,Tess Fowler,Tamra Bonvillain,Charles Martin,Rebecca Rutledge,Kristen Grace

Genre: LGBT / Norse Mythology / Fantasy / Feminism / Adventure

 

Year Published: 2017

 

Year Read: 7/31/2017

 

Publisher: Vault Comics

 

Series: Heathen #1

 

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

 

Heathen

I would like to thank NetGalley and Vault Comics for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Introduction: 

I have noticed lately that I rarely got the chance to read graphic novels that features a LGBT character as the main protagonist and I have been searching for many graphic novels that contains main LGBT protagonists. Well, luckily NetGalley had decided to hand out such a graphic novel called “Heathen Volume One” which is written by Natasha Alterici along with artwork by Rachel Deering and I must say that this is easily one of the best LGBT graphic novels I have ever read!

What is this story about? 

The story starts off with a young Viking woman named Avdis who was banished from her homeland due to participating in a forbidden act in her land: kissing another woman. After this event, Aydis decided to go out on a mission to change the ways of Odin’s empire and the first thing she tries to do is to find and free the Valkyrie Brynhild. It turns out that Odin had cursed Brynhild by forcing her to return to her mountain prison if she cannot find a mortal who is willing to marry her and Aydis aims to bring Brynhild’s suffering to an end!

What I loved about this story: 

Natasha Alterici’s writing: Wow! Natasha Alterici has certainly done a wonderful job at writing this story as she is able to combine Norse Mythology with LGBT themes, which made this graphic novel such a unique read! I loved the way that Natasha Alterici wrote the dialogue between the characters as it really characterizes the characters and I loved the little nods to humor in the dialogue, especially between the two wolves Skull and Hati, which was the best part of the story. I also enjoyed the details involving Norse Mythology in this story since I am always interested in fairy tales and mythology and it was nice to be able to point out the characters from Norse Mythology that were mentioned in this story, such as Odin and the Valkyries. But probably the best part about this graphic novel was how it approached the issues that Aydis is going through. Natasha Alterici has done a fantastic job at paralleling the prejudice that Aydis is going through because she kissed another woman, to the real-world prejudice that the LGBT community is going through and it is great that there is a graphic novel that portrays a strong LGBT character in a positive light.

Rachel Deering’s artwork: Rachel Deering’s artwork is quite gorgeous to look at and I especially loved the focus on the characters themselves. The backgrounds are blank for the most part, apart from some trees, but the characters are drawn in such a detailed way, that they really stand out in the artwork. I also enjoyed the wilderness scenes as the trees surrounding the characters look truly luscious and they bring a certain beauty to the story.

Heathen

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

For anyone who does not like nudity in a graphic novel series, there is a bit of nudity in this volume, especially with the images of Freyja with her breasts being openly exposed. Also, even though the artwork is gorgeous for the most part, I found the artwork to be a bit too scratchy at times and it was a bit hard for me to see what is going on in the story due to the artwork blurring out some action scenes.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Heathen Volume One” is a fantastic graphic novel for anyone who loves Norse Mythology and LGBT characters!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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