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review 2018-11-15 01:23
Wanted to like this more
X-Men: Black - Magneto (2018) #1 (X-Men: Black (2018)) - Chris Claremont,Dalibor Talajic,J. Scott Campbell

There were a couple good moments, so I bumped it up one star, but this is also a Chris Claremont tale - and I expected more.   I got it through the Marvel Insider program: you get points for doing things, then can get things like digital comics.   I was hoping that Claremont writing Magneto, my favorite X-Men villain, would be a win for me.   It.... was not. 

 

There was so much virtue signaling.   Which, I mean, yeah, it's Magneto's whole schtick, but this was just written so badly - so much message overtaking the story - that I couldn't believe Claremont had written it.   His usual subtlety was thrown right out the window, and I cringed many, many times. 

 

Add to that the fact that I wasn't crazy about the art?   Yup, just a hard pass on more of this.   Looked it up, and looks like the 'Black' line is just bunch of one-shots, but after this I want no part in the rest of the line. 

 

Also, the backstory was about one of my least favorite X-Men villains, Apocalypse, so I don't even care what happens with that.   Oh, well, onto better reads!

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review 2018-11-15 01:08
I wanted this to be five stars
Batman: White Knight - Sean Murphy

The execution, the details, were interesting.   I do think that Sean Murphy bent a little things: if Jack Napier were a truly good man, as he's presented here, and had to account for everything that the Joker did, then I think he'd be slightly more shellshocked.   Now, I could buy the argument that he was so overwhelmed that he ended up placing all his hopes of forgiveness in Harley Quinn - but that's not how this is presented.   It's presented as he feels bad, whoops, let's save Gotham now.   (Although a lot of his redemption is all about Harleen, so that was kinda weird, too.)   He was a little... off with Harleen, too?   Maybe it was calling her Harley, which seemed weird since they were trying so hard to disassociate themselves from their former lives.  But there was something else, where it was all too cut and dry: her accepting him, his complete devotion to her, and I found it too far off form The Joker to really be buyable.   

 

Then again, some of this could be explained by the final reveal, although I don't want to go into details: this is well worth reading, and it's worth reading not knowing what's coming in my opinion, so I won't spoil that. 

 

There's so much elegance in this story that it didn't seem more than a star off, and I think the story focuses enough on other things that I couldn't really say this flaw overtook everything.   I also think when the love story between The Joker and Harleen doesn't take over?   This story is a lot stronger. 

 

And I'm not spoiling things when I say The Joker goes sane or Batman is in Arkham.   The tagline on the back is The Joker goes sane, and the first page or so has Batman in Arkham.   It's all about the small reveals leading up to the big one  at the end.   It's a slow burn that's dealt with perfectly for the most part.   

 

Lovely story.  I'm definitely going to look into reading more by this writer/artist. 

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review 2018-11-14 18:28
Good ending, although it doesn't hold up for me completely
Death Of The Inhumans (2018) #5 (of 5) - Donny Cates,Kaare Andrews,Ariel Olivetti

Marvel either needed to get more brutal, or less.   (And to be honest, given the rest of this series?   More brutal would have been the most appropriate!)   That being said, this felt... off.   The mixture of brutal and hopeful at the ending was gut wrenching - but didn't seem to fit the premise of this series, nor the promise held in the title.   I know I like a good brutal story about characters I love, although I'm not sure why, so I felt a little let down - and relieved at the same time.   

 

So I'm not sure: I just wanted a little more oomph from this ending.   It feels like the mini-series wasn't sure where to go while doing something in particular - allowing certain characters to make it if you want to get particular - and then this.  I know comics are more well planned out.   Marvel cancelled Chelsea Cain's Vision series because it conflicted with plans for Viv in the Champions.   That is: Marvel wouldn't let Donny Coates do whatever he wanted.  I'm not sure if his vision for this conflicted with what Marvel wanted, or if this was a carefully crafted ending that just didn't work for me, but it didn't.   Overall, though, it's a five star series: even with the choppy ending, there was enough here for me to highly suggest this, from the lovely art to the plot twists that won't stop, plus the philosophical thoughts that were dropped in here.   (Yeah, it wants you to think about mortality and what you'd do in the most extreme situations.)   And the ending wasn't a complete mood killer, or even bad: I was just expecting more given the pace. 

 

And I think that might be what be wrong.   This barrels along at high speed - and the stop is sudden and disorienting and that's making me cranky-pants and nitpick about the ending.  

 

I think I'll be more okay with it when I reread this - and this is good enough to reread. 

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review 2018-11-14 18:08
Marvel isn't afraid to get brutal
Death Of The Inhumans (2018) #4 (of 5) - Donny Cates,Kaare Andrews,Ariel Olivetti

And they do here.   I've been wondering when they're going to kill people off with something called "Death of the Inhumans."  I mean, there was the huge death count in one, but very few of the royal family?  Esepcaily with them on all the covers.

 

Arguably the royals are the Inhumans franchise as they've always been central to that.   Is Marvel killing of other Inhumans?   The franchise?   Both?

 

And then they managed to bring some of the royals back.   So what's going on?    But I'm starting to think this might be more of a spiritual death: their hope is being killed off, and that's far, far more brutal than merely killing off the royals.   Just look at what they've done to Black Bolt for an example of something far more brutal than killing him off.   I'm still hoping for hurt/comfort there, but I think it's going to be hurt and then more hurt, and then me curled up into a ball at the end of issue five, the final issue in this mini-series. 

 

But until I get there?   I'm loving this!

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text 2018-11-14 17:58
Reading progress update: I've read 261 out of 440 pages.
Dark Force Rising - Timothy Zahn

 

I'm really unsure how this trilogy ended up on the SF/F list that I'm reading.  One the best?  Really?

 

While reading it, I am never immersed, I'm always conscious that I'm reading.

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